Friday, 30 November 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari’s opinion on religion is out this morning on Church Times, 

UK’s largest Anglican newspaper. Link:

Don’t politicise religion in Nigeria

Muslims and Christians can flourish together, says President Muhammadu Buhari

IN 1844, the Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther returned home to Yoruba land (now part of modern-day Nigeria). Twenty years earlier, he had been kidnapped and sold to European slave traders who were bound for the Americas. He was freed by an abolitionist naval patrol, and received by the Church Missionary Society. There, he found his calling.

Crowther made his voyage home to establish the first Anglican mission in Yoruba land. He came with the first Bibles translated into Yoruba and Hausa languages. He opened dialogue and discussion with those of other faiths. And his mission was a success: Crowther later became the first African Anglican bishop in Africa.

Today, Nigeria has the largest Christian population on the continent. The messages and teachings of Christianity are part of the fabric of each person’s life.

ALONG with the millions of Christians in Nigeria today, I believe in peace, tolerance, and reconciliation; in the institution of the family, the sanctity of marriage, and the honour of fidelity; in hope, compassion, and divine revelation.

Like Bishop Crowther, I am a descendant of Abraham; unlike him, I am a Muslim. I believe our two great religions can not only peacefully coexist but also flourish together. But Muslims and Christians must first turn to one another in compassion. For, as it says in Amos 3.3: “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”

As they are People of the Book, I believe that there is far more that unites Muslims and Christians than divides them. In fact, I believe that the messages of the Bible are universal: available for anyone to exercise, and instructive to all.

We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities, because, if we do, we can only look inwards. It is only when we mix that we can reach new and greater possibilities.

Whichever religion or religious denomination they choose to follow, Nigerians are devout. Anything that Nigerians believe will place impositions on their practice, and belief is therefore sure to cause widespread alarm.

And, unfortunately, there are those who seek to divide Nigerians — and our two great religions — and to do so for their own advantage.

I stand accused — paradoxically — of trying to Islamise Nigeria while also being accused by Boko Haram terrorists of being against Islam. My Vice-President is a devout man, a Christian pastor. He, too, is accused of selling out his religion, because of his support for me.

This is not the first time that I — nor, indeed, my Christian-Muslim evenly split cabinet — have been the subject of such nonsense. Fortunately, the facts speak differently from the words of those who seek to divide us from one another.

Since my administration has been in power, Boko Haram has been significantly and fatally degraded; I have befriended church leaders and church groups both within and outside our country; my Vice-President has addressed and opened dialogue with Muslims up and down our land.

In all things, we seek that which all well-meaning Christians and well-meaning Muslims must seek: to unite, respect, and never to divide. Does it not say “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2.256)? Does it not say “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9.50)? This, surely, is the path that followers of both our two great religions must walk.

UNFORTUNATELY, those who wish us all to walk apart have recently found another focus for their efforts: the tragic clashes between nomadic herdsmen and settled farmers in the central regions of Nigeria.

For generations, herders have driven their cattle from the north to the centre of our country; they tend to be predominantly Muslim, although not exclusively. The farmers, in certain areas of central Nigeria, are predominantly Christian.

The causes of this conflict are not religious or theological, but temporal. At the heart of this discord is access to rural land, exacerbated both by climate change and population growth.

Sadly, there are some who seek to play fast and loose and so make others believe that these are not the facts. When religion is claimed as the cause — and by those who know that it is not — it only makes finding a resolution more difficult.

The government has taken action to mediate, to bring the two groups together in peace and unity. But we also need all parties to follow the teachings of the scriptures, and encourage reconciliation rather than cause division. As it is said: “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?” (Mark 8.18).

As our constitution codifies, politicising religion has no place in Nigeria; for it makes us turn away from one another; it makes us retreat into our communities and walk different paths.

I believe that there is a better way. To those who seek to divide, I still hold my hand out in brotherhood and forgiveness. I ask only that they stop, and instead encourage us to turn towards one another in love and compassion. Nigeria belongs to all of us. This is what I believe.

Muhammadu Buhari is President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

