Nigerian News from Leadership News Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:09:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Peace Ambassador Agency Unveils New Artiste, Model Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:09:41 +0000 The Peace Ambassador Agency is known for grooming talents within and outside the shores of the nation.

In a recent event, two young talents within the industry have been unveiled by the agency. They are Princess Halima Danabo from Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna State and Jane Obeyhi Eriofoloh from Ikpoba Okha local government of Edo State.

The duo, who are a model and an artiste respectively, are expected to be trained to be professionals in the industry.

According to the agency’s CEO, Kingsley Amafibe, it’s one of the goals of the agency to help in training young talents in order to project them to the next level.

“We have also opened a modeling school and that would help the youth to be preoccupied with something; in other words diverting their attention from any negative attitude.

“Jane and Halima are the first people we are signing to the agency and we hope they achieve their goals in life.”

Reacting, Princess Jane, who is an artiste and couldn’t hide her joy said it was a dream come true and promised that this would spur her into doing more to attain success.

Also, Jane Obeyhi Eriofoloh who is a model, also thanked the agency for making her dreams come true, stating that it would encourage others to follow their dreams.





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Card Readers Are Tested For General Elections – INEC Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:44:50 +0000 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday reiterated that the card readers for the general elections have been subjected to assurance and functionality tests.

Responding to a question, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu,  said “the Card Reader units have been broadly subjected to simulation Quality Assurance, Integrity and Functionality tests and INEC has full confidence in their performance for election purposes.

“The device has also been subjected to Performance and Conformance Test, both locally and in Texas, United States, laboratories by the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Research Centre, and found to be of the highest quality grade.

“Besides all these, and with additional time resulting from the rescheduling of the 2015 general elections, the Commission has directed that Stress Test be conducted on the Card Reader device in mock election scenarios – two statesin each of the six geo-political zones – ahead of the new election dates. (Details of this exercise will be unveiled by the Commission next week.)

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Boko Haram’ll Fall In Few Weeks – Metuh Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:42:09 +0000 The National publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh,in this chat with journalists, talks about the chances of his party at the forthcoming March 28 poll, his opinion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign promises and the insurgency. CHIBUZO UKAIBE was there for LEADERSHIP Weekend.

You have gone round the states of the six geo-political zones campaigning for your party’s candidate, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in preparation for the March 28, 2015 presidential poll. From what you saw, can you analyse the chances of your candidate in relation to the forthcoming election?

Having gone round, we are proud and happy with the fact that Nigerians are happy that the president has done well. The president is running on a track record of impressive performance, amidst the security challenges, the distractions it springs up and the huge cost incurred in waging a war against insurgency. The president has made meaningful impact on all sectors of the Nigerian economy. He also engineered the improvement and stabilisation of the economy, leading to transformation. He has also created jobs for the young people in the agricultural sector, renovated the airports and given them a new look, as well as brought about a revival of the railway system, making them operational and sound again, conveying goods and people across the nation.

Education-wise, he has established 14 federal universities nation-wide, nine of which are in the north, the almajiri schools in the north testify to the fact that we have improved the standard of education in this country.

As for health, we have developed our health system such that we are able to handle emergencies. The Ebola issue and the way it was handled is a very good example.

In all aspects of our lives, we have seen the improvements and it is clear that the president has done tremendously well. What distinguish him from other people is his democratic credentials and the fact that he is a humble, accommodating, forgiving and his sincerity in guaranteeing that there will be free, fair and credible elections, as well as the security of lives and properties. This is wonderful and the people of Nigeria have accepted it.

In the nooks and crannies of this country – east, west, north and south – we have seen the great acceptance which the president has received and we are very sure that, come March 28, we will have a resounding victory.


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in power for the past 15 years. What does the party still hopes to do differently?

We want to consolidate on the things we have been doing. The task of transforming the country is one which will never be done with. We have tremendous improvement and, we believe that, with the PDP in government, by 2020 a lot of things’ll change in this country.


