Wednesday, 30 September 2015

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Buhari’s 55th Independence Day speech

55th Independence Day Speech by President Muhammadu Buhari

October 1st is a day for joy and celebrations for us Nigerians whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in because it is the day, 55 years ago; we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.

No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honoring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us Numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet. We have in addition:

• Arable land
• Water
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• Oil and gas
• Coastline
• Solid minerals

We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not there yet because the one commodity we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress.

Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.

Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a sea change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system. Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences.

As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view to join me in working for the nation.

My countrymen and women, every new government inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a recitation of problems inherited. Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President, senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections and since then.

As you know, I toured the neighboring countries, marshal a coalition of armed forces of the five nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also the G7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram. Our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run. That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets such as I.D.P. camps is indicative of their cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable places.

On power, government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way. In the meantime, improvement in the power supply is moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country. All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better.

Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum. Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.

In addition to NNPC, I have ordered for a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation. Prudent housekeeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.

We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC government is embarking on a clean up, introducing prudence and probity in public financing.

At an early stage, the federal government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, there have been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over. Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its Report on the reorganization of Federal Government structure after studying the hand over notes. It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.

Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for CHANGE is all about.

I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for CHANGE. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring CHANGE about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behavior in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.

HappyIndependence Celebrations. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Our strory on seized assets from ex-IGP, by EFCC

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chair Ibrahim Lamorde yesterday said there was no diversion of either cash or assets seized from a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun and ex- Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

The commission said Balogun forfeited N2, 258,100,516.87 in 11 accounts including accruing interest.

It also said N3, 128, 230, 294.83 realised from the assets of Alamieyeseigha was remitted to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.

The EFCC made the clarifications last night by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren against the backdrop of allegations by a whistle-blower, George Uboh against the Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.

Uboh, had in a petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition claimed that Lamorde and EFCC could not account for over N1trillion.

But the EFCC said the cash and assets seized from the two  were intact.

The statement said: “A total of 15 Spring Bank accounts were forfeited by Mr. Tafa Balogun. Of this number, four (4) accounts had NIL (zero) balance. The total balance in the remaining 11accounts as of January 2005 was N1, 226,518,163.09.

“In addition to this, seven (7) treasury bills/commercial papers in the same bank had a total balance of N1, 017, 178, 719.42.  The two added together came up to N2, 243,696,882.51. With the addition of the accrued interest of N14, 403,634.36, the figure came to N2, 258,100,516.87.

“This sum was what was paid to the Commission by Spring Bank and eventually remitted to the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, as against the N3, 037,255,521.60 claimed by the petitioner.

“It is pertinent to note that, of the four (4) accounts with Nil balance, account no. 01C11201191, erroneously appeared on the court order as a Dollar account. It was a Naira account with no balance. Similarly, on the court order, there was a duplication of the Treasury Bills account of Yeboa Investment Limited (Nos. 01X0520147400 and 01X520147500) These accounts which are Bankers Acceptance ought not to have been captured as current accounts. Both accounts were erroneously listed as having a balance of N254, 279,679.86.”

On Uboh’s allegation that the EFCC under-remitted proceeds from Tafa Balogun’s forfeitures, the EFCC said the ex-IGP’s properties were yet to be disposed of.

It added: “The Commission wrote two letters to the Minister of Finance dated 22nd July 2009 and 29th November 2010, respectively, wherein it noted that funds remitted were part proceeds of Tafa Balogun recoveries. Mr. Uboh’S confirmation that in March 2013, the Commission disclosed that it was in custody of some balance shows that there was no secrecy about the balance.

“However, it is necessary to state that as at March 2011, there were legal issues on some of the properties recovered from Tafa Balogun. Other claimants emerged, with claims to the properties.

“The cases include the property at Plot 2220 Suez Crescent, Zone 4, Abuja, which the Commission eventually won in 2013, while the other involved a property at Plot 1488, Fugar Street, Asokoro which case the Commission lost in


“Apart from the Fugar Street Asokoro property that is now a subject of appeal by the EFCC, three (3) other properties forfeited by Tafa Balogun are yet to be disposed of. One of the properties is located at Plot 110, Tunis Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.

“The remaining two properties which appeared on the forfeiture order as Plot 75, Asokoro and Plot 2262B Maitama A6 District, Abuja are also subject of legal disputes.”

The EFCC defended the placement of some forfeited cash by accused or convicted persons(including Balogun’s)  in interest yielding accounts.

It said it sought and obtained approval to operate a dedicated interest income account.

 It said: “The placement of forfeited monies in interest yielding accounts is not an entirely new idea. The court in various rulings ordered some funds to be placed in interest yielding accounts. “Rather than warehousing forfeited funds in current accounts for a long period, the Commission lodged such funds, including those of Tafa Balogun, in interest yielding accounts.

“The interest element is always in line with CBN Cash Reserve Ratio and not fixed. Not a single kobo is taken out by the Commission under this initiative.

“It is interesting to note that under this initiative, as at March 2015, the sum of N696,590,765.36 was generated as interest on recovered funds with Access Bank Plc. “Another sum of N522,807,543.83 presently stands as interest generated from recovered funds with Ecobank Plc, while the subsidy recoveries with Enterprise Bank Plc has yielded the sum of N736,609,666.62.

“All these monies are intact and are held on behalf of the Federal Government until all encumbrances to their release are cleared.

