Fayose and buhari
Those in search of irrational and disgraceful justification of misconduct from Nigeria’s public officials should turn to Ekiti state Governor Ayodele Fayose. His vocabulary is always drenched in classic idiocy and lunatic ecstasy in support of an unpopular cause.

Mid this year, Fayose would have wrestled to the ground President Muhammadu Buhari, had he sighted him physically for having the effrontery to place foreign travel restrictions on some Governors in Nigeria. They were required to clear with the Department of State Security Service (DSS) before embarking on foreign trips.

The directive incensed Fayose who uttered all manner of horrendous condemnations of Buhari. He insisted by faulting such restrictions as gross violations of the freedom of movement of Nigerians as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and referenced other laws Buhari has contravened with the “obnoxious” directive. He dared the President to apply such travel restrictions on him, as states were not appendages of the Federal Government.

State Governors in Nigeria delight in global-trotting. Since 1999, the trend has been ridiculously etched in the psyche of state governors and their hordes of political appointees.

They feel incomplete without junketing to foreign lands as soon as they assume office. In the last political dispensation, some Governors, joined by a retinue of government appointees, acquire foreign exchange and travel out to import specie of swine (pigs) or some kind of grasses for animals in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (states).

That was when the economy was good and bubbling with free money from the mini-oil boom. So, such extravagance, though painful, but attracted less opposing noise. But Nigeria today is in dire economic crunch which is causing sleepless nights to President Buhari.

But some state governors, including those indebted to their workers over salary and furiously borrowing loans have refused to discard this damaging idea. It has kept gulping FOREX and draining the economy of their respective states.

The decent ones among them officially claim the foreign trips are meant to source for foreign investors in sectors like power energy, roads and water plants construction and acquire modern agricultural techniques and equipment. But the world is in an age of ICT, where business transactions involving billions of US Dollars can be sealed online within hours, at no noticeable cost.

But also, some advance flimsy reasons for the trips such as medical tourism, sight-seeing of Western countries when on annual vacations; personal visits to family members and friends or attending international conferences, but on themes which have no bearing whatsoever on any development platform in their states.

It is this proclivity to baseless foreign trips that compelled Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong to mutate into a pastor to spend two-weeks in Brazil to pray for Nigeria.

Presently, at least 13 incumbent Governors in Nigeria have been identified as obsessed with global-trotting. And in some cases, the Governors themselves fail to do as much as feigning an official or unofficial reason for the foreign trips, which are hugely funded with tax payers money.

Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state; the Owelle of Onitsha Rochas Okorocha of Imo state; the unassuming Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state; Ogun state’s Ibikunle Amosun; Benue’s Samuel Ortom; Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa state; Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna; Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina ; Solomon Lalong of Plateau; Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe; and Nyesom Wike of Rivers have leading irresistible attraction to foreign trips.

Although, they are chief executives of different states, the reasons often bandied to the public for such trips sometimes, rhyme suspiciously and rarely do the reasons differ.

Peculiarly, almost all the Governors claim the foreign trips are to woo or source for foreign investors. The unconvincing tales also laughably speak of direct foreign investments in areas like Agro-business, automobiles, industrial partnership, irrigation technology and farm equipment.

These Nigerian State Governors have favorite destinations in Europe, Asia and African continents constantly on their menu of countries to visit. Uppermost is the United States, China, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, France, Israel, Canada, Lebanon, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia among others.

What is intriguing about the foreign trips is their failure in virtually all the states, the Governors have refused to let go their flair for global-trotting. Its nearly two years in the tenure of governors who came on board in 2015 and despite their multiple foreign trips, none can pinpoint to any foreign investor or any advantage the state has received from such trips, outside lining their pockets with estacode allowances, catching fun in foreign lands and shopping abroad.

When opponents in their states demand for dividends of such trips, they only reply with words like “expecting it soon” and the shamefaced ones simply prefer silence.

But these Governors cannot deceive Nigerians for long. Anti-money laundering laws have made it extremely difficult to launder stolen wealth, especially with the agreements the Nigerian government has signed with foreign nations in the area of co-operation. These trips provide them with diplomatic cover to ferry sleaze money abroad, under the guise of sourcing for foreign investors and it is the sole reason no public benefits have been derived from the visits.

But the state governors should not forget that the spirit of their impoverished people, poorly developed states and rural communities, coupled with the undeserved penury imposed on them would continue to chokingly haunt them. Very many of the foreign expertise or technology they claim to seek outside the shores of Nigeria can be obtained locally. What irrigation scheme Governor Ibrahim Gaidam sought to create jobs for 40,000 youths that Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria cannot offer to him at a modest cost that he went to acquire in China?

