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Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role by H.E. John Dramani Mahama



Thank you, Alex Vines, and Chatham House for the invitation.

I am happy to have been able to join you from Brussels where I had very productive discussions on the future perspectives in the framework of Africa- EU relations at the invitation of the European Strategic Initiative.

It is gratifying to be back here at Chatham House, which through the Africa Programme events, has offered a wide array of African Leaders across various fields, a unique platform to discuss our continent in ways not seen elsewhere.

The discussions here have helped shape international opinion on Africa and offered a useful focus on its most important subjects. I hope to continue in that tradition by sharing some thoughts on the continent’s present outlook and future while dwelling on the situation in my own country, Ghana.

Africa’s political and governance history is quitewell known. However, on this occasion, it bears brief recollection to set the tone for an informed assessment of Africa’s prospects and future trajectory.

It helps a bit that I have a bias towards history, which I majored in at the university in my
formative years. And as the famous British statesman Winston Churchill opined, “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

The African story is one that evokes immediate memories of colonial exploitation and
domination with abundant cheap labour to be used for raw material production and export to
build the magnificent metropolises of this world.

Centuries earlier, we were at the short end of the stick in the slave trade as our best and
strongest found themselves bound in chains and bundled unto overcrowded slave ships, never to return.

However, by the middle of the 20th century, there had emerged a young cadre of Pan
Africanists, determined to free the continent from its colonial shackles, who worked, at the
peril of their freedoms and very lives. They eventually launched a liberation struggle that
reverberated across the continent.

Names like Kwame Nkrumah – under whom my father, E. A. Mahama, served diligently as a
Minister of State, Nyerere, Kaunda, Sekou Touré easily roll off my tongue in this regard.
Soon enough, after a spirited fight, colonialism fell in one country after another, culminating in
the exhilarating liberation of South Africa from the worst form of colonial subjugation—
apartheid. The result—freedom for Nelson Mandela after 27 years in jail.

Africa in the post-colonial independent era was awash with hope for a much brighter
tomorrow. We were, however, soon to be enmeshed in a contestation over the most suitable development paradigm and ideology.
Some faced West and others faced East. We in Ghana, as famously declared by our first
President, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, faced neither East nor West. We faced forward and
experimented along the line with whatever paradigm we deemed exigent at a particular time.

Not enough time was afforded for these experiments to yield sustainable fruits because a combination of disillusionment and adventurism ushered in military dictatorships and in many cases, wanton misrule.

By the mid-eighties to early nineties, it had become obvious that democratic governance and economic reform were imperative to overcome the suffering and stagnation that years of poor governance had spawned. Under the aegis of the Bretton Woods institutions and other multilateral partners, several African countries launched economic recovery programmes with varying degrees of success.

In the case of Ghana, I can say, that through these reforms, we performed what could be
likened to an economic miracle. From the throes of bankruptcy, hyperinflation, and years of negative growth in the mid-seventies and early eighties, the economy was restored to the path of growth. Measurable and impactful progress could be seen!

Thirty years ago, we were even able to seamlessly integrate up to one million of our
compatriots who were unceremoniously deported from Nigeria back to Ghana without causing too much of an upset to our economic outcomes. Analysts have suggested the eviction was Nigeria’s retaliation – in 1983 – to the dastardly deportation of other Africans including Nigerians from Ghana under the Aliens Compliance Order of 1969.

In the decade that followed that period, millions of Ghanaians were lifted out of poverty
through progressive policies and interventions. Similar success stories could be recounted for
other African countries. Between those heady days and now, the story of Africa has been
patchy even though progress has not completely eluded us.

Civil strife, famine, genocide, and a relapse into bad governance can all be squeezed into the
narrative in the last few decades.

At present, save for a few countries on the continent, our economies are largely still
underdeveloped and underpinned by the colonial economic model of raw material export and little manufacturing or industrialization.
Fragile governance institutions and corruption remain major bottlenecks. Insecurity, terrorism,
and insurgency have all reared their heads across some countries. In the last few years, we
have seen a resurrection ofwhat we had believed to be the extinctspecter of military takeovers in some West African countries.

