Sanwo-Olu’s wife begs migrated Nigerian doctors to return

Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has advocated for the entry of emigrant Nigerian physicians.

She said this as she bemoaned the rise in brain drain in the healthcare industry and said that it needed to be stopped.

At the Healthcare Transformation Coalition interactive session in Lagos with the theme “Imperatives of Addressing Brain Drain in the Health Sector,” Sanwo-wife Olu’s announced this.

The state First Lady also said the ugly narrative needed to be changed through unity, adding that halting the negative trend required a working system.

Speaking, she urged medical practitioners who travel abroad seeking further training to ensure that they return to Nigeria to improve the country’s healthcare services.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said brain drain was not a new trend, adding that it had been happening since Nigeria’s independence.

He said, “It has been happening since Nigeria got its independence in 1960. Brain drain is not specific to any discipline. Brain drain is dynamic. Nigeria, especially Lagos has a massive youth purge. 70 percent of the youth is under the age of 30.

“So, our pyramid is very wide. When you look at the demographic profile of the United Kingdom, UK, Japan and the United States of America, it is upside down.

“They have a very low birth rate so most of the people in the UK and the developed world are elderly population and their pyramid is turned upside down and that forces them to look to countries that have a proper pyramid to recruit human capital.

“So, Nigeria and Lagos by virtue of its demographic profile is a natural exporter of human expertise.”

Read More

No president can solve all problems, Buhari says

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, said no single government was capable of solving all the problems of the country.

He claimed that building on the foundations set by earlier administrations was the only viable solution.

Speaking at the State of the Nation Dialogue hosted by the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja, Buhari was represented by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“I will say no one government in this country will be able to solve the problems of Nigeria but as we build on the processes laid by successive governments, not discarding completely what has been put in place; we will build our dreams, take one or two things to concentrate on and move on.

“We believe the outcome of this dialogue can be transmitted to us so that whatever resolutions are reached, whatever recommendations you make; that will become part of the document that we will prepare as we transit and handover to a new incoming government,” he said.

Speaking on the state of security in the country, a former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase said the challenge in Nigeria is not much about the crime rate but the prosecution of criminals to serve as a deterrent to others.

While commending most of the presidential candidates for promising to embark on massive recruitment into the nation’s security agencies, Arase noted that technology must combine with numerical strength to make the country safe for all.

Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, emphasized the need of including women and young people in Nigeria’s efforts to advance its national development in her keynote speech.

“Nigerian women constitute only 3.6 per cent of the national parliament. My appeal is to prioritise gender equality, women’s rights and increase the number of women in government,” she partly said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, blamed lawyers for some of the ills plaguing the society and urged Nigerians to forgive the past and look forward to a new nation where lawyers would be the champions of good governance, justice and development.

“I must therefore, as one who is privileged to lead the Bar at this time, apologise to Nigerians for the abdication of our role. Today, as members of the Bar, we are reputed more for how much fees we charge our clients as opposed to the discharge of our primary call to offer guidance and/ or offer ourselves for the advancement of the cause of our country,” he said.

Read More

DSS arrests syndicates selling new naira notes

Several people engaged in the selling of the new naira notes have been detained, according to a report released on Monday by the Department of State Services.

In a statement released on Monday by Peter Afunanya, the DSS’s spokesman, the agency accused some commercial bank employees of supporting the crime.

The headline of the release said, “Bank official implicated in DSS intercepts of syndicates peddling new currency notes.”

It read, “The Department of State Services hereby informs the public that it has intercepted some members of organised syndicates involved in the sale of the new redesigned naira notes. In the course of its operations, in this regard in parts of the country, it was also established that some commercial bank officials are aiding the economic malfeasance.

“Consequently, the Service warns the currency racketeers to desist from this ignoble act. Appropriate regulatory authorities are, in this same vein, urged to step up monitoring and supervisory activities to expeditiously address the emerging trend.

“It should be noted that the Service has ordered its Commands and Formations to further ensure that all persons and groups engaged in the illegal sale of the notes are identified. Therefore, anyone with useful information relating to this is encouraged to pass the same to the relevant authorities.”

Read More

Buhari solved problems others ran from, says Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has dismissed insinuations of disagreement between him and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), describing the latter’s support as unalloyed and enduring.

Speaking at the APC rally in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, on Saturday, Tinubu pledged to leverage the state’s agrarian potentials to tackle her developmental challenges.

Reading from a prepared speech, the former Lagos state governor said, “I have supported the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) even before his first day in office. I will continue to be his supporter and friend after his last day in office.