“For purposes of transparency and accountability, the Commission sought and obtained approval to operate a dedicated interest income account vides a letter from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation Ref. No AGF/TRY/RB/441/VOL.I/128 dated 3rd December, 2012. The facts of the balance of Tafa Balogun’s recovered assets are not hidden, neither are issues of the interest which accrued thereof.”

On the assets seized from Alamieyeseigha, the EFCC said the proceed had been remitted to the Federal Government in favour of Bayelsa State.

It said: “DSP Alamieyeseigha was convicted in July, 2007. The process of the disposal of his forfeited asset also commenced same year following his conviction as it could not have been possible to dispose his assets in 2006 before conviction in July 2007 (as alleged by George Uboh)!

“The first part of the money realized from the disposal was remitted to the Commission’s account by Real Estate Derivatives Limited on 24th July,2008 while the last payment from the sale of his assets in Nigeria was received in March, 2009.

“On 9th July, 2009, the total sum of N3, 128, 230, 294.83 realized from the assets was remitted to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.

Summary of the assets recovered from DSP Alamieyeseigha are as follows:

  1. Sales of 5 real estate N       1,982,915,352.22

  2. Recovery from Bond Bank N 1,000,000,000.00

iii.    Legacy Bond Bank recoveries     N       105,314,942.61

  1. Proceeds from Chelsea mgt. N       40,000,000.00

  2. Proceeds from rent collection N       60,000,000.00

  3. Pesal Nig. Ltd bank account N       97,708,387.64

Other recoveries are:

vii. USA Treasury cheques $ 215,000.00

viii. Chelsea Hotel Management $ 226,000.00

  1. Chelsea Hotel Management € 7,000.00

  2. Chelsea Hotel Management £ 2,000.00

  3. Two properties were returned directly to Bayelsa State i.e. Chelsea Hotel and No.2

Marscibit Street, Ishaku Rabiu Estate, Wuse II Abuja Apart from the proceeds from rent collection and Pesal Nigeria Limited bank account, all other monies listed above have been remitted by the Commission to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.

“The balance of N157,708,387.64, with the Commission comprise of the sum of N97,708.387.64 forfeited by Pesal Nig Ltd, which was remitted to the Commission by Diamond bank on 12th June, 2015, and the sum of N60m discovered through routine account reconciliation in 2014.

“This balance will be remitted at the end of the ongoing audit of the Commission’s exhibits and recoveries by a reputable international audit firm.

“Regarding the offshore assets of DSP Alamieyeseigha, the repatriation of the forfeited foreign assets was handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, not EFCC.”

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Amaechi, Fayemi, Fashola, Onu make ministerial list

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday received the first set of names of would-be ministers to be screened by lawmakers.

The list was presented to him after plenary at about 5pm by the President’s  Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on National Assembly Matters Ita Enang.

On his twitter handle at about 5:20 p.m, Saraki wrote: “I can now confirm that I just received the list of ministerial nominees.”

The list was submitted in a sealed envelope by  Kyari and Enang.

The Senate President’s spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said: “Dr. Saraki, following the tradition of the Senate, decided that the envelope will remain sealed till Tuesday October 6, when during the plenary sitting of the Upper legislative chamber, it will be opened and the list read to Senators.”

But sources last night said key leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ex-senators, technocrats and ex-governors are on the list.

APC chief and former Minister Mr. Audu Ogbeh; Southeast APC leader Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and Director General of the Buhari campaign organisation and former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi are likely to be on the list.

Others presented for senators’ screening are former Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti);  former Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Abubakar Malami.

Three women – a former Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan and Mrs Amina J. Mohammed, Special Assistant to UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning are also ministerial nominees.

Mrs Amina Mohammed, born 1961, was appointed to her role with the UN secretary general in June 2012.

The mother of six previously worked for six years with former President Olusegun Obasanjo as Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Incidentally, Mrs Adeosun’s name is also on the list of commissioner-nominees sent to the Ogun State House of Assembly yesterday by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

Amaechi and Fayemi were on the trip to the 70th United Nations General Assembly in NewYork with President Muhammadu Buhari. The delegation returned yesterday.

Others on the list are  Senator Hadi Sirika, a pilot, who represented Katsina North in the senate between 2011 and 2015. He was elected on the ticket of Buhari’s former party, the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) and a former Anambra State Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige. Ngige, a medical doctor, was also a senator between 2011 and 2015.

There are also Solomon Dalong and Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who is likely to be Minister of State for Petroleum.Buhari has announced himself as oil minister.

Osagie Ehanire, Udoma Udo-Udoma, Ahmed Isa Ibeto, Sulaiman Adamu and Ibrahim Jibril are also on the list, according to sources.

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Alaibe withdraws for party’s unity

A former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, yesterday withdrew from the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State for “party’s interest”.

Alaibe formerly declared his decision to pull out of the rescheduled governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement he issued at 3am, entitled: For the sake of our party, I withdraw from the APC governorship primary.

Describing the decision as a self-sacrifice, the former NDDC chief said it was taken out of his desire to give APC the peace and unity it needed ahead of the election.

There was jubilation in Yenagoa, the state capital, when the news of his withdrawal filtered into the state secretariat of the party at 3:30am.

Delegates had gathered in large numbers and waited for the primary to end.