Mammoth unemployment and limited economic opportunities continue to confront Africa.

This has been exacerbated by the youth bulge; and projected to worsen by 2030 if not
addressed. Obviously, a threat to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and
Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Africa being demographically the most youthful continent, should have been an opportunity
to be harnessed. However, the limited opportunities available to Africa’s youth has created a distressing scenario and culminated in the biggest threat facing the continent and the world now.

Africa has always been an opportunity. That has never been in contention. What is in debate,
is the extent to which Africa has been an opportunity for itself and exploited its advantage for the benefit of itself. The story of the contribution of Africa has always been one of fascination.

From its origin as the cradle of humankind, the continent has through the ages left an indelible
mark on the pages of history.

The echoes of the Arab spring, which took place barely a decade ago, still ring in our ears and
serve as too clear a reminder of what possible and probable danger the continent faces if the
situation does not improve – and quickly so. The prevalence of cybercrimes including internet-based fraud (‘Sakawa’) and other offences spill beyond Africa and affects the rest of the world.

This must be addressed head-on!
The foregoing by no means suggests that there is no positive news from Africa.

There is a lot to celebrate on the continent.
There are many thriving democracies in Africa with some well governed countries and strong
economies. Information Communication Technology (ICT) uptake is one area where strong growth has been recorded.

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa was recording the fastest rate of new broadband
connections, and mobile data traffic was projected to rise astronomically between 2017 and 2020 – growing by a CAGR of about 46% according to Statista.

The E-commerce sector was also experiencing exponential growth as our population attained
more awareness and became more reliant on online retailing. That said, there is still much to
worry about.

It is a fact that Africa has suffered historical injustices like slavery, colonialism, and an unjust world economic order –which have held us back for centuries and deprived us of a level playing field to develop rapidly compared to other continents. But it is no longer tenable to continue to blame these events predominantly for our present state. That will be absolving corrupt African leaders of blame for mismanaging the resources of the continent.

We have had sufficient time and opportunities over the last few decades to change our story
and narrative while crafting and implementing visions that would transform the lives of the
over a billion people who dwell on the continent.

Yes, globalization has inherent disadvantages for Africa. But Africa can and must rise to the
occasion by building and working towards continental unity as we strengthen partnerships with the rest of the world. To achieve Africa’s Agenda 2063 goals, we must let the world buy into

Africa’s priorities and global role. In most cases, we have simply squandered opportunities.
Ghana also comes to mind here. In a little under six weeks from today, Ghana will mark sixty-
six (66) years of nationhood. Far from being an occasion to celebrate independence and the
successes and achievements of nationhood, we will mark this day under the yoke of the worst
economic situation in decades.

We are currently bankrupt and burdened with a national debt we are simply not able to pay.
You may have learnt over the past few weeks that the Ghanaian government has defaulted on
the servicing of both external and domestic debt.

There is currently, a huge uproar over a controversial debt restructuring programme under which the middle-class of Ghana could be wiped out if plans to have them forfeit proceeds of government bonds on which they rely for investment and sustenance, are followed through.

In absolute terms, up to about six (6) million people could be deprived of their life savings and investments.

Ghana’s banking and financial sector could also be under threat of insolvency if no suitable
adjustments are made to the debt restructuring plans.

Our present economic situation, underscored by our bankrupt status, sharply contrasts with
our fortunes a little over a decade ago. At the time, our economy posted some of the highest
growth rates in the world with a robust and fast-growing non-oil sector.

Today, many of our economic indicators are pointing south. We have in the last month entered the hyperinflation era with an inflation rate of 54%. Our currency has in the past few months been counted among the worst performing in the world, plummeting by as much as 54% in value within the first ten months of 2022. Widening budget deficits have characterized economic performance since 2018.

A severe cost of living crisis fueled by ever-rising prices of basic goods has imposed extreme hardship on Ghanaians as the government struggles to meet some of its most basic commitments in areas like education and health. Unemployment stood at a staggering 13%, the highest in recent memory.

It would be no hyperbole to assert that our present state bears an uncanny resemblance to
the late seventies and eighties.

