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REVEALED: Ibe Kachikwu Allegedly Loses NNPC Power tussle to Aisha Buhari-led Northern Cabal…… + How Theophilus Danjuma Made Him!

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We can authoritatively report that Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has lost a bitter and acrimonious tussle for supremacy and power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to a Northern cabal led by First Lady, Aisha Buhari. There had been rumors and speculation about internal disputes and ethnic tensions in the NNPC between Kachikwu and NNPC group Managing Director, Maikanti Kacalla Baru. NNPC sources who elected anonymity told us that the cold war is now over as President Buhari has sided with the northern cabal who have muzzled Kachikwu out of the commanding heights of authority in decision-making on Nigeria’s oil industry.

It seemed a new day had dawned on NNPC, after Kachikwu became the first boss of the agency under Buhari. But, in reality, Kachikwu, who doubles as NNPC Board chairman has been embroiled in bitter power struggles with a northern cabal, who saw Kachikwu as standing in the way of their ambitions. NNPC sources confided to us that the northern clique; some of them with very close ties to the first lady had pressured Buhari to appoint Baru to head the NNPC, but Buhari refused. Despite the pressure, Baru was elbowed aside by Kachikwu; he landed the job of NNPC’s exploration and production chief answering to Kachikwu.

Aso Rock sources told Society Reporters that Kachikwu owed his appointment as NNPC boss to one of Buhari’s closest associates, former defence minister, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, who convinced Buhari that the optics of appointing Kachikwu, who hails from the oil-rich Niger Delta, will forestall any renewed violence in the region by militants still angry following the defeat of President Jonathan. In the event, the Aso Rock sources hinted, Kachikwu was “closely watched” by northerners including Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari; Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Secretary General at the Finance Ministry, and Tajudeen Umar, a close confidante of Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano and former CBN governor.

The Trojan horse

After failing to get Baru appointed NNPC boss, the northern cabal who were hell bent on maintaining control over Nigeria’s oil resources made a strategic retreat and plotted their next move. As oil prices plunged and the Nigerian economy headed into a recession, the cabal worked tirelessly behind the scenes to perpetrate hoarding to create artificial fuel scarcity to portray Kachikwu as incompetent. After that strategy failed to produce the intended results, the cabal enlisted the support of the first lady, Aisha Buhari, who used her position as the president’s wife to get Baru elected NNPC boss last August. Prior to his appointment Baru had languished as a senior adviser to Kachikwu, NNPC boss at the time.

With Aisha Buhari having his back, Baru decided to savor his ascendancy over NNPC by flexing his muscles. With little or no love lost between them, Kachikwu moved to clip his wings before he takes flight. Thus the chess game of power relations within Nigeria’s oil sector became enmeshed into Baru’s confrontation with Kachikwu, leading to a stand-off over who was the boss when it comes to oil matters. Neither men are allies Buhari can afford to do without, but Buhari eventually bowed to pressure from his constituency and threw Kachikwu under the bus. Baru, who hails from Bauchi, now calls all the shots at NNPC, and reports directly to the president; the de facto oil minister. In the meantime, Kachikwu as Petroleum Minister of state, and NNPC Board Chairman, has been reduced to a mere spectator with no powers to direct and exercise supervisory authority over NNPC activities.

The northern cabal completed their takeover of the oil sector following the recent appointments of Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau and Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi as executive secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) respectively.

Kachikwu’s Star Wanes

We learnt from NNPC sources that the pressure to throw Kachikwu under the bus was mounted by the first lady. Nigerians might not have been aware of the underlying factors that pushed First Lady Aisha Buhari to go public, threatening in an interview with the BBC that she would not support her husband’s re-election bid come 2019. She had earlier bemoaned the absence of “change” elements in her husband’s government. Aso Rock sources told us that the “strangers” Aisha Buhari was ranting against included Kachikwu, who she metaphorically contrasted with a situation in which “monkey dey work and baboon dey chop”. In this case, the proverbial monkey (northerners) worked hard to elect Buhari president, but the baboon (Kachikwu) is mindlessly reaping the fruits to the chagrin of the apostles of change and their hangers-on. We also learnt that, it was only after Buhari sided with Baru and the northern cabal that the first lady reversed herself and promised she will support her husband’s re-election bid come 2019.

