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There’s war in Buhari’s house – PDP *Keyamo should resign rather attack President



How could a Minister appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari come on open air to disagree with his policies, without resigning if not a function of total confusion and anarchy at the seat of power?

This was the reading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), gave to the appearance of Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, on Channels Television on Friday, where he all but condemned the alleged disobedience of the Supreme Court order of the President, regarding the currency swap policy of the Federla Government.

A guest on The 2003 Verdict, a special programme on Channels Television, Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), told his host that the President, who appointed him to office, might have taken his the wrong step due to bad advice, adding that the right thing to do was to obey the apex court in totality.

The Minister, also the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), said: “Let me tell you, first of all, my ultimate loyalty lies with my profession. As a member of the Inner Bar, I was first of all a Senior Advocate, before I was headhunted to come and serve in public office. So, my primary loyalty is to my profession. So, at any point in time, because of posterity, I must speak the truth. I must, because the law does not change. It remains forever.

“I have also vowed, as a member of cabinet and also a Senior Advocate, to uphold and defend the tenets of our constitution at all times. Those are my primary loyalties, to the constitution. So, at any point of time, I’ll express my views. It is only the parliarmentary system that runs collective responsibility. Our presidential system does not run a collective responsibility, where every member of the cabinet is expected to defend every single policy, especially when it did not come to cabinet.”

Regarding how the President, erred, he said: “My view is that the President acted honestly, without the intention to slight the Supreme Court, but he acted on wrong advice. I did not give the advice. It’s not my responsibility. I don’t know who gave that advice. I want to say this openly, because by tomorrow people would ask me where I stood at this time.

“So, I think the President did not, because in his speech, he acknowledged that there were certain matters in court. So, he thought he was playing safe by saying, okay, before you decide this matter in court, may I provide some middle-ground – the country is burning, there’s riot everywhere, so let me just provide some succour to the people, whilst acknowledging that the matters were in court.

“Now, if I were to advise him, would have advised differently. I did not advise him. I don’t know who advised him.

“I would have advised him to comply strictly with the terms of the orders of the Supreme Court, which is that all the notes should circulate for now. All the notes! All the notes should circulate side by side with the new notes for now. That’s the order of the Supreme Court.

“By the virtue of our constitution, all authorities in Nigeria, must obey orders of the Supreme Court. Anything to the contrary is a descent to anarchy and the day we begin to disobey the orders of the Supreme Court, that is an invitation to other kinds of interventions in our democracy. The judiciary, the Supreme Court is the last bastion to defend of our democracy. So, I’ll not sit here as a member of the Inner Bar and desecrate our Supreme Court.”

But in a quick riposte, the PDP, said instead of castigating the President openly, the honorable step for him to take, was to resign his position in protest, adding that his obvious rebellion, was indicative of the discordant tunes not only in the ruling party, but even in the government of Buhari.

Daniel Bwala, spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PDP-PCC), conveying the sentiments of the party, said on the same programme shortly after the Minister spoke that that his action was quite strange, because he was supposed to defend all the actions and pronouncements of the President, who appointed him.

His words: “Festus Keyamo is minister of the republic and a member of the cabinet in the government of the APC in which Buhari presides as the President. The constitution says that executive power of the federation, lies in the President, of which he acts directly or through the Vice President or the Ministers of the federation or other agents of the federation – meaning that every act of Buhari is the same act of the Minister that came here to speak today. Any decision of Buhari, is the decision of the Minister that came to you today.

In a normal clime, where there are men of honour, if you are not comfortable with the decisions, because you say you’re primarily devoted to your profession, honourable men, what they do is to resign from the cabinet, that is resign in protest so that the government will know that they will not be there in the cabinet to support the violation of court order.


Speak now! Catholic priests want Kaduna gov’s reaction to El-Rufai’s Islamisation comments



Uba Sani, must either officially distance himself or affirm the declaration of his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai that Muslim-Muslim executive branch leadership, have come to stay or stand up to denounce it immediately.

These were the demands from Catholic priests in parts of the North, who as they expressed disgust at the statement, which showed the former governor captured in a video, which went viral last week, practically celebrating the continuation of an arrangement, which he first introduced in 2019, and which has now been sustained with the new governor having a Muslim deputy.

Clerics from Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria chapters of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), in a public letter to Sani, urged him to declare his position on what they described as political supremacism in Kaduna state and Nigeria, as part of their reactions to the video, which has raised a lot of dust.

