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Open Letter To Mr President On The Need To Appoint From Within An Effective And Charismatic Auditor-General For The Federation

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The Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation is a constitutional body and the Supreme Audit Institution of Nigeria

The Auditor-General for the Federation is a professional and non-partisan position in Nigerian Government who shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Federal Civil Service Commission subject to the confirmation of the Senate as provided for in Section 86(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The essence of the office is to support the National Assembly in meeting its constitutional responsibilities of informed oversights, policy and funding decisions, also to help improve the performance and accountability of the Federal Government for the Nigerian people. These responsibilities are performed through examining of the use of public funds and evaluation of Federal programs and policies and commitment to good governance using its core values of transparency, accountability, integrity, and professionalism.

The Office exists to audit the nation’s accounts in the most professional and transparent manner, ensuring value for money in government financial activities for the benefit of the Nigerian people, and to be a foremost audit institution, applying best professional practices towards fostering good governance and providing leadership to other Public Sector Audit Institutions in the country and beyond.

As established by the constitution, the Office has been empowered to play a major role in the fight against corruption; a government that has a top agenda of fighting corruption to a standstill needs the Office to function optimally. The Auditor-General for the Federation is a person Constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of auditing and reporting on the accounts of of the Federation. This task can only be performed professionally with high skill, competence, experience and integrity. This person should have no political affiliation as his job has been designed to partly check and report on political appointees and politicians themselves, not subjecting to the direction or control of any other authority or person (section 85{6}). This person the Constitution requires to be daring and possesses towering integrity.

Therefore such a position should not be subject to any political process. Making this position open to advertisement will only expose the process to all manner of persons which may increase the risk of selecting a person through godfatherism and will result in compromise, conflict of interest and bias in the discharge of this professional duty especially when their cronies are being audited, investigated or reported on.

Leadership positions such as this require one who is highly skilled, experienced and has climbed through the rungs of the ladder. The person should appreciate the Office and understand the nitty gritty of government auditing, this will guarantee that with such a person at the helm of affairs, there will be confidence that key mandates, duties and responsibilities under his watch shall be timeously delivered in a seamless and professional manner.

Perhaps, the tremendous successes recorded when Auditors-General for the Federation were appointed from among the most senior Directors of Audit within the Office are verifiable from the living Auditors-General Emeritus including: Mr.J. C. Asugha (1st Jan 1994-28th November 1998); Mr Pius N. Akubueze (November 1998-31st December 2001); Mr J.O.Ajiboye (15th Jan 2002-15th July2002); Mr Vincent S.C Azie (13th August 2002-13th February 2003); Mr J.O. Ajiboye (February 2003-December 2006); Mrs B.F. Oyelowo (December 2006-May 2007); Mr O.R.Ejenavi (May 2007-May 2009); Mr Gabriel Ogunsina (19th May 2009-November 2009, then reverted to the rank of Director of Audit, continued to run the affairs of the Office till 9th June 2010). This was undoubtedly as a result of the exposure and experience they garnered by growing through the ranks in the Office. In line with international best practice, the Kenyan Government in July, 2020 just appointed Nancy Gathungu, an insider in the Kenya’s National Audit Office as Kenya’s Auditor-general to be guided by independence, credibility, relevance and accountability. Also, the incumbent South African Auditor-General- Thembekile Kimi Makwetu was appointed as an insider having being Deputy Auditor-General (equivalent of ranking Director of Audit in Nigeria) in the same Office, just to mention but a few.

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated his stance for professionalism and promoting hard work when he appointed Mohammed Umar, an insider, as the new Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This gesture definitely will encourage every staff member of the commission to work assiduously knowing that some day they could be appointed head the agency.

Unfortunately, since the year 2010 when an outsider was appointed to pilot the affairs of the nation’s auditing house, politicians have highjacked the Office and eroded the achievements recorded by past Auditors-General for the Federation making it look like a mere post-office where courier services are rendered.

Indeed, it’s pathetic and shameful that the Office of the Auditor-General for Federation lost its focus in the discharge of its core functions (production of timely annual reports and comments on audited accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government despite perceived frauds that is taking place in these places. For instance, the mind-boggling frauds that is been revealed and investigated by the National Assembly should have been revealed or discovered by the Office of the Auditor-General if not for the politicization of the office.