Alaibe said: “It is with all nostalgia that I recall the zeal, enthusiasm and hope with which thousands of Bayelsans made a statement in the direction of change in August 2015. I can also vividly recall a mental replay of the occasion wherein a qualitative representation of the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) ushered in respected leaders and members from their then party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“That singular event has been phenomenal just as its true meaning and direction have all exuded confidence, unity of purpose, cohesion, collectivism and courage. That day undoubtedly marked the beginning of a people’s journey from hopelessness and squandry as enunciated by the accidental PDP-led government in Bayelsa state to that of quality leadership that an APC government will represent.”

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Falae: ARG lambasts security agencies

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has condemned the kidnap of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae.

It said the incident revealed the helplessness of the police and other security agencies.

A statement by its National Chairman, Olawale Oshun, said it was unbelievable that a personality like Falae could be kidnapped in his own state.

The statement reads: “ARG is aware that the Department of State Security (DSS) is located in all local government areas. But rather than face the arduous task of covert operations, its agents are all over the place, hobnobbing with politicians and grandstanding in the media.

“ARG deems it unimaginable and an insult on the Yoruba that such kidnap can take place within the ambit of Ondo State where Chief Falae is not only a well known personality but also one of the prominent leaders – it is immaterial whether it took place on a farm or not.

“ARG also observes that many high profile kidnappings in the Southwest were perpetrated by non-Yoruba.

“ARG urges President Muhammadu Buhari to give internal security the same priority as corruption and economy. We hope that he will do all he can to solve this onerous problem.

“However, as development stakeholders in the Nigerian project, Yoruba have always stood for the need to decentralise the national security framework according to the dictate of true federalism.

“ARG calls on Yoruba traditional leaders, monarchs, village heads, and regents to live up to their traditionally accepted role of securing their subjects and domains.”

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Dance With Peter finalists get winning clues from judges

As glo-powered Dance with Peter reaches a crescendo, finalists from the regional auditions have gotten clues on how to win the dance reality TV show.

Peter Okoye of the P-Square fame said the uniqueness of the contestants will distinquish them in the grand finale. “I am looking for the X- Factor. I need someone that can give me a distinct performance and wow me. The contestants should realise that with great power and opportunity comes great responsibility. So they have to Bring it on!!! They should give it their best and hopefully, they can make it to the end.”

Dance choreographer, Don Flexx who is also a judge, said: “I’m looking out for creativity, originality, someone who is smart and can think out of the box in delivering tasks. So far for me, the quality of contestants has been impressive and they can be groomed to quality standard as we progress in the show.

“My advice to the dancers, therefore, is to stay humble, hungry and most especially, be disciplined to prevail at the end of the show. These qualities will help them learn a lot as they progress in the competition”.

Dance queen, Kaffy, said: “I am looking for originality. The dancers should be comfortable and bring out the dance from their souls. I would be looking forward to seeing dancers take advantage of the mentorship to metamorphose from what they were when they entered and blossom to a better version of themselves.”

“My advice is that those being chosen for the finals means there’s a lot expected from them. We are not going to take it easy on them, so they should remain humble, open to creative ideas and be wise with constructive criticism as this show was created to build and not to destroy anyone”.

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A greater Nigeria possible, says Senator Tinubu

The senator representing Lagos Central, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, has said a greater Nigeria is possible.

In her Independence Day message, the lawmaker said: “Today marks the 55th anniversary of our country’s independence. This is also the first since we begin to relish the change mantra we embarked upon as a people, and nation.

“On occasions such as this that celebrates the 55th marriage of different beliefs, ideologies and culture, we must remember the ‘endless possibility’ at which this fusion is sustained for the years.

“Campaign is over, we should all settle down to work and stop the blame games.

“It is a known fact that we are a country heading for recession that is if we are not there.

“This becomes necessary for us as a people; we embrace the new ideals, direction and mission presented before us by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, having made the ballot an important instrument to building a safe place for us all.

“This is the time to be contributors to this new Nigeria of progress and prosperity, a worthy legacy we want to leave for this generation and the coming ones.

“We must, therefore, turn the burdens, challenges and expectations to ceaseless possibilities.

“We must also offer prayers and support to our leaders and families of those who lost loved ones during Hajj and to insurgency. I wish you all a Happy 55th Independence anniversary.”

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NLC accuses some states of diverting bailout loan

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday alleged that some governors are diverting the bailout loan into fixed deposit accounts.

Its president, Ayuba Wabba, who said this in an Independence Day message, added that the governors’ actions would be resisted.

Wabba praised the National Council of State and President Muhammadu Buhari for their interventions, but lamented that the enthusiasm and commitment shown on the matter has been lacking in some states.

He alleged that rather than pay salaries and pensions, some governors “have elected to play politics with workers’ welfare”.

“We condemn this attitude and strongly warn that henceforth, any state that defaults in the regular payment of salaries and pensions will face the wrath of the workers.

“Salaries and pensions are inalienable rights of workers and retirees and not privileges.

“We also call for reforms at state and local government levels to enhance the security of pension funds and regular payments.

“We want to caution the governors who have fixed the intervention funds in banks for pecuniary benefits. It is totally unacceptable.

“The NLC is working with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to track the fixed funds and take appropriate action.

“We urge the government  re-think how to fix the economy through robust macro-economic, civil, accountable and people-oriented policies capable of addressing our dependency syndrome.

“We propose to government to, among other things, reduce the importation of luxury items or levy special tax on them, further eliminate corruption in the importation of refined petroleum products, ensure the country meets its consumption needs through enhanced local production.

“We propose a strategy that ensures a balance between the productive and social sectors with a focus on economic diversification-cum-quality and robust housing programmes.

