The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has disagreed with the purported suspension of selection process of 774,000 jobs by a National Assembly Joint Committees on Labour.
In a statement signed by Keyamo on Tuesday, he said the lawmakers had suggested that they ought to have an input on how the Special Public Works programme
“In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how. However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.
“I was then asked to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.
“After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President.
Keyamo explained that the committee has no power to suspend a programme by the executive, stressing that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.
“A Committee or Committees of both Houses do not even have powers to pass binding Resolutions. They can only make recommendations to Plenary. In this case, even Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive.
“I therefore, respectfully further direct all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered. Only Mr. President can stop their work,” he added.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State may be causing upset in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with his Governor Ntyesom Wike of Rivers State growing perceived political love with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the President. The Rivers State governor may have been on strict surveillance of the PDP over suspicion of betrayal of the party, essentially, as Governor Wike begged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay state visit to Rivers.
Governor Wike had in expression of gratitude for the approval of N78.9 billion refund for road projects in Rivers State on federal roads, thanked President Muihammadu Buhari, members of the Federal Executive Council and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for cooperation in approving the request of the Rivers State government for the refunds.
Governor Wike in an appreciation letter to President Buhari titled – “Thank you, our Dear President – stated partly as follows: “I wish to, on behalf of the Government and People of Rivers State, most sincerely thank you, for graciously approving the refund of the sum of N78.9 billion to the Rivers State government as cost of executing federal government road projects in the state.
“Let me also through you thank the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as other members of the Federal Executive Council for the support they provided to our request.
“Mr. President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the government and people of Rivers State, but has also demonstrated expressively that you are, indeed, a President for every state of the federation and Nigerians.
I assure you that the Rivers State government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the development aspirations of Rivers State, in particular, and our nation in general.
“I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr. President to kindly oblige us a state visit… to what see what we have accomplished for the State and our people…”
The Kogi State House of Assembly has lost one of its members, John Abah, who was a lawmaker representing Ibaji Constituency in the Assembly where he was serving a second term.
Abah died on Wednesday in an Abuja hospital after a protracted illness.
Governor Yahaya Bello has expressed sadness over the death of the lawmaker.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Femi Olugbemi, the Speaker expressed sadness over the death.
He sympathised with the immediate family and the people of Ibaji Constituency, noting that the deceased would be greatly missed.
”It is very sad and painful to lose a breadwinner of a family”, stressing that his demise has created “a great vacuum that will be hard to fill”.
He noted that “death is an expected end of every mortal, hence, he enjoined his family to “take solace in the words of God which say everything under the sun has time, a time to be born, and time to die”.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed 12 new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.
Dr Folasade Yem-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), made this known in a statement signed by Mrs Olawunmi Ogunmosunle, Director Communication, in her office on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The new Permanent Secretaries are Mr Akinlade Oluwatoyin from Kogi, Malam Alkali Nura from Kano State, Mr Anyanwutaku Ifeoma from Anambra.
Also appointed are Mr Ardo Kumo from Gombe State, Mr Belgore Lamido from Kwara and Mr Ekpa Akpabio from Cross River.
Others are Malam Hussaini Babangida from Jigawa State, Malam Mahmuda Mamman from Yobe, Mr Meribole Kwukuemeka from Abia, Malam Mohammed Ganda from Sokoto State, Mr Tarfa Peter from Adamawa and Mr Udoh Omokunmi from Oyo State.
Yemi-Esan said that a date for the swearing-in and deployment of the new permanent secretaries will be announced later.
Aisha Buhari, the First Lady of Nigeria has called on the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to release her staff still in their custody in order not to expose them to the danger of coronavirus.
She also called for stricter measures in the implementation of COVID-19 guidelines.
Her comment follows the increasing rate of confirmed cases recorded in Nigeria in the past few days.
The First Lady also urged the police to put those who disobey the COVID-19 restriction to undergo 14 days of mandatory isolation.
On Thursday, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, recorded 661 COVID-19 cases, the highest so far since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus.
