Moghalu: Illegal Fuel Subsidy Payment By Buhari’s Govt Shows Incompetence

Kingsley Moghalu, presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), says President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is deceitful and incompetent, owing to its continuous payment of petrol subsidy, The Cable reports.

Moghalu made this known in a statement issued by Jide Akintunde, his spokesman, on Wednesday.

He made reference to the alleged diversion of $1.05 billion from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC).

The senate has set up an ad hoc committee to probe the alleged diversion.

The YPP presidential candidate accused the federal government of breaking the law by not remitting the dividends into the federation’s consolidated revenue account.

By law, dividends from the nation’s 49% equity stake in NLNG should be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation where the money would be shared by the three tiers of government. The federal government is also required by law to secure budgetary approval from the National Assembly to fund its fiscal commitments, including petrol subsidy,” the statement read.

“But instead of obeying the relevant laws, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, through the NNPC, has been breaking the law by secretly diverting NLNG dividends to pay for petrol subsidy that was not budgeted for.

“According to various media reports, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, last week, told the Senate ad hoc committee investigating alleged $3.5 billion account kept by NNPC for petrol subsidy that only $1.05 billion has been taken from the NLNG dividends fund to defray the cost of “under-recovery” in the importation of fuel.

“The illegal payment of fuel subsidy shows the President Buhari administration is not transparent. His government is also deceitful and acting contrary to its claims of fighting corruption.

“The continuation of petrol subsidy secretly after 67% increase in the pump price of petrol by Buhari shows incompetence in economic management and political will to reform the petroleum industry.”

Moghalu said the sums diverted to the “fuel subsidy scam” could accomplish much in education, human capital development and police reform.

Listing his plans to reform the oil sector, he promised to abolish fuel subsidy in 2019, if elected president.

Senate In Rowdy Session Over ‘Politicisation’ Of Buhari’s Social Intervention Programme

There was a rowdy session at the Senate on Wednesday when Abiodun Olujimi, the senator representing Ekiti South at the National Assembly, accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of politicising its social intervention programme, Sahara Reporters reports.

Citing Orders 42 & 52, Olujimi, who is also the Senate Minorty Leader, brought “an urgent matter of the politicization of the Social Intervention Fund” before the Senate, saying beneficiaries were being asked to provide their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) number.

“The funds have been used for political reasons,” she said. “I have one such forms where your BVN number, PVC number, gender and account details must be written. I urge that an Ad-hoc Committee be set up to look into this issue.”

Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan stood up to counter Olujimi’s claims, but he was resisted by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, who, led by Dino Melaye, the Kogi West senator, raised their voices.

The rowdiness lasted several minutes, with Lawan unable to speak until the situation mellowed.

Eventually, the Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter.

It also mandated committee to investigate the implementation of Goodluck Jonathan’s Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) as well.

Respect Rivers Traditional Rulers, Uchendu Advises Wike

The senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Andrew Uchendu has advised Governor Nyesom Wike not to treat traditional rulers in the state with contempt but with decorum, respect and honour.

Uchendu, Acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement, gave this advice on Tuesday in a statement by his media aide, Solomon Okocha in Port Harcourt, while reacting to comments made by Governor Wike during the 108 and 109 General Session of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.

Wike, at the 108 and 109 general sessions of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, on Monday warned traditional rulers in Rivers State to desist from what he described as involvement in politics, saying he would not hesitate to move against any monarch found to be partisan.

Said Uchendu: “First, let me congratulate the most respectable traditional custodians of our rich heritage for successfully hosting the council’s general session in Port Harcourt. It gives me great joy to know that our traditional institution is still waxing strong.

“I am, however, deeply saddened that Governor Wike, just to exert undue political influence, adopted the archaic tactics of intimidation and harassment and treated our revered royal fathers like a football, by publicly threatening to dethrone them as though they were merely his political appointees, whom he could hire and fire at will, thereby desecrating our culture.

“This is clearly an affront to our respected traditional institution and we will not take it lightly. Wike should learn to treat our traditional rulers with decorum, respect and honour, especially in the public space. They are not his aides, rather they are rulers of various traditional kingdoms, and as such, they deserve to be treated with utmost dignity and not contempt.

“He should remember his age and be humble while talking to our traditional rulers and elders of our land. His duty is to preserve and protect them at all times. He should remember that the traditional institution has been in existence long before he became governor and it will still be here after he leaves office.

“Wike should go and study the history of the people of the Niger Delta, especially the ancient and great Benin Empire, and he will see how the traditional institution cut down the excesses of the colonial masters during the dark days.”

The federal lawmaker urged traditional rulers to be vigilant and reject intimidation from any politician, stressing that they should guard the sanctity of their traditional stools against political manipulations.

“”It is good enough that Governor Wike said our traditional rulers should remain apolitical, but to go ahead and dictate whom they should see or not, in an attempt to restrict communication between them and their subjects or any other individual, is to treat our royal fathers, our culture with the highest level of disrespect. In view of this, Wike should immediately tender an unreserved apology to our traditional rulers and the people of Rivers State.

“The governor cannot choose for our traditional rulers whom they should interact with, because they are expected at all times to render advice across the board, whether in party A or party B, no matter whose ox is gored.

