Some Nigeria’s Gifts to the World…

“Thoughtful and helpful conversation with the United States Deputy Treasury Secretary @wallyadeyemo (Adewale Adeyemo).

“Good to discuss the impact of macro fiscal issues on trade, and debt and fiscal space challenges for low income and lower middle income countries.

“Great exchange on our Nigerian roots!”

© Words of the Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Femi Fani-Kayode in APC: Before and After…His Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis

***Then…December 15, 2019***

“The suggestion that I joined the APC is false and insulting. Those that are peddling this fake news should bury their heads in shame. With what we have witnessed I would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC).

“Those that claim that I have joined them & that seek to link my good name to such a bloodthirsty, blood-lusting, accursed political association of Boko Haramists, Fulani herdsmen, genocidal maniacs, ethnic cleansers, mass murderers, ethnic supremacists, religious bigots, cow-lovers and corrupt treasury looters that have brought nothing but death, division, misery, poverty, incompetence, shame and destruction to our nation and our people will burn in hell forever!

“I am committed to oppposing the APC (All Progressives Congress) and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will NEVER join them no matter what! They are nothing but darkness whilst I stand for the light of God and truth: there can be NO fellowship between light and darkness.”

****Now…September 16, 2021****

“I spoke against Buhari (President Muhammadu) from the outside, now I know him from the inside. I am not saying he is an angel or a demon. The APC I was talking about that time is not same today. Let’s focus on unity, peace and togetherness.

“There is a time to condemn and criticise people. There is also a time to come together, work together to achieve unity.

“Joining APC now is the away forward, despite what people may think about it.

“APC is a liberal party. A lot has happened in APC over the years. The party has changed and the President has accommodated the change. Had the APC leadership not changed I wouldn’t have joined them.

“I am doing the right thing based on conviction and understanding. This is the right decision for me. Love me or hate me, it will not take anything away from me.”

Welcome to the new era of ratiocination espoused by a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

The Case of Two Gavins… While Newsom Celebrates Victory in California, Williamson is Booted out as Education Secretary in London

California Governor Gavin Newsom has been celebrating his emphatic victory over a Republican-led campaign to oust him from office through the special recall election.

Newsom won his first term election in 2018 by a landslide. And on Tuesday he claimed another round of resounding victory in the recall election. That means he would remain in office through his term ending in January 2023 and see his chances significantly bolstered in next year’s regularly scheduled election.

On the other hand, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has sacked Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle that has also seen Dominic Raab removed from the Foreign Office.

Raab, who had been heavily criticised for his handling of the Afghanistan crisis while foreign secretary, has been redeployed as Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.

A former International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, replaced Raab as Foreign Secretary.

Williamson was not the only secretary that was removed. Robert Buckland and Robert Jenrick were also relieved of their posts as Justice Secretary and Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary respectively.

Reacting to his victory, Newsom said: “I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote.

“California has voted NO on the recall and YES to…science, women’s rights, immigrant rights, minimum wage, environment and our future.

“We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress.

“Thank you, California.”

* Additional reports from news agency.

Tapping into $1trn Green Bond Market, Lagos Scores Another First, Signs $60m Investment to Finance Key Infrastructure Projects

The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has recorded another landmark by becoming the first sub-national government to tap into the $1 trillion Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme to finance key infrastructure projects.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with implementing partners such as FMDQ Group and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa on Tuesday at the State House in Marina, Sanwo-Olu boasted that Lagos’ credential in investment sustainability made the state take the bold step to activate the framework to benefit from the programme.

He said the proposed N25 billion (over $60 million) investment would empower the Centre of Excellence to champion sustainable finance for development.

The governor added that the Green Bond programme, being supported by the UK Agency for International Development (UK-AID), would raise the capacity of Lagos State Government to deliver more key infrastructure and social projects that would keep the state on the path of prosperity.

Sanwo-Olu said the MoU was the crucial first step being taken by Lagos State Government towards creating viable financing option for future green and sustainability projects.

He explained that the funding opportunity would advance adoption of innovation and technologies to provide green jobs, thereby promoting economic and climate resiliency.

The governor noted that the initiative would go a long way in ensuring that key deliverables in his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda are actualised, while pledging that Lagos State Government would continue to blaze the trail of leadership, financial accountability, innovation and sustainability.

According to him, “As a government, we are committed to utilise our limited resources more efficiently to create a circular economy, which is a promising and viable alternative.

“Public spending and investments may not be enough to deliver our key objectives; therefore, the need to tap into more private investments for the transition to a zero waste and circular economy, as well as achieving crucial items of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“I strongly believe that the Green Bond programme will open the doors of deep sustainable funds for infrastructure and social development for Lagos.

“Being the biggest player in the sub-national capital market, Lagos’ experience can open new doors for a lot of others. As a state, we embrace the transparency and commitment that comes with a Green Finance framework.

“We believe it sends an important signal to investors in the market about who we are: a state that is fiscally responsible, prudent and disciplined.”

The signing ceremony took place less than 24 hours after Lagos State Government was upgraded to AAA(nga) rating from AA+(nga) by Fitch International for the state’s good standing on debt sustainability and resilience.

The Green Bond Market Development Programme was launched in 2018 with the aim of facilitating development of a green bond market to support broader debt capital markets reforms that would impact the sovereign and non-sovereign bond markets in Nigeria.

The signing of the MoU by all parties was carried out under the supervision of Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyo Onigbanjo and witnessed by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewelly-Jones.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, said the state had 20-year experience in raising bonds, assuring implementing partners and capital market operators of the state’s commitment to the terms highlighted in the framework.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ Group, Bola Onadele, said Lagos State Government had built reputation and “incredible potential” for catalysing broad-based sustainable development, which explained the partners’ readiness to support the state in unlocking the capital to fund key projects.

“I have no doubt that the implementation of this MoU and the impact thereof will ensure that Lagos continues to set itself apart, support its developmental aspirations and highlight its sustainability efforts at the global green and sustainable finance ecosystem. We are excited about this opportunity to support the developmental aspirations of Lagos,” he said.

FSD Africa CEO, Mark Napier, saluted the governor’s energy and his commitment towards providing infrastructure which future generations could rely on.

