President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja met behind closed doors with Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu and the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, at the Presidential Villa.
The President’s Special Adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement at the end of the meeting, quoted President Buhari to have reiterated his administration’s resolve to engender a free, fair and credible electoral process.
INEC has a minimum of 28 rerun and by-elections this January alone, and President Buhari told the commission to ensure that the game was played by the rules, without fear or favour.
He said: “Those that you declare as winners must be the candidates that the people have chosen.
“Democracy is about free will, and the will of the people must be allowed to prevail. Get your acts right, and leave no room for underhand tricks or manipulation.”
The President said he was determined to give Nigeria an electoral system that meets with best practices anywhere in the world, and charged the electoral umpire to stick to the rules of fair play and adherence to justice.
From the police, President Buhari demanded nothing than a scrupulous securing of the electoral process, without bias or favouritism.
“Our elections must be done in violence-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent, devoid of intimidation or malpractices.
“It is the duty of the police to accomplish that, and it is what I expect in the elections immediately ahead, and going forward,” he said.
Both INEC and the police pledged a fidelity to the rules and regulations, stating that they know President Buhari as someone passionately committed to fair play.
Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday felicitated with United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, on the World Leader Prize at the inaugural Global Citizen award ceremony held in London.
The President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja, congratulated Mohammed for the recognition of her efforts to make life better for the poor and underprivileged across the globe, starting with her passion for helping the less privileged in Nigeria.
President Buhari extolled the UN Deputy Secretary General, a former Minister of Environment, for her contributions to global development, and relentless priming of world leaders to work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and end extreme poverty by 2030.
According to him, as the world celebrates Mohammed’s zeal and commitment to improving lives through the UN goals, her wealth of experience, wisdom and the network garnered from many years of national and international service to humanity will always be relevant for the time and posterity.
President Buhari wished the United Nations Deputy Secretary General more prosperous years of achievements.
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of Pa Adama Aduku, the oldest surviving soldier of the Nigerian Army and World War II veteran, who passed on at 101.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday, the president described Aduku as ”a soldier’s soldier and an epitome of honour”.
The president commiserated with friends and associates of the war veteran and Kogi government on the loss, believing that the virtues of hard work and loyalty to the flag that he lived for would continue to be promoted.
He also commended Aduku’s strong spirit and commitment to statehood, especially for actively participating in the 2019 Nigerian Army Day celebration and other activities of the Nigerian Legion.
The president prayed that the almighty God would receive the soul of the departed and comfort his family.
(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Prof. Theophilus Princewill, Natural Ruler of Kalabari Kingdom, Rivers State, on the occasion of his 90th birthday on Jan. 4, 2020.
The president’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday.
President Buhari said in a letter to King Princewill: “As Your Majesty attains the grand age of 90, I join you and the people of Kalabari Kingdom to celebrate and thank God for a life well spent, particularly in the service of your people and Community Development.”
He prayed for God’s protection and prosperity of the Kingdom and people of Kalabari under His Majesty’s leadership.
The president also wished the nonagenarian Natural Ruler longer life and continued good health.
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his intention not to contest the 2023 presidential elections but determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Nigeria News Agency reports that several ECOWAS members will be going to the polls in 2020.
Buhari made his feelings known in a letter to Nigerians issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday to mark the commencement of 2020.
He said his decision to help strengthen the electoral process, particularly in Nigeria, was informed by the frustrations the nation’s electoral system had triggered.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy.
“I salute the commitment of the millions who voted in peace last February and of those leaders who contested for office vigorously but fairly, submitting to the authority of the electorate, the Independent National Electoral Commission and judicial process.
“I understand very well the frustrations our system has in the past triggered. I will be standing down in 2023 and will not be available in any future elections.
“But I am determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across the region, where several ECOWAS members go to the polls this year,’’ he said.
On security, the president said: “As Commander-in-Chief, my primary concern is the security of the nation and the safety of our citizens.
“When I assumed office in May 2015 my first task was to rally our neighbours so that we could confront Boko Haram on a coordinated regional basis. Chaos is not a neighbour any of us hope for.
“We have been fighting on several fronts: violent extremists, cultists and organised criminal networks. It has not been easy.
“But as we are winning the war, we also look to the challenge of winning the peace, the reconstruction of lives, communities and markets.’’
According to the president, the North East Development Commission will work with local and international stakeholders to help create a new beginning for the region.
He also expressed government’s readiness to continue to work with State Governors, neighbouring countries and the international partners to tackle the root causes of violent extremism and the networks that help finance and organise terror.
“Our security forces will receive the best training and modern weaponry, and in turn will be held to the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights.
“We will use all the human and emerging technological resources available to tackle kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery.
