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Buhari arrives London to see his doctors and for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived London partly to see his doctors and also to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021 to 2025.

His aircraft landed at Stansted International Airport, London at about 11:20pm (local time) with the temperature at 22 degrees celsius.

According to the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the summit would be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to him, the summit will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward toward transforming education systems in partner countries through exchange of best practices.

“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

“Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: ‘The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions’; ‘Transforming Education for Girls’; ‘Financing for Impact and Recovery’; and ‘What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years’, among others,’’ Adesina stated.

He said the Nigerian leader would also hold a bilateral meeting with the British prime minister.

After the Summit, Adesina said, Buhari will spend a few days to keep a scheduled medical appointment.

“He is due back by second week of August 2021,’’ he said

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Reps on oversight function to Kano stranded at airport

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Members of the House of Representatives’ committee on Petroleum Upstream on oversight function to Kano State are currently stranded at the airport.

They had arrived at Kano airport by 12:30 pm enroute Abuja at 2 pm on Wednesday only to be deserted by their airline.

The spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu who’s affected by the delay said after a long wait of about 12 hours, a promise however from the Azman airline to lift them only at 12:15 am, Thursday, that’s Wednesday midnight.

The lawmakers frowned at the treatment meted out to them and other air travelers.

He said: “12 hours wait for a one-hour flight between Kano and Abuja. All passengers including the House of Reps members are abandoned with no one addressing them or giving them or given a cup of water.

“We got here 12:30 noon and we are told we will be lifted 12:15 am.

“The National Assembly members frown at how their citizens are treated in such delay”, he lamented.

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Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan responsible for Nigeria’s high debt under Buhari – Senate

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The Nigerian Senate has blamed the country’s debt profile on past presidents.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, blamed ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan for Nigeria’s high death profile.

Adeola said the high debt profiles accumulated between 1999 and 2015.

The lawmaker disclosed this on Wednesday during consideration of the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

In a statement by spokesman of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Ezrel Tabiowo, the lawmaker said Adeola disclosed this when asked by Lawan to make clarifications on concerns raised by lawmakers over Nigeria’s debt profile during deliberation on the report of the Joint Committees on Finance; Local and Foreign Debts; Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; Petroleum Resources (Upstream); Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Framework.

According to the lawmaker “a huge part of Nigeria’s total debt profile roughly estimated at N33trillion naira were incurred by past administrations dating back to the military era.”

He added: “Majority of the loans being repaid presently by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration were ones accumulated from the times of the military to those of the PDP administration under Ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, between 1999 and 2015.

“The borrowing you are saying is accumulated borrowing. It is not a borrowing of this administration alone, it is a borrowing that stems from the days of the military to the days when the Democratic dispensation started.

“It is an accumulated loan, it is not a loan that says that it is the current administration of President Buhari that has borrowed.

“It is a loan that has been borrowed by the previous administration – the Obasanjo, the Jonathan, the Yar’Adua of this world.

“[And] since the business of government is a continuum, the President of the day has no choice but to continue to pay back all these loans that have been borrowed by the previous administrations.

“More than three-quarter of these loans you’re seeing were borrowed from the previous administrations, and we are paying back – we are doing what is supposed to be done, the way it is supposed to be done.

“So, when my colleague said that for every sixty-seven naira of any loan that was borrowed, we are using to pay, he should know that more than sixty naira of it are loans borrowed by the previous administration. And that is where we are.”

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Northern elders: We regret supporting Buhari against Jonathan in 2015

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The Northern Elders Forum on Wednesday said it regretted backing then candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election, instead of the then incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.

It claimed that Buhari had, since succeeding Jonathan, let down a majority of Nigerians who trusted in his leadership before the 2015 polls.

NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the forum wants the country’s next president to be one who would act in the “opposite direction” of the incumbent.

Baba-Ahmed, whose group called for Buhari’s resignation in December 2020, spoke on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme monitored by The Nation.

He said: “Is there any Nigerian who is not disappointed in President Buhari including diehard APC (All Progressives Congress) people? Is there anybody who would not tell you he wished President Buhari had done much better?

“We raised huge expectations, we told people, ‘Get rid of Jonathan, put Buhari there, he would fix corruption, he would fix insecurity, he would fix the economy’, (but) look at where we are now.”

“How can anybody say they are happy with the record of President Buhari? Even the people very close to him would tell you that they wished he could have done much better and he hasn’t.

“So, what we need to do now is to get ready to elect another President who would go in the opposite direction, a President who has a vision and a clear idea of what governance involves rather than just being a President.

“So, I am disappointed and that is why today, I am actively involved in trying to see that a new leader emerges in getting Nigerians a new lease of life.”

Jonathan, a former governor of Bayelsa State, was Vice-President between 2007 and 2010 and became president following the demise of then-President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010.

He contested the 2011 presidential election and won but failed in his bid to get re-elected four years later, losing to Buhari.

Following the clamour for a power shift to the South, Jonathan, who is currently Buhari’s Special Envoy to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is being courted by some politicians with an eye on the 2023 elections.

The National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, confirmed Jonathan’s constitutional eligibility recently when he said the ex-president would get an opportunity to contest the 2023 presidency on the party’s platform if he decides to join the APC.

Baba-Ahmed, however, urged Southern governors not to negatively politicise the 2023 presidency, advising instead that they should instead negotiate as the North had lived under Southern Presidents — Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan — since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999.

He said: “We have lived under Southern presidents because we recognise that Nigeria is made up of sections, ethnic groups and interests. We recognise that we are northerners, pluralism is in our DNA; we accept that, we live with it.

“Don’t make the issue of the presidency a matter over which Nigerians would fight and threaten the country and the democratic process; that is very dangerous for this country.”

The NEF spokesman insisted that what Nigeria needs is a president who realises the need to rebuild the country, secure Nigerians and check the downward trajectory of the country’s economy.

“The nation needs a leader that would do the things that President Buhari hasn’t done, create inclusiveness, address resentment and frustration in other parts of the country and the north and speak and act for everybody,” he said.

However, he wrote off both the ruling APC and the leading opposition party, the PDP, saying they had no answer to what Nigerians want in a candidate in 2023.

According to him, “smaller parties” might have the answer and should be allowed to field candidates with the character and capacity to lead Nigeria from all its current travails.

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