“It’s truly a significant event that the economic powerhouse of Africa’s largest economy is signing the green bond investment and I can say this is leadership being demonstrated by the Lagos State Government. I expect other States to follow this path,” Napier said.

Another Crossfire over Banditry/Insecurity…Adesina versus Gumi

Buhari’s Media Aide to Islamic Cleric: You’re a Bandit-lover

Gumi Replies Adesina: Keep Quiet, You Bootlicker

• “For those who believe in the ineluctable victory of good over evil, no matter how long it takes, this has been an inspiring week.

“From the forests of a thousand daemons in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger States, among others, bandits, criminals, evildoers are taking a pounding. In their scores, scores upon scores, they are being spoken to in the language they understand, and sent to God to answer for their sins. One has never been prouder of our military.

“I see the hair splitting over whether they should be called terrorists rather than bandits, and I laugh. Sheer sophistry. Whether insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, ritual killers, criminals are criminals. And what do you do to such? Eliminate. Annihilate. Obliterate. If they won’t let decent society be, get rid of them. That is one case when an eye for an eye won’t make the whole world go blind.

“Before they got to this sorry pass, they had the chance to turn a new leaf. Zamfara, Katsina, and many other states offered dialogue. The governments tried to negotiate with them. But they were contumacious. Like dogs fated for destruction, they refused to hear the hunters’ whistle. They filled the land with sorrow, tears and blood, ‘dem regular trademark’ (as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would say). Now, the shoe is on the other foot.

“In the different evil forests, when the Nigerian Air Force strikes from the sky, the remnants of the evildoers not killed immediately attempt to flee. The ground troops then pick them off like flies. I say it again. One has never been prouder of our troops. They are cleaning up the country.

“Shocking and disconcerting, however, that in the middle of all these, you still hear words meant to discourage our gallant soldiers. A bandit-lover is on record as saying military offensive would not work, and that the bandits “are going nowhere.” True? False. They are going somewhere. And that is: hell.

“In my days as a newspaper editor, I remember when a butcher in Sierra Leone called Foday Sankoh died. Now, if anyone was brutal, evil through and through, Foday was. He loved to amputate innocent people. And he would cynically ask if they wanted short or long sleeve. If you chose short sleeve, he cut off the hand from the elbow. If you wanted long, he did from the wrist. After some time, Sierra Leone was swarming with amputees. He was urinating inside the same well from which he would fetch drinking water.

“Foday Sankoh was an implacable demon. Till God moved against him. He was arrested, and took ill in custody. Ended in a wheelchair, and lived out his life in misery, facing trial. Then he died. As editor of Daily Sun, my headline was ‘Foday Sankoh goes to hell.’ Judgmental? Well, he asked for it.

“On the same day, I took a popular British tabloid to read. The lead story was also on Sankoh. The headline? ‘Next stop: Hell’ That’s it. The stubborn fly follows the corpse into the grave. The evildoers had all the opportunity to turn a new leaf. They were deaf to reason. They deserve what they are getting now, so that decent people can live in peace.

“Because we are the way we are as a people, as intractable as the warfare in the North-west had been, some people have tried to create a false narrative. They said while President Muhammadu Buhari went after separatists and divisive elements in the southern parts of the country with a big stick, he pampered bandits and terrorists in the north. Really? How mean-minded can we be? Well, we have now seen the ‘pampering’ going on in the north. You love the pampering being handed out simultaneously from the air and the ground by the troops, don’t you?

“I have always had the conviction that the ravening clouds shall not long be victorious, they shall not long possess the sky. Yes, we’ve had serious security challenges. They were inherited by the Buhari administration, and they mutated and became hydra-headed. But a government exists to solve problems, and that is what President Buhari had been committed to doing. But some people, out of evil hearts and petty political gains want it to be the definition of the government. He could not secure the country. Thousands of citizens were killed under him. But they will be shocked! The insecurity ravaging the land will soon become history. Where will they then hide their faces?

“Dr Okolo Oteri Eme is one of the women who love Buhari. To bits. She plays prominently on Facebook, and I love what she posted this week on the pounding the evil people have been getting: “Those who claim bandits are being pampered can join them for Shawarma in Zamfara. Kudos to our troops.”

“It’s promise made, and promise being kept by our President. He said those who trouble the country would be spoken to in the language they understand. It is happening now. The job is not fully done yet, but progress is fast and laudable. And the message is loud and clear. Don’t you like it?

© Femi Adesina is Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity

• “You bootlicker that called me a bandit-lover! I am not one, but my country-lover, my region-lover, my state-lover, and my people-lover, and humanity-lover.

“I am a qualified medical doctor who knows what it takes to precisely excise a brain tumour without destroying the delicate surrounding brain tissues. I was a commissioned military officer who knows what the military is for and what is the capability of our military. I am an intellectual with a PhD from abroad. I am an Islamic scholar who knows the immorality of killing innocent lives. So, silence for me in this ocean of oblivion is not an option.

“Only a fool would allow his dwelling to be a theatre of war. Unfortunately, how many fools are there. Killing rats in your rat-infested sitting room with an iron rod will only end up destroying your gadgets and furniture probably without killing any. We should not mask out poor governance with artillery power.

“Some disingenuous people say: peace and negotiations with herdsmen, bandits have failed, and your mission has failed!

“I said my mission has not failed but it was sabotaged or discouraged by the same influential people that benefit from the chaos or like us to destroy ourselves and leave the herdsmen in perpetual ignorance.

“Some said we have tried amnesty but it didn’t work. You didn’t try amnesty but tried amnesia. Amnesty without rehabilitation, reconciliation, and reparation is no amnesty. Ask the former Niger Delta Militants who killed security men in the past what an amnesty is. What stops us from having a federal ministry of Nomadic Affairs where their grievances and complaints will be addressed?

“All the bandit leaders we saw complained of how some repentant ones were picked and extra-judicially killed after the surrender of their weapons. Without their trust of the very unjust system all Nigerians complain of, which they took arms to fight, peace and negotiations with them will not work. This brings our role of mediation.

