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Ondo PDP, APC Clash Over Akeredolu’s N50bn Bond

16 September 2019 - 12:38pm


The Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress in Ondo have disagreed over the N50bn bond recently initiated by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to fund infrastructural development.

Akeredolu, who observers claim is eyeing a second term in office, said that he requested the approval for the N50bn bond from the Ondo State House of Assembly to complete projects already initiated by his administration.

But disagreeing with the governor’s reason for seeking the fund, top members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo described the development as an attempt to plunge the state further into debt.

According to the PDP, the state doesn't need to borrow funds to complete any significant infrastructural projects going by the monthly allocation it gets from the federal account.

Ayo Fadaka, a stalwart of the PDP in Ondo and its Publicity Secretary in the Southwest, accused the government of Akeredolu of wasting the state's resources.

He said, “It is unfortunate that this man is trying to add debt burden on our state.

“What does he need N50bn bond for, what infrastructure is he pursuing? What we do know of his intention is that he is already looking for funds to buy votes during the next election.

“But we want to assure him that, that will not save him.

“When you talk about infrastructural development, you must have a budget before you go and borrow money.

“As far as we are all concerned, the APC government of Akeredolu has no business borrowing N50bn, the state does not even need it.”

Also, PDP spokesperson in the state, Zadok Akintoye, said Governor Akeredolu’s plan to raise N50bn through bond is a sign and indictment of bad leadership especially considering the N52bn debt profile of the state as at 2018.

He said, “The recent approval by the Ondo State House of Assembly for Rotimi Akeredolu to access a loan of 50bn calls for deep concern.

“While we are well aware that states may access loans from the capital market to finance projects that may not be covered by available resources, our concern is that Ondo State is doing so at a time when its financial inflow from Federal allocation, internally generated revenue and other earnings from past investments of the state, are at a fairly steady level.

“Considering our present domestic debt profile of about N52bn as at 2018 and an external debt profile of about $50m, it is worrisome to see that the Akeredolu is resorting to further borrowing rather than reducing the debt burden of the state.”

Reacting to the allegation by the PDP, a chieftain of the APC in the state, Ayoola Bamidele, said Akeredolu had the right to seek a bond in the capital market.

He said, “All the projects lying low in Ondo are due to lack of funds, they would have been completed if money was available.

“So, rather than waiting for federal allocation, Governor Akeredolu decided that there was need to get the N50bn bond.

“The fund is to help him embark on and complete developmental projects in the state.

“I totally disagree that it was meant to fund his second term election bid.”

Also reacting to the allegation by the PDP, spokesperson for the state government, Donald Ojogo, said that Akeredolu will not dwell on baseless issues.

He said, “Rotimi Akeredolu was elected into power not to complain but to provide infrastructure in the state even though there is no money.

“So, the man (governor) decided to think outside the box and one of the noble things he did was to pay regular salaries of workers including the backlog he met on the ground.

“This administration has not received up to N6bn from the federation account since coming on board.

“Rather than going to the bank to obtain a loan, the government decided to go through the bond process.

“This N50b that was approved by the House of Assembly, is only to help sustain and enhance further development in Ondo.

“Let me also make it clear that the bond or money is not coming into the government's purse, it is between the capital market and the banks where the fund will be domiciled.

“This bond is tied to specific projects.”


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PDP Hails Tribunal For Affirming Seyi Makinde As Oyo Governor

16 September 2019 - 11:49am


The Peoples Democratic Party has commended the Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for affirming Seyi Makinde as the rightful winner of the March 9 gubernatorial election in the state.

The tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by Dayo Adelabu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, challenging the result of the election.

Reacting to the tribunal's ruling, the PDP also said that the tribunal displayed “courage in delivering justice in spite of the shenanigans and manipulations of the APC”.

The party said, “The jubilant atmosphere across the state over the verdict is a clear testimony that the judgment fulfilled the desires and expectations of the people of Oyo State.

“The people of Oyo are particularly overjoyed with the judgment because of Governor Makinde’s capacity and commitment to deliver good governance in all sectors of life in the state.”


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Xenophobia: South Africa Does Not Deserve To Be One Of Africa’s Leaders, Says Obasanjo

16 September 2019 - 11:48am


Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has condemned the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa, saying that the country does not deserve to be one of the continent’s leaders if it can't accommodate others.