Her tweet read: “That Covid-19 is real and still very much around in our nation is not in doubt. Consequently, I call on all relevant Government Agencies to enforce the Quarantine Act signed by Mr. President and ensure no one is found violating this law and the NCDC guidelines especially on interstate travel without the necessary exemptions for the movement of essentials.
“Anyone who does that should at the very least be made to undergo 14-day mandatory isolation no matter who the person is, no one should be above the law and the Police Command will do well to remember that.
“Finally, I call on the IGP to release my assigned staff who are still in the custody of the Police in order to avoid putting their lives in danger or exposure to Covid-19 while in their custody.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki has reacted to the claim that he forged his university certificate.
Three persons in the state, Edobor Williams, Ugbesia Abudu Godwin and Amedu Dauda Anakhu, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleged that Obaseki forged his bachelor of arts (B.A.) certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan.
But the governor, who spoke on Saturday, during a Thank You tour to principal officers and ward leaders in Oredo Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State, denied the allegelation.
He also described as laughable, claims that he lost his ward in the last general elections and urged Edo people to be wary of the antics of rumour mongers in the run-up to the state elections scheduled for September this year.
“When people come out to lie that I didn’t win my ward during the last election, they forget that election results are documented. They say I forged my certificate. How can you forge the certificate of the University of Ibadan? I am not like those that burn buildings to cover up their certificate issues,” he said.
On the state’s forthcoming governorship election, Obaseki said the poll would change the face of Nigeria’s elections and strengthen its democracy.
He said, “I am just going round to say thank you to my people for their support so far. I am assuring them that I will continue my good work in the state.
“We have been practising democracy for 21 years now. We cannot continue to behave the same way. This time, we will change the narrative. This will be a government of the people by the people and for the people. It will not be a government of the people by a few people.”
Governor Obaseki and his entourage visited wards 1, 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 during the tour.
In his latest audition to be America’s Healer-in-Chief, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech on Tuesday about the fight against systemic racism, which he said was fundamental to a “battle for the soul of the nation” this election year. “The country is crying out for leadership,” Biden said, speaking at a podium at Philadelphia City Hall, flanked by American flags. “Leadership that can unite us, leadership that brings us together, leadership that can recognize the pain and deep grief of communities that have had a knee on their neck for a long time.”
The speech was the latest in Biden’s empathy offensive—a series of remarks and public appearances that talk about the pain at the heart of the nationwide protests, while calling for unity to confront systemic racism. Biden’s strategy is to make his presidential campaign a contrast between character and empathy on his part and antagonism and bluster on Trump’s. In the process, Biden is hoping to demonstrate a model of leadership rooted in shared suffering and compassion, themes that have animated his political career.
As he has often done over his decades in public life, Biden spoke Tuesday about personal mourning and historical grief, this time in the context of communities protesting the continuing scourge of racial injustice. “We’re a nation in pain, but we must not let our pain destroy us,” he said. “We’re a nation enraged, but we cannot let our rage consume us. We’re a nation that’s exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.”
Those themes serve his larger goal of drawing a character contrast with the President’s response. Trump, who tweeted that the protesters were “THUGS” and vowed that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” had spent the weekend threatening protesters outside the White House with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons,” and urged the nation’s governors to “dominate” the protesters, whom he called “terrorists.” On Monday, Trump delivered a speech in the Rose Garden threatening the use of military force against protests and vowing to “end it now.”
Biden, by contrast, used the Tuesday speech as an opportunity to illustrate a different vision of leadership. “I look at the presidency as a very big job, and nobody will get it right every time, and I won’t either,” he said in Philadelphia. “But I promise you this: I won’t traffic in fear and division, I won’t fan the flames of hate, I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain.”
Trump to Block Chinese Airlines From the U.S. The Trump campaign responded forcefully on Tuesday, accusing Biden of using “the politics of racial division when they suited his needs.” “Joe Biden’s campaign made it clear that they stand with the rioters, the people burning businesses in minority communities and causing mayhem, by donating to post bail for those arrested,” said Trump campaign senior advisor Katrina Pierson in a statement. “He has obviously made the crass political calculation that unrest in America is a benefit to his candidacy.”
