Senator Bala Mohammad, a former Federal Capital Territory minister, has dissociated himself from allegations of any conspiracy to unseat Acting President Yemi Osinbajo from office.
Speaking from Saudi Arabi, Mr. Mohammed clarified that the allegation must have emanated from political opportunists and agent provocateur among the All Progressives Congress.
He urged his detractors to “spare the nation this embarrassing conspiracy narrative that is domiciled in their party”.
Mohammed who in a statement explained that his mission to Saudi Arabia was to fulfill his religious obligations however called for sundry support for Osinbajo, stressing that the Acting President has already done so much in stabilizing the heated polity in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “I was not invited to such a meeting, if it held at all. And even if I had been invited I would not have attended for reasons that are all too obvious. My antecedents are so well established that to associate me with a clandestine parochial project aimed at subverting the constitution will negate everything that I stand for and cherish.
“No matter how anybody feels, it must be acknowledged that Yemi Osinbajo is today occupying the position of acting President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the grace of God. Therefore, political opportunists and agent provocateur especially those of his All Progressives Congress (APC) should spare the nation this embarrassing conspiracy narrative that is domiciled in their party.
“When tempers are flaring up dangerously and fear has become the order of the day, what is required is for all stakeholders, notwithstanding personal ambitions, party affiliation or sub-national interests, to join hands with the Acting President in stabilizing the ship of state.
“Unless we are being hypocritical, Professor Osinbajo is doing his best to bridge the leadership vacuum created by the absence of the President, a vacuum that has triggered all kinds of dangerous political permutations.
“The country’s leadership is expected to galvanize all stakeholders while the political class is expected to rally behind it to fashion a way out of the present crisis. I would want to say that Professor Osinbajo has demonstrated courage in the face of danger, commendable sobriety in spite of provocation and focus in the midst of distraction to the extent that, I am confident, President Buhari will be very proud of him. I make this comment with every sense of responsibility and without prejudice to my loyalty to my party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and my personal ambition and aspirations as a politician!”
The former FCT Minister who recalled his roles in a similar situation during the administration of former President Musa Yar’adua in 2010, stated that as a serving Senator then, he spearheaded the National Integrity Group (NIG) in the Senate that saw the emergence of the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President under the “Doctrine of Necessity”, asking why he would condescend so low now.
He reminded his opponents not to waste their time and resources, launching a campaign of calumny against his person and political ambition, saying he remained unshaken in the midst of adversities.
“Why would I then descend from that high moral pedestal, from the status of a statesman, to the nadir of political juvenility and rascality at a time that summons all patriots, to join forces to stabilize our tottering nation-state.
“Consequently, it is therefore axiomatic that, no amount of cheap blackmail, no level of persecution and no subterfuge by Sahara Reporters and its promoters will diminish my resolve to continue to play constructive and patriotic roles in serving the good people of Bauchi State and our dear country Nigeria.
“Like all false witnesses, God will cut them down at the point of their successes. In this regard, my faith in God remains unshaken and my commitment to a united Nigeria anchored on equity, justice and fair play as bedrocks of a true federation remain sacrosanct.
Mohammed therefore implored Nigerians not to stop praying that President Buhari should have good health and to grant Acting President Osinbajo wisdom needed to lead the country in the right direction till President comes back.
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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