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Buhari doing well, needs like-minds in states – Ribadu

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Yola agog as Ribadu declares for Adamawa governorship

President Muhammadu Buhari is reforming Nigeria and requires individuals with similar disposition to trickle down the reforms to the grassroots, a former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, has said.

Mr Ribadu stated this in Yola on Saturday while declaring his intention to vie for the governorship post of the state.

He said Mr Buhari has “changed the face of conducting government business in this country” by enshrining transparency and accountability in public sector.

If elected, he said, he will replicate similar traits in handling the affairs of Adamawa State.

“It is a common consensus that Nigeria is today a different place on account of the leadership being provided by our dear president,” he said.

According to him, “The days of free for all corruption and wanton abuse of our resources are behind us and Nigeria is opening a new vista in giving the citizens a reason to once again be proud of their country.

“In this drive to change Nigeria, I believe our president needs support of individuals with similar vision, especially at the sub-national level,” he added.

Mr Ribadu said the changes being witnessed should not be only at the federal level, saying states must key in for it to be impactful.

“It is not enough to have a reformed federal government and an honest and sincere president, this has to be replicated at other tiers of government for us to have all-encompassing progress we desire,” he said.

According to him, his aspiration is driven by “passion to uplift the community that I have; it is that spirit with which I am known, all my life. It is that zeal that saw me going into a career in law enforcement to fight injustice and bring about development”.

In his remarks, Adamawa state chairman of APC, Ibrahim Bilal, pledged that the party will be fair and just in conducting the forthcoming primaries.

He said any of the three aspirants who eventually picked the ticket would be supported by the party to victory.

Read the full speech below:

Let me begin by thanking God almighty for sparing our lives to witness this auspicious day. We commence this journey in His name and we invoke his guidance throughout.

I appreciate you all, brothers and sisters for the overwhelming reception you accord me, which is evidenced in the number of people who troop out under the sun to welcome me home. There is no greater show of solidarity than this sacrifice to come out and display sheer love and support. This is very encouraging to me as a person.

This is not an ordinary day for me, and I believe it is not for the rest of the patriotic citizens of this State who desire development, who desire hope, who look up for purposeful leadership.

Today, I come to you as your son and brother who defines himself in the spirit of community service and development.

In the past months, I have had deep reflections about our country and state of affairs in both Nigeria and Adamawa State. As a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and indeed as one who played his own part at the formative stage of the party, I am most proud of a number of things the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It is a common consensus that Nigeria is today a different place on account of the leadership being provided by our dear President. Both his friends and foes have agreed that President Buhari has changed the face of conducting government business in this country. The days of free for all corruption and wanton abuse of our resources are behind us and Nigeria is opening a new vista in giving the citizens a reason to once again be proud of their country.

In this drive to change Nigeria, I believe our president needs support of individuals with similar vision, especially at the sub-national level. It is not enough to have a reformed federal government and an honest and sincere president, this has to be replicated at other tiers of government for us to have all-encompassing progress we desire.

The reason for my being here today is that passion to uplift the community that I have; it is that spirit with which I am known, all my life. It is that zeal that saw me going into a career in law enforcement to fight injustice and bring about development.

My philosophy, is in that upbringing that taught us to put the interest of the public over any other consideration. In life of service, one’s first consideration should be the impact one makes under the circumstance. It is therefore that same will to serve that is responsible for me offering myself for our dear state.

Adamawa is in dire need for leadership. A leadership that encompasses the qualities of a good leadership; a leadership that will not lie, a leadership that will not deceive, a leadership that will not put its interests over and above the interest of the entire state. We need a leadership that will restore our dignity as a people and one that will be honest and forthright.

Our dear state is facing a number of developmental challenges that require urgent, holistic and strategic handling. We do not need to cosmetics, which do not address fundamental issues that are cornerstone to our development as a people. It takes visionary leadership with capacity and modern thinking to provided that needed redirection, beyond deceptive makeup.

