Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has claimed that ex-US president, Barack Obama meddled in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election.
TheCable reports that in excerpts of his new book, ‘The Transition Hours’, Jonathan said Obama sent his secretary of state, John Kerry and made a video broadcast to Nigerians in ways designed to influence the outcome of the election against him.
Jonathan, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost the election to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and conceded while the final results were yet to be announced.
“I can recall that President Obama sent his Secretary of State to Nigeria, a sovereign nation, to protest the rescheduling of the election. John Kerry arrived in Nigeria on Sunday January 25, 2015 and said ‘it’s imperative that these elections happen on time as scheduled’.
“How can the US Secretary of State know what is more important for Nigeria than Nigeria’s own government? How could they have expected us to conduct elections when Boko Haram controlled part of the North East and were killing and maiming Nigerians? Not even the assurance of the sanctity of the May 29, 2015 handover date could calm them down. In Nigeria, the constitution is very clear. No President can extend his tenure by one day.
“On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote. In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the opposition to form a new government. The message was so condescending, it was as if Nigerians did not know what to do and needed an Obama to direct them.
“In his message, he said ‘all Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear,’ yet his government was vehemently and publicly against the postponement of the elections to enable our military defeat Boko Haram and prevent them from intimidating voters. This was the height of hypocrisy!” Jonathan wrote.
Jonathan said the foreign pressure on the issue of election rescheduling was intense, suggesting that “the curious posture” was of one who had been “deceived before and therefore had every reason to cede no credence to our position. But there was no reason to have such a posture”.
He revealed that David Cameron, then the UK prime minister, called to express his concern about the election rescheduling, “just as John Kerry came from the United States to express further worry… In fact, John Kerry did not accept our reasons for the rescheduling”.
The former president said it was “unbelievable” because “we knew why the agitation was beyond what meets the eyes. There were deeper political interests”.
“In attendance at the meeting of the Council of State where the decision to reschedule the election was taken were almost all the living former Heads of State of this country. That should have convinced John Kerry of the good intentions of the government. He cannot claim to love and defend Nigeria more than all our former heads of state present at the meeting. I have stated earlier how Kerry’s visit was designed to humiliate a sitting Nigerian president and clearly take sides in the country’s election,” Jonathan wrote.
Varsity Don to Governors: ‘Declare State Of Emergency As Measure to Restore Peace, Security In South West
The Director, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Tajudeen Akanji has called on the Governors in the South West region; Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akreredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) to declare state of emergency as a measure to restore peace and security in the region.
“Although insecurity is a global phenomenon, the difference between communities and states with security issues is their proactiveness and ability to prepare, forecast, project, confront and recover from the security challenges.”
Ogundoyin in his address, said as part of efforts to nip the security challenges in the bud, Oyo State Government will soon unveil a new security architecture.
“We have taken security for granted in Nigeria. I recall that while we were growing up, we could move around freely without any fear.
“Oyo State House of Assembly is ready to partner with the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor in all possible ways including ways to ensure security in Oyo Sate.”
Olaiya lauded the efforts of NIS, Oyo State for considering it appropriate to honour Pa L. L. Ali with the Annual Lecture series saying the gesture shows the recognition of selfless service and respect “Baba” has for the profession.
Olaiya who spoke on behalf of L. L. Ali Family said Pa Ali’s honesty, discipline and virtues, have now constituted lasting heritage which brought about the annual lecture in honour of the celebrant.
Charles said the annual lecture in honour of the septuagenarian L. L. Ali is the best thing to for the man who has paid his due not only to the surveying profession but to humanity.
Kobiowu said the 98-year old Surveyor L. L. Ali is a connosus in the surveying profession because of his uncompromising respect for the ethics of the job in his active days and therefore he is being celebrated with the annual lecture.
Oyo Will Certainly Break The Poverty Barrier When We All Pay Tax – Makinde
In order to be able to fulfill his promises on provision of social amenities, enduring infrastructures, regular payment of government obligations and other amenities, the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has pleaded for the support of different stakeholders operating in the State on adequate deductions, prompt Remittance of Taxes and other levies.
