President Muhammadu Buhari’s Sallah greetings was released Sunday by the Presidency, the first time Nigerians will hear their president in 50 days he departed for medical treatment in the United Kingdom.
However the audio recording, meant to bring Eid-el-Fitr tidings to his fellow Nigerians has generated controversies on Buhari’s state of health and the ‘presidency’ bearly 24 hours of its release.
Whereas the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the audio message was released to clear doubts of Nigerians that Buhari is not suffering from speech impairment.
If the saying of NAN is anything to go by, then the purpose of releasing the audio recording is defeated already as the tension about the wellness of Buhari among Nigerians has further been aggravated.
Another controversy around the voice message was the Hausa language Buhari’s voice was recorded.
FELLOW PRESS understands that the message contained in the voice recording, aired by BBC on Sunday, is the audio version of statement released by Buhari’s spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, was to greet Nigerians on Eid-el-Fitr and also admonish on spreading “reckless statement”.
The message reads:
I am immensely grateful to God for his mercy in guiding us successfully to conclude another Ramadan. My greetings to all Nigerian Muslims and our brother Christians on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr:
May the lessons of Ramadan, namely piety, self-denial, prayers and generosity to the poor and the needy, be with us for all time.
“I, again, appeal to all Nigerians to avoid reckless statements or actions against our fellow countrymen. We should all resolve to live in peace and unity in our great country, which is the envy of many less-endowed nations.”
Reacting to the message, Nigerians has called the audio propaganda.
Dr. Junaid Mohammed, the Second Republic House of Representative member was struck as to what the intention of those president’s handlers are for recording and releasing such message.
His words: “Aside propaganda, I am still wondering what they (president’s handlers) trying to achieve with the audio recording at this crucial moment. What he need is our prayer and we won’t stop doing that so that he will recover quickly.
Yinka Odunkamin, leader of the Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba group, said the voice message failed to address pressing issue in the country.
Calling the statment flat, Mr. Odumakin said his expectation was to hear President Buhari check the Arewa Youths for issuing quit notice on Igbo, but he rather meander around the issue.
“The message lacks content as it did not address particular issues on the ground. Nigeria is going through something the president should address with assertions. Methinks he would have appealed to those sending ultimatum to other tribes resident in the territories, to stop such act but he did not.
“What does reakless speech he (Buhari) talked about mean? He should have been more direct, to iron out distress that is capable of tearing apart the.”
He also criticised President Buhari for speaking in Hausa to address Nigerians, saying its “not good enough” since there are many non-Hausa Muslims in Nigeria.
“It is just like Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, addressing Nigerians in Yoruba, all because he is a Yoruba decent.
For President to be speaking to the nation in Hausa does not bring inclusiveness. I totally disagree with the idea President greeting a multi-ethnic country with a language spoken by his tribe.
Reno Omokri, a former Special Assistant to the former President, Goodluck Jonathan has also reacted to the Hausa voice tape, calling Buhari a divisive leader and that there was difference between him and Nnamdi Kanu, the Pro-Biafra leader agitating for secession.
Writing on his Facebook profile, Omokri said: “For President Buhari to have broadcast his Sallah message in Hausa in country like Nigeria that has English as its official language, is very divisive. How would President Trump of U.S., who originated from Germany, address America in German?
“What of other Nigerians who don’t understand Hausa?
“Proper language the President should have used is English first; and perhaps if he so desire might interpret it in Hausa later on.
“Addressing Nigeria in Hausa give a perception that he is only concerned about the 97 per cent who voted for him and the remaining 5 per cent can take a long-walk.”
“If President Goodluck had issue Christmas message in Ogbia or President Obasanjo had addressed Nigeria speaking Yoruba, how would the rest of Nigeria feel?
He further queried how a national leader address the country using sectional language. I don’t think Nigeria has even had a leader as divisive a this one. “In fact, there is no difference between him and Nnamdi Kanu.
“Buhari is not a president to Hausa people but of the whole multi-ethnic Nigeria.
“Even when late President Yar’Adua spoke on BBC News, being a Fulani man, he address Nigerians in English to all of us.”