“We urge the government to take other measures that could speed up the process of revitalisation, such as banning importation of finished textile products, resuscitate cotton farms, improve energy supply and give other incentives.”

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Aregbesola: Nigeria’ll rise again

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said Nigeria will arise again.

Aregbesola said the greatest challenges confronting the nation are nation-building and selfless leaders.

In a statement, Aregbesola praised Nigerians for their efforts and sacrifices towards building a democratic, just and humane society.

“We are in a critical stage in our journey for sustainable democracy.

“Therefore, we must do everything humanly possible to protect this democratic process, the longest in our political evolution.

“Our founding fathers, with sincerity of purpose, fought for a country where there will be equal opportunities, freedom of expression and association as well as security of life and property.

“I have strong, unwavering conviction and sincere hope that this country will still stand tall and become great again.”

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson urged Nigerians to remain focused and supportive.

He called on them to always see the peace, security and unity of the country as a collective responsibility.

According to him, Nigeria’s diversity has proved to be one of its greatest assets.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors praised Nigerians for their perseverance and for keeping the country united.

The governors, under the aegis of PDP Governors Forum, said Independence has become one of the proudest moments for Nigerians.

The statement said: “The significance of the day lies in the fact that it binds all Nigerians as one.

“Today, as we celebrate our nation’s 55th anniversary, please take time to remember those famous freedom fighters and leaders, who not only inspired the  independence struggle but also celebrated our nation’s first anniversary.

“As we observe the day with unmatched nationalistic ardour, let us resolve to contribute our quota to the growth of our nation.”

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Sleeping giant at the crossraods

ORDINARILY, Nigerians should be rolling out the drums to mark the nation’s 55th Independent anniversary. But, rather than celebrating, the mood of the country, which got independence on October 1, 1960, is one of sober reflection. In the area of politics, the country appears to be getting back on its feet. After 16 years of uninterrupted civilian rule,  the country appears to have made progress in that regard; particularly with periodic elections that are now increasingly being described as “free and fair” and the emergence of an opposition that, for the first time, dislodged a sitting party. To that extent, observers believe the country is on course politically. It has continued to be plagued by bad leadership, since the nation returned to participatory democracy 16 years ago.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope that the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari can steer the nation out of troubled waters.

Buhari, who was voted into power because Nigerians were fed up with the former ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), has the onerous responsibility of giving the country a new direction. Today, the economic outlook is bleak. The tumbling prices of crude oil at the international market, which many oil-producing countries have been grappling with since the middle of last year, appears to be taking a huge toll on the economy. Many state governors were owing arrears of workers’ salaries until the President Buhari worked out a bailout package for the cash-strapped states.

According to experts, the economy is struggling because it is subject to fluctuations in global oil prices, because successive governments have been paying lip service to the crucial issue of diversification of the economy. Divesting from fossil fuel is the obvious direction the world is headed. Many powerful countries which dominate the world economy have been actively working on that. The United States (U.S.) and Europe are headed in that direction. As the technology for non-fossils are improved, this trend will become the dominant source of energy in the world. But, sadly, the ruling elite appear not to have the political will to chart a new course that would address the people’s immediate need.

At Independence, the country had the capacity for growth and development. But it sguandered the opportunity by not sustaining the development of agricultural sector with its linkage to the manufacturing sector and not thinking ahead during the oil boom. With the discovery of oil, Nigeria closed her eyes to other sectors of the economy.

Over the years, Nigeria’s economy has been growing, but this has not been translated into putting food on the tables of many Nigerians. The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan had made some efforts to diversify the economy, to start creating jobs for Nigerians. But, his ‘Transformation Agenda’ failed to transform the economy and create jobs as desired.

Economists have identified rural and urban integration; infrastructure and family planning as the critical factors to the transformation of the  economy and its emergence as one of the top 20 economies in the world. According to the experts, the problem to be tackled is the duality between the formal and informal sectors of the economy. This, they added, is an important factor responsible for the lack of competitiveness of the non-oil sector and that it is imperative to address the challenges impeding the growth of the informal sector, which has been identified as the backbone of the economy and the highest employer of labour.

Therefore, it is imperative for the Buhari administration to initiate policies to empower every Nigerian to come on board in the quest to reposition the economy. Across the globe, knowledge economy has put nations in higher pedestal than natural resources endowment. The experts want President Buhari to set economic goals and targets, come out with a clear economic blueprint and formulate achievable policies and strategies to bring about a truly diversified economy.

The recent rebasing of the economy, setting Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy, while revealing the true economic position of Africa’s largest nation, simultaneously re-certified Nigeria as the nation in the top position for worst leadership in social welfare and opportunities for the people. With 70 per cent of the nation’s population living under a-dollar-a-day; economically factored, Nigeria has the poorest people of any nation in the world today.

At 55, the millions of unemployed youths have been described as a bomb waiting to explode. And until the teeming youths are gainfully enegaged, the country might be sitting on a keg of gun-powder. The  spectre of insecurity may persist, despite the spirited efforts of the administration of President Buhari to eliminate the security threat posed by the radical terrorist group, Boko Haram. There are growing incidences of kidnappings, which used to be restricted to the Southsouth and the Southeast geo-political zones, in the Southwest and other parts of the country.

Though the country is under a democratic dispensation, the potentially-destabilising issue of the national question is still being swept under the carpet. At the moment, Nigerians are only preoccupied with Boko Haram insurgency. But, the existences of ethnic militias like the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) and the likes are manifestations of the rot in the system. Successive governments have always wielded the big stick against such groupings, but experts believe that a more holistic solution is needed because sweeping them under the carpet amounts to postponing the doomsday.