Obasanjo, who spoke at a public event, asked President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa to make an example of top officials hailing the killings in the country.

He said, “If I were President Ramaphosa, the issue would not have arisen, now that it has arisen, I would condemn it in a very stern language.

“Secondly, those who have made comments glorifying that bad act no matter how close they are to me, I would publicly castigate them. I will make an example of a few of them and I mean that.

“It doesn't matter what we may say, South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa and is the leader or one of the leaders in Africa.

“Then, if any country who is the leader or one of the leaders cannot accommodate others, then they don't deserve to be a leader.”

Obasanjo had also sent a letter to Ramaphosa and President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, condemning the killings of foreign nationals in South Africa.

He said, “There is need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia in South Africa.”


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Buhari Sets Up Economic Advisory Council

16 September 2019 - 11:29am


President Muhammadu Buhari has set up an Economic Advisory Council following the dissolution of the Economic Management Team.

The advisory council would advise the President on economic policy matters and would report directly to his office.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the Economic Advisory Council will be expected to also advise Buhari on fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.

The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. 

The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises.

Members of the committee include Prof Doyin Salami (Chairman); Dr Mohammed Sagagi (Vice-Chairman); and Dr Mohammed Salisu (Secretary).

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Four Arrested Over Alleged Murder Of Woman, Daughter And Grandson

16 September 2019 - 11:22am


Four persons have been reportedly arrested over the murder of a woman, her daughter and grandson.

The names of the victims were given as Mrs Alice Omorogbe, 52; Blessing Efe, 25, and her six-month-old baby boy.

According to The Nation, they were killed last Thursday at their home in Iguadolor Community under Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.

It was gathered that the killers left the two-year-old daughter of late Efe identified as Gift.

Among those arrested is Pa Iguma Amasowomwan, the assistant village head of the community.

Spokesperson for the police in the state, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments.


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Man In Court Over Alleged N14m ‘Spiritual’ Scam

16 September 2019 - 11:20am


A 32-year-old businessman, Chinedu Okoye, was on Monday arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly obtained N14m from a man to solve his “spiritual problems”.

Okoye is facing three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences and perverting the cause of justice.

The 32-year-old however, pleaded not guilty.

Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the defendant committed the offence between March 1 and April 24 at Plot 3508, Dominic Obiajiku Street, Devine Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Emby claimed that the defendant fraudulently obtained N14m from Mr Obiora Elefobiri under the pretext that he would provide spiritual solution for him.

He said, “He did not provide the spiritual solution but converted the money to his personal use.”

Emby added that the defendant also conducted himself in a manner likely to pervert the cause of justice by aiding the escape of his elder brother, Arinze Okoye, a suspect under investigation in a case of conspiracy and fraud.

Magistrate M.O. Ope-Agbe admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N17m with two sureties in like sum.

The case was adjourned until October 16 for further hearing. 

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Piracy: Nigeria’s Creative Sector Under Threat, Says NCC

16 September 2019 - 10:47am

John Asein, Director General, NCC

John Asein, Director General, NCC


The Nigerian Copyright Commission has said that Nigeria’s creative sector was under threat from piracy and content counterfeiters.

This was made known by the Director-General, John Asein, at the ongoing intellectual property symposium organised by the United States Embassy in collaboration with other federal and private institutions.

The two-day symposium had in attendance top executives drawn from the pharmaceutical, banking and creative industries.

Speaking with journalists during the event, Asein said that officials of the commission had been deployed to various schools to monitor and check that books sold to students were not pirated versions.

He said, “Our men are going to schools to ensure that pirates don’t make use of schools as outlets.

“It had become an easy outlet for them as nobody ever checks that. We are looking at how best to address pirated books being sold on the street.

“If you know how many people have died under the weight of piracy, if you know how people take loans and never recover because of piracy, you know that it is beyond the monetary terms.

“This kills investment, it kills the system, it kills the industry. So, it’s not just money, it’s the fact that the creative sector is under threat.

“We can use the law as it is today to still tackle piracy. The law is presently been revised we are likely going to have a better law that will enable us fight piracy.”

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Xenophobia: Evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa To Continue Tuesday

16 September 2019 - 10:31am


The management of Air Peace has confirmed that it would continue with the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa following latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants in that country.