But the Philadelphia speech was just Biden’s latest demonstration of his attempt to do the things Trump can’t or won’t: ease the pain and unify the country. On Sunday, Biden visited with protesters in Wilmington, wearing a mask as he posed for selfies with demonstrators. On Monday, he visited a local black church to pray and listen to community leaders, then took a knee for a photo. Later that day, he hosted a roundtable with the mayors to discuss solutions to police violence.
The speech also represented an elaboration on Biden’s oft-repeated slogan that this race is a “battle for the soul of the nation.” In Philadelphia, he articulated an analysis of America’s battle with systemic racism that borrowed from Barack Obama’s often-repeated idea that the fight is worth having, even if it is never fully won. “I wish I could say that hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. It didn’t, and it wont,” Biden said. “American history isn’t a fairy tale with a guaranteed happy ending. The battle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push and pull for more than 240 years. A tug of war between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart.”
“The honest truth is that both elements are part of the American character,” he continued. “At our best, the American ideal wins out. But it’s never a rout, it’s always a fight, and the battle is never fully won. But we can’t ignore the truth that we’re at our best when we open our hearts rather than clench our fists.”
The response to nationwide protests around Floyd’s killing have crystallized the two candidates’ approach to the presidency: for Biden, it’s a moment to grieve and heal, for Trump, it’s a moment to emphasize divisions and talk about “law and order.” It’s “sort of a psychic X ray of what the two men are like,” says Stuart Stevens, a GOP strategist who ran Romney’s 2012 campaign and is now supporting Biden. “It’s impossible to imagine another president sitting inside the White House and rage tweeting” he said. “Even Nixon went out and talked to the protesters,” referring to Nixon’s famous visit with hippies protesting in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
The Biden team is clearly leaning into the contrast. “Whether it be on the physical or virtual campaign trail, Joe Biden’s unmatched experience, thoughtful leadership, and profound empathy are the qualities voters are searching for in a president and are completely absent from Donald Trump’s reckless behavior and deranged tweets,” says Biden spokesman Matt Hill. “As the nation mourns the loss of lives and livelihoods from coronavirus and grapples with the racial injustices that killed George Floyd, Vice President Biden has provided Americans what they are searching for—a leader who listens to their concerns, comforts grieving families, leads by example, and shows them how to come together in times of crisis.”
Biden has treated the last week as an audition for the American people, demonstrating his vision of how a President should behave through a national crisis. Part of that is drawing on his painful past: after losing his wife and daughter in a 1972 car accident and his son Beau to cancer in 2015, Biden has developed an uncommon fluency with grief, and a reflex to publicly share mourning that has powered him through his political career. “My losses are not the same as the losses felt by so many, but I know what it feels like when you think you can’t go on. I know what it means to have that black hole in your chest,” he said in Philadelphia. “But I also know that the best way to bear loss and pain is to turn that anger and anguish into purpose, and Americans know what our purpose is as a nation.”
Strategists in both parties say the roiling crises gripping the country gives Trump more rope to embarrass himself and allows Biden to flex his most powerful political muscles. “Is anybody defending Trump right now?” says Tim Miller, a Republican strategist who ran communications for Jeb Bush and is now advising conservatives to vote for Biden. “You don’t even hear Republicans on the Hill talk about how he’s doing a good job.”
The Floyd protests were just the latest opportunity for Biden to go on an empathy offensive: the coronavirus pandemic had already given him plenty of room to argue the point. Consider the difference when the American Covid-19 death toll reached 100,000 this week. On the day the New York Times ran the names of 1,000 dead Americans on their front page, Trump was golfing. On the Wednesday when the death toll surpassed 100,000, Trump tweeted glancing condolences about what he called a “very sad milestone.”
Biden, from his home TV studio, issued a 2 minute video address to mark the enormity of human loss. “There are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they’re forever fixed in each of our hearts. A shared grief,” Biden said, looking into the camera and speaking directly to the families of the dead. “I think I know what you’re feeling,” he said. “You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. It’s suffocating. Your heart is broken, and there’s nothing but a feeling of emptiness right now.”
