Category Archives: MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

Najeem Salaam - Rt. Hon. Speaker Osun House of Assembly

OSUN ASSEMBLY FELICITATES WITH SPEAKER OVER FACULTY AWARD

PRESS STATEMENT

Najeem Salaam - Rt. Hon. Speaker Osun House of Assembly

Najeem Salaam – Rt. Hon. Speaker Osun House of Assembly


State of Osun House of Assembly has felicitated with Speaker Najeem Salaam over his award of excellence by the faculty of Social Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

In a statement signed by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Timothy Owoeye, the award bestowed on Speaker Salaam who held his first and second degrees and currently on his P.hD from the faculty at the same university, in the mould of Professors Ogunbameru, Peter Ogunjuyigbe, Saturday Obiyan and others was clear signal of a prophet honoured at home.

Owoeye further stressed that the leadership style of Rt. Hon. Salaam was another testimony to his competence as a trained political scientist from the ivory tower, saluting the faculty for searching for merit outside the box.

He said, “Speaker Salaam is a thorough bred Political scientist whose political sagacity and human relations could be used as a case study for students of politics on thesis, for he is endowed with the wisdom of fox to recognize political traps and has the courage of lion to weather any storm. Such a man deserves a medal”.

It would be recalled that the faculty of Social Science of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife honored Speaker Salaam with award of excellence at the first reunion of the alumni of the faculty last week Saturday, where late Professor Sam Aluko was given a posthumous award among others.
Signed:

Timothy Owoeye
Majority Leader,
State of Osun House of Assembly
Osogbo

The people of Osun celeberate Aregbesola's victory

Thank God! Osun Commences Salary Payment, Cuts Pay for Political Appointees by Half

The people of Osun celeberate Aregbesola's victory

The people of Osun celeberate Aregbesola’s victory

The Government of the State of Osun has announced the commencement of the process of paying the salaries of civil servants in the state.

In a statement issued by the Governor’s Office, the government said it is paying the balance of November and and full December salary arrears owed.

We must assure our people that serious efforts are on to ensure the remaining months are also cleared.

Also, the government has announced a 50% cut in salaries and allowances of all political office holders in the state.

The statement further read that the government, while saddened and troubled by the turn of events in the financial status of the state and the country at large, is taking responsibility for the unfortunate problem and is prepared to meet the challenge head-on.

“Since the inception of this government, we have treated the resources under our control with the utmost respect and disbursed them diligently for the greater benefits of our people. Our mandate had always been to use our God-given wealth to bridge the gap between the downtrodden and the government.

“It is very unfortunate that we find ourselves unable to pay our workers their due wages for several months when, in the past, we stood for paying on or before the 25th of each month. We thank the ever gracious and understanding workers of our state for their patience as we go through this most trying time.

“However, we are glad to announce that we have commenced the process of paying for the balance of November and full December salary arrears for all our workers across the state and the process should be concluded by Friday, July 3rd, 2015. We are able to do this because our partners and creditors have faith in us and we have proven to be responsible and trustworthy.
“We must emphasize at this point: We are not out of the woods yet! Our finances took a dive because we were hit by the shock of the sudden and massive drop in global oil prices while Nigeria also had a Federal Government that failed in its primary responsibility to secure our people and our commonwealth. Thanks to the Nigerian people, that evil leadership has been removed and replaced with a progressive one. That does not translate to instant cure for our near-empty pockets. We must take drastic steps to correct many of our past errors and embrace the true realities of today.

“Therefore, we hereby announce a 50 per cent cut to the salaries and allowances of all political office holders and appointees. This is one of the many steps we are taking to ensure the sustenance of our collective. We are also calling on our people to join us and do their part in carrying the weight of change.

“Austerity stares us right in the face. We must embrace it. We are going to intensify our efforts at prudence and frugality. We will practice self-denial in every way possible.

“As we proceed on this journey of self-discovery, we hope to put more and more of our people to work by attracting productive investments to our state. The better part of our resources will go to funding capital projects that will create employment and unlock wealth. The State of Osun will rise from this situation and prosper like never before.”

Signed:
SemiuOkanlawon
Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy,
Office of the Governor.
Tuesday June 30, 2015

CBN and NNPC

PREMIUM TIMES EXCLUSIVE: How NNPC “Pocketed” Half of Income Generated in 3 Years!