The airline had last Wednesday commenced the exercise with the evacuation of 178 Nigerians in the first batch.

The second batch of the exercise was delayed due to the inability of the Nigerian High Commission to process travel documents for Nigerians willing to return home.

The airline said the flight is expected to arrive Lagos from Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, by 7:00 pm Tuesday.

This was confirmed by Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who said that the flight would leave Nigeria after midnight on Tuesday to arrive South Africa in the morning.

Onyema also disclosed that out of over 600 Nigerians willing to return home, 360 of them had been cleared for the evacuation, adding that the airline would airlift 320 in the second batch, which is the maximum capacity of the aircraft.

There are also indications that despite the diplomatic efforts started by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to reach out to other African countries including Nigeria, many Nigerians still want to leave the country because of uncertainty and lack of assurance that the hostility may not be stopped by the South African Government.

The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa said that it has been collaborating with immigration officials in the former apartheid nation to clear all Nigerians willing to return home.

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Three Men In Court For Alleged Robbery

16 September 2019 - 10:10am


An Ikorodu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the remand of three armed robbery suspects in prison custody while awaiting legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The names of the defendants are given as Adebayo Aderele, 40, Aliu Hammed, 29, and Opeyemi Samson, 25.

The Magistrate, Mr O.M Dawodu, who did not take the plea of the defendants, ordered the police to send the file to the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution for legal advice.

They were arraigned for alleged robbery with dangerous weapons.

According to the prosecutor, Mary Ajiteru, the three men were standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, a felony to wit armed robbery.

She added that the defendants, whose addresses were not provided, committed the offences on August 6 at the Agbede area of Ikorodu.

The case was adjourned until October 3 for further hearing.


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BREAKING: Tribunal Quashes APC’s Petition, Affirms Makinde As Oyo State Governor

16 September 2019 - 9:37am


The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the application filed by Bayo Adelabu, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 2, 2019 election.

Adelabu, in his application, prayed the court to pronounce him the winner of the election or order a rerun, citing that the election was fraught with irregularities, over-voting and lack of proper accreditation.

Ruling over one of the claims raised by Adedibu, the tribunal held that he failed to “prove substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act”.

Delivering the final ruling, the three-man tribunal led by Justice Sirajo Muhammed, ruled that the APC and its candidate failed to prove the allegation of corrupt practices, overvoting, improper accreditation, inaccurate ballot counting and non-compliance with the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

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Xenophobia: President Buhari Meets South African Envoy In Abuja

16 September 2019 - 9:02am


President Muhammadu Buhari has met with a special envoy from South Africa at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The envoy led by Jeff Radebe, is the second of such to visit Nigerian within the last 24 hours.

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, had sent special envoys to Nigeria and six other countries over recent xenophobic attacks in the former apartheid nation. 

President @MBuhari received a Special Envoy from President @CyrilRamaphosa of South Africa at the State House, Abuja.#AsoVillaToday

— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 16, 2019

Apart from Nigeria, the representatives were instructed to visit Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The South African leader asked the envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to the Heads of State and Governments of those nations following the attacks on their citizens in his country.

Other South Africans assigned to visit those countries are Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr Khulu Mbatha.


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Former NAFDAC DG, Paul Orhii, Escapes Abduction

16 September 2019 - 8:52am


An attempt to abduct former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr Paul Orhii, has been foiled by men of the Nigeria Police Force.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning in his Makurdi, Benue State, home.

Orhii, who narrated the incident on his Facebook page, stated that it took the efforts of police personnel around to ward off the bandits that sneaked into his home at about 1:00am.

He said, “Early this morning, at precisely 1:05 am, four boys armed with pistols and machetes sneaked into my Makurdi home and went straight to the security post in an attempt to disarm my security personnel.

“During the ensuing struggle, the gallant police officers started shooting, which caused the intruders to run for safety, leaving behind two machetes and a pistol cartridge loaded with six bullets.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that one of my security guards may have been involved as their inside man.

“He and all the items recovered have been handed over to the police in Makurdi to assist them in their investigation.”


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Xenophobia: Ex-Niger Delta Militants Vow To Storm South Africa

16 September 2019 - 8:11am


A group made up of ex-Niger Delta agitators, Coast Guard of the Federation, has expressed readiness to storm South Africa to defend and protect Nigerians still trapped in the former apartheid country.

