Friday, 3 June 2011

President Jonathans First Week In Office

FROM the moment he left the
Eagle Square venue where he
was sworn in as Nigeria ’s
President on May 29, 2011 Dr.
Goodluck Jonathan could well be
said to have hit the ground
His first engagement after the
oath-taking was the inspection
of the Guard of Honour mounted
by the Brigade of Guard at the
venue of the inauguration
ceremony. In a motorcade, the
newly sworn-in Commander-in-
Chief, was driven in the company
of the Brigade Commander,
Brigadier-General Emmanuel
Atewe, his Aide-De-Camp, ADC, Lt.
Col. Ojogbane Adegbe and his
Chief Security Officer, CSO, Mr
Gordon Obua.
Meets world leaders
The following day, May 30,
Jonathan headed straight for the
Transcorp Hilton Hotel, where he
hosted some Heads of State and
Government who witnessed his
inauguration Those he met
included Liberian President, Mrs.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Trinidad
and Tobago leader, George
Maxwell, Burundi Vice_ President,
Gervais Rufyikiri Gervai and His
Zambian counterpart.
Others he met were Special
envoys from North Korea,
Morocco, Kuwait and China.
At the meeting Jonathan
informed them that Nigeria’s
foreign investment policies
would be overhauled as part of a
deliberate attempt by
government to grow the
economy and generate
employment for the youths.
Dissolves FEC
Aware of the legal implications of
keeping presidential appointees
beyond May 29 the President
dissolved the Federal Executive
Council, FEC, which he had
presided over for about a year
In a statement which he
approved, Jonathan declared that
“ in accordance with the
appointment letters of members
of the Federal Executive Council,
Special Advisers, Senior Special
Assistants, Special Assistants, and
other political appointees, their
appointments ended on May 29,
This brings to a close the former
administration, and marks the
beginning of the new one ”. The
President thanked all the
outgoing ministers, advisers and
assistants and other political
appointees for their service to
the nation. He particularly lauded
their patriotism and dedication,
and wished them God’s blessings
in their future endeavours.
Appoints Anyim SGF
Equally promising for the new
administration was the
appointment on Monday of a
former Senate President, Senator
Anyim Pius Anyim, as the
Secretary to the Government of
the Federation, SGF; and the
reappointment of General Owoye
Andrew Azazi as the National
Security Adviser, NSA.
The following day, Tuesday, May
31 the President held a
valedictory session with
members of the dissolved
While assuring the former
ministers to see their exit from
the Federal Executive Council, FEC,
as another opportunity to
contribute their quota to the
ongoing transformation agenda
for Nigeria, he explained that he
would have preferred the
ministers stay-on until a new
cabinet is formed except for legal
stipulation of the terms of their
appointments which terminated
May 29, 2011.
While thanking the former FEC
members for their interest in
serving the country at a very
critical time of its history he
wished them the best of luck in
their future endeavour.
The former SGF, Alhaji Yayale
Ahmed responded on behalf of
the members of the former
Also speaking, Vice President
Namadi Sambo thanked the
ministers for their contributions
to national development in the
last one year, saying that the
government appreciated them
for stabilising the polity when it
mattered most.
He told the outgoing ministers to
be grateful to God for the
humility, patience and
perseverance they must have
learnt from his boss, the
President, saying that “I find a
