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Buhari Swears – in Ministers, Creates Three New Ministries

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

At last, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday, inaugurated a new cabinet for his second term in office, three months after his inauguration on May 29, 2019.

The President commenced the event with the administering of oath of office on the reappointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and the 43 Ministers who are now part of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The swearing in ceremony took place at the Aso Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Idris Wase; All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and senior presidency officials in attendance.  

It was also witnessed by family and friends of the new ministers; APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; the Chief of Defence Staff and military service chiefs, as well as the Inspector-General of Police.

Also present was the embattled Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who is being investigated over an alleged N3billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

She had been absent from public functions in the past few days, particularly the induction retreat organised for the incoming ministers in Abuja, at which she was listed as one of the resource persons. 

President Buhari in his remarks, charged the ministers to work closely and harmoniously with fellow cabinet members as well as with the Permanent Secretaries in their respective Ministries.

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This, he said, has become necessary considering the fact that, the task of moving the country to the Next Level requires dedication, focus, and collective efforts.

He reminded them of his earlier charge to channel cabinet memos through the SGF and requests for meetings and presidential matters through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

Buhari warned that failure to follow appropriate vertical and horizontal channels of communication in the work of the cabinet among them would be sanctioned with requisite repercussions. 

The President said: ”The core objectives of this Administration are to improve security, achieve diversified, inclusive economic growth and fight corruption. I am convinced that we can build a buoyant economy that supports inclusive growth and creates broad-based prosperity for every Nigerian – one that will absorb the two million Nigerians entering the labour market each year, as well as reduce the backlog of over 20 million unemployed or underemployed Nigerians.

”We must also intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels so as to ensure that our citizens have a safe and corruption-free environment where they can live and conduct their businesses, without fear and intimidation.

All these are only possible if we are relentless about delivering on the priorities that are vital to our overall objectives – and on the specific actions and targets that have been identified to guide policy direction and implementation as specified in our roadmap.

We have also agreed on the appropriate Key Performance Indicators and deliverables to be achieved in the road map on Government priorities – 2019 – 2023. 

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”I am pleased to note that at the end of the retreat, we have agreed and prioritized the key strategic initiatives required to drive socio-economic growth in our country, which must be accomplished, because the people of Nigeria expect nothing less from us. 

”Our primary business over the next four years is to work together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expect from us.  We have a great opportunity as an Administration to build on the progress already made in order to fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory on the path of steady growth and development.

”While recognizing the existing challenges, and the urgent need to surmount them, we must not fail to note the progress we have made since inception.  

”Our economic policy, which is the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, is still robust and on course with the necessary policies and initiatives to sustain the country’s exit from recession, engender growth and promote the value chain of infrastructural development.  We believe that we can sustain our legacies and developmental strides if they are based on sustainable policies and good governance.”

While assigning portfolios to the Ministers, Buhari announced three new Ministries, namely Ministry of Police Affairs, which he had scrapped in 2015; Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs;  as well as Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

The Ministers who were sworn-in in groups of fives and three, making a total of nine batches; were seven female and 36 male Ministers as screened and cleared by the Senate last month.

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Meanwhile, a one-minute silence and special prayer were observed in honour of late Mr. Tijani Yusuf, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on General Duties, who died two weeks ago; before the new Ministers took a group photograph with the President. 

Ministers at the State House

The Ministers and their portfolios as announced by President Buhari at the ceremony are: Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (State, Mines & Steel); Mohammed Musa Bello (FTC); Godswill Akpabio (Niger-Delta); Chris Ngige  (Labour & Employment); Sharon Ikeazor (State, Environment); Adamu Adamu (Education); Maryam Katagun (State, Industry)

Timipre Sylva (State, Petroleum); George Akume (Special Duties); Mustapha Shehuri (State, Agriculture); Goddy Jedy Agba (State, Power); Festus Keyamo (State, Niger-Delta); Ogbonnaya Onu (Science); Osagie Ehanire (Health); Clement Ike  (State, Budget); Richard Adebayo (Industry); Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Aff.); Ali Isa Pantami (Communication); Emeka Nwajiuba (State, Education); Suleiman Adamu (Water Res.)