In the view of a public affairs analyst, Joe Iniodu, the arrival of Independence in 1960 held out great hope and prospect for the teeming populace, but such hopes have been dashed. He said it is unfortunate that Nigerians are no longer living as brothers, as envisaged by the founding fathers. He said at the dawn of independence that Nigerians were free to live in any part of the country without the fear of discrimination and without the risk of becoming endangered species for being a non-indigene or for belonging to another religion other than the one observed in the milieu.

Iniodu’s argument is that successive leaders failed to manage the country’s diversity and differences. According to experts, the country’s diversity could have become an asset, if it had been properly managed. But, that is not the case.

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A nation’s thirst for good leadership

In 55 years, Nigeria has witnessed 15 administrations. Until the second coming of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari as President, it has been a tale of elusive hope and wasted expectations. The country has agonised under eight military regimes. It has witnessed an inexplicable interim contraption; a mixed grill of soldiers and their civilian collaborators. The five civilian heads of government – the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan –  could not make much difference.  Will Buhari, who now has a second chance like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, succeed where others did not measure up?

Dashed hope

On October 1, 1960, there were high expectations. Nigeria was projected as middle-level power capable of taking the world by the storm. Its natural resources and human endowment were vital assets. But, six years after, the fledgling federation was still crawling. The leadership failed to lay a strong foundation for a united nation. Thus, the colonial legacy was threatened by disintegration. In the seventies, there were signs that the country would become an economic miracle. But, in the eighties, the economy laid prostrate. It is a tragedy of nationhood that, more than five decades after, Nigeria is yet to resolve its national question. Many citizens perceive themselves, not as Nigerians bonded together by common destiny, but as tribesmen projecting the antagonistic pursuits of rival ethnic groups in an atmosphere of lopsided federalism.


At independence, Nigeria practiced parliamentary system. The President, the late Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe, exercised ceremonial powers. But, the Prime Minister, Balewa, was under the shadow of his political leader and Premier of the defunct Northern Region, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello. Then, political leaders were largely perceived as ethnic champions inclined to the defense of regional interests. The big three – Ahmadu Bello (North), Chief Obafemi Awolowo (West) and Dr. Nnamidi Azikiwe (East) – coordinated the ethnic battle for relevance. What made the system to survive for the first six years was the practice of true federalism, although the hand of the centre was still heavy on the regions on few occasions. Leaders appeared to agree on some basic federal principles. In that atmosphere of federalism, the battle for federal power unleashed crisis and tension. However, it was evident that the four regions were ready to develop at their pace, and within the limit of their resources.

The coup plotters who disrupted orderly political evolution accused the political leaders of corruption, avarice, nepotism and rigging of elections, especially in the ‘wild wild’ West. Although, the ring leaders led by Major Kaduna Chukwuma Nzeogwu succeeded in killing Balewa, Premier Ladoke Akintola of the West, his Northern counterpart, Bello, Chief festus Okoti-Eboh, the Minister of Finance and other senior military rulers, they failed in their bid to capture power. The coup was hijacked by opportunistic senior officers, who failed to sustain the vision of the original plotters. But, the death of Bello and Balewa heraled a chain of events, which furthered affected national cohesion and unity. The soldiers of Northern origin sworn to avenge their blood at a later date.


The late Gen. Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, the General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army, had no plan or programme of action when he became the Head of State in 1966. Therefore, he came to office unprepared. He pretended as if Nigeria was one. Thus, he displayed gross insensitivity when he abolished the regions, thereby stifling the doctrine of theoretical regional autonomy. His unification decree was a disaster. For the six months that he was in power, he could not set up a proper cabinet. The committee on constitution review set up by Ironsi was also moribund. The North believed that his kinsmen in the military killed Northern leaders to pave the way for the Igbo hegemony. The country was in tension when he embarked on his first nationwide tour. He was killed at Ibadan, the capital of the old Western State alongside his loyal host, Governor Adekunle Fajuyi. Historians have never alluded to any legacy of his inept administration. However, his death generated negative feelings among Ibos. It also led to succession crisis in the military.


The Army chief, Colonel (later General) Yakubu Gowon, succeeded his assassinated boss. He spent nine years in office. The first three years were hectic for him as Nigeria was plunged into an avoidable civil war by the clash of interests among top military men. The army had failed to shelve the toga of tribalism. Like Ironsi, Gowon was not prepared for the leadership responsibilities. He became the Head of State by default, as it were. It was irksome to the military governor of Eastern State, Col. Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who objected to the disruption of military seniority and succession pattern. Ironsi’s second-in-command, the late Brig. Babafemi Ogundipe, was by-passed. Ogundipe lost confidence when he commanded a recruit who flagrantly disobeyed his command, claiming that he could not take orders from  those outside his tribal and religious backgrounds. In addition, there was pogrom in the North, with many Igbos as casualties.

There was an ego war between Jack and Ojukwu, who later capitalised on the unresolved misunderstanding to declare the East as the Republic of Biafra. For 30 months, the nation was at war with itself. Gowon won the war for Nigeria. But, after the war, he derailed. His major offence was his refusal to set up a transition programme. His government was accused of corruption. In fact, only two governors-Mobolaji Johnson of Lagos and Oluwole Rotimi of West – were the curious exceptions. In 1975, Gowon embarked on a trip to attend the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit Kampala, the Ugandan capital. He knew that he would not return to power because he was aware that Col. Joseph Garba and other military boys were planning a coup. At the airport, he told his cousin, the Commander of the Brigade of Guards, to make the coup bloodless. He was succeeded by his Minister of Communications, Gen. Murtala Mohammed.

