Connect with us


Grazing Route: Can Buhari Dare His Own Governors?



By Eric Elezuo

At two separate meetings held in May and July 2021 in Asaba and Lagos respectively, 17 southern governors unanimously agreed to ban open grazing in their states in a bid to curb growing insecurity in the region. Their action, however, appears to put a clog in regards for President Muhammadu Buhari, who particularly, is against such moves having proposed the RUGA alternatives as well as the resuscitation of the long abandoned grazing routes.

President Buhari had given his directive on revival of grazing routes while fielding questions during an Arise Television interview. The directive has met with diverse reactions among state governments across the country.

Buhari had said that approval had been given for the reclamation of grazing routes as a way out of the perennial farmer-herders conflicts. This directive, stakeholders have noted, was rooted in the First Republic concept in which there were designated routes where herders moved cattle in different parts of the country.

The move generated mixed feelings among Nigerians. While some, mostly from the northern parts supported the move, which they said would end the protracted farmer-herder clashes, governors, socio-cultural groups, farmers and other stakeholders from the south opposed it.

However, the governors, many of whom are of All Progressives Congress (APC) extraction, the president’s party, threw caution to the winds, deciding to toe the line of the region. Some of them have harboured a feeling, justifiably though, that Mr. President is either not capable of the confronting the insecurity in the region occasioned by the marauding herdsmen or he is completely nonchalant of the deadly situation. This stance tended to declare a ‘to your tents O Israel’ situation among the 17 states that make the southern region.

The group had therefore, given itself till September 1, 2021 to pass and sign into law every machinery required to ensure that open grazing is forbidden in the region. This will put paid to the grazing route proposal by the president, a move most analysts wondered why the president should even mute the idea, seeing that time and development have overtaken the matter.

But reactions trailed the southern governors resolution from many quarters including the presidency and Fulani groups.

A Fulani group, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association, warned against the decision of the Southern governors to ban open grazing in their states.

It explained that a ban on open grazing in Southern states would lead to a breakdown of peace between Northerners and their neighbours from the South.

The group described the resolution as unfortunate and capable of affecting Nigeria’s unity.

The group’s National Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, described the resolution as unfortunate and capable of affecting Nigeria’s unity, adding that it was impossible because they have not made an alternative plan for herders.

He stated that the decision of the governors would promote hatred between Southerners and Northerners.

“If you stop open grazing in the South, you are simply saying that those people should move to the North or they should move to other parts of the country. What happens if those in the North also ask the Southerners to leave?

“Are we promoting unity or hatred? What the governors are saying is practically impossible and it does not promote the unity of this country.

“You don’t stop people’s means of living and expect peace to reign. So, the implication is that the unity of Nigeria is going to be in question.

“You don’t expect those that will be affected to return to the North and live in peace with people from the South living in the North.”

As the matter raged, President Buhari, through his media aide, Garba Shehu, responded as follows:


President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed a strong resolve to address the conflicts of herders and farmers in a sustained and lasting manner that should lead to the emergence of a permanent solution to the frequent clashes between them, as well as the associated problem of the gun-wielding “killer herdsmen.”

The President had approved a number of specific measures to bring a permanent end to the frequent skirmishes as recommended by Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture in a report he submitted and the President signed off on it back in April, well before the actions of the Southern Governors Forum which attempts to place a ban on open grazing and other acts of politicking intended by its signatories to demonstrate their power.

It is very clear that there was no solution offered from their resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes that have been continuing in our country for generations.

But the citizens of the southern states – indeed citizens of all states of Nigeria – have a right to expect their elected leaders and representatives to find answers to challenges of governance and rights, and not to wash their hands off hard choices by, instead, issuing bans that say: “not in my state.”

It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality, given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) -regardless of the state of their birth or residence.