The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, has promised that, if he is elected, he will suppress the insurgency which the government led by your party, the PDP, has been unable to suppress for more than three years. What is your take on this?

We do not think that he said this. I’ll take you back to what he said during an interview on cable television. He said to restore “security in the country’ll take more than five years to address and bring things back to normalcy.” That was what he said. He can flip-flop all he wants, but we are sure that Nigerians can attest that we have been making sufficient progress in tackling the security challenges, with the re-armament which has occurred. Do not forget that when this security issue set into play, the president decided to wage war against the Boko Haram, the opposition parties screamed that he was killing innocent people and the Boko Haram insurgents. The president listened, as usual, to the hues and cries of those people and decided to embrace dialogue. He offered cease-fire they refused, he offered amnesty they refused, he offered dialogue and they refused again. When he decided on waging a full war on them, he discovered that the military was too poorly equipped to wage modern warfare. He requested for funds to wage the war, but the opposition told their legislators not to vote in favour of the president’s request. For five, six months, there were debates about its approval. In the end, the PDP lawmakers fought its approval. Now, despite the obstacles set up by certain foreign companies, the nation has acquired these foreign equipment and, today, the military has been completely re-armed and have become effective in the war against insurgency.

A new Nigerian military well trained and armed is on duty now, recovering all our lost territory and, we believe, in the next two or three weeks, all the local governments of this country will be fully secured.

Now, if that is what the candidate of the APC is implying, then he need not bother; all the bases have been covered. He should’ve applied for security adviser or something, but if that is what he has his eyes fixed on, there’ll be no job for him to do in that respect by the time we finish the election and swearing-in.


During one of your press conferences, you told newsmen that the APC is a party of one-week-one-lie. What did you mean by that?

What I meant was that the APC dishes out lies everytime. They tell a different lie each time they open their mouths to speak. Worse, they conjure stories and weave them in deceptive circles by issuing facts that are non-existent.

If you consider, you’ll see that their promises to Nigerians have always been unrealistic and false.Consider the promise to pay N5000 to unemployed Nigerians. If you calculate how they promised to pay to the 25 million poor people who have no jobs, you’ll see that we are talking about N125bn. If you do that for 12 months, that is N1.5trn per annum. Where will they get that kind of money, seeing as our revenue is dwindling, the oil price is going down and our economy is at dire straits presently?’’

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Will The Outcome Of Nigeria’s Elections Swell Africa’s Democratic Credentials? Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:41:03 +0000 As Nigeria holds its 5th consecutive general elections since 1999, the question as to what the outcome of the election can contribute to the overall democratic experience is Africa has become pertinent.

With the security challenge, inciteful narratives of the candidates and quality of preparations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) viz-a-viz an atmosphere of intense suspicion, there is a huge expectation on one of Africa’s largest democracies to swell the ranks of countries in the continent that has successfully done elections regardless of whether or not the ruling party wins or loses.

According to Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world, the number of electoral democracies in Africa, as at 1983 to 1985 was four, but it jumped to 10 in 1992/1993, then to 18 in 1994/1995 and to 24 in 2005/2006.

In addition, the proportion of African countries categorised as not free by Freedom House declined from 59% in 1983 to 35% in 2003.

According to Freedom House, the number of electoral democracies in Africa slipped from 24 in 2007/2008 to 19 in 2011/2012; while the percentage of countries categorised as “not free” increased from 35% in 2003 to 41% in 2013.

Also, there have been some reversals at different times in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritania and Togo. “

In other statistics, the NewYork Times, a United States based newspaper, reveals that 42 of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted multi-party elections between 1990 and 2002.

It also reported that between 2000 and 2002, ruling parties in four African countries (Senegal, Mauritius, Ghana and Mali) peacefully handed over power to victorious opposition parties.


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The Chatham House Affair And Jonathan’s Surprise Visits Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:39:51 +0000 After much media firestorm, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, finally gave his presentation at the Chatham House in London, United Kingdom last Thursday.

