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Buhari’s Health: Presidency Rules Out Resignation

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President Muhammadu Buhari
  • Buhari’s Health: Presidency Rules Out Resignation

The Presidency has ruled out the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari resigning his position over his ill health as being suggested by some Nigerians.

In an interview with journalists in Lagos on Friday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said those calling for the President’s resignation were merely expressing their opinion.

According to him, the views of over 15 million Nigerians that voted for the President were more important than such opinions, while expressing confidence hat God would fully restore Buhari’s health.

The President returned from medical vacation to the United Kingdom on March 10, where he spent 49 days. And since his return from vacation, Buhari has been absent at some Federal Executive Council meetings, including that of last Wednesday, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided.

It was learnt that the President needed some rest and had “asked that all the files on his table be brought to him at his official residence in the Presidential Villa.”

Adesina had attended the launch of the book, “Against the Run of Play,” written by Olusegun Adeniyi, Chairman, ThisDay Editorial Board and former Special Adviser, Media to late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The President’s absence from public functions for weeks now, has heightened public concerns about the President’s state of health with some Nigerians calling for Buhari’s resignation should he be unfit to deal with the rigours of office.

When asked if the President would yield to the calls for his resignation by some Nigerians over his poor health, Adesina said, “Well, it is an opinion, but don’t forget that about 15 million people elected the president so if one or two people expressed their opinion, will their opinions override that of 15 million people who voted for him? So those who are expressing their opinions have rights to their opinions.”

Adesina, however, expressed confidence that through prayers of Nigerians, God would fully restore Buhari’s health.

He said, “Yesterday there was still a press briefing saying there is no need for apprehension. God spared the president. In the first place, he said he had never been as sick as he was before, the same God that spared him will also ensure that he returns to full health. Nigerians prayed, God answered. Nigerians are still praying, God will still answer. That is all we believe.”

Meanwhile, President Buhari was on Friday absent at the Juma’at service held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Juma’at has been the only public function attended by the President in the last three weeks.

The President has been joining Muslim faithful for prayers inside a mosque near his office since he stopped attending the service at the National Mosque, Abuja.

Three state governors who probably had planned to join Buhari for the prayers were however present.

The governors who attended the prayer session included Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano).

The governors had on Thursday joined their colleagues for a meeting of the National Economic Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

No official reason has been given for Buhari’s absence at the prayer session as of the time of filing this report.

Buhari returned to the country on Friday, March 10 after his 49-day medical sojourn in London. He did not attend the Juma’at service that day apparently because of jet lag.

But since then, the President has not missed any of the Friday prayers until that of yesterday.

On March 17, Buhari was joined at the service by top government officials including the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Defence, Dan Mansur-Ali; Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali; and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, among others.

On March 24, the President was present and was joined by Magu and Daura among others.

On March 31, Buhari attended the prayer session and was joined by Ganduje and the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, among others.

April 7 was not different as the President was present and was joined by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari; Magu; Ali and Daura among others.

On April 14, Buhari was also present and was joined at the mosque by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Malami, Dan-Ali and Magu among others.

On April 21, the President was present and was joined by the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello; Malami and Magu among others.

It will however be recalled that the Presidency had on Thursday said as eager as the President wanted to be up and about, he had been advised by his doctors to take things slowly.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency however assured Nigerians that there was no need for apprehension over the state of health of the President.

Shehu, who noted that the President himself on his return to the country made Nigerians aware of the state of his health while he was in London, added that full recovery could be a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation.

He said, “Despite his lack of visibility, Nigerians should rest assured that President Buhari has not abdicated his role as Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria. He receives daily briefings on the activities of government, and confers regularly with his Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“His private residence, in which he has been spending the majority of his time recently, also has a fully equipped office.

“God is the giver of life and health. We are grateful that He has seen our President through the worst period of his convalescence in London.

“We are thankful that the President has passed a number of benchmarks already. We pray that God continues to see him through this period of recuperation.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Lagos State Moves to Completely Ban Okada, Keke, Introduces Minibuses

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Minibus - Investors King

The Lagos State Government on Monday announced plans to completely ban the use of motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (Keke) due to rising crime and lawlessness across the state.

The announcement was made after a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.

In the meeting attended by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Chief Judge, Kazeem Alogba; the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, traditional and religious leaders and members of the civil society, among others, the governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action.

Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the state in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such a haughty display of lawlessness and criminality,” he added.

Sanwo-Olu said from next week, the state would be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which would take the routes the motorcycles were plying.

