Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Time Is Now!

The Time Is Now!

On the 23rd of November 2009, rumours abound that the President of Nigeria Mr. Umaru Yar’adua had been flown to Saudi Arabia for the third time this year. Following strong rumours that he was in actual fact dead, the information minister Mrs Dora Akunyili and the special adviser on media affairs, Segun Adeniyi, informed Nigerians three days later that the President was suffering from acute pericaditis , a heart condition but assured us that he was recovering and would return to the country within a week. The duo also publicly stated that a letter had not been sent to the National Assembly informing them of the President’s absence and confirmed that an official handover would not be necessary as the president was expected to return within two weeks.

Since that date we have had various conflicting messages from the presidency which include; “the president has made a full recovery and will be back within a couple of weeks” , “the president can rule from anywhere for a whole year and even contest the 2011 election from wherever he is”, “all necessary documents are being sent to Saudi Arabia for approval and have been returned signed” etc.

These comments have been issued intermittently through the media by the Minister of Justice Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, Minister of Information Mrs Dora Akunyili, the Secretary General to the Federation Mr. Mahmud Yayale, the President’s sister, mother and brother. At one point the Minister of Justice even promised that a video conference would be arranged so that Nigerians can see that the President is recovering rapidly. None of these promises have materialized and the foreign media and online news blogs have repeatedly stated that the President will not be returning in the nearest future and that in fact he is in a vegetative state.

Various pressure groups including the G53 have called for the resignation of the President but the calls were condemned by the government and instead the Senate President and the Vice President continually called for prayers for the recovery of our ailing President. During this period the Vice President has chaired the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings and approved the award of contracts and other necessary documents.

Today Nigerians were informed that the principal secretary David Edevbhie travelled to Saudi Arabia and has obtained the President’s signature on the N353 billion supplementary appropriation bill. This news has come as a total shock to Nigerians who are incensed by the apparent fraudulent nature of this claim. The time has come to ask the Nigerian government to treat Nigerian citizens with respect and on that basis we demand a response to the following:

1.  Full disclosure on the true position of the President’s health which can be effectively communicated by televising a video conference with him in Saudi Arabia so that Nigerians can determine whether or not he is in a fit state to review and sign a 400 page document.

2.  Why has the President not signed a letter to the National Assembly informing them officially of the President’s absence and giving the Vice President the authority to act on his behalf as provided in the constitution under S.145.

3.  How does the Presidency intend to swear in the new Chief Justice on the 31st of December 2009 when the tenure of the current Chief Justice will expire since there is neither a president nor an acting president in office?

4.  What is the legal basis of all the approvals that the Vice President has signed in the past month considering that there has been no official handover? What section of the constitution permits this?

Nigerians are no longer prepared to sit back and accept unconstitutional acts perpetrated by government officials in whom we have placed our trust to represent our collective interests.


Sola Adeyeye

Kayode Ogundamisi Nigeria Liberty Forum

Roz Ben-Okagbue Good Leadership Nigeria

Emeka Aneke Kick Corruption out of Our Beloved Country

Nigerians Support Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report

Seyi Osiyemi Heal Nigeria

Meekam Mgbenwelu Debate and Review Group

Feyi Fawehinmi

Rosanwo Babatunde Global African Dialogue (GADO)

Kayode Ajulo Egalitarian Mission, Africa

Babatunde Ogala Esq.

Mohammed Salihu

Anthony Omokhdion

Kachi Eluigwe Heal Nigeria

Blessing Agada Heal Nigeria

Ehimofe Odewale

Ahmed Ogunlaja Good Leadership Nigeria

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Bleeding Nation - Need for Accountability

As the President lays gracefully on the sick bed in Saudi Arabia, Ministers and Permanent Secretaries have being busy defending their 2010 budget allocation at the National Assembly. This exercise is what we call ‘Budget Estimates’ hearing here in Australia. The Estimates process, whilst it exposes problems, it certainly serves to reassure the “average voter” that the Government and the bureaucracy are being held accountable.

Accountability is very important in any democratic governance. Public funds should be spent for public purposes by Governments and bureaucrats. It is not the private purse of the Government that bureaucrats or ministers can do what they like with. These are public funds for public purposes and should stand the test of public scrutiny. We should be able to hold the government responsible for its policies and the ministers/bureaucrats to be held responsible for the expenditure of public money.

