The leadership of New Nigeria Collective (NNC), a non- government, non-profit making organisation, yesterday, at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, reviewed the state of the nation, coming at a time the federal government marked its fifth year in office and the first of the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The NNC noted without biases, the weight of the challenges that are currently besetting governments at all levels in the country and concluded that while the room for improvements and inexcusable delivery of promises palpably points to itself, it has not been a poor journey after all, especially, if the situations in other climes are factored into account side-by-side with the current global health challenge, the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was against this backdrop and the growing malcontents amongst a majority of Nigerians, that the NNC objectively dissected the Buhari administration and clearly pointed out THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY markers that have become the talking points in the last five years.
The NNC also noted without reservation that its resolve to look at the last five years of the administration in totality as against the last one year was borne out of the reality that countries have been challenged significantly by Covid-19 in the last few months, some dating back to late last year.To that extent, no genuine assessment could be based on the last one year of the administration, when evidently something else had taken attention away from the familiar good governance and the development of the nation. It’s therefore safe for both the government and the people to look at the administration holistically.
Thus, the NNC, at its NEC observed the following:
1. That the response of the Government to the Covid-19 pandemic has been commendable, particularly its successful handling of the same contrary to some of the predictions of doom and gloom by both the local and international observers/experts.
The NNC alo noted with a sense of appreciation and motivation, the dedication, commitment and honesty of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who as the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, has led the nation thus far and successfully so. Mr. Mustapha is a positive example of a public servant.
2. That the recent reductions in the pump prices of petroleum products by the administration three times in a row following the slump in the global price of crude oil was a good move, which spoke to the sensitivity of the government to the plight of the people.
The NNC equally commended the recent removal of subsidy from petroleum products as a result of the changing global indices, despite its dwindling fortunes.
4. That the NNC recalled that upon resumption of office of the administration, the economy was plunged into recession but that through conscious, critical and tough choices, as well as positive thinking, the administration survived and crawled out of recession and consequently, stabilised the economy.
5. That the NNC collectively stated that whilst the administration might not have achieved much in terms of economic gains, it sure has put the nation on a better pedestal as far as infrastructure development is concerned in spite of earning less compared to the previous administrations.
The NNC alluded to the nationwide railway construction, the 2nd Niger Bridge, repairs and conspicuous rehabilitation of major expressways in the six geopolitical zones as well as the evident developments in the aviation sector.
6. That the NNC commended the recent financial autonomy granted state Houses of Assemblies and the Judiciary. This, the NNC, contended would go a long way in charting a completely different path, not only for the present crop of office holders, but for democracy to thrive better.
7. That the NNC applauded the synergy amongst the three arms of government. Unlike what obtained in the past, the three arms of government not only work together now, they are consistently looking in the same directions in nation’s interest, notwithstanding some of the misgivings that have attended this rare camaraderie.
8. That the NNC further noted the recent financial autonomy granted local government administrations in the country, thus liberating them from the claws and undue interference from state governments.
9. That the NNC took judicial notice of the repeated bailouts of states in financial distress. That the Ministry of Budget and Planning, with the cooperation of the National Assembly, has successfully returned the budget to the January to December cycle is worthy of note, as it now allows for prompt response and planning by those whose activities are directly and indirectly affected by the budget.
10. That the NNC described the developments in the Agriculture sector as mind-blowing, noting also that the school feeding programme of the government is a plus that cannot be shoved aside. That for the first time in the history of the nation, people now consume locally produced goods, while local farmers now have gains through government initiatives in agriculture.
However, while pondering some of the downsides of the administration in the last five years, the NNC noted as follow:
1. That the government must address the allegation of lack of transparency in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. That it would be irresponsible to let it slide.
2. That the government should be wary of its constant borrowings for projects that do not have commercial values or that can adequately guarantee a smooth repayment plan, including the cost of servicing the loans.
3. That the NNC noted with disappointment, the constant rivalry amongst some of the inter-governmental agencies, citing the recent drama that attended a disagreement between the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami and the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa. The development, it said, was reprehensible.
4. That the NNC noted the unceasing insecurity, particularly, the unabated killings in the northern part of the country. While noting the efforts of the security agencies to stem the tide, NNC noted that the situation requires more deliberate actions to stamp the scourge out of the system.
5. That the NNC observed as a low point in the life of the administration, the seeming redundancy of Vice President Yemi Osibajo. The NNC is of the view that the vice-president has a lot to offer and should be deployed to better use. The group also alluded to the alleged nepotism of the administration and advised an appointment spread that typifies Nigeria’s differences as a social entity.
6. That the NNC recognised some of the frustrations and disappointments of the people on some of the actions and inactions of the administration. It, however, solicited support for the government since its failure or success is a brunt that all would bear at the end of the day.
Oyetola To Aregbesola: We’re Proud Of You, You Performed Well As Gov, You’re Doing Well As Minister; Those Calling For Nigeria Break-up Ignorant, Says Aregbe
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola has stated that the state is proud of its former Governor and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Oyetola spoke in Ilesa on Saturday, 5 June, 2021 at an event marking the 64th birthday celebration of the Minister.