The power struggle between Baru and the technocrats led by Kachikwu has exposed the NNPC as an agency riven by internal disputes and ethnic tensions. Aso Rock sources also tell us that Kachikwu losing influence in oil affairs to the northern elite has political implications for his home region, the Niger Delta. Kachikwu, the sources aver, has been instrumental in establishing contact and negotiating with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) that has been vandalizing oil pipelines in the area since February. Working behind the scenes, Kachikwu, who has close ties to the oil majors, has been the arrowhead of tortuous negotiations between the federal government and Niger Delta militants towards some sort of deal that will include revamping the amnesty program for ex-militants, reduce the military presence in the region, clean up pollution; a greater share of oil revenue and also the construction of a maritime university in Gbaramatu kingdom.

“Operation Crocodile Smile”

Politically sensitive and combustible, Kachikwu’s peace overtures to the NDA was brushed aside by northerners within the military espousing a harder line. The security-minded northerners around Buhari, notably National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, and Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who both hail Borno; and the Director of State Security Service (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura, all prefer a military response including overwhelming force to neutralize the NDA while pretending publicly that they are negotiating a peaceful solution. Last September, Defence Minister Mohammed Mansur Dan-Ali presided over what was advertised as a “military drill” dubbed “Operation Crocodile Smile” involving 10,000 soldiers, including Special Forces, in Bayelsa State. “It’s not to harass, intimidate or threaten the community but to protect them from miscreants and oil thieves,” Dan-Ali said at the closing ceremony; but it was a clear signal that Buhari is talking peace while preparing for war.

Since the Avengers announced a unilateral ceasefire on August 20, ostensibly to give negotiations a chance, the government has been quiet about its strategy. The Avengers appointed Chief Edwin Clark, the veteran Ijaw leader and advisor to former president Jonathan, as leader of their negotiating team. Clark made 16 demands to the Nigerian government during a meeting with Kachikwu and President Buhari last Tuesday; warning that other militant groups are proliferating alongside the Avengers and would deepen the crisis if the government didn’t act quickly on the demands.

Yet, senior military officers, most of them northerners, argue that the military can defeat the militants with a smarter strategy. They point to an operation by Special Forces in which five militants were killed and two were arrested. But Kachikwu and the oil majors are more skeptical. Past experience suggests it would take a protracted heavy-handed military campaign, and more damage to oil installations, to defeat the new militant groups, who are more skilled and resilient than their MEND predecessors; they use deep-sea divers to attack far-flung pipelines and geo-positioning technology to escape capture.

We understands that the Gbaramatu Peninsula neighbors Exxon’s oil and gas-gathering facility and export terminal, and is a trunk route for the West African Gas Pipeline, which originates at Escravos and runs to Ghana. It’s also within striking range of Shell’s Forcados export terminal, which the NDA attacked on February 14 in a spectacular and highly technical operation, bombing its underwater pipeline. It took seven months for the pipeline, which carries 400,000 bpd to the Forcados Export Terminal, to be operational. According to sources close to Shell, 250,000-300,000 bpd was lost over seven months, at an average price of $45 per barrel, amounting to a colossal loss to Shell of $3 billion. Meanwhile, an oil industry expert told us that the stranglehold exercised by northerners like Baru at the NNPC will lead to corporate paralysis. He expressed bitter disappointment with the president for giving in to the pressure of his wife and the northern cabal, saying Baru’s appointment as NNPC boss has installed the “culture of incompetence, political opportunism, graft, brigandage, self-centeredness, insensitivity, impunity, mediocrity and greed.” The source said prior to Kachikwu’s appointment, NNPC was bankrupt and oil majors often had to acrobatically invent ways to lend money to NNPC in return for a share of crude that would normally go to the state.

The move to open NNPC’s doors last year to executives from the private sector like Kachikwu (ex- ExxonMobil) and NNPC legal advisor Chidi Momah (ex-Total ) breathe some new life into the NNPC as Kachikwu had begun finding solutions to the NNPC’s chronic shortage of cash, which hobbles its joint-ventures with the oil majors. Presently, NNPC must finance 55% of development costs on all joint-ventures it operates with Shell , ExxonMobil, Chevron , Total and ENI . It remains to be seen whether with Kachikwu now a spectator, the oil majors will keep the tap open for Baru and his northern clique.

Source: huhuonline

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JUST IN: President Tinubu Orders Yahaya Bello To Submit Himself For EFCC Probe

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has called on the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to follow the path of decency and submit himself for probe.

Bello is being wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corrupt practices while in office as governor of Kogi State

 

LEADERSHIP reports that in the last 24 hours, there have been dramas and hide and seek game between both parties over the move to arrest the former governor for arraignment this Thursday.

