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2021 Democracy Day: President Buhari Muhammadu’s Full Speech

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday morning, addressed Nigerians to mark the 2021 Democracy Day celebration. The speech reads in full:

 

“I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day. It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.

“As with all democracies we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.

“In the last two years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.

“The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

“Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.

“Once again, I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.

“I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.

Nigerian Army will win all battles, we’re loyal to Buhari – Gen Yahaya

“I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.

“Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

Fellow Nigerians,

“When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with.

“We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

“Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.

“We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.

“We are, at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.

“Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.

“In the Agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23billion in 2014 to US$0.59billion by the end of 2018.

“Rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually.

“This initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava. Government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

“Several other initiatives, namely AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.

“In the manufacturing sector the CBN – BOI N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.

“The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90% to the GDP growth in Q1 2021.

“Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government.

“My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part. We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.

“Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.

“I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.

“As at the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions. I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.

“We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Fellow Nigerians,

“Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.

“I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.

“The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations.

“We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian. Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.

“My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public-Private-Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy. These four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.

“We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years. Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.

“As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector.

Dear Nigerians,

” I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

“In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.

“I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.

“In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.

“Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns. You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro-active measures put in place. Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed.

“We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods.

“During the pandemic, we disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID.

“At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation.

“In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.

Fellow Nigerians,

“When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

“As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

“However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

“My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.

“In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.

“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.

“As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.

“Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger. The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.

“As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s Corporate existence.

“In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.

“I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.

“My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.

“I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.

“Happy Democracy Day! God Bless us All, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

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Court Restrains DSS, AGF From Arresting Sunday Igboho, Blocking His Bank Accounts

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An Oyo State High Court has granted an ex-parte motion stopping the Department of State Security and Attorney General of the Federation from arresting Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

The court also restrained DSS and AGF from blocking bank accounts of the Yoruba rights activist.

Justice Akintola gave the order following an ex-parte motion moved by his lawyer, Yomi Aliu (SAN), at the court on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists after the court proceedings, Mr Aliu said, “The court has ordered that he must not be arrested, intimidated, harassed, detained, or killed. The court also said that his account should not be blocked,” Yomi Aliu said.

“The court has proved itself as the defender of the masses. The court has granted permission for him to exercise his fundamental human right of free movement.

“He can now walk freely as a Nigerian and his house must not be attacked. AGF is also a party in this case. I m sure he will obey this judgment. He is a senior advocate. I urge the government to be law-abiding,” he added.

Igboho had through his counsel, Chief Yomi Aliyyu ( SAN), filed an application before the court asking for N5bn damages for the destruction of his cars and residence in Ibadan during July 1 raid on his residence by the Department of State Services.

He also asked the court to stop the Attorney General of the Federation, DSS and other security agencies from arresting him or infringing on his fundamental human rights.

Igboho had prayed for, “An order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, privies and associates in other security forces and/or anybody acting on their behalf and/or instructions from arresting, detaining, molesting, harassing and/or in any way interfering with his to personal liberty, freedom of movement of Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, enjoyment of his property without fear of invasion of his home by the respondents and their agents,” among others.

The court order comes the same day when the DSS produced all 12 detained aides of Mr Igboho before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The apprehended aides have been accused of stockpiling arms to cause chaos in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr. Igboho is now being tried by the Benin court on fresh charges bordering on illegal migration, dubious connivance with immigration officers, and an attempt to cause civil unrest.

The court on July 28 granted him access to medical care and ordered that he be transferred to another detention facility.

Igboho and his wife were arrested in Cotonou on July 19, while they tried to catch a flight to Germany.

The court, on Thursday, ordered his wife’s release and returned him to police custody.

The court adjourned the suit until August 18.

 

 

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Hushpuppi: Governor Zulum Speaks On Alleged Visit To Abba Kyari’s Residence

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, has issued clarification regarding a viral video being used to claim he and his predecessor, Shettima, visited Abba Kyari at his residence.

Gov. Zulum said he does not know the residence of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and has never visited him.

The governor said the video was recorded at Senator Shettima’s residence during an empathy visit.

Kyari was recently suspended by the Nigeria Police over his alleged involvement in Hushpuppi’s fraud saga.

However, a video emerged on Monday on social media, alleging that Governor Zulum and his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima had visited DCP Kyari at his residence over the incident.

But Malam Isa Gusau, spokesman of the Borno governor on Wednesday, said it was an old video being recirculated by some mischief makers to rubbish the governor and his predecessor, Senator Shettima.

According to Gusau, the video in circulation was rather an event, which occurred on June 30, 2021, long before the indictment of the embattled DCP Abba Kyari by FBI in the case of Hushpuppi.

Explaining further, Gusau said, that video was when Shettima returned to the country after being rumoured to have died in the United Kingdom where he went to spend holidays with his families.

He said, “The same video falls into the hands of mischief makers who decided to use it for their selfish gains. I decided to make this clarification because Abba Kyari, who promised to issue the clarification himself, did not do so, more than four hours after making the promise.

“A video in circulation was recorded by some associates of Abba Kyari at the residence of Senator Kashim Shettima in Abuja on June 30, 2021, when Abba Kyari paid an empathy visit to Shettima following the mischievous circulation of rumours that the Senator had died in the UK.

“Kyari himself had shared the same video on his verified Facebook wall on June 30, shortly after he visited Shettima.

” Kyari who hails from Borno State and in Shettima’s constituency visited the former Governor to wish him well like many others had visited the Senator during the time,” he said.

Gusau released a video of some sympathizers who had also visited the Senator the same period, which showed the senator receiving them in his house, the same place being described as Abba Kyari’s house.

Gusau also pointed observers to take note of the TV behind Zulum and Abba Kyari with a CNN breaking news on the release of American Comedian actor, Bill Cosby, which, as can be verified by anyone online, happened on June 30, 2021.

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DSS Releases 5 Buhari-Must-Go Protesters Arrested At Dunamis Church

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#FreeDunamis5: The courageous young people (#Dunamis5) illegally detained by Buhari’s tyrannical regime were just released from detention by the lawless Nigerian secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) after 30 days in detention because they wore #BuhariMustGo Tshirts to Dunamis Church service in Abuja on July 4 2021.

We want to appreciate everyone who stood firmly by these young men and the #Revolutionnow movement during their unjust incarceration-torture and dehumanisation in the hands of Dr. Paul Enenche’s church security before they were handed over to the DSS.

The lawsuit in pursuit of justice for the five revolutionaries will continue at the Federal High Court and administrative sanctions will be pursued against the Magistrate that ignored a superior court order ordering their release as well as the three DSS lawyers who flagrantly ignored the higher court orders to arraign them before the Magistrate.

Their lawyers will also pursue a contempt of court proceeding against the DG of DSS, Yusuf Bichi Mogaji in coming days. Special thanks to the lead lawyer in the case, Barrister Tope Tomekun and his team for a marvellous job challenging the authoritarian regime relentlessly!

 

 

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