The Federal Government has not increased tuition fees in its universities in the country, presidential spokesman Dele Alake said.
He said tuition in those schools remain free.
He described reports about the increase inaccurate.
Referring to the denials by some universities, Alake said the jacked fees are for discretionary charges by each university for hostel accommodation, registration, laboratory and other charges. They are not tuition fees.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains committed to his promise of ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of the economic situation of their parents, have access to quality tertiary education.
“In addition to the Students’ Loans Scheme, under the Student Loans Bill signed into law by President Tinubu last month, which will go into implementation ahead of the next academic session in September, the Federal Government will also strengthen other mechanisms to support indigent students.
“Parts of the government’s plans to make sure all diligent students complete their education on time, notwithstanding their parents’ financial situation, include work-study, merit-based scholarships and grants”.
ATIKU ABUBAKAR’S BID TO BLACKMAIL THE JUDICIARY WILL FAIL
We have read the laughable and jejune statement by former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
It is obvious that having been thoroughly defeated by the All Progressives Congress and now President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former Vice President has not fully recovered from the shock of defeat, hence the current attempt to mischievously rake up another round of inanities that offend basic logic and rational thinking.
In the ill-thought out and illogical statement, Alhaji Atiku accused the current administration of the governing APC of plotting to undermine the judiciary without providing any shred of evidence. Apart from innuendos, insinuations and outright lies contained in the said press statement, the former Vice President Atiku didn’t put forward any convincing argument to support his claims on how the President Tinubu-led administration and APC sought to undercut, undermine and compromise the judiciary.
If the former Vice President believes in democracy and the sanctity of the Judiciary, as claimed, he would not engage in making spurious and wild allegations aimed at disparaging and discrediting an important arm of government that should serve as the bulwark for our democracy.
He shamelessly resorted to this cheap attempt to intimidate and blackmail the Judiciary even when he is party to a case before the Presidential Election Petition Court.
Let it be said that when it comes to matters of fighting for democracy and democratic ideals, rule of law and independence of Judiciary in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu stands shoulder above Atiku Abubakar. When President Tinubu was leading the charge against the emasculation of the judiciary and promoting the sanctity of rule of law as the building block for good governance as Governor of Lagos State between 1999-2007, under a PDP central government, Alhaji Atiku was nowhere to be found.
It is on record and to his eternal credit that President Tinubu, through the instrumentality of the law and Judiciary, successfully challenged many of the draconian and obnoxious decisions of the PDP-led Federal Government that trampled on the rights of the States as federating units. Lagos State under the leadership of the then Governor Tinubu won over 13 cases up to the Supreme Court against the hydra-headed PDP administration at the centre.
No leader with such a sterling and enviable credential as a champion of rule of law, independence of judiciary like President Tinubu will ever contemplate undermining the Judiciary as alleged by Alhaji Atiku.
President Tinubu won a free, fair and credible election. The February 25, 2023 Presidential election that produced him is the most transparent election ever conducted in Nigeria since 1999.
President Tinubu and the APC absolutely have no reason to undermine the judiciary in the hope of any favourable judgement.
His lawyers and that of APC have presented very solid defence of the result of the election and we are sure the judiciary will impartially deliver its ruling on the basis of points of law and evidence before it, not based on presumptuous speculations and unfounded accusations.
Atiku Abubakar should be honourable enough as a statesman to allow the Judiciary perform its sacred duty without harassment and this resort to self-help. Attempting to discredit an important institution of State for selfish political end is disingenuous, shameful and unbecoming of a former Vice President of Nigeria. This desperation must stop.
PRESIDENT TINUBU SEEKS CHANGE IN MILITARY DOCTRINE, PRACTICE TO CONFRONT UNCONVENTIONAL FORCES
… SPELLS OUT NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVE
President Bola Tinubu on Friday in Kaduna said Nigeria and the neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad region must display courage in reforming their military doctrine and practices.