CBN and NNPC

CBN and NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, generated about N8.1trillion between 2012 and May 2015, but paid only N4.3trillion to the federation account, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said Monday, citing new details from the federal economic council meeting.

The balance of the oil money — about N3.8trillion — was withheld and spent by the NNPC unilaterally without approval or National Assembly appropriation, the governor told journalists.

Also, the governor confirmed at the meeting that from November 2014, about $2.1billion was withdrawn from the excess crude account without the approval of the National Economic Council, NEC.

Mr. Oshiomhole, who, alongside the governors of Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and Zamfara governor, Abdulazeez Yari, briefed journalists, said following the discovery, the NEC has set up a four-member committee to comb the books of the NNPC to confirm its remittances and how the excess crude account was utilised.

President Muhammadu Buhari dissolved the board of the NNPC on Friday, to pave way for full investigation of the corporation.

Mr. Oshiomhole said Monday’s meeting was the first time the NNPC and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, briefed the National Economic Council, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governor said Mr. Buhari “compelled” the NNPC to provide information in “black and white” on issues relating to the total sales of Nigeria’s crude oil from 2012 to May 2015.

“This has never happened before and for us this is profound. We are talking about transparency, we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the federation account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3trillion.

“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.

“The major revelation here is that for the entire federation — that is the federal government, the states and all the 774 local governments — the amount the NNPC paid into the federation account for distribution to this three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion. Which means the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged, what is stolen, they are huge figures.”

He said it had become clear that the NNPC had not respected the Constitution on how government money should be spent.

“If NNPC needs to spend money, it is obliged to prepare its budget like every other business
enterprise. That budget will be scrutinized by the executive and forwarded to the National Assembly and the National Assembly will accordingly appropriate it.

“If the federal government cannot spend without appropriation, why should any agency spend without appropriation?”
Mr. Oshiomhole said President Buhari promised that henceforth, all monies must go to the federation account.

“What you need you budget for, Nigeria cannot continue with you earn the money and spend it. Where is transparency? Where is the role of the National Assembly? So if you were doing that you won’t have a situation where the NNPC alone will spend N3.8 trillion and remit to the federal, states and local governments N4.3 trillion which means NNPC is taking about 47 per cent and that explains all the leakages you are talking about.”

He said parastatals must return to spending on a budget.

“We are not reinventing the wheel, that is the way it used to be and that is the way the constitution says it should”

EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT

The Edo governor also disclosed $2.1 billion was withdrawn from $4.1 billion reported to be in the excess crude account as at November 2014 without the approval of the National Economic Council (NEC). The account now has $2.0bilion.

“We looked at the numbers for the Excess crude account, the last time the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy reported to the Council and it is in the minute, she reported by November 2014, that we had $4.1 billion.

“But today the Accountant General Office reported we have $2.0 billion. Which means the Honourable Minister spent $2.1billion without authority of the NEC. And that money was not distributed to states, it was not paid to the three tiers of government. This is why the NEC has set up a panel to look at what accrued, what it was spent for, when and by whom. So that Nigerians will have the full picture of all the transactions as regards the much talked about Excess crude,” Mr. Oshiomhole said.

The four-member committee, which consists of the governors of Edo, Gombe, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom states.
Explaining further, Kaduna State Governor, Mr. El-Rufai, noted that the Federal Government had in the last year been unilaterally withdrawing from the excess crude account without consulting the other owners.

According to him “The Excess Crude account was started by President Olusegun Obasanjo around
2004-2005.

“It was an administrative arrangement to save for a rainy day. And it was meant to have very clear accountability such that every state and local government, in a particular state knows their balance in the Excess Crude Account, though you can’t spend it but you know how much of it is yours.

“That was the arrangement. And in those days, before we spend any money from the Excess Crude Account, the federal and states governments will meet and agree. That is how we agreed to build the seven power stations which is NIPP today, it was from Excess Crude Account. And we also met and agreed to build the Lagos – Kano Standard Gauge Rail Line from the Excess Crude Account.

“But what we have seen, in the last few months or years is that the Excess Crude Account was operated unilaterally by the federal government, drawings were made unilaterally without consulting those that actually own the money because the Excess Crude Account is 52 percent owned by the federal government and 48 by the states and LGA.

“So the decision of the NEC is to set up this committee of four to look at the operations of the Excess Crude Account and make recommendations to council on its future.