2019: Atiku’s misadventure, Buhari’s ride to success Nov 25, 2018 1:02 PM Atiku, Buhari The struggle of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to mount the horse as the country’s President has been legendary and sustained. Since 2003, when he deputized former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), the ambition to lead Nigeria has refused to quench like a candle in the wind. When the main opposition PDP conceded its 2019 presidential ticket to Atiku, it seems his closest permutation to Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power. Observably, since the day Atiku was crowned PDP’s presidential flagbearer his excitement has known no limitations. It’s being the happiest moment of his life, beaming with smiles, anywhere he makes public appearance, as though he has been declared winner of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential ballot. So, Atiku intensified his perpetually acerbic attacks on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, disparaging every single effort of the APC led government. He promised Nigerians a redemption, which spurred fresh expectations of the magic his anticipated Presidency would offer the people. At last the chance is here for Atiku to make an impact; but he has bungled it from the outset. Atiku stabbed himself on the back, November 18, 2018 with his vision in a launched policy document, variously christened “The Atiku Plan,” or “Let’s Get Nigeria Working Again.” It failed miserably to inspire the confidence some Nigerians initially had in a possible Atiku Presidency. Echoes are loud that Atiku’s policy document was flat or watery on critical areas Nigeria is yearning for further rescue from the Buhari Presidency. They faulted Atiku as barren of any grasp of problems of Nigeria and fresh insights, by his duplicity and or embellishments’ of most of the policies and programmes of Buhari, which he had relentlessly and voraciously criticized. To put it mildly, the PDP standard-bearer failed to impress and others sensed some dubiousness on his change of stand on some of the issues he campaigned vigorously before his party awarded him its presidential ticket. In some sections of the policy document, it appeared more like plagiarism of the policyinitiatives of the Buhari Presidency. It dashed hopes and dampened spirits even in the camp of his most ardent supporters. Nigerians have been analyzing the “The Atiku Plan,” document from the perspective of various critical sectors of the economy. Some Nigerians dissatisfied with the Buhari Presidency, point to the nuances of national insecurity; a tottering economy; hyper unemployment rate; a comatose industrial sector, reflected in abandoned national industries/companies; the clamour for restructuring and the least, but also, very important, power rotation among the six geo-political regions of the nation. Disappointedly, Atiku’s vision in these sensitive sectors left a vacuum in the hearts of millions of Nigerians. Many have concluded that the Atiku quest for the Presidency of Nigeria is anchored on the crest of a swindle of Nigeria. They could not reconcile how a politician who has sought leadership of the country for years and vociferous in condemning existing structures and performance had nothing strikingly different in his policy document. Atiku has contradicted himself on everything he promised Nigerians which propelled him to kick every shadow to ensure, he secures a ticket in the ruling or major opposition party to contest the presidential ballot. From the policy document, its discernible Atiku does not either know what is restructuring of Nigeria as currently canvassed especiallyby Southerners or has developed cold feet towards the idea even before the opportunity to occupy Aso Rock. Quite clearly, Atiku dreads the North, which is viciously opposed to the idea of restructuring of Nigeria now. And in order not to offendsensitive interests of the Northern oligarchs, Atiku glossed over the idea like a pupil reciting nursery rhymes. He shamelessly harped on independence of local government councils and mixed council autonomy withrestructuring of Nigeria. Thereafter, he tactlessly strayed into natural resources. Hear him; “Once power over minerals and mines is devolved to the concurrent list, states where deposits of mines and mineral resources are found will have control over those resources and only pay royalties to the center.” This is sufficiently vague. It does not offer any clue on how his version of restructuring would be executed; but relied on an unconvincing probability of the devolution of powers from the concurrent list. Atikuparroted the issue of restructuring of Nigeria, everywhere in Southern Nigeria to earn their support for partynomination and the actual ballot in 2019. People of the Niger Delta are infinitely discouraged about Atiku’s candidature. He hinted in the policy document of providing incentives to investors to invest in Modular refineries in the North to source crude oil from Chad and Niger through pipelines under a Public Private Partnership. South-Southerners are already feeling a sense of alienation and abandonment under an Atiku Presidency. The people are feeling the experimentation of the Buhari Presidency with Modular refineries’ in the South-South, where the oil wealth is domiciled as a better sense of judgment from a neutral and impartial leader. The OBJ/Atiku Presidency (1999-2007) conceived the concept of privatization of national assets. And Atiku was the chairman, National Council on Privatization and Commercialization (NCPC). It’s very clear to all Nigerians that the exercise was a rape of Nigeria, as the assets were undervalued and sold to cronies and undercover agents. It has stirred disquiet in many quarters. There are speculations Atiku is likely to alter the document, by expunging such offensive sections. To demonstrate that Atiku is bereft of any fresh ideas for seeking to govern Nigeria, the policy document also endorsed removal of oil subsidy, like Buhari’s government. But it discloses his target of establishing what he called, a “Special Purpose Fund” for the funds to be domiciled and channeled to “building infrastructure in education, health and the empowerment of women and youth. What’s is new, Nigerians are asking? It was the same OBJ/Atiku Presidency that scrapped PTF, a similar concept, which would now be smuggled back under a new nomenclature? Therefore, what informed his quest for the Presidency exactly, if all he knows is retaining and renaming old concepts? Today, Atiku is concerned with expansion of modern railway lines, which are projects currently executed by the Buhari Presidency. The PDP 2019 Presidential candidate dropped the final bombshell by stating that “To increase the nation’s refining capacity, we shall privatize all four-outstanding government owned refineries to competent off-takers with mandates to produce agreed levels of refined output.” Nigeria is stressed on national insecurity many fronts. The Boko Haram terrorism; militancy in the Niger Delta; armed banditry and cattle rustling; kidnapping and violent separatists agitations and herders/farmers clashes. Atiku boasted when Buhari emerged President that if he were the leader of Nigeria, Boko Haram would have ended in six months. But his policy document shied away from intimating on the details of what would have pass as a marvelous master plan. Nigerians fault President Buhari for his insistence on grazing reserves for Fulani herders, instead of ranches, especially by most states in the Benue valley. Unfortunately, Atiku’s policy document portrays him as a leader with the worse sympathy for the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen. Atiku does not see open grazing by herders; the clashes with farmers and mass deaths as a national security threat. And so, his document is handily silent on it. Its apparent Atiku’s failure to inspire the electorates with his long awaited policy document is his greatest nemesis for the quest to lead Nigeria in 2019. Worse still, while the North has just four more years to allow power transit to the Southern part of the country, Southeast possibly, Atiku plans his policy document extending to between six and eight years; an early sign of a sit-tight leader. Having bared his mind, millions of Nigerians have come to the inevitable conclusion that President Buhari has no real alternative in 2019. With his cunning misadventure, through self-revelation, Atiku has made it an easy ride for Buhari’s success in the next general elections.
Nov 25, 2018 1:02 PM

Atiku, Buhari

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Ministers angry over ‘twisted’ version of concession call

‘Jonathan lied’ — ex-ministers angry over ‘twisted’ version of concession call

Some ministers who served under former president Goodluck Jonathan have angrily reacted to some of the claims by him in his book, ‘My Transition Hours’, released on Tuesday.
Commenting on his acclaimed concession call to President Muhammadu Buhari while the final results of the 2015 presidential election were yet to be announced, Jonathan said he rebuffed advice from ministers and an aide not to concede.
Those he named as having advised him are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (then minister of finance), Mohammed Bello Adoke (attorney-general), Osita Chidoka (aviation), and Warpamowei Dudafa (senior special assistant on domestic affairs).
Jonathan wrote: “They were recommending sundry alternatives, but I was quiet in the midst of their discussions. I hugged my thought, figuring out how to do that which was best for the country. My personal interest was receding rapidly and the interest of Nigeria looming large.
“I excused myself and left the sitting room. I walked into my study. Even there, my mantra was a strong circle around me, supporting and comforting me.  Let the country survive. Let democracy survive. My political ambition is not worth people being ‘soaked in blood.”
However, a former minister, who spoke with TheCable, has described Jonathan’s version of the events as a “big lie”.
“Let him enjoy the euphoria of his book launch first, but those he has defamed will surely respond in due course,” the former minister said, adding that Jonathan, by his latest claims, may finally demystify himself over the concession speech “which had elevated his status internationally”.
Another former minster who spoke with the TheCable but also refused to be identified described Jonathan’s version of events as “most unfair and petty”.
“The impression the former president is trying to create is that the people came to tell him not to concede. In truth, Jonathan was being persuaded by a former south-south governor not to concede, so some ministers were quickly invited to come and counter the plot,” the former minister said.
“What would Okonjo-Iweala, Adoke and Chidoka be doing at the villa at that time if not that something was going wrong? Is Jonathan trying to say he was not involved in Elder Godsday Orubebe’s attempt to disrupt the announcement of the results? Is Jonathan trying to claim innocence of a plot to secure a court injunction to stop INEC from further announcing the results? Jonathan needs to be a man of honour.”
Here are the other versions of the concession story as narrated in books by Okonjo-Iweala, who was a witness; Olusegun Adeniyi, celebrated journalist and author; and Bolaji Abdullahi, former minister of sport.