The President noted that the change in tactics had become necessary because the countries in the region are battling a “mobile and elusive irregular force” that disregards established rules of warfare.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 45 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, the President pointed out that the adversaries facing countries in the sub-region are not conventional armies engaging in traditional battlefield warfare.
The Nigerian leader, who encouraged African countries to work together against common threats, acknowledged the multinational efforts of Nigeria, Cameroon, the Niger Republic, and Chad to bring peace to the Lake Chad region.
He reinforced his message that the collaboration should serve as a commendable example to be emulated and improved on wherever necessary.
”We must also be brave enough to reform military doctrine and practice. We do not face a conventional army on the traditional field of battle. No, we contend against mobile, elusive irregular forces that disdain the normal rules of warfare.
”We must adjust accordingly to subdue the menace. This shall require a change in mindset, in strategy, in tactics in equipment and in gear.
The President also used the occasion to spell out his National Security Objective, saying it would focus on ensuring security, justice, and democratic prosperity through state power.
While acknowledging the commitment of the immediate-past government in enhancing the combat readiness of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the President pledged to “pick up the pace,” by providing the necessary support to the military.
”As Commander-in-Chief, I have given myself the following charge: to deploy the entire machinery of state power to ensure security of our people and property in a just and democratic society.
”Under my predecessor, the Armed Forces worked tirelessly toward necessary reforms to enhance combat effectiveness and operational capability. We must now pick up the pace,” he said.
President Tinubu described the role of the armed forces in combatting Africa’s greatest challenge of violence and exploitation as crucial, urging them to defend the continent from geopolitical changes and resource competition.
”We live in a moment of flux. Geopolitical change is afoot. Old alliances and assumptions are being tested as new ones are being shaped. Trade and global economic activity are fast, yet fragile and easily disrupted by war, weather or pandemic.
”Underlying it all is the often unspoken but urgent competition for precious resources. Water, food, gold, oil and other items have all been placed in contest.
”In too many instances, the contest turns violent. Areas that should blossom into economic prosperity and hope become factories of pillage and oppression.
”In Africa, this condition is perhaps our greatest challenge and harshest injustice.
”Your role combating this grave evil is crucial. For we call on you to defend not only our land and resources but our people and their democratic existence.
”Your training was sculpted to fit the imperatives of our times,” the President told the 291 graduating officers.
Commending the graduates from Nigeria’s Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, as well as students from Asia and sister Africa nations, the President underscored the importance of the College and its contributions to professionalism and defense of national interests.
Addressing the graduating students from Asia and Africa, the President said their presence in Nigeria is a testimony that national security is not solely achieved through muscle and might, but also in building friendships and alliances based on cooperation, justice, good governance and mutual respect.
”Notwithstanding the demands of your training, I hope you have enjoyed our customary Nigerian friendliness as well because Nigeria is one of the most hospitable countries you can find. We have opened our arms like friends and brothers to you.
”To the graduating students from Nigeria’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, you have warranted the confidence of your respective organizations.
”The knowledge gained here will prove invaluable in our mission to harmonize all aspects of government policy and programs toward the twin goals of national security and national prosperity,” he said.
The President also commended the College’s efforts in curricula improvement and facility upgrade, encouraging the graduates to stand brave and unwavering in their constitutional responsibilities as defenders of the nation.
”I leave you with a charge much like the one I gave myself. Your nation has invested much in your training.
”Much faith has been placed upon your broad shoulders. Our collective safety rests in your hands.
”Your graduation today is a call to greater duty for the nation you love. May you stand brave and unwavering in the discharge of your constitutional responsibilities and may you always do honour to the sterling name of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College,” President Tinubu beseeched the graduands.
At the ceremony, many of the participants who distinguished themselves were awarded various prizes. Squadron Leader S.S Yikawe got both the Chief of Defence Staff Award (Department of Joint Studies) and Chief of Air Staff Award (Department of Air Warfare) prize. Major A.A Bako was awarded for Chief of Army Staff Award (Department of Land Warfare) while Surg Lt Cdr. K.O Nwagwu got the prize for Chief of Naval Staff Award (Department of Maritime Warfare).