Report had barely filtered into the country about Gen. Buhari’s visit to Chatham House than some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, particularly, the governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, started raising doubts as to Buhari’s intent of travelling to the UK.

For what it’s worth, his interaction with the international community at that level was aimed at primarily, dis-abusing certain dictatorial and inflexible perceptions about him, drawing largely from his days as military head of state between 1983 to 1985.

Also, the London meeting for Gen. Buhari availed him the opportunity to assure foreign diplomats, investors and media that he could do a better job with the economy, tackle corruption and the insurgency problem.

Infact, he said “let me assure you that if I am elected president, the world will have no cause to worry about Nigeria as it has had to recently; that Nigeria will return to its stabilising role in West Africa; and that no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy because we will pay special attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service.”

How significant the meeting will turn out to be, with regards to electoral victory in Nigeria, is subject to time and how far strong the party can finish at the polls.

However while the international community digests the promises and assurances of Gen. Buhari, back home, the president Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) needed to cash in on the media spotlight that would accrue from the London visit of the opposition party.

While the PDP and it’s presidential campaign organisation played down the import of Gen. Buhari’s visit to London, President Goodluck Jonathan, made a surprise visit to Mubi, Baga in Adamawa and Borno states, to boost the troops’ marale, but more clearly, according to some analysts, to shore-up his newly found victories in the fight against the insurgents.

The president, garbed-in a military combat uniform, took time to take photos with the troops, sending a clear message that he is on top of the situation.

The president also held some town hall meetings, particularly in the South West and attended the widely celebrated birthday of former president Shehu Shagari, which had in attendance all the heads of state, besides Gen Buhari.

Still, as the APC and it’s presidential candidate return to their campaign in Nigeria, having apparently cashed-in on the postponement of the elections to firm-up their international appeal, the lessons learned from their sojourn there would be instructive.

In any case, the battle over which party wins the election, would be won and lost on home soil, analysts have opined.

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IBB Denies Having Social Media Account Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:38:26 +0000 Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has denied having a twitter account or any other account on the social media through which anybody could relate with.

Babangida, in a press release signed by one of his aides who is a publisher of an online magazine, Ajiya Minna, Alhaji Iliyasu Dhacko, and made available to newsmen on Friday, said he was miffed by the disclosure recently of spurious use of his name by some dubious elements on a social media account.

The general, who said he was not against the use of his photographs in the media, however advised the users to be cautious in use of such pictures.

He said it was unfortunate that Nigerian youths as leaders of tomorrow were degenerating into social miscreants creating disaffection with the social media.

General Babangida advised that the media should always be used to foster unity as the country at this trying period, needs positive contributions of all Nigerians to get things right.

He advised politicians to desist from engaging the youth in thuggery, but more in constructive works beneficial to all. He added that any further use of social media account in his name would be treated as fraud with the originator handed to the appropriate authority.



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NSCDC, Private Tank Farm Owners Behind Fuel Scarcity In Rivers – IPMAN Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:36:33 +0000 The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has accused the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and owners of private tank farms of being behind the current scarcity of petroleum products in Rivers State.

The association is therefore appealing to the federal government and the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to call the NSCDC and owners of private tank farms to order to avoid escalation of the scarcity.

Chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State, Prince Sunny Nkpe, spoke yesterday while addressing newsmen at the association’s secretariat in Alesa-Eleme in Eleme local government area of the state.

Nkpe said, “We want to call the attention of the government and the DPR to the activities of private tank owners who have arbitrarily jerked up the price of products sold to us and to the harassment meted on us by unauthorised agencies, especially officials of the NSCDC. It is only the DPR that is empowered to monitor our activities and should charge any defaulting marketer to court rather than harass us this way.”

He called for immediate action from government as the 2015 general elections approach, adding that the independent marketers account for over 80 per cent of the quantity used nationwide.

