Since May 29, 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, Nigeria has been facing multiples ills from comatose economy, unending scarcity of fuel and its attendant effect, non availability of electricity, inflation, naira depreciation, political instability, Fulani herdsmen terrorism etc. Though the life of an average Nigerian irrespective of ethnic or political standing save the thieving class due to the collapse of the economy, what is troubling Nigerians, especially those of non hausa-fulani muslims is the ravaging motivated terrorists and arsonists, masquerading as fulani herdsmen and inflicting pains and havoc on innocent Nigerians and on their own ancestral land.
It is no secret that apart from being a military man and a politician, Muhammadu Buhari is also an herdsman. In fact, long before became President, he once led hundreds of herdsmen from Katsina state to Oyo state to protest against perceived ill-treatment of his “colleagues” by the government and people of Oyo state. While I’m not disturbed about the President background as an herdsman, I find it in appropriate and an act of treason that the President would continue to look the other way while his kinsmen and colleagues inflict pains and deaths on innocent Nigerians.
The President by his inaction is subtly giving the marauding terrorists moral support and endorsing their carnage.
Is it not an irony that this is the same President that declared tough action against less dangerous Niger Delta militants, Shia movement and non violent IPOB group, one begins to wonder the real agenda of Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari. The silence and inaction of Buhari is in contravention to the oath of office that he swore on May 29, 2015. The President had sworn that “I shall not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct on my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.”
In all sincerity, the action of the President did not come as a surprise to some of us. The Interior Minister Abdulraman Dambazau was once manipulated by the people of Berom of Jos that he aided the rampaging Fulani herdsmen to attack and kill the people of Berom in 2008 while he was the Chief of Army Staff of the federation, this is a man that President Buhari entrusted the internal security of Nigeria on. Is it a coincident that fulani herdsmen is descending on the innocent igbos of Enugu state less than one month after the DSS alleged that IPOBs Killed Fulani in Abia state and kept them in mass grave?
What can we do to stop the maurading herdsmen? It is even unfortunate that the system is skewed to favor the terrorists. In fact, the President upon assumption of office deliberately made sure that the security apparatus of the state are exclusively controlled by either his tribesmen or those from him Muslim north region. He appointed Maj Gen Babagana Moguno as National Security Adviser, He appointed tribesman Daura as DG DSS, another tribesman Raman Dambazzau as interior minister(a position that oversee internal security including the police), he went even further to appoint another tribesman Mallam Dan Ali as his Minister of Defence. To ensure the loyalty of the Army, the President had another tribesman Tukur Buratai as his Chief of Army staff. This arrangement means that EVERY SECURITY apparatus of the Nigeria State is fully in the grasp of Buhari’s kinsmen. Is it a coincident that NON of these people his ever condemned the Fulani terrorists herdsmen nor went tough on them. On the contrary, Mr Daura led DSS openly declared a phantom grave in Aba the covered the body of non existing fulanimen, while the Buratai Army would rather arrest innocent Abia men whose land WaS attacked by herdsmen instead of arresting the herdsmen. Nigeria is in a deep poo in this cocount.
It took the Ombatse group to take the fights on behalf of the eggon nation of Nasarawa state to the doorstep of the Fulani herdsmen before the herdsmen flee their land and their people. Though I’m not advocating violence against any group, I believe that the only language the terrorists herdsmen understand is violence. It is however, incumbent on the State to rise up to the occasion and arrest the situation otherwise the victims would be left with no option than to pick up arms against these people and take the fight to their doorstep just like the eggons did. This however, will be tantamous to civil war but Nigerians are already at war with these so called herdsmen. I make bold to state that we shall hold Buhari responsible should things degenerate into such situation.
Enough is Enough.
Nigerians cannot be at the mercies of any terrorist group. The Agatu and Enugu massacre are deaths too many. The President has the responsibility of rising to the occasion, otherwise the country would burn.
I use this medium to call on Nigerians, especially victims of herdsmen terrorism to resist every move by the State to reward herdsmen with our ancestral lands through the obnoxious Grazing bill. In fact, any representative or senator that support such bill should be declared a persona non grata by coconstituents.
I shall end this piece by expressing my sincere apology to the Nigeria people for the support I gave to then APC Presidential Candidate prior to my February 16, 2015 change of camp to the People’s Democratic Party, even though I never really admired the style of then incumbent Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan. Indeed, the President is a grave mistake on Nigerians.
May God Almighty Bless Us All And Bless Nigeria
FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale
The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.
The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.
Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.
The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.
It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.
It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.
The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.
“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”
The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.
The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.
According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.
Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.
The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.
Coronavirus – Angola: Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Oil Price Shock
The COVID-19 pandemic and the shock from the falling price of oil have put severe pressure on Angola since the country’s second review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in December 2019.
