2019 Watch Buhari and his controversial ambition 17 C002D5556 Sunday 15 April 2018 16 Emmanuel promises more projects in Akwa Ibom …As new SSG is received by Oro nation ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has given the assurance that with the necessary support, his administration would achieve more in providing the people with basic social amenities. Governor Emmanuel gave the assurance while addressing the people at a grand reception organised by Oro Union for the Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Ekwuwem and the President General of the Union, Janet Amba. Speaking at the Oron stadium, he said the state government is working assiduously with the SSG whom he referred to as being very passionate about the development of Akwa Ibom State to bring projects to all parts of the state. “Today, Oro Nation has made Akwa Ibom proud. People have come out today to honour the SSG and the First Female President General in a reception with a remarkable difference which is what I have seen here today.” Emmanuel thanked the Elders and stakeholders for supporting a woman to emerge as the first female President General of Oro Union and noted that it was a representation of gender equity and called for cooperation with the President General from the people and assured of similar support from Government to enable her to achieve set goals. The State Governor commended Oro youths for being peaceful and supportive of the ongoing projects execution in their localities, unlike the situation in other sections of the state and promised to give employment, development, and empowerment to make them become responsible men in the society. According to the Governor, “I Buhari is an economic and security asset to Nigeria - NDDC Commissioner MIKE ABANG, Calabar Udom Emmanuel Slyvester Nsa, commissioner for Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) representing Cross River State, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as an economic and security asset to the nation ahead of the 2019 general election. Nsa, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Progress (APC), said this during a telephone interview with our correspondent in Calabar while reacting to the President’s declaration to seek a second term in office. “Buhari is a corruption fighting activist and the people who are fighting him are the same people who brought the nation to its knees; they are the same people who are perpetuating insecurity in the land,” he said. “We are happy the President has declared to run in 2019 don’t know how many of us know that Oro Nation is known for producing highly cerebral, proficient and motivated as well as professionally successful public officers in this country?” He said prioritising education, was a deliberate policy by his administration to ensure that the people were made to be proud again of that sub sector. Governor Emmanuel referred to the SSG as another quintessential Oro Son whose elevation should not be seen as an appointment but as a collaboration and partnership to build a strong economy for Akwa Ibom State. On the provision of Infrastructure, he said that Government constructing a dual carriage way from the airport junction to join the East-West road in order to boost economic activities in the coastal Oro community. The Governor announced that the construction firm which abandoned the projects out of frustration arising from obstruction from some restive youths had decided to return to site after a meeting with the State Government. He urged the people to desist from making unrealistic demands for payment of compensation for trees and other plants on the road, saying they should be ready to make sacrifices if they must attract developments. The governor recalled some of the intervention works successfully undertaken by his administration in Oro Nation shortly on assumption of office in 2015 and promised to visit the area soon for inauguration of more projects. “As we set out for industrialisation, we must promote small and medium scale enterprises. By next year, I want to envelop the whole of this state with electricity because I know so many of you pay so much,’’ he said. Part of the efforts, the Governor which is the voice of majority of our people especially the APC family, it is a plus for us,” he further said. Nsa, who was a former deputy governorship candidate to Odey Ochcha in the 2015 general election under the APC, said the opposition party- the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was afraid of Buhari fanatical followership across the country. He contended that those saying Buhari is too old should said, was the building of a power substation at Eket to be followed by another in Oron. He offered to assist in the building of a warehouse for Akpakib Oro Seafood Farer Association in Oron and resurfacing of one of the roads in the areas. He also announced plans to ensure flood control facilities in the main town by constructing most internal roads and fixing street lights by December this year. Responding, the Secretary to the State Government, expressed appreciation to the people for organising the event and thanked the Governor who had earlier found some of them fit to be part of his administration to move the frontiers of economic development forward. The SSG made reference to the Nigerian Economy going through stress due to dependency on Oil as the main revenue earner and called on the people to emulate the Governor who is working tirelessly to diversify into industrialisation and agriculture “The essence of this celebration for me and my sister is for us to know that the time has come for a complete shift in the way we used to do things for everyone to be gainfully employed.” The President General of Oro Union, Janet Amba, also thanked Governor Emmanuel and Wife, Martha, other dignitaries and the Oro people for celebrating them and expressed joy for ensuring unity among her people since assumption of office. Amba who said her mission is to render service, unite the people appealed for support from Government to build a warehouse for a set of business people in the area. Also speaking, former Deputy Governor of the state, Etim Okpoyo, expressed joy that after 22 years, Governor Emmanuel has appointed another Oro indigene as the SSG and thanked the State him and his Wife for the gesture. bring up their candidate to face the president in 2019. “We know that PDP wanted APC to drop Bahari and bring a candidate they can easily beat at the polls,” Nsa said, adding that without the emergence of President Buhari in 2015 the insecurity situation in the country would have worsened to the level beyond control. He urged Nigerians to give the