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Taraba state governor Darius Ishaku says the state strongly supports former Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma’s call on Nigerians to defend themselves. Danjuma had last month made the call while accusing the Nigerian army of colluding with armed bandits.

The former army chief was reacting to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in different parts of Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region, where Benue and Taraba have suffered most causalities.

The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, this week, set up a panel to investigate the accusation. And governor Ishaku, during the panel’s visit to the state on Thursday, said, “We in Taraba are fully behind what Danjuma said on self defence.

“As an ex-army General with a high reputation, I think that call deserves to be looked into and not to be criticised because he spoke the minds of everyone in Taraba and indeed all Nigerians.”


How Sanwo-Olu Wants To Use Technology, Collaboration and Internet Access To Build the Future Of Lagos —– By Funke Phillips

Gbemileke Ajayi



Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State speaking at different events in Lagos talked about how technology, collaboration, and internet access are very important parts of the future of Lagos he wants to build.

Speaking at an event at the Vibranium Valley, a digital technology hub in Lagos employing over 1,500 Nigerians with a 5 years plan of employing 45,000 people, he said;

“Technology is changing the way we live, work and socialize. Social and governance problems are also solved with technological innovations especially in a city-state such as Lagos with a Gross Domestic Product of more than $136b dollars. A huge investment in technology and the creation of expansive learning facilities will help us reach the Lagos we want faster”.

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030, one in five people will be African. Combining the continent’s soaring population with technology, improvements in infrastructure, health and education, Africa can become the next century’s economic growth powerhouse.

Lagos as one of the fastest growing African city-states in the world and a GDP more than many countries has a key role to play in helping Africa become the economic growth powerhouse, and only leaders with the right vision, know-how and willpower can put in place the structures that are required to accelerate this growth.

Technology and the Future of Lagos

A visionary leader selects the necessary resources required for the journey long before the journey begins and Sanwo-Olu has taken such a step with the selection of Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, a man who has driven the development of complex technology systems at different levels of the private and public sectors as his running mate.

Speaking at an event in Lagos this week, he went on to emphasize his stance by first making a pledge to provide institutional and infrastructural support for the growth and development of the technology sector in the State if elected as Governor in 2019.

‘‘I’m aware that technology is the oil of today. Some ten years ago, the richest companies in the world were oil and energy giants, but the tide has changed. What we have today are technology companies dominating the global economic space. With technology, transparency and accountability in government become easier and possible. Technological innovations are helping social enterprise address social problems. Tech is accelerating SME evolutions and the impact of this is positive on the economy, which gives everyone a share of the prosperity created by this system,” he said.

Collaboration and The Future of Lagos

Collaboration is a very important part of the future of Lagos, and past governors of Lagos have demonstrated the importance of collaboration with different Public-Private Partnership projects that have made the lives of the citizens and residents of Lagos easier.

Beyond collaborating on that level, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at an event talked about how when elected, his government would partner with the private sector in education, health, security, and transportation to solve social issues, create employment opportunities and support entrepreneurship.

Internet Access and The Future of Lagos

On November 11th, 2018, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Leisure Mall in Surulere, Lagos launched the “Sanwo Free WiFi” initiative, that will over the next couple of weeks be launched in other parts of the state.

Internet access is a big leveler and Mr. Sanwo Olu has demonstrated his understanding of the key part it has to play in closing the gap between Lagos and the rest of the world.

There are so many big ideas in Lagos, almost as much as in Silicon Valley, but a major differentiating factor is access to the Internet and the lack of adequate infrastructure to aid software development.

Lagos is the Silicon Valley of Nigeria because we have the largest cluster of technology hubs. Lagos as a state has about 28 hubs while the entire country of South Africa has 59 hubs. Babajide Sanwo-Olu understands how important Lagos is in the plan for tech advancement in Africa and knows that the sheer amount of talent breeding in hubs like CcHub, iDEA hub, Wennovation Hub, Leadpath Nigeria, Vibranium Valley, Zone Tech Park and even our Ikeja Computer Village just to mention a few needs to be harnessed properly.