How was a country with such bright prospects, only a decade ago, brought to its knees so
quickly when it should have made far more progress? The present trouble with our economy stems from gross mismanagement and in some instances sheer recklessness.

Government failed to sustain the gains made after our last IMF programme, which brought
stability to the management of the Ghanaian economy. Corruption has also contributed
significantly to bring us to this distressing juncture.

Government has been quick to pass off the COVID pandemic as a reason for this poor economic record. Yet, available data shows that many of our neighbours in West Africa and further afield, posted much better economic performances than we did during and after the pandemic.

The World Bank through its Ghana Country Director has also stated unequivocally that Ghana’s economy was in distress before the pandemic occurred.

The purpose of recounting these failures, driven my mismanagement and corruption, in Ghana
is to demonstrate how Africa depletes scarce resources generated from both the continent
and development partners. Instead of thinking innovatively to address the fundamental
economic problem, many leaders worsen it.
Using management of the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study my own country Ghana once a
beacon of Africa has come up for mention for dissipating domestic and donor funds.

A recently published audit report by the Auditor General of Ghana into receipts and
expenditures on COVID-19 exposes staggering instances of corruption running into billions of
Ghana cedis.

Over GH¢21.8 billion was mobilised to mitigate the impact of the pandemic from the World
Bank, IMF, the European Union (EU), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Ghana’s
Contingency Fund, and from the sale of Bank of Ghana COVID-19 Bonds.

Hiding under the “emergency situation”, government jettisoned ourfinancial and procurement laws and refused to use the GIFMIS system, which is the agreed budget and accounting digital platform to avoid thorough scrutiny. Such financial malpractices discourage delivery of grants and concessionary loans to Africa.

I have indicated that we need a forensic audit into the receipts and expenditure of the COVID-
19 funds in Ghana. The forensic audit may be extended to other countries in Africa to restore
investor confidence as we build the Africa we want.

Let me add that, Africa needs to build stronger institutions to address institutional and political
decay. In building stronger institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Africa must also be prioritized. On this note, let me commend many CSOs on our Continent that are holding governments accountable.

Compounding the socio-economic malaise on the continent, is the erosion of public confidence in state institutions. Many of these state institutions set up to be independent arbiters and offer appropriate checks and balance on the executive arms of government, have in recent years served more as extensions of the government.

In many cases, as it is the case in Ghana, there has been overt efforts by government to weaken these institutions and bend them to its will.

A case in point was the ouster of the then Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission and two other senior officials by the President of Ghana over clearly flimsy and contrived reasons.

They were then replaced with persons with noticeable leanings towards the incumbent party and whose actions have served to undermine public confidence in their independence and neutrality, two ingredients which are vital prerequisites for the sustenance of Ghana’s acclaimed democracy.

Relatedly, Ghana’s Judiciary has also come under public scrutiny in recent years for what is
widely perceived as bias towards the government. Until the advent of this government, our judiciary had commanded tremendous public respect and confidence for their firmly independent posture. This is arguably no longer the case.

This is a worry to investors because one of the factors that boosts confidence of investors to
place their money in a country, is the faith they have that in event of a business dispute, they
can expect the justice system to be a fair and neutral arbiter.

For Africa to succeed in achieving her strategic priorities, we must strengthen institutions
including the judiciary and grant them their deserved independence and freedoms as
prescribed by law. I encourage you not to lose hope in Ghana and Africa because it is far more
useful to look forward to the future with hope than to brood over the present with despair.
I am an eternal believer in the potential and positive energies of Africa and her youth.

In December, next year, what I consider to be the most important elections in Ghana’s history
will be held. The electioneering period will offer a scope for deeper discussions about Ghana’s
future and what needs to be done to get us out of the current economic quagmire and to avoid
a recurrence.

We in the opposition in Ghana are very clear on our vision for the country and how to build
the Ghana that we all want.

The first order of business for a new NDC administration is to restore macro-economic stability and ensure fiscal prudence while generating employment for many of our young people who are unsure of what the future holds.