“The other thing the committee will do is to look at the operations of the federation accounts particularly the shortfall and again come back to council with very clear recommendations as to what to do.

“We have not been given a time frame but as you can imagine states government are under pressure, many of our state governments are unable to pay salaries on time without recourse to borrowing, so this is very important to us. This is an all governors committee, we wear the shoes we know where it pinches. So we are going to do this as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Council’s next meeting of the council is on July 23rd, and Mr. El- Rufai said he hopes the committee will complete its work and be in position to report to council on that day.
Zamfara governor, Abdulazeez Yari, said the council also agreed that the Federal Government in conjunction with the Central Bank, will see how to support financially ailing states.

SOURCE: REVEALED: “In three years, NNPC generated N8.1 trn, gave Nigeria N4.3 trn, pocketed the balance” – PREMIUM TIMES

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola

In Aregbe I believe – By Olanrewaju Ajiboye

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola

Aregbesola

Though the bereaved child of the dead is truly worried and depressed, he’s not going to be buried with his mother. The raging storm in state of Osun shall subside and new living springs shall blossom.

Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola a.k.a ÀRÀ, shall live his dream for Osun.

It is unfortunate that workers’ salaries are delayed, it is most unfortunate that it is not a deliberate act or an act of impunity on the part of the governor. Right from the time he assumed leadership of Osun state, discerning minds could see that he is in a race against time, he is hyperactive to see Osun developed into a model state, as a transformed state and as a state that whoever succeeds him will have little to do in terms of capital expenditure but rather would just need to be maintaining structures and templates put in place.

“Aládáánwò kii l’ore.” The governor of ‘Hosanna’ just yesterday when he was implementing populist programs like ‘Opón Ìmò’, ‘School feeding’, ‘Model Schools construction’, ‘Multiple multi kilometer roads construction’ among many other altruistic projects to take Osun to next level has suddenly become ‘crucify him’ to the extent that some are working towards getting him impeached. His major disconnect is his administration’s inability to pay workers’ salaries, a malaise that is endemic in almost half of the states across the federation including the workers at the federal level.

Government is a collective. The leader provides leadership and direction. When the people are well informed and the government is open, there ought to be support, sacrifice and cooperation when there is a raging storm. It is in the spirit of this understanding I will like to appeal to the good people of Osun state who just last August approved the performance of their leader thereby renewing his mandate.

Unfortunate and harrowing as the non payment of salaries is, I will implore Osun people to make new discoveries that often come from adversity and challenges which will be an added value in the near future long after the storm is over.

The leadership of the government should be honest enough to present to its people the true state of affairs and if there is little disbursements that still come every month, the government can break the workers into groups or batches where some batches are paid in a particular month while it is the turn of other batches ins subsequent months until normalcy returns.

This is also a clarion call on wealthy people of the state origin, friends and believers of the developmental programs of the government to come to its aid by lending the state some money or buying the state’s farm produce through the government. Necessity is the mother of invention, I strongly believe some egg heads can come out with bail out options that will reduce pressure from the government.

Impeachment is not only a distraction, it is not an alternative at this difficult time.

I wish the people and government of Osun state a quick recovery and the grace to live the dream of ÀRÀ.

By Olanrewaju Ajiboye

saraki

Saraki Denies: “Fuel Subsidy Barons Did Not Sponsor Me Against Buhari”

SARAKI

In what seems like a season of denials, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has refuted in a press statement the popular insinuations that his controversial election in the red chamber was bankrolled by fuel subsidy barons who plan to checkmate President Buhari from probing them.

His reaction, was circulated to the media by his spokesman, Bankole Omishore, Saraki said his battle against subsidy barons exposed the rot and fraud in the oil industry, please read on:

“Again, the attention of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been drawn to a malicious, false and totally reprehensible news report, wherein it insinuated that the election of Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President of the 8th Senate was facilitated by Nigerians associated with dubious claims in the infamous oil subsidy.

Read Also: PDP Chieftain tears Saraki apart! Says, they’re masters of “Legislative Looting”

“The news report went further to give a negative and dirty impression that the emergence of the President of the 8th Senate is aimed to sabotage the anti-corruption posture of President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government as well as sabotage the ‘Change agenda’ of the All Progressive Congress (APC),” the statement read.

“One of such desperate attempts to justify this blackmail and others was the story published in newspapers of Monday June 29 2015 as contained in a statement issued by the former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande.

