The Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State has accused the state’s All Progressives Congress of ignorance and mischief over its comment on the purported visit of the Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, to the United States of America.
The party noted that even the Presidency had not told anyone that the wife of the President travelled to the USA.
The APC had in a statement on Sunday said the eventual travelling of Mrs. Buhari to the United States had exposed Governor Ayodele Fayose as a “shameless liar.”
He said, “The question is, did she travel to USA or Qatar? If the Presidency has not been bold enough to tell Nigerians that Mrs. Aisha Buhari travelled to the USA on official visit, only a party of scammers like the APC will go on the rooftops to celebrate photoshoped pictures as evidence of visit to USA.
While casting doubt at the trip, the PDP said Mrs. Buhari purported trip to the US did not erase the fact that her name was mentioned in the judgment delivered by the US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, USA, in criminal No 1: 07CR209, that indicted the USA Congressman, Williams Jefferson.
The statement added, “Most importantly, Nigerians have witnessed more heinous forgeries from the APC, one of them being pictorial claim that President Buhari (as the APC presidential candidate then) had an interview with Kemi Fadojutimi on ‘All Eyes on Africa’ TV show in London, whereas the interview was held in Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
“However, it is important to point out that from all evidences, the pictures circulated as arrival of President Buhari’s wife at Dulles International Airport, Washington DC could have been taken at the Doha International Airport, Qatar. Even on the official website of George Mason University and US Institute of Peace, USA where the President’s wife was said to have attended events, there is nothing to show that she attended any event in the two institutions.
“We have seen pictures of Wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki with President Barrack Obama’s wife, Michelle. We also saw pictures of Mrs. Patience Jonathan with Michelle Obama when she visited the USA. Where are Aisha Buhari’s pictures with the First Lady of USA and major government officials from the country? Or could she have arrived and departed from the USA like a spirit?
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Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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