President maximum support to move the nation forward. Edo LG, Etsako Central, presents N3.4bn budget IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, Benin The executive chairman of Etsako Central Local Government Area, Akhigbe John-Osi has presented a budget estimate of N3, 455, 582, 255, 92 billion for the 2018 fiscal year to members of the council’s legislative arm. The budget christened, ‘Budget of Growth’, is made up of recurrent expenditure of N1,634 214,506,09 billion and N1 821,367,749 83 billion for capital expenditure. Akhigbe said the budget would be funded through internally generated revenue of N273,629 million representing 7.92 percent, share of statutory allocation of N1,608,370,836,10 billion representing 46.54 percent, 10 percent share of State IGR of N240million representing 5.9 percent. Other sources include, Value Added Tax (VAT) of N250 million representing 7,23 percent, excess crude/NLNG of N224 million representing 6.48 percent, SURE-P/Paris Club Refund of N555,008,714,68 million representing 16.06 percent, grant/ aid of N273,737,539,33 million representing 7.92 percent and opening balance from the previous year of N66,836,165,81 million representing 1 93 percent. Akhigbe, who said the budget was geared towards delivering on his electioneering promises to the people of the local government, noted that it was focused on the promotion of primary education, healthcare services, environmental sanitation/beautification, water supply, good roads network,, welfares, socio-economic empowerment, youth development among others. He also added that it was in consonance with the policy thrust handed down to the council chairmen by the executive governor of the state Godwin Obaseki. He however gave the breakdown of the sectoral allocation of the budget to include, the Economic sector, N1,160,350 billion representing 63.71 percent, Social sector, N535,917,749,83 million representing 29.42 percent, regional development, N81,300 million representing 4.46 percent and administrative, N43,800 million representing 2.40 percent.
Sunday 15 April 2018 C002D5556 2019 Watch Presidency 17 ZEBULON AGOMUO The declaration last Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term did not come to many people as a surprise. Before the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) where the President declared his intention, his body language had said it all. By the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the constitution of his party, President Buhari has committed no offence. He is entitled to seek re-election. Buhari was sworn in on May 29, 2015 after an electoral victory at the presidential election held on March 28, 2015. The declaration may have cowed some other members of the party who may be nursing presidential ambition as anyone who insists on contesting the ticket with him on the party’s platform may be running a lost battle and futile mission. Buhari, a 75-year old former military leader, was overwhelmingly voted into power following a loss of confidence by the Nigerian electorate of the Goodluck Jonathan administration who was of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Buhari was sold to the voting population of Nigeria as a man of integrity and austere person whose sole interest in seeking the highest political office was to serve selflessly and right all perceived wrongs. Before clinching the position in 2015, Buhari had contested for the seat three times and had declared that he would never ever again do so. The man Buhari Muhammadu Buhari was born on 17 December 1942, is the President of Nigeria, in office since 2015. He is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and previously served as the nation’s head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government. He unsuccessfully ran for the office of president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 general elections. Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015. Buhari has stated that he takes responsibility for anything over which he presided during his military rule, and that he cannot change the past. He has described himself as a “converted democrat”. Early life Buhari was born to a Fulani family in Daura, Katsina State, to his father Hardo Adamu, a Fulani chief, and mother Zulaihat. He is the twenty-third child of his father. Buhari was raised by his mother, after his father died when he was about four years old. He attended primary school in Daura and Mai’adua before proceeding to Katsina Model School in 1953, and to Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961. Early military career Buhari joined the Nigerian Army by enrolling at age 19 with the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) in 1961. In February 1964, the college was upgraded to an officer commissioning unit of the Nigerian Army and renamed the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) (prior to 1964, the Nigerian government sent cadets who had completed their NMTC preliminary training to mostly Commonwealth military academies for officer cadet President Muhammadu Buhari In February 2011 he vowed he would serve for only once if he won that year’s election. He told the media at that time that his decision was based on his age. “I am not getting younger. If I succeed and do one term, I will be 73 years old,” he said. At that time he said his main focus would be security and infrastructure- mainly power. training). From 1962 to 1963, Buhari underwent officer cadet training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England. In January 1963, at age 21, Buhari was commissioned a second lieutenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria. From November 1963 to January 1964, Buhari attended the Platoon Commanders’ Course at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna. In 1964, he facilitated his military training by attending the Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom. From 1965 to 1967, Buhari served as commander of the Second Infantry Battalion and appointed brigade major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, April 1967 to July 1967. Northern counter-coup of 28 July 1966 In July 1966 Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari was one of the participants in the “July Rematch” or so called “Counter-Coup”, led by Lt-Col Murtala Muhammed, that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria’s first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi, who had assumed leadership of the Nigerian government after a failed coup attempt on 15 January 1966, which overthrew the elected parliamentary government of Nigeria (also known as first republic). Other participants in the coup on 28 