He noted that the former Governor of the state performed very well while ruling the state and still performing as the Minister Of Interior.
Oyetola who was represented at the event by the state Commissioner for Political Affairs and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr Taiwo Akeju, said: “You performed very well in the State of Osun and you are performing well as the Minister of Interior. We are very proud of you.”
The events celebrating the 64th birthday of the Minister included the presentation of a book titled “The Rauf I Know “, written by a journalist, Mr Dayo Olanipekun. Mr Olanipekun covered him as state house correspondent for the Broadcasting Corporation of Osun State (OSBC) in his two terms as governor.
Speaking later, Ogbeni Aregbesola warned that it would take 50 years for Nigeria to recover from another civil war.
He therfore warned Nigerians to desist from any act capable of threatening Nigeria’s unity, describing those calling for the separation of the country as ignorant.
Ogbeni Aregbesola said: “Those calling for Nigeria’s break-up are ignorant. Every Nigerian should work for Nigeria’s unity and development.
“It will take Nigeria 50 years to recover from civil war. Whoever likes women and children should not support, but rather condemn any call of separation and conduct capable of threatening Nigeria’s unity.
“Nigeria is a country created by God for us and for the black race.
“I am not saying everything that is happening in Nigeria is good. We should treat the problems and challenges facing Nigerians, not calling for her break-up. Decapitation is not the antidote for headache”.
Aregbesola also declared support for a new caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), The Osun Progressives (TOP), saying that he is in support of any move to consolidate progressives legacies in the State of Osun, strengthen the party from the polling units, wards and local government levels and strengthen internal democracy in the party, which are clearly stated in the objectives and mission of TOP.
In his address, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, said that Aregbesola’s legacy in the development of the State will forever linger in the sands of time.
The Ooni of Ife who spoke via Zoom noted that the State of Osun and its people cannot forget Aregbesola as his achievements are beyond what anyone can rubbish.
“We will forever remember him. Your work will never cease to reflect in the sands of time. It is during his tenure that landmark achievements occurred in Osun which we cannot forget.
“We can never forget you. Your achievements are beyond what anyone can rubbish. We are proud of you and what you represent.”
The Registrar of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who delivered a lecture titled “Power is responsibility” at the event, urged Nigerian political leaders to be responsible with power.
Oloyede who was represented by Dr Wahab Oyedokun, tasked politicians to operate with ideology that address people’s yearnings.
Speaking at the event, Chief Mrs Tokunbo-Awolowo Dosumu, daughter of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, said Aregbesola is among the few Nigerian politicians that identify with and promote Awolowo’s legacy.
According to Dosumu, Aregbesola has always been committed to all the activities of Awolowo Foundation, describing him as an exemplary leader.
Politicians, traditional rulers, trade union groups and people from all walks of life from the state and across the country graced the occasion, while others spoke via zoom.
Reps to Buhari, Declare state of emergency on security now
The House of Representatives has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security, as a result of the consistent attacks that have made many to abandoned their homes to avoid falling victim of death, kidnapping, rape etc.
According to sources, the House held a record three-hour executive (closed-door) session that lasted three hours on Tuesday, from where the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions.
Emerging from the meeting, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out the resolutions part of which the House condemned the attacks on security personnel and formations around the country and sympathised with families of victims.
The House reiterated its commitment to ensuring that country is secured, while announcing its resolve to organise a secial security summit, and invite the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); the service chiefs, heads of paramilitary agencies and NIGCOMSAT.
The House also resolved that “The President should immediately declare emergency on security sector,” while calling on the judiciary to accelerate trial of suspected terrorists, bandits and others criminals.
“The President should as a matter of urgency ensure financial autonomy for local governments,” the lawmakers said, while calling on the Federal Government to ensure protection of national infrastructure across the country.
While asking all security committees to immediately audit arms and ammunition of security agencies within four weeks, the House stated that “the number of personnel in police and military fall far short to effectively secure the country,” calling for an immediate recruitment of operatives.
Ondo orders ex-deputy governor to return all vehicles
The Ondo State Government on Wednesday ordered former deputy governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi to return the remaining two vehicles out of the initial four that was in his possession.
Meanwhile, Ajayi insisted that there were only two vehicles in his possession and he is ready to return the two vehicles for peace to reign.
But the state government insisted that there were four vehicles with him and he should return the remaining two.
According to the statement made available to Journalists by the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale.
The statement disclosed that Odebowale asked the former deputy governor to return the two vehicles or be ready to face the consequence.
It was revealed that the four vehicles belonging to the government with Mr Ajayi are a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV (new), two Hilux vans (new) and Toyota Hilux (fairly used).
Odebowale said, “It is laughable to read from Mr Ajayi that he has chosen to return two vehicles as an act of magnanimity.
“Returning properties converted is not an act of sacrifice or statesmanship. The alternative will be to confront a gruelling criminal trial for stealing.”
While saying that the former deputy governor should not have left office with government’s vehicles, he added “Mr Ajayi should do the needful or be ready for the consequences.”
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