Okonjo-Iweala said she whispered to Jonathan to concede
Okonjo-Iweala wrote that when she got to the villa on March 31, she found a group of politicians urging Jonathan not to accept defeat and another group asking him to throw in the towel.
“At the Villa, I was met outside the residence by Osita Chidoka, who collected my input for the (concession) speech and told me the president was in the residence. When I entered the Villa, the president was in one of the living rooms with the Vice President, some advisers, and a group of politicians who were arguing passionately about the conduct of the elections and irregularities of which they said they had evidence, such as videos of underage voting in certain parts of the country.
“They were urging the president not to concede the election. More politicians came in and joined them. On the opposite side of the room were the Minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka; the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke; and the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina. They were relaying a dissenting view, arguing that the president should concede.
“I was immediately drawn into the argument as everyone turned to hear my views. I said I thought the president should concede and do so before the announcement of the vote count was completed. The Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Dr. Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, a politician, whom I expected to side with the politicians, also said he sided with those who thought the president should concede.
“A heated argument ensued. Throughout the discussion, the president said not a word. He kept his own counsel and just kept welcoming guests and party loyalists who were joining us at the Villa.
“I sat next to the president and whispered to him that if he was going to concede, he probably should do so before the announcement of election results ended.
“Suddenly, he got up and left the room. We all thought he had gone off for a few moments of quiet. He returned about twenty minutes later and sat down without saying a word. I decided to take a chance and press him again on a timely concession. As I whispered again for a second time, the president responded to me out loud, “CME (Coordinating Minister of the Economy), it is done. I have called President-elect Buhari and conceded!”


Olusegun Adeniyi authored ‘Against the Run of Play’
Adeniyi, in his book, ‘Against the Run of Play’, said Dudafa knelt and begged Jonathan to concede.
He wrote: “Kneeling in front of Jonathan were his Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN; Aviation Minister, Mr. Osita Chidoka and Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.
“The mission of the three officials was to persuade Jonathan to call and congratulate his opponent, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), even as the final results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Seated a few metres away in the room were Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“Chidoka had co-opted Adoke and Dudafa to make the plea after a conversation he had with Jonathan the previous day. The President had acknowledged that the results were going against him and that he was going to concede.
“This was at a period when Nigerians were unsure who would win, with many politicians within the ruling People’s Democratic Party still betting on Jonathan. He, meanwhile, had asked Chidoka and a few others, including his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, to give him a draft concession speech.”


Abdullahi wrote ‘On a Platter of Gold’
Abdullahi wrote more comprehensively on the concession in ‘On a Platter of Gold’.
He said Jonathan had told Chidoka earlier in the day that he was gong to accept defeat, but things began to change quickly.
He wrote: “By the time he returned later that day, the sombre atmosphere at the Presidential Villa had become somewhat charged. The president’s media adviser, Reuben Abati had also brought a draft speech. He was asked to go and work with Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture, to reconcile the two speeches. Several other people had also arrived, and now sat around the presidential living room like a delegation of mourners, each trying his best to surpass the other in a show of grief .Among them was the Vice President, Namadi Sambo and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio.
“Jonathan had by now given indication of his plan to accept defeat. What they probably did not realise, however, was that by asking him not to concede, they were presenting him with a dilemma. He had roundly promised the country a credible election. And if there was one legacy he would like to leave behind in office, it would be that he conducted the most credible election in the nation’s history. Therefore, to contend that the election has been anything but credible was to rob himself the chance to leave even this imprint on history. The alternative of course was for him to simply accept defeat and walk away.
“In the battle for the president’s mind, Chidoka could see that he was hopelessly outnumbered. Many had even started to accuse him openly of working for the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory and APC Governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai. Having taken in the atmosphere, the Aviation Minister quickly summoned two other people he knew could exert significant influence on the President: the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke; and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. They soon arrived.
“A usually sedate President Jonathan, who appeared like he did not care only a while ago, was now fuming. He ranted about how the election was rigged. How children were used to vote. How Jega had compromised and betrayed his trust. Okonjo-Iweala, whose words normally carried weight with the President, was pleading with him, but he was not listening.
“Abati returned with an updated draft of the speech, which he had started by having the president congratulate the winner, Muhammadu Buhari. But the president said, no, he was not going to congratulate Buhari because he wasn’t convinced that he had won the election fair and square. Chidoka turned to Jonathan and asked, ‘Sir, but are you still going to give the address?’
“President Jonathan said he was going to give the address, but he was not going to congratulate anyone. He would only appeal to Nigerians to remain calm and await the announcement of the final results. It was obvious that the ‘rejecters’ had made an impact and were having the upper hand. And, sensing that they were winning, they pressed their advantage. They reminded President Jonathan of what Buhari was capable of doing to him,and argued that even if he was going to concede, the terms had to be negotiated.Vice President Sambo wanted Jonathan to wait until the full results were announced before he made a statement. Even then, he thought the statement should not be to congratulate Buhari but to say that the president had kept his promise to conduct the elections but the party would meet to review the results and then decide whether to accept the outcome or reject it. Some others argued that even if he must concede, the Peace Committee should be brought in to negotiate some kind of softlanding not only for him, but also his associates. No one gives away power so cheaply, they insisted.
“Okonjo-Iweala and Adoke however countered that if the president issued a statement conceding defeat as he had planned to do even before the final results were announced, he would be snatching a major victory out of the jaws of defeat.
“Sir, why don’t you even call General Buhari to congratulate him?” No one could recall who first made this suggestion. But this was a major tipping point that every one of the ‘persuaders’ would be happy to claim. They all agreed that if the President called Buhari to congratulate him, that would settle the matter and turn him to an instant hero, even in defeat. “You have lost the mortal game, this is the chance to claim immortality,” one of them.
“One person who had been listening to all the arguments but contributing very little was Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, the President’s long term aide. His only previous contribution to the debate was when he said to the president, “Daddy, no matter what, we are leaving here May 29.” He knew President Jonathan more than most. He knew that if all these people pressuring him to reject the outcome of the election had known him half as well, they would have realised the catastrophic implication of what they were advocating and would have known that this man did not have the stomach for carnage and blood. Dudafa knew that when President Jonathan said his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian, he meant it. He also knew what the president meant when he once said, that he was no Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore, the moment the idea of a phone call to General Buhari was mentioned, he started working with some other domestic aides to get Buhari on the phone. He soon got through.
“Your Excellency, sir. Hope I’m speaking with General Buhari, sir. President Goodluck Jonathan would like to speak with you, sir,” Dudafa said to the phone and handed it over to President Jonathan.”