Commandant-General of the group, Bibi Oduku, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja in a statement.

He said that over 2,000 Coast Guard officers and 10,000 ex-militants were on standby to invade South Africa if the situation degenerated to war.

He stated that the group was only waiting for an order from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to act.

Oduku said, “At least 2,000 Coast Guard officers are waiting for President Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff to give the nod and they will be in South Africa to ensure that no Nigerian is further harassed, molested or killed.

“Over 10,000 ex-militants have also pledged their readiness to go to South Africa as foot soldiers if the situation degenerates to war.

“We know that our army is more than ready to tackle any aggression from any country, our service is only to compliment that.”

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#RevolutionNow: CORE Issues Guidelines For September 18 Protests

16 September 2019 - 7:36am


The Coalition for Revolution, organisers of the #RevolutionNow protest, has issued guidelines to protesters willing to take part in peaceful demonstrations nationwide on September 18.

Events organised by the movement since August 5 had been met with fierce resistance from the Nigerian Government and in some cases, violence on journalists and protesters.

Co-conveners of the group, Seni Ajai and Baba Aye, told SaharaReporters on Monday that the guidelines are to ensure orderly conduct on the part of protesters and to show the President Muhammadu Buhari administration that it is a non-violent group demanding good governance in Nigeria.

The group said, “All protesters should assemble at a venue/time decided by the local coordinating team.

“Modalities should be designed to have access to centres for open address and solidarity talks.

“Provisions should be made for distribution of leaflets and display of banners. Pre-arrangement should be made for media coverage.

“All conducts should be peaceful. For briefing and or other needs, coordinators are to link up with the national hub on assigned numbers."


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#RevolutionNow: DSS Evades Being Served Court Papers Over Detention Of Protester, Olawale Adebayo

16 September 2019 - 7:33am


The Department of State Services has been accused of refusing to be served court papers required to institute a case against the service for the arbitrary detention of Olawale Adebayo, who was arrested for participating in the August 5, 20019 RevolutionNow protest in Osogbo, Osun State.

Olawale had been held incommunicado since that period without charges brought against him in any competent court.

Ayo Onibukun, his lawyer, told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that the DSS was frustrating his release.

He said, “We have tried serving them physically many times but they have refused. This is why we are resorting to substituted means as granted by the court.”

Onibukun is seeking the unconditional release of his client from arbitrary detention.




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Kogi Deputy Governor Sues Governor Over Non-payment Of Allowances

16 September 2019 - 7:18am

Deputy Gov.Simon Achuba and Gov. Yahaya Bello

Deputy Gov.Simon Achuba and Gov. Yahaya Bello


Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, has dragged his boss, Governor Yahaya Bello, to court over the non-payment of his allowances.

Achuba took Bello before a National Industrial Court of Nigeria on Monday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

The suit with number NICN/ABJ/244/2019 filed on August 19, prayed the court to declare that the decision of the defendant to withhold his allowances was discriminatory and amounted to unfair labour practice.

He is also seeking for an order of the court for the payment of N921.5m being his travel allowances, monthly impress, security votes and other statutory allocations due to his office.

The case, which was filed by Falana and Falana Chamber, is yet to be assigned to a judge.

The rift between Achuba and Bello became public in October 2018 following reports of an alleged strained relationship between them.

In February, Achuba said his life was under threat following the withdrawal of his security details allegedly on the orders of the governor.

In August, the state’s House of Assembly commenced impeachment process against Achuba.


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EFCC Arrests Bank Staff For Allegedly Converting Customer’s N137m To Personal Use

16 September 2019 - 7:09am

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office, has arrested one Kehinde Agbabiaka, a sales agent for allegedly diverting N137m belonging to a customer to personal use.

Agbabiaka was supported in the fraudulent act by his bank’s Regional Security Officer and Cluster Control and Compliance Manager.

According to a petition filed against him on August 20, 2019 by the client, Agbabiaka committed the offence between January 2017 and July 2019 when he was the account officer of the victim.

Trouble, however, started when the customer reviewed his statement of account and discovered some discrepancies.

When EFCC investigators stepped into the case after the agency was petitioned, it was revealed that Agbabiaka had used the diverted sum to build houses, purchase cars, invest in fixed deposits and insurance policies.