Nkpe who stated that already the Imo and Abia State chapters of IPMAN had gone on strike over the ugly development, said “the DPR should tell us if they are now in synergy with the NSCDC in performing their duties.”

Also speaking, chairman of Elders’ Council of the association, Chief Richard Orianwo said the regulated price for private tank owners is N77.66 and not N92 per litre as currently being sold and called for government intervention so that they can continue to sell at the approved N87 per litre.

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PDP, Presidency Paranoid Over Buhari’s Appearance In Chatham House – APC Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:32:30 +0000 All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned what it called sheer hysteria by the Peoples Democratic Party and the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration over the globally-acclaimed appearance of the APC presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari at the Chatham House in London on Thursday.

The party in a statement issued in London yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alh Lai Mohammed and made available to journalists in Lagos said it was so apparent that the PDP and the Jonathan administration were so stunned and stung by Gen. Buhari’s well-accepted presentation.

APC said they could have saved themselves from further disgrace by simply keeping quiet, instead of exposing their inanities.

‘’For the spokesmen of the PDP and the Jonathan Campaign organizations to have rushed to the press to denounce what was a patriotic presentation by a highly-regarded Nigerian is not only absurd but a new low, even for those who have lost every sense of propriety in their public actions and pronouncements,’’ it said.

The party added that the level of paranoia of the PDP and the Jonathan administration was so high, even before the general’s presentation that they went to hire some poor folks to protest at the Chatham House over an issue they knew nothing about.


APC said it was just as well that the rent-a-crowd show boomeranged on the PDP/Jonathan administration, when those among the scanty protesters who were interviewed added that they did not even know why they have come there, with some of them hiding behind their placards.

‘’The fact that the Jonathan administration wasted public funds in hiring people to protest against Gen. Buhari’s appearance is another indication of how the commonwealth has been consistently frittered away under the clueless and incompetent Jonathan Administration,’’ it said, wondering who appropriated the funds that were wasted on the uninformed and disinterested band of protesters,” the party said.

APC also described as the worst case of double standard for the loud mouths of the PDP and the Jonathan Administration to question the basis for Gen. Buhari’s appearance at the Chatham House, when the same platform was used a few weeks back by the Administration, which sent National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki there to push for the postponement of the 2015 general elections.

‘’So it is OK for Dasuki to speak at the Chatham House, one of the most important platforms for any statesman, but forbidden for the APC Presidential Candidate to use the same platform? The needless vituperation of the PDP and the Jonathan megaphones against our candidate is precisely the reason the sinking ruling party and the failed Administration it sired have become the butt of jokes around the world.

‘’Instead of apologizing for seeking to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians by saying that Gen. Buhari went to London for medical treatment, these band of poor propagandists persisted in dancing naked in the public square. What a pity?’’ the party queried.

APC hailed Gen. Buhari for his well-crafted, well-delivered and patriotic presentation, and his deft handling of the subsequent question-and-answer session at such a big-league platform as the Chatham House, saying despite the barrage of personal attacks and death wishes by the PDP and its agents, the general’s stock has continued to rise both within and outside Nigeria.



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Elections: Peace Ambassador Sues For Peace Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:30:56 +0000 The Peace Ambassador Agency, organisers of the Miss Ambassador for Peace and Peace Achievers Awards, has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that peaceful elections take place in the country.

The agency who made its position known via a press statement made available to Weekend Flavour, said it has perfected plans to host a peace conference in the FCT, Abuja, with the theme “The role of the Nigerian Youth and Media in the Forthcoming Elections”.

“The aim of the conference is to sensitise Nigerians on the need to have peaceful elections, security assurance as, well as promoting the ideals of peaceful living before, during and after the elections.

“We also intend to promote ideals that will increase good relationship amongst others in Nigeria, especially among the youth.

“This forum will help identify the challenges confronting the Nigerian youth, aim to sensitise the general public and media on the need to shun violence in the forthcoming elections, as well as let the political class know that the 2015 elections is not a do-or-die affair.