Dr. K.O Adams got the prize for the Commandant’s Award for Best Non-military Student. Major PJ Nartey from Ghana won the Commandant’s Award for Best International Student.
Present at the colourful occasion were Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ibrahim Kana, all the Service Chiefs and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
PRESIDENT TINUBU APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT FUND FOR STATES
…FAAC shares N907 billion from N1.9trillion June revenue
President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of Infrastructure Support Fund (ISF) for the 36 States of the Federation as part of measures to cushion the effects of the petrol subsidy removal on the people.
The approval was disclosed at the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), on Thursday July 20, 2023, in Abuja.
The new Infrastructure Fund will enable the States to intervene and invest in the critical areas of Transportation, including farm to market road improvements; Agriculture, encompassing livestock and ranching solutions; Health, with a focus on basic healthcare; Education, especially basic education; Power and Water Resources, that will improve economic competitiveness, create jobs and deliver economic prosperity for Nigerians.
The Committee also resolved to save a portion of the monthly distributable proceeds to minimize the impact of the increased revenues-occasioned by the subsidy removal and exchange rate unification-on money supply, as well as inflation and the exchange rate.
Out of the June 2023 distributable revenue of 1.9 trillion Naira, only N907 billion will be distributed among the three tiers of government, while N790 billion will be saved, and the rest will be used for statutory deductions.
These savings will complement the efforts of the Infrastructure Support Fund (ISF) and other existing and planned fiscal measures, all aimed at ensuring that the subsidy removal translates into tangible improvements in the lives and living standards of Nigerians.
The Committee commended President Tinubu for the bold decision to remove the petrol subsidy, and even more importantly, for providing necessary support to the States to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal on Nigerians.
The All Progressives Congress, (APC), has said that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate his allegation that the presidential election was rigged in favour of President Bola Tinubu.
The APC has also said that Mr Peter Obi and the Labour Party’s evidence against President Tinubu was minuscule and deficient in credibility.
Both Atiku and Obi and their parties dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), challenging the victory of Tinubu at the Feb. 25 presidential election.
The APC in its final brief of argument filed at the court through its team of lawyers led by Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, argued that Atiku and the PDP were not entitled to any of the reliefs they were asking for in their petition.
The APC held that the petitioners only dumped documents on the court and claimed that such documents were enough evidence to prove their allegations.
The party further argued that the petitioners failed to demonstrate or link the documents to specific allegations they raised against Tinubu’s victory.
According to the APC, it is not enough to merely identify exhibits without making the added effort to demonstrate their relevance by correlating them with witnesses adopted depositions.
“On the effect of the dumping, we urge your lordships to hold that all the documents have no probative value.
“The fact that the documents were tendered by learned senior counsel for the petitioners from the bar makes the case even worse for them.
“The duty is not on the judge to retreat to his hallowed chamber and engage in cloistered examination of the documents that were dumped before him in the open court,” the party said.
The party further argued that the allegation of the petitioners that the election was rigged, was not tied to any specific polling unit in the local government areas of each of the 24 states whose elections they challenged in the petition.
It said that the petitioners made blanket allegations and that some of the allegations were criminal in nature.
“The law required that they should be proved through cogent, credible and reliable evidence.”
The party insisted that most of the exhibits tendered by Atiku were not relevant to the petition since they were not pleaded or set out any relevant fact.’
“Aside from the allegation of non-qualification that the petitioners raised against the respondent, all other allegations in their petition are supposed to be set out on polling unit basis or proved beyond reasonable doubt.”
The party submitted that the case of the petitioners must fall like a pack of cards and prayed the court to dismiss the petition and uphold the election of Tinubu.
