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EFCC: Farida Waziri is a liar – Jonathan

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EFCC: Farida Waziri is a liar - Jonathan

Former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has said that the former Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri is a liar for saying that she was fired from office because of her probe of some oil racketeers.

But the former President said Waziri was sacked based on Nigeria’s interest and global standing.

A statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, Media Adviser to Jonathan on Monday and made available to The Witness said the former president read media reports credited to Waziri, in which she claimed in her new book that she was removed from because of her probe of some oil racketeers.

“We thought we had dealt with this matter, after promptly debunking similar statements she made in the past. In 2017 when she claimed that she lost her job because she “refused to back down from the probe of one of the masterminds of the fuel subsidy scam”, we quickly refuted and clarified the claim for the records, and even challenged her to name the individual or company in question.

“We had expected that a book from Mrs. Farida, coming years after the claim was first made, should have towed the path of honour by telling the truth for the benefit of history. Unfortunately, that still didn’t happen. It will be recalled that after assuming office as President on May 6, 2010, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan decided to retain Mrs. Waziri, who was appointed by his predecessor, late President Umaru Yar’Adua, as the head of the elite anti-crime agency.

“Despite obvious disenchantment from many Nigerians and mounting international pressure against Mrs. Waziri’s continued stay in office, the former President stood by her, in line with his conviction that every public officer should first be given the opportunity to deliver on his or her mandate.

“It must be pointed out that former President Jonathan had no personal issues with Mrs. Waziri. The former President had to eventually let her go in the national interest. Her removal therefore has a lot to do with reasons relating to Nigeria’s interest and global standing which details Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is obliged to keep as state secret in our common national interest. It is very important to note that when dealing with the interest of the nation and the performance of the functions of a public office, a determined leader cannot prioritise the interest of an individual,” the statement said.

According to the statement, it therefore bore repeating here that Waziri’s removal as chairperson of EFCC had absolutely nothing to do with her purported refusal to desist from probing any oil individual, saying this claim sounded rather superficial and contradicted available evidence of the then government’s genuine efforts to combat oil subsidy racketeering.

The statement said it was noteworthy that throughout Jonathan’s tenure, he made practical efforts to combat the alleged oil cabals, including directing the stoppage of further payment of fuel subsidy claims to oil importers, and the setting up of the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led committee which had high level representation from all the intelligence agencies, including the EFCC, with a mandate to thoroughly investigate the scandals in the industry.

“The choice of Aig-Aigboje, a man widely acclaimed for his dependability, as leader of the committee, was a clear demonstration that the President had no personal interest in the matter. Those who choose to continue to rue, like Mrs. Waziri, over the loss of public positions should realise that such a position, which is a public trust, is not an entitlement.

“They are usually given to individuals to provide service to the people. Public officers should therefore see such transitions as their own personal sacrifice to the nation. It is in this light that Mrs. Farida Waziri should view her removal from office. It was nothing personal. It was everything patriotic,” the statement stated.

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months’ suspension

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months' suspension

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who is the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state, has denied that he was suspended for six months by the state’s traditional rulers’ council.

The Witness had reported earlier that the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state was suspended for claims of dragging the council’s name into disrepute.

It was gathered that the state council at its emergency meeting held at the Finance Building at the State Secretariat on Friday, February 21, banned the Oluwo from attending its meetings and also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun to further investigate the matter.

Oba Wahab Adedotun, the Orangun of Ila, in his address to reporters after the meeting, said the decision was not taken as a result of the alleged fight between the Oluwo and Agbowu but due to his conduct to other traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alake of Egbaland and the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The Oluwo was alleged to have punched a fellow monarch, the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikurulahi Akinropo during a peace meeting at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, Bashir Makama at his office in the state on the dispute between the monarch and members of Iwo traditional rulers council.

Reacting to the report of his suspension, the Oluwo said it is unprofessional of the respected Osun State traditional council meeting to make such pronouncement without the approval of the state government.

Oba Akanbi said the argument for the suspension was out of context, saying the reason the emergency meeting was summoned by the council was not addressed and that he was surprised to note that his purported suspension for his conduct against certain traditional rulers is strange to the traditional institution book of history and will never stand.

The statement reads as thus; “I was never suspended. The suspension reported by the media is just from the monthly Osun State Traditional Council meeting which is subject to the approval of the state government.

“It is sad to note that Osun State traditional council could be so political. They said I was rude to Alake, Ooni and Alaafin. And the same Ooni presided over the same meeting that purportedly pronounced my suspension from the Osun State traditional council meeting.

“If this should stand, many monarchs will not be encouraged to regard the council. It is just an audio pronouncement and an insult to the state government without consultation by the council

“We were invited to address the allegation that I punched another Oba. The AIG and the government officials presence came to the meeting as witnesses and gave account that I didn’t beat any Oba.

“Maybe because the truth from the witnesses didn’t go with their expectation, they hatched unfounded excuse to make an audio suspension”

“It is pure political and there are many things attached but we keep mute to see how far this will stand,” the statement added.

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THE NEWS

Oluwo of Iwo suspended for 6 months

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Oluwo of Iwo fumes over 6 months' suspension

Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who is the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state, has been suspended for six months by the state’s traditional rulers’ council.

The Witness reports that the traditional ruler of Iwo kingdom in Osun state was suspended for claims of dragging the council’s name into disrepute.

It was gathered that the state council at its emergency meeting held at the Finance Building at the State Secretariat on Friday, February 21, banned the Oluwo from attending its meetings and also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun to further investigate the matter.

Oba Wahab Adedotun, the Orangun of Ila, in his address to reporters after the meeting, said the decision was not taken as a result of the alleged fight between the Oluwo and Agbowu but due to his conduct to other traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alake of Egbaland and the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The Oluwo was alleged to have punched a fellow monarch, the Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikurulahi Akinropo during a peace meeting at the instance of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, Bashir Makama at his office in the state on the dispute between the monarch and members of Iwo traditional rulers council.

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Lagos govt, NTDC partner to strengthen tourism

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf has said that the state government was prepared to collaborate with the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to strengthen tourism in the state and in Nigeria.

Speaking during a visit to the Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker aka Folly Coker in Abuja on Wednesday, Akinbile-Yusuf said that her ministry would take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by NTDC to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa.

“This collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to further market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and the world.

“Lagos State is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts and tourism development.

“Lagos is a preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment,’’ she said.

Reacting, Mr Folorunsho Coker called on state governments to collaborate with Federal Government in the joint efforts to boost tourism in their localities.

He said that the visit was necessitated by the need for states to collaborate with the Federal Government to effectively tap into tourism potential in their localities.

The Director General urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos in its rapprochement towards the Federal Government for mutual benefits of both levels of government.

“When the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government come together on a project, success is guaranteed. It is like saying when both parties clap, the whole of Africa will hear.

“Tourism has huge revenue generating potential and it is good for government at all levels to come together and tap optimum benefits of these potential,’’ Coker said.

He urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos State by mapping out collaborative strategies with the federal government to develop tourism and other sectors of the economy.

Akinbile-Yusuf was accompanied on the visit by Mr Babatubnde Olaide-Mesewaku, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and other top officials of the ministry.

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