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The 2023 Presidential Race: And the Clock Ticks



By Eric Elezuo
The election year, 2023 is no longer a long drawn imagination, it has become more realistic than anyone can imagine. It is now within a touching distance, and notable Nigerians are signifying their interest to occupy the most exalted office in the land – the presidency. Consequently, questions have been posited if 2023 will be the year of the Igbo, the Yoruba, the Hausa/Fulani, the Niger Deltan or the year of second time entrant and prolific entrepreneur, Aare Dele Momodu, two terms governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi or banker-turned politician, Kingsley Moghalu among many others. Many has also wondered if it is going to be the year Nigeria produces its first female president as the likes of Khadijah Okunnu-Lamidi has also thrown in their hats in the steadily crowding ring.
With the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) noting their disinterest to zone the presidency to any region in particular, saying that everyone may be free to participate, it is obvious that more men and women from the six geo-political regions may still signify their interest to contest. The party has noted their willingness to zone the national secretary position to the south east just other positions have also been zone, but they have remained silent on the presidency. This is against the earlier projected notion that the party was willing to allow the presidency return to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari
The PDP on its part has also remained silent on which zone gets its nod to fly their presidential flag. This is a clear evident that it may also want to make the battle for the presidency an all comers affair.
Already, all manners of groups are being formed by the cronies and proteges of political juggernauts, posters and billboards are being mounted while high wire negotiations have begun, even as some of these individuals have officially made an official declaration.
It should be said that one of the frontliners, who has had his eye on the great pie in Aso Rock, is the grassroots politician, known by his praise singers as a master strategist, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, fondly called among other terms of endearment, Jagaban.
However, the story is getting a twist as Tinubu, the undisputed kingmaker, is now seeking to be King.
As experienced as Asiwaju Tinubu is, gunning for the presidency is not a familiar turf. And there are indications that his ambition may have come a little too late as many odds stands against him, paving the way for more accepted aspirants like Chief Dele Momodu.
The ring is full of hats at the moment, and some of the owners of these aspirational hats are Dele Momodu, Yemi Osinbajo, Bola Tinubu, Sam Ohuabunwa, Kingsley Moghalu, Atiku Abubakar, Khadijah Okunnu-Lamidi, Dave Umahi among others.

Arguably one of the aspirants with the most intimidating credentials. Momodu entry into the race did not take a lot of people by surprise, because he was practically invited a large majority of Nigerians to join the race. Nigerians who have benefitted from his immense milk of human kindness, and cutting across the length and breadth of the nation.

Those, and in their large numbers, who agitated for the inclusion of celebrated journalist and accomplished philanthropist, Momodu, in the race for the topmost position did so based on the philanthropic gestures which the widely travelled father of four and man of the people has exhibited in recent times, using his Ovation Palliatives medium and other sundry spaces.

Much as Momodu told as many that cared to listen that he was not interested in the exalted position since his first attempt in 2011, the generality of the public has maintained that Momodu deserves a shot at the presidency. Bob Dee, as he is fondly called, who was born on May 16, 1960, pragmatically yielded to the call to serve father, and has proved, since he made his official declaration and submitted his letter of intent, that he is the best candidate for the job, and of course the man to beat.


No doubt, Tinubu has the name recognition and the follower-ship to get things done when any push gets to shove.

One of the founders of the APC, and a force behind the ousting of a sitting president in 2015, and the installation of Buhari, Tinubu has practically seen all the colours and intrigues of political maneuvers. Many has however, dismissed him as being capable of producing political proteges, and no entrepreneurial mentee.

He served as governor of Lagos State after the return of civil rule in 1999 following the death of General Sani Abacha in 1998. He ruled Lagos for two terms of eight years, establishing political and infrastructural landmarks that have stood the test of time. In fact, Lagos, as a state, is striving and functioning with the blue print he supposedly created.

