President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Lagos reiterated that his directive to security agencies, to shoot any person or persons found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons, remains in place.
The President also vowed that his administration will act firmly and decisively ‘‘against any and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks on our Police Force and other security personnel.’’
The President spoke at the handing over of security equipment by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the Lagos State Police Command during his one-day official visit to the State.
President Buhari warned that ‘‘a nation that turns its Police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.’’
‘‘As Commander-in-chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to rest assured that we will secure this country.
‘‘We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people,’’ he said.
The President told members of the Nigeria Police that as the government strives to improve their welfare and capacity, the citizens equally had expectations from them.
‘‘First let me commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire Force for the recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.
‘‘I have charged the Inspector-General to leave no stone unturned in rebuilding the morale of his officers and men, especially in the aftermath of the mindless violence associated with the EndSARS protests, as well as the recent spate of attacks on Police Stations in some parts of the country,” he said.
Commending the Lagos Governor on the newly-acquired security equipment and assets, the President noted that it would go a long way in boosting the morale of the Police, and further enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.
‘‘This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wake of the ENDSARS protests last October, which saw the security architecture in Lagos State being severely damaged,’’ he said.
The President added that it was commendable that Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, has shown a truly resilient spirit, in the face of the massive destruction it suffered last October.
‘‘You did not allow yourselves to be deterred by the severe setback; instead you have bounced back and are now boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.
‘‘I acknowledge the initiative taken to kick-start the rebuilding process, through the establishment of the Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, and through this very laudable effort by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. I enjoin other State Governments to emulate your bold, proactive and resourceful initiative,’’ he said.
The President also used the occasion to reiterate that the ‘‘Federal Government takes very seriously our constitutional oath to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people, adding that his administration was conscious of the fact that lasting security is a necessary foundation for business, investment and true prosperity.
President Buhari declared that no Federal government since 1999 has been as committed as his administration in reforming and repositioning the Nigeria Police Force and national policing architecture.
‘‘In 2019, I signed into law the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, the first in the history of the Force, to provide guaranteed funding to support Police welfare, logistics and equipment.
‘‘In September 2020, I assented to the Bill amending the Nigeria Police Act, which was originally enacted in 1943.
‘‘This new Act, a vast improvement over the old one, among other things spells out the modalities for the implementation of a National Community Policing Scheme in Nigeria.
‘‘This new scheme will build confidence within our local communities and make them active stakeholders in the safety and security of their environs.
‘‘We are currently recruiting 10,000 new Police officers to reinforce our personnel capacity across the country. In addition to this, I have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to carry out an upward review of Police salaries and benefits,’’ he said.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021
Arise Interview: Buhari Evasive, Dodgy, Claimed Our Projects, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is appalled by President Muhammadu Buhari’s deplorable performance at the exclusive interview on Arise Television this morning.
Our party is dismayed that while millions of Nigerians eagerly expected President Buhari to use the interview to address salient issues confronting our nation, Mr. President bungled the opportunity by being evasive and dodgy while attempting to lay claims to projects done by PDP administrations.
Instead of addressing issues and providing direction for our nation, President Buhari exposed his cluelessness, paucity of ideas for development while making very provocative comments that could embolden terrorists as well as serve as recipe for further division and violence in the country.
On Infrastructure, it is ludicrous to us in the PDP that Mr. President can disingenuously seek to subtract the deliverables achieved by past PDP administration from his so-called achievement on infrastructure.
The PDP places it on record and we know that Nigerians are also aware that President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was elected on the platform of the PDP, introduced a 25 years national development plan upon assumption of office in 1999.
This included the massive construction and expansion of road network, power plants, railways projects, inland and coastal waterways, airports, housing, agricultural and health projects as well as establishment of new universities and other legacy projects in various parts of our country.
We want to inform President Buhari, since he is not always aware, that successive governments elected on the platform of the PDP built on these development plans leading to the expansion of major trunk roads across our country, railways and other legacy projects which, probably, his handlers are making him to believe are his.
It is on record that President Goodluck Jonathan also took on a massive expansion of our international and domestic airports, across the country, built and commissioned railway stations.
It is instructive to state that where projects were yet to be completed, it is only a natural occurrence for any Nigerian elected as President to proceed, in the national interest, to complete such projects.
The PDP therefore considers it tacky for Mr. President to seek to claim any credit for projects he never conceptualized, commenced or built to near completion, just because he found himself in office at the point of completion.
Should Mr. President be reminded that even the expansion of the Presidential Villa including the Banquet Hall, which his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) uses today as its National Secretariat was conceptualized and built by the PDP government, though leaders of the APC stood stoutly against the project while it was on-going?
