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Op Ed

The secret diary of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo



Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria

If Buhari had supported me, I would have been the presidential candidate of the APC.

This morning, after my praise and worship and morning prayers, I scanned through online newspapers. As usual, I read both the local and the international news headlines. Apart from the election in Kenya, the other headline that caught my attention was the New York Times’ story about how General Mark Milley, President Trump’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, almost resigned. According to the newspaper, he wrote a resignation letter that was biting. It made me have a flashback. I remembered my resignation letter, which, just like General Milley, I did not submit.

General Milley wrote his resignation letter days following the killing of George Floyd and the protest that followed. What triggered him was the event of June 1, 2020, when Trump took him and other top government officials, like the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr and others, on a walk from the White House to St. John’s Church in Washington DC. As part of the walk, SSS deployed security personnel to clear people protesting the death of George Floyd along the path. In his letter, General Milley told Trump that he ruined the international order and caused damage to America abroad. He reminded Trump that the Greatest Generation fought a war against tyrannies, dictatorships, fascism, and Nazism, that killed over 150 million people to put in place that order.

From the extract the paper published, it was a fascinating letter of resignation. CNN said that General Milley was set to excoriate Trump. My resignation letter had gone a step more than denouncing Buhari and blaming him for destroying what remained of Nigeria’s unity, for which millions died in the war to keep Nigeria one. I laid bare how Buhari weaponized religion, ethnicity and nepotism to blow up the remaining guardrails that separated the veins of the nation from hordes of people drunk in ignorance and wallowing in poverty of the minds.

I made predictions, or if you like, prophecies, too. And so far, some of my prophesies in that letter have already started to manifest. Only now, when I release the letter with my memoir, some of you would think I wrote it in hindsight. Thank God I mailed two copies of the letter to two of my most trusted confidants. I may even show the different drafts and editing my letter went through in the memoir.

Here is General Milley in his own words in that resignation letter. “It’s now obvious to me that you don’t understand that world. You don’t understand what the war was all about. In fact, you subscribe to many of the principles that we fought against. And I cannot be a party to that. It is with deep regret that I hereby submit my letter of resignation.”

I had to pause reading General Milley’s letter to attend to the love of my life. She came into my study to show me the viral clip of Peter Obi’s visit to Dunamis Church.

“This could have been you,” she said.

I wanted to say, “Even you.” But I swallowed the words. She apparently did not know how many people had sent that same clip to me in the last few days. I asked Laolu if he thought this could have been me. He was coy, as usual. He shrugged and said, “God knows best.” I looked at him suspiciously. He recovered and rephrased his sentence, saying, “God’s time is always the best.”

I will get to all that in this first entry into my Secret Diary. But first, let me finish the story of Milley’s resignation letter because it is connected to my letter and why I have decided to keep this secret diary.

I am writing this on a password-protected diary website. Even the love of my life does not know the password. Suppose the next president of Nigeria sends the EFCC to search my home and break into my safe in search of documents connecting me to Tunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Internal Revenue Service that Buhari fired in 2019; they won’t see this secret diary. And I know one of the current presidential candidates that won’t wait to do to me what the FBI did to former U.S. President Donald Trump yesterday.

So, General Milley did not submit his resignation letter after consulting prominent military leaders like Gen. James Dubik and former secretary of defence and CIA chief Robert Gates.

I was shocked at the similarities of Milley’s predicament to mine. I wrote my resignation letter after the uproar that followed my firing of the Department of State Services director-general in August of 2018. Nigerians have forgotten the DSS siege of the National Assembly that prompted me to fire the man. As acting president, I ensured that we maintained law and order in Nigeria under my watch. I was not going to compromise such an essential part of my job. Also, it was one thing to sideline and even insult me when I was only the Vice President, but such behaviour was unacceptable to me as acting president. I had to make that very clear.

To have that decision to fire Lawal Daura questioned, to have it considered for possible reversal, to have some people who think they own the country use it as a basis to question my loyalty to the president, to have them instigate my isolation and emasculation, was all that I needed to pen my resignation. In my letter, which you will read in my memoir, I pointed out incredible ways I had been loyal to the president. For example, when he was sick in London, again and again, against every fabric of my being, I lied to the Nigerian people that the president was “hale and hearty.” It was loyalty. But the reward I got was to be disrespected and ostracized more than ever.

After broad consultation, I did not submit the resignation letter that I wrote. Though now, I wonder if those people who advised me were honest. I wonder if they were not moles of the people who did not want me to be president. I was leaning on leaving. If I had done that, I believe I would have been in Peter Obi’s position today.

Unlike Milley, I had another incident down the road that compelled me to update the letter. And I did. But once again, I failed to submit it. You will read all about that and the updated letter in my memoir. A part of me now wished that I did tender the letter. It would have made all the difference if I had done so, either the first or second time. It was not that some people did not advise me to do so. Many prominent people did. Even knuckleheads like Dr. Damages, I saw him running his mouth everywhere. They were talking about how I needed to separate myself from Buhari’s government if I wanted to show that I disapproved of what was happening within the administration.

But I firmly believed that the dividend of loyalty superseded all other contingencies. I underestimated the power of vengeful older men who strode Nigeria’s corridors of power. I trusted God, who took me this far to finish the job that I believed he had handpicked me to accomplish for the country. Unfortunately, God had a different idea in the end. I say so because I have prayed hard and fasted to reach this mild conclusion. I had resisted the temptation to say that God failed me. I was sure that God would turn the mocked mere commissioner into the president of Nigeria. Maybe, what I missed was God’s signal to resign. Maybe.

I remember all this because I had received over a dozen times the clip of what transpired when Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labor Party, visited Dunamis church in Abuja. When I saw him with Pastor Paul Enenche, I felt it could have been me if only I had resigned. It could have been me if I had read the handwriting on the wall. It could have been me if only I had been bold. It could have been me if only I had not confused loyalty to a man with loyalty to my country and God. It could have been me if only I had understood all these years of being a pastor and following in the footsteps of my Daddy GO that God had not stopped treating us like his sheep. He would take us to the pond but would not force us to drink. 

These are the two things that have prompted me to start this diary. In the days to come, as I recuperate from leg surgery done in Nigeria by excellent Nigerian doctors, I will have enough time to reflect on the events of the last few months. In my remaining months as the Vice President, I will be putting my thoughts on paper. I will use some of these reflections in my memoir when this is over. I already have a title for it: “God is not mocked” with the sub-title, “Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s years as Buhari’s Vice.” While going through my squashed presidential dream grieving process, I considered some controversial titles. 

At one point, I blasphemously thought of calling it “Why I am disappointed in God.” Because I prayed hard… and my people also prayed. There was a time when I wanted to incinerate everything. Then, the title running around in my head was “No brotherhood in a zoo.” But thank God, cool heads have prevailed. But I can assure you that I will not bite my tongue when I finally put pen to paper. I have had enough of sitting in this office and crushing my testicles.

Watching Kenyans vote and the president’s candidate Raila Odinga on the road to victory even though he is from the opposition party, I got angry again. Undoubtedly, if Buhari had supported me, I would have been the presidential candidate of the APC. But he didn’t. And because of that, a grossly infirmed man is leading our party. Lurking behind him is a hyena, waiting to take over. When he does take over from our man with a fake name, fake age, fake state of origin, or fake school, he would be lenient to our Igbo brothers and sisters but not to my Christian family. 

For those who accused me of betrayal, I will address you all, too. Real betrayal would have if I had revealed what I knew about Alpha Beta and some under-the-radar, never disclosed deals that happened while I was in Lagos. There is a reason why people like Babatunde Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode, Rauf Aregbeshola, and I purse our lips, skin our smiles, and wrap our winks when you see us around the man.

Even though I still feel disappointed in myself, my advisers, and others that I will name in my memoir, I sincerely believe my Father in the Lord when he said to me days after the APC’s primary, “God is not done with you.”

Looking at this election season, I can see a possible outcome and permutation that will have the whole country begging me to come and take over in 2027. Forget Peter Obi and his dance in the market square. The big moment has not eluded me. It has only been postponed.

Alright now, I have to stop here. The love of my life is coming over for us to take our evening walk. I can hear her ever-soft footsteps that serenade my soul.

Source: Gistcore

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Op Ed

Our Mandate Is To Collect Taxes, Not To Grant Tax Waivers To Taxpayers – FIRS



FIRS, Mohammed Nami

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami has disclosed that the mandate of the Service is to collect taxes that are due to the federation and the Federal Government not to grant tax waivers to any taxpayer in the country.

Nami stated this in a swift reaction to the news making the rounds that some companies among them Dangote Sinotruck Limited, Lafarge, Honeywell, etc had been granted tax waiver on pioneer status between 2019 and 2021 in the sum of N16 trillion by the FIRS and the other Federal Government agencies. In his reaction, Nami stated that “FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or even implementing tax waivers to investors in Nigeria. There are relevant agencies of government that are charged with such responsibility.”