See list of new Ekiti commissioners appointed by Fayose
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti on Friday appointed new council members of the executive arm.
Mr. Fayose dissolved state cabinet a month ago
The appointment of the new commissioners was contained in a statement by Fayose’s Special Adviser on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
The full list of new Ekiti state commissioners are:
- Barrister Kola Kolade- Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice
- Hon. Ayo Alabi- Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs
- Hon Lanre Ogunsuyi- Information, Youths and Sports
- Hon Taye Otitoju- Lands
- Hon. Gbenga Olajide- Budget and Planning
- Hon Jide Egunjobi- Education, Science and Technology
- Chief Tunde Ogunleye- Water Resources
- Olayinka Ogundayomi- Women Affairs.
Fayemi, Fasola, Ngige denies receiving pension from state govts as ex-govs
Three cabinet members of the President Muhammadu Buhari, who were former state governors have said they are not earning pensions from their state pulses.
They are ministers of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (former Lagos governor), of Mine and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (former Ekiti governor) and of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige (former Anambra governor).
Speaking on behalf of Mr. Fashola, his Special Adviser on Communication, Hakeem Bello, said the minister recently clarified that he had no reason to ask the Lagos State Government to stop paying him a pension when from the outset he never accepted it.
When asked if the power minister would also ask the Lagos State Government to stop paying him pension, just like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki did, Bello replied, “The minister spoke on Hard Copy, a programme on Channels TV on Friday. In that programme, he said you don’t ask them (Lagos State Government) to stop what you never accepted in the first place.
“This your question was one of the questions they asked him during that TV programme and what I told you was his response.”
Ngige also denied receiving double emoluments from the federal and state governments.
Ngige had made a similar denial last year following a public outcry against public office holders receiving double emolument as former governors and as serving senators.
Ngige said that the petition by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project to the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in which he was mentioned only showed that proper investigation was not carried out before his inclusion as a beneficiary of double pay from the government or it was inspired by mischief.
Ngige denied drawing double emoluments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government or the Anambra State Government since he was elected and appointed at various times into public offices contrary to media reports.
Ngige said that apart from two utility vehicles that were given to him some years ago, he had not accessed the privileges approved for him by the constitution as a former governor of Anambra State.
Ngige, who made the comment in a statement on Tuesday, said that he had not received the severance benefits approved for former governors and their deputies by the state assembly.
He said, “I wish to put it on record that since I left office in 2006 as governor of Anambra State; throughout the four years I spent in the 7th Senate (June 2011-2015) and currently as the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment with effect from November 11, 2015, I have never drawn a dime even in the intervening period that I was not in public office, as salary, emolument and pension from the Anambra State Government’s coffers.
“In fact, I have not received any severance benefit as prescribed in the Anambra State House of Assembly law on pensions and other welfare and benefits for former governors and deputy governors, 2006, and amended 2013. Aside the two utility vehicles given to me some years ago, I have not accessed any of the privileges and other lawful trappings due to the office.
“It is worth stating for the avoidance of any doubt that the Supreme Court affirmed that I was entitled to these benefits in their landmark judgment in Mike Balonwu and others Vs Anambra State Government, which declared me governor, de facto and de jure between 2003 and 2006.”
The minister said that he was aware of the position of the law, the moral implications of receiving double emolument which was also against virtues of honesty and transparency being pursued by the government.
Also, Fayemi said he had not even received his severance package from the Ekiti State Government as approved by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission since leaving office in 2014.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi, who is now Minister of Mines and Steel Development, said he had not received any kobo as pension.
Fayemi had challenged SERAP to apologise to him for including his name among former governors receiving double remuneration or face legal action.
Kogi Assembly speaker resigns over fear of impeachment
Kogi State House of Assembly Speaker, Umar Imam, has resigned, over fear of being impeached Wednesday at plenary session.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the speaker, Ali Yakubu, who neither denied nor confirmed the development, said there was a proclamation on Tuesday evening convening the assembly for a special sitting on Wednesday.
He said, “Let’s wait for official confirmation from the house today.”
The House was enmeshed in serious fracas on Tuesday when hoodlums invaded the house during a plenary session and beat up a member, Elder Friday Sani.
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