The simple reasons for having an ‘Estimates’ hearing is to ensure that principles of probity, accountability and transparency are enshrined in the governance process. But in the case of Nigeria, some of the revelations coming of out 2010 budget allocation hearing are quite astonishing to say the least.

Some of these revelations are a sad reminder of how the nation is continuously been bled, by the ruling elites. Billions of naira is either been spent or allocated for frivolous expenses.

Let’s start with the Information and Communications Ministry. Mrs Dora Akunyili plans to spend N325 million on the Rebranding Project. This is more than half of the Ministry’s capital budget for 2010. This is in addition to the N129.2milion spent on the project in 2009. Is it not ludicrous that despite the criticism levelled at the rebranding project, this government is still hell bent on wasting almost N450milion on a silly ‘cosmetic’ exercise. And by the way, what happened to the N600million spent by the Obasanjo regime on the ‘Heart of Africa’ project? The long and short of this is, by the end of 2010, the Nigeria would have spent over N1billion on ‘cosmetic surgery’.

What about the budget of over N1.1billion submitted by the State House for the treatment of termites in the Presidential Villa (Aso Rock) and vehicle maintenance? How can the State House justify spending N250milion for termite treatment? What sort of termites are they? Also how many vehicles are been maintained at a yearly cost of N450million?

We also learnt during the week that, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe engaged in incessant foreign trips throughout this year which cost the public till about N2.7 billion in 2009 alone. This was just shortly after the Speaker of the House Representative, Dimeji Bankole, confirmed that the House of Reps spent N24billion on foreign travel in 2009. Haba! So if the House of Rep and Ojo Maduekwe spent a combined N26.7billion, then what about the Senate, The President, State Governors and other Ministers. Only heaven knows how much former President Obasanjo spent during his eight rule on foreign travel, considering that he was overseas junketing from one country to the other for over 300 days during his first term in office.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources was no exception. The Ministry’s budget proposal was noted to be full of ambiguities and repetitions. It was discovered that a provision of N600 million for the construction of gas master plan in the 2010 budget, was given for the same project last year. Ha! Ha!!

The recent revelations from the Senate hearing validate the widely held perception of politicians and bureaucrats as being lazy, wasteful and fat-cats. It makes the public become more cynical and mistrusting of the politics, politicians and the political process.

The simple fact remains that, the taxpayers deserve to how public money is being spent and the justification by the Government of their policies which led to the expenditure of that money.

For, if accountability and transparency should fail, then the very confidence that is necessary to sustain a democracy will be shattered and one cringes to think what the alternative system would look like.

The legislature does have a real and major role to play. Unless we continue to have a thorough and genuine scrutiny of the policies and expenditure of Government , then there is likely to be little faith or trust in the political system.

And just before I go, I wish you all a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

I will be back again in 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

G-53 Gives One Week Ultimatum Over President Umar Yar'Adua

The Group of 53 recently called the attention of Nigerians to the unheathy development of President Umaru Yaradua going on medical trip abroad without handing over to the Vice-President as stipulated by the constitution.While sympathising with the President and wishing him quick recovery,we did ask the president to consider it a patriotic duty to resign and allow his Vice to carry on the business of state.

In torrents,all manners of "patriots" of convenience descended on us calling us names.

Today,the same set of "prayer warriors" are reportedly in power play of succession while still prescribing hypocritical prayers for the people.

Quite a number of developments have taken place since our call which have vindicated our stand that Nigeria should not totter on without a head:

1)The 2009 Supplementary Appropriation Bill addressing critical issues in the Niger Delta among others and duely passed by the National Assembly cannot be signed into law because of the absence of the President;

2)The Amnesty Programme being personally coordinated by the President has run into a hitch and has led to protests by ex-militants and resumption of hostilities by MEND;

3)The 2009 National Honours list cannot be signed because the office of the president is not functioning;

4)The appointments of the new President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Justice of Nigeria have been confirmed but they cannot assume office because their oath of office that should constitutonally be administered by the President cannot be carried out in his absence.Technically,two out of the three arms of government are presently headless;

5)Though we are aware that the Federal Executive Council has been meeting under Vice President Jonathan Goodluck but by virtue of Section 114 of the 1999 Contitution which says ony the President can preside over such meetings,contractions who are taking approvals from such meeting are running a risk as decisions taken at such meetings are void;

6)Critical meetings of ECOWAS of which our president is chairman have been cancelled.Of Particular note were the meetings on Niger and Guniea where the Constitutions of both countries have been suspended by dicators.