Only months after the conclusion of the second review in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic reached Angola, ushering in economic and health crises. The decline in oil prices further strained the economy, which is heavily reliant on oil exports. The economic downturn and social distancing to contain the spread of the virus have been damaging, especially given the large informal sector.
A swift response to the crisis
The Angolan authorities adopted timely measures to tackle the challenges arising from the COVID-19 shock. Measures to protect public health included quarantine, social distancing, closing of borders with limited exceptions, closures of schools, restaurants, and public events, and limited transportation. The government recently approved a prudent supplementary budget for 2020 using a conservative oil reference price. It has also introduced a comprehensive set of fiscal and monetary measures to support economic activities.
On relief to help vulnerable people:
• Tax exemptions of value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties on goods imported under humanitarian aid and donations.
• VAT tax credit for imported capital goods and raw materials for producing essential consumption goods.
• Interest-free, deferred payment option for social security contributions.
• Regulation of prices for a list of medical goods.
On government spending:
• Freeze of 30 percent of purchases on nonessential goods and services.
• Reduction in the number of ministries from 28 to 21.
• Suspension of selected, nonessential capital expenditures.
• Decrease in travel and real estate investments.
• Additional liquidity support to banks and a liquidity line to buy government securities from nonfinancial corporations.
• A credit-stimulus program.
• Temporary suspension for debt service payments.
• Requirement for banks to provide credit to importers of essential goods.
A proactive external debt management
The government needs to safeguard its ability to continue to service its debt on schedule, even under the current trying circumstances. The government has therefore availed itself of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. They have also secured selected debt reprofiling operations with some of their large creditors.
Financial support from the IMF
On September 16, 2020, the IMF’s Executive Board approved the third review under the EFF and additional financial support to Angola to help mitigate the impact of the crises. Accordingly, the IMF has provided $1 billion to Angola, bringing its total expected financial support to about $4.5 billion under the three-year program. The authorities are strengthening their public financial management to improve accountability for the funds received from the IMF and debt relief from creditors.
The path to recovery
It is important for Angola to continue to stabilize the economy, control inflation, keep the reform momentum, and safeguard financial stability. It is also crucial to persevere with structural reforms, such as privatization, improvement in governance in state-owned enterprises, and strengthened legal frameworks. These reforms will help improve the business environment and pave the way for foreign direct investment and growth-enhancing economic diversification.
Republic of Korea Contributes Rice and Cash to Assist Ugandans threatened by locusts
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed 5,000 metric tons of rice and US$300,000 in cash from the Republic of Korea to provide much-needed relief assistance to 781,000 people including refugees and Ugandans threatened by locusts.
“WFP is extremely grateful for the continued generosity of the Republic of Korea since 2018 and its appreciation of the immense humanitarian needs in Uganda, which were suddenly made even more complicated by COVID-19,” said WFP Officer in Charge Ryan Anderson.
”This contribution of 5,000 metric tons of rice found us at a crossroads when we were considering whether to make deeper ration cuts for refugees because of a shortage of funding, even as we have evidence that they already face high food insecurity,” he added.
Combined with other contributions, the rice may allow WFP to maintain rations for 1.26 million refugees at the current 70 percent of a full ration for a while. Valued at US$4.3 million, it will also meet cereal needs of 614,000 refugees in seven settlements towards the end of the year.
The additional US$300,000 in cash will enable WFP to meet the relief needs of 167,000 people in the northeastern region of Karamoja, which is the most food-insecure region in the country and is threatened by a combination of malnutrition among its residents, locusts, floods and animal diseases.
“The Republic of Korea is committed to supporting vulnerable groups of people in Uganda, especially refugees fleeing conflict and nationals faced by chronic food shortages and malnutrition,” said Ambassador Ha Byung-Kyoo.
“We also are very pleased to continue making contributions of rice, which we have heard is appreciated by the refugees and contributes to much needed dietary diversity,” he added.
WFP was forced to reduce rations for refugees in April to 70 percent of a full ration because of funding shortages. The economic pressures that COVID-19 has brought on donor capitals has further complicated funding to feed refugees. WFP is putting in place safety measures in 13 refugee settlements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during food and cash distributions.
The Republic of Korea has contributed rice to WFP in Uganda annually since 2018 in support of 1.43 million refugees – the highest number of refugees hosted by any country in Africa.
The US$300,000 contribution will also contribute to supporting WFP assistance in Karamoja. Even though families in the region were able to harvest some crops in August, despite repeated sightings of locusts between February and July, the very presence of the pests in the region threatens both agriculture and vegetation needed for animals. Relief food helps to cushion families as the government and UN partners work to control the impact of locusts.
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