The Auditor-General for the Federation should not be appointed based on political patronage but one who grows through the ranks with expertise and passionate about transparency. The Auditor-General suppose to make the work of the anticorruption agencies – EFCC and ICPC easier by exposing frauds in MDAs and other governments contracts via its reports unfortunately it’s not the so.

Since the fight against corruption and promoting transparency in governance is one of the key mandates of President Buhari’s administration, there is the need for Mr President to reposition the agency to enable it operates in line with its mandate as a fact-digger. This could only be achieve if the President reversed the trend and appoint a qualified and experienced person within the system.

As the nation gears up for the recruitment of yet another Auditor -General for the Federation, it is about time that attention is paid to professionalism, experience, knowledge and understanding of the workings of the Office. In this regard therefore, consideration must be given to the highly skilled and largely qualified personnel within the Office who over the years have been disadvantaged in the race for the head of the Office as most of them are core civil servants without godfathers to pull the strings in their favor. The nation must rise up to reject and desist from the penchant of recruiting externally to fill this position, while the Office boasts of eminently qualified and experienced personnel who can do the job fearlessly and boldly without caring whose ox is gored. This penchant of external recruitment has resulted to major setbacks in achieving key deliverables to the nation due to the under listed;

• An external appointee has limited understanding of the Office

• There is a Higher risk of choosing the wrong candidate as there will be godfathers to influence the outcome

• It is going to be Time consuming and the nation does not have such luxury

• Internal disputes with existing employees

• Longer adjustment and orientation time

• Choosing timid individual with eroded independence and impaired loyalty

• Lowering the bar of efficiency and effectiveness

• lack of cohesion and synergy among management and staff

• introduction of policies without harmony and buy-ins from management and staff there by resulting in failure and discontinuance at his/her exit resulting in stagnation and wastage of resources

The Office should remain professional and not politicized where politicians are given the chance to influence who checks and investigates their impropriety, thereby sacrificing objectivity, merit, experience, professionalism, carrier growth and progression on the altar of mundane considerations.

In choosing the next Auditor-General for the Federation, the above should be subjected to objective and careful consideration by rightfully picking from within in accordance with the Constitution so as to deliver its core functions of auditing and reporting professionally with integrity on government establishments in the most accountable and transparent manner, plugging all revenue leakages, ensuring the effective management of scarce resources and becoming a major stakeholder in the fight against corruption and malpractices for the betterment of all Nigerians

From the forgoing, it is imperative that in order to promote professionalism in delivering on the duties and responsibilities of the Office and boosting staff morale, it’s important to pick an internal, experienced and most senior Director of Audit in the Office (as has been the practice in the past). This will tremendously motivate the staff to put in their best and be hopeful of reaching the zenith of their career for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians as against appointing external candidates who do not possess the requisite experience and exposure but for political affiliations and godfatherism.

Adekoya Isyaka is a public analyst, he wrote from lagos, Nigeria

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Fulani Eviction: Northern Group Calls Out Tinubu, Demands Arrest of APC Leader

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The National Coordinator of Northern Patriots Assembly has called out Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National leader of the All Progressives Party (APC) over the crisis between Yoruba youths and Fulani herdsmen in the Southwest.
Recall that Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, had issued a quit notice to the Hausa-Fulani in Igangan, Oke Ogun area of Oyo State.
The incident allegedly resulted in the destruction of houses and vehicles in the state.
Reacting, the Northern group in a statement signed by Alhaji Salihu Mohammed on Saturday in Abuja, accused Tinubu of being responsible for the crisis between Yoruba youths and Fulani herdsmen in the Southwest.
It also called on the Inspector General of Police to arrest Tinubu and all his cohorts involved in this sacrilegious act against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“All these threats, suspense and deliberate heating of the polity we believe are at the instigation of the so called South West political leader, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu all in the name of politics,” the Northern Patriots Assembly’s statement read in part.
“We cannot but see the hands of the Tinubu in all these because of his inordinate ambition to become the president of Nigeria and his penchant for bellicosity anytime he is targeting a political prize horse.
“Tinubu as we all know is seriously eyeing the presidency come 2023. But as we inch closer to the election year, it is becoming glaring to him that the odds do not favour him.
“Instead of accepting his fate quietly as power does not come from man, Tinubu is trying upset the apple cart by heating up the polity and making the country ungovernable.
“This is with the hope that after he has turned the country upside down, that he will be called to the negotiating to state his demands where he will insist that the presidency be handed over to him or the mayhem continues
“This is self serving and unpatriotic act that should be condemned by all. A country cannot be set ablaze just for the ambition of one man no matter how stupendously rich he thinks he is.
“This is not the first time Tinubu would be involved in subversive activities against the Nigerian Stste due to his inordinate ambition.
“You will recall that he tried to betray Abiola by asking the military junta of Abacha to make him governor of Lagos State.
“It was when the latter refused that he intensified activities with NADECO and deceived many that he was fighting for democracy and joined in the call for sanctions against his own country.
“Till date, he is yet to clear himself of the certificate scandal that dogged his tenure as governor of Lagos State.
“In the build up to the 2015 elections, he did not mind the turmoil and acrimony that would have followed once his ambition is met but insisted he be made the running mate to Buhari for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.
“Last year, the former Lagos State Governor was also fingered as one of the sponsors of the EndSars protests which almost destroyed Nigeria.
“Many online media reported at the heat of the protests that Bola Tinubu was sponsoring the #EndSARS protests in the South Western part of the country in order to cripple the country and disrepute the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the global front.

