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Tinubu set to unleash a regime of propaganda as a state policy, Atiku’s aide alerts Nigerians

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.As SERAP sues President over ‘failure to stop Wike, Umahi, others from collecting retirement benefits

.PDP BoT knocks APC over insecurity, hardship

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An aide to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2023, Atiku Abubakar, has raised the alarm over the plans by President Bola Tinubu to unleash a regime of propaganda as a policy of the state in the coming days.


Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said in a statement on Sunday that the fake news regarding the lifting of the visa ban by the United Arab Emirates was just the “tip of the iceberg”.


Shaibu noted that Tinubu had already appointed over 15 media aides with the sole aim of pushing misinformation as a policy of the state and distracting Nigerians from the deep pains his administration has caused them.


He noted that this has always been Tinubu’s style from his days as governor and leader of his party.


Atiku’s aide said, “From the information available to us, Bola Tinubu is set to push propaganda to overdrive as he heads out for the United Nations General Assembly. He will claim to have attracted foreign investments amounting to $100bn but will fail to provide key details. It is all propaganda. It is all a load of baloney. In India, he claimed they had received pledges of over $14bn just as his predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed in 2018 that he had secured pledges of up to $6bn. This is nothing but audio investments.


“Last month, the NNPC claimed to have obtained a loan of $3bn with which it would help stabilise the naira. We raised the alarm that it was all a ruse to deceive Nigerians. Now, we have been justified as the naira is now approaching $1/N1,000 on the black market.


“After his trip to the UAE, Tinubu claimed the visa ban had been lifted immediately. Now, they have shifted the goalpost after the UAE authorities revealed that the news was false. This is the sort of embarrassment Nigeria will continue to attract in this season of balablu.


“The report by FTSE revealed that Tinubu’s so-called FX unification policy was failing and Nigeria was degraded from a frontier market to unclassified. Having failed to bring economic rebirth, he has now recruited over 15 media aides instead of recruiting more economic experts.


“His list of media aides include Ajuri Ngelale (Special Adviser Media and Publicity); Tunde Rahman (SSAP Media); Tope Ajayi (SSAP Media and Publicity); Abdulaziz Abdulaziz (SSAP Print Media); Otega Ogara (SSAP Digital/New Media);  Segun Dada (SAP Social Media); Nosa Asemota (SAP Visual Communications); Sunday  Moses (PA Videography); Taiwo Okonlawon (PA State photography); Moremi Ojudu (SAP, community engagement southwest); Tanko Yakasai (SAP, community engagement northwest); Chioma Nweze (SAP, community engagement southeast)., Abiodun Essiet (SAP, community engagement north-central); Abdulhamid Yahaya Abba (SAP, community engagement northeast); Emmanuella Eduozor (SAP Multimedia content production). This is apart from the minister of information and others appointed in the ministry to drive the propaganda agenda.”


Shaibu said it was laughable that Tinubu, who vowed to hit the ground running from the first day, had held only one cabinet meeting since his inauguration nearly 120 days ago.


He asked Nigerians to remain patient as the Supreme Court prepares to commence work on the election petition appeal.


“Tinubu removed the petrol subsidy without any plan whatsoever and decided to hand over a few bags of rice to millions of poor Nigerians. To date, the minimum wage remains N30,000 or $31 per month based on the parallel market exchange rate.


“This is the punishment Nigerians are facing because the election management body failed to do its work on February 25. This is a manifestation of the words of the Holy Book, which says when the righteous lead, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people suffer.


“In the meantime, we ask Nigerians to remain patient as the judicial authorities do their job in righting the electoral fraud that has brought Nigerians to their knees.”

.As SERAP sues President over ‘failure to stop Wike, Umahi, others from collecting retirement benefits


Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Bola Tinubu over “the failure to stop the former governors who are now serving as ministers in his administration from collecting life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their states while they serve as ministers.”


The ministers mentioned in the suit are Badaru Abubakar; Nyesom Wike; Bello Matawalle; Adegboyega Oyetola; and David Umahi. Others are: Simon Lalong; Atiku Bagudu; and Ibrahim Geidam.


SERAP said, “The ministers are to be joined in the suit as Defendants.”


In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1855/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pension, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their respective states.


SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to instruct the former governors who are now serving as ministers to forthwith return any pensions and ‘retirement benefits’ collected by them since leaving office to the public treasury.”


SERAP is also seeking: “a declaration that the failure by President Tinubu to publicly instruct former governors who are now serving as ministers to stop collecting life pensions, exotic cars, and other ‘retirement benefits’ from their states while serving as ministers is a violation of his constitutional oath of office.”


In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “Compelling and directing President Tinubu to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers would serve the public interest, especially given the current grave economic realities in the country.”


SERAP also argues that “The appointment of those who collect life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ as ministers is an arbitrary and unlawful exercise of discretion and presidential power of appointment.”


According to SERAP, “While many pensioners are not paid their pensions, former governors serving as ministers get paid huge severance benefits upon leaving office, and are poised to enjoy double emoluments on top of the opulence of political office holders.”


SERAP also argues that “The Tinubu government has constitutional and international legal obligations to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits while serving as ministers.”