“They know as religious men we will not deceive them, and they came out in troops to meet us. To our astonishment, it is the same unjust system that turns round to betray our peace mission. Some of the press for giving a negative narrative, whom I also term criminals-in-purpose, some of the politicians who I see as urban-bandits who out of their share mismanagement of our meagre resources and misplacement of priority cause the death and infirmity of more people than the bandits affect.

“Of recent, how many Nigerians die of cholera -a water-born disease- because of lack of simple clean water to drink, or typhoid, malaria, and malnutrition? A nation with a maternal mortality rate of almost 500,000/annum because of the lack of adequate maternal health facilities and qualified staff. A country where its highly-priced medical personnel is looking for a window to escape the inferno. Such a country, please!”

© Popular Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

Restructuring Nigeria…Wike’s Tax Revolution This Time Around

On September 6, 2021, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, formally declared a revolution of some sort in the collective bargaining for restructuring Nigeria.

Wike’s masterstroke was his administration’s legal fireworks to uphold the constitutional right and authority of states of the federation to impose, collect and utilise Value Added Taxes (VAT) within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

And Nyesom won the legal battle.

A Port Harcourt-based Federal High Court ruled in favour of Rivers State Government and subsequently dismissed the application for stay-of-execution of the judgement filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

This, thus, marked the beginning of the implementation of Rivers State Value Added Tax Law 2021 to regulate the effective administration of VAT in the state.

According to Wike, “It is important to reiterate the fact that we did no wrong in exercising our legal right under our constitutional democracy to stop the continuing breach, denial and curtailment of the constitutional right of states to lawfully impose and collect value added and other related taxes within jurisdiction to the exclusion of the Federal Government.

“And in doing so our singular and progressive objective was to contribute to the advancement of fiscal federalism by enabling the federating states to explore and exploit their potential and capacity for generating greater internal revenues with which to fund their development goals and reduce the outdated over-reliance on pitiable federal allocation and other handouts.”

Suddenly, Wike has somehow made VAT another pathway to truly restructuring Nigeria.

And in the words of a Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Ebun Adegboruwa: “Enough of feeding-bottle federalism and Abuja financial pilgrimage!”

Those governors who claimed to be progressives are now tip-toeing and stretching forth their necks in a giraffe-like manner to copy Wike’s revolutionary template in the administration of VAT.

Just yesterday, September 9, Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Value Added Tax Bill, with Speaker Mudashiru Obasa giving a marching order to the Assembly’s Acting Clerk, Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit a clean copy to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.

Those, who had hitherto been agitating for restructuring Nigeria, appeared to have been reduced to the back seats and they are now learning new things from the unusual quarters. Nature, indeed, abhors vacuum. The system is throwing up new revolutionary leaders from unexpected quarters to teach and reset the brains of those who claimed to know so much about restructuring Nigeria, but woefully failed to do anything.

I remember vividly in the wake of heated arguments and counter-arguments over restructuring Nigeria in 2017, the All Progressives Congress (APC) hurriedly set up a restructuring committee headed by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

Recommendations, suggestions and others that were made by the committee could not see the light of the day. This was because the exercise lacked sincerity. The ruling party and the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government had not demonstrated any meaningful commitment to restructuring Nigeria since 2015.

In his recent response to statement credited to a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on restructuring, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo argued against what he termed the emerging “geographical restructuring.”

According to him, “I do not believe that geographical restructuring is an answer to Nigeria’s socio economic circumstances. That would only result in greater administrative costs. But there can be no doubt that we need deeper fiscal federalism and good governance.”

What Osinbajo and APC-led Federal Government failed to understand was that Nigerians have run out of patience.

Incidentally, Osinbajo was Lagos State Commissioner for Justice/Attorney-General, when the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu decided to fight the seizure of federal allocations to local governments in the state during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government under Olusegun Obasanjo.

Whatever greater administrative costs incurred by the Tinubu administration, the judgement in favour of Lagos State remains unprecedented. It remains one of the monumental reference points in the anal of restructuring Nigeria.

Every pronouncement by the Buhari administration on restructuring is simply described as deceptive and an obvious strategy to buy time.

Bit-by-bit, true restructuring would one day be fully realized in Nigeria.

For now, welcome to Wike’s tax revolution towards restructuring Nigeria.

WHO Appoints Ihekweazu as Head of Newly Created Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin & Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence in Geneva

“Even as we respond to the pandemic, we must learn the lessons it is teaching us.

“One of the most clear is the need for new, powerful systems and tools for global surveillance, to collect, analyse and disseminate data on outbreaks with the potential to become epidemics and pandemics.

“Viruses move fast, but data can move even faster.

“With the right information, countries and communities can stay ahead of emerging risks, and save lives.

“Urbanization, deforestation, climate change and intensified agricultural practices are all increasing the risks of zooneses spilling over into human populations.

“At the same time, new technologies are giving us the ability to predict, prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks faster than ever before.

“Harnessing the power of these new technologies to save lives is not just an opportunity, it’s an obligation.

“That is what the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence is all about: leveraging innovations in data science, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other cutting-edge technologies, and fostering greater sharing of data and information, between communities and countries.

“No single institution or nation can do this alone. That’s why we have coined the term “collaborative intelligence” to sum up our collective mission.

“This Hub will bring together scientists, innovators, policy makers, and civil society representatives from around the world to work across borders and disciplines.

“Of course, the ultimate goal is not just to develop new toys. It’s to save lives.

“Our aim is to put the knowledge and insights that are developed here in Berlin to practical use on the ground all over the world.

“As you know, there have been several reviews of the global response to the pandemic, with recommendations for countries and for WHO about what we can do to keep the world safer in future.

“This hub is one response to those recommendations, filling a gap in the world’s defences and answering the question that Chancellor Merkel asked in 2015: how can we react faster, and avoid the needless suffering and death of the COVID-19 pandemic in future.

“For WHO, this is part of our commitment to keeping the world safer, to being the organization the world needs, and to giving countries the information and tools they need to protect their people.

“To lead the hub, I have appointed Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who is currently the Director-General of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control. He brings a wealth of experience, and will serve a dual role as head of the WHO Hub here in Berlin, and as Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence in Geneva.