That empathy gap may help explain how Biden has built a durable lead in the polls without visiting a single swing state or shaking the hand of a single voter in the last three months, as he’s been largely isolated in his home because of COVID-19. Biden leads Trump by 10 points according to a May 31 Washington Post/ABC News poll and has an edge in a half-dozen key swing states, an advantage that has remained remarkably stable over the past several months. One recent Quinnipiac poll found Biden leading Trump by 10 points with senior citizens and 11 points with white women, both groups Trump won handily in 2016.
Some observers say that lead is less the result of Biden’s empathy offensive than Trump’s erratic behavior in recent months. Biden‘s best move, they say, may be to just let the President stumble on his own words. “When your opponent is killing himself, just get out of the way,” explains veteran Democratic strategist David Axelrod, quoting an old campaign axiom. “Donald Trump can’t help but make himself the center of attention all the time,” he says, adding that any Biden mistakes look miniscule by contrast. “When you’re lighting your hair on fire every day, it’s hard to say ‘yea, but look at that guy.’”
And the protests could have political impact in November. While some research suggests that violent protests can favor self-proclaimed “law-and-order” conservatives like Trump, other data suggests that mobilizing non-white voters could be the key to a Democratic victory in November. “You can call them protests, but you could also call them non-white voter turnout rallies,” Stevens says. “It’s hard to imagine anything that’s going to be more motivating.”
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said no man can stop him winning a second term in office.
Obaseki said this on Wednesday when he appeared on a Channels Television programme: “Sunrise Daily.”
Obaseki spoke just as a faction of the party loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, declared a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as its consensus candidate for the June 22 primaries to pick a candidate.
Obaseki said on the Channels TV programme: “I am not a violent person.
“But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.
“God gave me power.
“If he wants me to return, I will continue.
“No man can stop me.
“Power comes from God.
“I have friends with resources.
“I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.
“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources….
“I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.
“It does not matter whether it is direct or indirect (primaries), I will win.”
Burundians turned out to vote on Wednesday despite the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced many countries to ban mass gatherings.
The country expelled the World Health Organisation representative in the country and three other officials for criticizing political parties for holding rallies.
The battle is between the ruling party, CNDD-FDD’s, retired army general, Evariste Ndayishimiye, and the main opposition challenger, Agathon Rwasa, as well as five others.
“The voting is really taking place smoothly and I voted for change but I am pessimistic about the counting of votes,” a voter, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.
Chairman of the country’s electoral commission, Pierre Claver Kazihise, called for people to come out and vote peacefully saying, “We call on Burundians to vote in massive numbers and vote peacefully. We need good elections.”
The United Nations and the Africa Union harbour doubts as well, saying they were, “concerned about reports of intimidation and violent clashes between supporters of opposing sides”.
If the election turns out to be uneventful, it would be the first peaceful democratic transition in the Central African territory, according to the news agency.
Not many international observers were allowed to monitor proceedings however, following demands that they be quarantined.
Many international observers were allowed to monitor proceedings however, following demands that they be quarantined.
Burundi has recorded 42 positive COVID-19 cases and one death from 633 tests.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, has accused Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, of telling lies despite being an Islamic scholar.
NobleReporters had learnt of how Dabiri-Erewa accused Pantami of chasing her and her staff out of a space offered to them by the Nigerian Communications Commission with armed security personnel.
She said staff were not even allowed to take their property after the armed men sealed the office.
In response, Pantami described Dabiri-Erewa’s allegation as “a big fat lie”.
He said, “This is a fat lie from her. The owner of the building @NgComCommission has faulted her lies on their social media platforms. The minister has never given that directive to any gunman. We need to be very objective in reporting. I have never sent any gunmen there, and I have no one.”
Responding to Pantami’s comments, Dabiri-Erewa said the minister did that to her because she was a woman.
She said, “An Islamic scholar should not lie hon minister (Phd). You did that to me because I am a woman. Your disrespect for women is legendary. Left the ugly incident behind me since February.
“But pls release all our office equipment. Public office is transient.”
The Southeast Governors Forum has told the Inspector General of Police, IGP Adamu Muhammed, to revert to the agreement they had on community policing.
The SGF issued a communique on Sunday which accuses the IGP of not sticking to the agreement they had when he paid a visit to their region.