Prior to becoming the Governor of Lagos in 1999, Tinubu, had a short spell in the National Assembly as Senator representing Lagos West before the Abacha junta took over the reins of power in November, 1993. He subsequently went into exile from where he joined in the fight for the restoration of the June 12, 1993 mandate of Chief Moshood Abiola.

But, like he is touted fit and qualified, the same way he has backlogs that will definitely drag him back, and may eventually cost him the opportunity and the presidency.

Tinubu is presently not in the good books of the ruling class, a source, who wished anonymity told The Boss, especially the North, and that explains why he is periodically sidelined, and reabsorbed when alarm is raised.

The source maintained that Tinubu’s role during the Ambode saga may work against him. His highhandedness in the matter annoyed not a few political heavyweights, who were said to have pleaded with him to forgive Ambode and hand him a second term. The stakeholders felt let down, said the source, and may not listen to him if he now seeks their assistance.

It was allegedly reported that even President Buhari interacted with Tinubu on the matter, but he went ahead to coordinate the process that saw Ambode out, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu in.

Tinubu’s other albatross is the allegation of corruption and the fact that he has his unseen hands in every pie in Lagos. Though nothing has been linked to him, the former Executive at Mobil Unlimited, who earlier had stints with Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins, GTE Services Corporation among others, has not been able to shake off that tainted perception.

A respondent noted: “How would you categorise the bullion vans that were offloading money in his compound during the 2019 election, that is sheer impunity”

The respondent maintained that the allegation of corruption on Tinubu, though not proved, will make so many to be wary of him as the race for 2023 hots up, adding that even those who are his protege may shelter themselves from him. He stressed that the corruption issue is one area the media team of Tinubu has been careless about, noting that they have done absolutely nothing to change the narrative.

Recall that a serving minister the in 2021 revealed that Buhari was not keen in having Tinubu as his successor. This is even as Tinubu has continued to seek the blessings of Buhari and others, the latest, General Ibrahim Babangida, to actualise his ambition.

“The president is not interested in Tinubu’s candidature because he is not convinced that Asiwaju is the right person to succeed him,” the minister was quoted as saying.

The Jagaban’s actions in recent times has actually riled many, making people think he or his supporters are showing signs of desperation. They have literally quoted many off context as supporting Tinubu’s. The first of such errors was against the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina and co-aspirant, Dele Momodu.



Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the current Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wears the toga of a perfect, cerebral gentleman. Osinbajo the highest-ranking Yoruba office holder in the country today should be the easiest choice for Buhari if everything was equal. But everyone knows that in politics, things are usually not as they seem, especially as Buhari has refused to name a faourite.

The Amiable VP, respected and learned, is no push over in any ramification. He has proved his mettle in the few areas he been allowed to perform, and knows his onions.

Many believe that the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos has the capacity and ability to unite the nation, especially at this time that the drums of succession and banditry has filled the air.

What gives Osinbajo an edge is the fact that he has acted in the position of president and passed with flying colours.

When his principal, President Buhari was away for about 150 days on medical vacation, Osinbajo showed his stuff. He was firm and fair and took decisions that won him accolades even among his most vociferous critics. The positive impact his decisions had on the economy is a trump card he could use when the chips are down.

Osinbajo is not a hardcore politician, and many Nigerians believe that the country does not need another career politician at this time, but a tested technocrat, who has academic prowess and mental depth. Osinbajo is certainly the man.

Another plus for the number two man is the fact that having spent six years, and soon will be spending eight years, in the corridors of power, Osinbajo is now an insider, who knows the working of the presidency and can correct the wrongs of the present administration as well as conduct a veritable surgical operation on all malfunctioning areas.

Recall That in 2020, a group under the aegis of Friends of Prof gave out N1 million each to twenty businesses as  Initiative for Small Businesses, to celebrate the 63rd birthday of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Observers say that the effort is only geared towards creating relevance for the Vice President as 2023 approaches.

On the downside, the VP is seen as lacking political capital even in his native Ogun State. Many also believe he may not have the muscle to take serious decisions and stand up to the Northern cabal.

They allege that his golden silence regarding the poor performance of the Buhari administration has shown that he may not be able to be his own man.


Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa is the Convener of the New Nigeria Group (NNG), who has also declared his interest to rule Nigeria, and has taken his quest to contest the presidency in 2023 a notch higher following his recent interaction with chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.

Ohuabunwa at the party’s Secretariat in Umuahia, and conscious that charity begins at home, has held talks with members of the State Working Committee and the State Executive Committee, in a deft move described as ‘political alignment’.

He has shared with his home chapter, his vision to transform Nigeria to a first world country, and his aspiration to contest the presidency during the 2023 general elections.

Insiders described Ohuabunwa’s message as well received by the party stalwart, who encouraged him, while also extolling his personal qualities as a ‘sellable candidate.’

The party’s top wigs, it was also learned, confirmed that Ohuabunwa is the first aspirant to notify the party of his ambition to contest.

On that basis, the party leaders had resolved to give him – President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and former Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) – the support he deserves.

Among the many dreams he has for Nigeria is the procurement of a cure for Nigeria’s despondency by implementing the policies articulated through the NNG.

Ohuabunwa is reputed to have amassed an unprecedented experience with NNG, and followership cutting across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), so much that he is being courted across political divide.

On a regular basis, he gets invited from different parts of the country to share his vision for Nigeria amid large audience.

At every turn, his message resonates hope among the citizens from all walks of life, hence he is continually being encouraged to vie for the highest office. He is howeer, a new comer, whose political influence and structure is nothing to write home about




This former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is without question an administrator par excellence, whose footprints in the sands of time, have elevated to the height of the most preferred in our today’s society. He is one of the reputable exports from the southeast, a position that may work against him as the 2023 presidential race gains momentum, in addition to not belonging to any of the two major political parties.

Born in Lagos on May 7, 1963 to a diplomat father by virtue of his profession, Isaac Moghalu, and a school teacher mother, Vidah Moghalu, the Kingsley spent his early childhood in Switzerland and Washington DC, where his father was posted.

Kingsley received his secondary school education at Eziama High School, Aba, Government College Umuahia, and Federal Government College Enugu. He later attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and earned a Law degree in 1986, and the Barrister at Law from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos.

A man with a great quest for learning, Kingsley obtained a Master of Arts degree in 1992, at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA where he was the Joan Gillespie Fellow and a research assistant in the International Political Economy programme. He later obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science at the University of London. As Professor of International Business and Public Policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy he has taught, trained and inspired graduate students from more than 40 countries in North America, Europe, Africa.

Kingsley also earned the International Certificate in Risk Management from the Institute of Risk Management in London, and received advanced executive education in Macroeconomics and Financial Sector Management, Corporate Governance, and Global Strategic Leadership at the International Monetary Fund Institute, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a niche higher than a bookworm, a classical egghead.

He joined the United Nations in 1992. His first recorded assignment was in Cambodia as a UN human rights and elections officer with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia.

Having distinguished himself in the field, he was a year later, appointed the political affairs officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the UN Headquarters in New York. He is for all intent and purpose, a well travelled professional, and by all means an international man.

A global leader who has made contributions to the stability, progress and wealth of nations, societies and individuals across such domains as academia, economic policy, banking and finance, entrepreneurship, law, and diplomacy, he served in the former Yugoslavia as Political Advisor to the special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Croatia between 1996 and 1997. He was assigned as legal adviser to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1997 and later promoted to the role of the international tribunal’s spokesman.

As special counsel and spokesman, he was responsible for policy development, strategic planning and external relations. The UNICTR delivered the first-ever judgement by an international court on genocide.

In 2002, the finance expert was appointed to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, as head of global partnerships and resource mobilization at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), a public-private international development finance organization and social investment fund with $20 billion in assets and investments in 140 developing and middle-income countries. He was a member of the Global Fund’s senior management group that set corporate strategy, a member of the risk management committee, and was promoted to the rank of director in 2006.