Though the current economic distress is largely self-inflicted, it is very clear that unless we act
to insulate ourselves from these factors, whatever gains that are made going forward will unravel because of structural weaknesses.

The National Democratic Congress therefore commits itself to immediate structural reforms
based on a national dialogue and forging a broad national consensus that will lead to the
diversification of our economy and its production base; and the attraction of investment into industry, farming, agribusiness, the digital sector, and tourism.

We are determined to process our natural resources like cocoa, gold, bauxite, oil, copper while we build more robust capacity to respond to global energy shocks.

I invite you to look favourably at Ghana again because there is hope ahead! I also urge you to
partner Africa as we confront the challenges posed by climate change, emerging diseases,
terrorism, and cybercrimes to build a safer world.

Our borders are borderless because of globalization. Therefore, we must stand in support of one another.

As we look into the near future with optimism, there are instant solutions that must be found
to the crippling economic crisis, which has left a dark pall hanging over Ghana now.

At a continental level, I want to reiterate my international advocacy for a reinstitution and
extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to afford our countries some limited fiscal respite. I would similarly call for the expansion of the Common Framework for Debt Treatment Beyond the DSSI to help African countries access debt restructuring tools and

I have had cause to also state elsewhere, and I would repeat that the time has come for an
African version of a Marshal Plan. I note and applaud the Global Gateway Programme of the
EU that seeks to mobilize 300 billion Euros over the next seven years for infrastructure in Africa
and the rest of the developing world.

If Africa is to survive and be a source of hope for the rest of the world, then Africa as an
imperative must speedily harness the advantages it has to ensure inclusive growth for its people. With the continent boasting the world’s largest free trade area along with an over 1-billion-person market, Africa is prime, as reported by the World Bank, to carve out a new
developmental pathway.

Under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, 55 countries with a
combined GDP of over US$3.4 trillion will work together to present major opportunities for
shared growth and prosperity for Africa and the rest of the world.

I expect AfCFTA not to de-emphasize the prospects of SMEs as we promote new markets and encourage foreign investments. SMEs have sustained Africa and will continue to do so for a
long while. I also urge AfCFTA to secure intellectual property rights of Africans as we partner already mature businesses.

AFCTA will also need the support of the African Union for greater integration to allow for
greater labour mobility across Africa to support countries in need of critical human resource.
And AFCTA must not allow businesses with political connections to be prioritized over real
captains or champions of industry. Neither must innovations from the youth suffer because of lack of political connections.

All hope is not lost for Africa. Africa, including my country Ghana, has strategic priorities and is ready and willing to play its role in the global community.

To conclude, it is also of critical importance that regional bodies like the ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, CEMAC, the Arab Maghreb Union and African Union must be empowered to have a firmer grip on their member nations to address regional/ continental/ global challenges. Other
international bodies like the European Union and the TANA High-Level Forum for Security in
Africa, which I chair, must provide the needed support, including oversight and scrutiny of
activities likely to lead to serious consequences.

I stress on this point of oversight because we observe that the laxity in supervision and
oversight has given free reins to some leaders on the continent to wreak constitutional tyranny
on their people with some changing their country’s constitution so they could run for extended terms.

No single country in Africa can on its own attain the highest level of development when it is
surrounded by neighbouring countries engaging in full scale-conflict. It is therefore important
that there is stability and sustainable development in Africa, which will help lead to global security and prosperity.

With the right steps and visionary leadership as well as a willingness to dig deep and find
innovative solutions to the decades-old challenges, we must emerge a stronger force to reckon with.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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Mambilla, Obasanjo & the Scapegoat Mentality




By Dr Olu Agunloye


In August 2022, Mr Simon Kolawole first released his widely circulated contract-statement: “Who will Love this Country?” as front page of the ThisDay Newspapers of 21 August 2022 and again in August 2023, acting on the instructions of a former Minister of Power. The contract-statement is misleading, false, and malicious. It is calculated to divert attention from the wrongdoings of some former Power Ministers and other Government officials in respect the Mambilla Power Project. In 2022, I ignored the write-up but now that the former President has reacted to the same article that he appeared not to have seen in 2022, I will give a measured response.

