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New Twist In Edo Saga As Obaseki Pays Oshiomole, Surprise Visit

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The Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki appears to have set aside the alleged rift between his administration and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole when he called on the Iyanmoh residence of the latter in celebration of Eid al Adha.
 
In his special Sallah message to the Muslim community last week, the governor had enjoined all citizens to eschew bitterness and rancour and work for the development of all of Edo State.
 
The Governor demonstrated the virtues of the season with his visit to the Party Chairman and his mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomole, in spite of the rumoured differences between both men.
 
During the visit, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed his delight at the incredible support he received from the Muslim community and reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Edo State and the empowerment of all its people.
 
In response, the Otaru of Auchi commended the governor for his uncommon leadership and advised him not to succumb to the forces of darkness preaching division in Edo State. He encouraged the Governor to remain prayerful and continue to strive in the interest of the people.
 
Speaking after the visit, the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and communications, Mr. Crusoe Osagie congratulated the Muslim community and lauded the Governor for his demonstration of exemplary leadership. He suggested that the visit would likely unnerve a tiny fraction of the people of the state.
 
“The notion that these two men are adversaries is being propagated by morally and financially insolvent people seeking to profit off of the challenges they have been working so hard to foment. You cannot blame such people really. Their talents and abilities are severely limited, so it is in their collective interest to stoke tension and drive division, but I can tell you that they have already failed” he posited.
 
“It is not in their interests for Edo State to peacefully progress, so they will try to mis-categorise this visit. This is what they’ve always done and it’s their stock in trade”.
 
“True leaders understand that they represent the people in whose interests they must serve. This is why His Excellency has always said that the resources of the state, are for the people only, and not for a negligible minority and nothing can ever change this” he concluded.

Asked whether this means that a new proclamation of the State House of Assembly will be issued by the Governor in conformity with the directives of the National Assembly, Osagie was unequivocal. “I cannot speak on this matter as it is sub-judice. But I think the whole world knows that the Edo State House of Assembly has already been inaugurated. No person or group of persons or institution other than the judiciary can order a state governor to do anything on a matter that is presently before courts of competent jurisdiction.We are a nation of Laws and by the special grace of God, will all be alive to witness the law run its full course” he concluded.

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How Minister of State, (Power), Goddy Jedy Agba Saved Nigeria From Total Blackout

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Not a few Nigerians were taken aback, when the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) declared a general strike on Wednesday 11th December, 2019 and threw the country into a total blackout.

The workers embarked on the strike action following crisis in the power sector at the expiration of the 21 days issued by the union.

However, the swift initiative of Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba in extensively engaging the stakeholders in the sector including those from the Ministry of Power, Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, leadership of NUEE and others.

The meeting addressed several issues that led to the suspension of the strike action by the electricity workers, who resumed duty after 24 hours of the exercise.

The communique issued at the end of the meeting was jointly signed by the Honourable Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba (OFR), Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, President (NUEE), Comrade Engr. Martin Uzoegwu, General Secretary (NUEE), Comrade Joe Ajaero, and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Hosea Akayi Musa, JP..

On the non-payment of over 2000 disengaged PHCN staff, the Director General of BPE confirmed that over N360 Billion had been paid and that the verification of 600 staff processed and forwarded to Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) for payment, while 200 could not be verified.

On the issue of 16-month underpayment of severance benefit as well as the 7.5% Pension component, DG BPE acknowledged that this was pending and promised that modalities would be worked out on the payment.

On ownership of the schools, the DG gave his words that anytime they provided documentary evidence providing ownership of the school, the process of handing over would commence accordingly.

Director General, BPE promised to obtain the Condition of Service (COE) from the GenCos and DisCos within a week and hand them over to the Honourable Minister of State (Power).

The Honourable Minister of Power (State) promised to visit the GenCos in company of the Managing Director of NELMCO along with some officials of the union to see things for himself and resolve the issue of unionization in the GenCos and the non-remittance of the deducted check-off dues.

The meeting resolved that DisCos/GenCos be advised to negotiate with their bankers to ensure sufficient cash flow to enable them pay salaries as at when due.