President Buhari also needs to accept the bitter fact that the current draw back in infrastructural development in our country started with his administration. Like a relay race, successive PDP administrations furthered infrastructural development only for him to run the opposite direction when the baton was passed to him.
It is important to state that only the on-going refurbishing of Akwanga-Maiduguri road that President Buhari can lay claim to as the singular and only project in which he has demonstrated capacity.
The expectation of Nigerians is that in an interview like this, Mr. President should give honour to those who conceptualized and built these projects to near completion and, in most cases, only for him to perform the commissioning ceremony.
Mr. President must also be reminded that all institutions of good governance under the contemporary dispensation including the EFCC, ICPC, the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and Debt Management Office (DMO) among others were PDP’s creation.
Even the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which has become the referral point for his administration, was created by the PDP with stiff opposition from leaders of the APC, like former Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole.
On issue of devolution of power, state police and restructuring, it is disappointing and heartrending that Mr. President was evasive, dodgy and had no direct response to these burning issues even in the face of a national consensus for the amendment of the1999 Constitution to address these pertinent issues.
It is also alarming that Mr. President, in his own words, dismissed two governors who ran to him for solution to issues of national security, with escalated killings, kidnapping and violence in their states.
That action as revealed by Mr. President is very disturbing because, as the commander-in-chief, on whose shoulder rests the responsibility of securing our nation, and who also promised to lead from the front, his reaction ought not to have been dismissive of the said governors.
This action as narrated by Mr. President clearly showed how he abdicated his responsibility and yet was audacious to come to the public arena and made open his personal flaws and failures that have affected the foundation of our national security and emboldened terrorists, kidnappers and bandits to attack and kill our compatriots.
On the issue of fuel subsidy, it is a known fact that cross boarder crimes like smuggling have their negative effect on prices of petroleum products. While this constitutes a challenge to our economy, the fundamental issue which Mr. President dodged in the interview is the sleazy nature of subsidy policy under his administration.
Mr. President failed to tell Nigerians how the volume of PMS used in our country progressed exponentially from 35 million liters per day to the current fictitious 100 million liters per day, upon which his administration’s subsidy payout is calculated.
In an interview in which for the first time in the history of his government, President Buhari flamboyantly faced the camera, the opaque nature of the subsidy regime under his administration ought to have been topical. The expectation of Nigerians was for Mr. President to address the demand for openness in his administration’s subsidy regime as well as why Nigerians are paying humongous sums on subsidy.
On corruption, we invite Nigerians to note that President Buhari admitted in the interview, that corruption was endemic in his administration; that there are corrupt persons in his administration and his party, but that he devised a way of easing them out and thus giving them official covers instead of exposing such persons and allowing them to face the law. This validates our position that the Buhari Administration is a sanctuary of corruption.
It is also distressing that President Buhari used the interview to issue threats to Nigerians as well as justify the nepotism that has characterized appointment of key officials of his administration to the chagrin of our national sensibilities.
Such disposition to our national sensibilities is a recipe for further divisions and violence in our country.
Most disheartening is that in the face of grave security concerns across the federation, President Buhari proffered no solutions, even when he admitted that insecurity has almost overwhelmed his administration.
Also, though he lamented the invasion of our national territory by Sahelians, Mr. President did not introduce any concrete measure that can vanquish these set of criminals.
The interview session was therefore a Presidential demonstration of the challenges confronting our nation without a modicum of solution either now or in the future. It was all about buck-passing, grandstanding and a holier-than-thou disposition of the Buhari Presidency.
From the interview, it is clear that President Buhari has no legacy project to point to except infrastructural backwardness, false performance claims, covering corruption, destroying of our national institutions, wrecking of our economy, dividing Nigerians as well as reckless borrowings with nothing to show.
National Publicity Secretary
SANWO-OLU HANDS OVER CRIME-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT TO POLICE, ASKS SECURITY AGENCIES TO CRUSH CRIMINALS
- Buhari: ‘Lagos Has Shown True Resilient Spirit’
- Lagos Equips Police with Anti-Riot Water Cannons, Troop Carriers, Patrol Vehicles, APCs, Communication Gadgets
- Governor, Again, Makes Case for ‘Special Status’
Lagos State Government has tightened the noose on criminal elements, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu fortifies the armoury of the State Police Command with new hardware and gadgets.
One hundred and fifty units of double cabin vehicles, 30 patrol saloon cars, four high-capacity troop carriers and two anti-riot water cannon vehicles are part of the crime-fighting equipment donated to the police, on Thursday, by the Lagos Government to strengthen security responses across the State.
