REVEALED: How corruption caused Boko Haram uprise in Nigeria – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said corruption led to the rise of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

He stated this at the OECD global forum in France on Thursday.

Osinbajo said there was no way one could ignore the link between corruption and insurgency.

“Besides, we have seen in Nigeria, in recent years, how corruption directly fueled the terrorist insurgency in the North-East. And how in turn that has led to one of gravest humanitarian disasters in the world.

“Also the adverse implications for education, healthcare, social services, infrastructure and indeed the quality of life no longer requires making a case .

“Corruption and illicit financial flows are different. But they really must be twinned. This is because for practical purposes it is an eminently more sensible approach to treat most of the sources of illicit financial flows as corrupt activity, within a broader use of the term,” he said.

[Daily Post]

Osinbajo is performing well as acting president – Buhari

A grateful President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the performance of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo while he was away, was buoyed by his youthfulness and intellectual capacity.

The president, however, said of himself that he has age and military background going for him.
Mr. Buhari made these observations when he received political leaders in the State House shortly after he returned to Nigeria from medical vacation on Friday.

The president departed for London on January 19, in a trip that was initially announced as annual vacation but which later turned out to be an extended medical vacation.

The president handed over to Mr. Osinbajo, who has been acting president for the past 50 days.
Mr. Osinbajo’s capacity had seen him swear in a new Chief Justice of Nigeria, sign seven bills into law, criss-cross the restive Niger-Delta to appease the oil-producing communities, amongst other critical national assignments.

The vice president’s pace of action was commended by several Nigerians, prompting many to suggest that he should continue playing the major roles in the government.

“Youth and intellect is squarely behind him,” Mr. Buhari said while commending the work done by Mr. Osinbajo. “Continue to do the work, Nigeria will continue whether we are here or not.”
Mr. Buhari said he has his age and experience but strongly encouraged the vice president to step up activities in critical sectors of the country.

“Age and purely military experience is behind me,” he said. “And my single most important advice is for you to take education of everybody under you very seriously.”

“We must do more on education.”

Mr. Osinbajo, in his response, acknowledged there were challenges but appreciated the trust his principal reposed in him, quipping that he found going around in borrowed robes most enchanting.
“I must say that it has been an interesting period going around the nation maybe in borrowed robes,” the acting president said. ” I must say I had a very interesting and challenging time but above all, the president gave us the good support.”

A statement from the State House said Mr. Buhari will officially write to the National Assembly to notify senators of his intention to reassume his opposition as president.
A civic group, CISLAC, had earlier commended the president for asking Mr. Osinbajo to act as president while he recovered.

In a statement by Auwal Rafsanjani, its executive director, CISLAC said the president’s personal acknowledgement of his health crisis and delegation of presidential powers to his vice president were unprecedented.

“We consider this decision very patriotic, confirming the president as a statesman and leader who places national interest above personal interests and does not possess the sit-tight mentality typical of many leaders on the continent,” the group said.

[Nigerian Eye]

OPINION: Buhari should resign, allow Osinbajo to take role of President

An international human rights organisation, Opinion Nigeria, has called on Muhammadu Buhari to tender his resignation to pave way for the confirmation of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) as President.

The ON premised its demand on health reasons and Buhari’s trip to the United Kingdom.

Its President, Jeff Okoroafor, in a petition to Buhari entitled: “A call for President Muhammad’s Buhari’s resignation without further ado”, said the response by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, that Buhari was “on a short leave which is part of his annual vacation”, was the beginning of an unending tale.”

According to him, on February 7 2017, the Senate confirmed receipt of Buhari’s letter, informing the National Assembly about the resolve to extend his annual vacation in the United Kingdom.

He, however, said that going by the statement issued by Adesina, Buhari in the letter “was not categorical on the new date of his return.”

Okoroafor said this scenario had left the Vice President in an acting capacity “for too long”, especially at a time when the country was in dire need of affirmative actions to put things in the right perspective for the year.

He said, “Although there seem to be a general assumption that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is acting in the place of the president as such no vacuum is created in the system. But, we are quite aware that there are so many pending issues on the desk of Mr. President that awaits his return.

“We cannot be operating in secrecy at the presidential level expecting the information hungry Nigerians to keep mute. We have the right to know what is happening and we are committed to a functional and operational Nigeria which is not halted for any political gains or satisfaction.

“Based on this, we call for the immediate resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari quoting his health as the reason to fully function as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, followed swiftly with the immediate confirmation of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a substantive President of the country.

“We hope that this petition will reach deserving authorities in good faith, understanding that the urgency of this request is born out of the desire to salvage the country from total collapse. We pray and urge that this letter will be treated without prejudice or sentiment from whatever sphere of reasoning”, it emphasised.

“As the days on vacation recede, Nigerians yearn insistently to know the circumstances surrounding the president’s seemingly emergency exit from the country. It is ponderous to put on record that this so-called all important vacation was coming at a point when the country’s economy was demanding the innovation or yet still budgetary intervention to ameliorate the sufferings of many Nigerians.

”The social media in Nigeria within these seven- over-ten day vacation was awashed with stories competing for public attention about the reason behind the trip. The stories expanded with time with the climax asserting the death of President Buhari over failure to respond to treatments from the medical team in some named hospital in the UK.

“The presidency so far has come up with conflicting versions of comments to diffuse the tension but their words further rambled the suspicion of most Nigerians who requested that the president relay a video to Nigerians assuring them that he was hale and hearty but, he never succumbed.”

[Daily Post]

Acting president, Osinbajo, rejects N7bn official residence

Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo has rejected an official residence which is expected to cost the country more than N7 billion.

Osinbajo also said that the Aguda House, which he currently occupies, is a good enough official residence for him.

He made the comments on Sunday, February 19, via a statement released by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

The statement reads:

“For the umpteenth time, we like to clarify that the proposed plan of the immediate past administration to build a new official residence for the occupant of the Office of the Vice President, including the controversial gatehouse preceded this administration.”

“The project which started in 2010, was initiated and funded by the immediate past administration, but had never featured in the two budget proposals of the Buhari administration: neither in the 2016 nor the 2017 spending plans.

“Any suggestion therefore that this project benefits our administration or that it reflects our spending style or preferences is not only misleading but blatantly false.

“Besides, the incumbent Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said publicly that he considers Aguda House, which he currently occupies, a befitting official residence for the Vice President and sufficient for his needs.

“While the project is now about 85% complete, the Federal Government, in the circumstances, will decide at the appropriate time what is the best use for the 14 buildings already on the project site.”

Senator Dino Melaye, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, recently revealed that the gatepost of the controversial residence would cost the country N250 million to construct.

Melaye has also said that the 2017 budget needs to be reviewed with holy eyes after he accused government officials of making criminal additions into the document.

[Pulse]

Yemi Osinbajo – Why I nicknamed Nyesom Wike ‘Mr Projects’

Acting Nigerian President, Yemi Osinbajo has nicknamed Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, Mr Projects.

Osinbajo made the appellation on Wike in the Government House, Port Harcourt, after inspecting the various projects executed by the governor.

Recall that Osinbajo on Monday commenced a working visit to the Niger Delta region.

His visit was part of Federal Government’s measure to interact with leaders of the oil rich region which is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the area.

During the state dinner organized in his honour by the state government, Osinbajo said he was impressed by the various project sites he visited.

He said, “I think he deserves the title of ‘Mr. Projects’; he is indeed Mr Projects.

“As we came in today, we had to visit some project sites.

“The visit to the state was critical because of the position of the state in the country.

“Rivers State is very important to us. We take matters concerning the state seriously. We will cooperate with Rivers State to develop Nigeria.

“It is in the interest of our people and the nation that we work together for the good of our people.

“We need to get together to chart the pathway of growth,” the Acting President noted.