The communique was read by the Chairman of the forum, Governor David Umahi, who revealed that state assemblies have been asked to enact laws to give legal backing to their security plan.
The communique reads: “The recent communication from the Inspector General of Police to our Governors on community Policing composition is not in keeping with the agreement we reached with him during his last visit to the South East.
“In the circumstance, we cannot begin implementation of it until the programme reflects our earlier agreement. The South East Governors and their leaders request the IGP to revert to our initial agreement reached on community policing at Enugu.
“The forum agreed that all South East States Houses of Assembly should commence the process of enacting the state security laws in line with the South East joint security programme.”
After a series of confrontations between Nigeria’s communication and digital economy minister Isa Pantami and chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the fight over an office space took another turn late Sunday.
The disagreement between both government officials became public after NiDCOM published a video in February on its Twitter and accused Pantami of masterminding the eviction of its staff from office space at the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) building in Abuja.
NCC is under the control of the ministry Pantami heads.
Dabiri-Erewa doubled down on that claim in an interview. The interview was aired on Friday and was later published.
But Pantami said on Twitter on Sunday that he was responsible for the eviction, claiming that the media reports did not tell “a true story.”
He has since deleted the tweet.
Dabiri-Erewa, however, insisted that Pantami was to be blamed for the problem, stopping just short of calling the minister a liar.
She accused the minister of disrespecting her because she is a woman.
“An Islamic scholar should not lie Hon Minister,” Dabiri-Erewa tweeted, “You did that to me cos I am a woman. Your disrespect for women is legendary.”
“Left the ugly incident behind me since Feb. But pls release all our office equipment. Public office is transient.”
She asked the minister to “tell us where he locked up our equipment and release them. After the lockdown, we will settle for some options we already have.”
The missing properties, NiDCOM spokesman Abdur-Rahman Balogun said, include two units of single face data ports, 24 port patch panel, Mikrotik RB 750G router, Mikrotik cloud router switch, two Headsets with microphones, two Digital PABX, 4u Server racks, Patch cables, HP desk jet 1012 all in one printer, files and documents.
NCC in a statement by its spokesman Henry Nkemadu dismissed the claims on Sunday and said the report of forceful eviction was not true.
Pantami in a tweet thereafter accused NiDCOM chairman of telling a “Big fat lie” and did not provide any explanation of events that led to the alleged eviction. He also did not speak on the allegation that NiDCOM’s working equipment was locked up in NCC building
The had since then deleted the tweet where he spoke on the issue, accusing NiDCOM chairman of telling lies.
Presidency aides silent amid intrigues A wave of apprehension is sweeping through Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as President Muhammadu Buhari begins a probe into the office of the late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari. The investigation may lead to all appointments and approvals made by Kyari without Buhari’s permission being cancelled.
This is as pundits said the volte face by the president in directing a reversal of over 100 decisions by Kyari could create more problems than it is trying to solve.
Also, a source within the Presidential Villa suggested that the power block that produced the new Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari might be the force fighting back. Sleep might have already begun eluding many officials in the MDA’s on account of contracts okayed without Buhari’s approval. If this is what the president is targeting with a view to shoring up his sagging profile, analysts say trouble looms for those who cut illegal deals with the late CoS.
Though no reason was given for the president’s action, reports suggested no less than 150 memos that didn’t have his authorisation may have been uncovered. Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina declined to confirm or refute the report. “I’ve seen your text. I’ve seen your text,” he simply said and ended the call. Also, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu did not reply to a text message seeking a confirmation on the development.
Sources told NobleReporters yesterday that the directive might just be a continuation of the bickering that produced a deep crack within the ranks of the president’s men last February.
The first sign that all was not okay within Buhari’s inner cabinet emerged in December 2019 when National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno wrote a memo to the president alleging interference by Abba Kyari. He accused the late Kyari of usurping presidential powers and directed service chiefs to ignore instructions by the latter.
Monguno’s account of a connection between Kyari’s alleged ‘meddlesomeness’ and an acute spectre of insecurity that had gripped the country was contained in a series of confidential circulars he addressed to top administration officials on national security.