President Muhammadu Buhari personally took inventory and commissioned the security equipment before Governor Sanwo-Olu handed over the equipment to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, for the use of Lagos Police Command.
The gadgets were procured through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) – an autonomous agency that partners with the private sector and individuals to provide vital support to security agencies.
Buhari said the equipment would go a long way in boosting the morale of the police, and enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.
Sanwo-Olu said the investment in the security gadgets was timely, given the setback recorded in security operations occasioned by the coordinated violence that followed the EndSARS protests, last October. The State’s Police Command, the Governor said, suffered losses in infrastructure and logistics, while the morale of the personnel dropped as a result of the impact.
Since then, the Governor pointed out that Lagos had felt the negative effects of the loophole in security architecture, accounting for a rising wave of criminal activities by hoodlums seeking to take advantage of vulnerability.
He said: “No society can survive without a motivated and well-equipped Police Force. Hoodlums and criminals know this; hence, the relentless attacks on police installations nationwide. It is our responsibility as Government to ensure that criminals’ nefarious aims are not achieved. They seek to demoralise and destabilise the police and other law enforcement agents, but we will continue to boldly proclaim, ‘Not on our watch’!
“Today, Lagos State Government is handing over brand new crime-fighting equipment to the State Police Command as our own way of assisting the Police Force to rebuild after the violence and massive destruction that followed the EndSARS protests last October. We are determined to stabilise the security situation in Lagos State, as our own contribution towards lasting national security.”
In addition to the supply of hardware to the police and other security agencies, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos Government had been building capability in cutting-edge security technology in line with his administration’s Security and Governance pillar, which seeks to transform the State into a 21st century economy.
The Governor said the State Government had started the phased rollout of security cameras across the metropolis, stating that the objective was to install the 2,000 surveillance cameras connected to fibre optic network.
The Governor vowed to make Lagos inhospitable for criminals and traffic robbers, charging the police not to spare anyone found wanting for armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and banditry.
He said: “State Government, in conjunction with the Local Government, has expended enormous resources on the crime fighting equipment and other apparatus being handed over today. I urge the police to do everything in their power to ensure that these assets are handled with care and a sense of true ownership and responsibility, so that the gears can last long and maximally deliver the intended outcome, which is sustained security in Lagos.”
Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to, again, make a request for a “Special Economic Status” for Lagos in order to bolster the State’s capacity and efficiency in managing critical infrastructure servicing the national economy. The Governor thanked the President for infrastructure projects sited in Lagos, saying the Lagos-Ibadan Railway line commissioned by the President remained the most momentous any Federal Government has made in the State.
President Buhari praised Sanwo-Olu for the investment, saying the Governor had shown a true resilient spirit in the face of the massive destruction Lagos suffered last October.
Buhari said the Governor did not allow himself to be deterred by the severe setback, instead had started to boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.
He also acknowledged the ‘Rebuild Lagos’ initiative kick-started to replace assets torched by arsonists in the wake of violence, describing the move as “very laudable”. He enjoined other State Governments to emulate Lagos “bold and proactive actions”.
The President said: “Let me commend Lagos State for what it is doing in the areas of reinforcement and support for the security agencies in the State. I also commend all the private sector partners who have risen up to the challenge and partnered with the State Government in its ongoing battle to quell the upsurge of crime and insecurity. It is my hope that this public-private sector partnership will be an example to others to demonstrate similar acts of generosity and responsibility.”
The IGP commended Lagos State Government for the gesture, describing Sanwo-Olu as “a security conscious” Governor. The police boss said the donation was a game changer in strengthening security in the Southwest region.
Other gadgets donated by the Sanwo-Olu Government to the police include two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 200 security patrol bikes, 1,000 units of ballistic vests, 1,000 ballistic helmets, 1,000 handheld walkie-talkies, office furniture, and other ancillary resources.
While in Lagos, President Buhari, joined by Governor Sanwo-Olu also commissioned the 156Km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail, and Deep Blue Security Assets Project to secure the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Gulf of Guinea.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 10, 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI FELICITATES WITH 9TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON 2ND ANNIVERSARY
On behalf of Nigerians, and the Federal Executive Council, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to the leadership and members of the 9th National Assembly on their second anniversary, extolling the sense of duty and diligence in handling issues related to the development of the country.
President Buhari salutes the vision, courage and patriotism of the Assembly, noting, with appreciation, the understanding and maturity of the lawmakers in speedily processing bills that directly impact the welfare of Nigerians, courageously finding common grounds to move the country forward, and passionately carrying out their oversight functions with justice and fairness.