In the light of the foregoing,we call on President Yaradua to immediately comply with section 145 of the constitution which requires him to write to the Senate President and the speaker of the House of Representatives that he has proceeded on medical vacation so that the Vice President can assume Presidential powers and run the country while he is away.

We do not think this country should carry on this way beyond the next SEVEN DAYS

Signed for the Steering Committee of G-53

Yinka odumakin.(O8033004665)

Osita Okechukwu(080397388870)

Engr.Buba Galadima(08037000159)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Of Opposition Parties and Anti-Corruption

As we know, the EFCC recently arrested the former Sokoto state Governor Attahiru Bafarawa for allegedly misappropriating N15bn during his eight-year tenure as Governor. The former Governor, who is also one of the founding members of the ‘yet to be announced’ mega opposition party, was arrested shortly after emerging from the opposition party meeting.

And as I write this piece, the former Governor is being detained by the EFCC pending his arraignment in Court.

So what’s the case against Attahiru Bafarawa? It is alleged that the former Sokoto state Governor awarded contracts to his wife and brother in-law, flouting due process. He’s also been accused of converting his personal account to a state government account while remaining the sole signatory and converted several millions for his personal use.

As we may know, the former governor's first encounter with EFCC was in May 2008 when he was arrested on allegations of corruption and money laundering. Following his arrest, his international passport was deposited in the custody of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

As expected, his recent arrest and detention by the EFCC has not been short of hullabaloo. Whilst the EFCC has strongly defended its action claiming it had substantial evidence against the former governor, opposition parties have claimed that the ‘arrest’ was carried out to intimidate and suppress political opposition. It is worth noting that part of the evidence against Bafarawa are from the White Paper, issued by a commission of inquiry that was set up by the present Sokoto state administration, which indicted the former Governor and his aides of fraud.

The anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria has somewhat become a poisoned chalice. Regardless of who is arrested or prosecuted, it seems there is always an excuse to discredit the action of the EFCC and the judiciary. Even when Chief Bode George, who is a member of the ruling party, was jailed for corruption, I heard people say it was because he had fallen out with the current PDP leadership. But does that really matter? Is it the fact that he was jailed that is important or his supposed falling out with the powers that be?

Don’t get me wrong, I hold no brief for the EFCC. In fact, I quite agree 100 percent with the Senator Hilary Clinton’s comments, when she said “the EFCC has fallen off over the last two years”. There is no doubt that the nation’s anti-corruption vehicle has been locked in reverse gear since President Umar Yar’Adua assumed office. I also need not to remind you of how the nation’s chief law officer has actively undermined the anti-corruption campaign.

However, it’s now become a trend for the opposition parties to see any attempt to arrest or prosecute their members as an act of intimidation and oppression. It’s quite convenient for the opposition to label the EFCC as a government tool, whenever they are under the hammer.

On the recent arrest of ex-governor Bafarawa. I agree that the arrest of the former governor shortly after a political meeting sends a wrong signal. And yes, the EFCC should have exercised caution in carrying out the arrest due to its political sensitivity. But at the same time, that should not distract us from asking the critical questions, “Is the former Governor actually guilty of the alleged charges”. Did he flout due process while awarding contracts? Did he convert his person accounts into state accounts?

It is high time; we address issues with sense of objectivity. Each case should be judged on its own merit. The ineptitude and perceived ‘selective prosecution’ by the EFCC is not an excuse for not doing the right thing. The same sorts of arguments where used to discredit Nuhu Ribadu’s efforts. Those arrested and prosecuted claimed that it was because of their stance against Obasanjo’s ‘Third Term Agenda’. The allegation then was that Obasanjo was using the EFCC to deal with his enemies. Others alleged that plots were being hatched to pursue an aggressive campaign of selective prosecution. However, one incontrovertible fact remains, everyone Nuhu Ribadu prosecuted had a ‘skeleton’ in their cupboards.

Let’s not be fooled by the diversionary tactics used by politicians whenever they run into troubled waters. Some are always quick to say that the EFCC will only be taken seriously until when the likes of James Ibori and Co have been successfully prosecuted. For me such a statement is hypocritical. Are we saying that prosecution of corrupt persons should be put on hold until James Ibori and Co. have been sent to prison?