The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Andrew Nwankwo, read in part: “The appointment of former governors who collect life pensions while serving as ministers is implicitly forbidden by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international legal obligations.”


“Constitutional oath of office requires public officials to abstain from all improper acts, including collecting ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers. This is clearly inconsistent with the public trust and the overall objectives of the Constitution. A false oath lacks truth and justice. The oath statements require the oath takers to commit to uphold and defend the Constitution.”


“Stopping the former governors from collecting double emoluments would ensure that the country’s wealth and resources are used for the common good and benefit of the socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians rather than to satisfy the opulent lifestyle of a few politicians.”


“Compelling President Tinubu to stop the former governors from collecting any ‘retirement benefits’ would ensure that the exercise of presidential power of appointment is entirely consistent with requirements of the Nigerian Constitution and the fundamental principles of integrity and honesty.”


“The following former governors are now ministers in the Tinubu administration: Badaru Abubakar (former governor of Jigawa State and Minister of Defence); and Nyesom Wike (former governor of River State and FCT Minister).”


“Others include Bello Matawalle (former governor of Zamfara State and Minister of State for Defence); Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola (former governor of Osun State and Minister of Transportation); and David Umahi (Minister of Works).”


“Others are Simon Bako Lalong (former governor of Plateau State and Minister of Labour and Employment); Atiku Bagudu (former governor of Kebbi State and Minister of Budget and Economic Planning); Ibrahim Geidam (former governor of Yole State and Minister of Police of Affairs.”


“The states currently implementing life pensions and other ‘retirement benefits’ for former governors reportedly include Jigawa, Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Yobe, and Rivers. Many of these states owe workers’ salaries and remain the poorest in the country.”


“Several of the pension laws in these states include provisions for six cars every three years, a house in Lagos worth N750 million, and another in Abuja worth N1 billion, unrestricted access to medical attention, and pensionable cooks, stewards, and gardeners.”


“Other provisions include 100 per cent annual salaries of the incumbent governor, security operatives and police officers permanently assigned to former governors.”


“In President Tinubu’s inaugural speech as president, he promised that his administration would be guided by ‘the principle of the rule of law, a shared sense of fairness and equity, and that ‘Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution.’”


“These commitments are consistent with the constitutional duties under sections 5, 130 and 147, and oath of office, under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”


“By the combined reading of these provisions, the Tinubu government has a legal obligation to appoint as ministers former governors whose conduct is entirely consistent and compatible with constitutional and international legal requirements.”


“The country’s international legal obligations especially under the UN Convention against Corruption also impose a legal commitment on public officials to discharge a public duty truthfully and faithfully.”


“Life pensions for former governors serving as ministers are entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.”


“The convention specifically in paragraph 1 of article 8 requires the Tinubu government to promote integrity, honesty and responsibility in the management of public resources.”


“Furthermore, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo in a judgment dated 26 November 2019 also indicated that double emoluments for former governors are unacceptable, unconstitutional and illegal. Indeed, former governors collecting ‘retirement benefits’ while serving as ministers would clearly amount to taking advantage of entrusted public positions.”


“‘Public function’ means activities in the public interest, not against it. The alleged collection of ‘retirement benefits’ by former governors now serving as ministers amounts to private self-interest or self-dealing. It is also detrimental to the public interest.”


No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

.PDP BoT knocks APC over insecurity, hardship


The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party has taken a swipe at the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government over what it called the increasing spate of insecurity in some parts of the country.


This is just as the board warned the ruling party not to drive the nation into a one-party state with the manner it is handling the nation’s democracy.


In a communique issued at the end of its 75th meeting on Friday in Abuja, the board flayed the Tinubu-led government of its management of the economy and its resultant effect


Read by its Chairman and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, the board rejected the PEPC judgment, adding that it was monitoring the election petition cases across the land.



The communique read in part, “The BoT expresses serious concerns over the excruciating hardship, worsening insecurity and a general sense of apprehension and despondency across the country occasioned by the hasty implementation of ill-planned policies of the overtly insensitive APC administration.


“The BoT is seriously worried over the continued fall in the value of the Naira arising from the ill-implemented policies of the APC with attendant devastating negative effect on the economy resulting in agonizing high costs and unbearable pressure on families.


“The BoT restates its rejection of the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in upholding the declaration of the APC as the winner of the February 25,,2023 Presidential election, in spite of the evidence clearly pointing to the contrary.


“The BoT is also monitoring and studying the outcome of cases in various election courts with regards to their level of adherence and respect to the Rule of Law and evidence before such court.

“The BoT is resolved to take urgent steps to resist the current manifest desperation by the APC to turn Nigeria into a one-party state.


“The BoT commends the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for following due process of the law in his quest to retrieve the Presidential Mandate freely given to him at the February 25, 2023 presidential election.


“The BoT laments that the APC is pushing Nigerians to the wall and worry that the level of poverty and anger in the polity over the suppressive rule of the APC is capable of snowballing into a serious crisis if not urgently addressed.”


That said, the board expressed confidence in the “Capacity and courage of the Supreme Court to ultimately and decisively right the wrongs and correct the manifest errors contained in the Judgment of the PEPC in the interest of the unity, stability and corporate existence of our country.”


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