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President Buhari with his delegations in President Obamas's White House

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For Immediate Release

Buhari with Obama in Oval Office

 

“Nigerian-American Leadership Council” Welcomes President Buhari to Washington-Pushes For New Standard of Governance and Service Delivery.



The “Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC)”, has been notified about President Muhammadu Buhari’s invitation and arrival in Washington, for meetings with US Officials and some members of the Nigerian Diaspora including Executives of this Council.  The leadership of this Council intends to participate in some of the forums during this event.



While the Council enthusiastically welcomes President Buhari to Washington, the Council intends to seize the opportunity of an impending interactive session to brief President Buhari on the Council’s initiatives, and perspective on pertinent issues in Nigeria, as well in US-Nigeria relations.



The Council is aware that security will top the agenda in the various meetings and forums during this visit.  However, the Council also plans to call serious attention to the corruption in the public and private sectors in Nigeria, and to the impunity of the ruling class in Nigeria.



Unchecked Corruption in National Institutions
It is the Council’s factually based opinion, that unchecked corruption in the past few years in Nigeria, permeated some sacred institutions; including the security services, and the judiciary.  Corruption in the security services and the judiciary go into the heart of Nigeria’s ability to thrive as a unified democracy.  If unchecked, corruption could create a “free-for-all” cesspool that could drive Nigeria to the ground.



Security Agencies, the Judiciary and the Rule of Law
The judiciary and the security agencies should be totally immune from corrupt practices, especially at the top of their various hierarchies.  Where the top officials of these agencies are found complicit in corrupt practices, they should ideally face much stiffer sanctions, because there actions may have compromised lives, and thereby endangered the survival of the republic they are sworn to serve.  The “Rule of Law” must also be maintained at all times, during the process of prosecution.



Dangerous Compromises in Security and the Rule of Law
Prosecuting the war on terrorism may have actually become a cash-cow for some officials, who endangered the lives of troops in the front line, by their complicity in corruption.  It has also been reported that internal leaks on behalf of Boko Haram by insiders who were induced by money, religion, or ethnic bias, did weaken the campaign against Boko Haram and compromised troops lives.  Any such internal leaks should ordinarily call for charges for high treason and sabotage, with its attendant appropriate sanction.



We are also aware that “some” judges have compromised justice by accepting pay-offs to issue “not-guilty” rulings, and frivolous injunctions, in the face of overwhelming evidence of criminal wrong-doing by officials or business executives; especially top executives in the Banking industry.  We have observed issuance of perpetual injunctions by Judges, which do not have any basis in law or facts.  We note that sometimes it takes a foreign jurisdiction to get judgment or asset forfeiture from Nigerian ex-officials.

Reverence to Authority
We also perceive that there was limited reverence to presidential authority during the last administration, thus leading many officials and private sector executives to go on a plunder of public resources, without fear of presidential oversight, even in key agencies of the government.



This Council, with the assistance of US institutions, will begin to monitor assets that Nigerian Judges and other high officials acquire or transfer outside of Nigeria. 
We expect that at a minimum, that there would be sufficient reverence to President Buhar’s anti-corruption credentials, such that people would think twice about serious sanctions, before they plunder public resources under their watch.



Antics of the National Assembly
The national assembly in Nigeria is another area of blatant ruinous governance.  As stakeholders in Nigeria, and as a community that carry a disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s problems, we will be monitoring the national assembly in the near future, with the hope that they will redress the wrongs of the previous national assembly.



It remains simply ludicrous that the national assembly had the audacity to approve compensation for themselves that run into the millions per member, right under the nose of the suffering Nigerian masses, most of whom work hard but live like paupers.  The salaries and allowances of Nigerian federal legislators (almost 2 million USD annually per Senator), is unheard of anywhere in the world.  This top-heavy expense is not sustainable in a country where many people do not have running water, and are deprived of their salaries several months in a year.

 


Playing the Ethnic and Religious Cards
We note that Nigerian officials accused of high crimes frequently begin to invoke ethnic or religious undertones for their woes.  It amazes us that Nigerians fall for these schemes by the accused, rather than waiting for the culprits to have their day in court.



These are the challenges that Mr. Buhari should address with a firm unwavering hand, we expect him not to fail Nigerians, and in essence lay the foundation for a future prosperous Nigeria where every citizen can aspire to a decent life.