Instead of getting bogged down with arguments about EFCC sincerity of purpose, let’s focus on the allegations levelled against these individuals. Let anyone indicted for corruption, regardless of their political affiliation; defend him or herself in the court of law. Membership of opposition parties should not be used as an excuse to escape justice.

But having said that, the EFCC should make sure that, the basic rights of all prosecuted persons are respect. Irrespective of their charges, such persons remain innocent until proven guilty.

And as for the corrupt politicians who are allies of President Umar Yar’Adua and the PDP leadership, let them continue to enjoy ‘immunity’ from prosecution. But as the Yorubas say, ‘there is no season that last forever’. It is only a matter of time before justice catches up with them. Who would have thought that Bode George would spend his 64th birthday in prison?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The House of Yar'Adua and Political Sycophancy

The pace of events since my last piece on the state of health of President Umar Yar’Adua has been extraordinary. If nothing, the events of the last few days have confirmed that President Umar Yar’Adua is not short of supporters and sympathisers in the political space. Most of whom can be aptly described as political sycophants. I have always found the continuous thoughtless praise of President Yar’Adua in the face of his ‘gross incompetence’ very sickening.

Sycophancy is not new phenomenon in our nation’s history. Even at the point of death, it will be stupid not to expect that some political jobbers and adulators will keep urging the President to carry on. These cheerleaders are neither acting in the interest of nation nor their ‘masters’. The motive behind this deceit is to use their master to perpetuate their own evil agenda. But as the Yorubas will say, “anyone who allows his/her head to be used to crack a coconut will never live eat it”

Despite acknowledging for the first time that it had no clue on the President’s return, the nation highest ruling body, Federal Executive Council (FEC), stuck to its guns not to yield to public clamour for the President resignation. And just when you think, the impoverished masses have not suffered enough from bout of hunger; the Minister for Information had the guts to tell Nigerians to embark on fasting. What a nonsense!

The comments of the FEC calling for ‘prayer and fasting’ on President Yar’Adua’s behalf is not only condescending but smacks of hypocrisy. Yes, people can fast and prayer for the President’s quick recovery. In fact some may choose to move to the mountain top in order to be closer to God, as that help hasten their prayer request. But truth be told, that has nothing to do with adhering to the provisions of the constitution.

Now it almost 19 days since the President went AWOL – albeit to receive medical treatment. But the questions remain, is it prayer and fasting that will help launch an investigation into the state of the President’s health? Is it prayer and fasting that will help determine if the President is incapacitated or not? Or is the FEC waiting for a ‘vision’ from heaven to inform their next course of action? As I write, it’s been reported by one of the local media that President Yar’Adua has lost his voice. For me, any call for prayer and fasting by the ruling elite is just a diversionary tactic.

We’ve also heard a member of President Umaru Yar’Adua, Hajia Binta Kuraje, rising to the defence of her brother. According to her, “The President has the ability and capacity to lead the country for another 16 years.” The lady was even bold enough to describe those calling for the President’s resignation as ‘corrupt’ because they are opposed the government anti-graft war.

Can someone please ask the Yar’Adua family what the govt anti-graft war got to do with this? I will be surprised if Binta Kuraje understands the meaning of ‘corruption’. Who is corrupt between a man (and his wife) that is intoxicated with power, and will do all it takes to hold on to it – despite his ill health, and a suffering masses calling for his resignation. And again, who says President Yar’Adua holds the monopoly on anti-corruption?

If Binta Kuraje does not know, “it is only when a man is alive that he can aspire to greater things”. Without fear of contradiction, I will say to the Yar’Adua family that the nation does not need 16 years of Umar’s presidency. Personally, I don’t care if Umar Yar’Adua is as agile as a monkey, because his first two years in office has demonstrated nothing but incompetence and lack of basic understanding of the requirements of his office. To put it in simple terms, President Umar Yar’Adua just does not get it. Period!

For how long will 150 million Nigerians be held to ransom by the ‘House of Yar’Adua’ and its political sycophants?

Let the House of Yar’Adua and all its political sycophants be told, Nigeria is bigger than any individual, household or ethnic group. This nation cannot afford a President that imposes a huge liability on its social and economic development. This nation cannot afford leadership through proxy. We do not want an absentee leader. We are not interested in a leader that will be ruling by proxy. We are not interested in a leader that will be passing instructions from a sick bed in far away Saudi Arabia.