Nigerians cannot be taken for granted for a long time and the level of consciousness of the people nowadays should induce caution in leaders, rather than such reckless indulgence into official profligacy. The time to have a re-think is now, before they are crushed by the might of popular rejection by the masses. 

Raheem writes from Kaduna.

Justice Ademola
Fresh report according to 247Ureport suggests that a Permanent Secretary in Lagos State, who is also a wife to the embattled Justice Ademola Adeniyi has been invited by the Nigeria's secret police, the DSS.

The DSS invited Justice Adeniyi Ademola's wife to report at the DSS office in Abuja on the morning of Thursday October 27, 2016. Mrs Ademola serves as a Permanent Secretary under the Lagos State Government. 

At the time of drafting this report, Mrs. Ademola is said to be en-route to Abuja from Lagos.

According to our source, it is uncertain the reason why the DSS invited the wife of Justice Ademola whose resident was recently invaded

The DSS has continued to investigate the case against the recently arrested Justices of the Supreme Courts and other Justices around the country – even after the President of Nigeria, General Mohammadu Buhari had issued a directive for the investigation be moved over to the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC].

Ben Ayade
According to John Maxwell, "Everything rises and falls on leadership". The reputation and image of any state or society is directly proportional to the quality of leadership of that society. A society with a responsible, responsive and proactive leadership, is likely to create a better reputation than the one with parochial, irresponsible and irresponsive leadership.

The choice of the caption, "Cross River Inglorious Fall From Glory to Grass" is not intended at taking an aim at anybody particularly but to make us have mental pabulum on where we're coming from as a state, where we are today and probably where we are heading to (that's if we're heading somewhere at all). It is carefully crafted to at least attempt to compare our glory days to the current state of our dear state which can best be described as an inglorious fall from glory to grass.

Since the return of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Cross River state has produced some of the best governors in terms of appearance, oratory prowess, performance and innovations. The first democratically elected Governor of the state in the current democratic dispensation, Mr. Donald Duke, in his tenure won several distinguish awards for his proactive and responsive approach to leadership. In fact, as the youngest governor in his time, Duke was highly respected amongst his contemporaries that he was saddled with the leadership of the South South Governors Forum. Because of his outstanding leadership qualities, he moved from a zonal chairman to the national chairman of Nigeria's Governors forum.

Despite assuming office at a tender age of 37, Duke was able to transform the state to arguably  a paradise destination in Nigeria in terms of its serene, ever green and clean environment which made it a haven for tourists within and outside the country.

When he came on board, Duke initially introduced agriculture to be the mainstay of the state's economy. The cultivation of pineapple, cashew, castor and the revamping of the oil palm industry was to contribute to the fields of agriculture to boost all round development of the state. But along the line, perhaps for the obvious reason of the huge financial outlay that may accrue to this initiative, Duke diversified wholly into development of the tourism sector and giving teeth to development in environment, information and communication technology, investment drive among others. Through his work Calabar was seen as the "cleanest city in Nigeria,’’ and even won a laurel in national reckoning for this posturing.

It was during Duke’s days that the state boasted of such facilities as Obudu Ranch Resort that apart from serving as Nigeria’s Camp David [according to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua] hosted many athletes of international repute in the then famous International Mountain Race. The event grew under Duke and the next administration to one of the most lucrative mountain running competitions in the world.

To attract tourist to the state, Duke opened the world class Tinapa resort. The state became an industrial hub as the Tinapa resort gained acceptance both locally and internationally. By the time he was rounding up his tenure, businesses of several kinds were booming in the resort.

Also, Donald invested substantially in the education sector. It was during his time that the famous Polytechnic Calabar metamorphosed into the fast growing Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH. The secondary education was revitalized as the state education monitoring team ensured students and teachers were serious with academics. It was during this time that prep (An evening class session where students go for compulsory reading) was imposed on all secondary schools operating in the state. State quiz and debate competitions were also introduced to  encourage competitiveness among schools and students.

The three technical colleges established by former Governor Clement Ebri were properly funded. In fact, some of the best electricians and skilled craftsmen we have today in the state are products of the schools. At the primary level, parents and guidance were encouraged to send their children to school through the government Primary School free education scheme.

He (Duke), however, got his share of criticism as he was accused of being too elitist in some of his projects. Some of the things he established were said be beyond the reach of an average Cross Riverian who needed government most. Questions like how the facilities could generate the financial outlay to sustain themselves given that the economy of the state is majorly dependant on allocation from the federal coffers pooped up at the time.

