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Terrorists became powerful under President Jonathan’s tenure, says Presidency

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The administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has been criticised for entrenching terrorism into Nigeria by Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu. The Presidency spokesperson further said that this caused by Jonathan administration poor governance and incompetence.

Shehu said this on Monday while responding to a statement credited to a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), that the last administration cleared the North-East of Boko Haram terrorists to make election possible in the affected areas.

Dasuki, who is being tried for his roles in the alleged diversion of $2.1bn meant for arms procurement, stated that this in a foreword he wrote in a newly-published book, ‘Boko Haram Media War – An Encounter with the Spymaster,’ written by a media consultant and public relations professional, Yushau Shuaib.

But Shehu maintained that no amount of lies and fiction could change the fact that the last administration performed poorly in the fight against terrorism.

He said, “The truth, as a matter of fact, is that the monster of terrorism got bigger and more daring due to the incompetence and misgovernance of the last administration and no amount lies and fiction can change that.”

The presidential spokesman described the claim as another unfortunate attempt, “by inglorious Nigerians to rewrite the history of our country in such a way as to cover the sins of the past.”

Shehu also said that as a public relations goon for the former NSA, the author did not surprise anyone by dismissing the acclaimed successes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the fight against Boko Haram by claiming that the current government took the glory for the achievements of the previous government in the war against terrorism.

He added, “For those interested in the facts, as of the time elections were held in March 2015, a number of local government areas in North-East Nigeria were completely under the control of Boko Haram – to the extent that elections in those areas had to be moved to safe areas.

“Residents of areas such as Gwoza, Banki, Kukawa, Monguno, Bulumba, Baga, Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Mafa, etc., were able to vote, not in their hometowns but in refugee camps in other parts of Borno State under special arrangements made by INEC.

“Since the Buhari administration came into power, however, many of those residents have returned to their homes and Boko Haram eradicated from their areas.

“In many of these areas, institutions such as schools, police stations, markets and courts have been re-established or in the process of being re-established.

“Despite Mr. Dasuki’s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued our country’s military during the previous administration, when unserviceable weapons, expired ammunition and fake armoured vehicles caused untold grief to our valiant armed forces on the battlefield, with arms exploding willy-nilly and guns failing to fire.

“It is for trespasses like this that the Buhari administration is determined to get to the bottom of the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal and ensure that no single one of the culprits goes scot-free.”

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See list of new Ekiti commissioners appointed by Fayose

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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.
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Fayemi, Fasola, Ngige denies receiving pension from state govts as ex-govs

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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.

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Kogi Assembly speaker resigns over fear of impeachment

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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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