Tuesday, 20 November 2018


There was a man in KADUNA who had repeatedly accused Governor El Rufai's Goverment of massive corruption through the Media Houses.

The young man named 'JARFA' was one day invited to the Government house by the Governor, who directed Mr. Jarfa to charter a 'KEKE NAPEP' that he (the Governor) will pay when he arrived and that he had already instructed the security details at the gate for his free passage...

Mr. Jarfa arrived as instructed and the Governor told him to let the KEKE man go and that his men will drop him later...

He gave Mr. Jarfa N200,000.00 to pay the KEKE man as a way of empowering the poor rider as well as to let the KEKE man always remember the very day he brought a passenger to the Government House....

The Governor asked Mr. Jarfa upon his return from paying the KEKE man, ''What was the reaction of the KEKE man after giving him such a huge amount?
Mr. Jarfa answered that the KEKE man was actually dazed with shock!!!

Unknown to Mr. Jarfa, the security details at the 2nd gate had been asked to stop the KEKE man and bring him back...
When the KEKE man was brought back to the Governor, the Governor asked him, ''How much did Mr. Jarfa give you???
And the KEKE man said N2,000.00.
This happened in the presence of 'Holier-than-thou' MR. JARFA!

The Governor smiled and said, ''You see... from N200,000.00 to N2,000.00, you have pocketed N198,000.00 in a space of a second, only you!!!
You have lost the chance to own a brand new car. Look at the key here.
I thought you were a honest man. I was even looking forward to working with you, but you have messed up, you are even worse! You can leave now with your N198,000.00. Thank you very much for coming!!!”

Since that very day, Mr. Jarfa's voice has disappeared from the radar of Media Airwaves!!!

May our loyalty and honesty never be tested!! Most of us are Mr. Jarfa waiting to happen in Nigeria.

This is one of the most challenging stories ever read.

God help our faithfulness to be truly faithful.

That's the kind of followers most of us are, yet demanding much from leaders raised amongst us.
Real change begins with me..

God help us all.

*Posted as received.

Monday, 19 November 2018


365 roads are under construction in Nigeria.
244 of them were awarded in 2001 yet had stopped being active by 2015, due to lack of funds in an era of oil boom.

In contrast, the remaining 121 roads were awarded in the last three years in a period of oil glut and global hardship.

The first translates to 16 roads per annum in the period of plenty and the latter category represents an average of 40 roads per annum in a tough period.

The difference is crystal clear.

~ Babatunde Raji Fashola
Minister of Works, Power & Housing

Sunday, 18 November 2018

IN FULL: Buhari's Address At Launch Of Presidential Campaign



Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corruption-free country. We have worked hard to fulfil our promises – and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people. Foundational work is not often visible, neither is it glamorous – but it is vital to achieving the kind of country we desire. Judging by the prior depth of decay, deterioration and disrepair that Nigeria had sunken into, we are certain that these past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on the Next Level of building an even stronger nation for our people.

First things had to come first.

We were a nation at war – but we delivered on our commitment to secure the territorial integrity of our nation in the face of a raging insurgency that devastated many parts of the North East. We liberated 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency. Brokering and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta has also been crucial to stabilising the polity. Despite the difficult circumstances presented by weak oil prices and reduced oil production, we delivered on our commitment to make public investments to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity. Agriculture continues to expand our economic base, as do our investments in deficient infrastructure across the length and breadth of this nation. We implemented a responsible and transparent fiscal plan for the challenging economic times that saw us doing more even with lesser oil revenues. Grand scale corruption perpetrated at the highest level of government is now a thing of the past, just as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has made it more difficult for ministries, departments and agencies to exercise the unrestrained liberties that helped foster a climate conducive to corruption. The nation’s wealth is now being invested in capital projects to expand infrastructure and connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air. Also, the Federal Government supported state governments with bailouts that enabled them to pay workers on their payroll.

We took an unprecedented step towards creating a fairer and more equitable society by implementing Africa’s biggest social investment programme. Through the National Social Investment Programme, we are providing direct support to over 13 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses. But even as we lay the foundation for a stable and prosperous nation, we acknowledge there is still much to do. The Next Levelof effort focuses on job creation across various sectors. From an enlargement of the N-Power programme to investing in technology and creative sector jobs to agriculture and revolutionising access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans, there is scope for over 15 million new jobs. The march away from a mono-economy must continue with our industrialisation plan coming to fore. With specific plans underway to exploit the comparative advantage of the geopolitical zones and different states by developing 6 Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district, our incremental move away from oil dependence is assured. In addition, our development of the Special Economic Zones will quickly concretise our Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) plan. To sustain food production and value addition, our mechanisation policy for agriculture will make tractors and processors easily accessible and available for farmers across Nigeria. We will continue a wide scale training policy, prioritising technology to reach the demography of young people within the productive sector on a massive scale even as we create jobs and growth within our economy.

We believe that our people who are still in poverty have a direct way out and up through our expanded National Social Investment Programme. We believe we can implement the painstaking and comprehensive policy and work we have done to bring an end to the perennial conflict between farmers and herders – a conflict which is heightened by a struggle for land, water and pasture and the effects of climate change and every now and then, opportunistic and cynical manipulation by political actors. We are implementing a blend of measures that ensures that justice, order, modernisation and new economic paradigms emerge.

Perhaps our biggest ambition yet is the overhaul of our education sector. Every child counts – and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country, will be done. We will remodel 10,000 schools every year and retrain our teachers to impart science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics using coding, animation, robotics to re-interpret our curriculum. We know that to succeed, moral integrity and conscience must continue to form the dominant character of our nation and its leadership. Corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria. Despite the gains we have made in closing the gates, we know that there is still much ground to cover to stop systemic corruption. We are committed to deepening the work we started this first term such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organised and utilised to do good for the common man. The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria- making a break from its tainted past which favoured an opportunistic few. Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity.

Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward. Join us on this journey to the Next Level of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria!

Nigerians, we are all going higher!