Fortunately, this declaration has been preempted, for whatever it is intended to achieve and Mr. President, who has rightly been worried about these problems more than any other citizen in consultation with farmers and herders alike, commissioned and approved an actionable plan of rehabilitating grazing reserves in the states, starting with those that are truly committed to the solution and compliant with stated requirements.

With veterinary clinics, water points for animals, and facilities for herders and their families including schooling – through these rehabilitated reserves, the Federal Government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side: supporting farmers to till their fields, herders to rear their livestock and Nigerians everywhere to be safe.

The entire country is acutely aware of the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on public finances, for both Federal and States. Still, given the pressing urgency of addressing the perennial challenges, the federal funding for the project that has been delayed is now being partly unlocked. Actual work for the full actualization of the modern reserve system in a few of the consenting states should take off in June.

As a federation, stakeholders watched to see if the president would dare the governors under his command, especially those of them under the winnowing broom of the APC, to take a stand against his administration. But unfolding situations have shown that it was the governors, who dared Buhari.

In addition, the socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, said they will not recognise anti-open grazing policy, describing it as ‘satanic’. The herders said the anti-open grazing policy taking off September 1 had been overtaken by events, even as they declared their support for the Federal Government’s plan to revive grazing reserves, grazing routes and facilitate ranching in all the states.

National secretary of Miyetti Allah, Saleh Alhassan, said members would not recognise any anti-open grazing policy in the country. “Nobody can do anti-grazing policy in Nigeria, where we are constitutionally guaranteed the right of movement and occupation,” he said.

But Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State took the bull by the horns, calling the bluff of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, when he suspended all activities in Ondo State forest reserves. He followed it up on the twilight of August 2021 with the signing into law of the Anti-Grazing Bill passed by the State House of Assembly.

A statement his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, released to newsmen noted that “the move is in line with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at its last meeting in Lagos where September 1 was set as the deadline for governors in Southern Nigeria to sign the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law.

“This is worthwhile and a very laudable development aimed at stemming needless instances of skirmishes, conflicts as well as infractions on the enviably peaceful disposition of the good people of Ondo State,” the statement said.

Explaining the import of the new law across the 18 local councils of the state, Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, said: “For emphasis, no particular group of persons is the target. While it is the hope of government that all residents would take an ample advantage of this law to enhance our socio-economic well being in Ondo, compliance of same shall be given the utmost attention.

In quick succession, the governments of Enugu and Lagos states followed suit with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu putting pen to paper as the anti-grazing bill becomes law. The ban is already in place in seven states: Ebonyi, Abia, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states. Akwa Ibom and Delta states are still in the legislative process.
In Cross River, Osun and Ogun states, the law already exists or has been passed by the state assembly but awaiting their governors’ assent, but in Anambra, Imo and Edo states, nothing seems to be happening regarding the anti-open grazing bill.

Oyo State, on its part, said it has passed the anti-cattle grazing bill into law since 2019, though it still experiences skirmishes with implementation as herdsmen move freely in some parts of the state unrestricted.

Due to this development, some commuters said the road is still a dangerous route at night owing to activities of armed herdsmen, an indication the law, which was indeed passed, does not have the force of implementation.

Enugu State residents had given explicit support and approval to the State House of Assembly to enact the anti-open grazing law in the state.

During a public hearing on a “Law to prohibit open grazing, regulate cattle ranching and for connected purposes,” organised by the Joint Committees on Judiciary, Agriculture, Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges and Youths, Sports and Culture of the state Assembly, the people stated that enacting such law would not only restore peace, but security of farmers and residents.

Herdsmen under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and the Hausa community in the state said Northerners in the state were for anything that would ensure safety and peaceful coexistence.

Leader of Northern Community in Enugu and Sariki Hausawa Enugu, Alhaji Yusuf Sambo, as well as Chairman of MACBAN, South East Zone, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, said the one month period would enable them articulate their position on the said law.

