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Sowore: Those now in power protested against Jonathan – Gani Adams blasts Buhari govt

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Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams has joined other Nigerians calling for the release of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (ACC), Omoyele Sowore.

The publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener, Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) over a planned revolutionary protest which held in some states but was foiled by security agencies.

In a statement on Monday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Adams said the detention was an abuse of human right, stating that the planned revolutionary protest cannot be said to be treasonable since it was yet to be implemented as at the time Sowore was arrested.

Adams said it was unfortunate that Nigerians usually forget events and memories of the past, adding that Nigeria’s problems emanated from the military’s dictatorship which was against freedom of speech and expression.

He said: “Not everybody can have access to the presidency in Abuja. This is democracy, not militarism, where people are cowed and jailed over issues relating to their welfare.

“Sowore is an activist, and he was part of the struggle for this democracy. Therefore, he is entitled to express his feelings and that of Nigerians in a democratic setting.

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“I think the federal government must consider his freedom as a panacea for peace. For instance, I wonder how a peaceful protest by armless citizens will now turn to a treasonable felony.

“It is unfortunate that many of the people at the corridors of power today were part of the protests against former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, but today the situation has changed.

“I am afraid they wanted to draw the nation backward to those years of the military, where peoples rights to freedom and other fundamental human rights were alien to the military

“Even in countries that have good institutions and good welfare policies, the citizens still organise peaceful protest and the government will surely listen to them

“As an activist and promoter of peace, I have engaged in various rallies and protests. On each occasions, we consulted widely, taking into considerations so many factors,including the rights of Nigerians to embark on protest, noting also that such rights should not translate to a violent or forceful protest

“Nigeria is a democratic republic, therefore, unlawful detention of a people can lead to further crisis and the Federal Government must try as much as it is possible to avoid this by listening to the cries of Nigerians.

“The Federal Government must free Sowore and formulate policy programmes that have direct impact on the mass of the people,” Adams concluded.

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How Sowore planned to overthrow Buhari, free El-Zakzaky – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said its investigation so far revealed that ‘Revolution Now’ was smokescreen for the actual intention of Omoyele Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last presidential election, to overthrow President Buhari.

The security agency also alleged that Sowore intended to free Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) having received millions of Dollars from foreign sponsors.

The DSS also said it engaged in a painstaking investigation of Sowore’s activities in view of the quantum of evidence so far gathered and may return to court to seek an extension of the 45 days granted it by the Federal High Court, Abuja to detain him.

The DSS made this known in a fresh document it filed at the Federal High Court on Monday in response to an application by Sowore, challenging the court’s order, granting the security agency 45 days to detain him pending investigation.

In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Godwin Agbadua, an official of the DSS, it was stated that Sowore was arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence, upon his alleged involvement in terrorists’ activities.

“The respondent/applicant (Sowore) planned to violently change the government through the hashtag RevolutionNow. The respondent/applicant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with the hashtag RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorists‘organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to mobilizing strong forces to realize his agenda at changing the government

“The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form alliance against the Nigerian government, the duo stated that they have a well-planned out strategy to realize their objective, which is toppling the government.

“The applicant/respondent is investigating the activities of the respondent /applicant as it relates to a terrorists organisation, IPOB. The facts show a conjecture between the respondent/applicant and IPOB activities.

“There is the need for the applicant/respondent to investigate such reasonable suspicion of the relationship between the respondent/applicant and IPOB.

“The respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibrahim Yaqub Elzakzaky (Shaikh).

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“In furtherance to the plans to violently free Elzakzaky from lawful custody. The respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorist’s organisation. Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) where they strategized on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free Elzakzaky.

“The respondent stated in one of his videos that Shiite members, who are members of the proscribed terrorists group, IMN were going to join forces with him in bringing down the government. The statement and the meetings of the respondent/applicant raises issue of grave suspicion of supporting a proscribed terrorists’ organisation, IMN.

“The suspicions require diligent investigation by the applicant/respondent. The planned action constitutes a threat of violence to intimidate or cause panic in members of the public as a means of affecting political conduct

“The investigation is still ongoing. Upon the completion of investigation, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution,” DSS said.

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Makinde spends 74 hours with state officials drawing plan to transform agriculture

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IITA, AfDB salute Makinde’s vision

At a retreat in Cotonou, Republic of Benin to chart a path for transforming agriculture, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde set a record in governance, by spending more than 72 hours with his state officials designing an implementation plan for Oyo state agribusiness.

The governor also promised officials of the state that the administration will give agriculture the necessary ‘political will’ to play its role and transform the economic fortunes of the state.

“I want to assure all the participants that Oyo State will provide the political will needed to make the state the agribusiness hub of Nigeria,” Gov Makinde said at the retreat that was facilitated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, 15-19 August.

Gov Makinde pledged to attract more private investments to agriculture by providing an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in the state. He said the state would ensure agribusiness-friendly policies that would boost investor confidence.

Since assumption of office on 29 May 2019, Gov Makinde has pledged to transform the narrative of agriculture with the view to making it the pillar of the state’s economic development. The retreat provided an opportunity for the Governor to unveil his vision for agriculture in the state.

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Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery commended the governor for demonstrating an uncommon leadership style by participating in all the sessions of the three-day retreat.

“I have never seen such a commitment from a governor… and I believe the document coming out of this retreat will help the state to achieve the vision of an agribusiness hub for Nigeria,” he added.

Dr. Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-Allied division with the African Development Bank said the commitment of the state to agriculture was a step in the right direction.

“Let me also commend you (the governor of Oyo state) for organizing this very important meeting, and participating fully in it to have a vision and an implementation plan for agribusiness in the state,” he added via skype.

Dr. Fregene urged the state government to adopt the agri-business approach to unlock the potential of agriculture in the state.

“For Oyo state to move forward in agriculture, you must treat agriculture as a business,” he explained.

According to the AfDB director, the Bank would be willing to support the state in its quest to transform agriculture.

The retreat had four sessions comprising: Developing a vision for the state in agriculture, identifying the obstacles to the vision, developing strategic actions to deal with the obstacles to the vision, and developing an implementation plan.

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Adebowale Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture gave thumbs up to the retreat, adding that recommendations from the retreat would help the state to achieve its vision of becoming an agribusiness hub.

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Pass all requests for meetings with me through Abba Kyari, Buhari tells ministers

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told incoming ministers that all requests for meetings with him should pass through his chief of staff, Abba Kyari.

Mr Buhari said this in his closing remark at a presidential retreat for minister’s designate in Abuja.

“In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” Mr Buharisaid,

The president’s speech at the event was sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the presidency.

Mr Kyari has been criticised by some Nigerians including members of the ruling party, APC, for his influence over the president.

The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is one of those who have complained about the powers Mr Kyari wields in the presidency.

After Mr Buhari’s re-election in February, some APC members protested against the re-appointment of Mr Kyari, a longtime ally of the president.

The president, however, reappointed him to the position.

Read Mr Buhari’s full speech to the ministers-designate below.

Protocols

After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat. However, you will agree that our work is just beginning.

2. These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you new Ministers-Designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next 4 years.

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3. Ladies & Gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

4. Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:

· A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram;

· Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;

· A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports;

· Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.

5. In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets. Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization. Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

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6. Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

7. We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.

8. Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

9. You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.

10. In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

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11. I would like to thank the Office of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the Governors Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.

12. Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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