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2019: Buhari floors Atiku, Ezekwesili last in UK poll 

 President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate has floored Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku and Buhari In an online poll created by CitizenPoll and published on their website, Buhari had 64.52 per cent of the votes with 8348, while Atiku polled only 3,241 votes, representing 25 per cent of the vote. Electronic fraud in banking projected to hit N6.1trn by 2021 — CBN director The Poll which featured only eight Presidential Candidates, has Mrs Oby Ezekwesili of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) trailing at the bottom with only 163 votes being 1.11 per cent of the poll as at the time of this report. In the 3rd position on the poll was Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress (ACC) who polled 344 (2.66%), followed by Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressive Party (YPP) with 264 votes (2.04%). Tope Dasua of the Abubdant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) polled 215 votes (1.66%) while in the 6th position as at the time of this report was Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 195 votes (1.51%). The seventh position was occupied by Fela Durotoye with 190 votes representing 1.47 per cent of the votes. President Buhari hails Super Eagles for AFCON 2019 qualification The Citizen Poll also had another running online poll of worst performing Governor in Nigeria with Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi topping  the 10-man list. More details on both polls to come later

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Saturday, 17 November 2018



As campaigns for the Presidential and National Assembly elections officially kick off tomorrow,  President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to first showcase his achievements and projections for the next four years to Nigerians before the official flag-off of the campaigns. The event for this presentation is tagged "THE NEXT LEVEL" which will take place at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Sunday,  November 18, 2018, from 5pm to 8pm.  It would be broadcast live from different T.V stations and will be a precursor to the official flag-off of the campaigns.

At the event,  the President is expected to unveil two documents: one that will highlight his achievements in the last three and half years and will also contain other facts to guide supporters in the course of the campaigns; and the other document is titled "THE NEXT LEVEL", which captures the projections of the Buhari administration in the next four years if given the mandate again by Nigerians.

A formal announcement as to the official flag-off of the campaigns would be made in the next few days.

Thank you.

Festus Keyamo,  SAN,  FCIArb (UK)
Director,  Strategic Communications,
President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation
(Official Spokesperson).

Our Fears For Buhari – Malam Daura, President’s Cousin


President Muhammadu Buhari’s cousin Malam Adnan Nahabu Daura has said that the number of bad people who surround the president is giving his government an ugly image and his family cause for concern. He said Buhari needs to urgently flush them out to give Nigerians sense of belonging in his administration. He dismissed claims by leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu that the president is not the original Buhari elected into office in 2015, saying two different family meetings held with the president recently in Daura, Katsina state proved the allegation wrong. Daura spoke further on various issues including the chances of Buhari winning the 2019 poll in this interview conducted by ABDULLAHI HASSAN in Zaria.
President Muhammadu is facing serious political challenges in his struggle to be elected for a second term especially with the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential flag bearer of PDP. What do you think are the chances of Buhari in 2019?
Let me start by telling you that the chances of Buhari winning a second term in office is sure by God’s grace. It is a matter of time; all indicators are there on ground to pave way for the president’s continuity in office after 2019 elections. It has always been the case in party politics; you find sharp competitions among contestants and the incumbent must be ready to face challenges from the opponents. Remember our president is a General in the Army; he is used to all sorts of rigour and counter challenges. So, I believe he is still equal to the task.
Are you saying the defections from the ruling party to the main opposition party are no signs of threat to Buhari’s re-election bid?
There is a clear demarcation between politicians and the electorate. The politicians who defect from one party to another are doing so for selfish political interests but the masses don’t care about that; their concern is only who appears to be credible and competent. In this case, the Nigerian masses who constitute majority of the electorate are with President Buhari. So, defection or no defection, Mr. President remains the most credible of all contestants including Atiku Abubakar himself whose greed for power and records are well known by Nigerians. So, I assure you that Buhari will win with wider margin.
Many Nigerians believe that the greatest weakness of President Buhari is the way he allows some of his aides to abuse their positions by engaging in massive corruption and pursuing self seeking agenda. What is your reaction this?
I don’t know who specifically you are referring as aides. But the fact is that there are bad elements in this government and such kinds of people are everywhere. Let me share with you what happened to me recently in Abuja. I booked to see one of the presidential aides to brief him on a very important and burning political issue but you can’t imagine how he treated me. First, I did not go for contract and I am not a partisan politician neither did I go there to beg for a favour. In fact, I left a note in his house before going to his office. Surprisingly, when he saw my note, according to his secretary, he tore it to pieces without reading it. And he later refused to grant me audience. So, you can see that there are these kinds of people in Buhari’s government. In the real sense, such people are not supposed to be found in authority or power cycle. They don’t care what happens to Mr. President, his politics and success of his policies. It is true that some of them have dominated Buhari’s government, and it is really sad to have them in this administration. I believe there should be some corrections in the way and manner these people operate under the leadership of a good man and committed person like Muhammadu Buhari. This is because these aides do not have listening attitude and feelings for people; instead, they are concerned about their selfish gains and aggrandizement.
With your observation, one wonders why the president still keeps them close to himself. Is it their fault to remain in government or the president’s fault for keeping them in his cabinet?
Most of the things that are happening, the president doesn’t know. But some good people who have access to him, I believe they must be telling him about these people. Sometimes, the president puts them on watch before he takes action. It is unfortunate, that Mr. President assumes that these people are good and not knowing they are too bad and corrupt. Unless these people are fished out and thrown out of the system, Nigerians would continue to suffer. Thank God Nigerians are beginning to know them one by one as enemies of Buhari’s administration. I cannot keep quiet; I must tell Mr. President the truth about these kinds of people that he works with so that he would be careful.
Another criticism against President Buhari is the way he allows himself to be influenced by some governors and former governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, especially on issues that relate to the APC and its policies. What can you say on this?
That is not true my friend. People should understand that Mr. President is well aware of the demarcations between policies and party matters. There are constitutional issues that must be shared concurrently between state and the federal. Therefore, Mr President cannot overlap into state powers. What is happening in states are mostly issues that are within the responsibilities of the governors. I don’t see a reason why people should be relating states’ issues to Buhari. I think it’s wrong. Though, if they are talking of monitoring of policy, of course, from time to time and when it is absolutely necessary, Mr. President can go into the matter, like bail out, Paris Club refund, salary and wages increment etc.
But if it is on politics, the matter is entirely different. Mr. President, despite the fact that both governors and any other elected officer enjoy the popularity and political patronage of President Buhari during elections, yet there are limitations to which Mr. President can intervene. Of course, his intervention on issues has to be clearly defined by nature and circumstances of the issue, because there are state crises that President Buhari can venture into. For example, the Kano crisis where Governor Ganduje is facing charges of bribery based on one journalist’s revelations. How do you expect Mr. President to intervene in that crisis when the State House of Assembly is already investigating the matter. On Asiwaju Tinubu, the relationship is just political. More importantly, Tinubu is a major stakeholder in APC, the party that brought this government to power.
Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader alleged that the current president, Muhammadu Buhari is fake and that the original Buhari has died since January this year. He said the sitting president is one Jibril from Sudan and as Buhari’s blood relation, what is your take on that?
It is really a funny and sad thing. Nnamdi Kanu has a chicken brain, otherwise how can he transmit this kind of thought and information to Nigerians who are intelligent , brilliant and exposed to life. The president cannot just die and information about him would be kept secret for more than a year, looking at the inquisitive nature of Nigerians. In fact, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was reported dead before his natural death. Even President Buhari was last year reported to have died until when a video showed him and his family live before Nigerians believed that he was alive. And everyone saw how he was received from medical trip and how he resumed work up to this year when he decided to visit his doctor in London after he returned from China. He was physically healthy at the time he left Nigeria. There is no any abracadabra that you can do to hide the death of Mr. President. Kanu made the absurd statement after he drank to excess, or was afflicted with all sorts of frustrations. This Kanu is a rebel and enemy of the law of Nigeria who is condemned by his own people. As a blood relation of Buhari, we are telling Kanu that he is a blunt and shameless liar. Anybody in Nigeria that knows Buhari 20 years ago, and sees him now , knows he is the same man with the same height, colour and all characteristics.
To prove Kanu wrong and that he is a shameless liar; the family held meetings with Mr President twice this year precisely during Eid el- Kabir Sallah celebrations in August this year. We chatted, discussed and he recounted past and other memorable events in the family that involved each and every one of us. The question to ask is when did this Jibril learn everything in the family that could make him to be our Muhammadu Buhari. I think Kanu should know that we are not illiterates, nor barbarians that he can make these kinds of silly statements to. Let him fool his fools, certainly not Buhari’s relations or Nigerians. The only thing that changed in Mr. President is his physical structure, and this is because he is ageing. Apart from that, there is nothing missing or part of his structure or attitude that has changed. He is the same Buhari we knew long time ago. So, he is just talking nonsense.
Don’t you think that Kanu’s allegations will make a serious impact on Buhari’s campaign for 2019 elections?
No, not at all; I told you that the statement was nonsensical and foolish; that is why only few cynics of Buhari’s administration pay attention to it. Buhari has recently overcome many character assassinations like the one by Kanu. There was a sickness saga, later WAEC certificate. We have tolerated this Kanu a lot, he has insulted our country, we kept mute; he has insulted our culture , still we kept quiet and now he is insulting our patriotic leaders and we will not keep silent again. It is only in Nigeria you will find this rubbish happening and citizens will not take any action because of the acclaimed – democratic rule. I think breaching the rights of other citizens in a country like Nigeria is unconstitutional and undemocratic. As such, Nnamdi Kanu must be brought and punished accordingly.
With Buhari’s record so far especially with complaints of ravaging poverty in the land, do you think he deserves a second term?
To be specific, more Nigerians especially our teeming youths have been employed directly or indirectly through various programmes. Needless to talk about agriculture. More than ever before, Nigeria has produced the highest agricultural output. Farmers have access to loan and input freely. Security is another indisputable achievement of Buhari administration; road construction, and power sector rehabilitation as well as labour especially with the acceptance of N30,000 minimum wage. It is part of the good records of this administration.