“The new Ministry of Police Affairs increased recruitment of officers and the security reforms being introduced will build on what we are already delivering.
“We will work tirelessly at home and with our allies in support of our policies to protect the security of life and property,’’ he added.
Buhari maintained that his administration’s actions would be governed by the rule of law as well as engagement with well-meaning leaders and citizens to promote dialogue, partnership and understanding.
“We need a democratic government that can guarantee peace and security to realise the full potential of our ingenious, entrepreneurial and hard-working people.
“Our policies are designed to promote genuine, balanced growth that delivers jobs and rewards industry.
“Our new Economic Advisory Council brings together respected and independent thinkers to advise me on a strategy that champions inclusive and balanced growth and above all fight poverty and safeguard national economic interests.
“As we have sat down to celebrate with friends and family over this holiday season, for the first time in a generation our food plates have not all been filled with imports of products we know can easily be produced here at home,’’ he said.
He also noted that the nation’s revolution in agriculture had become a reality in all corners of the country.
The president expressed the hope that the new agreements with Morocco, Russia and others would help access on attractive terms the inputs the country needed to accelerate the transformation in farming.
“A good example of commitment to this inclusive growth is the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the creation of the National Action Committee to oversee its implementation and ensure the necessary safeguards are in place to allow us to fully capitalise on regional and continental markets.
“The joint land border security exercise currently taking place is meant to safeguard Nigeria’s economy and security. No one can doubt that we have been good neighbours and good citizens.
“We have been the helpers and shock-absorbers of the sub-region but we cannot allow our well-planned economic regeneration to be sabotaged.
“As soon as we are satisfied that the safeguards are adequate, normal cross-border movements will be resumed,’’ he added.
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will create new opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and other long neglected sectors to address the challenges of poverty among Nigerians in 2020.
The president stated this in a letter addressed to Nigerians, released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, to mark the beginning of 2020.
He maintained that his administration in 2020 would also realise increased value from oil and gas, delivering a more competitive, attractive and profitable industry, operating on commercial principles and free from political interference.
He said: “Just last week, we were able to approve a fair framework for the 10 billion dollars expansion of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, which will increase exports by 35 per cent, restore our position as a world leader in the sector and create thousands of jobs.
“The Amendment of the Deep Offshore Act in October signaled our intention to create a modern, forward-looking industry in Nigeria.
“I am confident that in 2020 we will be able to present a radical programme of reform for oil and gas that will excite investors, improve governance and strengthen protections for host communities and the environment.
“We can expect the pace of change in technology only to accelerate in the decade ahead. Coupled with our young and vibrant population, this offers huge opportunities if we are able to harness the most productive trends and tame some of the wilder elements.
“This is a delicate balance with which many countries are struggling. We are seeking an informed and mature debate that reflects our rights and responsibilities as citizens in shaping the boundaries of how best to allow technology to benefit Nigeria.’’
On the economy, Buhari disclosed that the government was making key infrastructure investments to enhance the ease of doing business.
“On transportation, we are making significant progress on key roads such as the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos – Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja – Kano highway. 2020 will also see tangible progress on the Lagos to Kano Rail line.
“Through Executive Order 007, we are also using alternative funding programmes in collaboration with private sector partners to fix strategic roads such as the Apapa-Oworonshoki Express way,’’ he said.
He revealed that Abuja and Port Harcourt have new international airport terminals, as will Kano and Lagos in 2020, saying when completed, all the projects would positively impact business operations in the country.
“These projects are not small and do not come without some temporary disruption; we are doing now what should have been done a long time ago.
“I thank you for your patience and look forward to the dividends that we and future generations will long enjoy.’’
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
President Muhammadu Buhari Buhari on Wednesday pledged new reforms in the nation’s education, healthcare and water sanitation.
Buhari also promised that workers would have a living wage while pensioners would be looked after in a letter addressedto Nigerians to usher in 2020 and a new decade.
The president made the promise in a letter he issued through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Buhari also reiterated the commitment of his administration to lay the enduring foundations for taking 100 million Nigerians out of mass poverty over the next 10 years.
“Today I restate that commitment. We shall continue reforms in education, healthcare and water sanitation. I have met international partners such as GAVI, the vaccine alliance, and the Bill and elinda Gates Foundation who support our social welfare programmes.
“I will continue to work with State and Local Governments to make sure that these partnerships deliver as they should. Workers will have a living wage and pensioners will be looked after.
“We are steadily clearing pensions and benefits arrears neglected for so long,’’ he said.
The president stated that the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development would consolidate and build on the social intervention schemes.
He said it would also enhance the checks and balances necessary for this set of programmes to succeed for the long term.
He noted that the journey had already begun with the passage and signing into law of the 2020 Appropriation Act.
