No untouchables in graft war – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration’s determination to wrestle corruption to the ground remains unshaken.

And to underscore that he is unrelenting in waging the war, President Buhari announced that his government would probe the shenanigans reported in connection with IDP funds and punish culprits.

The President, who gave the assurance in his New Year message to Nigerians, however, said that the fight against corruption would be guided by respect for the rule of law and due process.

He vowed that his administration would not spare anybody or organ of government in the ongoing crusade against corrupt practices.

““It is a collective undertaking and resolve that must be seen to its logical conclusion in spite of certain distractions.

“The fate of our country lies partly in the success of this campaign.It will be unthinkable on my part to allow the boat of this crucial campaign promise capsize mid-stream,’’ he added.

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2017: Let’s hope for better Nigeria, says Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has urged Nigerians to hope for a better country as the year 2017 rolls in.

He also urged leaders to be fair and equitable in the way they would treat Nigerians and the different sections of the country.

In his New Year Message in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, Fayose re-assured the people of the state of the determination of his administration to provide more dividends of democracy to them.

“Within available resources, we can boldly say that we have tried our best in the provision of projects and services for our people. We have also touched every part of the state and we are not relenting. Despite the financial challenges we are facing, our administration is assuring the people of more quality leadership. We are undaunted.

“Our hope in God for a better tomorrow for the people of Ekiti State is not shaken and we are assuring the people of the state that we are on course. More developmental projects will still be executed in the state this year ‎and ongoing ones due for delivery this year, would be delivered as scheduled.

“‎This is also a period for Nigerian leaders to be dedicated to allowing equity and fairness guide them in decision making concerning different groups and people of Nigeria. Treating some people as sacred cows and others as those to be vilified is unacceptable. For our country to move forward and make the desired progress, there should be social justice and equity in the system,” he said.

The governor wished the people a rewarding and prosperous 2017.

Ambode thanks Lagos residents, vows more transformation in 2017

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Saturday thanked Lagosians for the massive support given to his administration in 2016.

Ambode, in his New Year message, promised to would work assiduously to ensure that the state is taken to the next pedestal in 2017, especially in the area of physical and social infrastructural development.

He assured the residents of the state that he remained totally committed to his promise to deliver a vibrant, non-discriminatory, clean, prosperous and safer Lagos.

“The state witnessed significant improvements in its performance indices due to the massive investment on its tripod of security, infrastructure and job opportunities in 2016.

“More emphasis will be placed on sustaining the growth in 2017 through people-oriented programmes and policies which cut across education, health, agriculture, housing, tourism, environment, among others.

“In 2017, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – roads, water and the walkways.

“In this wise, an integrated transport management system is a priority.”

Ambode said his administration would embark on the urbanization of the Marina axis, waterways channelisation, establishment of more parks and gardens as well as community sports centres and stadia in different locations across the state.

He urged residents to continue to cooperate with his administration, especially in the area of prompt payment of taxes.

The governor also charged residents to continue to keep the peace, saying that it was only in an atmosphere of peace and stability that meaningful projects and programmes could be carried out.

He assured that the government would continue to judiciously distribute the state’s commonwealth and ensure that the ongoing social and infrastructural development got to every part of the metropolis.

Ambode said as the state prepares to celebrate the golden anniversary of its creation, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the prosperity of the past five decades is sustained.

“I promised Lagosians a government of inclusion; I do not intend to renege on that promise.

“We will continue to work 24 hours round the clock to deliver on our promise to ensure a Lagos that works for all.”
NAN

Don’t despair, things will get better in 2017 – Saraki

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said that things would get better for Nigerians in 2017.

A statement by Yusufh Olaniyonu, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President in Abuja on Saturday, urged Nigerians to remain hopeful in spite of the current hardship.

Saraki commended Nigerians for their resilience in the face of difficulties, stressing that the nation’s challenges were surmountable.

He called for collective efforts to end recession and work towards growing the economy in the New Year, adding that there was need for unity of purpose and focus among Nigerians.

“It is a thing of joy to celebrate the New Year in an atmosphere of peace and security.