About NALC:
The Nigerian-American Leadership Council is the premier pre-eminent Public Policy and Business Advisory Council in the United States; focused entirely on Nigeria.  Adjudged by the US Media, as “A Powerful Voice” on US-Nigeria Affairs; the Council is the only NGO that maintains authoritative “rare access on both sides of the Atlantic”.  The Council, which remains an independent Think-Tank, has also become the go-to organization in Washington, and in the United States, for all things Nigeria.


Media Inquiries:
C. Goldie, Media Relations, Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC)
1701 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 300, NW Washington, DC 20006                                                              
Web: www.nalcouncil.org Tel: 202 379-2848, Ext 101, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Monday, 13 July 2015 17:15

Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs

1. Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin – Chief of Defence Staff


2. Major-General T.Y. Buratai – Chief of Army Staff


3. Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas – Chief of Naval Staff


4. Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar – Chief of Air Staff


5. Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan – Chief of Defence Intelligence


6. Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd.) – National Security Adviser


The new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Olonishakin (N/6901) hails from Ekiti State.

 

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1. Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin –       Ekiti  State


2. Major-General T.Y. Buratai –          Borno State


3. Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas –     Cross River State.


4. Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar –   Bauchi State


5. Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan –         Rivers State


6. Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd.) –      Niger State

 

 

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, the newly elected Nigerian leader has been invited to speak at Strategic Policy Lecture Series initiated by Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) and University of Houston in Houston Texas, United States of America; to speak on the topic: THE STRATEGIES TO DEFEAT AND ERADICATE BOKO HARAM.


The menace and threat that Boko Haram poses to corporate security and integrity of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Political economy of the great country of Nigeria is going through a phase of enormous challenges and vulnerabilities in the hands of the destructive Boko Haram.


President Buhari

 


Therefore the defeat of Boko Haram must be comprehensive and must be global in outlook and effort in combating the ugly situation in Nigeria  and West Africa.



The Strategic Policy Lecture Series is a joint initiative by the African Political & Economic Center (AFRIPOL) and the African American Studies program at the University of Houston to provide University of Houston students and Houston-area communities with high quality humanities programming, discussions and symposia around contemporary issues of trade, e-commerce, telecommunications, leadership and politics in Africa.  Through this initiative, AFRIPOL and African American Studies will provide the following benefits to UH students, faculty, and community participants:


· An introduction to the historic and regional nuances that impact trade, commerce and politics in Africa.


· A platform to facilitate inter-economic dialogue between African and African American communities.


· Exposure to first-hand narratives of the social, political and economic challenges and opportunities that face African countries through discussions with leading business persons and elected officials.


·A contemporary understanding and review of the role that trade and commerce play in promoting interdependence among African and African American communities.
AFRIPOL is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa, and to advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environments, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.


The mission of African American Studies is reflected in the larger vision of Black, Africana and African American Studies departments and programs’ commitment to the development of knowledge of people of African descent in America, throughout the greater Diaspora and on the Continent.  Since the summer of 2003, the African American Studies program has assisted over 100 University of Houston students in obtaining study abroad experience in West Africa.

 

Reference:

Strategic Policy Lecture Series : http://www.uh.edu/class/aas/news/Strategic-Policy-Lecture-Series/


The White House


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate ReleaseJune 25, 2015


Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria


On Monday, July 20, President Obama will host Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House.  The visit will underscore the United States’ longstanding friendship with Nigeria, our commitment to strengthening and expanding our partnership with Nigeria’s new government, and our support for the Nigerian people following their historic democratic elections and peaceful transfer of power.  President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Buhari our many shared priorities including US.-Nigeria cooperation to advance a holistic, regional approach to combating Boko Haram, as well as Nigeria’s efforts to advance important economic and political reforms that will help unlock its full potential as a regional and global leader.  In addition to hosting President Buhari at the White House, the United States will welcome President Buhari’s senior advisors for consultations with U.S. counterparts and other events aimed at building on the strong U.S.-Nigeria relationship.


Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli-Ndulue   is a professional basketball player in United States playing for the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2015 finals against Cleveland Cavaliers.


Festus Ezeli as popularly identified in NBA is an ingenious Nigerian from Anambra State and  was born  October 21, 1989 in Benin City, Edo State.  He was drafted in 2012 by the Golden State Warriors as the 30th pick in the 1st round of NBA American draft.  His early dream was to become a medical doctor but destiny takes its course and he ends up as a professional basket ball player in the most competitive league in the world.