This was stated during a One Day Sensitization workshop on Computations, Deductions and Remittances for Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Tertiary Institutions in the state held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariats, Ibadan.
Speaking on behalf of Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service, Aremo John Adeleke reiterated that the intention of the present administration was not going to over-burden any business enterprise either small or big but rather to ensure government get its fair and reasonable share of all its eligible tax revenue.
Makinde said, “Presently, the fluctuations and other complex gyrations of the international Oil market and the global economy means unstable and often lower revenue from Federal allocation. The need to look inward to generate enough internal revenue to cater for the much societal demand has never been this much.
“We count on Companies and other businesses to ensure they regularly deduct and remit their employees’ PAYE tax to covers of our treasury. This will ensure mutual reciprocation of right and duties on the part of all parties. I regard such complying institutions, business and contractors as friends of my government and corporate citizens of this State of enduring opportunities.”
Welcoming the participants in his speech, Aremo Adeleke tasked Professional Bodies, Tax Professionals, Consultants, Taxpayers and Agents to discharge their responsibilities as stipulated by the National Tax Policy of 2017.
He also urged all MDAs, Federal and State as well as Tertiary Institutions to ensure they give patronage only to individuals and companies with a record of regular and up to date remittance of their employees’ Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
In his remark, the head of the partnering firm, Mr Femi Adeniji explained that the workshop was about sensitizing various agencies about their responsibility that pertained to tax and other dues, adding that participants will be taught the right ways of making deductions so as not to shortchange the government.
The workshop had in attendance officials of State and Federal Ministries,Directorates and Agencies (MDAs),private business sectors representatives and other stakeholders.
A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector is needed to transform agriculture, says IITA’s Sanginga
A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector backed by a vibrant rural infrastructural network will help states in Nigeria to accelerate the transformation of agriculture, says Dr Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
“No matter our good intentions, we will not see a transformation in agriculture if we continue to invest less than 10 percent of our budget on agriculture,” Dr Sanginga said during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, in Ibadan.
In 2003, African heads of state in Maputo made a commitment to invest at least 10 percent of their annual budgets in agriculture. Sixteen years after the declaration, only a few countries have implemented that declaration.
“One of the countries that has fulfilled the commitment is Ethiopia…Ethiopia is today investing more than 10 percent and that country is witnessing a rapid transformation in agriculture,” Dr Sanginga explained.
Making reference to the Oyo State Agricultural Policy framework, the IITA boss said that Oyo state’s investment in agriculture had nosedived from about 7 percent to 2 percent from 1995 to 2017, adding that the new administration needs to reverse the trend.
On rural infrastructure, Dr Sanginga said the government should pay close attention to rehabilitation of rural roads (feeder roads) to help the transportation of agricultural products from the farm to the markets.
He decried the deterioration of infrastructure in several farm settlements in Oyo state and urged the government to tackle the trend.
Dr Sanginga also called on the government to seek ways to involve the youths in agriculture, stressing that inclusiveness was imperative for sustainability in the agricultural development agenda of the state.
In his response, Governor Makinde commended the IITA DG for the courtesy visit and pledged the commitment of the state to work with IITA to achieve agricultural transformation.
The governor noted that his administration had identified four pillars: education, rural infrastructure, economic development (agriculture), and security to help bring the dividends of democracy to the people of Oyo state.
He noted that for the state to attain economic development, agriculture must be transformed.
“This is because most of our people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Besides, through agricultural transformation, we will be able to provide the needed jobs for our youths…the jobs we promised during the election campaigns,” he added.
On infrastructure, the governor said work on one of the major agricultural roads (Moniya to Iseyin) would commence soon. On completion, the road would ease the movement of farm produce to the market. He also said that discussions were in top gear with the federal government to rehabilitate the Oyo town-Iseyin road.
On the courtesy visit to the Governor were Drs Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery); Alfred Dixon, Director for Development & Delivery; Tahirou Abdoulaye, Impact Economist; Godwin Atser, Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist; Toyin Oke, Manager, Resource Mobilization, Protocol and External Liaison; Oludamilare Odusanya and Adetola Adenmosun, IITA Youth Agripreneurs.
The meeting with the Governor was facilitated by Debo Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor onAgribusiness.
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