“We dare say that the entire story was the figment of the imagination of the author.

“We make bold to state that in the 7th Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki was Chairman of the Senate Adhoc Committee which exposed the fraud and mismanagement in the oil sector.

“Until Saraki’s motion on the floor of the senate, no one was in the picture of the rot in the sector or took any action. Therefore, surely, Senator Saraki will be the last person the oil baron will want to see as Senate President.”

“No doubt, we make bold to state that Saraki is the last person to be so sponsored by the oil barons or cabals.

“In that position, Saraki did not only lead his colleagues in exposing the rot in the scheme but made very strong recommendations on how the system could be reformed and made corrupt- free.

“It is on records that through his motion on the floor of the Senate, the House of Representatives followed in what is to be known as Oil subsidy probe and to which Ministers of Finance and Petroleum summoned and at last over, N500 billion was saved. Certainly, Senator Saraki is the last person to be so sponsored by the oil barons or cabals,” the statement added.

“…during the Senate hearing on the missing $20 Billion, for those who attended the public hearing, Senator Saraki led the onslaught of difficult questions to both the Minister of Finance, Minister of Petroleum and other federal agencies despite being in the ruling party then. To this effect, Senator Saraki refused to sign the final copy of the committee’s report but rather put forward a minority report with a press statement that follow suit.

“Saraki went further to oppose the inclusion of kerosene subsidy in the 2015 budget as well as his opposition to Petroleum Swop deal by NNPC. Let it be known therefore that the Senate Presidency of Dr. Bukola Saraki would not in any way be a stumbling block against President Buhari’s posture against anti-corruption.”

He pledged that the 8th Senate under him as the President would give all necessary legislative support to the administration to fight and reduce corruption “as his previous actions and bold step taken against the so called oil barons indicates that Saraki is committed to anti-corruption.”

“For avoidance of doubt, we want to make it abundantly clear that it is totally false, untrue and calculated mischief to suggest that Senator Saraki’s emergence as Senate President was facilitated by oil barons. This is a case of calling the dog a bad name so as to hang it. Another blatant lies that cannot fly. In any case, Senator Saraki was elected unopposed as the Senate President, therefore the lies that he was sponsored by the oil barons cannot hold.

“Senator Bukola Saraki is determined and focused to achieve the Senate targeted legislative agenda and he is committed to support President Buhari to deliver on his promises to the people of Nigeria.”

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)

Is President Buhari Listening to NEITI or …? – By Gbenga Komolafe

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)

“Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the recovery of over $7.5 Billion from oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and another $11.6 billion from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas as a major to shore up the nation’s coffers.” Daily Trust, June 10, 2015

Recovering this vast sums which I believe are gross underestimates from the fraudulent oil multinationals whose home governments PMB was trying to appease in Germany would make tremendous difference to the present financial quagmire Nigeria has found itself. It would be several times over any paltry ‘bailout’ from those countries and of course the bailouts will come with strangulating conditionalities!

Is anybody listening? or it’s going to be about the cloak and dagger politics of APC/PDP alone. At the end of the day, let’s all remember that this country is not about Buhari, Tinubu and the others, let’s face the issues, there is too much politics in this clime! And it just suits them well to be so diverted.

DELPHI DECLARATION

THE DELPHI DECLARATION – By Gbenga Komolafe

DELPHI DECLARATION

DELPHI DECLARATION

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the western neo-liberal institutions imposed series of killer economic programs on most African countries, as well as South America and a large swathe of Asia that came to be known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). The late Prof. Bade Onimode, a foremost political economist called the SAPs ‘a declaration of war’ while late Prof. Aluko called it the ‘kiss of death’. Well, the same medicine is now being applied to the ailing economies of Southern Europe, with the most devastating outcome in Greece. But progressive Europe is fighting back:

THE DELPHI DECLARATION

On Greece and Europe

European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.

They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.

As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.

Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed, even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?

We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.

We also appeal to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.

We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.

Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.

We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.

More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open military conflicts among its nations.

Delphi, 21 June 2015

The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.

Altvater Elmar, Germany

Member of scientific community of AΤTAC. Retired Professor of Political Science, Free University of Berlin.