“He tackled the problems other leaders ran from. He has earned a place in history that cannot be denied.

“I have said this before and will say it again now; when the true history of this moment is written, the President shall be treated very kindly because of his contributions to the nation,” he said.

Urging the people to reject opposition candidates, Tinubu said, “Their vision for Nigeria is the vision of one who cannot see. They seek to enrich themselves by making you poor. They want to eat everything so that you might go hungry. They want to own everything but leave you with nothing.

“We stand here today to affirm that our vision for a greater Nigeria will triumph over their blind vision for a broken Nigeria. Remember; where there is blind vision, there is also blind ambition.

“We will not allow their selfish games to overtake you. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has done his part to free Nigeria from their mean grip. Now, we must do our part by freeing you from the selfish plans they have for you and our beloved land.”

He also praised the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, for his role in tackling the security challenges in the state, stressing that alongside his running mate, Kashim Shettima, they had what it would take to restore peace not only in Zamfara but across the nation as a whole.

A statement issued by the Tinubu Media Office and signed by Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, quoted the presidential candidate as saying that “If Allah blesses us to win this election; we will not relent until we beat this problem.

Read More

Putin sends strippers, dancers to boost Russian soldiers morale

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has ordered strippers and pole dancers to be sent to the front line in a move to cheer up his troops and boost morale.

The move comes as the Kremlin announces a medal for all Russian soldiers which have deployed in what he calls the “special military operation”.

According to ABCNews, the senior commanders have been ordered to organise the entertainment as Putin’s forces approach the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

More than 100 girls will be ferried to the front in a fleet of helicopters for a series of “concert shows” at supply bases across the Donbas where troops are given five days of rest and recuperation.

Crates of beer and Russian sausages will be shipped in for the troops and a ceremonial parade is expected on the 24th to mark the start of Russia’s operation and remember the fallen.

News of the ‘raunchy stripping sessions’ was revealed on social media by a Russian officer who announced that troops would be getting a special surprise.

In his post, the tank Colonel, codenamed ‘Armoured Death said, “Our heroes will be given special parties with pole dancing ladies, beer and food as a thank you for their service.

“Events will be held as part of the soldiers’ rest period and aimed to raise the morale of troops who have been fighting in the front line.”

Read More

Suit seeking to impeach Buhari to be delivered Monday

On January 30, the Abuja-based Federal High Court is scheduled to issue a historic ruling in a case seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment due to alleged irregularities in the 2019 presidential election.

A request to halt the holding of the 2023 presidential election, which is set for February 25, would also be resolved by the verdict that Justice Inyang Ekwo is expected to deliver.

The Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja had posted a notice for the judgment delivery, which media had only seen on Friday. It stated that Justice Ekwo will give the decision by 9 am.

The notice was directly served on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation for President Buhari.

News media reported that Rivers State-born presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party in the 2019 election, Chief Ambrose  Owuru, had instituted legal action against Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Owuru, a British-trained constitutional lawyer called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984 however asked the Federal High Court to declare him as the winner of the poll.

Among other reliefs, he had asked the court to determine the legality or otherwise of the decision by INEC in 2019 during which it postponed the election from February 16 to March 23.

He claimed that INEC acted against the constitution in illegal and unlawful ways and manners the presidential poll was shifted and the declaration of Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the unlawful act should be declared null and void and of no effect.

The ground of his claim was predicated on the fact that the petition he lodged against Buhari had not been adjudicated upon by the Supreme Court as required by law.

The politician claimed that his petition at the Supreme Court was unjustly dismissed following his absence from the Apex Court due to discrepancies in the hearing dates conveyed to him.

He, therefore, prayed the court removes Buhari and declares him (Owuru) the authentic President and that Buhari should be compelled to refund all monies he collected as salaries, emoluments and security votes.

The HDP presidential candidate also requested that the Federal High Court order INEC to refrain from holding the 2023 presidential election and that he be inaugurated for a four-year term following Buhari’s ouster from office.

The lawsuit requested that the court order President Buhari to return any funds he received as wages, emoluments, and security votes while alleging that Buhari had seized his authority.

After Buhari, the AGF, INEC, and the plaintiff adopted final addresses on November 4 of last year, Justice Ekwo set the judgment date of January 30 as the day on which the case would be decided.

Read More

Osun election: Adeleke forged certificate — Tribunal

Osun election: Adeleke forged certificate — Tribunal

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Adegboyega Oyetola, who ran for governor on July 16th, were able to establish a case of forgery against Governor Ademola Adeleke, according to the Osun Election Petition Tribunal.