“ For one thing, the people of the North East and other Nigerians are celebrating without fear of attacks from insurgents or other criminal elements.
“This was made possible by the determination of the present administration to effectively secure the country and ensure peace, which is key for any development.

“I believe that by working collectively in the New Year we will be able to right the wrongs of the past and ensure renewed economic, social and political development of our dear country’’, he said.

He called for strengthening the capacity of entrepreneurs to produce local content while urging Nigerians to always patronise locally made goods.
According to him, though Nigeria is not where it ought to be, citizens must continue to take steps that will take the country to its envisioned destination.

He expressed the commitment of the legislature to collaborate with the executive in the new year to advance policies and programmes that would end the economic recession.

He said, “working together, we will fulfil the mandate of the millions of Nigerians that we represent.

“Success is our only option in these turbulent economic times.’’

Australia,China, North Korea, South Korea and Hong Kong enter 2017

Australia, China, North Korea, South Korea and Hong Kong has celebrated the New Year 2017, as both countries entered 2017 some moments ago.

While Australia is already three hours into the year 2017, Hong Kong is seven minutes into the new year and fire works has over taken the atmosphere in that country.

The radiant Victoria Harbour is the belle of the ball for Hong Kong’s spectacular New Year countdown. A festive atmosphere will reign supreme as a street party fills the day with joy and fun before you ring in the new year with a 10-minute pyromusical lighting up the skies against the iconic Hong Kong skyline.
Whether you watch it along the shoreline, from a boat on the harbour or on-high in a skyscraper, it’s definitely worth planning early to ensure a prime spot!

Sydney also ushered in 2017 with a dazzling fireworks extravaganza over the city’s iconic harbour.

Like other countries around the world welcoming the New Year, Australia is holding its celebrations amid heightened security in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Berlin and Nice.

Tokyo bid “sayonara” to 2016 at 3pm UK time, with temple bells echoing and revellers releasing white balloons into the sky.

North Korea – where New Year’s is the only holiday in the Gregorian calendar citizens are allowed to celebrate – organised a display of fireworks and music in capital Pyongyang.

The South Pacific island nations of Tonga and Samoa were among the first places in the world to see in the New Year with fireworks at 10am UK time.

Buhari promises hard punishment for those who short-changed IDPs

President Muhammadu Buhari ‎‎has assured that those who short-changed the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the various camps in the North East will be punished.

This is even as he as expressed joy over‎ the return of thousands of IDPs to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on Christmas Day, adding that it was a reassurance that others in other parts of the country will voluntarily return to their homes in no distant future.

The President in his New Year message to Nigerians as they usher in 2017, also assured that his administration will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. He called on state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards rehabilating the IDPs in their various homes.

Buhari said, “‎Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits‎”

The President who congratulated Nigerians for making it into the new year, again salluted the heroic and gallant efforts of the military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism especially the‎ troops of Operation Lafiya Dole‎

‎Buhari urged Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, following the capture of Sambisa Forest and the hot pursuit of fleeing terrorists by the nation’s security personnel.‎

According to Buhari, “When we see our beloved 21 Chibok girls reuniting with their families and community for Christmas, it gives us the hope that those who are still in captivity will one day return to the loving arms of family, friends and well-wishers.

“I urge all Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, as our armed forces intensify the pursuit of fleeing terrorists from the captured Sambisa Forest.

“Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law.

“The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.

“Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.

“The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal”.‎

Kebbi to plant 1m trees

The Kebbi State Government has earmarked N10million for the planting of one million trees as part of efforts to establish the Green Belt Forestation programme against desert encroachment.

A statement by Umar Gulma of the Ministry of Environment in Kebbi on Saturday indicated that the ministry will grow the nurseries and plant the trees along designated locations.

Gov. Bagudu
According to the statement, the ministry will also spend N11million on the construction of perimeter fences to protect the trees as well as nurture them to maturity.

The ministry will also spend N6million on surveys of the mineral resources available for commercial exploitation as part of efforts to generate revenue, provide employment and ensure rapid development.

The statement also indicated that efforts would be made to protect the environment especially the development of plantations and eradication of tree felling.