Amin Samir, Egypt/France

Economist, President of the Forum Mondial des Alternatives

Ayala Iván H., Spain

Researcher, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales

Arsenis Gerasimos, Greece

Εconomist, ex-minister of Economy, of Finance, of National Defense and of Education, ex-UN official and ex-director of UNCTAD

Artini Massimo, Italy

Member of Parliament

Bellantis Dimitris, Greece

Lawyer, PHD in Constitutional Law, Member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Black William, USA

Professor of Economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City)

Cassen Bernard, France

Professor Emeritus, Université Paris 8, secretary general of “Mémoire des luttes”

Chiesa, Giulietto, Italy

Politician, journalist and author, ex MEP, president of the “Alternativa” association

Freeman, Alan, Canada/UK

Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Business School, Director

Gabriel, Leo, Austria

Director of the Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation (IIIC), Vienna, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, Coordinator of the NGO Committee for Sustainable Development of the United Nations

George, Suzan, France

Political and social scientist, writer, President of the Transnational Institute

Georgopoulos, Dimosthenis, Greece

Economist, sociologist, political scientist, Secretariat on Industrial Policy, SYRIZA

German, Lindsey, UK

Convenor, Stop the War Coalition

Graeber, David, UΚ

Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics. Author of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”

Hudson, Michael, USA

Professor of economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City), UMKC. President, Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET)

Irazabalbeitia, Inaki, Spain

Former MEP / responsible for International Relationships for the party ARALAR, Basque Country

Jennar, Raoul Marc, France

Dr. in political sciences, specialist on European law and on WTO regulations, writer of twenty books, among them “Europe, la trahison des élites”

Kagarlitsky, Boris, Russia

Director of the Institute for globalization studies and social movements (IGSO)

Kalloniatis, Costas, Greece

Phd on macroeconomics, adviser to the Ministry of Labour, researcher in the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece

Kasimatis, Giorgos, Greece

Prof. Emeritus of Constitutional Law, University of Athens. Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, ex-advisor to PM Andreas Papandreou.

Koenig, Peter, Switzerland

Εconomist / geopolitical analyst

Koltashov, Vasiliy, Russia

Head of the economic research unit of the Institute for Globalisation and Social Movements

Konstantakopoulos, Dimitris, Greece

Journalist, Writer, Coordinator of the Delphi Initiative

Koutsou, Nikos, Cyprus

Member of Parliament from Famagusta

Kreisel, Wilfried, Germany

Former Executive Director, World Health Organization

Mavros, Giannis, Greece

Member of the National Council for the Claiming of Germany’s Debts to Greece

Mityaev, Dmitry A. , Russia

Deputy Chairman of the Council for Study of Productive Forces of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences on Development Issues

Ochkina, Anna, Russia

Head of Department of social theory at Penza State University

Pantelides, Panagiotis, Greece

Economist, senior researcher, European Institute of Cyprus

Petras, James, USA

Bartle Professor Emeritus , Binghamton University

Ex-Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies (Athens), ex-adviser to the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brasil and the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina

Pinasco, Luca, Italy

National coordinator of Proudhon Circles-Editor for foreign policy of the journal “L’intellettuale dissidente”.

Radika, Desai, USA

Professor, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba

Rees, John, UK

Co-founder, Stop the War Coalition

Roberts, Paul Craig, USA

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Sideratos, Aggelos, Greece

Publisher

Sommers, Jeffrey, USA

Senior Fellow, Institute of World Affairs, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

St Clair, Jeffrey, USA

Editor, CounterPunch, author, Born Under a Bad Sky

Stierle, Steffen, Germany

Εconomist, ATTAC Germany

Syomin, Konstantin, Russia

Author, TV host at All-Russia State Television (VGTRK.com)

Tombazos, Stavros, Greece

Professor of Political Economy, University of Cyprus, member of the international “Committee of Truth on Greek Sovereign Debt” (debt auditing committee) created by the Greek parliament

Vanaik, Achin, India

Retired Professor of International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi

Xydakis, Nikos, Greece

Minister of Culture

Zachariev, Zachari, Bulgaria

President of the Slaviani Foundation

Zdanoka, Tatjana, Latvia

Member of European Parliament

Contact email: the.delphi.initiative@gmail.com

President Buhari at one year remembrance service for Late Emir of Kano

President Buhari, crack the whip now! – By Godwin Onyeacholem

President Muhammodu Buhari

President Muhammodu Buhari

Of Buhari’s presidency so far, one thing is clear: the pace is inversely proportional to the quantum ofpublic anger bred by decades of horrible post-colonial leadership. And at no time is this sense of indignation and cynicism more intense than in the last sixteen years.