The Cable News story credited to Pa Obasanjo about the Mambilla Power Project gave me much concern not because they were incorrect, but because they were attributed to our Baba Agbalagba, broadly revered in Yorubaland and a former President of Nigeria. For me, as a thoroughbred Omoluabi of Yorubaland, I can only politely say with all due respect: Baba, ko ri be, sa. (meaning, Baba, that is not correct, sir). That’s so much response to our revered Baba Agbalagba.

But to Pa Obasanjo as the former president, I will give fuller response here, albeit politely and in a measured dose. I served under this great former President for four years (1999 – 2003) first, as Special Assistant to the Minister of Power and Steel, then to the Minister of Justice and Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (Uncle Bola Ige) and later, as Honourable Minister of Defence (Navy), then Honourable Minister of Power and Steel. I also worked closely under him from 2003 to 2007 as the Head of the National eGovernment Strategies, mainstreaming e-enabled techniques, and applications to tiers of Government at the Federal and State levels.

Let me start by reacting to Pa Obasanjo as former President who told the story to The Cable News of how a shrewd Animal Farm Manager General (AFMG) set an elaborate system in the farm under his watch to ensure that only rats, mice, and small rodents could wander past the robust farm fence, but rabbits, antelopes, and other bigger animals needed the AFMG to open special gates for them to go out. The story explained how the AFMG ran the farm with iron hands for eight years that all and sundry applauded him. Then, after twenty years, the AFMG realised that six big elephants had, without his knowing, passed through the rodent holes that he installed to block bigger animals. Pa Obasanjo also narrated how the AFMG, now in his retirement, became furious and desperately wished he had found out this negligence during his stewardship so that he could sack the Farm Assistant who let elephants escape through the rodent holes. I felt disappointed and ashamed to find that the Animal Farm Manager General was, indeed, our most revered Baba Agbalagba, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President himself. I still wonder if The Cable News reported him correctly.

In fact, I wish to say with all humility and respect that all the things credited to the former President in the extensive interview in The Cable News are not correct. Take for instance, The Cable News quoted Pa Obasanjo as saying: “…When I was in office, Leno Adesanya, the promoter of Sunrise Power, ran away from Nigeria. I would have jailed him.” This is far from being correct because Mr. Leno Adesanya was virtually always in the Aso Rock Villa during Chief Obasanjo’s presidency. As a matter of fact, the same president and Mr. Adesanya sat together on the high table in Aso Rock as Baba Oko and Baba Iyawo respectively at the wedding of the president’s son and Mr. Adesanya’s niece in 2002.

Let me briefly put the records straight on the Mambilla Power Project.
1. When the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, sent an emissary, in person of his close young associate who is a Labour Party (LP) Chieftain to me on 26 August 2023 to discuss the Mambilla Power Project, I knew the former president was getting pretty anxious. My last encounter with the former President was in late last year, 2022 and early this year (2023) when the former President was frantically persuading leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), of which I am the National Secretary, to team up with and support the then Presidential Candidate Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP). We declined and turned down the entreaties of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on behalf of the Labour Party, LP.
2. Seven days later, on the 3 September 2023, The Cable News reported an extensive interview,, granted by the former President titled: “I knew Buhari didn’t understand economics but didn’t know he was so reckless.” In this interview, the former president made misleading and incorrect statements on the Mambilla Power Project.
3. I have submitted a 53 paragraph, 14-page Statement backed with 15 Attachments in 82-page document as an affidavit to the courts in Nigeria and France in respect of the Mambilla Power Project to clear my name. In deference to Pa Obasanjo and as a mark of great respect to the former President, I have sent a copy of these documents through my lawyers to him to refreshen his memory.
4. The former president was not correct when he referred to the award to Sunrise simply as a $6 billion contract (that is, N800 billion in 2003) under his watch. In truth, it was a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) contract in which the FGN did not need to pay any amount to the contractor, Messrs Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (Sunrise). As a matter of fact, Sunrise has not been paid a single Naira or Dollar by the FGN from 2000 till date (14/9/23). Sunrise was to source for funds and execute the project with own funds. The investment of Sunrise to construct the Mambilla hydroelectric project up to completion stage to deliver electricity was adjudged at a maximum of $6 billion by four Ministers of Power and the former president (Chief Obasanjo) before I became Minister of Power. Sunrise was to recoup his investment from the sale of the generated electricity over a 30- to 40-year period at pre-determined tariffs, also agreed with FGN before May 2003.
5. I followed due process and got all necessary approvals for the BOT contract award to Sunrise on 22 May 2003 and there are records to show that the former President Obasanjo propelled the processes from the beginning in 2000 to the end in May 2003. In fact, Sunrise started Mambilla project three years before I became Minister of Power and had arranged meetings with Chinese Companies and Chinese President in China in which three Power Ministers and the then President Obasanjo attended between 2000 and 2002 before I was appointed Minister of Power. On the very day (28 Nov 2002), that I resumed office as Minister of Power, Pa Obasanjo himself, in a formal letter, handed me his presidential approval on the Sunrise proposal with an instruction that Sunrise be invited “for the final negotiations for the execution of the Mambilla Power Project.”

