Connect with us


PMB Lands Softly On A Sofa Floor



President Muhammad Buhari in a regimental toga during a farewell dinner by the Nigerian Army


This has been a week of reflection, introspection, and rumination. It’s the last full week of a journey that started eight years ago. And like Yoruba people say, if you can ponder, then you will wonder, and be filled with thanksgiving to God.

That was what Wednesday was dedicated to. Looking backwards, inwards, and forward, as the last Federal Executive Council meeting under President Muhammadu Buhari held. “This is the last that we shall dance together,” Wole Soyinka wrote in his work, Kongi’s Harvest.

Yes, dances do end, no matter how much you love to pirouette. You dance like butterfly and sting like a bee. It will end. You gyrate, whirl and spiral. Very good. It’s a delightful part of life. But then, there’s always the last dance. That’s what Luther Vandross sang about in Dance With My Father:

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me then
Spin me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again.

For Vandross and his father, the dance ended at a time. As it’s bound to be. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good. Not the bad. Not even life itself.

Reflections. That was what happened on Wednesday, as the Federal Executive Council meeting held for the last time under this administration. Such days had come for many governments in the past, and would also come in the future. It’s inexorable, as sure as night follows the day.

Each Minister, and Minister of State, was given time to speak on times and seasons under the Buhari administration. Some had been there since 2015, some others came in 2019, and yet others in 2021, after a minor cabinet rejig.

It was appreciation, eulogy and tributes to the President all the way. Not fawning praise singing, but factual appraisal of opportunity given to serve the country, and to make a difference.

Do you know that Ministers rarely spend four years in position, not to talk of eight years? But a lot did under Buhari, because he’s not a supercilious man, who just likes to sack for the kick he would get from it. Yes, some appointors love to play God over their appointees. They hire and fire at will, just because they have the powers. For some other leaders, it’s job for the boys. You serve for a year or two, and you are dropped, so that the largesse can go round. Not Buhari. Unless you fall short of the mark, you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or commit some other grave malfeasance, then you can be sure of a guaranteed time. You have been called to serve, and not to be ridiculed and humiliated out of office.

The Ministers went down the memory lane. And it’s been quite a journey, said the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN. He’s the longest serving in that position in history of the country. Just a few months short of eight years.

His summation: “With all sense of responsibility, we’ve left the country better than we met it.”

Senator Hadi Sirika was at first Minister of State, Transportation, and later full Minister in charge of Aviation. He said the English language was insufficient for him to say thank you to the President for the honor done him, allowing him to serve.

And he spoke about the non-interfering, non-intrusive style of the principal. He recalled when he was going to close the runway of the Abuja airport for many weeks, a momentous decision. President Buhari just listened to him patiently, and said: “Go and plan very well.” The job got done.

Professor Ali Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, told the President: “You are the best. We’ve learnt a lot from you, and we will forever be grateful.”

He said he came from a poor and deprived background, and he could never have sat in the hallowed Council Chamber, if not for someone like President Buhari.

“It’s the last FEC meeting, but we will continue to meet with you through our prayers,” he submitted.

Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, said he was picked out of the blues, a testimony typical of most of his colleagues. And he is today the longest serving Minister in his portfolio. He also said the English language was inadequate to express his appreciation. So he borrowed an Hausa word the President loves to use: Madalla, meaning ‘well done, thank you, excellent.’

Dr Ramatu Aliyu, Minister of State, FCT, wondered how a minority from Kogi State, a woman, could have entered the Federal Cabinet, if not for a President who believes in equitable distribution of power. She called Buhari ‘Father of Nigeria’s Infrastructure Renaissance.’ True.

Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said what she and her colleagues had gone through was “PMB School of Governance,” saying the President never called her once to see anybody, or give anybody anything.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, glorified God for the restored and renewed health of the President, after the severe health challenge of 2017, which saw him in and out of hospital for about eight months.

“Your sterling leadership qualities are admired all over Africa, and, indeed, the world,” he declared.