In his response, Governor Wike reassured that the state government will cooperate with the federal government to deliver development to the people.

He said, “I believe that the visit of the Acting President will bring good relationship between the federal government and Rivers State.

“Let us allow the interest of the majority in whatever we do. Party must take the back seat. The interest of Rivers State is paramount.

“That is why we are doing everything we can to cooperate with the federal government because we believe in the unity of this nation.”

[Daily Post]

Wike reacts to VP Osinbajo’s APC meeting – Amaechi is Lucifer

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has berated the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state for organizing another stakeholders meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, a day after the town hall meeting held in Government House has called Amaechi Lucifer.

Governor Wike expressed his displeasure while receiving leaders of the APC from Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local government area led by Chief Ofili Enebeli, who were defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Governor said the meeting which was organized by the leaders of the APC in the state was ill-conceived and aimed at further straining the peace in the state.

He also said he felt a level of satisfaction seeing former Governor Rotimi Amaechi return to Government House after allegedly leaving it in shambles.

Governor Nyesom Wike said he would not be deterred from his promise to continue to develop Rivers State.

“Since the Acting President began his tour of the Niger-Delta, this is the first time he will be sleeping in a state. This is the first time he will be passing a night outside his region. What does that tell you. It means Rivers state is safe.

“But you know Satan will never sleep. Lucifer will always stay awake. Anywhere Satan sees light, he will always want to turn it into darkness.

“You are all aware that the Acting President came and held a stakeholders meeting with all of us irrespective of affiliations. Even the Minister of Transportation was there. But as you know, chameleon will always be a chameleon.

“Just because the Acting President decided to stay in Rivers state Lucifer went on rampage. I had no problem with the fact that Prof. Osinbajo wanted to hold a meeting with his party member. They are all members of APC but I was surprised that a meeting they tagged APC stakeholders meeting turned out to be something else.

“They left what they gathered for and started making demands for the people of Rivers state. Who sent them?

“If I were them, they should go for psychiatric test. I have never been treated by a psychiatrist. I don’t even have one as my Doctor but when your personal Doctor is a psychiatrist, then you should know there is a problem.

“I don’t want to talk about what his boys (Dakuku Peterside and Magnus Abe) were saying but I was happy for one thing. I was happy that the Minister of Transportation could not believe his eyes when he came into Government House. It was like a paradise. When he came to the Presidential lodge, he couldn’t believe it.

“Remember this was a man who said over his dead body will I become a Governor but he entered my car, my 7 BMW series with the acting president.

Chairman of the PDP in Rivers State, Felix Obuah assured the new defectors of equal rights in the party.

[Daily Post]

VP Osinbajo: I can’t reveal Buhari’s health status to public

The acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, said only President Muhammadu Buhari could disclose his health status to Nigerians at the appropriate time.

He also said he was not in any way under pressure to resign.

Osinbajo spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting behind closed doors with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While saying the President was hale and hearty, Osinbajo said he had a long discussion with him earlier in the day to keep him abreast of developments regarding the 2017 budget and the protests embarked upon by some Nigerians.

He said, “The President is hale and hearty. I spoke to the President just this (Monday) afternoon and we had a long conversation. He was interested in knowing about the budget process and how far we have gone and the meeting today with the private sector and the economic recovery growth plan.

“I also informed him about the protest march and feedback about what people are saying about the economy. He is in good shape.”

When asked specifically on when the President would return to the country, Osinbajo said, “Just like he said in his letter to the National Assembly, he needs to go through a cycle of tests and once he sees the tests’ results and gets medical advice, we expect him back very soon.”

When asked why it was difficult for the Presidency to disclose the health status of Buhari, Osinbajo said the President had to complete his tests before he could know his status.

He said only the President would disclose his health status at the appropriate time.

“I think that the health status of Mr. President is an issue that only Mr. President himself would be able to discuss at the appropriate time.

“Again, he is running tests and all of that. Before you will be able to determine your health status, you must be able to say this is my health status.