“Berlin is the perfect place to host the WHO Hub, as a vibrant, dynamic, creative and modern city that is the ideal incubator for what we want to achieve.”

Excerpt from the remarks by the Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announcing the appointment of the Director-General of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, as Head of WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin and as Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence in Geneva.

Read the full text of the remarks by WHO Director-General here:

Director-General’s remarks at the press conference for the Inauguration of the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence

1 September 2021

Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us today.

I’d like to start with a brief update on the global situation.

Last week, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths reported to WHO declined for the first time in more than two months.

This is obviously very welcome, but it doesn’t mean much.

Around the world, many countries are still seeing steep increases in cases and deaths.

And around the world, we still see shocking inequities in access to vaccines.

More than 5 billion vaccines have now been administered globally, and almost 75% of them have been in just 10 countries.

In low-income countries, most of which are in Africa, less than 2% of adults are fully vaccinated, compared with almost 50% in high‑income countries.

Some countries are now rolling out booster doses to fully-vaccinated people, when millions of people around the world have not even received their first dose.

That’s why I have called for a moratorium on boosters, at least until the end of this month, to allow those countries that are furthest behind to catch up.

Third doses may be necessary for the most at-risk populations, where there is evidence of waning immunity against severe disease and death – such as the very small group of immunocompromised people who did not respond sufficiently to their initial doses, or are no longer producing antibodies.

But for now, we do not want to see widespread use of boosters for healthy people who are fully vaccinated.

Last week, I issued a statement with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization, calling for four things:

First, we call on countries that have contracted high volumes of vaccines to swap near-term delivery schedules with COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust, or AVAT.

Second, we call on vaccine manufacturers to immediately prioritize and fulfil their contracts to COVAX and AVAT, and to provide regular, clear supply forecasts.

Third, we urge the G7 and all dose-sharing countries to fulfil their pledges urgently, as barely 10% of nearly 900 million committed doses have so far been shipped.

And fourth, we call on all countries to eliminate export restrictions and any other trade barriers on COVID-19 vaccines and the inputs involved in their production.

Even as we respond to the pandemic, we must learn the lessons it is teaching us.

One of the most clear is the need for new, powerful systems and tools for global surveillance, to collect, analyse and disseminate data on outbreaks with the potential to become epidemics and pandemics.

Viruses move fast, but data can move even faster.

With the right information, countries and communities can stay ahead of emerging risks, and save lives.

Urbanization, deforestation, climate change and intensified agricultural practices are all increasing the risks of zooneses spilling over into human populations.

At the same time, new technologies are giving us the ability to predict, prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks faster than ever before.

Harnessing the power of these new technologies to save lives is not just an opportunity, it’s an obligation.

That is what the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence is all about: leveraging innovations in data science, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other cutting-edge technologies, and fostering greater sharing of data and information, between communities and countries.

No single institution or nation can do this alone. That’s why we have coined the term “collaborative intelligence” to sum up our collective mission.

This Hub will bring together scientists, innovators, policy makers, and civil society representatives from around the world to work across borders and disciplines.

Of course, the ultimate goal is not just to develop new toys. It’s to save lives.

Our aim is to put the knowledge and insights that are developed here in Berlin to practical use on the ground all over the world.

As you know, there have been several reviews of the global response to the pandemic, with recommendations for countries and for WHO about what we can do to keep the world safer in future.

This hub is one response to those recommendations, filling a gap in the world’s defences and answering the question that Chancellor Merkel asked in 2015: how can we react faster, and avoid the needless suffering and death of the COVID-19 pandemic in future.

For WHO, this is part of our commitment to keeping the world safer, to being the organization the world needs, and to giving countries the information and tools they need to protect their people.

To lead the hub, I have appointed Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who is currently the Director-General of Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control. He brings a wealth of experience, and will serve a dual role as head of the WHO Hub here in Berlin, and as Assistant Director-General for Health Emergency Intelligence in Geneva.

Berlin is the perfect place to host the WHO Hub, as a vibrant, dynamic, creative and modern city that is the ideal incubator for what we want to achieve.

My thanks once again to Governing Mayor Müller and the people of Berlin for hosting the WHO Hub, and to the Federal Government for its generous financial support.

Today I also had the great honour of presenting Chancellor Merkel with the WHO Global Leadership Award, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to global health over many years.

Health has been a central theme of the Chancellor’s leadership throughout her tenure, from the G8 Summit in 2007, to her address to the World Health Assembly in 2015, to the G20 Summit in Hamburg in 2017, and to Germany’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They say that in a crisis, you really find out who your friends are, and in the past year, WHO has had no better friend than Germany.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the German government moved quickly to expand its financial support for WHO, becoming our biggest donor, and was one of the first supporters of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank His Excellency Minister Jens Spahn.

In October last year, I was honoured to speak to Chancellor Merkel, which is when we first discussed the idea for a new centre that would serve as a global platform to enhance global capacity for pandemic and epidemic intelligence.

So it’s a very proud moment for me today to open the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence with Chancellor Merkel. But as I said in my remarks earlier, her legacy will be so much more than her name on a plaque on a wall in Berlin, it will be a legacy etched in the lives of people all over the world for years to come, who live healthier, safer lives because of her work.

I thank you.

Still on Abba Kyari…Police Chief Receives NPF Panel Report on Hushpuppi’s Allegations

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, Thursday received the report of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Special Investigation Panel (SIP), investigating the alleged indictment of the erstwhile Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It would be recalled that the United States Central District Court in California had issued an arrest warrant on Kyari and five others (Abdulrahman Imran Juma, Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, Rukuyat Motunraya Fashion, Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka, and Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe) over their alleged connections with an accused internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, otherwise called Hushpuppi in a $1.1 million fraud case.

Kyari and others were indicted based on confessional statements and attendant evidences disclosed by Hushpuppi to the FBI.

This subsequently led to Kyari’s suspension and the eventual inauguration of a special panel on August 22.

The panel report was, however, submitted by its Chairman, Joseph Egbunike, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

Receiving the report, Baba, who commended the panel for the work done, said the essence of the probe was to carry out discrete investigations into the allegation levied against the officer to enable the Force leadership be appropriately guided in its decision-making processes.

