The presidency said President will choose a new IGP who will make Nigeria safer
The presidency has reacted to agitations and calls from a section of the country for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the next Inspector-General of Police (IGP) from the southeast.
In a conversation with journalists on Monday, February 1, Garba Shehu, a presidential media aide, revealed the calibre of person the president will choose to succeed Mohammad Adamu, Bioreports News reports.
Shehu said President Buhari will not be driven by ethnic sentiments or affiliations in his choice of the next police chief, in line with what he did while picking the new service chiefs.
Rather, he said the president will only appoint someone who will ensure the security of Nigerians better than what has been recorded.
“I haven’t spoken with the President but if I read his mind correctly, the president would rather have an Inspector General of Police who would make you and I safer, who would protect lives and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks.”
Shehu added that Buhari will make the appointment upon his return from his home town, Daura in Katsina state.
Meanwhile, Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president, said the worsening insecurity in the country was responsible for the low patronage from foreign investors.
The former president made this disclosure on Sunday, January 31, during a virtual interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola.
Obasanjo said investors are being chased away and discouraged because of rising atrocities of dreaded militant group Boko Haram and banditry in the north.
He also stated that Nigeria, unlike many other countries in Africa, has chances “but squandered those opportunities” due to poor leadership and greed in the current government.
The Government of Katsina stated on Sunday that they were still on the search for 333 students from the attack.
The Presidency has denied reports that 333 students were abducted in the attack of Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State last week.
This was disclosed by Aide to the President, Garba Shehu, in an interview with BBC Hausa, reported by Punch.
“Based on the available record we have, we are still searching for 333 students through either the forest or their parents to ascertain the actual number that has been kidnapped,” Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina said.
“We are still counting because more are coming out from the forest and we are calling through the numbers those parents that have phone numbers to find out whether or not their children have gone back home.
“We as a government we are yet to be contacted by any group or person responsible for the kidnap of the students,” he added.
BBC Hausa revealed that the FG admitted that the students were abducted by gunmen; however, it claimed that only 10 students were left with the attackers, contradicting the earlier statement from the Governor of Katsina.
“The Government of Nigeria has said its security forces have surrounded the location where gunmen have kept schoolchildren abducted from a secondary school in Katsina State”
“Spokesman for the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, told the BBC only 10 children were remaining in the hands of the gunmen according to their colleagues who escaped from the gunmen. The number is below figures released by school authorities at the beginning. Garba Shehu said the school children who escaped said 10 of their friends were still with their abductors.”
The Presidency says the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has no moral ground to question President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption.
In a communique on Sunday, the Presidency through Mr. Garba Shehu said that the PDP which has been struggling to clear its name from alleged deals with the underworld in Dubai and the United States has, to its surprise, found the voice to attack the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration following the President’s endorsement of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s “dashing” candidate for the governorship election in Edo State.
The PDP had in an earlier statement noted that prior to endorsing Osagie Ize-Iyamu, President Buhari ought to have been aware that the APC candidate is standing trial for corruption.
According to the PDP, the President’s endorsement is a dent on the government’s war against corruption, a war which the PDP says has become a failure.
In his reply to the PDP, Mr Shehu said the party has forgotten its own history and antecedents.
He asked the PDP to first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Mohammed of Adamawa and Bauchi States respectively before it opens its mouth and talks on the efforts of the present administration in fighting corruption.
Mr. Shehu asked the PDP to either withdraw the governorship nomination aforementioned or else, it should “shut its mouth” forever and leave the Buhari-led administration to do what the opposition party dares not attempt.
He said both PDP governors were actually on bail from criminal trial on several counts of fraud and embezzlement.
Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, July 1, 2016 granted bail to the former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
He was charged on June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9 billion.
In the case of Bala Mohammed, the PDP Governor of Bauchi State, the EFCC, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, arraigned the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, before Justice A. M. Talba of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, on a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of N864 million.
“Bala, while in office as minister, allegedly received N550 million as bribe from Aso Savings and Loans Limited with respect to some properties in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
“He is said to have corruptly abused his position as Board Chairman of Aso Savings by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Government Houses, to himself.