He has promised that his administration will listen, get input and put forth customized solutions. His support for the tech industry is absolute because it is an extremely vital part of our economy.

The Future of Lagos is now. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is now and the future.


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Buhari Lists Conditions For Restructuring



President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday gave conditions to be fulfilled before the government can go into the restructuring of the country.

He pointed out that there should be a proper definition of what Nigerians want before the government can delve into restructuring the country.

The President also noted that many Nigerians who have been calling for restructuring have been doing so without defining what the restructuring should be.

Buhari, who spoke during the interactive session with Nigerians living in France, was in the country for the Peace Forum attended by about 70 world leaders in Paris.

The Nigerian community, which was made up of Nigerian Diaspora Organization (NIDO), All Progressives Congress (APC) members in France, students and friends of Nigeria, asked the President questions ranging from restructuring, security, anti-corruption, education and opportunity for Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in 2019 general elections.

The President said; “There are too many people talking lazily about restructuring in Nigeria. Unfortunately, people are not asking them individually what do they mean by restructuring? What form do they want restructuring to take?

“Do they want us to have something like the three regions we used to have? And now we have 36 states and the FCT. What form do they want? They are just talking loosely about restructuring.

“Let them define it and then we see how we can peacefully do it in the interest of Nigerians.

“They are just saying they want Nigeria restructured and they don’t have the clue of what the form the restructuring should be.

“So, anybody who talks to you about restructuring in Nigeria, ask him what he means and the form he wants it to take,” he stated.

He also gave reasons why Nigerians in diaspora might not vote in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, it will be very difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place structures to accommodate them with just about three months to the 2019 elections.

Noting that the increasing Nigeria population in the diaspora supports the calls for their participation in electing Nigeria leaders, he said that it might not happen in the 2019 general elections as INEC had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements to conduct credible elections within the country.

But he said that Nigerians in diaspora would definitely participate in future elections.

Buhari said “We want to secure the Nigeria votes first before we go foreign. We are going to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be more independent and viable …. so that they can recruit more committed and educated Nigerians to be in charge and use technologies to get the votes from all the constituencies.

“So, with the way the economy is now, I think with the elections in three months’ time, it will be very difficult for INEC and the government to organize quality survey of those that are outside,” he said.

Responding to the question on education in Nigeria, the President said that his administration is doing its best to invest more in infrastructures, education and other sectors.

The Nigerian elites, he said, disappointed Nigeria and the Nigerian masses under the sixteen years administrations of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, so much waste has gone down the drain from the huge resources earned in during the PDP administrations in the country between 1999 and 2015.

He said that there was nothing to show for the earnings including the $16 billion said to have been spent on power.

He urged Nigerian elites, both at home and diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite the huge oil earnings.

He said; “So, really I have seen it all and I was disappointed in the Nigerian elites. What have they done in these sixteen years?”

“What do we have with our oil production down to half a million and the price per barrel went down to about $30, what could we have done with the infrastructure?

“You should find out the damage done by the main opposition now to the economy and the integrity of the country.

“So, we are now trying to improve infrastructures and do more in education and other areas.

“We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education,’’ he said.

He added “I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country. We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries.’’

According to him, return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.

He said that the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military

The challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country, he said, will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.

According to him, God and technology in form of card readers and Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) won the Presidential elections for him in 2015 despite not succeeding in three earlier times.

“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Irele, said that the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality.

According to her, the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.

“Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful,’’ she said.

President Buhari’s commitment to change, she noted, will make Nigeria the envy of other African countries.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the interactive session, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said that it was very important for President Buhari to attend the Peace Forum in Paris.

He said “President Muhammadu Buhari has been preaching for peace, especially when he came on board, he met our country religiously and ethnically divided.

“I think it is important that he meets with other world leaders to discuss how peace can be promoted among the nations and various people of the world.