He assured that a careful and expeditious review of the recommendations would be undertaken by the Force Management Team and thereafter forwarded to appropriate quarters for necessary action(s).

Baba, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, reiterated, as always, the commitment of the Force to justice for all.

Speaking while presenting the report, Egbunike appreciated the police chief for the confidence reposed on him and the members of the panel to conduct the probe.

He noted that the panel commenced investigations immediately it was inaugurated on August 22 and the report submitted was an outcome of a painstaking, transparent and exhaustive investigative process.

Egbunike also revealed that the report presented contained the case file of the probe, evidences and findings as well as testimonies from Kyari and other persons and groups linked to the matter.

Crossfire: The Raging ‘War’ Between Presidency and Ortom over Insecurity…

“In an attempt to boost his sinking political fortunes, Ortom takes the cheapest and lowest route possible by playing on ethnic themes – and in doing so knowingly causes deaths of innocent Nigerians by inciting farmers against herders, and Christians against Muslims.

“Specifically, Ortom stirs up hatred by targeting one single ethnic group in Nigeria – using language reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide.

“As was the case in Rwanda where the then Hutu leaders of the country incited their countrymen against each other, claiming there was a “secret Tutsi agenda” over the Hutu, Ortom claims there is a “secret Fulanization agenda” over other ethnic groups in his state and in Nigeria. This is a copy of the language of Hutu Power – which falsely, and intentionally, accused the Rwandan Tutsi of plans to dominate the country.

“This wicked talk is aimed at giving cover to his so-called “policy” on the Ranches Establishment Law – which in reality is purely an act of denial of the law – intended to withhold rights and freedoms from one ethnic group alone, whilst inciting race hatred against them amongst all others.”

© Presidency

“We advise the Presidency to focus on ending the killing of innocent Nigerians, fix the economy as it promised and stop the stinking corruption under their watch.

“They can’t run away from their responsibility. They were brought to power to serve the country not to oppress the people and suppress their freedom of speech. They are on record to have publicly promised during their campaigns before the 2015 elections that they would respect the rights and freedoms of Nigerians if elected. Sadly, what the people of this country have got from the current government is the opposite of that promise.

“The agenda of the present administration is to Islamize and Fulanize the nation like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Kunle Olawunmi and other patriotic Nigerians have rightly said.

“Governor Ortom urges the good people of this country to call the Presidency to order before it destroys Nigeria. If nothing is done fast to avert the impending disaster, armed herders, bandits and other terrorists will one day take over Aso Rock Villa and those occupying the Villa at the moment will willingly surrender to them and flee from the country.

“No day passes without reports of herdsmen and other terrorists killing defenseless Nigerians in parts of the country. The number of displaced people has risen to millions, yet, the Presidency wants everyone to remain silent while the country burns.”

© Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State

STATEMENT CONCERNING SAMUEL ORTOM, THE GOVERNOR OF BENUE STATE, BY PRESIDENCY

Governor Samuel Ortom has few political principles. We can see this from the fact that he has changed political party five times during his undistinguished career.

Every time he feels the wind may be blowing in a certain direction, he follows it.

Unfortunately, for the good citizens of Benue State, the most dangerous direction he blows in today is that of sectarianism and ethnicity.

In an attempt to boost his sinking political fortunes, Ortom takes the cheapest and lowest route possible by playing on ethnic themes – and in doing so knowingly causes deaths of innocent Nigerians by inciting farmers against herders, and Christians against Muslims.

Specifically, Ortom stirs up hatred by targeting one single ethnic group in Nigeria – using language reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide.

As was the case in Rwanda where the then Hutu leaders of the country incited their countrymen against each other, claiming there was a “secret Tutsi agenda” over the Hutu, Ortom claims there is a “secret Fulanization agenda” over other ethnic groups in his state and in Nigeria. This is a copy of the language of Hutu Power – which falsely, and intentionally, accused the Rwandan Tutsi of plans to dominate the country.

This wicked talk is aimed at giving cover to his so-called “policy” on the Ranches Establishment Law – which in reality is purely an act of denial of the law – intended to withhold rights and freedoms from one ethnic group alone, whilst inciting race hatred against them amongst all others.

These are not the actions of a man who should be trusted with running public services or holding public office.

For the governor of a major state in Nigeria to be politically driven by ethnic hatred is a stain on our country.

The good, and fair-minded people of Benue State deserve more than this, and we look forward to the next elections when they have an opportunity to restore its greatness.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 25, 2021

PRESIDENCY SHOULD ADDRESS THE ISSUES GOV ORTOM RAISED

We read the statement released by the Presidency in response to Governor Samuel Ortom’s recent interview on Channels Television in which he raised a number of concerns bordering on the worsening security situation across the country.

The tone of the said statement shows the quality of Presidency Nigeria currently has. They abandoned the message and went for the messenger.

To describe as ‘undistinguished’, the career of a man who has held many key positions at the state and national levels proves that those who penned the piece were under the influence of some negative substances.

For the information of Garba Shehu and his cohorts, Governor Ortom rose to become a Local Government Chairman, State Publicity Secretary of National Centre Party of Nigeria; State Treasurer of All People’s Party, State Secretary as well as State Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Auditor of PDP, Minister of the Federal Republic and now a two-term Governor.

The Governor spoke the minds of most Nigerians on specific areas of failure of the Presidency and its complicity in the heinous crimes committed against citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists. Instead of taking the Governor on those points, Shehu went chasing vain and mundane matters in a desperate attempt to malign the Governor.

We demand an apology from the Presidency for accusing Governor Ortom of stirring ethnic tensions and calling for genocide. The Presidency has never hidden its hatred for the Governor and its latest outing only confirms that fact.

We are aware of the Presidency’s plot to cause crisis in Benue and make the state ungovernable and declare a state of emergency. Whenever each of their plans fails as it happened with the impeachment attempt on the Governor before the 2019 elections, they resort to cheap blackmail.

They accuse Governor Ortom of making a law to chase Fulanis out of Benue; a claim that lacks substance and only goes to prove that they have not read the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state. They can’t justify their narrative that Governor Ortom hates Fulanis when some of his appointees are Fulani.