 

According to the AGF, in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, EFCC is empowered by law to invite any Nigerian for interrogation.

He also described the action of the incumbent governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, who used his immunity to prevent Bello’s arrest on Wednesday as ‘disquieting’, adding that embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put Nigeria in bad light before the rest of the world is not the way to go.

According to him, he stands for the rule of law and will ensure no right of any Nigerian is trampled upon.

 

 

The AGF said in the terse statement: “The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to my notice (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) as a matter of very grave concern.

“It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status. Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting. A flight

from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it.

 

“I state unequivocally that I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies but I also tenaciously hold the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently. Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

 

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world.

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SHALINA CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF TRUST, REITERATES COMMITMENT TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE DELIVERY IN AFRICA

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In celebration of its 40 years in Africa, a leading Afro-focused multinational company, Shalina Healthcare has reiterated its commitment to the delivery of quality healthcare in Africa. Declaring this in Lagos on Friday at the event to wrap up the company’s 2023/24 financial year and celebrate its 40 years of its existence, the Chief Commercial Officer, West Africa of the company, Arun Raj said the company “is determined to continually fulfill its corporate mission of making quality products available to every African at affordable prices.

 

According to him; ” It has been 40 years of trust in Africa and these 40 years, the people of the continent have also reciprocated the trust in our quality products and healthcare delivery.”

 

Also, in his corporate presentation as well as new financial year projection, the Head, Corporate Marketing of the Company, Folorunso Alaran said; “the Company is building on the trust Africans have in its products and services over the year and is committed to healthy Africa. It has been forty years of available, affordable and quality products for Africans.”

In the words of Mr. Nirmal Jain CEO Shalina consumer Global,

 

“At Shalina, we believe that every African must have access to good products. And for the last forty years, we have been trusted for our quality products. And more so, through our many initiatives and healthcare interventions, Shalina has continually raised the bar in healthcare delivery.”

 

Speaking further, Mr. Debajeet Mukherjee CEO Shalina Pharma Global, posited that; “despite the prevailing economic challenges, we do not waver in delivering our corporate purposes of available, affordable and quality health products. It is our belief that economic challenges should not hinder people’s access to quality healthcare. Either the economy is good or bad, it shouldn’t affect the lives of the people in an adverse way. Despite the fact that some companies are leaving Nigeria, we are expanding our team in the country. This is because we have trust and believe in Nigeria.”

 

In her own presentation at the event, the Company’s Managing Director, Nigeria , Opeyemi Akinyele said the company “is focused to become number one brand in Nigeria and continually promote the best of healthcare delivery in the country. ”

 

“Through our products, activities and interventions we have been doing greatly to ensure that quality healthcare is available and affordable for every citizen. And this is a promise that will remain unbroken ” She said.

 

Appreciating the members of staff of the company for their commitment and supporting roles in the company, Akinleye said “without you, your roles and efforts, we won’t be here and the successes recorded in the out gone year won’t be possible. We also rely on your continuous support and commitment in the new year. ”

 

Meanwhile as part of the company’s end of year activities, many staff members were given awards of excellence in different categories for 2023/24 financial year. Amongst them were Lasisi Abiodun, Best Pharma Delegate, Lawal Abubskar, Best Medical Delegate, Ruth Adesua Adewoye, Best Regional Manager Pharma, Ganiyu Lateef, Best CVD Delegate, Mercy Omoji, Best Regional Manager, Consumer, Uzuma Pascal, Best Zonal Manager, (Global) and Juliet Ngozi Edward, Best Consumer Delegate Global . Winners in other categories included Sandeep Sahu, Folorunso Alaran, Emeka Adimoha, Chiuba Nwaosu among others.

 

Shalina Healthcare which began its business in Africa in DR Congo in 1984 made entry to Nigeria 25years ago. It currently has about 2500 staffs globally out of whom 2000 are in Africa.

 

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Kano court affirms Ganduje’s suspension

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The Kano State High Court has granted an ex parte order restraining the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, from parading himself as a member of the party.

Subsequently, the court ordered that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The application granted by Justice Usman Na’abba on Tuesday followed an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of Ganduje’s ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area, the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs), who were part of the nine ward executives who suspended Ganduje on Monday.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

The ex parte order read,, “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

”The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as a member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State Government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed on April 8, 2024, nine members of the executives, led by the legal adviser, acted upon the petition, a decision that led to Ganduje’s suspension.

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