“As the new decade dawns, we are ready to hit the ground running.
“Let me pay tribute to the Ninth National Assembly who worked uncommonly long hours to make sure that the 2020 budget scrutiny is both thorough and timely.
“The close harmony between the Executive and Legislature is a sharp contrast to what we have experienced in the recent past, when the Senate kept the previous budget for seven months without good reason just to score cheap political points thereby disrupting the budgetary processes and overall economic development plans.’’
On power, Buhari stated that his administration had engaged extensively with stakeholders to develop a series of comprehensive solutions to improve the reliability and availability of electricity across the country.
He said that the administration had identified solutions to help separate parts of the value chain to work better together.
These solutions, according to him, include ensuring fiscal sustainability for the sector, increasing both government and private sector investments in the power transmission and distribution segments, improving payment transparency through the deployment of smart meters and ensuring regulatory actions maximise service delivery
“We have in place a new deal with Siemens, supported by the German government after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited us in Abuja, to invest in new capacity for generation, transmission and distribution.
“These projects will be under close scrutiny and transparency – there will be no more extravagant claims that end only in waste, theft and mismanagement.
“The next 12 months will witness the gradual implementation of these actions, after which Nigerians can expect to see significant improvement in electricity service supply reliability and delivery.
“Separately, we have plans to increase domestic gas consumption. In the first quarter of 2020, we will commence work on the AKK gas pipeline, OB3 Gas pipeline and the expansion of the Escravos – Lagos Pipeline,’’ he said.
Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
President Muhammadu Buhari has enjoined Nigerians to be tolerant, law abiding and peace loving as the nation enters a decade of “prosperity and promise for Nigeria and for Africa’’.
“This is a new year and the beginning of a new decade – the Nigerian Decade of prosperity and promise for Nigeria and for Africa,’’ the president said in a letter to Nigerians to mark the beginning of 2020.
The letter was released by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Nigerian leader attributed the successes recorded by his administration to the support of Nigerians.
“This is a joint initiative. Where our policies have worked best, it has been because of the support of ordinary Nigerians in their millions, numbers that even the most powerful of special interests cannot defy. I thank you for your support.
“Transition by its very nature carries with it change and some uncertainty along the way,’’ he added.
According to him, his administration’s policies are working and the results will continue to show themselves more clearly by the day.
He said: “Nigeria is the most tremendous, can-do market, offering extraordinary opportunities and returns. Investors can look forward with confidence not only to an increasing momentum of change but also to specific incentives, including our new visa-on-arrival policy.’’
On the ongoing crusade against corruption in the country, the president reiterated the determination of his administration to fight all forms of corrupt practices to a standstill
“They can also be certain of our unshakeable commitment to tackle corruption.
“As we create an environment that allows initiative, enterprise and hard work to thrive, it is more important than ever to call out those who find the rule of law an inconvenience, or independent regulation an irritation.
“We are doing our part here in Nigeria. We will continue to press our partners abroad to help with the supply side of corruption and have received some encouragement.
“We expect more funds stolen in the past to be returned to us and they will be ploughed back into development with all due transparency,’’ he said.
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the pioneer General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, Rev. Joseph Akinyele Omoyajowo, as he turns 85 on Dec 31.
The President’s congratulatory message was conveyed in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday.
Buhari saluted the commitment, hard work and doggedness that saw Omoyajowo through many milestones in life.
Omoyajowo was a trained teacher, a graduate of Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan, a lecturer in the same institution, and ultimately a professor at the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
The President commended the adept way Omoyajowo combined academics with service in ”God’s vineyard, blending deep piety with teaching and research, and excelling in both.”
Buhari wished the retired cleric and university don good health, sound mind and continued strength, to be of further service to God and humanity.
Edited by: Isaac Aregbesola
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the media, particularly the adverstisng industry, in felicitating with foremost advertising practitioner and Chairman of Troyka Holdings, Biodun Sobanjo, on his 75th birthday.
The president congratulated the marketing communications consultant for many years of lofty achievements, recognitions and awards, following his investments in an integral part of the economy that had created jobs.
In a congratulatory message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the president noted that Sobanjo had equipped many with skills for start-ups and attracted the global spotlight.
He felicitated with friends, family members and professional associates of Sobanjo, who carefully and painstakingly explored advertising as a profession and business, and diligently mentored many to follow his steps by creating a learning hub and supporting academic institutions with ideas and facilities.
The president believed that Sobanjo’s wealth of experience and knowledge would continue to ”inspire more people into entrepreneurship, especially in the creative industry which has turned more dynamic and vibrant with many opportunies for the adventurous”.
Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant the advertising expert longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep investing in the country and her citizens.
Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola