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Wednesday Whiffs: Buhari may head Petroleum Resources

There are speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari will keep the petroleum minister portfolio for himself in the new cabinet rather than trust anyone else with the ministry, which currently contributes over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue. Reuters quoted some close associates of the President as saying this on Tuesday. One long-standing associate of Buhari, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the cabinet decision was still under wraps, said Nigeria’s oil sector was so dirty that nobody’s hands were clean enough to do the “surgical changes” needed. Reuters also quoted another political associate as saying, “He will do it. It would be stupid to give that position to anyone else.” This is yet another litmus test for Nigeria’s rebirth. The rot in the oil and gas industry may corrupt even an angel and Buhari lovers must start praying hard for him to succeed in ridding this ministry of fraud.

SENATORS, REPS TO LEAVE WITH 109 JEEPS, 360 CARS
Senators and members of the House of Representatives will go home with the operational vehicles of the National Assembly currently in their possession as the 7th Assembly winds down on Friday. Each of the 109 senators has a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, commonly referred to as ‘jeep’, assigned to them for “operational” purposes like carrying out committee and oversight duties. The story is the same at the House, where each member has a 2011 model Toyota Camry attached to them for operational duties. Apart from the operational vehicles, principal officers, including the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, have additional vehicles assigned to them. The Prado jeeps and Camry are properties of the National Assembly that should have ordinarily been left behind by the departing legislators. They will each pay only 30% of the initial value of the vehicles to own them permanently. Each legislator can buy brand new upgrade models of these takeaway vehicles even from the monies they all shared while in their ‘hallowed chambers.’ We are watching Senator-elect Ben Murray-Bruce closely to see how much he would differ from these Epicurean gods, and how many lawmakers will be willing to make sacrifices that will bring down the cost of governance.

HONESTLY SPEAKING, SHOULD THESE 54 SOLDIERS DIE?
Fifty-four soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny by the General Martial Court in Abuja in December 2014, have filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the army authorities from executing them. The convicts argued through their counsel, Mrs. Funmi Falana, that it was illegal for the army authorities to go ahead with their execution when the findings of the General Court Martial had not been promulgated. Knowing that mutiny here means refusing to fight the well equipped Boko Haram terrorists without proper equipment or motivation when they know that their bosses are busy lining their own pockets, do you really support their execution? Well, the army is guided by their own rules.

NDLEA SERVES BURUJI KASHAMU EXTRADITION NOTICE
The House of Representatives has commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for the bold step taken in the extradition case involving senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu who is wanted in the United States of America on charges bordering on drug trafficking. The letter of commendation, was signed, by the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba. Meanwhile, a notice of application for extradition of Buruji Kashamu to the United States had also been served on the senator-elect. However, Kashamu denies being served any extradition letter, describing NDLEA’s claim as false. He explained rather that a copy of the process was dropped in his counsel’s Lagos office Monday, assuring that it would be dealt with in accordance with the law. It would be interesting drama to see how a man perceived by the US govt and NDLEA as a drug criminal be sworn-in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its ‘hallowed chamber.’ The least Nigerians should demand is that he goes to the US to clear his name of any criminal charges and not make a sham of lawmaking in Nigeria.

SOME MINISTERS MUST GO TO JAIL – GBAGI TELLS BUHARI
FORMER Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi yesterday accused some immediate past ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria massively enriched themselves while in office, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that they go to prison after probing them. According to him, the kind of money in the hands of some persons in Nigeria was enough to plunge the country into war in the next ten years, adding that the money must be returned by these persons for the provision of infrastructure. Gbagi who urged Buhari not to spare any rod in his anti-corruption crusade, stressed that the President must be decisive if he must succeed in taking Nigeria to the promised land.

Sources: THISDAY|PUNCH|VANGUARD|GUARDIAN

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