“There is no way you can promote peace where there is massive corruption. Massive corruption deprives people of development, and if there is no development, there won’t be any peace.” he said

Willy Obiano of Anambra State said that it is important for Nigeria to be emphasizing peace.

In the education sector, he said that the state has invested a lot of money into the sector in the last four years.

He said “We revamped 1482 primary and secondary schools. We have sent our teachers to Singapore and Germany for training.

“More importantly, what my administration has done in Anambra State with respect to education is to reach the … end of Anambra State.” he said

House of Reps member, Nasir Ali Ahmed, representing Nasarawa Federal constituency of Kano State, said that the interactive session was a very successful meeting.

He hoped that a lot of the Nigerians living in France will come back home to contribute their quota to Nigeria’s development.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, recently nominated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diaspora Commission, who facilitated the meeting, said that a lot of Nigerians living in France are already doing many things at home for the economy.

“So, we will continue to engage with them and continue to stress the positivity about our country, Nigeria,” she said

Stressing that there are some Nigerians in prisons in France, she said that Nigerians are being encouraged to obey the laws of the land wherever they go.

She also pointed out that the new commission is not a charity organization, but aims to tap into the enormous resources of Nigerians in the diaspora.

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State Governments Weakening LGs, Stealing Their Money —- Obasanjo

Peter Okunoren



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused some state governments of weakening and stealing the money that belongs to local governments.

Obasanjo, who spoke on Monday while playing host to members of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Friends of Democracy, at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the state governments were using the joint accounts with the LGs to siphon their money and weaken them.

He said state governments that were opposed to local government autonomy are responsible for the financial incapacitation of the local governments.

According to Obasanjo, the local government reform carried out in 1976 was meant to make the councils as the third tier of government and not an appendage of either of the two other tiers of government.

He expressed regret that state governments, which he said were autonomous, had been opposed to the agitation for the autonomy of local governments.

Obasanjo lamented that the present situation in many local governments in the country was so pathetic that “they can no longer perform their functions particularly payment of their workers’ salaries.”

He wondered why the Federal Government continue to allow the states to enjoy their autonomy except during emergency situation.

He asked the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees to demand LG autonomy in the interest of the people at the grassroots.

Obasanjo said: “When in 1976 we brought in Local Government Reforms, it was meant to be the third tier of the government and not meant to be subjected to the whims and caprices of any other government.

“Just the same way that the state government is autonomous from the Federal Government, Local Government is meant to be autonomous from the state government.

“But from what we know, by design, most states have incapacitated the local government system.

“They have virtually stolen the local governments’ money in what they called Joint Account.

“They were to contribute 10 per cent but they (state governments) never contributed anything.

“So, what we have across the country are Local Government Areas that have functions, but cannot perform the functions.

“They have staff but most of them cannot pay the staff and we keep getting excuses upon excuses.”

On the failed attempt to grant autonomy to the councils, Obasanjo said: “The Bill passed by the National Assembly, which requires 24 state Houses of Assembly, and like I am told only nine states have signed it.

“I am proud of those states because they are what you will call progressive states that really believe in democracy.

“My own state (Ogun) is one of them.

“I will say kudos to Ogun State.

“In the South South, only Bayelsa and Cross River States have signed it.

“Kudos to those two states.

“In the North East, it’s only Bauchi.

“In the North West, it’s only Sokoto and in the North Central, we have four states: Kwara, Niger, Plateau and Benue.

“I will say kudos to the executives and the legislatures of those states.

“But we must say those state executives and the legislatures that have prevented the bill from being passed, they must be taken as the enemy of the people and they should be treated as such.

“Because if you enjoy autonomy from the Federal Government, why don’t you want local government to enjoy autonomy?

“Again, I will say the leadership of the NLC and NULGE who have always fought for the interest of the people should know that the interest of the people at the local government will be best served if the LG has autonomy which is meant that they should have.”

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