President Muhammadu Buhari’s legal team has played a video clip at the Tuesday’s hearing of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal showing the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressing fear about the possibility of deploying electronic transmission of results for the 2019 general elections.
The INEC Chairman was seen in the clip in a”one-on-one interview with INEC Chairman” shown on Channels Television on February 6, 2019, pointing to the problems of communication, poor coverage of 2G, 3G, 4G networks in the country, let alone 5G that was yet to be available in Nigeria, and the issues of cybersecurity, as militating against the possibility of deployment of electronic transmission of results during the election.
In the clip, INEC chairman was seen as saying that discussion with network providers was in progress, he then added, “We still need to do a lot more before we can use the technology of transmitting the results of election”.
Under cross-examination by Buhari’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), the petitioners’ 40th witness, Segun Showunmi, through whom the petitioners tendered 48 VCDs, on Monday, confirmed that Channels TV‘s logo appeared on the three-minute-long clip.
He also confirmed that the person interviewed “looked like the INEC Chairman”.
He confirmed that he knew the interviewer, Seun Okinbaloye.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s agriculture sector initiatives may yield no success if the insecurity devastating Nigeria’s northwest persists, the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman, suggested on Monday.
According to Daily Trust, the Emir told the Minister for Agriculture, Audu Ogbe, that farmers and herdsmen who are the target beneficiaries of government initiatives have abandoned their farms and herds as killings and kidnappings spiral in the region, which includes Katsina, Mr Buhari’s home state.
Mr Ogbe was in the Katsina palace, alongside the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, ahead of the national launch of the distribution of cotton seeds/inputs to farmers for the 2019 planting season, the newspaper reported.
But the Emir seized the moment to lament the level of insecurity in the region, which appears to be deteriorated as the so-called bandits continue to kidnap and kill from Abuja-Kaduna highway to rural communities across the northwest.
There are no reliable statistics on the incidents but Punch newspaper reported that 41 persons were killed last week in Zamfara State alone and reports of kidnappings and killings in other states, including Kaduna, feature in the dailies almost every day.
“Every day I receive reports of kidnapping and killings from the district and village heads,” the Emir said, as reported by Daily Trust.
Speaking to the visiting minister, he said: “Tell the president that we have to take care of our people, security first. All these programmes, as good as they are, cannot be (successful) without security. Security is first and fundamental.
He continued: “What are you to gain by killing, kidnapping people? It’s very unfortunate. I have not seen this kind of country; how do we live like animals? Three days ago, Magaji Gari (of Daura emirate council) was abducted. Nobody is safe now, whether in your house or road, wherever you are.
“What we want you to do for us is to stop the fight. Many people have deserted, abandoned their farms in fear of kidnapping and killings and other atrocities. It’s very unfortunate.”
Although there is an ongoing military operation to restore calm in the northwest, the region has remained troubled. Daily Trust had previously reported that Nigerians in Katsina were fleeing to the neighbouring Niger Republic to escape the persistent attacks.
The northwest is the latest addition to Nigeria’s regions where conflicts have risen beyond the police constabulary role and required military deployment.
Others are the oil-rich Niger Delta, the Middle Belt or north-central which is affected by the herdsmen-farmers’ conflicts and the northeast that is ravaged by the Boko Haram terrorism.
In the past week, federal lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives lamented the worsening insecurity in the region. Between April 11 and last Thursday, the Reps twice summoned Mr Buhari over the crisis.
The motion leading to the latest summon last Thursday was sponsored by a lawmaker from Mr Buhari’s Katsina home state, Ahmed Safana.
“For the last one year, Wallahi, I can’t go to my village and sleep,” one lawmaker Adamu Chika said during Thursday’s proceedings. Overwhelmed by emotion, the lawmaker wept as he asked: “Mr Speaker, where are we going?”
At the time, the president was in the United Kingdom on a “private visit”. On his arrival on Sunday, after 10 days, he appeared to be trivialising the insecurity when asked if the public should expect a new strategy.
“No. I have just seen the IG, I think he is losing weight. I think he is working very hard,” he replied, referring to the police insepctor general.
His lighthearted response to a deadly crisis many Nigerians believe should be considered a national emergency, sparked outrage.
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the donation of a sum of $500,000 to the elections that held in Guinea Bissau last month.
According to a State House press statement released via the official Twitter account of the presidency, the donation, which was made in response to “an urgent request for assistance by the Government of Guinea Bissau”, also included 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, five Hilux vans and two light trucks.
“In his capacity as Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, Pres Buhari, this morning, directed Minister of Foreign Affairs, @GeoffreyOnyeama to undertake an urgent mission as his Special Envoy to Guinea Bissau, in the company of ECOWAS Commission President,Jean-Claude Brou,” one of the tweets reads.
“President @MBuhari had in response to an urgent request for assistance by the Government of Guinea Bissau graciously approved support to the country’s election process including 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, 5 Hilux vans, 2 light trucks and US$500,000.
“This vital assistance ensured that legislative elections held in Guinea Bissau, which should help in stabilizing the country.”
The presidency also confirmed that in a separate development, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister will also undertake a mission to Cotonou, Benin, to deliver a personal message to President Patrice Talon from President Buhari.
“The visit is in the context of the brewing political crisis ahead of April 28, 2019, legislative elections in the country,” it said.
The senate has resolved to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the bill seeking to stipulate a time within which the annual budget estimates must be submitted to the legislature.
The bill is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration No. 28,) bill 2018.
This fourth alteration bill is seeking to stipulate the timeframe within which the president or governor shall lay the appropriation bill before the national or state houses of assembly.
The resolution of the upper legislative chamber was sequel to the adoption of recommendations of a technical committee set up to review Buhari’s decision to decline assent to the bills on Wednesday.
Recall that the president has vetoed over 30 bills passed by the national assembly since he became president.
Sen. David Umaru, chairman of the technical committee, while presenting the report hinted that the constitution gives the senate the right to override the president.
“Therefore, the Bills having been rejected by Mr. President, the National Assembly even if it considers Mr. President’s observations or not, must pass the Bills again and be assented to by Mr. President or override the veto, in which case, Mr. President’s assent would not be required,” Umaru said.
To override the president, the senate would need at least two-thirds majority, which is 73 senators.
The committee also recommended that the upper legislative chamber reconsider 15 bills rejected by Buhari.
Some of the bills to be reconsidered are Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, 2018; National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill, 2018; National Research and Innovation Council Bill, 2018; Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill, 2018 among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration is looking at establishing 10,000 functional primary healthcare facilities across the country.
While speaking on Thursday at the inauguration of senior executive course (SEC) 41 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau state, the president said the country loses about N400 billion to medical tourism annually.
The theme of the event is: ‘Funding Universal Health Care Delivery in Nigeria.’
The president also added that Nigeria was losing so much to medical tourism because of the country’s health sector’s “inability to combat outbreak of deadly diseases and mass migration of medical personnel out of the country.”
“Government has shown strong commitment in the revitalisation of the health sector,” he said.
“These efforts notwithstanding, our health sector is still characterised by low response to the public health emergencies, inability to combat outbreak of deadly diseases and mass migration of medical personnel out of the country.
“This has resulted in increasing medical tourism by Nigerians in which Nigeria loses N400 billion on annual basis.”
Reacall that in 2017, Buhari spent over 150 days in the UK treating an undisclosed ailment.