July 1966 included 2nd Lieutenant Sani Abacha, Lieutenant Ibrahim Babangida, Major Theophilus Danjuma, Lieutenant Ibrahim Bako among others. The coup was a reaction to the January coup where a group of mostly Igbo officers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Many Northern soldiers were aggrieved by the murder of senior politicians, Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, northern regional premier, Ahmadu Bello, and four senior officers from northern Nigeria: Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Kur Mohammed, Lt-Cols Abogo Largema and James Pam. The counter-coup was very bloody leading to the murder of mostly Igbo officers. Among the casualties were the first military head of state General Buhari and his controversial ambition It is now seven years when the President made the statement and at 75 and with failing health he is still eager to continue with his job for the next four years starting from May 29, 2019, despite the hue and cry attending his declared ambition. Twenty days after his inauguration, precisely 17 June 2015, Buhari told Nigerians Aguiyi Ironsi and Lt Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, the military governor of the Western Region. Civil war Buhari was assigned to the 1st Division under the command of Lt. Col Mohammed Shuwa, the division had temporarily moved from Kaduna to Makurdi at the onset of the Nigerian Civil War. The 1st division was divided into sectors and then battalions with Shuwa assisted by sector commanders Martin Adamu and Sule Apollo who was later replaced by Theophilus Danjuma. Buhari’s initial assignment was Adjutant at Company Commander 2 battalion unit, Second Sector Infantry of the 1st Division. The 2 battalion was one of the units that participated in the first actions of the war, they started from Gakem near Afikpo and moved towards Ogoja with support from Gado Nasko’s artillery squad. They reached and captured Ogoja within a week with the intention of advancing through the flanks to Enugu, the rebel capital. Buhari was briefly the 2 battalion’s Commander and led the battalion to Afikpo to link with the 3rd Marine Commando and advance towards Enugu through Nkalagu and Abakaliki. However, before the move to Enugu, he was posted to Nsukka as Brigade Major of the 3rd Infantry Brigade under Joshua Gin who would later become battle fatigued and replaced by Isa Bukar. Buhari stayed with the infantry for a few months as the Nigerian army began to adjust tactics learnt from early battle experiences. Instead of swift advances, the new tactics involved securing and holding on to the lines of communications and using captured towns as training ground to train new recruits brought in from the army depots in Abeokuta and Zaria. In 1968, he was posted to the 4 Sector also called the Awka sector which was charged to take over the capture of Onitsha from Division 2. The sector’s operations was within the Awka-Abagana-Onitsha region which was important to Biafran forces because it was a major source of food supply. It was in the sector that Buhari’s group suffered a lot of casualties trying to protect food supplies route of the rebels along Oji River and Abagana. in South Africa, after taking part in the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg, that his performance would be limited by old age. “I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do,” he said. Now, he is 75 and knowing his performance is below par as a result of age, he decided to declare for another four years when he would more or less be a liability to the country. Critics believe that Buhari has been the costliest president. The country has continued to bear huge expenses of his treatment. “If you ask me, I don’t think the decision to go for a second term is his idea. I think there are people pushing him but my quarrel with him is that he should be principled enough to say No. Where then is the vaunted integrity, a dummy that was sold to Nigerians in 2015?” a pundit said. Following his declaration, the Presidency, knowing that the integrity of Buhari may be at risk, came up with a defence that his “one term” stand in 2011 no long applied. Buhari administration has been a huge burden on Nigerians. Since he came to power, the economy has been at its worst. This is manifested in the massive job losses across the country, companies closing shop, businesses struggling to survive and general poverty in the land to the extent that many families today have no means of their daily bread. But these were the same reasons Buhari said he wanted to come to contest the Presidency in 2011 to address- to prevent a situation where people cannot afford three square meals a day. Why declaration evokes anger Since he declared his ambition, variegated reactions have continued to trail it. While many of his party men and women say the President was the best candidate for the broom party and should be returned to complete his “good work”, a host of other Nigerians believe the President does not merit a day in the saddle after May 29, 2019. Critics argue that President Buhari deserves no re-election for another harrowing four years. They point to the worsening security situation in the country, harsh economic policies, wanton killings across the country by herdsmen, the refusal of the administration to stem the tide of the needless massacres, seemingly deliberate policy to put some sections of the country down to the advantage of others; the hate utterances from government and by government and the fear that another four years would be akin to hell in Nigeria. The thinking is that President Buhari would be more brutal in the next tenure than he is now since he knows there is nothing any more at stake for him. Some critics foresee a situation where the herdsmen issue would assume a more dreadful dimension and the machinery of government completely hijacked by the President’s men without any regard whatsoever for any other Nigerian. These fears are not unfounded going by the awful experience of Nigerians in the last 3 years. The thinking is: if a government that came to power on the crest of Change mantra could be so brutal in its first term, it could run Nigerians down into the abyss if it wins a second term. Segun Anjorin, a Systems analyst, said: “For me, there is no basis to return Buhari to power. If you are talking about corruption, it is also widespread in the current administration. How can a failed government be returned to power? Going by what has been seen now, if Buhari returns it will be hellish and I think this is why his declaration is generating serious negative responses. I think, for Nigerians, it should be a case of once bitten, twice shy”