“The former minister is also accused of making false declaration of his assets.”
Pastor Ize-Iyamu is being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo State and other leaders of the party in the state, Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
The presidential spokesman reminded the PDP that under the country‘s laws, only the courts can convict, adding that “A suspect remains a suspect until conviction. But, if in the view of the PDP, a suspect is guilty as charged, then they must show examples by withdrawing the nomination of their governors and the party’s numerous Senators and other legislators standing trial in various courts of the country.
“A party which 16 years in office destroyed the country’s economy and infrastructure has no moral authority to criticize the accelerated infrastructure development drive, largely drawing its energy from the Buhari anti-corruption campaign.
“A government that sees corruption in the past administration and sees corruption in its own administration, and fights it with equal gusto, cannot be placed on the same scale with those who, by their words and deeds said corruption is a way of life and Nigerians should learn to live with it.
“This clean-up drive by the President Buhari administration will only speed up with the ongoing investigations and trials.”
He insisted that the current administration’s cleansing exercise of the government, politics and economy in line with the zero tolerance for corruption, will not be distracted.
The Presidency on Tuesday said Nigeria exports power to neighbouring countries in order to prevent the damming of water that feeds the nation’s major power plants.
On Monday, a Nigerian newspaper, Punch, had published a report describing how Nigeria has continued to export electricity to other countries on credit while blackouts persist within its borders.
As a response to the report, the Presidency, via a statement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu, described the report as “hyperbolic and terribly misleading.”
The Presidency said the newspaper’s credit figures were “far from accurate, out-dated and therefore not reflective of the current reality.”
It also added that over 90 percent of the electricity generated in the country was distributed and consumed by Nigerians.
The Presidency revealed that as of the last review in 2019, the amount of indebtedness to Niger, Benin, and Togo stood at $69 million.
According to it, Niger owes $16 million and Benin, $4 million as of today, adding up to the naira equivalent of about N1.2 billion.
Read the full statement below:
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PUNCH’S INACCURATE REPORTING ON THE SALE OF POWER TO NEIGHBORING NATIONS NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED
It is most disappointing that sensationalism has dominated the thinking and ethos of institutions that citizens look up to with trust, confidence and reliability. Monday edition of the Punch checks all the boxes in terms of an abject failure to honour these time-tested traditions with its news piece: “NIGERIA EXPORTS USD81.48bn ELECTRICITY ON CREDIT AS COUNTRY’S BLACKOUT PERSISTS,” is, to say the least, hyperbolic and terribly misleading.
Apart from the fact that the figure quoted is far from accurate, out-dated and therefore not reflective of the current reality, the overall cost of power generated and sold by Nigeria in the period covered by the report is not anywhere close to what was mentioned by the paper.
The actual cost of electricity generated within the said timeframe (2018-2019) by all the electricity generation companies in Nigeria was about N1.2 trillion ($4 billion).
Over 90% of the electricity generated was distributed and consumed by consumers across the 11 electricity distribution companies in the country.
Power exported to Niger, Benin and Togo based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with the Government of Nigeria is on the basis that they would not dam the waters that feed our major power plants in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba.
As of the last review in 2019, the amount of indebtedness to all three customers stood at $69 million, subsequent upon which several payments were made to NBET. Much of this has been repaid by the debtor nations.
As of today, Niger owes only USD 16 million and Benin, USD 4 million, adding up to the Naira equivalent of about N1.2bn.
The essence of said bilateral agreements, by which we give them power and they do not build dams on the River Niger means that Nigeria and her brotherly neighbours had avoided the unfolding situation of the Nile River between the sovereign states of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
In the future, we advise the newspaper to seek clarity from the market operator which is the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. This process of fact-checking only improves your standing in the public arena.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, made this position known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
According to the presidential aide, several of these comments, disguised as objective criticisms, are merely speaking the language of the opposition- ”the people who ruined the country during their 16 years of corruption on an industrial scale.”