He, however, noted that the Service is not unmindful of the objectives of granting tax waivers to investors, which he said include “helping to grow local companies, stimulate economic growth, and earn investors’ confidence”. He also stated that he is “confident that the companies which are now enjoying tax breaks will eventually exit shortly and begin to pay taxes to the Federal Government as is currently being done by the companies that have equally enjoyed such tax breaks in the past and are now paying taxes in hundreds of billions of naira. Such companies will continue to pay taxes to the government so long as they remain in business.”

Read Also: Nami: Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, One of the Greate

The FIRS Executive Chairman also clarified that “the companies enjoying the Pioneer Status will be exempted from paying only the Direct Taxes (eg CIT, EDT) from their profits but will continue to act as agents of collecting and remitting Indirect Taxes (eg VAT, WHT) in the ordinary course of their operations”.

He concluded the statement by emphasising that he remains focused on the task of achieving the mandate of the Service which is to assess, collect, and account for taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government. This task, he noted, “is challenging, more so at this time of global economic disruption occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war and the Pandemic. However, the Management is steadfast in achieving the target set for it by the Federal Government. For instance, last year the Service surpassed its target by collecting an unprecedented amount of N6.4 trillion in taxes. So far this year, the Service is poised to perform even better than its record for last year.”

He then called on the stakeholders to join hands with him to grow the nation’s economy.

Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola
Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS
Media & Communication
September 19, 2022

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Op Ed

Oscar Onyeama – We Need a Closure



Oscar Onyeama

I have read the Nairametrics report one more time. It was damning and damaging. It contained information that was not only anmoying but iritating.

A disgraceful loss position, a humiliating comparison with FMDQ a recent venture and a shameful expense schedule showing billions spent on only about 200 people.

A further look at the report shows that only 15% of its staff account for about 70% of the bilions spent on staff expenses

My people, I am very angry this morning. I have tried to hold back folloing an approach from the NGX but i have come to the realisation that this is bigger than any personal relationahip I might have with certain individuals at the Exchange.

Read Also: NGX: Stock Market Inclines By 16.21% In First Quarter

If the Nairametrics report is anything to go by and I have not seen any official rebutal by the NGX, then what we are witnessing here is a brutal rape of the Institution by its leaders.

This is all the more annoying when we see a weakening of Corporate Governance leading to Oscar’s almost 11 year stay at the exchange without a recurrent growth in value or any other developmental indices.

We are expcetd to take this at the National level at least those ones have the monopoly of institutional violence, are we expected to take this one too from bald headed Oscar and his co travellers?

The market has always been docile to regulatory trauncy. For fear of penalties, players keep quiet and watch their legacy being bastardised.

Read Also: Oscar Onyema Resigns As NGX Non-Executive Director

Oscar and crew are pefecting plans of increasong their stake thru a novel and idiotic special placement that would see them increase their holdings from the paltry 3% to only God knows what.

Let me sound it very clearly that in the next 5 days, I will publicly ask once again for his resignation. I know he will not listen but it will still not stop me from putting my own voice on record.

This continous pillage must stop and it must stop immediately. The NGX is a public firm with Nigerians holding critical stakes and as such must not be run by drunken sailors who only knw how to rape rather than nuture and grow

Thank you

Duke of Shomolu

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Op Ed

Sen Ifeanyi Ubah attack: Assassination attempt or mistaken identity?



Sen Ifeanyi Ubah

At a time the people of Anambra State were heaving a sigh of relief that normalcy was returning after over one year of living in fear as a result of the activities of the unknown gunmen that killed and maimed dozens of people, and tragedy struck again. Last Sunday, the victims were Senator Ifeanyi Ubah representing Anambra South senatorial zone in the country’s upper legislative chambers and his aides who were returning to the senator’s home town, Nnewi after attending a function.

The spot where the shooting took place has at least four escape routes. One of the roads connects Enugwu Ukwu with the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, another leads to Nibo, while the main road leads to Awka and Onitsha respectively. So, it was easy for the attackers to escape through any of the connecting roads after committing the havoc.

As the senator’s convoy approached the Nkwo Enugwu Ukwu market along the Awka – Onitsha old road,  the gunmen fired from different directions, leaving at least six people dead. The casualties included policemen, operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, and some civilians. What saved the senator was that his SUV car, which was also riddled with bullets, is bulletproof and his driver was, therefore, able to drive to safety.