On the educational qualification of the president , the party argued that the exhibits tendered in court only established that he indeed attended Chicago State University in the United States and graduated with honours.
The party also held that the petitioners failed to produce the genuine certificate from which the alleged forged certificate was made.
On the alleged forfeiture of 460, 000 dollars following his alleged involvement in a drug related case, the APC, said there was no evidence that he was ever charged, convicted or fined for any criminal case.
The party held that there was no criminal proceedings or pronouncement of verdict of guilty against Tinubu to warrant his disqualification.
On the allegation of dual citizenship, the APC, argued that his possession of Guinean Passport was not a sufficient grounds to disqualify him from contesting or nullifying his election.
The APC held that the president was a bona fide Nigerian by birth and not by registration or neutralisation.
“A Nigerian born citizen does not lose his citizenship as a Nigerian or his right to vote or be voted for in an election in Nigeria by acquiring dual citizenship of a second country.”
Moreover, the party held that Tinubu’s sole witness had testified to Tinubu’s Nigerian citizenship.
The party held that the petitioners submission that Tinubu did not secure 25 per cent of votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, in the presidential election was pedestrian and preposterous.
“The FCT does not enjoy a special status as a constituent unit or a state under Section 134(2) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
“Abuja voters have no veto power to singularly hang the outcome of presidential election that is otherwise conclusive, simply because a candidate did not poll or secure at least one quarter of votes cast in the FCT in a presidential election.
“We submit that there is equality before the ballot.”
The court on July 4, concluded hearing in Atiku’s petition as the respondents closed their defence.
Atiku and his party who came second in the election, approached the PEPC asking the court to nullify the Tinubu’s election and withdraw the certificate of return he was issued.
Atiku and the PDP called 27 witnesses as against the 100 they had said in the pre-hearing report that they would call.
For his part, Obi called in 13 out of the 50 witnesses he has planned on calling and tendered a plethora of documents including over 18,000 blurred results sheets on which INEC based its declaration of Tinubu as winner.
Obi and his party led evidence by calling witnesses from only a few polling units, wards, local government Areas and local area councils from the disputed states and the FCT.
“Specifically, petitioners called a total of 13 witnesses only in a failed attempt to prove their allegations concerning the 119, 973 Polling Units.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), the first respondent in the petition called a lone witness just as president Tinubu also called only one witness.
The APC, however, said that it found no reason to call any witness saying there was no point whipping a dead horse
The Tinubu administration will in the coming weeks unveil an initiative that will address insurgency and poverty, among other challenges confronting Nigerians especially those living in the northern region, according to the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
The Vice President disclosed this today in a chat with journalists while on a condolence visit to Kano.
Sen Shettima, accompanied by the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Barau Jibrin, among others, was in the ancient city to commiserate with the government and people of Kano over the passing away of elderstateman, Alhaji Abubakar Imam Galadanci.
Speaking on the plan to address challenges confronting Nigerians, the VP said, “the President is determined to define the meaning and concept of modern governance, and the crisis we have in the northwest which is further accentuated by poverty. The social exclusion is also something that the President is determined to frontally confront and in the coming weeks he is going to unveil the Pulaku solution.”
“Unless we want to engage in an endless war of attrition, there cannot be a military solution to the crisis in the northwest. There has to be a kinetic and non-kinetic solution.
“In the next couple of weeks, we will unveil the Pulaku solution which will address the grievances and social exclusion of our Fulbe cousins in the northwest and also towards addressing the root causes of all the banditry and insurgency in the nation,” Sen. Shettima explained further.
Earlier on arrival in Kano, the Vice President received by Governor Abba Yusuf, proceeded to the residence of the Emir of Bichi, HRH, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, where he commiserated with him on the passing away of the late Imam Galadanci, expressing President Tinubu’s condolences.
From the Emir of Bichi’s residence, the VP proceeded to the family compound of the late Alhaji Abubakar Imam Galadanci where he was received by Prof. Shehu Galadanci and Air Vice Marshal Nura Imam (Rtd), on behalf of the extended family.