Gowon has legacies. He embarked on massive road construction in major cities. He created 12 states and set up the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).


The late Murtala, fondly called the bulldozer by admirers and foes, was one of the heroes of the civil war. He has been described by historians as a man in a hurry. He thread the populist path by setting up a transition programme, which kept the politicians busy at the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) deliberations. He also waged an unprecedented war against corruption. In the course of fighting corruption, both corrupt officials and those who were not corrupt were sacked without proper investigation. A former Super Permanent Secretary  Philip Asiodu, whose career ended with the gale of retrenchment, ob served that the measures were counter-productive. It is ironical that the measure adopted in curbing corruption further led to more corruption as civil servants, including university teachers and administrators started to cut corners for the fear of the unknown. Murtala was an impatient leader. But, it seemed that he meant  well for the country. He created 19 states and initiated the relocation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from Lagos to Abuja. On February 13, 1976, he was killed in a coup led by Col. Bukar Dimka. He was succeeded by the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, who completed the transition programme and handed over to President Shagari on October 1, 1979.


After 13 years of military rule, Shagari became the President. Nigeria practiced presidential system between 1979 and 1983. But, the civilian leaders, who played prominent roles in the First Republic, did not learn from their mistakes. Politicians became more reckless, corrupt and unpatriotic in the Second Republic. When Chief Obafemi Awolowo warned President Shagari that the ship of state was about to hit the rock, he was labelled as a prophet of doom.  The economy was crumbling. But, Shagari and his economic adviser said that the economic was strong. Service delivery was poor. Dividends of democracy were scarce. Later, reality dawned on the administration. Shagari declared austerity measures. The 1983 elections were rigged. There was violence in some states. On December 31, 1983, the military sacked the administration. The first four years of presidential democracy became history.


Buhari and his deputy, Gen. Tunde Idiagbon, the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, were bubbling with patriotism. They wanted to clear the Augean stable. The war against corruption and indiscipline were intensified. They waged war against graft in high places. All forms of indiscipline were not condoned. It was a government of financial accountability. On the economic front, foreign debts were paid and loopholes were bridged. But, according to analysts, the human rights record of the administration was poor. Besides, the administration had no plan to hand over to civilians.


On August 27, 1985, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, succeeded Buhari. He was in power as the military President for eight years. Historians have described the period as eight years of political, economic and social experimentation. But, there was no meaningful result as IBB became a political dribbler. The President set up a transition programme. A free and fair election was conducted nationwide. A winner, the late Chief Moshood Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), emerged. However, the result of the poll was annulled. Many people believed that the transition programme was subverted by the midwife. In August 1993, Babangida bowed when Nigerians and the international community turned the heat on him.


After he stepped aside, Babangida was succeeded by the Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan. The board room guru did not understand the political setting. He was a nominal Commander-in-Chief, tossed around by soldiers. His administration lacked legitimacy. Thus, pro-democracy forces waxed stronger in their agitation for the de-annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election results. The interim leader was in a state of confusion. He complained that he was overwhelmed by the military politics. Barely three months later, the Minister of Defence, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, shoved him aside and assumed the reins as the Head of State.


Abacha was the most dreadful military Head of State. Not only did he use power to the extreme, it was believed that power was actually using him. He waged war against human rights groups and members of the political class opposed to his misrule. He mounted pressure on the five political parties to endorse him when he wanted to transmute into a civilian President. Many, also believed that his regime was grossly corrupt. He died in 1998 in a controversial manner. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, became the Head of State, following his demise.


The only thing the Head of State did was to hurriedly set up the shortest transition programme. Three parties – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) – were registered. He handed over to Obasanjo in 1999.


In his second coming, Obasanjo ruled for eight years. He ruled like a soldier that he is, brooking no opposition. His regime stabilised the polity. Some reforms were carried out across the sectors. But, a deep hollow was created in the record of the administration. The symbol of democracy promoted certain anti-democratic ideas. Observers pointed out that court orders were worthless. But, Obasanjo tried to wage war against corruption by setting up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). According to analysts, the two anti-graft bodies were later used as weapons against perceived political opponents. When he left in 2007, many of the problems he inherited remained unresolved. For example, electricity could not be fixed. The infrastructure battle was half-solved. The roads remained death traps. Refineries could not be revived. Rigging became pervasive. There was a floodgate of post-election litigations.

There were also rumours that the former President was scheming for a third term. His administration ended on a controversial note.


Obasanjo was succeeded by the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, the former governor of Katsina State. He admitted riding to power on the back of a flawed elections.

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My wish for Nigeria at 55 by Joe Igbokwe

Makeno mistake about it. There is a finger of God in the coming of President Muhammadu  Buhari at this critical moment in the nation’s history. After previous attempts in 2003, 2007, 2011, he eventually clinched the presidential slot on Saturday, March  28, 2015. Whoever is not deep in the knowledge of how God works, may not know the full meaning of President Buhari’s emergence at a time like this and what he is doing now. There was nothing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its followers, with deep pockets did not do to stop him, but their efforts  were not enough to stop an idea whose time has come.