“If I am running tests, doing some routines that my doctors have asked me to do, then surely, I must await the outcome of that before I can talk of my status,” he said.

Osinbajo also said he was not under any pressure to resign as being speculated in some quarters.

He said Nigerians who voted for him and Buhari had not asked them to resign from their positions.

“I am absolutely under no pressure to resign. I was voted for by the people of this nation, myself and Mr. President and so the people of this nation have not asked us to resign.

“I am absolutely not under any pressure whatsoever. The truth is that there has been no pressure from any source asking me to resign. That is the honest truth,” Osinbajo said.

However, the Trade Union Congress, the National Association of Resident Doctors in Nigeria and the Nigerian Medical Association have said Buhari’s medical trip shows the country’s declining health infrastructure as a result of underfunding.

NARD said the Federal Government should urgently carry out health reforms such as the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General and the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act, which would correct the underfunding in the health sector.

NARD President, Dr. Onyebueze Ugochukwu, said on Monday in an interview with our correspondent that the Senate had continued to frustrate the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General of the country so that flimsy medical trips would not be stopped.

He said, “We have always stated it that the President’s situation calls to question the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General or the Chief Medical Officer of Nigeria. He is the one to state categorically the state of heath of the President and other public office holders.

“Some weeks ago, the Senate, for political reasons, refused to approve the creation of that office. They know that once you have this office, it becomes difficult for some of them who travel overseas for flimsy health reasons because the Surgeon-General would have to give approval.

“We must ask ourselves why Nigeria does not have a Chief Medical Officer who is an authority to speak on matters of ill health of public officers in the country.

“Secondly, it calls to question the state of the hospitals in the country. The health sector is declining. The World Health Organisation in a survey in 2013 on 190 countries ranked Nigeria 187th in the health sector.

“In the area of manpower and health personnel, Nigeria has the best crop of medical practitioners. Our clinical acumen is very excellent. We also want the government to implement the National Health Act which was passed in 2014. The act encompasses the primary health sector and its funding.”

[Punch]

Babafemi Ojudu – Osinbajo not under pressure to resign

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, on Wednesday said there was no truth in some reports making the round that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was being compelled by some state governors to resign.

In a statement made available to journalists, Babafemi Ojudu described the news as a fabrication.

The presidential aide said, “I have read many ridiculous stories saying the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is being held hostage by some governors who are trying to compel him to resign.

“I have equally received several calls regarding this. The story is simply not true. It is a fabrication. Don’t be a purveyor of fake news.

“The Vice-President is behind his desk carrying out his task. The Federal Executive Council, presided over by him, has just ended and he has been busy receiving visitors and holding meetings.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called on those linking him as replacement for Osinbajo after the Vice-President must have been forced to resign, to leave him out  of the “baseless rumour.”

In a statement by his Special Adviser  on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President said “these troublemakers should refrain from linking Senator Saraki’s name to their evil plot.”

He added, “My attention has been drawn to a speculation on some online media about supposed meeting of some governors who held Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to ransom and sought for Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to take over the Presidency.

“My first initial reaction was to ignore this empty rumour but after being inundated with calls from across the country and abroad, it became necessary for me to make clarifications from our own end.

“It is a good thing that the Presidency had dismissed the speculation and showed that there is no substance to it. However, I feel it should be known that those behind this baseless, empty and unintelligent mischief are those who do not love this country.

“Such suggestions as contained in the speculation can only bring ill-will, disunity and crisis to the country and I therefore advise the sponsors to desist immediately. More importantly, these trouble makers should refrain from linking Senator Saraki’s name to their evil plot.”

[Punch]

Osinbajo becomes acting President as Buhari goes on annual leave

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday (Jan. 19) left Nigeria for the United Kingdom for what the Presidency described as “a short leave.” Thus, VP Osinbajo is not the acting president of the country.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President would during the vacation undergo “routine medical check-up.”

He said Buhari was expected to resume work on February 6. The medical check-up was the third by the President in one year.