Friday, December 4, 2009

President Umar Yar'Adua: Ill Health or Gross Misconduct?

It’s been 12 days since President Umar Yar’Adua’s abrupt departure from Nigeria, and public opinion remains divided over his sudden disappearance due to ill health.

Many believe the President should step down due to his ill health, which they perceive is having a huge impact on his performance. Such people are of the opinion that relevant provisions of the constitution should be invoked, and the Vice-President should take over the country leadership. This opinion is been championed by a group of 52 eminent personalities (G-52), who have recently signed a petition calling for the President’s resignation.

On the other hand, we have the Pro-Yar’Adua group. This group believe that the call for the President’s resignation is unconstitutional and short of ‘treason’. At this stage, it is reasonable to say the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is at the fore front of this campaign.

Whatever anyone’s opinion, the ongoing saga raises two important issues that should not be confused. The first issue is the failure of President to hand over to the V-P prior to his departure. The second issue is regarding his state of health and ability to discharge the functions of his office.

Interestingly, everyone calling for the President resignation seems to be quoting from S.144 of the 1999 Constitution. However, I do not think it is as ‘clear cut’ as these people make it. The procedure for removal of a President on health grounds is quite arduous.

Section 144 says (in summary) “the President shall cease to hold office, if (a) a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the FEC declare that he/she is incapable of discharging the functions of his office”, and (b) the declaration is verified, through medical examination by a medical panel established by the Senate President”.

But what we forget is that, the constitution does not define what is meant by been ‘incapable’. Does incapable mean being hospitalised? And if that’s the case, for how long does the President have to be in the hospital before he can be classified as ‘incapable’? Or does ‘incapable’ mean failure to attend FEC meetings? Also let’s not forget, the minimum health requirements for the post of President are not published anywhere.

Even if the President undergoes a medical examination as requested by the G-52, it will have to be assessed by a Panel. I’m not a medical expert, but I know from personal experience that interpretation of medical assessments can be subjective’. What Doctor X considers ‘serious’ might just be seen as ‘benign’ by Doctor Y. So for a panel to agree on such matters will be challenging. Also, let’s not forget that the Panel will be put together by the Senate President, who is also a member of the ruling party.

As for the President’s failure to hand to his V-P, I think there is a compelling case for the National Assembly to take necessary action. It is an abuse of office and irresponsible for a nation’s President to travel out of the country- without a definite return date – and not handover to his Vice-President.

But will the National Assembly rescue the nation from this political/leadership logjam? Your guess is as good as mine. We have heard the Deputy Senate President saying the President Yar’Adua can stay in Saudi Arabia for as long as he likes. In his words,
“The Constitution did not make provision for how long a President can stay out of the country and then he will would lose his job. There is no such provision in our constitution. So, if he spends one year abroad, of course, you have a Vice-President, who will be acting in his place…”
It is absolutely nonsensical for the Deputy Senate President to make such a statement. Yes the constitution does not stipulate the maximum length of time the President can be out of the country. But Section 145 states
“Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President”.

The failure of the President to formally notify the National Assembly and hand over to his V-P, means technically, we do not have an Acting President. The fact remains that a leadership vacuum has been created by President Yar’Adua’s indiscretion. If the National Assembly does not see this as an act of ‘gross misconduct’, then we may as well move the seat of power to King Faisal Hospital in Jeddah.

The country is now at a crossroad. We have a President who is laying helplessly on the sick bed in far away Saudi Arabia. Back at home, governance seems to have grounded to a halt.

The V-P has no official mandate to act as President. The Federal Executive Council has decided to bury its head in the sand. And the National Assembly has told us categorically that the President can decide to live in Saudi Arabia for the rest of his tenure.

So where does the hope lie in all these? Who will break this political stalemate?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A National Call on President Umar Yar'Adua to Step Down

December 1, 2009

Press Statement


It is clear to every discerning observer that President Umaru Yar'Adua's physical condition has had a negative impact on his ability to discharge the functions of the highest office in our nation. Within the last few months, he has been unable to attend to crucial affairs of the State at home and abroad and whenever he has found time to do so, his judgment appears impaired by his ill-health.