It is this much-needed leadership that I promise to offer to our people. I come with genuine intention and I have a burning passion to change the fortunes of our people for good. With all sense of humility, believe I possess the requisite credentials, both academic and character, required to move this state forward. I will run an all-inclusive government where all stakeholders like you truly have stakes.

As we move into the primaries, what we require from you, our party leaders, is utmost level of responsibility by allowing free and fair contest. We cannot afford to manipulate our party into failure. Injustice can never stand. Even if it does, it would be on shaky foundations which can collapse at any time. Therefore, skewing a process like the primaries to favour one person, even though unpopular, may only lead our great party to failure, something no genuine party member would desire.

I would appeal to all political actors in the state, especially my fellow aspirants, to play politics within the ambits of the rule of law. We should eschew antagonism or stoking primordial sentiments. Elections would come and go but the people will always be together. We should not explore the misfortunes and living conditions of our people to advance ourselves. Even if you succeed in doing that in the interim, you cannot escape the haunting consequences of such action forever.

I thank you all for your valuable time and this august reception.

Thank you, God bless you all.

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Linda Ikeji reveals identity of son’s father

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Linda Ikeji reveals identity of son’s father

Popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji, has finally released photos of her three-month-old son and confirmed that a socialite, Sholaye Jeremi, is his father.

She disclosed this in an early morning post on Instagram on Friday.

“Meet my son Jayce! And yes, Sholaye Jeremi is his dad. Unfortunately, he and I are a completely closed chapter,” her post read.

She welcomed her son in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S. on September 17, two days to her 38th birthday.

Little Jayce bears a striking resemblance to his father Jeremi, with whom his mum had a secret on-and-off affair over a three-year period.

In the post on her website, she shared how their paths crossed, and what led to their separation.

Linda, who described herself as single mum in the article, also addressed social media comments criticising her of being a hypocrite, for encouraging people to be celibate.

Linda’s latest revelation comes in the wake of allegations by the blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, that she faked her pregnancy to lure Jeremi into marrying her.

Not much is known about Jeremi except that he is believed to be an acquaintance of Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Kachikwu and Forte Oil chairman, Femi Otedola.

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Campaign on pro-people policies, not killings

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Campaign on pro-people policies, not killings

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to desist from using killings to campaign but to run an issue and people-based campaign.

The party said this in a statement Thursday by Lanre Issa-Onilu, its National Publicity Secretary.

According to the ruling party, everyone owes the victims of killings solemn conducts in their honour and in empathy with the bereaved families; “not to play politics with unfortunate events.”

The APC said the PDP in its latest campaign was attempting to “distort facts” on the security record of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

This kind of “blatant falsehood” has become the favourite pastime of the PDP, it said.

The party said its statement was in reaction to a declaration by the PDP’s National Chairman, Uche Secondus, in a recent television interview that under the APC administration, more Nigerians have been killed than during the Civil War that ended in 1970.

The party said if it were to join the PDP in its “mindless game” of playing politics with the state of insecurity, then the number of casualties during the civil war will be pitched with what Nigerians witnessed under PDP.

It, however, said unlike PDP, it will engage the electorate based on the projects and pro-people policies it has embarked on as a government for the benefit of the country, as it believes significant successes have been recorded in the last three and half years.

The party named the Niger Delta violence which it said was prevalent under the PDP government, as one of the issues the APC has tackled, including the environmental cleanup of Ogoniland to restore the ecosystem of the area.

The environment of the Ogoni area in Rivers State has over the years been destroyed by oil leaks leading to the destruction of surrounding waters and farmlands which led to a report after a scientific study recommending a total clean up of the environment.

Although the report was released during the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2011, the administration did little to carry out the cleanup. President Muhammadu Buhari, shortly after his assumption of office in 2015, launched the clean-up exercise.
But not much was on the ground until last month when the former Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, said his ministry had reached the final stage of procurement processes that will lead to the award of contracts to 21 firms so the exercise can finally begin.