The resonating effects of the ban have echoed in the north as well, as some Northern states have also taken firm decision. The Katsina State government, among other states, has banned the transportation of cattle from the state to any part of the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by Abdu Labaran, Director General, Media to the state government. The ban is part of efforts to improve security in the state and is backed by the Security Challenges (Containment) Order signed into law by Governor Aminu Bello Masari.

The order also bans trucks/lorries carrying firewood from the bush and the sale of animals at the markets of Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Malumfashi, Charanchi, Mai’aduwa, Kafur, Faskari, Sabuwa, Baure, Dutsinma and Kaita local councils.

In the same vein, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has suspended the operation of cattle markets across the state. This was communicated in a statement signed yesterday by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Matane, which stated that it was part of measures to address security challenges in the state.

The directive is expected to take effect from today. “Any vehicle carrying cattle into the state must show way-bill and evidence of the origin where the cattle were purchased and their destination,” the statement added.

It also noted that the state government had banned the sale of petroleum products in jerry cans or any other containers at filling stations. “All filling stations should not sell petrol of more than N10,000 to each vehicle at a time and should be wary of vehicles or motorcycles coming for repeat purchases,” the statement read.

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, In a communiqué,  lauded governors for their resolution against open grazing, calling on them to intensify efforts in deployment of Amotekun operatives, hunters and vigilantes.

“We hear that the head of Miyetti Allah said they will not recognise the law passed by our states and that our governors will never be able to enforce those laws. We will enjoin the governors to ensure that the laws are enforced. If they have the capacity to tell us that the laws passed by our own parliaments in our own various states will not be enforced, we will say Yoruba people will support the governors to ensure the laws are enforced and we assure them that the Yoruba people will support the governors to enforce the laws,” the communiqué read.

While most states in the north have commenced process of reclaiming lands for cattle grazing route, the southern states including some northcentral states like Niger have remained adamant, insisting on total ban to open. Most of them have followed it up with legislative process leading to enactment of laws.

The Niger State Government in a statement by the Secretary to the Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, said ranching and grazing reserves would be the best solution for cattle farmers, saying that reopening grazing routes might be difficult because of the level of development in the country.

“We believe that if we are adopting the ranching system, in the long run, there would be no need for grazing routes.

“We should also be mindful of the fact that most of the routes are now farmlands; most of them have been taken up by towns, villages and communities as a result of development.

Frowning at Buhari’s grazing route concept, Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman, Southern Governors Forum, said: “Would you say that where the Deji of Akure’s palace is now is a grazing route and we have to remove it for a grazing route? We can’t do that now. Things are changing and there has to be a paradigm shift.”

Speaking for the Southeast region, the Vice President of Ohaneze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief Damain Ogene Okeke, said there was no grazing route in the South-East, and so there is nothing to resuscitate

“There is no grazing route in the South-East. The president should be interested in restoring the glory of the country instead of talking about grazing routes,” he said.

Most residents knocked Buhari saying that the demand for the recovery of grazing routes suggested that the president had interest in the activities of the Fulani across the country.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) rejected open grazing and movement of cattle as an archaic practice that had become untenable in contemporary Nigeria.

“Everything about this presidency indicates that it is not nationalistic. The conduct and actions of this administration have been largely parochial and sectional.

“We will continue to aver that nepotism under the Buhari administration has caused more problems for Nigeria than anything else,” the group said through its spokesman, Ken Robinson said.

Daily Trust quoted Hameed Ajibola Jimoh, a lawyer, as saying that grazing routes were not the same as freedom of movement, adding that grazing is not under the exclusive legislative list and concurrent legislative list, but under the residual legislative list.

“This gives grazing powers to state governments. The federal government can only make grazing laws and control same as it concerns the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and federal lands within states, but not on state governments’ lands as distributed under the Land Use Act.

“The taking over of grazing routes in states infringes not only on the autonomy of states and powers of governors, it affects their sovereignty and violates federalism as a democratic principle, except as it relates to the FCT, Abuja and federal lands within states.”