“Therefore, we encourage leaders of political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), traditional rulers, security agencies, media and historians to be at the conference holding at Sheraton Hotel,” the statement further stated.

The agency’s CEO, Kingsley Amafibe, explained that the peace conference will enable Nigerians discuss why the forthcoming elections must be free, fair and without violence.


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Kifasi’s New Thinking For Public Service Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:28:55 +0000 It is heart-warming, the recent announcement by the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mr. Danladi Kifasi, that his office would soon ban foreign trainings and also streamline recruitment processes into the public service in a deliberate effort to sanitize the system.

This development was conveyed at a meeting the Head of Service held with the Directors of Human Resource Management, Finance and Accounts and Heads of Procurement cutting across all the Ministries, Agencies and Department (MDA’s) in the service.

The issues the Head of Service raised included protocol for declaration of vacancy by government agencies for both recruitment and promotion, which must henceforth, be channelled through his office. He stated that it was wrong for MDAs to unilaterally declare vacancies and fill them without consideration for availability of resources to back up such ensuing responsibility.

Criticising uncoordinated recruitment exercises in the public service, the Head of Service declared that his office has henceforth acquired the sole prerogative to declare vacancies in the civil service. He then instructed the directors to identify existing vacancies before the end of March, to enable his office start the 2015 promotions exercise within the framework of the Appropriation Act expected to be passed by the National Assembly.

At the forum, Kifasi also raised concern over depletion of scarce resources for foreign training. He expressed the belief that Nigeria may not be getting the best value for money from the bulk of international training programmes attended by public servants.

Restricting civil servants from embarking on frivolous foreign training and international travel is said to be the new thinking to save financial resources. Such ventures were resulting in huge capital flight from the country with most of the beneficiaries having intangible benefits to offer in return.

In this vein, it is observed that Nigerian contingents to international engagements tend to always be one of the largest, with several senior government officials flying first class at government expense. Knowledge supposedly gained at these foreign trainings has not really translated into improvement in the way beneficiaries render service to the people.

The Head of Service announced that the issue of capacity building to retool the civil service and the need to design a structured mandatory training programme for the service are being fashioned out, such that officers on grade level 06 to 7 and Leadership development programmes for grade level 08 to 17 would commence as soon as March 2015.

This present economic situation has provided the opportunity for the country to look inwards, to develop its capacity to train our public servants in a way that would equip them to add more value to the public service. By doing this, the service explores avenues which other countries could also learn from. It is strongly believed that the need for the reverse of the flow of resources and the development of training programmes by looking inwards could facilitate and attract public servants from other countries to Nigeria on capacity building voyages.

The new thinking in the federal public service is a welcome development that should be encouraged and supported. However, it is important that all sectors in the public service should key in into the new initiatives of Mr Danladi Kifasi.

The initiatives, if implemented, would have positive impact on the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of government. It would also go a long way to clear any irregularity in the system.

For instance, the initiative on recruitment would enable efforts for updates and better utilise the personnel database, also taking into account, resignations, retirements, deaths, promotions, transfers and other personal movements in the service. It would also enable the system to fish out ghost workers. In fact it will facilitate early and accurate planning for promotion, recruitment and training.

It would further remove favouritism and nepotism in the civil service. The issue of ‘who you know’ before an individual is offered a job will gradually become a thing of the past and qualified people will be given opportunities.

Public administration is all about carrying out activities to achieve public goal; and achievements of public goal rest on proper control and co-ordination, which enhances administrative efficiency that involves completing large and complicated tasks that no one individual could accomplish alone.

The ban on foreign training and restriction on overseas’ travels are attributed to the ‘recent economic downturn’, which has seen a drastic reduction in the prices of crude oil in the international market.

All these brilliant initiatives, however, should not be implemented at the federal level alone, but adopted by states and local governments.

–Nuratu Abdur-Rashid Oyetunji Finance Quarters Wuye


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