“He concentrated on academics, graduating from high school while still age 14, and aspiring to become a physician. To further his career goals, his parents sent him in 2004 to live with his uncle, a pediatrician in Yuba City, California.”




"My parents told me I was an unusual child. My first name is Ifeanyi, and that means 'nothing is impossible with God', as he reminded Americans of his early life in Nigeria before coming to United States. He came from family of five and he was academically brilliant, a gift he displayed from the time he entered Elementary School in Nigeria.



Life in America
Shortly after Ezeli arrived in Yuba City, his uncle encouraged him to take up what seemed to be the most appropriate sport for a 6’8″ (2.03 m) teenager—basketball. This proved much more difficult for him than academics; although he had played soccer as a child, he had never played any organized sports. He took a year of classes at Jesuit High School in Sacramento, but did not play basketball; different sources report that he was either ineligible to play because he had graduated from high school in Nigeria or cut during tryouts. The start of his organized basketball career, with a low-level AAU team, was especially inauspicious; his first points were scored in his own team’s basket. Recalling that incident, he said, “Everybody was running up the court, and I was just running with them. It’s kind of surreal. Sometimes I think about it now and I’m like, Damn. How did I get here?”



Also in the Katz interview, Ezeli remarked on his struggles to learn the game:


“I didn’t know what I was doing. Imagine someone who is 14 or 15 years old, and you’re teaching them as if they’re a 6-year-old. It was tough. Everyone was getting frustrated with me. I was getting frustrated with it. I tried playing in 2005. I stopped. I tried again in 2006. And when I had my first dunk in a summer league game in Las Vegas in 2006, that’s when I was so excited. It was so exhilarating that I started to like it.”



At age 16, Ezeli joined a second AAU team and also enrolled part-time at Yuba Community College. By not attending full-time, he retained a full four years of college eligibility and was still able to practice with the team; he also served as the team’s videographer. Although still learning the most basic of basketball skills, he made his high-level competitive debut on the AAU circuit in the summer of 2007. By then, he had reached 6’11” (2.11 m), and averaged 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game, earning an invitation to the Reebok All-American Camp in July 2007.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, Afripol

 

Senator and former Governor of Kwara State,  Bukola Saraki has been elected the President of Nigeria’s 8th Senate,  while  Senator Ike Ekweremadu has also been elected as the Deputy Senate President defeating Senator Ali Ndume.



Mr. Saraki of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was elected unopposed with 57 lawmakers present voting for Saraki, while 51 were absent. He    defeated his party’s preferred candidate, Ahmed Lawan, to emerge the Senate president. He was nominated by Sani Yerima and seconded by Dino Melaye. Mr.Saraki has been sworn into office.

Saraki


"There has been a seeming crack in the All Progressives Congress (APC) after some lawmakers walked out during the party’s mock election to elect its candidates for the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly at the weekend," as reported by the Channel television.

 

Also, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE :Yakubu Dogora

The House of Representatives elected  Yakubu Dogora, as SPEAKER  (Tafawa Balewa/ Bogoro, Bauchi  constituency), defeating   Femi Gbajabiamila (Surelere, Lagos constituency).


David Oyelowo is a Hollywood British movie superstar of Nigerian parents.  Since his movie debut he has become a household name and has been getting great reviews on his recent project HBO'sNightingale. “At the age of 24, Oyelowo brought his regal bearing to the stage, where he became the first black actor to portray a king in a Royal Shakespeare Company production. More recently, he has made a name for himself by taking on American film roles. He played Martin Luther King Jr. in the film Selma, a civil rights activist in The Butler and a member of the Tuskeegee Airmen in Red Tails. His most recent film, HBO'sNightingale, is a single-character drama in which Oyelowo portrays an American veteran who is having a mental breakdown.”