The Vice President, on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, expressed his condolences, prayed Allah to grant the deceased eternal rest and to also console the entire Galadanci family.
Thanking the Vice President for the visit on behalf of the family, Prof Shehu Galadanci emphasized the need for unity of purpose among northern leaders and urged Nigerians to always support the Tinubu administration in prayers and otherwise, for the success of its programmes and policies.
From Kano, the Vice President then flew to Katsina on another visit to condole renowned businessman, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal over the demise of first wife, Hajiya Aisha Dahiru, who died Saturday evening in Abuja after a brief illness.
Hajiya Mangal has been buried according to Islamic rites.
Other members of the Vice President’s delegation included a member of the House of Representatives from Kano, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ibrahim Masari.
IN MAIDEN SPEECH AT AU, PRESIDENT TINUBU AFFIRMS AFRICA’S UNITY AND STRENGTH, REJECTS NOTION OF NEW SCRAMBLE FOR CONTINENT
…says violence and war will impede economic integration
President Bola Tinubu on Sunday in Nairobi, Kenya reaffirmed Africa’s unity and strength, while strongly rejecting the notion of a new scramble for Africa.
The President warned that past plundering and exploitation of the continent should remain in the past and never be repeated.
Speaking at the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (5thMYCM) of the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Regional Mechanisms (RMs), and the African Union Member-States, the President announced plans to strengthen the ECOWAS Standby Force to deter coups and combat terrorism in the sub-region.
The Nigerian leader, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, highlighted the progress made by ECOWAS in various sectors of its integration process, including trade, free movement of persons, investment promotion, infrastructure development, and security.
In his statement entitled “Address on Status of Regional Integration in ECOWAS,” he emphasized the need for Africa to overcome its challenges and work towards a prosperous future, focusing on inclusive growth, good governance, and leveraging the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Calling for good governance to ensure a prosperous future for Africa, free from the exploitations of the past, President Tinubu said: “As Africans, we forge ahead no matter the barriers thrust before us.
“The world we inhabit is often unkind and uncertain. Past history and current global difficulties argue against our future success.
”Lessons of the past few years teach us that the world economy can be disrupted in ways that halt progress and invite downturn. Our nations can suddenly find themselves in dire situations if we choose to be passive observers of our fate.
”Such passivity does not commend itself to me. I will not listen to it. Neither should any African. The challenges we face mean that governance will be difficult.
”They also mean that visionary good governance is necessary. Some observers assert a new scramble for Africa is afoot and it is much like the old scramble that plundered our continent.
”But, here and now, let it be said to whomever the new scramblers might be that our continent may be old but our spirit is new. And it is strong. The bad that took place in the past must stay there. It shall never be repeated.”
On peace, security, and stability, the Nigerian leader acknowledged the challenges faced by the sub-region, including terrorism and anti-constitutional changes in government.
”We sit here in meaningful discussion of vital economic matters. Yet, it will be impossible to bring full meaning to what we attempt unless we give due consideration to the instability and conflict that now scar many of our nations.
”The fullness of the integration we seek will elude us as long as several of our nations stand in the midst of violence and war.
”The trade and commerce we talk of today refers to valued goods and services that improve life. The trade and commerce these nations suffer is of destruction and disorder that takes lives and steals opportunity.
”We cannot integrate Africa and attain the prosperity we seek while our nearby brothers and sisters suffer in pain and anguish, they should not suffer.
”We must advance as one continent toward peace and prosperity.
”Otherwise, we risk the creation of two or more Africa, one a select group of nations moving steadily while the rest remain trapped in the age-old mire of poverty, conflict and lack of hope.
”It is very clear that in the area of peace, security, and stability, our region is confronted with the twin challenges of terrorism and reversal of democratic gains through undemocratic changes of Government.
”To address these challenges, the ECOWAS Authority, which I have the honour to chair, has given directive regarding the enhancement of the role of the ECOWAS Standby Force for deployment to fight terrorism and undemocratic changes in government.
”The Authority has also resolved to raise our own funding internally to finance the peace support operations in our community. Meanwhile, we have continued to monitor the transition programmes in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, ” he said.
President Tinubu recounted that during the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit in Bissau, West African leaders resolved to maintain engagement with Mali, Burkina Faso, to assiduously work towards the implementation of the 24-month transition calendars agreed with ECOWAS.
Nonetheless, to assist Burkina Faso and Mali in defending their territories from occupation by terrorists, he said, ECOWAS had decided to provide support for their security agencies.
He appealed to international partners to assist to provide necessary support that will ensure the restoration of democratic order in these Member-States.
On trade, President Tinubu said ECOWAS had achieved the Free Trade Area and was working on establishing the Customs Union and Common Market.
However, he expressed concern about the low level of intra-community trade among member-states, noting that the European Union remains the major trading partner for the region, followed by Asia, North America, and the rest of Africa.
Highlighting efforts made by ECOWAS to consolidate the gains of its trade liberalization scheme and support the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Nigerian leader said the ECOWAS Commission had been assisting member-states in the negotiations, ratification, and implementation of the AfCFTA.
He noted that 13 out of the 15 ECOWAS member states have ratified the agreement.
On free movement of persons, President Tinubu informed the meeting that ECOWAS had commenced action towards the implementation of the Harmonized Visa-Regime (ECOVISA) to facilitate the free movement of non-ECOWAS citizens.
On regional infrastructure development, President Tinubu reaffirmed ECOWAS’ focus on building regional infrastructure, including the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor Highway, to promote economic activities and integration.
”The Feasibility and Preliminary Design and Studies show a significant investment cost of nearly US$15 billion for the whole highway with an average economic rate of return of 15% per annum. In the same vein, preparations are under way for the development of the other corridors, namely the Abidjan-Praia-Dakar,” he said.
Regarding intra-regional cooperation, the President informed the meeting that a joint border post between Nigeria and Cameroon was recently commissioned and handed over in November 2022 to the authorities of the two countries.
He described the project as a bridge between ECOWAS and ECCAS and a solid foundation for future cooperation and integration between the regions and ultimately the African continent.
President Tinubu also provided an update on the energy sector, expressing delight that several generation and inter-connection projects had been implemented within the region.
According to him, with the completion of the electric interconnection between Cote d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone- Guinee (1,300 km) and between Senegal-The Gambia-Guinea Bissau and Guinea (1,700 km), all the 15 countries in West Africa have now been interconnected.
”The completion of the Information and Coordination Centre of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) will enable member-states to buy and sell electricity in the region as this centre will act as a regional system operator within the framework of the regional electricity market,” he said.
The ECOWAS chairperson also provided updates on investment promotion, the ECOWAS Cybersecurity Agenda to combat cybercrime and improve cybersecurity capabilities in member states.
As the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Tinubu expressed his honour to participate, for the first time, in the Mid-Year Meeting of AU.
While commending AU for their efforts in strengthening collaboration and coordination between the continental and regional bodies, President Tinubu thanked the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya for hosting the meeting and providing excellent facilities for the participants.
Special Adviser to the President
(Special Duties, Communications and Strategy)
July 16, 2023
PRESIDENT TINUBU TO AFRICAN LEADERS: RESPECT DEMOCRACY, ENSURE POLITICAL STABILITY
… URGES UN TO STAND FIRM AGAINST MILITARY COUPS
President Bola Tinubu on Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya, called on African leaders to respect democracy, rule of law, and ensure political stability.
In his statement at a high-level event organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the margins of Fifth Mid-Year African Union (AU) Coordination Meeting, the President urged African military institutions and states to recognize and respect the need for democratic renewal.
The Nigerian leader, who is also the Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, said coups d’état should be discouraged in the continent, especially in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, and climate change.