He had earlier embarked on a six-day vacation between February 5 and 10, 2016 when he remained in London.

On June 6, 2016, he embarked on another 10-day vacation to attend to an ear infection.

During his vacation in June, last year, there were reports that he had an infection in his left ear, otherwise called Meniere Disease.

Buhari, according to a letter  to the National Assembly, is supposed to begin the vacation on Monday, but the President left for the UK on Thursday.

The President had directed the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo,  to take over in his absence.

But as of the time Buhari was leaving the country however, Osinbajo, was leading the Federal Government’s delegation at the World Economic Forum holding in Davos, Switzerland.

The Vice-President is expected back in the country on Friday.

The Presidency, in the statement on Thursday stated, “President Muhammadu Buhari leaves for the United Kingdom today on a short leave, which is part of his annual vacation. He is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.

“During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups.

“In line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, have been duly communicated.

“While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President.”

The last public event attended by Buhari was the grand finale of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at the National Arcade, Abuja.

He appeared briefly in his office on Monday.

On Tuesday, he granted audience to the Cross Rivers State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, in his residence.

The President also cancelled a scheduled meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday and remained in his residence throughout.

While Buhari’s convoy vehicles were lining up in his residence for his take-off at about 12noon, his wife, Aisha, was granting audience to the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda, at the First Lady’s Wing of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari in the letter to the National Assembly on Thursday gave notification on the 10-day “working leave,” effective January 23.

In the House of Representatives, the letter was addressed to the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

However, Dogara was not in chambers on Thursday, paving the way for the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, to read the President’s letter to members.

Buhari, in an interview with selected journalists on Thursday said there was nothing wrong in him embarking on a short vacation as announced in a statement by the Presidency earlier 0n Thursday.

Buhari, who spoke shortly before leaving the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja for London, United Kingdom.

“What is wrong with going on vacation? Didn’t I go last year at the same time?” the President asked rhetorically.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, also said there was nothing to worry about over the development.

The presidential spokesman said, “The President is going to rest. You know that God did work of creation for six days and on the seventh day, he rested. So if God needed to rest, how much more human being?

“So, the President is just going to rest and the statement we have released is straight forward. He will go on this leave and during the leave; he will do routine medical checkups.”

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin, told journalists that he led service chiefs to give the President security briefing “on our operations within and outside the country especially our involvement with the ECOWAS standby force” before he jetted out of the country.

[Punch]

Unidentified militant group bombs NPDC pipeline after Osinbajo’s visit

An unidentified militant group in Niger Delta on Tuesday (Jan. 17) blew up a crude oil trunkline in Ughelli, Delta State, barely 24 hours after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo led a Federal Government delegation to the area in search of peace.

Osinbajo, accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; and the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh, had on Monday visited the traditional ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, the Olu of Warri and a cross-session of traditional rulers drawn from Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa ethnic nationalities at the PTI Conference Centre.

The attack, which occurred at about 4.35pm behind the SETRACO construction yard along the East/West Express Road in Ughelli, in Ughelli North Local Government, was said not to be unconnected with the alleged ill-treatment and disregard for some monarchs in the state during the Federal Government delegation visit.

The pipeline, operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, was still in flames as of 7pm when our correspondent left Ughelli, the scene of the attack, for Warri on Tuesday.

Although security sources in the state confirmed the attack under the condition of anonymity, none of them could confirm the true cause of the incident.

They stressed that they were mobilising in collaboration with the Delta State Fire Service in the area to put out the inferno.

However, another military source dismissed the claim that militants were responsible for the attack, noting that indiscriminate bush burning was responsible for the inferno.

When contacted on the incident, the spokesperson for the Joint Task Force code-named Operation Delta Safe, Lt. Col. Olaolu Daudu, could not immediately confirm the incident.

He promised to reach out to his men in the area and get back to our correspondent later.

Daudu, however, did not fulfill his promise as of the time of filing this report.

[Punch]

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