Another lawyer, E.M.D Umukoro said: “The answer is simple. The law known as the Grazing Reserve Law of 1965 provides for grazing and grazing routes. However, this law is only applicable to northern Nigeria.

“Therefore, the applicability of the directive of Mr President is for only the northern states of Nigeria.

“It must also be added that it is the responsibility of the attorney-general and other legal minds within the government to advise Mr President on legal issues.

“The spokesperson of the Senate has been reported to state that there is no grazing act in Nigeria, so it will be ultra vires for the powers of the president to give such directive,” he said.

Analysts have proved variously that the issue of grazing does not occur on the exclusive list, and so, way beyond the purview of presidential powers. Consequently, Buhari has no right to legislate on grazing matters. They maintained that it appears on the residual list, and as a result, only state governors can legislate on it.

So will Buhari dare the governors, and go beyond his constitutional powers, thereby causing constitutional crisis.

Time will tell!

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Diezani Madueke Drags EFCC, AGF to Court over False, Injurious Publications, Seeks N100bn Damages




By Eric Elezuo

A former Minister of Petroleum during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has brought the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation as first and second defendants respectively, through a Writ of Summons before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, demanding the appearance of the duo in court with a statutory 14 days period, or judgment may be given to the claimant in their absence.

The commandment was given in Suit number C4/6273/23, and dated May 26, 2023 with Mrs. Alison-Madueke as the claimant and the duo of EFCC and AGF as defendants.

The former Petroleum Minister is praying the court to declare certain publications “authored by the Defendant under the supervision of the 2nd Defendant and widely published by the 1st Defendant, is false, malicious, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of and did indeed lower the reputation and integrity of the Claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought the Claimant into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.”

Alison-Madueke also sought an order, among many orders “directing the Defendants jointly and severally to pay to the Claimant the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (100 billion naira) only as damages for the false, injurious, malicious and libelous publications against the Claimant in the 1st Defendant’s publishing platform, and at the instance of both the 1st and the 2nd Defendants.”

The publications according to the claimant were dated from 2017 till 2021, and appeared in prominent national dailies including print and online.

The claimant, in proving the falsehood of the publications, said that the defendants had means and opportunities to verify the truth, but chose not to do so.

“The Defendants had the means and opportunities of verifying the truth or otherwise of the offensive publications, but failed to do so and were motivated in making the offensive publications by the desire to increase their public profile and perception, and to bring the estimation of the Claimant into contempt, odium and ridicule in the eyes of an average Nigerian.

“The publications have greatly prejudiced and injured the Claimant and caused her reputational damage, loss of goodwill, and confidence by her political associates and professional colleagues, whom all of now shun and keep their distance from her as a common thief and corrupt public officer,” the Summons revealed.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke was Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum till 2015 when the Jonathan’s administration left office. She left for England shortly after to treat severe ailment, and has been in England ever since. Attached are some of the documents of the Summons.

Continue Reading


Muhammadu Buhari: Eight Years of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly




By Eric Elezuo

The tense atmosphere prevalent in the nation today has proved that the fanfare, flamboyancy and tangible joy that heralded the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 are no longer in vogue. On the lips of most Nigerians is the expression ‘thank God it’s finally come to an end’ with different persons expressing themselves in different ways, but each coming to terms with the meaning.

In barely 24 hours, the eight years administration of Nigeria’s leader will come to an end; glorious or inglorious depends on the side of the divide the particular Nigerian or interest group is speaking from. To many, it has been an eight years of nostalgia, to others, it was an eight years of irreparable mistake. But the truth remains that the eight years, counting from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023, has remained a watershed in the history of Nigeria. Without an iota of doubt, a lot has happened, ranging from the good, the bad, the ugly and in fact the very ugly.

In 2013, when it was believed that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was becoming rudderless, clueless, and practically heading to nowhere, a strong anti-government group ostensibly led by the Senator Bola Tinubu, rose, and galvanised a huge followership to cast aspersion on the incumbent with a view to dethroning him. The group, which cut across many parties in the country, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sought the endorsement of Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate, being touted as the face of the north, and erroneously believed to be a ‘saint’ in the corruption index.