The Director General -BPE promised to intervene on the non-remittance of Contributory Pension to PFA, especially for Kaduna, Kano and Jos.

The meeting also resolved that the DisCos could be advised to stop casualization of workers where or exists.

On the issue of harassment by security personnel, the Honourable Minister of State (Power) informed that he was not aware of the incident, apologised and promised that such an unfortunate incident would not occur again.

The meeting also resolved that all staff who participated in the Industrial action would not be victimised in any way.

Director General-BPE explained that the pre-retirement training was processed, but that there was no cash backing to carry out the training.

On 10% equity, the Director General BPE explained that the percentage share had not been worked out because the 40% was yet to be determined and that until then staff could access their own share.

It was generally agreed by watchers of events that the move by the Minister of State (Power), Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba averted what would have led to a setback for the economy of the county at this time that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to restore the nation’s economy and a led ding festive season.

This has further increased the belief of people in many quarters that Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba is a round peg in a round hole as the Minister of State (Power) at this crucial time of the nation.

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Aisha Buhari: The Travails Of A First Lady Defending Good Governance And Democracy In Nigeria

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By Olalekan Abdullahi

Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari is certainly facing an existential battle, despite being the wife of the President of the most populous black country in the world.
Her travails are not actually from her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, but from those that surround him, who she strongly believes are trying to make life difficult for her and her children, and she appears to be helpless as her husband does not seem perturbed by what she has been complaining about right in Aso Rock, the seat of Nigeria’s government where the first family resides.
Hajia Aisha Buhari has never failed to express her views on issues concerning the running of the government and matters that have to do with her family and her husband’s administration generally.
Aisha comes across as a very strong woman and what most Nigerians appreciate about her, is the fact that she speaks her mind. 
The First Lady has voiced out the truth on many occasions damning whatever consequences that may arise. 
She once spoke up fiercely against the “cabal” frustrating her husband’s government. An act many people, especially first ladies, have notably shied away from. 
The First Lady is noted to be active on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms where she objectively criticizes the policies of the government and even offers suggestions when and where necessary to the surprise of many Nigerians.
In October 2016, Aisha Buhari during an interview with BBC, openly criticized the President suggesting that she might not support his 2019 re-election bid.
Aisha Buhari also claimed that some people had hijacked Buhari’s government.
“The president does not know 45 out of 50, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years.
“Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position”.
“…If things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari also alleged that a ‘powerful caucus’ is behind the presidential appointments.
In response to APC party’s mishandling of 2019 elections party primaries, Aisha publicly said: “It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard-earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously yet found their names omitted on election day, these forms were bought at exorbitant prices.”
The Nigeria’s first lady also accused the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole of condoning impunity and threatened to dissociate herself from the party if it continued.
Flashback to July 10, 2017, when the media was awash with the outbursts of the First Lady during a visit to her husband in the United Kingdom, where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
Apparently frustrated Aisha had described some people around her husband as Hyenas and Jackals and wrote a piece entitled; “Hyenas, jackals will soon be sent out of my husband’s kingdom.” This was in response to Senator Shehu Sani’s (representing Kaduna Central District) post which read: “Prayer for the absent Lion King has waned; until he’s back then they will fall over each other to be on the front row of the palace temple. Now the hyenas and the jackals are scheming and talking to each other in whispered; still doubting whether the Lion King will be back or not…”
There, Aisha Buhari gave an insight into the power play at the Nigerian seat of power in the wake of a sickness that had kept her husband out of the country for two months then.
Responding to Mr. Sani’s comment also proverbially, Mrs. Buhari said: “God has answered the prayers of the weaker Animals. The Hyenas and the jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals”.
Mrs. Aisha’s comment attracted many comments from her followers on Facebook, wishing her husband quick recovery.
Upon her return to Nigeria back then, the President’s wife had said he was recovering well and that he expressed appreciation to Nigerians praying for him.
However, the First Lady kept making statements about issues that has to do with governance and she was able to endear herself to the hearts of numerous Nigerians, who felt she has been doing her best to protect the nation’s nascent democracy. She was dubbed the amazon of African democracy because her voice has been the loudest from any woman in the continent of Africa, fighting vigorously for the sustenance of democracy and preservation of the office of the president.
On Wednesday, 11, December, 2019, Mrs. Aisha Buhari came out in another form to tackle her husband’s spokesperson, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Garba Shehu on issues affecting the country and how she is being undermined and doubted Shehu’s loyalty to the president. Trust the amazon, she poured her heart out through a piece she posted on her verified Instagram page and other platforms.
The piece is entitled; “Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries.’
In the piece, the First Lady made it clear that Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally, and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. 
“As spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country. 
“Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the compact that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015 and 2019.
“To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so. 
“The blatant meddling in the affairs of a First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. 
“We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost 4 years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President,” the First Lady said.
The First Lady added that Garba Shehu, as Villa Spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but that “because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. 
Aisha Buhari stressed that Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and it’s execution and that he was shocked when he realized that she had publicized her return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019 and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job she said he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family. 
“Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. 
“He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga. 
“It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow office of the First Lady to run.  
“He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. 
“This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution. 
“Today, even without a budget, I am able to run my humanitarian programmes.
In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers,” she said.
Aisha added that the “latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself.”
Several Nigerians however, wondered why the First Lady makes this kind of outburst, when her husband is not around, and if President Muhammadu Buhari would support his wife or Garba Shehu, when he returns to the country from Egypt on Friday, 13th December, 2019 or keep mute on the matter as he has done in the past.
With these, millions of Nigerians have applauded Aisha Buhari as a defender of democracy, who is never afraid to lend her voice to issues despite being the wife of the President.
The First Lady is seen as a rare breed and Africa’s First Lady with the loudest voice, when the need arises despite the fact that she comes from the northern part of the country, where women are not expected to speak loudly.
Aisha might be hated by those in power that are immensely benefiting from the system, but she is loved by women and the masses and they see her as the icon of democracy and hope that all is not lost after all despite the travails of the country under the present government.
Aisha is seen as a very dependable woman that has been with her husband all through the period he had been contesting elections right from 2003 until he eventually succeeded in 2015. She stood by the husband through thick and thin, keeping the family and raising beautiful children since she married Buhari 30 years ago.
The thinking of many in Nigeria and beyond is that the likes of Garba Shehu and Mamman Daura should let the first lady live in peace with her family and reap the fruits of her years of labour. But many believe despite the travails she has been going through, Hajia Aisha Buhari will hold her ground, and continue to fight for good governance and protection of democratic ethos in Nigeria. She is indeed an iconic amazon worthy of emulation by other wives of African leaders.