Below is the Interview Highlights of David Oyelowo  with American National Public Radio (NPR )


On his Parents Being Yoruba/Igbo and moving to Britain 
Well, you know, Nigerians, generally speaking, academia is one of the big aims, is one of the big ambitions you have. And so my dad - and that tends to be something that, certainly for my dad's generation, was something to procure from the West. And so my dad came to the U.K. He was in Oxford wanting to have the sort of highfalutin education. He fell in love with my mom, who was my - my uncle's secretary - his brother's secretary. But she was Igbo and he is Yoruba. He comes from a royal family. She is a pleb, so to speak.
And so basically they kind of eloped to the U.K. because Yoruba and Igbo marrying was a bit of a taboo, especially as, like I say, he was from a royal family. So they were a number of reasons why they ended up in the U.K. But things just got a little tricky. You know, racism existed and, of course, still exists, but, you know, was more stark back in the '70s and '80s. And my parents just felt we've - I think our opportunities will be better in Nigeria. But we went back to Nigeria and soon afterwards a military government came in that made life even more difficult, so we ended up coming back to the U.K. when I was about 13.


On his father coming from a royal Yoruba family
My dad has tribal marks on his cheeks, he has four gashes in each cheek, which is very much part of the Yoruba tribe. ... If anyone messed with me at school, my dad would say, "Tell them — look, see these marks on my face? I fought with a tiger, so they don't want to touch my son." So I believed for years that my dad had wrestled a tiger, which is why he had these marks on his cheeks. So, of course, at some point I realized that that was a load of bologna so when he was then saying that we were from a royal family I was like, "Yeah, whatever." But then we shipped up in Nigeria and we lived on Oyelowo Street, named after my family, and we lived on the Oyelowo Compound. ... It was a very bizarre cultural thing to adapt to, going back.


On how being from a royal family has affected him
There are a lot of challenges I have undeniably faced as a black person both in the U.K. and in the U.S. that contrive to make me feel lesser than what I am, and I can absolutely see that in the African-American experience in this country. If you feel like the beginning of your history is rooted in slavery, that really, I think, messes with your sense of self, your self-esteem and your self-worth. But to know you came from a lineage of kings; to know that you came from a place whereby every opportunity afforded within that society is yours for the taking — it makes you get out of your bed a very different way than if you feel like today is yet another fight. So that is something I carry with me that I know has been of huge benefit as a result of my family and where I'm from.


On being bullied because he refused to take on a "minority mentality" in school in North London
If your notion of what it is to be black has been tarnished by what the culture in which you live in projects onto you, then you have a cankered sense of what that means. In the U.K., the reason I was being called a "coconut" [like the insult "Oreo" in the U.S.] is because to be black in the inner city school that I was going to was to be abusive to the teachers, to be getting as many girls pregnant as you possibly can, to be in trouble with the law — these were all things that were badges of honor where I grew up in North London. So to be a kid who wore his uniform correctly, who was respectful to his teachers, who put his head down and did his work, somehow I was trying to be something other than what I am supposed to be ...
It really confused me because here I am, literally having come back from the so-called motherland, and I had other people who looked like me saying that I was trying to not be what it is to be black, but that's because they had taken on a false notion of what that should mean. ... It was also a notion that was being projected onto them by the society in which they live: criminality is somehow linked to being black; teenage pregnancy is linked to being black; things that are negative are linked to being black. And they were taking it on and I absolutely refused to do that because I knew it not to be true. That's what I would refer to as a "minority mentality." It's a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy of being the thing that the larger society says you are.


On being the first black person to play a king [Henry VI] in a Royal Shakespeare Company production
When I was cast I had no idea that I was the first black person to be afforded that opportunity at the R.S.C. and, to be honest, I kind of tried to ignore it but it wouldn't go away. It was constantly in the press. There was one point at which I was rehearsing and I spent all of my lunch breaks fielding questions from the press and at some point we had to shut it down because the director didn't cast me to elicit that kind of reaction. ...
I remember reading an article in the Telegraph newspaper, which is a big newspaper in the U.K., and an Oxford professor said something like, "We open ourselves to ridicule when we allow black people to play English kings who clearly were not of African descent," or something like that, which to my mind is a pretty nonsensical thing to say when I don't know a single Egyptian who has played Cleopatra. And up until not that long ago white actors were playing Othello in Shakespeare plays in the U.K. So it sort of didn't hold any water, really ... but the play very quickly dulled those voices.


Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/28/409718943/david-oyelowo-on-acting-his-royal-roots-and-the-one-role-he-wont-take

His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari Inaugural speech, after  his swearing-in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29th May, 2015

I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.


I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.


I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted.  I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.


I thank all of you.


Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.
I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.


A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.


Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethenen should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.
I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.


At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.


In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.


Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.


Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.


For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.


Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.


However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.


My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.


The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.


This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.
Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.


Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.


The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.


No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.


Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.


Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.
Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar


There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.