Excitement Over Atiku Dies Down As He Looses Heavily At His Own Mock Election Poll
Nov 15, 2018 1:33 PM
A pro Atiku campaign Support group known as Democratic Solidarity group DSG decided to run a mock poll on their Facebook page between Atiku their candidate and Buhari.
The poll was created on the 12th of November and as at today they are being panel beaten by Buhari and a tsunami of votes for him.
So far it is Atiku 23% and Buhari 77% with over 14,500 votes cast.
Its clear that the supporters of Buhari have their eyes focused on the prize so do not like making a lot of social media noise. While the supporters of Atiku are revelling in the noise they are making which seems to hold no substance.
The shouts of Atikulate which was once everywhere has since died down and the euphoria almost non existent.

Friday, 16 November 2018

FRSC ‘can no longer’ fine motorists, court rules*

A federal high court in Lagos has declared void powers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to impose fines on motorists for traffic offences.

John Tsoho, a judge, held that the commission could not turn itself into a court of law by punishing those who commit traffic offences.

Tope Alabi, a lawyer, had approached the court to declare that only a court of competent jurisdiction could pronounce a person guilty under section 10 (4) and 28 (2) of the FRSC Act 2007.

Other defendant in the suit was the attorney-general of the federation.

The judge also awarded N1million damages in favour of the plaintiff because officials of the FRSC had confiscated his vehicle and driver’s licence.

Tosho said while FRSC was statutorily empowered to arrest and fine traffic offenders, a closer look at the definition of the word “fine” meant a pecuniary criminal punishment or civil penalty payable to the public treasury.

“In the instant case, however, the involvement of the element of arrest takes the imposition of fine by the FRSC to the realm of criminal punishment,” he said.

“From these definitions, it is obvious that the act of sentencing is a judicial action or exercise, and imposition of fine connotes conviction for an alleged offence.

“It is, thus, very clear that the FRSC, not being a court of law, cannot impose fine, especially as it has no powers to conduct trial.

“Hence, the exercise of the statutory powers given to the defendant under the Act as pertain to imposition of fine is clearly a usurpation of judicial powers exclusively vested in the courts.

“In the circumstances, I endorse the plaintiff’s submission that by virtue of section 1(3) of the constitution, the power to impose fine conferred on FRSC by the enabling act is null and void to the extent of its inconsistency with the constitution.”

Tsoho held that the FRSC resorted to “legislative absurdity” when it imposed a fine of 3,000 on the plaintiff, rather than the N2,000 statutorily prescribed.

“FRSC’s function should not go beyond issuance of mere notices of offence,” he ruled.

“It is a cardinal principle of natural justice that no person can be condemned without being heard.

“It is in observance of this that a person alleged to have committed an offence has to respond to such allegation before a court of law during trial.”

According to the judge, the plaintiff was issued a notice of offence Sheet on April 4, 2013, but FRSC did not take him to court for five months before the plaintiff filed his suit on September 9, 2013.

“The vital question to ask is how long would it take the FRSC to reasonably commence prosecution of a traffic offence?” he asked.

“The plaintiff was not under obligation to wait indefinitely for redress due to FRSC’s inaction or laxity.

“I hold the view that the confiscation of the vehicle was unnecessary in the first place, though the FRSC spiritedly sought to justify it.”

The judge then granted 11 of the 14 reliefs sought by the plaintiff, awarding N1million in his favour instead of the N10 million prayed for.

Sunday, 11 November 2018


It is so obvious that PDP is coming out for bench-warming in the 2019 Presidential Election.