But surprisingly, whether in the social, political and economic sphere, none of the actions so far taken under this government appears far-reaching enough to clear the trauma of accumulated rage and disillusionment tormenting the people of this beleaguered country.

Buhari has indicated that he wants to be seen as operating from a clean slate. But truth is there are some pasts he cannot afford to let go. For the kind of devious democracy that Nigeria and most developingcountries practise, a well-intentioned leader like him would need to unleash some measure of favourable dictatorship over time for a semblance of genuine democracy to be attained.

Such dictatorships, while not threatening the corporate entity, should instantly send a clear message that the era of impunity, the unacceptable era of “anything goes,” is indeed over. Unfortunately, that has yet to happenin one month of the Buhari administration.

For instance, consider the pressing issue of ensuring the integrity of our elections. Isn’t it shocking that for all the reverberating shame brought on to Nigeria by the scandalous electoral manipulation of the 2014Ekiti governorship election perpetrated by high-ranking military officers and top PDP politicians and government officials, Buhari seems not to be outraged? For goodness sake, what is our president waiting for?

For a government that waved the banner of change to get the people’s vote, a government in which the people are virtually drowning in the official sputum of “it’s not longer going to be business as usual,” you would expect Buhari, himself a certified victim of serial electoral fraud under the verminous PDP governments, not to waste one second in demonstrating that change is indeed here. In other words, by now, Buhari is supposed to have rounded up all those whose names featured in the Ekitigate scandal and brought them to justice.

A government that truly hopes to be believed as it reels out that endless chant of change or “no business as usual,” ought to have dismissed the top hierarchy of the military and the policewhich operatedalongside sponsored party thugs as the armed wing of the PDP.

By now, the trial of the Chief of Army Staff, his pitiable man Friday, Brigadier-General AliyuMomoh and the foot soldiers, as well as all the politicians and government officials implicated in rigging the election for PDP ought to have commenced, with Captain SagirKoli ferried in from wherever he is exiling as key witness.A final nail should be on the way to being hammered on the coffin of election rigging in this country, and Buhari should quickly start from Ekiti. This society deserves no less.

Not forgetting the ignoble role played by men and women of the State Security Service, a government truly primed for change should this momentbe getting thumbs-up and a pat in the back for using its symbolic broom to sweep away all the undesirable elements who, together with a section of the military, did everything to squelch the APC and carried on as if PDP was the best thing to happen to Nigeria.

This is not about vendetta, or heating up the polity unnecessarily. As they say, to make an omelette eggs must be broken. The signal for a re-energized culture of accountability ought to have been out there from the first day of Buhari’s government through firm actions. This government should really awaken people to the fact that for every wrong action there would be consequences, in contrast to what obtained under the PDP.And Examples abound. The police officers fingered in the extra-judicial murder of Mohammed Yusuf, the Boko Haram founder, should be fished out now, under this government, and made to face the law.

The same treatment should be meted out to Sam Chukwu, the controversial police officer, fugitive of the law linked with high-profile kidnapping and murder. Chukwu went underground and got protection from his superiors when the Enugu State Ministry of Justice linked him with the 2009 kidnap and subsequent murder of LotaEzeudu, a second year student of accountancy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Surprisingly late last year, Chukwu was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police by the Police Service Commission headed by former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro. Such a character should not be in the police, not to talk of circulating in a normal society.

And just about a week ago under the watch of this government, one Bernard Ogedegbeof Ethiope West Local Government of Delta State, was said to have been murdered by soldiers of the 19th Battalion, Koko Military Base, who are said to be engaged in extortions, torture and working hand in hand with criminal gangs in the area.Ogedegbe was said to have been killed for informing the police about the criminal gang operating in this area.

In all these cases, nobody has returned a guilty verdict on anyone yet. Buhari and his APC government should promptly show to Nigerians that though they inherited quite a healthy sum of PDP members, this administration is by far different from PDP’s. All the people or groups identified with these brutal killings must bearrested and brought to book immediately. It is the least Buhari can do to show that the APC dog – unlike the PDP’s – can hunt, and bite.That is the true meaning of change.

Godwin Onyeacholem, a journalist, can be reached on gonyeacholem@gmail.com

Cocoa-farmers in osun

GOOD NEWS! Cocoa product industry will be alive in 6months in Osun, China investors assure

Cocoa-farmers in osun

Cocoa-farmers in osun

The moribund Cocoa Processing Company in Ede, Osun state has on Thursday received a lifeline with the intervention of two Chinese firms who have promised to resuscitate the comatose Cocoa industry.

This disclosure was made when the Chinese firms paid a courtesy call on the governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at the government house in Osogbo.

The companies resuscitation of the Cocoa products company promises creation of many jobs in the state.

‎The two China-based companies -Skyron Corporation and Golden Monkey Group of Company promised that production will commence in the next 6 months.

Mr. David Shi who led the Skyron group stressed that ‎the company has been in the business of Cocoa processing in the last 10 years and that their firm is similar to that of Ede.

He held that the company is sure of turning around the moribund Cocoa processing company in no distant time.

According to him, “Cocoa processing industry is not a new terrain to Skyron having been engaging in similar sector and company in the last ten years.

“Skyron group has a turn over of 6.4billion Dollars in the year 2014 with visible investment in Agriculture and construction sector established across the world including Lagos and other states in Nigeria”.

Also the head of delegation of Golden Monkey Corporation of China, Mr. Liu Jin Hiu assured that aside resuscitation of Cocoa industry, confectionery company will also be established.

Mr. Liu also added that the group is ready to embark on massive production of cassava as raw materials for the confectionery.

He said, “Golden monkey corporation remains the number one producer of candies and chocolate in China, reviving the cocoa processing company in Ede will not be a problem.

“The partnership with the government of Osun in reviving the cocoa project will end up being a win-win partnership project. We have several investment companies in West Africa, especially Cote D’voire with 55 additional branches throughout the world.”

In his remarks, Governor Aregbesola disclosed that the State of Osun is ready to provide an enabling environment for the investors, urging them to consult him whenever they have challenges in pushing ahead the investment.

The governor who also spoke on cassava production and processing held that the state is the largest producer of cassava in the country.

He assured that land and personnel already committed to cassava cultivation and investment are guaranteed, saying government will look forward to a speedy revival of the cocoa processing company in Osun.

Aregbesola also advised the foreign investors to be ‎up to date in the use of technology and equipment by replacing the obsolete machinery in the moribund company.

In his words, “We hope that with result-oriented activities and hard work, your company should hit the ground running as we are committed to ensuring that your investment will yield profit as operation commences.

“We desire for others what we desire for ourselves. We therefore challenge you to allow activities to start at the Cocoa processing company in Ede latest November this year”. The governor emphasised.

Rt. Hon. Speaker of Osun Assembly (OSHA) Najeem Ssalam

PETITION: OSUN SPEAKER WARNS IMPEACHMENT HAWKERS

PRESS STATEMENT

Rt. Hon. Speaker of Osun Assembly (OSHA) Najeem Ssalam

Rt. Hon. Speaker of Osun Assembly (OSHA) Najeem Salam


Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam has said those who implied violence through impeachment prejudice imputed into the examination of the petition filed by Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede of Osun State High court before the state assembly should have a rethink, for no person or group could predict the outcome of the yet to be discussed petition until the final report was ready.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Speaker Salaam frowned at the media hype and dirty politicking being employed by the opposition to drive the petition whose merit or otherwise has not been determined, stressing that it was wrong of any person or group to now pass judgment on the issue that has not been dealt with.

He said, “It is very wrong for some people to think that impeachment was the target of the petition sent by Justice Oloyede when the petitioner has not appeared before the parliament to defend her allegations. It could only suggest one thing; the affected elements have another agenda which could not be divorced from deliberate provocation of violence”.

Speaker Salaam then warned the politicians, whose mind-set is to throw the state into chaos to steer clear from the affairs of the parliament and find another string for their politicking, saying that no media hype would intimidate the parliament into abandoning thoroughness, fairness and justice in its conduct, noting that the oloyede’s petition would not be different as well.

Speaker Salaam also assured the people of the state of fairness to all concerned, urging that people should ignore merchants of violence who were struggling to create atmosphere of tension in the state, noting that it was only the meat of the petition that would dictate what would be step to be taken by the house.

Signed:

Goke Butika
CPS to the Speaker
State of Osun House of Assembly