We have an opportunity. Let us take it.


Thank you
Muhammadu Buhari
President Federal Republic of NIGERIA
and Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

On Monday May 18th, 2015, the Nigerian-American Leadership Council hosted a successful gathering of experts at the Rayburn Building of the US Congress; tagged :Nigeria 2015, Beyond the Ballot.  The Event was Co-sponsored by Office of US Congressman Chris Smith, Chairman Africa-Sub-Committee, and the Office of US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.

Executive Director, Sam Okey Mbonu introducing Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee


On Governance, Defense, and Human Rights


The event featured analysis of viable policy trajectories for the incoming Buhari presidency.  US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, who is also co-chair of the Nigeria Caucus at the US Congress, commended the Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC) for all the Council’s laudable initiatives, which includes ensuring good governance in Nigeria, and ensuring cordial US-Nigerian bilateral relations.  Congresswoman Jackson-Lee, extolled the great potentials and opportunities Nigeria has, to deliver service-driven governance, including the security of women, children, and the vulnerable.  The US Congresswoman spoke passionately about the still missing “Chibok Girls” who were kidnapped about one year ago by the extremist group Boko Haram.



Other remarks included a presentation by the Africa Sub-Committee of the US Congress, represented by Greg Simpkins.  Simpkins reiterated that the incoming new administration in Nigeria, must take visible appreciable steps to shake-off poor governance and corruption. 


Other panelists included Admiral Donald Loren, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense who’s remarks centered on regional security in Africa, containing the fluid security situation in Northeastern Nigeria, and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.  Prof. Edward Oparaoji, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Nigerian-American Leadership Council, discussed the festering regional wounds and ethnic distrusts, which were reflected in the last election.  Prof. Oparaoji believed that true progress in Nigeria will require addressing constitutional inequities in Nigeria, as currently constituted.



On the Economy, Technology, Human Development


Kayode Tani-Olu, who leads the Government Relations unit at the Council, as well as the Council’s Technology/ICT Advisor, analyzed technology trends that will play a prominent role in Nigeria’s new economy.  As an expert in technology, Tani-Olu declared that data storage and traditional computing have become moribund since the advent of  technology.


On Youth Development and Education


The Executive Director of the Council, Sam Okey Mbonu, in his remarks discussed the role of government in formulating a proactive engagement of youth, through training, skills acquisition, and a near-total revamping of the non-academic educational sector in Nigeria.  Mbonu, who is former Commissioner for Housing & Community Development in Maryland, US; as well as an expert in Economic Development; stated that Nigeria cannot meaningfully develop, without a solid base of skilled persons in the blue-collar and related workforce.  Mbonu stated that the blue-collar workforce, the IT industry, Entertainment, and Agriculture, will spur entrepreneurship, and grow Nigeria’s economy above and beyond the Oil & Gas industry. Therefore, the aforementioned areas require a necessary and serious look by both the incoming Buhari administration, and the various State governments.

On Diaspora Issues, Diaspora “Foreign Aid”, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)


Prominent leaders of the Nigerian-American Diaspora also emphasized that Nigeria will be in a serious crisis if the diaspora withdraws its foreign aid to Nigeria, which averages $22 Billion Dollars annually ($;21 Billion in 2014).  The Diaspora Foreign Aid to Nigeria is even more impactful, when you take into account, that the Diaspora also brings in or facilitates over 75% of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria including $36;85.6 Billion Dollars in 2012.



In-fact, the Nigerian Diaspora should get a red-carpet treatment, anytime they step into Nigeria, and a Diasporan with at least 15 to 25 years of experience living outside Nigeria, should necessarily head the ministry or agency for Diaspora Affairs.



Feedback from Nigerian Government Representatives


The Nigerian government was represented by Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, A
mbassador Ade Adefuye; and Nigeria's Defense Attache to the United States, Air Commodore Mohammed Yakubu.  Ambassador Adefuye extolled the remarkable job the Council has done, including engaging the highest level policy-makers in the United States.  The Nigerian Defense Attache, Air Commodore Yakubu addressed Nigeria’s new defense capabilities, and the increasing capacity to confront internal and regional terrorism, and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Executive Director, Sam Okey Mbonu addressing the gathering



About NALC:
The Nigerian-American Leadership Council is the premier pre-eminent Public Policy and Business Advisory Council in the United States; focused entirely on Nigeria.

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