It is glaring that the 2019 Presidential Election shall be a walkover for President Mohammadu Buhari. I pray the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gets a marketable Presidential Candidate for 2023 Presidential Candidate.

The emergence of Peter Obi who is a Tribal Bigot and Rabble-rouser as the Vice-Presidential Candidate was the last straw that broke the camel's back to the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Unpatriotic and Cruel Acts/Statements of Peter Obi:
-In 2014, Peter Obi as the Governor of Anambra State ordered the unlawful arrest and illegal detention of Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai in Anambra.

-In 2014, Peter Obi aligned the images of Chris Ngige with that of Bola Tinubu and Obafemi Awolowo, he made a nasty public utterances that Ngige has joined the Yoruba people who are the enemies of the Igbos to work against the Igbos race.

- Peter Obi while infringing Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai's of Fundamental Humans Rights said “Anambra is not Katsina”. What a nasty comment from a tribal bigot who now wants to become the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

- Under Peter Obi's watch as the Governor of Anambra State, a mosque was razed and worshippers narrowly escaped death. Those who committed the arson must have had the confidence to do so knowing fully well that Peter Obi will be pleased with the sacrilege.

- Peter Obi shamelessly lied against a Reverend gentleman, Hon. Babatunde Fashola that the latter deported Igbos from Lagos. Peter Obi made and heated the unfair propaganda just to whip up sentiments from the Southeasterners.

- Under the watch of Peter Obi, the business premises of Hausa/Fulani peoples were destroyed in Onitsha. Peter Obi never showed any concern probably because he ordered the action.

- Peter Obi mandated Northerners in Anambra State to get Identity Cards - a deliberate act that was just to stigmatize the Northerners in Anambra State.

- Peter Obi took it upon himself as a critical assignment, going to different churches in the Southeast, telling worshippers that APC is a Bokoharam Party, Buhari’s sole agenda in his quest to become the Nigerian President was to Islamize Nigerians.

- to create extreme animosity and resentment against the Hausa, Fulani and Yoruba peoples, in 2014, Peter Obi drew the images of the Igbos that lost their lives in the 1670-1970 Civil War at the Limca Roundabout in Onitsha. Those images are still there.

Today, the shameless Tribal Bigot known as 'Saint' Peter Obi wants to become the Vice-President of Nigeria, running with a man (Atiku) who is from Fulani tribe that he (Obi) abhors with extreme passion.


President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday in Paris, France, called for stringent actions against perpetrators of illicit financial flows, including crackdown on safe heavens, warning that continuous impunity will encourage more pilfering of countries’ resources to the detriment of poor and vulnerable populace.

Speaking at the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, held on the sidelines of the Centenary of Armistice Day, President Buhari said Nigeria had strengthened its laws and institutions to fight corruption, fast-track recovery of stolen assets and punish offenders, urging more commitment from governments and international institutions.

The President delivered his statement on “Illicit Financial Flows (Iffs) and Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance’’ during the event, attended by about 70 world leaders and governments.

“We must crack down on safe havens for corrupt assets. I also advocate sanctions by professional bodies against transactional middlemen (lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, etc.) who facilitate Illicit Financial Flows.

“I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption,’’ the President said.

He noted that illicit financial flows pose a risk to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as many countries grapple with the challenge of gathering resources to improve their Human Development Index, while a few privileged individuals continue to explore the weaknesses in financial systems.

“Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.

“A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin.

“This is not to under-estimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin,’’ President Buhari said.

The President urged world leaders and global institutions to remain resolute on the Global Declaration Against Corruption made in London in 2016, which encapsulates the collective commitment to the principles of Open Government Partnership, especially the National Action Plans to actualize beneficial ownership transparency and enhance the capacity of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).

He said the Independent Reporting Mechanisms and support for the activities of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes should be reinforced.

“As we take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of domestic, regional and international mechanisms against Illicit Financial Flows, I seize this opportunity to recall the Global Declaration Against Corruption made in London in 2016 and our commitment thereto,’’ he added.

President Buhari said tremendous progress had been achieved through the enactment of global instruments, noting that some fundamental technical issues remain unresolved.

“These revolve around the formulation of policy and regulatory frameworks that cut across different jurisdictions. We must not lose sight of the role played by secret companies, banks and law firms, all too often based in developed economies and their related offshore centres.

“Recent studies reveal that flaws in the global financial system enable corrupt individuals to hide details of their financial dealings under the noses of governments and law enforcement agencies. This underscores the need to urgently address the issue of Mutual Legal Assistance, as well as continental legal frameworks, in the context of safe havens for illicit transfers,’’ he said.

He disclosed that the Whistle-Blowing policy had facilitated recovery of billions of naira from corrupt persons, which had been redirected to the development of critical infrastructure and programmes that will benefit all Nigerians and realisation of the SDGs.

At the continental level, the President said the African Union had bestowed on him the honour to champion the fight against corruption, which would be focused on strengthening international cooperation on asset tracing, recovery and repatriation, and enhancing cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations’ anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

November 11, 2018


This is a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines. Nigerians need to know that one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded, opulently-held Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.

For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through customs, Immìgration, health and security screening.

Where the aircraft is using the private, charter wing, as the PDP Candidate did, such arrivals are met by a team of the Immìgration, customs and other security agencies. They go to the arriving aircraft as a team. The airport authorities confirm that this is a routine process, applying to all international arrivals, including the minister unless the passenger is the President of Nigeria. The President, the Vice President and passengers aboard planes on the Presidential air fleet use the Presidential wing of the airport.

It is also important to state that even in the Presidential Wing of the airport the President of Nigeria uses, there is the presence of Immìgration and other security officials who must stamp his or her passport on arrival.

By standard procedure, all aircraft on international arrivals must first of all park at the international wing of the aircraft. They can move to the domestic terminal only upon the completion of the arrival processes.

While it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former Vice President’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen.

These checks are mandatory, conventional, internationally applied and routine. No one is excused from them under our laws. These checks are carried out on all international arrivals and President Buhari does not get involved in them.

Law-abiding citizens are encouraged to respect the laws of the country and our VIPs should not seek to be treated over and above the citizens they wish to serve.


Senator Hadi Sirika,
Hon. Minister of State,
November 11, 2018

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

FACT-CHECK: Did the Economist Magazine really endorse Atiku?