“Though Tinubu issued a statement to deny sponsorship of the protests, his reasons were not convincing enough.
“We therefore call on the Inspector General of Police to arrest Tinubu and all his cohorts involved in this sacrilegious act against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“No one is in support of act of criminality by bandits, criminals and kidnappers anywhere in the country. But we will also not allow anyone no matter how highly placed to destabilize the nation through the back door.
“We are happy by the steps taken by the Oyo State governor to dissociate from this attempt at genocide.
“Other state governments in the Southwest must do the same and arrest Igboho if he comes into their territory.”

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Sanction Trump, Other Top Officials, Group Urges Nigeria, African Nations

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Nigeria and other African nations have been urged to impose sanctions on immediate past U.S President, Donald Trump and top officials of his administration over worsened diplomatic relationship between the United States and the continent. 

According to civil society group, All Lives Matter in Nigeria (ALMN) at a world press conference on Sunday in Abuja, this is necessary to send a strong signal to other world leaders insincere in their dealings on issues that affect Africa. 

Recall that China, on Wednesday, slapped sanctions on 28 former Trump administration officials including his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In his address, Comrade Bonaventure Maduka Director, Public Enlightenment, said Trump was insincere with Africa and most of his policies were targeted at Nigeria and against the country’s socio-economic growth.

Maduka revealed that the imposition of a travel ban on Nigerians and blacklist for alleged religious freedom violation is a clear example of his anti-Nigeria policies. 

The All Lives Matter in Nigeria, therefore, called om Nigerian authorities to issue an executive order imposing travel bans and business restrictions on some of Trump’s top allies.

The group noted that the U.S instead of extending support to Nigeria in the war against terrorism and other militancy acts, the past administration propagated a narrative that almost sparked an ethnoreligious crisis in the country. 

The All Lives Movement in Nigeria, however, charged all African nations to be united against Trump in protest of his egregious policies that stifled socio-economic growth and development in the continent. 

While welcoming the travel ban reversal by Joe Biden, the group hoped that this would trigger a diplomatic turnaround in the relationship between Nigeria and the United States. 

It added that it expects Biden to give Nigeria its pride of place amongst the comity of nations and upturn the obnoxious policies of the Trump administration.  

Read the full statement below:

The All Lives Matter in Nigeria Movement welcomes you all to this press conference in the light of the happenings in the United States of America and indeed worldwide. 

Cognizant of Joseph Biden’s swearing-in as the 46th President of the United States of America, the outgone administration of Donald Trump has continued to generate controversies around the world for conducts that undermines democracy. 

The Capitol’s invasion by supporters of Donald Trump gives a clear picture of the personality of Donald Trump and his level of sincerity and commitment to the entrenchment of democracy, not just in the United States of America but all around the world.   

It is indeed a statement of the fact that the administration of Donald Trump was very hostile to Nigeria in ways too numerous to mention. One of such is the imposition of travel ban which affected families of Nigerians living in the United States of America. 

Former President Donald Trump also attempted to ignite a religious war in Nigeria by alleging Christians’ persecution by the government in Nigeria.