One of the murdered aides of Senator Ubah, Goodnews Mathias, was his personal assistant. Goodnews, who attended the University of Calabar. “He obtained BSc in Fisheries and Aquaculture and he is from Ika Local government area in Akwa Ibom State. His nickname is T.Boy, He is married and his wife and two kids are now left to suffer.

“He turned 40 years old in May; a lively person, easy going and always smiling. He has worked for Ifeanyi Ubah for about 15 years. Last year, the Senator gave him a car gift.

Also, one of the people that died at the scene was a businessman from Nri in Anaocha’s local government area of the state. The businessman, Saturday Vanguard gathered, was based in Lagos but relocated to his hometown, following alleged attempts on his life after a business deal that went awry. One version of the story had it that the attackers were after the businessman, only for the senator’s convoy to arrive at the scene at the time the gunmen had ambushed their target.

A source said: “It was likely that Senator Ubah was not the main target and only happened to be at the scene at the same time. The attack on his convoy might have been a result of mistaken identity, especially as many people, including ordinary traders, use long convoys in Anambra State. Anambra people do not kill for politics and if this incident has a political undertone, it must be the first in many years.

Another version of the story however said it was actually an assassination attempt on Senator Ubah. According to the information, the attack on Ifeanyi Ubah had a link with the sacked chairman of Nnewi North local government area whose wife died under questionable circumstances. It was gathered that the man used to be Ifeanyi Ubah’s boy, adding that the senator actually brought him to the political limelight. Another businessman, it was further gathered, who is allegedly having issues with Ubah, was said to have influenced the man’s current political ordeal. These stories are still in the realm of speculations. But the question is, why should anyone want to assassinate Ubah?

Senator Ubah, a billionaire and politician, cannot be said to be among the controversial politicians in Anambra State. In fact, it was due to the love the people have for him that made it possible for him to win the election using the virtually unknown Young Progressives Party, YPP,. He is also a well-known philanthropist who is loved by his people.

In all these, the police have not been forthcoming with information as to whether arrests have been made, or the motive behind the attack. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga in a statement said the investigation is ongoing.

“The Commissioner of Police Anambra State Command CP Echeng Echeng has led operatives to the scene where sporadical shootings took place in Enugwu ukwu. Though the details of the incident is still sketchy, operatives are on ground there as operations is going on and the situation is being monitored. Further details shall be communicated please “, he said.

 However, President Muhammadu Buhari, who condemned the attack described it as barbaric. His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the president is closely monitoring the situation by security operatives. The president said: We are deeply concerned about the activities of armed groups in the region and other parts of the country. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the response to the worrisome situation by the police, the military and other security agencies.

“The nation has lost four brave policemen and other aides of the senator. On behalf of the government and the people, I pay tribute to these security men and the aides who were brutally murdered.”

People of different callings have  also been reacting on the attack. The state governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo described the attackers as cowards whose end would soon come. He said his government was fully determined to wipe out criminality in the state and described the attackers as a sinking boat

Prof. Lilian Orogbu, a former dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who is the candidate of the Labour Party for Awka North and South Federal Constituency in the 2023 election condemned the gruesome attack on the senator.

Prof Orogbu urged the state government and security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the attack and ensure they face the wrath of law. While consoling the families of the victims of the attack, she hoped that such incident would not repeat itself. Other andidates of some political parties for the 2023 election, including Senator Uche Ekwunife, also condemned the attack. Senator Andy Uba, who represented Anambra South senatorial zone before Ifeanyi Ubah took over, also condemned the attack and urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo to fish out the culprits and punish them accordingly.

Although Biafra agitators were fingered at the attack, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, exonerated them.

In fact, MASSOB described the attack on Senator Ubah as an assassination attempt and politically motivated. Its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu said: “This attack is insensitive,  barbaric and unwarranted. The political cabals stifling the economy and wealth of Nigeria are not comfortable that a positive change that will abolish their illicit and corrupt means of embezzling the wealth of Nigeria is coming, hence they are sponsoring political assassination of eloquent and outspoken political leaders who are not  in their evil and corrupt wagon. The Enugwu Ukwu assassination attack is not only about Senator Ifeanyi Uba, but against people -oriented political leaders across the country.”

Madu recalled his earlier statement which warned about the likely resurgence of political assassination attempts with the approach of the 2023 general elections.

He went further to advise the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi and the governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, among other politicians and religious leaders to beef up their securities in view of the likely increase in the rate of such attacks between now and February next year.

Source: Vanguard

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