In the statement titled: “The Economist Vindicates Atiku Abubakar,” his campaign organisation said the ‘endorsement’ by the Economist, “puts to lies the recent ridiculous claims made by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the international media is askance of the candidature of Mr. Abubakar.”
The statement was referring to a claim by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that during his recent engagement with journalists from international media organisations such as Reuters, Aljazeera, and the Economist, he was asked why the PDP candidate emerged despite the government’s claim to fighting corruption.
“They asked me: How can you claim to have succeeded in waging war against corruption when one of the major contestants in the 2019 general elections is actually a man with stupendous wealth but cannot explain the source of his wealth?
“That baffled me a lot, because it means that we are still being perceived as a country where corruption thrives,” Mr. Mohammed said.
The Atiku campaign claimed ‘the latest endorsement by the Economist’, ‘the second in two months’, is an endorsement of its candidate’s superior policies.
“An endorsement based on the clarity of vision and the detailed policies of the PDP’s candidate when compared to the vague and empty promises of the incumbent All Progressives Congress’ administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“As the Economist rightly states, the issues in 2019 are ‘popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr. Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria,” the Atiku Campaign Organisation wrote.
When contacted, Paul Ibe, a spokesperson for Mr. Abubakar, reiterated the claim of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation.
“It is all a matter of language, he told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone.
“The Economist endorsed us,” he said. “That is not the only endorsement we have received. The Atiku candidacy is getting more and more viable every day. I just told you. I am restating it. That’s an endorsement.”
But did the Economist magazine endorse Mr. Abubakar as claimed by his campaign organisation?
Here are the facts:
First, contrary to the claim of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, the reports it cited as containing the endorsements were not written by the Economist Magazine. Rather they were written by a sister company of the newspaper, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, the parent company of the Economist magazine.
Both divisions are independent of each other. While the Economist magazine specialises in international business and world affairs news, the EIU provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
The EIU publishes monthly country economic forecast, risk services and industrial reports. It was the EIU reports on Nigeria in July and October that the Atiku Campaign organisation was referring to and not a report written by the Economist magazine, as it wrongly claimed.
As part of its editorial policy, the Economist endorses candidates and political parties ahead of major elections. The magazine, which was first published in September 1843 originally declined to take sides in elections on the ground that “a journal that is jealous of its reputation for independence would, in any event, be foolish to compromise it by openly taking sides in a general election.”
But in the run-up to the 1955 United Kingdom’s parliamentary election, it dropped its neutrality in election matters and endorsed Conservative candidate, Eden Anthony, arguing that “[I]n the election of 1955 an elector who tries to reach his conclusion by reason based on observation has no choice. He may not like voting Tory. But there is nothing else he can do.”
The magazine has since endorsed several prime ministerial candidates in the UK, American presidential candidates and candidates in other elections elsewhere.
Perhaps the magazine’s endorsement that many Nigerians will quickly remember was its February 2015 endorsement of Muhammadu Buhari, then the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
After condemning the then incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, and Mr Buhari in almost equal measure, the newspaper grudgingly endorsed the latter for president saying: “We are relieved not to have a vote in this election. But were we offered one we would—with a heavy heart—choose Mr Buhari.”
However, unlike the Economist magazine, the EIU is not known to have ever endorsed candidates running for political offices. It merely analyses prevailing realities and trends in countries and forecasts possible political or economic outcomes.
And that was clearly what it did in its July and October country reports on Nigeria. In its October report on Nigeria, which the Atiku Campaign organisation cited as evidence of endorsement, the EIU clearly drew a parallel between the rising insecurity and what it termed “economic difficulty” and the outcome of next year’s presidential election.
“The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts ongoing severe outbreaks of instability, given slow progress on tackling numerous security and societal challenges at a time of economic difficulty,” the report said. “With tight national elections expected in 2019, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be focused on intra-party politics and security concerns will be sidelined. The election period itself will be a time of high risk; as a recent by-election in Osun state demonstrated, small-scale violence at the polls is highly likely, as is disputation of the results.”
The EIU therefore predicted that Mr Atiku would win the coming election. But this is not an endorsement. It is a prediction that flowed from the internal analysis by EIU personnel.
“Our baseline forecast is that the president, Muhammadu Buhari, will lose power, and that the next government will be led by Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP, the main opposition party), but instability will remain an insoluble challenge.”
The organisation then explained that in the event of Mr Atiku’s victory not all newly defected members of the PDP will be reward with appointments.
The EIU explained that the reason it predicted victory for Mr. Atiku and the PDP are believed to be more popular in the south of the country while the vote from the north would be split between Mr. Buhari and Mr. Atiku because both top contenders are from the north of the country.
“Mr Abubakar’s pledge is to reinvigorate the economy with pro-market reforms. Both candidates are from northern Nigeria, where Mr. Buhari’s support base lies, presaging a fierce contest there. With the vote likely to be split in the north, Mr Abubakar will find it easier to garner support from the country’s south, which has traditionally been a safe haven for the PDP. This gives Mr Abubakar an edge, as does popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria.
“Nonetheless, strong incumbency advantages in Nigeria imply that it will be a very tight race. If Mr Abubakar loses–a distinct downside risk to our forecast–there may be a rejection of the result by the PDP, which is convinced the election will be rigged. In this scenario, a state of national paralysis could arise with severe national security implications,” the EIU wrote.
So, did the Economist Magazine endorse Mr Atiku for President as claimed by his campaign organisation?
VERDICT: The claim is false
The Economist Vindicates Atiku Abubakar
The latest endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, by the Economist Magazine, puts to lies the recent ridiculous claims made by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the international media is askance of the candidature of Mr. Abubakar.
This is the second endorsement in as many months by the world’s number one economic and policy magazine. An endorsement based on the clarity of vision and the detailed policies of the PDP’s candidate when compared to the vague and empty promises of the incumbent All Progressive Congress administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
As the Economist rightly states, the issues in 2019 are “popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr. Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria.”
No other candidate has the capacity to address these challenges, like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, under whose watch as Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, Nigeria had her highest growth in job numbers.
Indeed, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, is poised to translate the significant success he has made in his private business empire to the public sector. This anticipation is responsible for the momentum he now enjoys in all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
For the past one year, Mr. Abubakar has traversed the length and breadth of Nigeria, selling his plans, vision and policies to Nigerians. Unfortunately, rather than do the same, the All Progressive Congress has focused on negative campaigning by slandering Mr. Abubakar’s past.
We are not surprised by their actions. When a man’s future intimidates people, they focus on lying about his past because they cannot compete in the present. However, we thank The Economist for proving that no matter how far and fast falsehood has traveled, it must eventually be overtaken by truth.
For now, we remind Nigerians that Atiku means JOBS. And by providing the atmosphere for Jobs, Opportunity, Being United (JOBS), Atiku Abubakar is ready to Get Nigeria Working Again.
Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization
Plot 120, Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent,
Wuse II, Abuja.