While this was regarded as a most despicable act by the President of the United States of America, he labelled Nigeria and other African countries as shithole countries. 

All Lives Matter in Nigeria Movement is of the considered opinion that Donald Trump’s administration was by every inch of imagination against the socio-economic growth and development of Nigeria. 

Therefore, we are constrained to demand that the Nigerian government imposes sanctions on Donald Trump and members of his administrations whose actions and inactions harmed Nigeria. This is indeed necessary to send a strong signal to other world leaders insincere in their dealings on issues that affect the African continent. 

The All Lives Matter in Nigeria Movement would be releasing a report on the many atrocities of the Donald Trump administration on Nigeria in the past four years. We shall also be demanding punitive actions against Donald Trump and his associates to ensure that they do not have any business dealings in Nigeria and on the African continent. 

We are also using this medium to call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria, as well as his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order imposing travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft, and former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon. 

The urgency of now requires that this action is taken against the individuals mentioned above who were advisers and confidants of Donald Trump during his reign as President of the United States of America. 

These individuals, alongside Donald Trump, did insult our sensibilities. Their tactic refusal to extend support to Nigeria in the war against terrorism and other militancy acts. Instead, they propagated a narrative that almost sparked aethnoreligiousus crisis in the country. 

The All Lives Matter Movement in Nigeria uses this medium to encourage other African countries to impose travel bans and business restrictions on Donald Trump and his top advisers since in their estimation and wisdom; Africa is a continent of shithole countries. 

It is our considered opinion that the African continent stays united in this front. It is on record that the Donald Trump administration was very uncommitted towards the growth and development of countries in the African continent. Their disdain for Africa was legendary. This was responsible for the egregious policies that stifled socio-economic growth and development in the African continent. 

It is our firm belief that the new administration in the United States of America would give Nigeria its pride of place amongst the comity of nations and upturn the obnoxious policies of the Donald Trump administration. 

While we commend President Joe Biden for taking the bold step of reversing the travel ban imposed by Donald Trump on Nigeria and other countries, we also hope that this step would indicate the future of what to expect in the diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and the United States of America. 

We hope that the government of Nigeria acts in the overall interest of the people of Nigeria that were disdainfully treated by Donald Trump while he was President of the United States of America. 

We thank you for your keen attention and time.

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Rise Against Diaspora Interferences To Destabilize Nigeria, CTJ Charges Nigerians

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The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called on Nigerians to rise against negative influences and interferences in the Diaspora who mean no well for the country.

The coalition gave this charge at a press conference on Friday in Abuja.

According to Executive Director, Comrade Dominic Ohene, Nigerians abroad no longer display patriotism but malicious influence, surreptitiously eating the heart of the nation and contaminating the youths.

Comrade Ohene noted that social media has become the major tool used in spreading false information and propagating misleading propaganda to implant anarchy and ultimately overturn the people’s mandate.

Speaking further, Ohene recalled how these tactics almost worked during the EndSARS protests last year after these Nigerians hijacked and escalated the exercise.

While citizens of other nations uplift the image of their country, the CTJ said most Nigerians outside the shores have elected to attack and set their home in flames.

More worrisome, Ohene noted that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) have assisted these elements to achieve their course, availing its offices as a staging point for attacks against their home government.

The CTJ, therefore, charged all Nigerians to stand up in solidarity to say enough is enough to the adverse impact of the Diasporas in our country.

While calling for strict sanctions on these Nigerians, the coalition recommended that all Diaspora groups and offices must be overhauled and replaced with more competent people willing to work earnestly and efficiently for the interest of the country.

It, however, urged all Nigerians to work together and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for the peace and prosperity of our dear country Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

The present epoch could reasonably be referred to as the diasporan age. The age of mass movement from one country to another. The age where citizens can represent their mother countries while residing in another, the age where their actions and voices can be heard, and cause tremendous affect either positively or negatively.

As a matter of fact, these effects have to lead many nations to look into the meanings birthed by the word “Diaspora”, especially meaning with dispersal, immigration, expatriate, refuge, exile, and ethnonational communities. There is no doubt that all these are more or less part of the intrinsic dynamics of a diaspora community.

Be that as it may, membership of a contemporary diaspora now implies potential empowerment based on the ability to exert socio-economic and political influence in both the homeland and the host and.

Indeed, we all know that diasporan historiography and discourses have grown exponentially in recent times. Despite this impressive historiography, the Nigerian diaspora has largely been subsumed under the general categories of studies dealing with Africans or Blacks living outside the shores of Africa.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice feels disturbed and very concerned about the soiled-Nigerian-garment by many Nigerians in the diaspora. It is said that _”A good name is better than gold and riches…”_

Unlike how Interestingly it used to be, that members of the Nigerian diaspora were heavily involved in transnational activities that effectively integrated their countries of origin with their host countries. They, therefore, became not only veritable agents of poverty reduction but a key player in the process of Africa’s socio-economic transformation and development, thereby playing a pivotal role in the process of integrating the African continent into an increasingly globalized world.

Unfortunately, it is very heartbreaking to see that this precious historical legacy has now been thrown to the swine just because of the selfishness of some bad urchins that seek after their own political aggrandizement.

These negative influence of many Nigerians in the diaspora are surreptitiously eating at the heart of our nation and it is corrupting our youths. Their influence on the youths of Nigeria has been appalling. A lot of Nigerians at home look up to Nigerians in the diaspora as they believe that they become more successful over there, and thus, their way of life has been emulated by many Nigerians.

The awful thing about this is that they bring their bad culture to Nigeria. They exhibit the most appalling behaviour and this only succeeds in eroding the personalities of our youths. They have chosen to use social media as a means of spreading false information and propagating misleading propaganda. Their only aim is to implant a lawless society in Nigeria. Their only aim is to ensure that their fat cheques keep coming from their sponsors. It is most unfortunate that these evil political sponsors are hiding behind the façade of being democrats when in reality they abhor the very tenets of democracy, which is why they are keen on using crude tactics to overturn the mandate that Nigerians gave the government.

During the EndSars protests, the diasporas shamelessly attacked the Nigerian government.  They also conducted needless protests in their respective countries of residence. These actions only helped to further instigate the young men and women protesting which eventually turned violent and bloody. Their many witless posts on social media escalated the protests into a mini-revolution. But thanks to the prompt mobilisation and efficiency of the Nigerian security personnel, the situation was promptly arrested.

The sad thing about all these is that a majority of these people in the diaspora are outcasts and renegades who escaped to foreign countries after committing various atrocities. Many of them were armed robbers, rapists, school dropouts and lazy louts. These are unrepentant people with past criminal records, and they refuse to desist those act, but tend to continue such without giving it a second thought of the harm they are causing the society. Some of them are people who either failed in their businesses or their careers and therefore migrated overseas in search of greener pasture’. We call on every patriotic citizen to think it deeply that, If these people failed to make a significant impact in their country, of what value could they possibly be in other countries? They have nothing to offer.

There has never been a group of people that mindlessly rained abuses on its own government from the shores of other countries. Every Nigerian citizen whether in the diaspora or not must do their best to be patriotic citizens by uplifting the image of the country rather than tarnishing it. The actions of the diaspora community especially in recent times is condemnable.

Patriotism is the sine qua non of every Nigerian citizen but the diasporas have shown us times without number that they lack it. This lack of patriotism has made many of the diasporas to act with such reckless abandon.

The shocking thing is that the diaspora groups and organizations such as NIDCOM have done little to curb this menace Nigeria is faced with. They have failed in many regards especially in identifying these rogue elements that are working against the interests of the country. Rather, the diaspora office has become an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interest of our country Nigeria. The diaspora offices have become a staging point for attacks against their home government. They are just opportunists who are only concerned with pursuing their own personal interests. The result of these acts of theirs has led to the unwarranted temporal ban on our dear country by some countries, and these have affected some meaningful Nigerians that had good visions and plans on how they would have made great exploits.

We stand here before you all today to tell you that a stop must be put to the actions of these diasporas before things get out of hand. It is of paramount importance that this situation is tackled headlong and fast. If possible, the leadership of the use the social media to stir the pot of disharmony in the country.

We must all stand up in solidarity to say enough is enough to the adverse impact of the diasporas in our country. To ensure our patriotism is unshaken, the Coalition for Truth and Justice is reminding every Nigerian that this is not a one stakeholder’s affair or fight, We are hereby calling on all Nigerians both in Nigeria and in the diaspora to work together and provide all the needed support for President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for the peace and prosperity of our dear country Nigeria.

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