He also gave out part of the loot to people as friendly loans.

Some items had been recovered from him and will be charged to court after investigations are completed, the EFCC said.


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FEC Approves N166bn For Road Rehabilitation Nationwide

16 September 2019 - 7:04am


The Federal Executive Council has approved the award of N166bn contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of roads nationwide.

In a series of tweet on Monday, the government outlined the projects slated for rehabilitation across the country.

Full List:

Construction of two bridges, Lioji and Gulbin-Boka at Kotangora-Rijau Road at a contract cost of N1.13bn and a completion period of 12 months.

Construction of an additional lane on Kano-Katsina Road in Kano within a period of 24 months at the cost of N9.5bn.

Reconstruction of Kotangora-Bangi Road in Niger State within 48 months at the cost of N20.4bn.

Rehabilitation of Outer Marina-Bonny Camp Road and Eko Bridge through Apongbon Bridge with Access Ramps in Lagos State with a completion date of 12 months at the cost of N9.3bn.

Rehabilitation of Irrua-Edenu-Ibore-Udomi-Uwessan Road in Edo State at the contract cost of N4.6bn with a completion date of 12 months.

Construction of Ilobu-Erinle Road in Kwara/Osun states within 36 months at the cost of N18.042bn.

Construction of Wudil Bridge along Maiduguri Road in Kano State within a period of 15 months at the cost of N2.6bn.

Rehabilitation of Wukari-Ibi Road in Taraba State within a period of 18 months at the cost of N12.31bn.

Construction of Baro Port-Gulu Town Road in Niger State within a period of 24 months at N10.62bn.

Rehabilitation of Ajingi-Jahun-Kafin Hausa Road in Jigawa within a period of 24 months at the cost of N25.04bn.

Rehabilitation of Aba-Owerri Road, NNPC Expressway in Abia State within 18 months at the cost of N6.1bn.

Construction of Yaba-Yangogi Road in the FCT within 24 months at the cost of N17.31bn.

Rehabilitation of Kaleyeri-Damaturu Road in Yobe State within 28 months at the cost of N17bn.

Rehabilitation of two outstanding sections of Oba-Nnewi-Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road in Imo/Anambra states within a period of 18 months at the cost of N12.8bn.

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Dammy Krane Granted N50,000 Bail By Court

16 September 2019 - 6:55am


Hip-hop artiste, Johnson Oyindamola widely known as Dammy Krane, has been granted bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum.

He was arraigned at the Igbosere Magistrate Court in Lagos over a three-count allegation bothering on breach of public peace.

The musician was accused of making statements capable of breaching public peace and threatening the lives of staff of Merrybet Gold Limited on July 25.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened sections 301, 412 and 168 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him by the police.

His lawyer, Adebayo Oniyelu, while applying for his bail, said the defendant was “a well-known musician who had not been convicted of any crime in the past”.

He also said that the defendant would not interfere with the prosecution of the matter if granted bail, noting that Dami Krane had been in prison custody since Friday.

Opposing the application for bail, prosecuting counsel J. I Enang, said he ordinarily would not have objected to the application for bail if it were not a national issue.

But when asked how the case was a national issue, Enang said it would be revealed at the right time.

He said, “Your Honour, while coming to court today, I already heard it on the radio that a musician was to be arraigned today, it is even an international issue.”

Interjecting, Oniyelu informed the court that the case was one of breach of contract.

“The musician performed for the complainant and they are owing to him N1m.

“He reached out to them to request for his money but they refused to listen to him, forcing him to go on air to say that they were owing to him. The next thing that happened was his arrest.”

The magistrate, A. F. O Botoku, adjourned the matter until October 11 for the commencement of trial.


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Shehu Sani Attacks Buhari Over Crackdown On Northern Musicians

16 September 2019 - 6:41am


Senator Shehu Sani has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for clamping down on musicians from the Northern part of Nigeria critical of his administration.

In June 2019, a musician, Mohammed Yusuf, was jailed for singing songs ridiculing Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

Condemning the situation in a post on Twitter, Sani said, “There is a growing trend of persecution of musicians and artists in the North who use their songs to criticise bad governance or question authorities; while those who sing the praises of those in power are patronised and glorified. This stands condemned.”


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