In 2006, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Moghalu as a member of the UN General Assembly-mandated Redesign Panel on the United Nations Internal Justice System. Working at the UN Headquarters in New York for six months in the first half of 2006, the Redesign Panel reviewed and made recommendations on how to improve the system of administration of justice at the United Nations.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland appointed Kingsley him, in 2017, as a member of its high level Independent Expert Group on Financing for Development. The Expert Group reviewed and made recommendations on how to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and effective domestic resource mobilization for development in developing countries.


Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has already declared his presidential ambition and he stands as one of the youngest office holder to take a shot at occupying the Aso Villa.

Born on June 18, 1975 in Okene, Kogi State, as the youngest of six children, Bello attended Local Government Education Authority (Nigeria) (LGEA) Primary School, Agassa in Okene LGA where he was the headboy in his final year. He later attended high school at Agassa Community Secondary School, Anyava, Agassa-Okene and obtained his Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) and Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) certificates from Government Secondary School, Suleja-Niger State in 1994. Bello studied at Kaduna State Polytechnic Zaria in 1995 and obtained an accounting degree from Ahmadu Bello University ABU Zaria in 1999. Yahaya Bello further enrolled for a Masters program in Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria where he obtained Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2002. Bello became a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria in 2004.

Governor Bello, who is a lover of sport and fitness, especially boxing, will be the toast of the youths if they mean business to wrestle power from the elderly.

However, the governor, who came to power courtesy of the death of Abubakar Audu, after winning the election, is not well reputed on the international scene. In 2020, he was among politicians placed on visa ban by the United States Department of State for undermining democracy in Nigeria.

He came head to head against a government agency during the COVID-19 pandemic, refusing the NCDC access to his state, saying he does not believe in the existence of the disease., and that it was ‘an artificial creation’. He has maintained that claim till date.

“Whether medical experts and scientists, believe it or not, COVID-19 is out to shorten the lifestyle of the people, it is a disease propagated by force for Nigerians to accept,” he was quoted as saying.


Okunnu-Lamidi is the daughter of former Federal Commissioner of Works and Housing, Lateef Femi Okunnu (SAN), and so far the only female aspirant to have declared her interest to vie for the presidency of Nigeria.

The founder and chief executive officer of Slice Media Solutions disclosed that she is motivated to vie for the presidency because of her desire to restore hope and make Nigeria work for all Nigerians.

Also a media expert, Okunnu-Lamidi, is a believer in the youths, noting that youths under the age of 30, who represent about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, have borne the most impact of bad governance, adding that the youths account for 13.9 million of the unemployment figures which stood at 21.7 million in the second quarter of 2020.

During her official declaration, Okunnu-Lamidi declared as follows as reasons for daring to thread of the Office of the President of Nigeria in 2023.

“Nigerians of our generation believe in the promise of an equitable and just political union which consolidates the diverse strengths of our people and which harnesses the vast untapped resources of our great nation for the common good. Nigerians of our gender believe that we are heirs to the same promise and that our contribution to the character, stability, peace and progress of Nigeria deserves recognition and reward.

‘‘The challenge of the presidency is to make Nigeria work for all of its diverse peoples. It is the most powerful office in the land, but it is a place of service, responsibility and duty and not a place of arrogance or show. Nigeria is not working for you,” she said.

While pointing out the worrisome unemployment indices in Nigeria at high population growth rate, deficient school curricula and poor teacher orientation, and lack of focus on manufacturing as a result of overdependence on the oil sector, as well as flawed and inconsistent government policies on youth unemployment, the presidential aspirant reiterated that there was hope for the country, especially with the emergence of a competent president in 2023.

Therefore, ‘‘it is not a proud boast to say that a candidate has been steeped in the bloody, incompetent and corrupt experience which has brought our country to where it is today. My generation is part of our country’s history but we are not the ones who wrote it in the blood of our youths and women and children. These are among the real issues of 2023 and it is these issues that will define the fate of Nigeria,’’ she stated.

The big question then is, who will the cap fit? Who will get his party’s nod? Who will Nigerians queue behind?

Time will tell.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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