The President presents his goodwill to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, congratulating them for using their wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to ensure a peaceful working relationship among lawmakers, between both chambers, the Judiciary and the Executive, by always focusing on the larger picture of nation building.
As the 9th National Assembly commemorates the landmark, President Buhari believes the legislature has brought dignity and honour to the country, and looks forward to more years of harmonious working relationship, with focus on improving the livelihood of citizens, and creating an enabling environment for a prosperous nation where both the young and old can fully realize their dreams.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021
INAUGURATION OF LAGOS-IBADAN COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS ANOTHER MILESTONE IN NIGERIA’S RAILWAY REVIVAL, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Buhari Thursday inaugurated the commercial operations of Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos, describing the feat ‘‘as another milestone in the drive of this Administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight.’’
The President pledged that his administration would continue to prioritise the railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.
On the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, President Buhari said:
‘‘This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.
‘‘In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.
‘‘The Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.
‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
‘‘This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.’’
The President expressed delight that his directive to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance on reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway was yielding results.
He noted that Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
‘‘From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.
Commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the President praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the Ministry’’ for a job well done.
Shortly after he inaugurated the project, President Buhari took a ride from Ebute Metta Station to Energy Nature Light (ENL), Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos.
He was joined by the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and the Deputy Governor of Ondo, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of State Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, other Ministers as well as some government officials.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021
CELEBRATING DEMOCRACY DAY, 2021
In commemoration of DEMOCRACY Day, June 12, 2021, a one hour documentary titled “NIGERIA: Consolidating Democracy and National Unity,” will debut simultaneously on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Channels TV networks this Saturday at 8:00-9:00pm. TVC will be showing at 4:30-5:30pm the following day, Sunday June 13th.
The film features President Muhammadu Buhari and dignitaries who were central to the annulled June 12 election and the events that followed, including General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Kola Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Costello and Mohammed Fawehinmi, son of legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi who along with Amb. Babagana Kingibe, was also recognized with a Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) national honor.
With sections dedicated to the annulled election, recognition process and evolution of Nigeria’s democracy and continuing quest for its consolidation and national unity from Independence in 1960, the documentary was filmed exclusively in Nigeria and directed by the award winning, Nigerian-American, Hollywood-based filmmaker Ose Oyamendan.
Also featured are President Goodluck Jonathan, children of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the country’s first and only Prime Minister, those of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first republic opposition leader and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first President as well as Amb. Shehu Malami, nephew of Sir Ahmadu Bello and son of Sultan Abubakar III, as they capture the spirit of Nigeria’s Independence Day in 1960.
The documentary will be shown at 8:00pm on Saturday, June 12, on both the NTA and Channels TV. TVC will be showing at 4:30-5:30pm on Sunday June 13th.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 9, 2021
Itsekiri Nation backs FG, honours Godswill Akpabio
- Makes case for NDDC Plum Job
- Wants East West Road project extended to Warri-Benin Road
Youths in Warri Kingdom on Friday night commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his commitment to the cause of the region.
‘’We should all take a cue from this outstanding statesman and driving force behind the reinvention of the Niger Delta region’’
They also said that Akpabio had come to work, serve and make the Niger Delta region great.
‘’The Niger Delta region is progressing steadily’’
At a ceremony organised to honour Akpabio in Warri, the youths critically assessed Akpabio’s performance and scored it excellent.
Speaker after speaker hailed Akpabio for the multiple dividends of democracy, his efforts to revolutionize the Niger Delta region and uplift the lot of his people.
The youths expressed satisfaction with the level of performance of the development agency and the on-going NDDC forensic audit.
The event drew who-is-who in Warri Kingdom and many youths and elders from other parts of Delta State.
Chairman of All Itsekiri Youth Associations (AIYA), Dr. Omatshola Sagay, praised Akpabio for making the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is a pragmatic and visionary leader who thinks ahead of his people. He is the best thing happening in the Niger Delta region’’.
The Itsekiri youths and elders who spoke in one voice urged youths in other parts of the region to give peace a chance, which they said was necessary for development of the oil and non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
‘’Everybody in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of his/her status or political leaning should join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio in the onerous task of moving the Niger Delta region forward’’
They described the seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a major breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta by certain people as ridiculous.
The youths suggested that current moves to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should include the consideration of someone from Itsekiri nation.
Warri Kingdom is the highest oil producing area in Delta State.
They also urged Buhari to extend the construction of the East West Road to Warri -Benin Road.