A columnist wrote: “For the past eight years of Buhari’s administration have been an unmitigated failure; a monumental waste of time, of resources, and of the hopes and aspirations of a nation and a people. True stewardship is leaving a place better than one found it. But Buhari is leaving Nigeria far worse than he found it in 2015.”

From many quarters, observers have said that Buhari had an opportunity to better his first coming in 1984, but flopped the chance with a performance they believe is below average.

But how did the Buhari administration fare? In a Sunday morning farewell broadcast, the president examined his stewardship, and presented as follows:

My fellow Nigerian brothers, sisters and friends of Nigeria. 

2. I address you today, in my last assignment as a democratically elected President of our great and well-endowed nation, with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people and a modest sense of fulfilment. 

3. Today we mark and celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another in our steady march to improve and sustain Nigeria’s democracy. 

4. This year we witnessed the most keenly contested Presidential Elections since the first Republic and this demonstrates that our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election. 

5. We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we make in the electoral process, on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among Nations. 

6. Our democracy provides for, allows and encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices, enabling some candidates and political parties that did not agree with the results to go to court. 

7. Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our courts and join hands to build a better Nigeria. 

8. I salute the doggedness and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for believing in our judicial system by taking their grievances with the election results to court. 

9. In the course of the campaigns, we had argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better but we never disagreed or had any doubts that Nigeria has to be better. 

10. As your President, I call on all of us to bring to bear the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, the convictions of our beliefs to make Nigeria work better and together with one spirit and one purpose. 

11. To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past ten years – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world.  

12. You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher that I am leaving.   

13. You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well. 

14. The last eight years have been an exciting experience in my desire and commitment to see a Nigeria in which public goods and services are available, and accessible within a united, peaceful and secure nation. 

15. Fellow Nigerians, on the strength of your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I started this journey with a great deal of promise and expectation from you. I never intended to be just politically correct but to do the correct things that will make meaningful impact on the lives of the common Nigerian. 

16. This high expectation was not misplaced because, like the ordinary Nigerian, I had grown tired of watching the country progressively moving away from the path of correctness. 

17. To ensure that our democracy remains resilient and our elected representatives remain accountable to the people, I am leaving behind an electoral process which guarantees that votes count, results are credible, elections are fair and transparent and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum. And Nigerians can elect leaders of their choice. 

18. We are already seeing the outcome of this process as it provided an even playing field where persons without any political God-Father or access to money defeated other well-resourced candidates. 

19. The Nigerian economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure that our economy remained afloat during cases of global economic downturns. 

20. You would all recall the supply chain disruptions and economic downturn that the world witnessed between 2020 and 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deftness of our response to the pandemic still remains a global best practice. 

21. Furthermore, we increased the ability of the poor and rural Nigerians to earn a living, provided more food for millions in our villages and gave our women opportunities to earn a living. 

22. Young men and women in urban centres were also supported to put their skills into productive use. Our administration also provided an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in businesses for which their return on investments is guaranteed. 

23. The private sector proved a strong partner in our drive to build a resilient and sustainable economy as evidenced by the growing number of turn-key projects in various sectors of the economy. 

24. In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologised to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country. 

25. Mindful of the need to ensure adequate infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed age-long projects and processes notably amongst which are the Petroleum Industry Act, completion of some power projects, completion of the second Niger bridge and various important roads linking cities and states. 

26. Our battle to ensure that all Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment has achieved considerable results. As I complete my term in office, we have been able to reduce the incidences of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and other criminal activities considerably. 

27. To sustain the gains made so far, I call on all Nigerians to be more vigilant and support the security agencies by ensuring that our values defined by being your brothers’ keeper govern our actions. 

28. Up-till now, I still grieve for our children still in captivity, mourn with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones in the days of the senseless brigandage and carnage. For all those under unlawful captivity our Security Agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed. 