The tribunal said that the PDP candidate had obtained further qualifications and decided that the forgery conviction alone was insufficient to bar him from running in the election.

The tribunal, presided over by Justice Tertsea Kume, highlighted in its majority decision that the petitioners were successful in establishing a forgery case against Adeleke because EC9, the document supporting the governor’s personal information, “told a falsehood about itself.”

Interestingly, the only member of the tribunal, Justice B.A. Ogbuli, who gave a dissenting ruling on the judgement, aligned with the position of the majority judgement on the issue of disqualification.

The tribunal held: “Respondent through Mrs Joan Arabs produced FILE D which was tendered in evidence. The said exhibit FILE D is in respect of the election conducted by the 1st respondent in 2018.

“Exhibit EC9, as earlier indicated, is the affidavit in support of the personal particulars of the 2nd respondent which he presented to the 1st respondent for the election of the 16th of July, 2022.

“On page two of exhibit EC9, the 2nd respondent (Adeleke), in his handwriting, wrote under (1) School Attended (Educational qualification with dates: Thus: 2. Secondary Ede Muslim Grammar School, Eede – attended 1976 – 1981, Penn Foster High School Diploma -2021

“3. Higher Atlanta Metropolitan State College – BSC Criminal Justice 2021.

“On page 4, of exhibit EC9, there is a letter of attestation from Ede Muslim High School dated 22nd of May, 2016.

“Learned counsel for the petitioners, as earlier stated, referred to the different names in the schools reproduced above and the evidence admitted by RW2 under cross-examination, that Osun State was created in 1991, and as such, any evidence that a qualifying certificate or document stating that it was from Osun State in 1981 is a forgery”.

Meanwhile, the PDP, yesterday, alleged that the tribunal judgement that sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke was way billed by the APC.

Addressing journalists in Osogbo, the party leadership, led by the State Caretaker Chairman, Dr Adekunle Akindele, said the judge abandoned legal arguments and submissions to dwell on the trivial as the foundation for his pronouncement.

Citing many examples of bias and personal hatred for Adeleke by the Tribunal Chairman,  the party accused the Benue-born judge of serving as the mouthpiece of the petitioners during the hearing and of personal attacks on the governor in the ruling, citing the reference to Buga dance in the judgement.

“Even if the judgement was way billed to him as we suspected by his petitioner collaborators, he should have disguised and exercised some restraints by expunging the foul languages obviously written for him in local parlance of Buga lyrics to disrespect an elected governor. He shouldn’t have gone so low, low, low!,” Akindele said.

“This is more so, when he’s expected not to be too carried away or in the least, to be aware that his warped position was a mere starting point in the legal tussle in this context as provided in our extant laws.

“For us as a party, we understand the desperation of those behind the jankara judgement. We understand the trap they tried to set against the BVAS innovation in our electoral system. We understand the desperation goes beyond the Osun election or Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke.

“The evil plot is ultimately against the coming general election where in their usual fraudulent habit, millions of voter cards have either been cloned, registered with ghost names and are being made ready to be deployed especially for the presidential election, in which they could smell their total rejection far ahead of time.”

Read More

Tinubu has both Muslim and Christian supporters – Keyamo

Festus Keyamo, the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, claimed that Muslims and Christians support the party ahead of the general election.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s nominee, would win the election for president in February, according to Keyamo.

The APC spokesperson stated that Nigerians were more concerned with ability and competence than with religious and tribal emotions in an interview with PUNCH.

He asserts that Tinubu is the only one with the authority to manage the nation’s affairs.

He added that the Muslim-Muslim ticket was considered to provide competency for the nation.

“I believe so much that we have both Christians and Muslims support because people are no longer looking at religion but competence and capability and Tinubu is the only one that has that. We are confident that we will win this election with the support of all religions.”

Speaking further on the controversy surrounding the health condition of the APC presidential candidate, Keyamo said, “On the health condition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, there is no basis for it at all.

“Asiwaju has been more active than everybody on the campaign. We want to also ask; what is the basis for this suspicion? Has Asiwaju at any time collapsed in public? Did he at any time show any sign of ill-health?

“The only time as far as I can remember is when he went for a knee cap operation, which is just to strengthen him the more and after then he has been bouncing all over the place. You can see him climbing chairs going up and down.

“So, the issue of health is not a factor against him. If it is against him, which means it will also be against Atiku, who also went for treatment recently in Dubai,” he said.