The President, in his statement, presented by Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said it was regrettable that West Africa, despite its numerous instruments and mechanisms for promoting democracy and good governance, is leading other regions in the use of unconstitutional means to change governments.
He warned that the ugly trend of the military straying into the political arena is causing threats to peace, security and stability, and engendering poverty, displacement, and humanitarian crises.
”This ugly trend has only succeeded in threatening the peace, security and stability of the sub-region and by extension the African continent, leaving in its trail poverty, internally-displaced persons and humanitarian crisis. In the same vein, this ugly trend has also led to food shortages and escalated health challenges.
”We therefore must take deliberate steps to address the root causes of unconstitutional changes and coups d’état in Africa. As a continent, we cannot make progress toward achieving the goals and targets of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, as well as those of AU Agenda 2063 for the “Africa We Want”.
”Between 2020 and now, Africa has witnessed six successful coups d’état and three unsuccessful attempts. This rise in military takeovers and unconstitutional changes in government disrupts our democratic processes and undermine stability on the continent.
”It is for this reason that I call on all African leaders at all levels to make concerted efforts in respecting the tenets of democracy and the rule of law, in order to ensure political stability on the continent,” he said.
Reiterating that Africa has no intention of regressing on its democratic gains and credentials, as well as its maturing democratic political culture, President Tinubu said:
”I call on all Afro-centric supranational organisations, especially the African Union, the various Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, to individually and collectively adopt Protocols on democracy and good governance, and ensure their effective implementation.”
While acknowledging that democracy may present challenges in terms of management and dynamics, President Tinubu reiterated that it is the best form of government for 21st century Africa.
Drawing a comparison between military rule and democratic regimes, he noted that democracy ensures good governance, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.
Emphasizing the need to disincentivize coups d’état, the ECOWAS Chairperson urged the United Nations to take a firm stance against military coups.
”It is my view that while grappling with the challenges caused by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other geo-strategic tragedies, including insecurity and climate change amongst others, African leaders must disincentivize coups d’état.
”The United Nations must also stand firm and unyielding in its opposition to military coups,” he said.
He also acknowledged that democracy and development are interconnected in achieving sustainable goals and the African vision, adding that commitment to democratic principles and governance is crucial for long-term peace, security, and economic growth.
As Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President expressed his readiness to work with the UNDP and other development partners to advance the course of democracy on the African continent.
The Nigerian leader thanked UNDP for inviting him to deliver a goodwill message at the event and assured the organization of his commitment to confronting the issue of military coups and promoting democratic renewal in Africa.
”The issue of Military Coups and the need for Democratic renewal in Africa is one that I am passionate about and indeed committed, along with my colleagues, to confront and we are prepared to change the narratives,” he said.
He commended the UNDP for launching its flagship report “Soldiers and Citizens: Military Coups and the Need for Democratic Renewal in Africa,” stating that the military has no place in the governance of the 21st Century Africa.
Jide Okeke, UNDP Regional Programme Coordinator (Africa), said his organization invited the Nigerian leader after his inspiring message, denouncing military coups, during his inauguration as Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on July 9.
He expressed delight that President Tinubu’s presence and participation in the UN high-level event demonstrates Nigeria’s commitment to democratic values and stability, reasserting Nigeria’s leadership in Africa and the global community.
He described the President’s message as sending a positive signal to the international community about Nigeria’s commitment to democratic values and stability.
On UNDP flagship report, the African Regional Coordinator said it is timely in advancing Nigeria’s vision of stability for West Africa and the continent as a whole.
He explained that the report combines empirical data, literature, and personal stories from citizens who have lived through coups, contrasting their experiences with those in countries transitioning to democracy.
Gambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambian Abroad, Dr Mamadou Tangara, Hanna Tetteh, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Amb. Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission, delivered their respective remarks at the event.
PRESIDENT TINUBU TO ATTEND 5TH MID-YEAR COORDINATION MEETING OF AU IN NAIROBI, KENYA
President Bola Tinubu is set to travel to Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday July 15, to participate in the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting (5thMYCM) of the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Regional Mechanisms (RMs), and the African Union Member States.
As the Chairperson of ECOWAS, the Nigerian leader will join Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers of the AU Member-States, and high-level dignitaries at the mid-year meeting which will take place on Sunday, July 16.
The President will present a report on the status of regional integration in ECOWAS, highlighting actions carried out during the period under review by ECOWAS institutions, member-states, the private sector, and other stakeholders to deepen integration through trade, free movement of persons, investment promotion, infrastructure development, peace, security and stability.
The 5th MYCM, which is convening under the AU’s theme for 2023 christened “Acceleration of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation,” will bring together the Bureau of the AU Assembly, comprising the Heads of State and Government from Comoros, Botswana, Burundi, and Senegal, as well as the leaders of the eight RECs.
These regional economic communities include ECOWAS chaired by Nigeria, the East African Community (EAC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN SAD), the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The meeting will also involve the African Union Commission and the RMs.
President Tinubu, who will be accompanied by senior government officials, is expected to return to the country at the conclusion of the meeting.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, WE ARE TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK,” TINUBU ASSURES NIGERIAN WOMEN
President Bola Tinubu has assured women in the country that his administration is committed to ensuring that Nigeria is retrieved from the vested interests that have stifled her development.
He also assured the women that issues of security, healthcare system and industrialisation would be top on priorities of his administration.
President Tinubu spoke on Thursday at the State House when he received in audience the All Progressives Congress Women Leaders in the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, led by the APC National Woman Leader, Dr. Betta Edu.
The President declared that his administration was already implementing many policies and programmes that would positively impact the citizens.
This, he stated, includes the Students’ Loan Scheme, which he said would ensure their children enjoy a stable academic calendar in their respective tertiary institutions.
“We have established a scholarship scheme that would guarantee their four years of tertiary education,” he further said.
“Security is paramount in my administration’s agenda because women bear the cost of insecurity anywhere in the world. Issues of insecurity are being discussed at the highest level and this administration will ensure that insecurity is halted immediately.
“Medicare is another. We will ensure that health facilities are revamped and we will pursue this with vigour. Industrialization is yet another priority as your children and relations will gain employment,” President Tinubu stated.
While appreciating the women leaders for the visit, President Tinubu praised them for their support during the campaigns and elections, adding that they all deserve awards for their efforts.
“You all deserve gold medals because you worked so hard politically, overcoming so many obstacles like the fuel scarcity and Naira ‘confiscation,’ promising that their children would receive better rewards as their future is now guaranteed with the initiatives being put in place.”
With his new role as ECOWAS Chairman, President Tinubu told the visiting women that though his emergence would place on him additional responsibility, it would spur him to work even harder.
“We will continue to strive for a better Nigeria. You will not regret your confidence in this administration.”
Reaffirming his administration’s open-door policy, President Tinubu explained that the unity of the country is essential and central to his mind.
He advised the women leaders to be accommodating of others from other parties, who, having seen the silver lining and the brighter future that lie ahead, are now willing to come on board.
He tasked the APC women leaders to educate the citizens on the policies and programmes of his administration with the awareness that the present difficulties are temporary.
“You understand better, you are better coordinators, you know how to multi-task. The gains of the subsidy removal will be channeled to better the lives of Nigerians from the few that have been fleecing the nation,” the President said.
Earlier, APC National Women’s Leader Edu stated that the women had come to congratulate the President on his victory at the polls, for the several good policies of his administration and for his election as ECOWAS Chairman at the last Summit.
The National Women’s Leader enumerated the sterling records of the President as Governor of Lagos State which had endeared him to Nigerians.
These, Dr. Edu stated, include the unprecedented economic development of the state and infrastructural developments.
The APC Women’s leader appealed to the President to consider more women in appointments into government positions.