“Our traditional rulers must carry out their traditional functions without fear or favour by consciously and consistently rejecting any form of intimidation from any politician, no matter how highly placed, and in so doing protect the sacredness of the traditional stools which they occupy. And as the saying goes, may our Royal Majesties, live forever!” Uchendu declared.

Secondus, Saraki: Why Atiku Must Emerge President In 2019

Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Senate President Bukola Saraki say Atiku Abubakar must be elected president to save Nigeria’s democracy, The Cable reports.

Both men spoke in Abuja when they inspected the party’s presidential campaign office in Maitama on Tuesday.

The senate president was accompanied on the inspection of the campaign office by members of the national working committee (NWC) and other stakeholders of the party.

Saraki is the director general of Atiku presidential campaign committee.

Secondus said the “rebranded and repositioned” party is ready to go to Nigerians with issues when the campaign begins.

According to a statement from his media office, Secondus said the party hopes to have a successful electioneering just like its recently-completed primaries.

On his part, Saraki said everything is set for the party to conduct one of the best presidential campaigns in the history of Nigeria.

He added that Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the party to commence its campaign.

Ekweremadu’s Home Incident ‘Is Burglary’ Four Policemen Held

The Police declared yesterday’s security incident at the home of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu as burglary and not an assassination attempt, The Nation reports.

Giving an initial report of its investigation into the alleged assassination attempt on Ekweremadu, police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said four policemen, who were on duty at the time of the invasion of his home by the gunman, had been arrested.

A member of the Civil Defence Corp on duty there is also under arrest, he added.

The police said investigation revealed that the suspects burgled another house before getting to Ekweremadu’s home.

Also arrested is one Mohammed Yusuf from Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State. Another person simply identified as Ali had been declared wanted by the police in connection with the incident.

Moshood listed the items recovered from the suspect as including motor jack, big screw driver, big rod, a small kitchen knife and other house-breaking implements.

Okorocha Sues IGP, EFCC, Demands N1bn in Damages Over Home Invasion

Rochas Okorocha, Imo governor, has sued Ibrahim Idris, the inspector-general of police (IGP), over an alleged breach of his fundamental human rights in respect to the “ransacking” of his house in Jos, The Cable reports.

The governor, who filed his case before justice Musa Kurya of the Jos federal high court, is demanding N1.25 billion as general damages for the action.

Joined in the suit are Plateau commissioner of police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice.

Okorocha, through his counsel, Markus Saleh (SAN), had told the court that on May 3, the respondents had invaded his home in Jos and held his family members and staff hostage in a search conducted without any court warrant.

He prayed the court to declare the action as “illegal, https:\\/\\/ and void” as there was no valid court warrant for such an exercise.

Okorocha also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further doing anything as such in his homes across the country.

He further sought for an order declaring that only the Imo house of assembly had the constitutional rights and power to supervise, monitor, legislate, appropriate and demand accounting of public funds of the state from him.

He asked the court to order the respondents to pay him the N1 billion as general damages and N25 million as cost of instituting the case.

The case has been adjourned to January 24 for the adoption of final written addresses by all parties in the case.

I’m Depressed By Killings In Nigeria, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is distressed and depressed by the killings in the country while appealing to Nigerians to learn to live together in peace and harmony, CHANNELS TELEVISION reports.

The President stated this on Tuesday when he received leaders of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) at State House, led by Rev Dr Dachollom Datiri.

President Buhari urged religious, community and traditional leaders to do more in promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians at different walks of life.

As an organised institution (COCIN), I have no reason to doubt your report on the atrocities being committed in your communities including the killing of Idris Alkali, a retired Major-General, the dumping of his car into a pond and the body of the deceased thrown into a disused well.

”The communities (in Plateau) have lived long enough to know that there is nothing they can do without each other than to live together in harmony.

“As leaders, we must persuade the upcoming generation, using every channel particularly the educational institutions, to live together with our neighbours.”

The President underscored the important roles religious leaders play in engendering peace.

He lauded the exemplary role of the Imam in Plateau State who risked his life to save hundreds of Christian families fleeing attacks in June.

“It is not all Muslims that are against Christians and neither are all Christians against Muslims, he said.

Buhari assured the Christian delegation that he will continue to exert pressure on the Nigeria Police Force to do the needful in protecting lives and property.

FG to Engage US National Guard to Battle Insecurity

As part of effort to curb the wave of insecurity in the country, the Federal Government has resolved to engage the California National Guards in the United States, Vanguard News reports.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, disclosed this Tuesday in Abuja when an American military led by Gen David Baldwin, paid him a courtesy visit.

Dambazau revealed that the National Guard would also train the Agro Rangers Squad of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, adding that the National Guard will also train other agencies under the ministry in disaster management.

The Adjutant General of the California National Guard Maj Gen David Baldwin led Army delegates to pay a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai to spur the relationship between the two military institutions to greater level.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Baldwin, said: “We are very proud of the progressives you have made in the service of humanity. There has been a strong relationship between the ministry and the US National Guard.

We are here to explore other areas of partnership that will be of mutual benefit and to the people of Nigeria. We are interesting in the training of personnel especially those involved in the fight against insurgency and disaster management.

“We are here to dialogue and explore opportunities we can work together particularly in the areas of ICT and disaster response. We look forward to working with you,” he said.