All the Ministers spoke, but for want of space, let us adopt this highly applauded one from Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, in charge of Science, Technology and Innovation:

“My intervention will commence on a note of gratitude to God by whose grace we are all alive and here to witness this glorious day. Next, is to thank you, Mr President, because our appointment as members of FEC is through your presidential benevolence. I am particularly grateful for being a member of this legacy team of your administration. You had earlier appointed me as MD, NIWA, and Minister of State for Health. A day like this is a day of thanksgiving, it is a day of reminiscences and it is a day of celebration of God’s faithfulness.

“Before proceeding further, please permit me to share a true life story on a lighter note. When I was Speaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999, as the presiding officer, I could sit for 5 – 6 hours without getting up from my seat. I was much younger then, but I cannot do that now that I am 70. After one of such sessions one day, some of my colleagues in the chambers walked to my seat at the platform searching underneath my table and I asked what they were looking for. They told me they came to find out whether I had a urinary catheter connected to a container under my table to explain my ability to sit for such long hours without the urge to go and ease myself.

“Mr Chairman Sir, I wonder how you are able to do the same at over 80! It’s simply incredible and can only be explained by your Spartan discipline. This Spartan discipline is one of the qualities that define you as a leader. I have observed you from a privileged position as one of your foot soldiers in the capacity of Deputy Director General of your Presidential Campaign both in 2015 and 2019. You are a man of calm disposition under any circumstance.

“In 2015 while wooing delegates for the presidential primaries, l sat with you in the car traversing several States from Kano to Bauchi, Kebbi, Zamfara and finally to Sokoto. The journey from Zamfara to Sokoto was in the night and the convoy was moving at neck breaking speed, so much that my heart was virtually in my mouth and skipping beats! Here was l sitting next to a General. I was so scared. Lo and behold, Oga was calm all through the journey without uttering a word on the driver’s speed! We arrived in Sokoto at about 12.30am!

“Mr President is a man of compassion and great humility. We had just finished the Presidential nomination convention at Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos lasting from Wednesday night to early hours of Friday, about 2am. After delivering his acceptance speech, he left the podium and I thought Mr President had gone back to the hotel where we both came from. How wrong I was! He was sitting quietly in the car patiently waiting for me.

“When word came to me through Sarki Abba that Oga was waiting for me, I quickly rushed to join him in the car with a load of apology. He said “Distinguished Mamora, how could l have left you behind, when we rode in here together?” I felt greatly touched.

“Mr President has an uncommon sense of humor. At one of our virtual FEC meetings during COVID, following the presentation of a memo by the Aviation Minister, the Minister of Police Affairs was called to make his comment, having indicated to speak, but he was not available after repeated calls; Mr President then retorted, maybe he has gone for “Road block”!

“At another FEC meeting, while debating a memo on augmentation of the contract sum for the reconstruction of a particular road, the issue arose as to how Nigeria can maximise the use of local resources for road construction. Following an energetic submission by the Interior Minister, Mr President set up a Cabinet Committee to look into the matter. In his characteristic passion for what he believes in, the Interior Minister sought Mr President’s permission to be co-opted into the 3-member committee to which Mr President retorted, “Hon Minister of Interior, we do not need a passport for road construction!”

“Mr President, you have carefully put a great team together to assist you in the prosecution of your agenda for Nigeria, starting with Mr Vice President who has not only been truly Vice Presidential in words and deeds, but has combined professorial erudition with pastoral zeal. He heads the team of legal minds in FEC, whose contributions oftentimes illuminate and enrich debates at our meetings…

“Mr President and distinguished council members, I recall the comic relief always introduced to debate by the duo of Hon Minister of Works and Housing, and Hon Minister of Labour. Following the presentation of a memo on road construction and rehabilitation one day, by the Minister of Works and Housing, the Labour Minister said the Minister of Works has begged and lobbied him to sheath his sword and not attack his memo. He further said the Works Minister is an Ikate boy who migrated to Surulere. In his response, the Works Minister said the incessant strikes by the labour unions was caused by the Labour Minister who moved from Okija to Victoria Island in Lagos thereby giving the false impression that he has a lot of money. Hence Labour has been on strike with a view to benefiting from the Labour Minister’s wealth.

“The banters they throw at each other bring a lot of comic relief to the council chambers and they can be likened to “Tom and Jerry” of children’s comedy fame.

“Distinguished Council members, we have jointly served our country to the best of our abilities, hence we raise our hands in joyful adoration and shout “Thus far the Lord has helped us”! To God be the glory!

“Mr President, l join my colleagues and millions of your well wishers to congratulate you and Mr Vice President for the giant strides made under your eight-year presidency, your achievements, in the various sectors, already documented, will remain indelible in the annals of our nation’s history. You have finished well and strong. Yours has been a life of struggle but full of grace. Now is the time to take a bow and enjoy your well deserved rest.
Congratulations, Mr President and best wishes.”

Kizz Daniel and Tekno, in the popular song, Buga, said: “When I land I land softly on a sofa floor…” That is what is happening to President Buhari. Despite evil speaking, evil thoughts, false prophecies, lies, de-marketing from some quarters, the President is landing well, finishing strong. To Daura for a well deserved rest after serving the country for many decades. Awesome God.

And today is also our last dance on this platform, From the Inside, which has featured for many years, without failing for a single week. God be praised. And by His grace, we meet on another platform in the not too distant future.

So long. Au revoire.

*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity


Emotional Farewell: Staff Bid Adieu to Departing Executive at FCTA




By Bala Ibrahim.

In Arabic, the name Najeeb means the Distinguished, the Noble or the Outstanding. The Arabic dictionary says if you’re seeking a name with inherent star power, Najeeb will make for a lovely fit. It is the masculine respelling of the Arabic favorite, Najib, which stands for the Distinguished.

Yesterday, Friday, 29/09/2023, I had reason to write on one of the 21 Chief Executives at the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCDA, that was relieved of his duty by Minister Nyesom Wike. As of the time of writing the article, I hadn’t any inkling about his name or the company he headed. Within minutes of the release of my article, responses came in torrents, giving the name, the agency he headed, his state of origin and an addendum, spelling out his personal qualities which people admire. These include honesty, generosity, courage and selflessness. His name was given as Najeeb, Najeeb Abdulsalam, whose sojourn as the Managing Director of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company, AUMTC, was cut short by the Minister of the FCT, barely three months on the saddle. I was made to understand that Najeeb came from Danbatta, in my native Kano state. In short, Najeeb Abdulsalam was described by many as a man of noble character. The encomiums were so encouraging that they gave me the justification for this follow up article.

For starters, I must make it very clear that the mission of the article is not in any way meant to support Najeeb for reasons of nepotism, not at all. I wrote without even knowing his name or where he came from. I was only touched by the show of uncommon support, solidarity and the sincere sentiments from those he led, alongside the testimonials of those that know him.

His staffers’ account gave the picture of an Officer and a Gentleman, with commitment to discharging correctly, the work he was assigned. Some of the staff that served under him were even volunteering to go with him, should the Government refuse to reverse the termination of his appointment. It is not surprising, because the name Najeeb is meant to go with a certain degree of nobility. Indeed I know some Najeebs, and truly all of them are noble and outstanding. One of the testimonies I received about Najeeb Abdulsalam is thus:

“I can proudly say that I was part of the overwhelming success he recorded during his 3 months+ long tenure at the agency. A friend and a business associate of mine financed the supply of spare parts and supervised the repairs of 37 number buses of the agency. The repairs are almost concluded with about 5 more buses to go out of the Lot. I managed the whole transaction on behalf of my friend. If merit was a yardstick for appointment into public office, Najib would have received a merit award instead of having himself unceremoniously sacked from office by the HMoFCT Bar. Nyesom Wike”.

Another one says: “Individuals like this should be fished out by the leadership of Government and celebrated to serve as an encouragement for others to perform well, Najeeb is highly disciplined and upright individual that I know, being a former Local Government Chairman twice”.

If the society sees traits like integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty and fortitude as the virtues of good behavior or character, then people like Najeeb Abdulsalam should be among the cardinals of the system. Three out of the 8 point agenda of President Tinubu are, Job creation, Adherence to the rule of law and the Fight against corruption. With people like Najeeb Abdulsalam at work, I see Asiwaju’s ambition as a fait accompli.

The Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO), where Najeeb Abdulsalam was heading up till last week, was established by the then Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, which had a change of name to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in 1984, as Abuja Bus Service (ABS). It later mutated to Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited, AUMTC. The ambition is to implement an environmentally friendly and sustainable Urban public transport system in the FCT, for effective, comfortable, safe, regular, efficient and affordable transport service delivery. The company has had a sizable turnover of chief executives, who served for years at various times, but according to insiders, non came near Najeeb Abdulsalam in performance. And he was only there for three months.

On his first day in office as the Minister of the FCT, Bars. Nyesom Wike promised to restore the national capital’s master plan by cleaning up the metropolis, instilling orderliness and ensuring infrastructural reforms, which were destroyed by decades of corruption, incompetence, carelessness and impunity. If the Minister is serious about matching words with action, people like Najeeb Abdulsalam should not be removed from the saddle.

Najeeb’s antecedents have given Kano state additional magnificence, especially when put alongside the recent story of Auwalu Salisu, the 22-year-old commercial tricycle operator in Kano, who returned the sum of N15 million, forgotten by a Chadian commuter in his tricycle.

The Minister of State in the FCT, Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure is an indigene of Kano. She must rise up to the challenge, by waking up to smell the coffee. The country needs people with integrity to manage it. And in Najeeb Abdulsalam, I see a glimpse of such noble-mindedness.

Continue Reading


Kano State Education In 100 Days-Muazzam



Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf

Let me begin by refreshing our memory with the popular saying of the African Independence Revolutionary Nelson Mandela who said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is a clear testimony that any nation which wants to progress and have an independent life must make education its priority in governance.

This important reason is what led Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankaso’s Administration in the years 1999-2003 and 2011-2015 to introduce a primary school pupil feeding program, providing them with free uniforms, canceling school fees, introducing the payment of SSCE fees to Secondary School Students, establishing State Universities, and offering overseas scholarships to outstanding indigent students to study in different disciplines. Today, many of these students have recorded tremendous achievements and are contributing their best to the state, Nigeria, and overseas.

His Excellency Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf promised during his campaigns that he would continue from where his Leader Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso left off. Education was made a priority in his blueprint, being the first, second, and third agenda items. This was stated by H.E Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso several times and was reiterated in the RMK 2023 Blueprint, page 3: “Education is a public good, we shall ensure, through the correct reforms and investment, that all our schools provide the appropriate quality education to our citizens…”

The first assignment of Engr. Abba Kabir on education was in primary education. He conducted a special investigation on AGILE, a program that supports girls’ child education. He selected 19 LGAs for the program and disbursed the sum of N917 million to benefit 45,850 female students. Unfortunately, this World Bank-supported project didn’t receive the required attention and results until now. One may inquire from 23/6/2023, when the program was launched until today, about how many female children are enrolled in school, especially in rural communitiesThe results would be certainly amazing.

Secondary school students in Kano State are in joyful moments after the Executive Governor of Kano State paid their NECO fees. The previous APC administration had abandoned the examination fees of 55,000 students, but they turned a deaf ear towards the end of their administration. To save the students from this quagmire, the Kano State Government ordered the release of N1 billion to ensure they were eligible for the examination. It might interest you to know that 11 boarding schools were abandoned in the past administration, and N79,284,538 million was released for their renovation and reopening during the 5th State Executive Council.

On 23/8/2023, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf, approved the payment of N700 million to 7000 Kano indigent students at Bayero University, Kano. He also approved the renovation of pedestrian bridges at Bayero University, Kano, Sa’adatu Rimi University, Kano, and Aminu Kano College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Kano, which were abandoned since 2015. We have another great effort where 131 Kano indigent students have been approved to travel overseas for a Master’s Scholarship Program sponsored by the Kano State Government.

This is a clear indication that the Education Sector has been made a priority in the first 100 days under the Leadership of the NNPP in Kano State. During the past APC administration, releasing funds for the Education Sector to cater to its immediate needs was not easy. They were more inclined to demolish school structures to transform them into shops, plazas, event centers, or recreational facilities. This behavior drove donor agencies and organizations to neighboring states like Katsina and Jigawa State to fulfill their charitable gestures.

We have reason to thank the Almighty Allah for these wonderful and generous gestures. We believe and hope that the first year of H.E Abba Kabir Yusuf’s administration will bring back the lost glories in the education sector in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, and the country at large, In Shaa Allah (God willing).

Ibrahim Mu’azzam Senator SSA Public Affairs to the Kano State Governor

Continue Reading






In my piece of August 23rd, 2023 titled “Blackmail Against Judiciary and Threat to Kano’s Security”, I brought to the fore the position of Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, owing to comments on Radio made by his Broadcast Media Aide, Abdullahi tanko Galadanchi. From those comments, the Governor counted on nothing to achieve victory, other than bribing the Honourable Judges of the Tribunal. This position was further affirmed by a leaked audio attributed to a Political Mobilization Aide for Kano South, who advised the Secretary to the State Government to ensure that all funds are channelled to procuring favourable judgement, even if to the detriment of the state, he emphasised. The Secretary to the State Government also, in his speech to mark 100 days of the government in office, attributed the administration’s failure to fulfil some of its promises to paucity of funds caused by enormous expenditure related to the proceedings of the Election Petition. Summarily, the administration has in its dwarfed wisdom, stylishly legitimised efforts to procure judgement through emotional blackmail, all of these came on the back of threats to lives of Tribunal Judges, and threats of making Kano a field of cultivation of lifeless bodies through anarchy and banditry.The administration of Abba Kabir Yusuf is indeed always clever by half; I predicted the ouster of some appointees that outwardly made heated, inciting or compromising statements, however in its narrow foresight, the government sacked only two out of numerous appointees that danced to an obviously authorised drum and song. We saw the Secretary to the State Government on video, accompanied by some Commissioners, threatening fire and brimstone, saying unambiguously in Hausa that “duk wanda ya taba mana zabe a Kano, sai dai uwarsa ta haifi wani”. This is the worst form of debasement that government has ever been brought to in the history of Kano State. The most senior appointed official of government threatening lives of Honourable Judges is indeed worrisome to every sane mind. Of course, tens of appointees followed suit thereafter, expressing intentions to wreck unprecedented havoc in the event of an unfavourable judgement, one after the other, we listened as they clawed at imaginary straws and have continued to sank even lower into abyss. In the case of self-acclaimed rufflers of feathers, Kperoogi and Naja’atu, it is funny that they missed the threats to lives of Honourable Judges and did not pay attention to government officials threats to make Kano worse than a banditry-torn Zamfara and Katsina; rather they only found their sense and logic in seeking a court to defend the indefensible and become father Christmas by granting Abba and NNPP that which they did not ask of the Court. Their illogical logic did not cause them to realise that APC in its petition raised numerous issues around non-compliance, and the NNPP even after its poor defence (due mainly to its complicity in the matter), failed to file any counter against the APC to cause us to have to defend the lawfulness of our votes. Yet, Kperoogi and Naja’atu believe that the court should have fed Abba & NNPP in their mouths, since Kwankwaso has made that a birth-right of theirs. In her comments, Naja’atu also exclaimed that if elections were to hold in Kano today, Abba would win by a landslide; this same woman not too long ago said the same of Atiku Abubakar, and we all recall how badly he was trounced in her home state of Kano.One would imagine that Kwankwaso, Abba & NNPP would have learnt a lesson or two from the irreparable damage the recent loss in court has caused them. Unfortunately, Abba through his mouthpiece, Bature, has come out to claim that the Honourable Judges might have been made to give judgement under duress. This speaks volumes of the failure of the Abba administration to see what is placed right before them, right in front of their noses. The Honourable Judges in their submissions have outrightly made clear the reasons why they chose to pronounce judgement via zoom, and it is the fault of none but those who demonstrated an uncultured, recalcitrant and violent tendency by threatening lives of judges and peace of the entire state, in the event of a loss. Let me do Abba and Bature a favour of asking them to read page 226 of the judgement, and frankly undertake an introspection exercise before engaging the public on such a matter again. Since I know you both may still be in slow recovery from the reality check dished by the Tribunal, I will assist you with some of the painfully piercing lines; “I use this opportunity to condemn the gang of Red Cap wearers… I am in no doubt that the security Agencies know and are aware of those who removed their eyes from their case and put it on the Judiciary. They are also aware of those who extended the threat further by declaring that THEY WILL KILL THE JUDGES. THIS THREAT MUST NOT BE SWEPT UNDE

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: