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Criticize fairly, Buhari appeals to Nigerian elite

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By Abdullahi Muhammed, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians, especially the elite, to be fair in their criticism of his administration.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja when he received in audience Reverend Yakubu Pam, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, the president said: “Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.

“We had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. This is what I hope the elite, when they want to criticise will use to compare notes.

”On the security situation especially in the Northeast, the said: “What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe. What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now?


“Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems,  but they know the difference  because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja). We were not spared of the attacks at a time. The government is doing its best and I hope that eventually, our best will be good enough.

”The president also assured that the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was paramount on the agenda of his government.“The people in IDP camps, the weak, aged, I feel sorry for the young because this is the time they are supposed to get education. We must not allow this time to pass because it will never be regained. So we are really interested in what is happening there and we are doing our best,” he said.

He commended the Executive Secretary on his appointment and activities on peace building around the country despite his short time in the saddle and assured him of the listening ear of the government whenever he had contributions to make.

In his remarks, Reverend Pam had intimated the president with some of the activities of the commission since he was appointed in July 2020 including organisation of Peace Summit on Southern Kaduna and  peace building efforts in Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states.


He said the commission has proposed to host Christian religious leaders in a summit to help douse tension within the polity, among other plans.


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Mothers get 6 months maternity leave in APC-controlled states

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The Secretaries to State Governments controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) has agreed to implementing the recommendation to prioritise granting 180 days (6 months) maternity leave for nursing mothers in all the APC states.

The decision was part of the resolutions taken after a virtual meeting under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) with the theme ‘Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Maternal & Child Nutrition Promotion in APC States.’

The objective was to consider and approve the implementation framework for promotion of maternal and child nutrition in APC states.

In a communique signed Monday in Abuja by the Secretary to the State Government, Jigawa state, Alhaji Adamu Fanini​​​​ and his Plateau state counterpart, Prof. Danladi Atu, said the meeting agreed that APC controlled states commit themselves to promoting essential nutrient fortified foods and supplements for children under the ages of 5 and nursing mothers.

According to the statement, the Co-Chairmen of PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee, governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau state, declared the meeting open, while Mohammed Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa state, declared the meeting closed. 


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Buhari: Osinbajo reliable and dedicated

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President Muhammadu Buhari has described Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as “a reliable and dedicated deputy who is not only admirably competent, but also exudes confidence and passion in the performance of his job.”, his spokesman, Garba Shehu quoted the president to have said.

In a message to celebrate the Vice President on his 64th birthday Monday March 8, President Buhari said “I’m proud to have selected Osinbajo as my running mate and he has given a good account of himself since our journey began in 2015.”

According to the President, “the Vice President is a cool-headed gentleman who puts the interest of Nigeria above other narrow considerations.”

President Buhari also noted that “Vice President Osinbajo is an incredibly patient politician who demonstrates remarkable intellectual and mental energy in the discharge of his duties.”

He wished him many more prosperous years and Almighty God’s continued guidance.


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How food blockade would have destabilized Nigeria-Gov. Bello

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speaks on his presidential ambition


Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has revealed how his intervention staved off a brewing crisis between the North and South; an imminent crisis capable of destabilizing the country. He also spoke on his presidential ambition, which he said is gathering momentum and on the controversial issue of zoning.


The governor said this at an interactive session with editors in Abuja at the weekend, revealing how the peace deal brokered by him did not go down with some people. “I was not invited to broker the peace deal, which invariably has saved the country from a near civil war. I intervened because of the tension that was building up in the North due to killing of some traders and destruction of their means of livelihood in the South. The Northern youth calmed down and food supply to the South was restored”.


In the aftermath of the Shasa killing of Hausa traders, and the resolve of Hausa traders to stop the supply of food to the South, tension had been building up before the governor’s intervention.


Governor Bello who said his action was backed by the presidency, also revealed that a few people from the Villa and among his colleagues were not happy with the outcome of his intervention, which in any case calmed frayed nerves.


“Somebody drew my attention to the fact that Nigeria was heading to the precipice. Food stuff and cows became so expensive in the South. A cow that is about N200,000 in the North could cost as high as N800,000 in the South. The price of tomatoes too rose. Since I’m in touch with the youth of the North, when I heard of their mobilization and that they were probably being sponsored, I had to broker peace. Like such other crises in Nigeria, before you know it, they would say the Igbo and Yoruba in the North are being targeted; such a notion can lead to a conflict that can consume us”.


On his 2023 presidential ambition, the governor said, though he is waiting on God before taking a decision, he decried the idea of zoning even as he emphasized that the AP has no zoning arrangement. He advised the party hierarchy to jettison zoning in order for the best to come out.


On the possibility of winning if fielded, the governor said: “Winning the primaries as a governor or as an aspirant is not the problem. If there is level-playing field, I will defeat anybody. I will defeat whoever will confront me on the field, whether direct or indirect primaries or at the convention, If I’m on the ballot for 2023. In fact, I’m going to record votes that we have never recorded in the history of Nigeria, the margin is what we will be talking about”.


On zoning in the party, he said, “there is no zoning arrangement in our party, the APC. None that I know and there is none in our constitution. Even if there is, how has zoning helped us as a nation. For once, let us look for who can fix Nigeria, then we can talk of zoning, for balance and to satisfy political interests”, Governor Bello said.


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