Those who did not follow the campaigns fully may not have known what the wreckers, the ruiners and destroyers of Nigeria did to stop him but the grace of God and the love of God for Nigeria stopped them. Huge amount of money in various currencies were deployed, mercenaries were hired to deploy the worst form of hate campaign ever known in the history of Nigeria, the instrumentality of the full weight of the Federal Government was fully deployed, the full weight of the security forces were fully and maximally deployed to stop President Buhari but God had other plans for Nigeria . Despite these onslaughts and desperation to change  the will of God for Nigeria, the will of God for Nigeria prevailed.

Since Buhari came to power, I have seen a lot of deep changes which  the ordinary eye may not see. The fear of President Buhari is now the beginning of wisdom. Yes, they have stolen enough for the real owners to notice, but they have not stolen the brains and ideas of the people. With brains and ideas, Nigerians can now  begin the process of rebuilding the country. Ideas, people say, are better than money and top positions.

It is historic and prophetic that new ministers will be coming into the saddle when Nigeria clock’s 55 on October 1 2015. My late father once told me that you will never get up unless you have fallen down. I have an idea of the kind of people that will make the ministers list in a Buhari-led government and I know that 70 per cent of them know that we have to build Nigeria now or never. We have the political will to recover every stolen cash and use it effectively to rebuild our dilapidated infrastructure, create job opportunities,  rebuild our institutions, feed our teeming population and provide maximum security for all. This is not the time to eat but time to work and work for the good of the commonwealth.

The incoming ministers must know that it is no longer business as usual. President Buhari has a mission and time is not on his side. It therefore behoves on all of them to key into the man’s vision of zero tolerance on corruption and indiscipline. They have no choice. Nigeria has gone full cycle in stupidity and selfishness and this is the time to build or we all perish.

Nigeria at 55 with Muhammadu Buhari as President provides a new window for all of us to sit up and be smart in re-ordering the way we do things. The massive flow of refugees from Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Africa into Europe should be food for thought for the leaders. Boko Haram insurgents, MASSOB and Niger Delta militants remain a big challenge to all. We must rise above ethnic sentiments in order to confront these threats and build the Nigeria of our dream. Diversity remains our greatest assets and should we bungle it as a result of greed, selfishness, ethnic preoccupation and political irresponsibility, woe betide us.

President Buhari’s team should be our first eleven for the first time in 55 years and we demand nothing less. I pity any minister who will mess up  when the need is greatest. I pity any minister who will go there to think it is still business as usual. I pity any minister who will go into public office to betray the President and the country. This is our chance to prove to the world that we did not go to school to learn how to accumulate what we do not need. This is not the time to stand and stare. This is not the time for bedtime stories and frivolities. This is the time for us to free ourselves from primitive accumulation of wealth to service delivery. This is the time to grow up. This is my wish for Nigeria at 55.


  • Igbokwe is the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary. Lagos.

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Church marks fifth anniversary

As part of activities marking its fifth year, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, “The Father’s Place Parish” last weekend, partnered a non-profit organisation to provide free medical services to residents of its host community, Onike/Iwaya, Yaba.

The church conducted free health examination, distributed free eye-glasses and drugs to residents.

Resident Pastor Ben Atebe said the gesture was to give a practical essence and meaning to the biblical injunction of loving and caring for your neighbor as thyself.

“We decided to reach out to the people in this community as part of activities marking our fifth anniversary. We are also doing this to cater for those who are in need.”

Atebe described the people’s response as exciting, and appreciative of the gesture.

Leader of the medical team, Dr. Funmi Shokunbi said the Church’s initiative came at the right time as many of the residents, hitherto, took their health status for granted.

Dr. Shokunbi enjoined faith-based organisations and institutions to emulate the RCCG gesture, saying it was the best way to give meaning to biblical teachings.

A community leader and a beneficiary, Chief Josiah Omolewa, hailed the church for its efforts, stressing that he would have remained ignorant of his hypertensive status if not for the health check.

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Eight arraigned for Sallah Day disturbance

Eight persons were yesterday arraigned in an Ilorin Magistrates’ Court in connection with the disturbance at the Muslim prayer ground on September 24.
The accused are Aliyu Immam, 24; Sheu Ibrahim, 23; AbdulKadri Sharafadeen, 25; Yusuf Olayinka, 26; Mohammed Abiola, 27; Ayo Giwa, 65; Zakariyau Abubakar, 50, and Kareem Ajape, 35.
They are facing a charge of disturbing a religious assembly, contrary to Section 212 of the Penal Code Law.
The prosecutor, Insp. Nasiru Yusuf, told the court that the accused threw stones at personalities, which led to the disturbance of the religious assembly.
He said investigation into the case was on and urged the court to remand the suspects in prison custody pending the outcome of the investigation.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty.
The Magistrate, Mercy Adebola, granted each of the accused bail for N100,000 with two sureties each and adjourned the case till October 12.

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33 suspected vandals held with 330,000 litres of fuel

The Police have arrested 33 suspected vandals and recovered 330,000 litres of fuel from them.

The fuel, loaded in 10 trucks, was siphoned from National Petroleum Corporation (NNDC) pipelines.

Commander of the Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on pipeline vandalism, Valentine Olumese, a Chief Superintendent (CSP), while handing over the products to NNPC officials, said the arrest and recoveries were made in the last two months in different parts of the country.

Olumese said the task force would adopt advance and effective techniques in stopping pipeline vandalism without attendant loss of life.