The Presidency must realize that no amount of blackmail and media attack can discourage the Governor from speaking against the injustice and pain the present government has caused Nigerians. No amount of sponsored smear campaigns against the Governor can force him to repeal the law on open grazing of cattle in Benue State.

We advise the Presidency to focus on ending the killing of innocent Nigerians, fix the economy as it promised and stop the stinking corruption under their watch.

They can’t run away from their responsibility. They were brought to power to serve the country not to oppress the people and suppress their freedom of speech. They are on record to have publicly promised during their campaigns before the 2015 elections that they would respect the rights and freedoms of Nigerians if elected. Sadly, what the people of this country have got from the current government is the opposite of that promise.

Governor Ortom stands by his words that this is not the first time a Fulani man is President of Nigeria, and also that it is the first time the country has been divided on ethnic lines with lopsided appointments in promotion and celebration of nepotism, marginalization and open repugnance of other Nigerians. At no time in the history of this country have impunity, blatant disregard for laws, sectarian as well as ethnic differences been fueled by the government as we now see.

The agenda of the present administration is to Islamize and Fulanize the nation like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Kunle Olawunmi and other patriotic Nigerians have rightly said.

Governor Ortom urges the good people of this country to call the Presidency to order before it destroys Nigeria. If nothing is done fast to avert the impending disaster, armed herders, bandits and other terrorists will one day take over Aso Rock Villa and those occupying the Villa at the moment will willingly surrender to them and flee from the country.

No day passes without reports of herdsmen and other terrorists killing defenseless Nigerians in parts of the country. The number of displaced people has risen to millions, yet, the Presidency wants everyone to remain silent while the country burns.

Governor Samuel Ortom will not keep mute! Let it be on record that while the Presidency deliberately destroyed Nigeria, someone spoke against the evil.

The Governor believes in the words of Dr Martin Luther King jnr:

“If peace means accepting second class citizenship, I dont want it. If peace means keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil, I dont want it. If peace means being complacently adjusted to a deadning status-quo, I dont want peace. If peace means a willingness to be exploited economically, dominated polically, humiliated and segregated, I dont want peace.”

Terver Akase
Chief Press Secretary
August 26, 2021.

Mohammed Fawehinmi Died of COVID-19 Complications, Says Family…To Be Buried Aug 27 in Ondo

“Today however, we are in a position to inform you that our dear brother died from COVID-19 related complications.”

TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE GANI FAWEHINMI FAMILY HELD IN LAGOS ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2021

Our dear gentlemen and ladies of the Press.

1. On behalf of myself, the other siblings of late Mohammed Fawehinmi, and the entire Gani Fawehinmi family, I warmly welcome you to this press conference.

2. This press conference is a follow-up to the one addressed by my younger sister, Mrs. Basirat Fawehinmi Biobaku, and our dear brother and family friend, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, last Thursday in the immediate aftermath of the unfortunate death of our brother and patriarch, Barrister Mohammed Fawehinmi.

3. The purpose of this brief press conference is two-fold. The first is to provide clarification on the cause of the death of our brother, Barrister Mohammed Fawehinmi, and the second is to give the full details of the burial plan as already announced.

4. As stated during the previous press conference, the family could not immediately disclose the cause of our brother’s death because we wanted the information to be based on factual medical details especially as maybe contained in the death certificate.

5. Today however, we are in a position to inform you that our dear brother died from COVID-19 related complications.

6. Arising from this, we want to use this opportunity to urge all Nigerians to take necessary precautions to avoid being infected by the deadly disease including but not limited to taking the required doses of COVID-19 vaccine, correctly wearing face masks, regularly sanitising, regularly washing hands with soap and maintaining social distancing amidst crowds.

7. We urge the government to step up its public enlightenment on the deadly character of the disease so that many more Nigerians, especially those whose immune system could easily be compromised because of underlying illnesses, can take the safety measures enumerated above.

8. Additionally and in line with our late brother’s consistent advocacy, we call on the Federal and state governments to invest more in health care. In particular, we urge the government to do all that is necessary to end the ongoing strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors.

9. With respect to the burial details, the service of songs and the night of tributes for our late brother will hold on Wednesday August 25, 2021 at the Archbishop Vining Cathedral in Ikeja from 4 to 7pm. The two events will be divided into two halves. The night of tributes will enable friends, associates, partners, comrades, human rights activists, pro-democracy, trade union and socialist groups to pay their tribute.

10. In the morning of Friday August 27, 2021, the remains of our brother would be interred at the Gani Fawehinmi family compound in Ondo Town after a brief funeral service.

11. We welcome those who will like to identify with us during these ceremonies but in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic we would ideally appreciate if the crowd is limited.

12. We wish to thank all those who have through calls, visits, tributes, etc, been identifying with us during this difficult period. We particularly thank the Nigerian media and journalists for their support and we do hereby apologise for any inconvenience you may have encountered in the course of trying to report the passage of our brother.

13. We are very grateful for your presence today.

14. Thank you.

For the Gani Fawehinmi Family: Saheed Fawehinmi
Thursday August 19, 2021

And the World Leaders Failed Afghanistan…Welcome to New Era of ‘National Terrorists’ Sovereignty’

It is no longer news that Afghanistan has once again slipped back to the hands of the Talibans.

This development, however, the arguments and counter-arguments, the fact is sacrosanct – the world leaders have failed the people of Afghanistan!

Were the world leaders expecting miracle to take place after the United States of America repeatedly signaled her intentions to withdraw all her troops from Afghanistan?

Or they thought the Taliban fighters and supporters would wishfully disappear into the thin air after the withdrawal of the US troops?

They were indeed waiting for Godot, unfortunately!

World leaders kept quiet. But, expectedly the Talibans overran all Afghan provinces one-by-one and eventually took over the reign of governments in Kabul and suddenly some people started thinking seriously and talking tough.

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, cried out and fumed that Afghanistan must never be allowed to become a “sanctuary of terrorism” again.

According to him, “This is key for international security and peace…we will do everything for Russia, the United States and Europe to cooperate efficiently as our interests are the same.