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IBB varsity gets new VC

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Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State has approved the appointment of Adamu Kasim, a professor, as the new Vice Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL).

A statement by the Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Ahmed Matane, in Minna on Tuesday said the appointment was with immediate effect.

He said the appointment was in recognition of Mr Kasim’s track record of achievements as the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration of the university, a position he occupied until his appointment.

Mr Matane added that Mr Kasim is expected to bring his knowledge, administrative skills and wealth of experience to bear in the performance of his new assignment.

He urged the new Vice Chancellor to focus on full accreditation and physical development that would transform the University into a world class institution.

He enjoined the new vice chancellor to surpass his performance as the Deputy Vice Chancellor, where he recorded tremendous achievements.

The SSG lauded the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Nasiru Maiturare, a professor, for a successful tenure and urged him to give the new Vice Chancellor the necessary support to move the institution forward.

Mr Kasim is from Dukku, Rijau Local Government Area of the state.

He received his early education at Central Primary School, Dukku, he had his Secondary education at Government Science College, Kagara before proceeding to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained B.Sc. Botany, M.Sc Botany and Ph.D, crop breeding from the same Institution.

He is a member of professional bodies such as Botanical Society of Nigeria, Genetic Society of Nigeria, National Association of Nuclear Scientist and Science Teachers Association of Nigeria among others.

(NAN)

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