The following played out after I had ceased to be a minister from 29 May 2003. It turned out that (a) Between 2003 to 2007, President Obasanjo was attempting to invalidate the Sunrise May 2003 BOT contract on Mambilla Project; and (b) Between 2007 to 2015, the Yar’Adua and Jonathan presidencies recognised the Mambilla Project as a BOT contract validly awarded in May 2003, cancelled the component of it awarded as a procurement contract by President Obasanjo on the 28 May 2007 at $1.46 billion, and signed a fresh agreement on the Mambilla Hydropower Project in 2012 with Sunrise and (c) Between 2015 to 2023, the then President Buhari cancelled and re-awarded the Mambilla Power Project, and was making and breaching own Agreements with Sunrise. In all of these, spanning 20 (twenty) years, none of the Presidents (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Malam Musa Yar’Adua, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan or Gen. Muhammadu Buhari) asked me or questioned me about issuing any unauthorised Mambilla contract. This is because all the Nigerian Presidents, including Chief Obasanjo, were aware that I did nothing wrong.

However, at a time after May 2003, the then President Obasanjo appeared to have changed his mind on the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model in which the private investor would provide own funds, a path that President Obasanjo and six Ministers of Power, three Ministers of Finance, two Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, and the Debt Management Office had pursued for four years. The former President then chose to embark on a new pathway in which Nigeria would execute the Mambilla Power Project by paying from Government own funds.

The former President decided, therefore, to break the Mambilla Hydropower Project into smaller components, like civil engineering works, hydraulic works, structural works etc. with the intention to award them as separate multiple contracts as Government procurements, on cash and carry basis, for which Nigerian Government would pay mobilisation fees and make other payments in stages to contractors. When one of the contractors, which got a component of the Mambilla project awarded by President Obasanjo as $1.46 billion procurement contract, presented its request for a $400 million mobilisation fees, President Yar’Adua scrutinised the contract and cancelled it in 2008 because of proven corruption on the part of officials who served under President Obasanjo between 2003 to 2007.

Dr. Agunloye awarded the Mambilla Power Project as a BOT at no cost to FGN, while the former President Obasanjo started to re-award the project as multiple procurement contracts at humongous costs to FGN and with associated corrupt practices which were uncovered by succeeding Presidents.

I awarded Mambilla Power Project as BOT at no cost to Nigeria. Former President Obasanjo awarded one component part of the same Mambilla project for $1.46 billion as procurement contract, former President Jonathan signed a 2012 General Project Execution Agreement and former President Buhari and his then Minister of Power, Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola awarded another component of the Mambilla Project at a whopping $5.8 billion payable by FGN in cash. The FGN awarded, re-awarded and cancelled contracts and Agreements at will and now must face the consequences at International Arbitration Courts. The result is that the Mambilla Hydropower Project has been stalled for yet another twenty years, and the former President (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo) and others are feeling greatly uneasy about the consequences. This is why the Simon Kolawole’s question, “Who will Love the Country?” should have been addressed to his (Kolawole’s) sponsors, not me.