The state Commissioner of Police, Odumosu, raised the alarm over rising security breaches from the menace of okada operations in the state.

He said between January and early this month, 320 commercial motorcycles were impounded in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

At the end of the meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached, among which was a ban on Okada “as a means of transportation in the state.”

 

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2023 Voter’s Registration Will Be Online, Biometric To Be Captured Physically- INEC

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INEC-PVC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to allow online filing during the continuous voter registration for the 2023 general election.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye, however, said only the biometric would be captured physically by INEC officials.

But the commission suffered another setback yesterday as arsonists torched its office in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.

Okoye, during a stakeholders’ meeting on expanding voter access to polling units in Kano yesterday, said: “On June 28, the voter registration exercise for those above 18 years and those who have not registered before will commence with two new innovations. Those versatile with computer can register online and only visit a registration centre to capture their biometrics.”

Okoye stated that the online registration would be introduced to reduce crowd at registration centres in line with COVID-19 protocols.

The commission called on citizens, especially those willing to contest elections, whose voter cards have been defaced, whose names were wrongly spelt or addresses and locations wrongly captured to present themselves for authentication or correction.

INEC also called for valid data of all those with disabilities or physical challenges to be captured during the continuous registration for proper projections ahead of the 2023 general election.

INEC also warned political parties and politicians who have started campaigning to desist from doing so.

Okoye said: “There is a ban on political campaigns which has not been lifted yet. And I find it necessary to draw your attention for you to understand the legal implication of violating this ban.

“I have listened to comments on radio stations, which are capable of heating the polity. Media organisations should avoid providing platforms for such comments. The media should try to curtail such tensions.

“Political parties, politicians and their supporters should understand there is a legal framework for campaigns and it has not commenced yet.”

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No Plans To Relocate AFRICOM HQ To Nigeria Or Any Part Of Africa- U.S. Replies Buhari

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AFRICOM HQ

The United States has said there is no plan to relocate its Africa Command from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any other part of Africa despite the worsening state of insecurity in the region.

The US gave the response barely two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to the US government to consider relocating AFRICOM to Africa to assist Nigeria and other adjoining countries to combat worsening terrorism, banditry and other security crises.

The President made the plea in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on April 27.

Germany-based Africa Command (AFRICOM) is the US military headquarters that oversees its operations in Africa.

Buhari’s request followed a series of recent military casualties in Nigeria’s decade-long fight against Boko Haram terrorists, fresh expansion of the insurgents’ bases to Niger and Nasarawa States, and heavy waves of abductions and killings by bandits in the North.

Buhari said, “The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.

“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes.

“The support of important and strategic partners like the United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations, hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.

“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider relocating AFRICOM headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation.”

However, the US government on Thursday ruled out any plan to relocate AFRICOM from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any part of Africa.

According to the United States Department of Defence’ Pentagon, previous studies have shown that the cost of relocating AFRICOM from Germany to Africa is very huge.

In an emailed response to The PUNCH, the Pentagon said although it would continue to value Nigeria and other countries in Africa as important partners, the American government would not consider relocating AFRICOM to any part of the African continent at the moment.

This newspaper had asked if the US would consider Nigeria’s request to relocate AFRICOM to the continent.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate on any future actions. However, at this time, moving this headquarters (AFRICOM HQ) to Africa is not part of any plans, but USAFRICOM’s commitment to their mission, our African and other partners, remains as strong today as when we launched this command more than a decade ago,” US Pentagon spokesperson, Ms. Cindi King, said.

King also ruled out any plan to consider Buhari’s request in an ongoing global US defence review.

She said, “Although there is an ongoing Global Posture Review, the relocation of Combatant Command headquarters is outside the scope of its assessment. In the case of AFRICOM, previous studies have concluded that the cost associated with the relocation of this headquarters is significant and likely to incur the expense of other engagement opportunities and activities that more directly benefit our valued African partners.

“We greatly value the partnership with Nigeria and appreciate President Buhari’s recognition of the United States’ positive contribution to African peace and security, as well as other regional partners that have made similar past pronouncements. The United States remains committed to continuing our close partnership with African countries and organisations to promote security and stability.”

It’s ‘near impossible’ for America to accept Buhari’s invitation –Campbell, ex-US ambassador

Meanwhile, a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has listed reasons why it is “unlikely or near impossible” for the US government to relocate AFRICOM from Stuttgart in Germany to Nigeria or any part of the continent.

He said aside from the fact that the cost of doing so is very huge, the Nigerian military had proved to be a difficult partner for the US over the years.

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