The statement read in part: ”As many detractors have done lately, these “influencers,” “celebrated columnists” and “editorial comments” do no more than endorse the opposition’s utterly wrong and fallacious position that the President is not in charge of his government.
”Sometimes, we are forced to wonder whether some writers are mindful of the implication of words for the strategic and territorial interests of the nation.
”An entrenched culture of dissent in our country is not something that anyone, not least a Buhari Presidency wants to stamp down.
”The fact that these baseless and appallingly mischievous attacks can freely be aired is itself evidence of the right to freedom of expression prevailing in the country today.
”Whether it is Ibrahim Magu, Godswill Akpabio, NDDC, NSITF and the others, Nigerians are bound to hold differing opinions, write letters, opinion columns, editorials and even stage lawful protests.
”What is sometimes worrisome is that several of these comments, disguised as objective criticisms are merely speaking the language of the opposition-the people who ruined the country during their 16 years of corruption on an industrial scale.
”These detractors pick up isolated issues like the ones in the EFCC, NDDC, and incidents of crime and corruption which have been with the country for years, and without any serious effort to uncover them, paint them a phenomena orchestrated and happening because President Buhari’s administration has decided to pursue cases of suspected wrongdoing in the anti-corruption agency, pension funds, NDDC and other government agencies.”
Shehu stated that the Buhari government was the first to point out the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by the EFCC leadership would cause the administration.
”The question to ask is: did they expect the President to draw a curtain over these suspected scandals by not ordering audits and investigations? And for them to turn around to accuse him of a cover up?
”To do a cover up and not order audits and investigations as the President did would amount to a historic betrayal of the mandate and the faith placed in him by the Nigerian people.”
He, therefore, maintained that President Buhari’s integrity, uprightness and probity are intact and well known.
”Let us remind these so-called editorial writers that ECOWAS, Africa Union and the international community at large recognised President Buhari as Champion of the Anti-Corruption fight in Africa.
According to him, Nigerians are convinced that Buhari is honest, and they voted for him as President against the background of corruption, public policy paralysis and growing menace of terrorists threatening to take over a sizable portion of the nation’s territory.
He further stated that in Buhari’s five years in office, there was not a single charge of corruption against his person.
”As the leader of the country, President Buhari fully understands and bears the full weight of the solemn oaths he swore to defend the nation’s constitution, its citizens and territory.
”Disinformation is not a viable option for opposition,” he added.
Shehu further stressed that the Buhari government had done nothing to warrant these criticisms.
”Under our laws, you are innocent until proven guilty: Investigation, trial then conviction. Not the other way round.
”To carry out investigations before condemnation or conviction should not be misconstrued as a weakness or a vacuum in leadership.
”The war against corruption is today at historic crossroads. This is the time all Nigerians should stand together to roll it back.
”President Buhari is determined not to be diverted by unfounded attacks, neither would he compromise the sacred mandate of Nigerians.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says the military is doing a good job and deserves the support of Nigerians.
On calls for the sacking of service chiefs, Shehu said those criticising the President did not have the kind of information that he had as regards security and thus could not pass informed commentaries.
Shehu said the reversals in the successes recorded against Boko Haram were being undermined by the Libyan crisis which led to the proliferation of small arms.
The President’s spokesman said this on Monday while reacting to calls for the removal of the service chiefs.
He said, “Our Armed Forces are doing an enormously good job, they are not sitting on their laurels but the challenges have mounted because of factors extraneous to the region and Nigerians should have an appreciation and be sympathetic and see that all of the things about the collapse of Libya is no fairytale.
“Europeans for their competing interests in Libya were dropping weapons into villages in Libya. A lot of these elements have found their way into ungoverned spaces in the Sahel. Could it be better with the sacking of the service chiefs? My sense is that the President as the commander-in-chief is not a novice in the first instance.
“He was a military commander, a military head of state and the latitude of opinions intellectual, security, military available to him is not available to most of the critics. So, it is wrong of them to interlope in a way and begin to speak on matters of which they do not have the competence to pass judgement. I hope I don’t seem arrogant but I am stating facts as they are.”