The NSA also accused the chief of staff of sidestepping the president’s directive, to impose his own decision for implementation; a claim some analysts said was all but a direct accusation of treason against Kyari.
The revelations, first published by an online portal, appeared to undercut an integral aspect of the president’s response to critics: that there is unity among security chiefs towards the common interest of defeating terrorists and armed bandits, rather than an admission of clumsiness or crack in his team.
In media interviews after the memo leaked, Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai said insecurity was being confronted across board in the Buhari administration. But Monguno’s memo showed he and other service chiefs had been taking controversial orders from Kyari, despite warnings from the NSA that such a practice was not only unconventional but also in violation of the constitution.
The first signs of war between the NSA and the CoS, two of Buhari’s most powerful aides, was the open letter which revealed both men locked in a bitter confrontation amid raging insecurity.
Perhaps the most potent of allegations raised against the chief of staff by the NSA at the time was that he had been flagrantly discarding decisions already taken by the president and imposing his own recommendation(s).Observers saw this as a jarring allegation bordering on treasonable felony.
Since Buhari settled down in office in 2015, Kyari’s role as the chief of staff made him, perhaps, the most-courted associate of the president, arguably more than the president’s wife and other family members.
The chief of staff’s influence exposed him to some of the worst scandals of the administration. Shortly after telecoms giant, MTN, was slammed with a record fine in 2015, Kyari was the one who allegedly played the middleman in negotiating the fines, a role that threw up allegations of fraud when the scandal broke.
An MTN official who allegedly played a key role in the negotiation was said to have lost her job amid the controversy. But Kyari held on to his position, going forward to take part in bigger deals on government’s behalf. Kyari’s influence was also a matter of serious concern for Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife, who had repeatedly lashed out at the chief of staff for allegedly ‘caging’ her husband and making her redundant in the government.
Last November, another online newspaper reportedly obtained documents showing Kyari overriding Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on a crucial decision on RUGA projects, a series of economic palliatives designed to curtail the herdsmen crisis. It was unclear when President Buhari began his friendship with Kyari, but there is little question that it remained deep and robust since 2015.
When the president was re-elected in 2019, he issued a directive to all his appointees to clear files and memos through Kyari on any matter that required presidential attention. The president did not even single out his vice president as an exception to that restriction.
Monguno’s argument in his memo was that the chief of staff did not swear to a constitutional oath and should, therefore, not be seen issuing directives that carry serious implications for the nation. When it comes to national security, Kyari’s job “stops at conveying Mr. President’s written directives,” the NSA argued.
Kyari, according to those conversant with the inner workings of Aso Villa, had his hand in every pie, because he was “leveraging his sound education, brilliant intellect and experience in bureaucracy and business.”
One of the areas, which was used to criticise Kyari’s competence, was his stint at the failed Africa International Bank (AIB), which he presided over. His political opponents tried to define the late CoS as the architect of the negative public perception of the Buhari administration. They also contended that although every government throughout history is wont to harbour a kitchen cabinet, caucus or cabal, “the remarkable distinction is whether the kitchen cabinet is public-spirited or self-centered.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said he reserves the right to contest for Senate or presidency in 2023.
Ngige made the remark while dismissing reports that he was interested in contesting for the Anambra governorship election billed for next year.
He spoke in his hometown of Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Sunday.
Ngige, who was a former one term governor of the state, however, declared that he has no interest in becoming governor because he’s on a national assignment as Minister.
Ngige said: “Yes, there have been speculations that I am eyeing the governorship of Anambra State. They have written about it in a lot of media. I am a politician. They have the right to speculate on my next move. My next move is very vast.
“Elections will come in 2023, I have a right to vie for any position. I can vie for Senate.
“I can vie for president if I so wish. Election will be coming in Anambra State, latest November 2021 to elect a successor to Obiano. I am not disqualified. I have a right to say I can run.
“I don’t have interest for now in Anambra governorship because I am on a national assignment.”
Abia State Government on Sunday announced the demise of its Commissioner for Environment, Solomon Ogunji.
The State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu in a statement said Ogunji died on Saturday after a brief illness related to high blood pressure.
“It is with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that we announce the demise of a member of Abia State Executive Council and the Honorable Commissioner for Environment, Dr Solomon Ogunji, who passed away on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020, at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, after a brief illness related to high blood pressure.
“Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who received the sad news with shock yesterday has personally communicated and condoled with the family of the bereaved and is currently in mourning,” the statement read in part.
Kalu therefore prayed that God will give the family of Ogunji the fortitude to bear the loss and rest his soul in the bosom of the Lord.
Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman has said that Fawad Hussain Chaudhry is just nobody and he should not interfere in affairs of the Ruet Committee.
Talking to the media after announcing sighting of the Shawwal moon on Saturday evening, Mufti Muneeb said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take notice of Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in affairs of the Ruet Committee. He said that Fawad Chaudhry has his own deprivations and frustrations. He said that he condemns Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in Sharia-related matters. He asked Fawad Chaudhry to tell the nation on oath how many prayers he offered and how many times he had been on fasting in the holy month of Ramazan. He said there should be a ban on Fawad Chaudhry and he should not be allowed to interfere in affairs of other departments.
Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, the federal minister for science and technology, said earlier on Saturday that all Muslim countries, even Bangladesh, would celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday and Pakistan would be the only country in the world to celebrate the religious festival on Monday if the moon is not sighted on Saturday evening.
Giving scientific data, Fawad told a press conference: “The Shawwal moon was born on May 22 at 10:30pm and will be visible between 7:36pm and 8:15pm tonight in Badin, Thatta and Pasni.”
Greeting the nation on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, Mufti Muneeb said people should be careful and greet each other verbally instead of embracing keeping in view the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday urged Nigerians, particularly leaders at all levels, not to lose sight of the essence of the Eid-el Fitr and the eternal lessons of Ramadan.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja urged Nigerians to bring the lessons to bear by living in truth, selflessness, tolerance, forbearance, honesty, and transparency in all their dealings.
Ologbondiyan felicitated with Nigerians, particularly the Muslim community, on this year’s Eid-el Fitr celebrations, urging all compatriots to exhibit the virtues imbibed during the Ramadan fast in all aspects of life.
He noted that the fervent prayers and the successful completion of the Ramadan fast point to the determination by the people in their ardent trust in God to overcome the vicissitudes of life both as individuals and as a nation, particularly as the nation battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The PDP stressed that leaders must, therefore, bear in mind that the positions they occupy were bestowed by the Almighty Allah for the good of the people and that they will surely give an account of their actions, particularly towards the down-trodden, the oppressed and the voiceless.
“Furthermore, our party beckons on all Nigerians to jettison all divisive tendencies that stoke acts of violence, and rekindle the spirit of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and unity needed to pull our nation out of the woods.
The PDP, according to Ologbondiyan, also urged all citizens to use the occasion to reach out and share with one another, especially the less privileged, the sick, orphans, widows and the aged at this critical time.
“The party also called on Nigerians not to drop their guards during this festive period but remain alert in observing all health safety and protection directives in the collective effort to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which would soon be a thing of the past in our nation.
“The PDP prayed for the nation and wished Nigerians happy Eid-el Fitr celebrations,” he said.
The attorney working with Tara Reade, the former Joe Biden Senate staffer who alleged he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, said Friday he is no longer representing her, just two weeks after he first began working with her.
Douglas Wigdor said in a statement the decision to drop Reade came on Wednesday of this week, and that it wasn’t a reflection on the veracity of her claims. But he offered no specifics on why he and his firm are dropping her.
Wigdor said he and others at his firm still believe Reade’s allegation against Biden: that he digitally penetrated her and groped her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building when she worked as a low-level staffer in his Senate office in the spring of 1993. Biden has vehemently denied her claims, and multiple current and former Biden staffers have said they have no recollection of such an incident.
In his statement, Wigdor said his firm believed that Reade has been “subjected to a double standard” in the media and that much of the coverage surrounding her biography had little to do with her claims against Biden. The news was first reported by The New York Times.
Wigdor fielded numerous media questions in recent weeks surrounding inconsistencies in Reade’s biography and the legal challenges she’s faced. This week, The Associated Press and other media outlets published extensive biographies of Reade, revealing she appears to have exaggerated her educational achievements, was mired in endless financial difficulties and faced frequent lawsuits with individuals who said she defrauded them or failed to pay bills.
Defense lawyers in Monterey County this week began investigating whether Reade committed perjury when she testified under oath that she had a college degree from Antioch, as first reported Friday by The New York Times. Antioch University told the AP that Reade never obtained a diploma from the school, and Reade herself could not produce evidence of the degree she claims to have earned there.
Lawyer Roland Soltesz peppered her with questions about her background before she qualified as an expert witness on domestic violence in a 2018 attempted murder trial. She also touted her experience in Biden’s office, saying she served as a legislative aide and helped work on the Violence Against Women’s Act, he said. His client was convicted and is now serving a potential life sentence.
“She was a good witness,” Soltesz said. “She came across as believable.”
Wigdor is well known for his work on prominent cases related to sexual harassment and assault. He represented six women who accused Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer, of sexual misconduct. He has also represented a number of Fox News employees in cases alleging gender and racial discrimination at the network. And he’s a frequent political donor, giving tens of thousands to Democratic politicians in New York and about $55,000 to Donald Trump in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Wigdor’s firm originally said in a statement that they had taken on Reade as a client because they believed “every survivor has the right to competent counsel.” Wigdor told the AP at the time that he thought Reade had struggled to find a lawyer to represent her because many attorneys in his space “tend to be Democrats or liberals,” and Reade has accused the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee of sexual assault.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden is joined on stage by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) during a campaign event on March 2, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. Klobuchar has suspended her campaign and endorsed Biden before the upcoming Super Tuesday Democratic presidential primaries. Ron Jenkins–Getty Images
Joe Biden said Thursday he knows what qualities he’s looking for in his vice-presidential pick but stressed that he was far from a decision.
“I honest to God don’t know who — I promise you — right now,” he said on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Asked about reporting that Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had agreed to be vetted, Biden said “no one’s been vetted yet by the team.”
Biden said the lawyers working on the search are wrapping up a process of reaching out to a “preliminary list of people” to “ask them general questions” including “what are they interested in, why would they be interested in the job or not interested in the job.”
Pressed by Colbert on whether Klobuchar is on his short list, Biden responded that she’s “first rate” but said he wasn’t “getting into” where she stands in the process.
He described vetting, which he underwent in 2008 to become Barack Obama’s running mate, as “a very invasive process” of looking at past votes, financial statements and health records. He suggested that one reason why he wouldn’t volunteer a list of names under consideration is “because if someone’s not chosen the presumption is not necessarily true that there must be something wrong.”
Biden said that as he considers his choice, he is keeping in mind the advice he received from an Obama aide. “The best way to put it is what one of Barack’s close advisers, who’s also a friend, said, ‘think to yourself: You’ve got an important decision, who’s the last person you want in the Oval Office to talk to you?’”
Biden has said he will choose a woman to be his vice president.
Others believed to be in contention are California Senator Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. And earlier Thursday, Florida Representative Val Demings said she was on Biden’s “short list.”
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said she has been asked for references, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday that she’d had opening conversations with the campaign about joining the ticket.
Damian Opara, the Publicity Secretary of the Imo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has resigned from the party.
Opara resigned on Thursday in a letter he addressed to the state chairman of the party.
The politician who thanked the party leadership for the opportunity to serve as its spokesperson for four years did not disclose the reason for his resignation.
The two-paragraph letter which was sighted by our correspondent reads, “With honour, I, Hon Damian Opara, the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State chapter, with due respect, resign as the State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State chapter with immediate effect.
“I thank the party for the opportunity given to me to serve as the Imo state chapter publicity Secretary.”
While he didn’t disclose his next political move, his allies said that he had joined the All Progressives Congress.
One of the aides of the state governor, Modestus Nwamkpa, said that Opara, has joined APC.
He said, “The State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon Damian Opara, has resigned. He is now a son of the APC.”
Opara’s resignation came a few months after the PDP Chairman in the state, Charles Ezekwem, resigned.