 He said:  “This strategy is paying off immensely and it is aimed at discouraging the vandals. The number of arrest and recoveries made so far, with no bloody confrontation with the vandals has shown that we are winning the war. I want to assure members of the public that we are not going to relent in our efforts, and we will also ensure that those arrested are prosecuted.  As I speak, all the suspects have been arraigned in court and they have been remanded in prison custody. “

Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) Public Relations Officer Imodagde Nasir, who confirmed receipt of the products, said returning of such products was an ongoing process between NNPC and the security agencies.

Nasir said the recovered products would be returned to the system for decanting, adding that they have received over 80,000 litres and “we are expecting more”.

 “This is not the first time we are receiving stolen petroleum products from security agencies. A few months ago, the Nigerian Navy made huge recoveries from Majidun in Ikorodu and they handed over the products to us and we had them returned into the system for decanting. We all have a collective role to play in the fight against pipeline vandalism.  The act of vandalism has an enormous ecological effect on our society. Every Nigerian must see it as a duty to protect his environment by assisting the security agents in fighting pipeline vandalism,” he said.

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‘We will no longer tolerate street trading’

Ikorodu Local Government Executive Secretary, Wasiu Adesina has warned traders to stay off the streets.

Adesina said the council would no longer tolerate street trading and illegal parking of vehicles.

He spoke while inaugurating a 10-man Task Force on street trading and illegal parking in the secretariat, Ikorodu.

The council chief said no meaningful development would take place in a society of lawlessness, chaos and disorderliness.

“It is only with orderliness, sanity and decorum that any society can move forward economically and socially,” he said.

He said it is the duty of the government to protect citizens.

The members of the committee include Neighbourhood Watch Lagos State Coordinator, Alhaji Kola Sanni as chairman, Divisional Police Officer Igbogbo Police Station, Mr Remi Adesoye, the Coordinator, Onyabo Security Organisation, Chief Kamorudeen Bombata and the Iyaloja-General, Ikorodu local government, Alhaja Taofeekat Allyson.

Others are the Serikin-Hausa in Ikorodu, the Eze Ndi-Ngbo of Ikorodu, Mr Tunji Owolabi, a journalist with Radio Lagos, among others.

Alhaji Saani said there would not be any form of nepotism, favouritism or undue preference for anubody, stating that “the law is no respecter of any individual”.

He urged members to maintain their dignity and integrity which the society has always known them for.

Representing the new Ayangburen of Ikorodu, the Lisa of Ikorodu, Chief Zacheus Odusoga thanked the council chief for the initiative.

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Nigeria/Chad AFCON Qualifier: CAF slams N996,250 on Nigeria

The African football governing body, CAF, has slammed a $5,000 fine on Nigeria for pitch invasion during their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations(Afcon) qualifier against Chad.

The match took place at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium  in Kaduna on June 13.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles won the  game 2-0 with goals from Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo.

The CAF disciplinary board in its decision taken on September 20 and announced this week revealed that the offence committed during the AFCON qualifier is “pitch invasion when Nigeria scores.”

The former African champions are  second in Group G of the AFCON qualification with two points less behind leaders Egypt who have maximum points from games against Tanzania and Chad.

The two nations meet on March 23, 2016 for the first time in the group with the Nigerians playing the hosts. Four days later, Nigeria will travel to Egypt in the return clash that could determine who will be  top of the group.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is yet to pick a venue for the game against the Pharaohs of Egypt as the Eagles have shuttled their home games among the UJ Esuene Stadium, the Akwa Ibom Stadium, Ahmadu Bello Stadium and the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in recent months.

The last time CAF fined Nigeria in an AFCON game was in February 2010 when they played co-hosts with Ghana for that year’s edition of the African tournament.

CAF did fine Nigeria $10,000 in 2010 for pitch invasion by fans who thought the Super Eagles had won by the golden goal rule against Senegal after Julius Aghahowa scored in extra time in a quarterfinal match.

The African football body later reduced the fine  by half.

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United Nations mark peace day in style

The 2015 International Day of Peace has been marked in Lagos with fanfare as youths, government and NGO partners trooped to the street to ‘Walk for peace’.

The peace day observance, which started with a press briefing, was addressed by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami and the Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja.

The conclusion of the press briefing marked the beginning of an exciting ‘Walk for Peace’ as organised by UNIC in Lagos and Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC).

Delivering his message on the theme for 2015 observance – ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All’, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire.

“To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.” The Secretary-General who was represented by the Director of UNIC Lagos further said: “There is no group more poised to help realize this dream than today’s young people. They are part of the largest generation of youth in history, more aware and connected than any before.”

Speaking earlier, Governor Ambode thanked the UN Information Centre for the partnership and pledged that the CMC would adopt the International Day of Peace as an annual event to propagate the ethos of peaceful co-existence among residents in Lagos State.

Flagged off by Mrs Odunlami and led by Mr Kayanja and the CMC Director, Mrs Oluwatoyin  Odusanya, the road show started from the Lagos State Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja through Obafemi Awolowo Way and terminated at Ikeja-under-bridge where a citizens’ mediace dayation session was held by the CMC, an agency of the Lagos State government under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice.

The CMC serves as a non-adversarial dispute resolution Centre using mediation mechanism in dispensing justice fairly and speedily to the satisfaction of both parties.

With participants numbering over 100 and clad in branded T-shirts, dancing to contemporary songs, to the admiration of members of the public, the ‘Walk for Peace’ road show stopped intermittently at intersections to give room for professional dancers to entertain while leaflets with peace building messages were shared with members of the public.

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