Zainab Ahmed (Finance, Budget and National Planning); Muhammad Mahmood (Environment); Sabo Nanono (Agriculture); Bashir S. Magashi (Defence); Muhammad Buhari (Petroleum); Sen. Hadi Sirika (Aviation); Abubakar Malami (Justice); Ramatu Tijjani (State, FTC); Lai Mohammed (Information)

Gbemisola  Saraki (State, Transport); Babatunde Fashola (Works & Housing); Adeleke Mamora (State, Health); Mohammed H. Abdullahi (State, Science & Tech.); Zubair Dada (State, Foreign Aff.); Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines & Steel); Tayo Alasoadura (State, Labour); Rauf Aregbesola (Interior); Sunday Dare (Youth & Sports); Paulen Talen (Women)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport); Maigari Dingyadi (Police Aff.); Sale  Mamman (Power); Abubakar D. Aliyu (State, Works & Housing); Sadiya Umar Faruk (Humanitarian, Disaster Management & Social Development). 

CRIME

Troops arrest 10 Robbers, rescue 3 Victims in Kaduna 

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By Gom Mirian, Abuja 

The military high command, yesterday said its troops deployed on internal operations in Kaduna state has arrested ten armed robbery suspects at Kafanchan town in Jema’a local government area of the state. 

A statement issued by the Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko stated the names of the arrested suspects as: Messrs Manga Ismail, a 22 – year-old, Idris Haruna (Ban Sambo), 20- year-old, Sani Bali, 19- year-old.

 

Others are Shamsudeen Ladan, 25 – year-old, Abdulmajid Yau (Sele), 22 – year – old , Abubakar Hassan, 23 – year-old, Abbas Aliyu, 15 – year-old, Mohammed Umar (Jazuli), 17 – year – old, Jonathan Vincent (Bamai), 19 – year-old and Stephen Joseph, 25 – year-old.

According to him, items recovered from the criminals include: TV, DVD, gas cookers, Mattresses, woofer, phones, scissors, among others.

 

Gen. Onyeuko also said on the same day, troops acting on intelligence reports, conducted a cordon search operation at Fanock Village, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and found a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABUJA KUJ 452 AZ with no occupant. 

Onyeuko explained that Troops conducted search operations in the surrounding bush and rescued 3 kidnaped civilians comprising two females and a male. 

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Speaking further, he said :”Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in a sustained effort to eliminate criminals elements in their Area of operation on 28 June 2022 based credible intelligence conducted clearance operation in conjunction with vigilantes at Kan Duniya Village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State, neutralized notorious bandit and kidnapper.

“Similarly, on the same day, troops on fighting patrol sighted 2 x suspected kidnappers around Sara High Ground Mangu Local Government Area Plateau State on a motor cycle, suspects abandoned their motor cycle on sighting troops and fled.

” Troop exploited area and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 101 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 magazines, 1 motor cycle, 1 iron digger and 2 black jackets amongst others”, he said. 

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Foreign News

Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain

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The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.

Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.

Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.

The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.

But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.

The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.

A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.

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NEWS

HEDA Petitions ICPC over Allegations against Ex-CJN

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The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the allegations against the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman, HEDA, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, yesterday in Lagos.

Suraju, in a letter to the Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, urged the commission to stand tall over the allegations of corruption, maladministration and incompetence leveled against Muhammad.

“As a leading anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria and non-partisan human rights and development league, we call on the ICPC to commence investigation into the budgetary allocation, utilisation and development process of the judiciary with a view to sanitisation of that critical arm of government,” he said.

Suraju said it was widely reported that the immediate past CJN responded to the allegations brought against him by 14 Justices on the aforementioned allegations.

“It is unarguable that the judiciary is the last hope of the helpless and its judges are only meant to be heard and not seen.

“However, these allegations made by fellow Justices of the apex court against the CJN cannot be overlooked as it is weighty and must be diligently investigated by the commission in order to protect that vital institution.

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“If the Supreme Court of Nigeria is infested with corrupt persons, then our democracy is doomed, ICPC and others relevant bodies should rise and act fast to redeem the temple of justice from possible collapse,” HEDA said. (NAN)

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