Currently, some former and serving FGN officials are desperately attempting to “criminalise” the Mambilla Power Project by trying to make me the scapegoat with the sole aim to avoid consequent legal contractual obligations of the Government arising from breaches of agreements with Sunrise. This “criminalisation strategy” was inadvertently exposed by Mr Simon Kolawole. The Government officials are using State Apparatus to intimidate, harass and threaten me. The EFCC invited me on 16 May 2023, 20 (twenty) years after I had ceased to be Minister of Power and grilled me for over eight hours. The Investigating Officer confronted me with “issuing a contract of $6 billion to Sunrise without authority”. That was the very first time ever that anyone had questioned me about the Mambilla Power Project, and it was because of the criminalisation conspiracy by those who actually have committed against Nigeria. The EFCC threatened that they were in possession of my Bank Statements for the last 25 (twenty-five) years. I explained my innocence and made formal statements to the EFCC. I had also sent more documents and materials to the Commission and the court after. My lawyers have sued EFCC to stop harassing me and have challenged EFCC to make public my bank accounts and charged the commission to go to court if they have any case against me.

We see that as the FGN faces the resultant consequences of breaching agreements and cancelling contracts with impunity, some former and serving Government officials, perhaps including former President Obasanjo, now want to use me as a scapegoat-victim to cover up their inappropriate practices and to evade looming fines and damages at international arbitrations.

Dr. Olu Agunloye is a Former Minster of Power and Steel

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Tinubu Not First African Leader to Ring NASDAQ Closing Bell, Presidency Apologises




The Federal Government apologised on Friday for saying that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the first African President to ring the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ) closing bell.

Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, tendered an official apology on behalf of the presidency in a statement where he said the error was regretted.

President Tinubu rang the closing bell of NASDAQ on Wednesday alongside business leaders, including the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu.

“We inadvertently referred to President Bola Tinubu as the first African leader to ring the bell at NASDAQ on Wednesday in New York, based on the information provided by a third-party event organiser,” Ngelale said.

“We have since found out that this information was/is incorrect, as a former African leader has indeed had the privilege. This error is sincerely regretted.”

It has been revealed that a former African leader had previously rung the bell at NASDAQ, debunking the earlier claim of Tinubu’s bell-ringing, which was perceived to be a historic achievement.

They argued that in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, while Femi Otedola’s daughter, DJ Cuppy, rang the NYSE bell in 2019.

Contrary to the claim, the former President of Tanzania, Kikwete, First Ladies and Health Ministers rang the closing bell of NASDAQ in 2011, as announced by NASDAQ in a notification to the public dated 2011 with the title, “President Kikwete of Tanzania, First Ladies and Health Ministers, and Global Health Leaders to Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell.’

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Shaibu Eats Humble Pie, Apologises to Obaseki, Says ‘I Missed My Gov’




Call it the eating of a humble pie, and you may not be wring as the embattled Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, apologised to Governor Godwin Obaseki amid a face-off between them.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday in Benin City, Mr Shaibu appealed to Governor Obaseki to forgive his “mistakes” for them to continue to work together, Channels TV reported.

“I use this medium to appeal to Mr Governor, if there is anything that I don’t know that I have done, please forgive me so that we can develop our state together,” he said.

“We have just one year to go. We have been the envy of the entire country. So, Mr Governor, if there is anything you feel that I have done, please I am sorry. I need us to work together to finish well and strong,” the deputy governor added.

When asked if he had resumed at his new office, Mr Shaibu said, “We have resumed but there is still a lot of work to be done there.

“There is no problem about it. The governor has asked us to go there. Like I have always tried to prove, I am a loyal servant and nothing has changed.

“I took a personal vow to support my governor and you can see my Catholic people are here. When I took a vow with God, nothing can change it and I wish that the relationship that we had will come back in the next few days and weeks.”

Mr Shaibu also said he has been missing the governor since their rift began, and expressed hope that God will “touch the governor’s heart” to forgive him.

“I mean well. If there is any mistake I have made as a human, it is not out of wickedness because I know I’m not wicked. I have a very clean heart.”

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