“Our actions will above all be aimed at fighting actively against Islamist terrorism in all its forms.

“Terrorist groups are present in Afghanistan and seek to profit from the instability.

“We must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows that would endanger the migrants and risk encouraging trafficking of all kinds…”

Macron, in a brief televised address from his summer residence, called on the United Nations Security Council to come up with a “reasonable and unified” response, describing the situation in Afghanistan as an “important challenge for our own security” and a “fight against a common enemy of terrorism.”

Interesting!

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the present leader of G7 suddenly remembered to rally the member-states to address the grave concerns in Afghanistan.

He promised to host a virtual meeting of G7 leaders to tackle the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and stepped up efforts to evacuate the UK nationals and others from Kabul.

Johnson, who earlier spoke to Macron on Monday, discussed various strategies on how they could work together in resolving political imbroglio in Afghanistan.

Shedding more lights on this, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Western partners would also look at imposing sanctions and withholding aid if the Taliban-led government failed to uphold human rights or allowed the country to become a base for terrorism again.

“It is not what we wanted. But we have to deal with a new reality, we’re making it clear with our partners, with all the means at our disposal, that we will hold the Taliban to account to its commitments to have a new start in Afghanistan,” he said.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had called for international unity on Afghanistan, in a briefing to an emergency session of the Security Council.

He challenged the Council to stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues, and that the country does not again become a platform for terrorism.

He said: “The following days will be pivotal. The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan.

“At this grave hour, I urge all parties, especially the Taliban, to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met.”

Like it is popularly said in Nigeria: una try gan ni!

Whether the strategic policy of the President Joe Biden administration to withdraw the US troops from Afganistan was well thought out or otherwise, the rationale behind unimaginable global silence and yet-to-be-defined conspiracy theor(ies) over current instabilities in this South Asian country would be unraveled one day.

So far, Afgan President, Ashraf Ghani, fled and the country’s so-called military prowess vamoosed in the face of the Taliban-led incursion! And Afganistan was thrown into momentous turmoil.

Sad!

For now, the Talibans, whether you choose to call them terrorists or otherwise, are in charge. Welcome to the pre-2001 era of Afghanistan where the Talibans cut the show. It is what it is.

Good Night Mohammed! Gani Fawehinmi’s First Son Dies at 52

Mohammed Fawehinmi, the first son of of late legal luminary and human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi, Wednesday died at the age of 52.

It was gathered that Mohammed reportedly complained of difficulty in breathing and he was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Confirming the news, veteran journalist and lawyer, Richard Akinnola, wrote on his Facebook page: “Mama called you  CHAIRMAN; Basirat called you ‘Egin Mo;’ you called me ‘Pa Richie.’ Who would be calling me Pa Richie again?

“You were strong-willed that you would be on your feet one day and l hoped it would happen. I was looking forward to the day you would rise from that wheel chair to see your tall, sinew frame and bouncing steps again.

“Before you were confined to a wheel chair after that terrible accident many years ago, you walked with springs in your feet; your heels hardly touched the floor.

“But yesterday (Wednesday, August 11), it all became a tall dream. I was shattered. My phones kept ringing, with people wanting to confirm if it was true.

“You fought a good fight. I’m going to miss our gists and banters.

“May God console Mama, Saheed, Basirat, Hafusat, Kudi, Mubarak and the rest of your sibling.

“Goodnight MO.”

Until his death, Mohammed was the Head of Mohammed Fawehinmi Chambers; Director, Nigerian Law Publications Limited; Director, Books Industries Nigeria Limited; and Director, Gani Fawehinmi Library & Gallery Limited.

A graduate of Business Administration from University of Lagos in 1991, Mohammed later obtained a law degree from University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom and was called to Nigerian Bar in 1998.

He had a lone car accident that confined him to wheelchair on September 23, 2003 while returning from his father’s law firm.

Mohammed was born on February 21, 1969. He had his primary school at Kotun Memorial School in Surulere, Lagos and his secondary education at the Federal Government College in Sokoto.

Welcome Back ‘Almighty’ Toll Gates! Henceforth, Cars to Pay N200; SUVs N300; Buses: Private N300; Commercial N150; Luxury N500; and Trucks N500

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration Wednesday approved new regulations and the return of toll gate operations across the federal roads and bridges in the country.

Under the latest regime, recommended Tolling Fees in the Approved Policy and Regulations range from N150 to N500.

The breakdown shows that henceforth Cars would pay N200; SUVs N300; Private Buses N300; Commercial Buses N150; while
Luxury Buses and Trucks would cough out N500.

This was one of the highlights of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting held Wednesday in Abuja and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the policy and accompanying regulations were developed after extensive consultations with various stakeholders within and outside the government, including transport unions like the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO); and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

According to him, “…a Willingness-To-Pay Survey was carried out, to arrive at the recommended pricing framework. The fees at existing tolled roads (Lagos and Abuja Airport Toll Plazas, and the Lekki and Ikoyi Toll Plazas) were also taken into consideration.”

Fashola explained that the Federal Highways Act vested the power to toll federal roads in the minister responsible for roads.

He, however, said the implementation of any tolling policy involved many processes and multiple agencies, reiterating the need for a multi-stakeholder collaboration.

The minister assured that tolling would not start “until the roads are motorable.”

He said: “This policy is a necessary condition for the implementation of tolling, and it is now for people to start getting familiar with it and for relevant stakeholders to start using it as a basis for their financial modeling and investment analysis, ahead of the eventual rollout of Toll Plazas.”

The new Federal Tolling Policy reads in part:

“It will be an Open Tolling system (just like the one that used to be in existence in the country), instead of a Closed Tolling system. (A Closed Tolling system means that you pay per distance traveled (‘distance-dependent’), while Open Tolling means you pay a fixed/flat rate that is not dependent on distance traveled).

“Only dual carriageways owned by the Federal Government will be eligible for tolling by the Federal Government. (Of the 35,000km of Federal Roads in existence in the country, only 5,050km are dual carriageway). Federal carriageways that are single, i.e. undivided highways will not be tolled. The only exceptions here will be some bridges, which are listed in the Policy.

“Toll Revenues will be used to maintain the roads and also to repay investors who have invested in building or completing a road under the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI).

“Electronic Toll Collection and Management systems will be prioritized over Cash systems.

“The following will be exempted from Tolling: Bicycles, Tricycles, Motorcycles, Diplomatic vehicles, Military and Paramilitary vehicles.

“The Tolling Policy is a broad National framework that will serve as a guide for States and Local Governments who seek to implement their own Tolling Policies. (As noted earlier, only about 16% of the total road network in Nigeria belongs to the Federal Government. States own/control roughly the same amount as the FG, while the rest – amounting to two-thirds are last-mile roads belonging to and under the responsibility of Local Governments).

“People who live around Toll Plaza Areas will benefit from what is called ‘Frequent User’ discounts, in line with global best practice.

“Recommended Tolling Fees in the Approved Policy and Regulations are as follows:
Cars: N200
SUVs: N300
Private Buses: N300
Commercial Buses: N150
Luxury Buses and Trucks: N500.”

Alleged Sexual Harassment…And Andrew Cuomo Becomes 9th New York Governor to Resign

“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to government.

“And therefore that is what I’ll do, because I work for you, and doing the right thing, is doing the right thing for you.

“In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.

“Thank you for letting me serve you. It has been the honor of a lifetime. God bless you.”

With this excerpt, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, Tuesday resigned after an inquiry Indicted him of sexually harassing multiple women.

Cuomo’s resignation, which would go into effect in 14 days, would save him from facing the Assembly impeachment process.

His Lieutenant, Kathy Hochul, would then assume office as New York Governor.

Cuomo becomes the ninth governor of New York to resign since 1817.

Of the eight New York governors that previously left office prematurely: six resigned to take another office and two resigned following allegations of misconduct.

In 1817, Daniel D. Tompkins (Democratic-Republican), who was first elected in 1807, resigned after winning election as Vice President of the United States on a ticket with James Monroe (Democratic-Republican) the previous year. John Tayler (Democratic-Republican) served the remaining four months of Tompkins’ term.

Also, in 1829, Martin Van Buren (D), who had been elected the previous year, resigned after two months in office after he was appointed U.S. Secretary of State by President Andrew Jackson (D). Enos T. Throop (D) succeeded Van Buren and won election to a full term in 1830.

In 1885, Grover Cleveland (D), who was first elected in 1882, resigned after winning election as President of the United States the previous year. David Bennett Hill (D) succeeded Cleveland and won election to two full terms in 1885 and 1888. Cleveland was defeated in his 1888 presidential re-election bid but won re-election in 1892, becoming the only president in U.S. history to serve two non-consecutive terms.

Besides, in 1910, Charles Evans Hughes (R), who was first elected in 1906, resigned after he was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President William Howard Taft (R). Horace White (R) served the remaining three months of Hughes’ gubernatorial term. Hughes served on the Court until 1916 and was appointed to the Court a second time as Chief Justice, serving from 1930 to 1941.

In 1913, William Sulzer (D), who was elected the previous year, resigned after impeachment proceedings were opened against him stemming from allegations that he had committed campaign finance fraud. Martin H. Glynn (D) succeeded him.

And in 1942, Herbert H. Lehman (D), who was first elected in 1932, resigned after he was appointed as director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations. Charles Poletti (D) served the remaining month of Lehman’s term.

In 1973, Nelson Rockefeller (R), who was first elected in 1958, resigned after he was nominated as Vice President of the United States by President Gerald Ford (R). Malcolm Wilson (R) succeeded him.

And finally, in 2008, Eliot Spitzer (D), who was elected in 2006, resigned amid allegations of misconduct. David Paterson (D) succeeded him.

Assembled by LAWMA Technicians in Conjunction with Dangote Sinotruk, Lagos Redefines Waste Evacuation with 102 Compactors and 100 Bins

The quest for a cleaner and healthier environment in Lagos State got a boost on Wednesday das the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration unveiled 102 units of brand new locally assembled compactor trucks and 100 units of double dino waste bins.

The trucks and bins were specially designed according to the requirements and peculiarities of Lagos State with a view to sustain clearing of waste from generating points to transfer-loading stations.

Assembled by the technicians of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) in conjunction with Dangote Sinotruk Manufacturing firm, the trucks comprised 30 units of 12-cubic meter trucks, 60 units of 24-cubic meter trucks and 12 hook loaders.

They were fabricated to address the problem of liquids dripping from waste trucks – the snag synonymous with second-hand trucks mostly use by Private Sector Participants (PSP) operators.

The new trucks were also fitted with sitting compartments for waste collection assistants to prohibit hanging on the trucks.

Each truck has three years warranty and maintenance package.

While the new trucks would be distributed across the four operational districts of LAWMA, the double dino waste bins would be stationed at muster points across major markets.

The new trucks and bins are expected to complement more than 850 PSP compactor trucks to enhance service delivery in under-served communities across the Centre of Excellence.

Inaugurating the new trucks and bins, Sanwo-Olu said the new equipment were not being deployed to edge PSP operators out of the business. Rather, he explained that the compactors would make trips only to public places and major roads to take waste, while PSP operators would continue with their traditional commercial and residential waste collections.

“Today, we are unveiling new equipment that will enable LAWMA to effectively fulfil its mandate. This is testament to our administration’s determination to secure the public and environmental health of the state, as well as to improve the aesthetic value of the environment in line with Health and Environment pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda.

“This intervention represents one of the largest singular investments ever in the waste management sector in Lagos. We are confident that the addition of these new assets to our existing ones will quickly bring about visible improvements in waste evacuation and reduce the incidence of blackspots that blight our roads and clog our drains,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu also used the occasion to formally launch a mobile app, CitiMonitor, which would enable Lagosians to monitor and report any environmental infraction, including indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

Also speaking at the event, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, described the unveiling of the new trucks and bins as massive intervention in waste management.

According to him, “This is a remarkable accomplishment that will enhance the cleanliness and adequate sanitisation. It is part of our resolve towards helping to build the capacity of some of the private investors in the waste management value chain.

“The real celebration would be when we look back in a few months from now and can see commensurate improvement in the waste management fortunes of Lagos State.”