A few examples may suffice:

i. His health condition has necessitated several medical trips abroad but he has not transmitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he was proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office as required by Section 145 of the Constitution.

ii. President Yar'adua though invited was unable to attend the United nations General Assembly for which a private audience had been arranged between him and President Obama for high level discussions of issues mutually beneficial to Nigeria and the United States because he was in Saudi Arabia to 'open a university' which was a dummy sold to cover up his treatments.

iii. It is also common knowledge that the incapacity of the president has affected the implementation of the nation’s budget because he has been unable to coordinate the management of the national economy and to preside over the Federal Executive Council in a diligent manner.

iv In the circumstance, Ministers have routinely flouted the orders of the President and engaged in infighting as a direct result in the vacuum of leadership. This was recently embarrassingly exposed to the world with the series of conflicting public statements credited to the Attorney General and the Chair person of the EFCC. This was also exposed further when the president disavowed knowledge of a memo to all foreign missions purportedly on his instructions. Furthermore, till date, ministers continue to flout the public instruction of the president that ministers who presented memos at the FEC should stay behind to brief the media.

v You may also recall that a battery of doctors complete with their paraphernalia escorted the president to the National Assembly last year to stand by as he delivered the budget and you may also recall that some pundits have revealed that the crisis between the Senate and the house on who should host the budget delivery by the president was contrived to provide an escape for the president who was reportedly physically unable to perform this formal task.

vi Finally, the current condition of the president has created a dangerous situation whereby no one is in charge of the affairs of the State contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

As responsible and concerned individuals from every part of Nigeria, we call on President Umaru Yar'Adua to immediately choose the honorable option of either:

(a) resigning his office immediately, or

(b) if he is confident of his true physical condition, request the Federal Executive Council to pass a resolution pursuant to Section 144 (1) of the Constitution to the effect that the President appears incapable of discharging the functions of his office. This honorable step will enable the Senate President to appoint a Medical Panel to confirm the fitness or otherwise of the President to continue in office.

As President Yar'Adua's compatriots and part of his larger Nigerian family, we sympathize with him and believe that his health should be given priority attention. At the same time, the need to provide effective governance for this nation of over 150 million people cannot be compromised. Indeed, the Constitution has rightly envisaged the situation in which the country has found itself..

In any event, we are of the view that the President should immediately and unconditionally hand over to the Vice-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to complete the current term of office, and conduct the next general elections on the basis of the report of the electoral reform committee headed by Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais.


(1) Alhaji Balarabe Musa (2) Chief Olu Falae (3) Senator Ken Nnamani (4) Alhaji Aminu Masari (5) Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Rtd) (6) Chief John Odigie Oyegun (7) Dr. Tunji Braithwaite (8) Col. Abubakar Umaru (Rtd) (9) Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) (10) Alhaji Buba Galadima (11) Hon. Olawale Oshun (12) Dr. Usman Bugaje (13) Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri (14) Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (15) Mr. Femi Falana (16) Mr. Yinka Odumakin (17) Alhaji Sadiq Yar’Adua (18) Hon. Adamu Farouk Aliyu (19) Chief Jos Ayomike (20) Hajia Naja’atu Muhammeed (21) Dr (Mrs) Joe Okei-Odumakin (22) Ms. Annkio Briggs (23) Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose (24) Chief Supo Shonibare (25) Mr. Odia Ofeimun (26) Hon. Lawal Garuba (27) Mr. Biodun Sowunmi (28) Hon (Dr) Ishaq Kurufi  (29) Hon. Uche Onyeagocha (30) Hon. Bashir Idrs Nadabo (31) Mr. Kayode Ogundamisi  (32) Saint George Eke (33) Mr. Bamidele Aturu (34) Prof. Sola Adeyeye (35) Mr. Osita Okechukwu (36) Hon (Dr) Haruna Yerima (37) Ms Ayo Obe (38) Mr. Akintoye Branco-Rhodes (39) Hon. (Dr) Almajiri Gaidam (40) Alhaji Amitolu Shittu (41) Mallam Uba Sani (42) Barrister Supo Ojo (43) Barrister Sani Hussaini Garun-Gabbas (44) Mr. Festus Okoye (45) Mallam Salihu Lukman (46) Dr Pat Itomi (47) Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni (48) Alhaji Kabir Yahaya (49) Hon. Awwal Tukur  (50) Mallam Tanko Yinusa (51) Mallam Nasir Kura (52) Achike Chude (53) Mr. Iboroma Akpana (54) Mr. Morakinyo Ogele