Read More

Hawkers sell new Naira notes at Zaria motor park

Despite the limited availability of the newly designed Naira notes, some individuals have been observed selling them at inflated prices in Dadi Motor Park in Sabon Gari-Zaria, Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) saw large wads of different denominations of the notes on display at the entrance of Dadi Motor Park, Kwangila area of Zaria city for prospective buyers.

NAN’s investigation finds that a bundle of N200 notes was being sold for N30,000; N500 and N1,000 notes are being sold for N70,000 and N130,000, respectively; and N100 notes are being sold for N16,000.

According to Mr. Mohammed Bello, a fresh cash vendor, depending on the note denominations, they spent between N70,000 and N130,000 to purchase brand-new N500,000 notes.

However, Bello declined to disclose the sources of the money and encumbrances.

Mr Thomas Damina, a resident of Gozaki village in Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina State, who patronised the mints vendors, confirmed to NAN that he bought the new N20,000 of N1000 notes at N25,000.

He said he was forced to purchase the money at the exorbitant price to enable him settle the labourers working at his dry season farm.

“Traders in my community (Gozaki) are rejecting the old notes and the money is not available at the banks. I have no option than to buy from cash hawkers,” Damina said.

NAN also observed that trading in the new Naira notes was receiving patronage as customers thronged the banks, rushing to beat the Jan. 31 deadline.

Most ATMs of some commercial banks at PZ, the commercial hub of the ancient Zaria city, were not dispensing cash when NAN visited.

Trading in Naira notes is in contravention of Section 21 of the CBN Act,  2007, which is punishable under Section 21 Subsection 4 of the Act.

In spite of the laws prohibiting the hawking of Naira notes and coins, the perpetrators were freely doing their businesses close to the police outpost at Kwangila, Sabon Gari Zaria.

Reacting to the development, DSP Mohammed Jalige, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State police command, assured that the police would swing into action against the crime. (NAN)

Read More

We can’t force schools to close for elections – INEC

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, it is not within its purview to require colleges to announce vacations so that students may cast ballots in the next general elections.

This was said in a Friday interview with PUNCH by Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chairman of the commission’s media aide.

In the background, there have been calls from various quarters for universities to declare holidays so that students can register to vote and pick up their permanent voter cards.

For instance, amember of the House of Representatives, Kabir Tukura, had on Thursday moved a motion titled,‘Urgent Need to Give the Students of Tertiary Institutions of Learning in Nigeria an Opportunity to Vote in the General Elections.’

Tukura noted that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had said that 3.8 million of the newly registered voters are students, accounting for 40.8 per cent of the total number of newly registered voters.

He expressed the worry that academic calendars of various tertiary institutions are structured “in a way that most students are disenfranchised, as school calendars do not take into consideration the timelines and date for elections.”

The lawmaker said, “The House is concerned that these students, who constitute 40.8 per cent of the newly registered voters, have their polling units sited in states outside their campuses, thereby necessitating travelling outside their respective institutions to vote in the 2023 elections.

“The House is further concerned that tertiary institutions are not considering academic breaks for students during the general elections, despite having knowledge that most students registered outside their campuses during the continuous voter registration exercise, which took place during the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities strike.

“The House is cognisant that the INEC has enormous statutory powers to make special arrangements for students to collect their PVCs to vote. The NUC, NBTE, NCCE and the federal Ministry of Education, as the regulators of tertiary education in Nigeria, have the statutory powers to direct both the public and private tertiary education institutions in Nigeria to suspend academic activities pending the conclusion of the general elections.”

But when contacted by one of our correspondents, INEC chairman’s media aide, Oyekanmi said it was beyond INEC to dictate to varsities on how to run their calender.

He said, “Each university has a governing council that decides how the university should be run. I doubt it, although I stand to be corrected, if the National Universities Commission can indeed issue a directive to universities on when to go on holidays or operate.

“Don’t forget that we also have private and state universities that are not being funded by the Federal Government, although the NUC performs its oversight functions on their academic programmes, which are subjected to regular accreditation exercise.

“In the same manner, the Independent National Electoral Commission  cannot compel any university to announce a holiday for election purposes. We don’t have such powers. This decision is best left to the governing council of the individual universities.”

When contacted by Saturday PUNCH, the Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors, Prof Samuel Edoumiekumo, said neither the National Assembly, the National Universities Commission nor the CVC was empowered to dictate the tertiary institutions to go on holidays.

Edoumiekumo said the decision resides with Senate and Governing Council of individual higher institution.

He said, “This is not the first time election is taking place, they are not the ones to inform universities, universities have their respective governing councils and their senates; so individual universities will look at the scenarios within their universities and take appropriate decisions.”

Read More