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Nigeria files fresh $1.1bn suit against Shell, Eni

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We expect Malabu corruption trial in Italy to drag for months, Shell tells staff

Details emerged Thursday that the Nigerian government has filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in a commercial court in London over the controversial Malabu oil deal.

Reuters reports Thursday that the new London case relates to payments made by the companies to get the OPL 245 oilfield licence in 2011. The deal is also subject of an ongoing corruption trial in Milan in which former and current Shell and Eni officials are on the bench.

The controversial Malabu deal involves Africa’s most promising oil block and was struck in 2011 under former President Goodluck Jonathan. The arrangement saw the Nigerian government stand as a negotiator in the controversial sale of the oil block in offshore Nigerian waters.

Two international oil and gas giants, Royal Dutch Shell and Italian Agip-Eni, paid out about $1.1 billion to Dan Etete, a former Nigerian petroleum minister who had previously been convicted of money laundering in France.

The payout immediately became a subject of a cross-border investigation spanning over six countries. Several Nigerian government officials were believed to have received several million dollars in bribes for the enabling roles they played.

Milan prosecutors allege bribes totalling around $1.1 billion were paid to win the licence to explore the field which, because of disputes, has never entered into production.

Rather than revoke the deal, the Nigerian government is currently allowing the oil firms to process one of the fields in the block, called Zabazaba. Although the oil giants and their Nigerian collaborators are also being prosecuted in Nigeria, the government, through the petroleum minister, Ibe Kachikwu, has argued that is more interested in striking a financial deal with the oil majors.

But the Nigerian government has filed a suit in London.

“It is alleged that purchase monies purportedly paid to the Federal Republic of Nigeria were in fact immediately paid through to a company controlled by Dan Etete, formerly the Nigerian minister of petroleum, and used for, amongst other things, bribes and kickbacks,” the Nigerian government said on Thursday.

“Accordingly, it is alleged that Shell and Eni engaged in bribery and unlawful conspiracy to harm the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that they dishonestly assisted corrupt Nigerian government officials.”

Shell in its response said “the 2011 settlement of long-standing legal disputes related to OPL 245 was a fully legal transaction with Eni and the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the most senior officials of the relevant ministries.”

On its part, Eni said in an emailed statement it rejected “any allegation of impropriety or irregularity in connection with this transaction.”

“Eni (…) signed a commercial agreement in 2011 for a new licence for OPL 245 with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and the consideration for the license was paid directly to the Nigerian government,” it said.

In November 2017, the Nigerian state quietly issued a civil claim in the High Court, arguing JP Morgan had been “grossly negligent” when it was banker to a previous government.

The claim, sanctioned by Nigeria’s attorney-general and seen by a PREMIUM TIMES’ partner, Finance Uncovered, alleged JP Morgan did not act “with the reasonable care and skill to be expected of a bank in compliance with the laws of England and Wales” when it authorised enormous payments resulting from an oil deal in 2011.

The controversial Malabu deal claimed its first convicts when a Nigerian man and his accomplice in Italy were sentenced to four years each for their roles in the controversial deal. Emeka Obi, a Nigerian consultant in England, and Gianluca Di Nardo, an Italian, stood as middlemen in connecting the parties and the transfer of the funds through international bank accounts.

They were found guilty and sentenced four years each and had some assets confiscated in connection with the case. The pair had opted for a quick trial for their roles in the deal. The process in Italian law offers a possible reduction in any sentence.

A new report by the anti-corruption group, Global Witness, said in November that Shell and Eni’s deal for Nigeria’s OPL 245 oil block reduced Nigeria’s expected revenue by nearly $6 billion.

The group in its new report titled ‘Take the Future’ said the projected lost revenue could fund Nigeria’s combined annual federal health and education budgets twice over.

A number of Nigerian officials are suspected to have aided the controversial deal. Mr Etete could not be reached for comment but has previously denied wrongdoing.

Mr Jonathan, under whose watch the deal was struck, is not undergoing any trial over the case. He has also denied wrongdoing.

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