29. Fellow Nigerians, you know how dear the desire in my heart is, to rid the country of corrupt practices that had consistently diminished our efforts to be a great country. 

30. I did pursue this commitment relentlessly, in spite of the expected push back. I am happy that considerable progress had been made in repatriating huge sums of money back to the country and also taken over properties illegally acquired from our common wealth. 

31. To improve service delivery, we began the implementation of a number of reforms aimed at producing an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-oriented (EPIC) Federal Civil Service and the results are beginning to show. 

32. On the international scene, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow as exemplified by notable Nigerians occupying headship and leadership positions in renowned global bodies. 

33. Our democracy is built on and continues to thrive on the principles of separation of powers. The leadership and members of the National Assembly deserve my appreciation for their patriotism which did not detract from their roles as a check to the executive arm.

34. I also want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to a good number of Nigerians who provided their support and encouragement to help me navigate the exciting journey in moving Nigeria forward. 

35. I cannot and will not forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term of office. I am constantly praying for you and for Nigeria to thrive in peace.

36. As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation. 

37. I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015. 

38. I thank you all. And may God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Buhari administration has however received knocks from a good number of quarters, which believed that his administration was the worst in the history of the nation. According to the outgoing governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Buhari performed abysmally low, and should be told.

In his opinion, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Bode George, noted that in all sectors of the country, the Buhari’s administration has not impacted positively the lives of Nigerians.

“My personal assessment is that he failed, not completely in every sector, but if you do an examination and say you must have a minimum of 33 per cent, then you can go to the next class, but they did not attain that 33 per cent.

“I can give them maybe about 5 per cent, even the 5 per cent requires a lot of retrospection.

“So it is very disheartening and heartbreaking that he failed in his number one job, which was to guarantee security of lives and property.

“You know when he was coming in, Buhari told us, ‘I would fight corruption, I will secure the lives and properties of the people, I will do this, I will do that’.

“So, let’s put those promises now into his departure, because that’s what will be written on the pages of history. Whatever a leader does during his time is on the pages of history,” he said.

For Senator Shehu Sani, Buhari granted waivers to the rich and impoverish the poor, closing the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitting those who use the ships.

“He led the country without any economic direction. He presided over a Government that failed to secure the lives of Nigerians; 63k dead, 3m IDPs & 366k refugees in neighbouring countries,” he tweeted.

“He failed to restructure as he promised. He granted waivers to the rich & impoverished the poor. He closed the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitted those who use the ships.

“He built magical pyramids that disappeared after three days. He left incomplete projects with huge debts to service for decades.

“He enabled, enriched & reinforced a cabal for 8 years. He appointed & retained failures and rewarded them with extensions. He was weak in taking decisions & runway when it’s tough.

“He has no house in London but made London his home. He left behind record inflation, record devaluation, record unemployment, record fall in GDP, record figures of poverty and record plunder of state resources.

“He left behind a nation with 60m people suffering from mental illnesses. He is leaving behind the health workers on strike. He set up traps for the next Government in order to make his own look better,” Sani said.

Also assessing the eight years of the Buhari administration, an aide to PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Demola Olanrewaju, said: “APC was voted in 2015 on the promise of change, and APC got and effected a change of promise”.

He added that “nobody attaches credibility to promises made by politicians anymore because of the inability of this administration to keep its promise”.

“We must cast our mind back to the promises made by APC in 2015 en route to taking over from the PDP. I think it’s quite obvious that if you look at those promises and the reality on the ground today, the APC has simply not fulfilled its promises. Buhari has simply not fulfilled the promises that brought him into power,” he said.

“The government came in with high hopes that began to be dashed gradually.

“There was a sense of Buhari’s administration not being a reflection of any other administration simply because APC had criticised the previous government for some of the things that they turned around to do; in terms of the integrity of elections, insecurity, and ideas on how to make Nigeria work.

