Obasanjo, Jonathan, Saraki, IBB, Others, Set To ‘Storm’ President Buhari’s Office, Over The 2019 General Elections
dailyadvent.com Jan 21, 2019 1:50 PM
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has announced that the Council of State, will hold a meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 to hold talks relating to the country’s economy, security, and the forthcoming general elections.
The Council, which is chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, consists of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the Deputy Chairman; all former Presidents/Heads of State, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, State Governors, and Attorney-General of the Federation, will also discuss serious national issues which include the new national minimum wage.
The new minimum wage has been a cause of controversy with the latest being a threat by Organised Labour that they were going to embark on a nationwide strike beginning on January 28, 2019, if the President refused to send a bill on the wage to the National Assembly by Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
Labour had insisted on a N30,000 minimum wage, while the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, proposed N24,000. A Tripartite Committee of the Federal Government, chaired by Ama Pepple, a former Head of Service of the Federation, recommended N30,000, last year, as well.
Aside the issue of minimum wage, the Council is expected to ratify the appointment of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu who took over from Ibrahim Idris, last Tuesday, as the 20th IGP of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The last time the Council met last, on February 22, 2018 and Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Babangida, were notably absent at the meeting which held at the council chamber of the presidential villa Abuja.
At the meeting which started at 11 am and lasted for about six hours, they had discussed Nigeria’s economy, security and 2019 elections and they had recommended for approval the proposal by the federal government to increase funding for agricultural special programme from $200 million to $1 billion which will be disbursed through the CBN’s Anchor Borrower and Cart Programmes, in order to encourage diversification of the economy and promote food security.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who addressed journalists after the meeting said the council deliberated extensively on how to diversify the Nigerian economy and that the council advised that farming should be an year-long activity so that Nigeria can grow what it needs without having to rely on imports.
“Council advised that we improve on the funding on agriculture. That the paltry sum of $200 million when compared to what is being pumped into the oil sector is insignificant. Council recommended that at least about $1 billion be pumped into agriculture.
“Council noted how Nigeria moved the budget from about N4 trillion to now about N8 trillion. It also noted that when this President came in, he was jostling at a very deep position because oil had nose dived from $112 in 2014 and in 2016 it was $30. Council also appreciated the efforts of the ministers of agriculture and budget and national planning after their briefings, on the support they are giving to Mr. President and agreed they should continue in what they are doing,” he said.
Jigawa Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who also spoke at the briefing, said the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, briefed the council on security situation across the country and that after the deliberations, many suggestions were made.
“On the security situation in the country, we received a very long brief from the national security adviser, ranging from Farmers/herdsmen clashes, Boko Haram, militancy in the Niger Delta, kidnapping and cattle rustling. Farmers/herdsmen clashes were discussed thoroughly and we learnt that this takes three dimensions. First is the real farmers/herdsmen clashes, where the normal herdsman moves around with his cattle and get into a farmers land and eats up his crops. In some situations it’s pure banditry. Some of the pastoralists that are not herders, attack, steal and kidnap and that has to be defined as such. Some of them rustle cattles and move into the deep forests. And because of the thickness of the forests response are usually very difficult.
“That was also discussed today and solutions were proffered on how to get deep into the forests, to check those bandits that hide and continue to commit havoc. The third aspect usually classified as farmers/herdsmen clashes is also the settlers and indigenes clashes like in Southern Kaduna. Some migrant farmers or herders stay in an environment for a very long time and when you have such clashes, they are also classified as farmers/herdsmen classes. So we understand and acknowledge these three aspects and all have different approaches in solving the whole problem. And from the discussions today, a lot has been done, solutions have been proffered and the government believes solution is near.”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and former chief justice of the federation, Mohammed Uwais were some of the notable names who were present at the meeting last year.
This year’s meeting will be interesting since Obasanjo and Buhari have been involved in a media war recently.