teacher in you (President). It is
only those who have opportunity
to work with you that will
understand what I am saying ”.
From the Banquet Hall, Mr
President proceeded to the
council cambers of Aso Rock for
the inauguration of the new SGF,
Senator Pius Anyim. At exactly
12.20 pm, Anyim, the new SGF
took his oath of office and
thereafter took his seat at the
Council Chambers at 12.24 p.m.
from which minutes earlier,
Yayale Ahmed had vacated.
Jonathan said the choice of
Senator Anyim as the SGF was
informed by his track record over
the years, saying that the new
SGF is to form part a critical team
being packaged to champion
and drive the transformation
agenda initiative of the new
Meets party leadership
On Wednesday June 1, President
Jonathan met the leadership of
the mainstream political parties
including the People Democratic
Party, PDP, at the Banquet Hall of
Aso Rock. The Action Congress of
Nigeria, ACN, All Nigeria Peoples
Party, ANPP, All Progressive Grand
Alliance, APGA, and Labour Party,
LP, were among others that sent
representatives to the meeting.
In attendance were Bello
Mohammed, Chairman of PDP,
Kao Baraje, Secretary of PDP and
Olusola Oke, Legal Adviser, PDP,
Bisi Akande, Chairman ACN,
national leader of ACN Bola
Tinubu, Chris Ngige, and George
Akume. Others are Ogbonnaya
Onu, Chairman ANPP; Lanre
Amosu, ANPP Chieftain; Victor
Ume, chairman, APGA, Tim
Manakaya, APGA, and Dan
Nwuanyawu, Chairman, LP,
among others.
The President was accompanied
to the meeting by Vice President
Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the
Government of the Federation,
SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim,
Chief of Staff to the President,
Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, and
Presidential Spokesman, Mr Ima
Niboro, and Special Assistant on
Research and Documentation, Mr
Oronto Douglas
There was however uneasy calm
in Aso Rock Wednesday when
unconfirmed reports in the
media filtered into the air that
the Chief of Staff to President,
COS, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, had
been removed from office.
The presidency immediately
distanced itself from the reports;
saying that the rumour that the
incumbent Permanent Secretary
in the Federal Ministry of Water
Resources, Dr Godknows Boladei
Igali, has been appointed Acting
Chief of Staff is not only fake but
The Presidency also gave reason
why the Special Adviser to the
President on Media and Publicity,
Mr Ima Niboro, Special Assistant
on Research and Documentation,
Mr Oronto Douglas, and many
close aides to the president have
not been reappointed, citing a
legal clause that requires a
legislative approval. The
constitution requires the
President to seek the approval of
the Senate for the number of
Special Advisers to appoint. Upon
the approval the president will
proceed to announce the
appointments into the category.
Before the close of June 1,
President Jonathan also had
another session with the
leadership of Nigerian Economic
Society, NES, led by its President,
Dr. Kenneth Adeyemi. At the
forum, Jonathan said he would
soon appoint the President of
the NES as Honourary Adviser to
him on Economic Matters.
The President further said that
the NES Chief Executive would
also serve as a member of the
National Economic Management
Team, NEMT, when it is
constituted soon. Jonathan said
this will be an enduring tradition
to enable the economic body
interface regularly with
government towards national
economic transformation. For
Jonathan it has been a beginning
for his own efforts to stamp his
legacy on the country.