“There were also attempts by this administration to distance itself from its own promises. Buhari promised ‘restructuring’ when he got into power, and he said he did not understand what restructuring means anymore.

“Basically, APC was voted in 2015 on the promise of change, and APC effected a change of promise. Based on that, I think the Buhari administration has not lived up to the billing of its promise.”

On his part, Oluseyi Olufemi, a data journalist, said while the Buhari administration ranked high in some aspects of state management, the government failed in economics and human rights issues.

“In terms of economics, that was a greater decline. The Buhari administration scored the lowest. Things have gotten worst than they used to be,” he said.

“In terms of the number of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), that increased drastically also under Buhari compared to other governments. Human rights abuse was also worse.”

The way it is, failed or succeeded, Buhari is on his way out, and this is the era of Senator Bola Tinubu if the cases in court do not yield anything positive. The question is not is how would Tinubu better the wrongs committed by the Buhari administration, especially when he had said he would continue where the outgoing administration stop.

Continue Reading


76th Cannes Film Festival Ends with Bang




The stars on parade at 76th Festival de Cannes


By Michael Effiong

The colour, the glamour, the style and class of the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ends today with a big bang.

Festival de Cannes, the film industry’s most prestigious festival will take place at 8:30 pm and will be broadcast live on France 2 and internationally on Brut.

The Jury, presided over by director Ruben Östlund and including director Maryam Touzani, actor Denis Ménochet, writer/director Rungano Nyoni, actress/director Brie Larson, actor/director Paul Dano, writer Atiq Rahimi, director Damián Szifron and director Julia Ducournau, will select the winners from the 21 films in Competition this year.

Actress Anaïs Demoustier, President of the Jury, will hand out the Caméra d’or award to the best first film. Actress Stacy Martin and director Ildikó Enyedi, President of the Short Film and La Cinef Jury, will award the Palme d’or for short films.

Actor Orlando Bloom will hand out the Jury Prize. Actor Song Kang-ho, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actor for Broker and actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi, last year’s winner of the Best Performance by an Actress for Holy Spider, will award the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor Prizes respectively.


Actor John C. Reilly, President of the Un Certain Regard Jury, will award the Best Screenplay Prize, while Pete Docter, Creative Director of Pixar Studios, will present the Best Director Prize.


The Festival de Cannes will also be honored by the exceptional presence tonight of legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who will present the Grand Prix alongside virtuoso Quentin Tarantino.


Finally, the prestigious Palme d’or will be presented by the formidable and inspiring Jane Fonda.


The Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the 76th Festival de Cannes, and will be followed by the screening of Peter Sohn‘s film Elementary in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.


The 21 films competing for the Palme d’or this year are : Firebrand by Karim Aïnouz, Asteroid City by Wes Anderson, Rapito (Kidnapped)(Kidnapped) by Marco Bellocchio, Les Filles d’Olfa (Four Daughters)(Four Daughters) by Kaouther Ben Hania, L’Été dernier (Last Summer) (Last Summer) by Catherine Breillat, Kuru Otlar Ustune (About Dry Grasses)(About Dry Grasses) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Le Retour (Homecoming) by Catherine Corsini, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer, Club Zero by Jessica Hausner, May December by Todd Haynes, Monster by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Kuolleet Lehdet (Fallen Leaves)(Fallen Leaves) by Aki Kaurismäki, The Old Oak by Ken Loach, Il Sol dell’ avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow)(A Brighter Tomorrow) by Nanni Moretti, La Chimera by Alice Rohrwacher, Black Flies by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu) (The Pot-au-Feuby Tran Anh Hùng, Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall) (Anatomy of a Fallby Justine Triet, Jeunesse (Le Printemps) (Youth (Spring))(Youth (Spring)) by Wang Bing, Perfect Days by Wim Wenders.

The Closing ceremony, usually a wonderful evening to behold will be broadcast in English and French by Brut.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: