Nigerian Army ends operation python dance II in Southeast; Buhari denied the allegations of under-representation of Igbo in his government; Kachikwu, you are a minister without portfolio – David-West; “There is no $25 billion NNPC contract anywhere” – Presidency; Rochas Okorocha unveils statue of Jacob Zuma . . .
The Nigerian Army has declared an end to Operation Python Dance II (Egwu Eke II) in the Southeast. This was made public via a statement on Sunday by Colonel Sagir Musa, Deputy Director Public Relations 82 Division. The statement said General Abubakar commended all the officers, soldiers and personnel of paramilitary organizations that collaborated, synergized and worked commendably throughout the one month period for the exercise.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Baba Abubakar, speaking on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff. Lieutenant General TY Buratai formally declared the end of Exercise EGWU EKE 11. The ceremony took place Saturday night in Sector 1 Tactical Headquarters at Umuahia, Abia State, with the traditional activation of camp fire to formally signify the successful completion of the military exercise.
President Muhammadu Buhari told southeast leaders and stakeholders who visited him in Aso Rock that the Igbos are not marginalised under his administration. Speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja during a meeting with stakeholders from the southeast region, Buhari said while four south-easterners are heads of ministries, seven northerners were made junior ministers.
“I gave south-east four substantive ministers — the ministries of foreign affairs, trade and investment, science and technology and labour,” he said.
“Seven states in the north got ministers of state and of the two ministries headed by your sons; I cannot take any decision on foreign policy and investments without their input.”
The former federal minister of petroleum and energy under General Muhammadu Buhari (1984–1985), and minister of mines, power and steel under General Ibrahim Babangida (1986), Prof. Tam David-West, has said that Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state, petroleum resources, does not have a portfolio.
In an interview with PUNCH, the elder statesman attacked the minister over the leaked memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari. In the controversial memo, Dr. Kachikwu had accused Dr. Maikanti Baru, group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), of insubordination, lack of adherence to due process in the award of NNPC contracts and awarding contracts to the tune of $25 billion without consulting the NNPC board. Prof. David-West supported Dr. Baru’s position and accused Dr. Kachikwu of embarrassing the country.
Claims on social and traditional media following the leaked memo to the president by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that $25BN worth of oil contracts were awarded by the NNPC or that $25BN in NNPC funds is missing are both false.
According to Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, no contracts were procured by the NNPC based on the leaked memo of the Petroleum Resources Minister of State, even though such impressions have been maliciously created in the past few weeks. While responding to media inquiries Sunday on the matter, Akande disclosed that a closer look at each of the said projects indicate clearly that “these are not procurement contracts.”
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, on Saturday unveiled a mammoth statue of the South African President Jacob Zuma. The event was witnessed by many dignitaries including Mr. Zuma himself. Rochas also named a road after Mr. Zuma. Sequel to the unveiling of the statue,
Mr. Zuma was on Friday conferred with a traditional title of Ochiagha Imo, by Eze Imo, Samuel Ohiri. The title certificate was issued by a former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.