Positive Thinkers

Positive Thinkers

Positive Thinkers

Igali as Chief of Staff:
Jonathan ’s positive change
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan
has, in the past, been accused (by
me and many other
commentators) of hiring people
who are incompetent and/or
unpleasant to fill important
positions. But I don’t know
ANYONE who is complaining
about his recent decision to
make Ambassador Godknows
Igali his Chief Of Staff.
Igali, a former Ambassador to
Sweden and former Permanent
Secretary, is a seasoned, polished
and highly intelligent public
But I’m not applauding his
appointment purely on the basis
that he has a big brain, relevant
experience and an impressive CV
because Nigeria is full of people
who have big brains, relevant
experience and impressive CVs.
Igali’s solid academic
qualifications and appropriate
career credentials are, therefore,
not what make him special.
The thing that makes Igali stand
out from the crowd of senior
personnel who populate the
corridors of power is his
excellent character.
He is widely acknowledged as
one of the most outstandingly
decent men to emerge from the
Niger Delta. He is loyal to his
roots but detribalised, pragmatic
but principled, humble but self-
confident, creative but down to
earth, relaxed but rigorous and
strong but compassionate.
Furthermore, he somehow
manages to combine a
wonderful sense of humour with
immense seriousness.
Igali’s presence in the Villa will
greatly enhance Mr. President’s
image and effectiveness. And I
salute the Commander-in-Chief
for having the foresight to
recruit such a safe pair of hands.
With Igali at his side, he can sleep
Last but not least!
Kudos to Dame Aleruchi Cookey-
Gam JP, a onetime SSG and
Attorney General of Rivers State
who is currently the
Administrator of the Greater Port
Harcourt City Development
Authority…for receiving the title
of Ibifriwangibo (Achiever) from
His Royal Majesty, the Amayanabo
of Opobo Kingdom.
Dame Cookey-Gam (an Ikwerre
native) is linked to Opobo via her
late husband, Architect Roland
Cookey-Gam. And the thing that
strikes me most forcibly about
her in-laws ’ eagerness to honour
her is that it is unusual.
Since many Nigerian women are
despised by their husbands ’
people, no matter how successful
they are (and Dame Cookey-Gam
is a consummate professional), I
think it is fair to say that she
must have been an exceptionally
good wife, mother and friend to
the people whose son and
brother she married.
So bravo to her…and also to my
darling sister, Lela, who turned
50 last weekend and has so
often been the shoulder I cry on,
the staunch supporter who
dashes me cash when I am
broke and the cement that holds
our family together.
While Mr President and various
governors were being
inaugurated in Nigeria, I was in
London celebrating this
landmark birthday with Lela.
And the reason I’m in such a
sunny frame of mind at the
moment is that we had an
absolute ball at a party that can
only be described as fantastically
uplifting. And I hope that you will
all join me in praying that my
kind, clever sibling lives another
50 years.
A shining example
A girlfriend who works for the
Nigerian Maritime Administration
and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has
nothing but praise for her new
Director-General, Mr Ziakede
Patrick Akpobolokemi, and has
just told me a nice story about
Apparently, Akpobolokemi
recently decided to go overseas
for a short training programme.
So his staff organised estacode
(a foreign exchange allowance
that government officials get to
cover costs like hotel bills while
they are abroad).
But the trip had to be cancelled
at the last minute because the
foreign embassy to which
Akpobolokemi had applied for a
visa did not deliver the visa on
Most Naija VIPs would’ve hung
onto the money. And nobody
would have batted an eyelid if
Akpobolokemi had done so. But,
much to everyone ’s amazement,
he insisted on returning the
estacode, which amounted to
thousands of dollars.
We definitely need more men like
him in the system. But Nigeria
has a way of frustrating those
who possess integrity; and I
hope that corrupt elements do
not begin to regard his laudable
honesty as a threat.
A welcome rapprochement
I WOULD like to commend my
Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for
finally making peace with his
former mentors, Dr Peter Odili
and Justice Mary Odili.
Amaechi spent a large chunk of
his formative years as a member
of the Odili household and was
treated like an adored son and
trusted political heir until a bitter
difference of opinion pushed
them into different camps.
Because of this rancorous rift
and the dramatic legal tussle that
ensued, Amaechi ’s de facto
parents were not there when he
was eventually sworn in as
governor in October 2007. And it
saddened me that they did not
witness his first moment of glory
at close quarters and with proud,
joyful hearts.
Some Rivers people hate Odili
with a burning passion and
angrily told me off whenever I
expressed the view that Amaechi
should, as the younger person,
do everything possible to patch
up this quarrel. And some of
these detractors constantly
urged him to completely forget
about the predecessor he once
But I can be very sentimental.
Whatever Odili ’s faults may be, he
and his family were very good to
Amaechi for a very long time. And
I ’ve always felt that the tensions
that have kept them apart in
recent years could never be as
significant as the emotional
bonds that kept them together
for a couple of decades.
I like to think of their
longstanding closeness as an
ocean …and of their dispute as a
mere drop in this ocean. And I
was pleased when I heard that
Amaechi had resolved this issue
and that the Odilis were there
during his second moment of
glory …when he was sworn in to
serve a another gubernatorial
term last Sunday.
Congrats to Amaechi for having
the maturity and generosity of
spirit to get over this hurdle.
Congrats also to the few people
around Amaechi – Nyesom Wike,
his Chief of Staff, for example –
who did not maliciously pour fuel
on the fire when hostilities were
raging because they realised that
our state would be a happier
place if folks who had once been
friends could become friends
As for those who are not part of
this reconciliation and feel
betrayed because they stood by
Odili when he and Amaechi were
on bad terms: I am begging
them to please forgive and forget
and look forwards rather than
This, by the way, is an
appropriate time to hail Amaechi
and Justice Mary Odili for their
recent elevations to the
Chairmanship of the Nigerian
Governors ’ Forum and Supreme
Court. I am sure that they will
both perform magnificently.

The Truth About Girls

Women are like apples
trees. The best ones are
at the top
of the
tree. The men don't want
to reach
for the good ones
because they
afraid of falling and
getting hurt.
Instead, they just get the
apples from the ground
aren't as good, but easy.
So the
apples at
the top think something
is wrong
with them, when in
reality, they're
amazing. They just have
to wait
for the right man to
come along,
one who's brave enough
to climb
all the way to the top.

Allosgabriel: Fashola Commends Fidelity Bank,For Offering 14mw

Allosgabriel: Fashola Commends Fidelity Bank,For Offering 14mw: "Governor Babatude Fashola has commended Fidelity Bank Plc for supporting the Independent Power Project (IPP) in the state, urging other..."

Fashola Commends Fidelity Bank,For Offering 14mw

Governor Babatude Fashola
has commended Fidelity
Bank Plc for supporting the
Independent Power Project
(IPP) in the state, urging
other banks to emulate the
bank in the quest to develop
the country in general.
He gave the commendation
during the commissioning
ceremony of the Lagos Island
Power Project last weekend
saying, “ State and Federal
Government should create
enabling environment to
enable the private sector to
participate in developing the
economy. Once good
governance is in place the
private sector would be
ready to key in and take
advantage of opportunities
that will arise. ”
Governor Fashola also
disclosed plans by the State
to build additional 100 mega
watts in Lagos Island, to
further boost electricity
supply in the State.
While commissioning the
State ’s 14 megawatts Island
Power Project which was
financed by Fidelity Bank Plc,
Fashola disclosed that its
administration has
completed power audit for at
least 500 buildings on the
central business district of
Lagos Island in the axis of
Broad Street and Marina and
its immediate environs.
According to him, “Experts
have told me that it is
possible to deliver the
remaining 100 mega watts
in 24 months and the only
thing that stands on our way
is to get gas across from
Ijora to Lagos Island. There is
a group that has shown
interest, but whatever it
takes, we would ensure that
we take that gas across the
Lagos. ”
According to the Governor,
the state has received a lot of
entreaties to expand the
new Island Power Project,
adding that the State is
committed to doing so. He
emphasized that the
government would also
extend the project to other
parts of the state.
Continuing, he said, “it is not
the Island alone that we are
concerned, we are also
concerned about the whole
of Lagos, but this is where it
would be easy to start from.
This new plan will fully
power the Lagos High Court,
the Igbosere Magistrate
Court, the General Hospital,
and the Lagos Island
Maternity Hospital. Apart
from providing electricity
uninterrupted and in an
efficient manner, this new
plant will save Lagos state
about 46 per cent of its
revenue that it spends
currently on diesel and
“Secondly, it reduces the
emission and the noise and
perhaps, a very adverse on
the quality of our life and our
ultimate life expectancy. In
the short term, it will be
taking off at least 30
generators out of the system.
They will no longer
contribute to the noise and.
We have also commissioned
the power audit for Somolu.
We believe that with the
printing business in Somolu,
which for me is the capital of
printing business in Nigeria,
those entrepreneurs deserve
to be supported to reduce
the cost of their business, ”
Fashola explained.
In his remark at the
commissioning ceremony,
Managing Director/CEO,
Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald
Ihejiahi commended
Governor Fashola for his
amiable and visionary
According to him, “
Governors of other states
should replicate what
Governor Fashola is doing in
Lagos. Once good
governance is in place the
government should be
assured that the private
sector would be ready to
commit resources to develop
the country.