El-Rufai, who in his speech to Muslim clerics in the state, had recounted how after instituting an all-Muslim executive in the state himself and made it permanent in the state, the arrangement was pushed through at the national level with the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, as President and Vice President, respectively on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Informing that while Nigerians were actually believed that religion was not the issue in pushing through with the ticket, when it was in fact the case, the former Governor, who spoke in Hausa, declared that the arrangement had come to stay and would last for the next 20 years at the initial stage after Tinubu, adding that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had been defeated by the outcome.

But an apparently thoroughly upset Catholic priests, in an open letter on Thursday, said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former state governor who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regard to the commotions Mallam El-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state,” the letter reads.

“We write you today because we are responsible stakeholders in the affairs of our beloved state with our own congregations and followers. Mr governor, we do not intend to conclude that you are in agreement with all the content of the former governor’s utterances, as you have given no explicit reason to suggest so (yet), even though you were present at the occasion! We therefore earnestly expect your direct official reaction to the utterances of your predecessor in office.”

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Buhari spent more than $19billion on revamping four refineries without result – Nasarawa gov



Barely two weeks after his exit, the records of former President Muhammadu Buhari, have come to to the fore with one of them indicating a damning verdict, as he was said to have sunk a whopping $19billion in trying to rehabilitate the nation’s four refineries, without anything to show for it.

Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nassarawa State, who used the former President abysmal failure to make a case for supporting the removal on petroleum products, compared the huge wastage to the amount Dangote refinery, cost to give Nigeria a facility with the single chain production in the world.

None of Nigeria’s four refineries, located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri is currently operational despite the huge amount sunk to resuscitate them, most of the funds borrowed from foreign lending agencies, the latest being the securing of $1.5million loan for that of Port Harcourt.

Bemoaning the situation, the governor, said: “Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined.”

A guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programm of Channels Television on Thursday, Sule, pinned the payments of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries, adding: “From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time, there was zero subsidy.

“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries; more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”

The Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, which took off in 2017, drew Nigerians and global personalities in different fields of life, including four African Presidents at its commissioning on May 22, 2023 by Buhari.

Sule, who also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components, added: “The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery. The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.

“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad. The ideal resolve would have been to allocate the major funds to one of the refining states to fix it totally before allocating the remainder to the other states.

“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well.”

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Japan goes tough on asylum seekers, enacts new law to check abuse



Despite desperate attempts to block it, including a ruckus, which broke out in parliament Japan went ahead on Friday to enact an immigration law that would see the government deporting failed asylum seekers, even with members of civil society, joining in the pushback.

The law gives refugees only three chances to try after which they would face deportation, unlike before when applicants could stay in Japan during the decision process, regardless of the number of attempts they made to secure refugee status, reports, say.

The revised law will “protect those who must be protected while strictly dealing with people who have violated rules. There are many people who misuse the application system to avoid deportation,” Justice Minister Ken Saito, was quoted as saying, adding that this had persisted even when such people were not fleeing danger or persecution.

Last year, Japan accepted just 202 refugees out of some 12,500 applicants, and separately allowed 1,760 people to remain in the country due to “humanitarian considerations,” including more than 2,400 evacuees from Ukraine under a different framework.

Activists staged rallies against the revised law, but a protest from the opposition bloc in parliament was voted down by the ruling coalition, which holds a commanding majority.

“It is intolerable to deport people, even if they have criminal records, to countries that may violate their human rights” and where “their life and freedom would be in danger”, the Tokyo Bar Association said this week.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party says the revisions will bring better access to medical care and accommodation options for people whose asylum applications are pending.

Japan’s immigration detention conditions have been under scrutiny since the 2021 death of Wishma Sandamali, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Sandamali was not an asylum seeker but had been held for overstaying her visa after seeking police protection, reportedly to escape an abusive relationship.

Her family are seeking compensation of more than $1 million from the government over her death.

Sandamali reportedly complained repeatedly of stomach pain and other symptoms, and campaigners allege she received inadequate medical care.

Controversy and political pressure over the incident led ruling lawmakers to drop a push to enact similar legal changes to immigration rules two years ago.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer for Sandamali’s family, told AFP on Thursday that the revised bill was “equivalent to having a button to execute those who seek refuge by deporting them”.

“Japan’s refugee recognition system is not working,” he said, with officials turning down applications quickly, sometimes without face-to-face interviews.

Amnesty International also said in March that Japan should scrap the proposed revision to immigration laws, calling the country’s detention policies “harsh” and “repressive.”

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