When the immediate past governor, Senator Liyel Imoke came on board on the 29th of May 2007, throughout his eight years tenure, he showed little or no serious interest in Tourism as the former. The Tinapa Resort, Obudu Ranch Resort amongst others became comatose as such having no direct impact on the state's economy under him.

His administration witnessed a drastic change from Duke's concentration in developing the urban to rural areas. Imoke administration constructed the highest number roads which cut across every political ward in the state in the history of Cross River state. Although, almost all the roads have experienced very short lifespan, he was applauded at the time for his commitment in developing the rural areas.

Apart from that, the administration prioritized the development of the primary healthcare sector in the state. Functional health centre in almost every village in the state were established. I see why he was regarded by his admirers as a symbol of rural development!

In agriculture, his administration granted loans and grants to farmers. He attracted investors to invest hugely in the sector. For instance, Wilmer's palm investment is one of the largest palm estate in Africa. He also brought the Songhai farms. He revived the state cocoa estate which was contributing about 30% to the growth of the state Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

In education, he renovated primary and secondary schools in every single village in the state. He also established the world class Institute of Management Technology, Ugep. In fact, many people till date rate him in terms of his people's oriented projects as the state best governor ever.

His government enjoyed positive remarks in ensuring relative peace more than the Duke's dispensation. In fact, the state was regarded nationally as the most peaceful in Nigeria.

Despite the achievements of the past administrations which comunated into building a solid and favourable reputation for our dear state,  both governors ran a government with about fourteen to nineteen cabinet members. Two of them put together had less than fifty Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants.

As Imoke administration faded way into the thin air on the 29th of May 2015, Senator Ben Ayade, emerged as the new kid in the blog to take Cross River state to the promised land. Such was expected from Ayade being that he is the first Professor and the oldest man to become governor (any of his ages still put him as the oldest)  when he assumed office. Clement Ebri became governor at 39, Duke at 37 while Imoke assumed office at 40.

Cross Riverians had expected that Ayade would either take the state further or maintained the level he met the it. But very unfortunately and highly disappointing, the hopes and aspirations of such people is gradually fading away. Eighteen months (18) down the line nothing is really showing that those who insisted that it was either him or nobody were right.

While the past administrations had clear policy plan in Agriculture, Tourism, Education and Health development, the Ayade administration has not shown a clear cut plans for these very relevant sectors of our economy. His administration is now known by the governor's oratory prowess which can be best described as unbridle lips doling out voodoo promises than any tangible achievement.

In Agriculture, rather than building on the existing structure to expand the horizon, the governor has destroyed almost everything he inherited from the sector. The Songhai farms is now comatose. Nothing is happening there. The state has or is about to lose the five years world bank commercial agriculture development project at the expiration of the current contract later this year for failure of the governor to approve the list of successful candidates early enough for training which would have given the state opportunity for renewal. Even the state agriculture loans for women and youths has long died a murderous death caused by this administration.

The cocoa estate which was contributing hugely to the state economy has been politicized. By the end of this year, cocoa farmers would have lost two farming seasons to the disagreement between the government and host communities on allocation of the estate to farmers. While farmers have insisted that real cocoa farmers should be allotted the blocs, the government is bent on floating the place with Calabar based politicians. This development has led aggrieved youths of the host communities to form a militant group called "Etung  Avengers" which they have used to chase everybody away from the estate.

In education, the government has left the state tertiary institutions as orphans. The state only owned university recently lost accreditation of two major courses (Architecture and Wood Product Engineering) as a result of failure of the government to fund the university properly to prepare for accreditation. Several months now, the government has sat on the statutory monthly subvention of the institution. All projects going on in the institution has been placed on hold due to paucity of funds. This development recently led the Council of Traditional Rulers to demanding the privatization of the institution. What a shame!

The Institute of Management Technology, Ugep is now moribund. Lecturers are owed over eight months salaries. The hopes of the students is hanging in the balance as lecturers are leaving on daily basis. The Highbury University that had agreement to run the institution for the state has terminated the contract due to government inability to keep to the terms of the agreement. The dream and aspirstions of the founding fathers of the institution has been dashed.

The West Africa Examination Council has held on to the results of candidates from the state as result of backlog of debts which the governor has not shown any serious interest to address. Our three technical colleges have become shadows of it itself. Instead of working on reviving them, Ayade said he has signed MOU to establish new once which is still flying in the air. In the primary education, pupils can no longer sit for common entrance as a result of the failure of government to organize the examination.

The state tourism potentials has succumbed to insecurity. A state once regarded as the most peaceful barely seventeen months ago is now topping the chart in insecurity in the country according to police report. Corpses are now litter everywhere in the street of Calabar. Kidnapping, cultism and broad day robbery has become the new oder in Calabar. The state is now known for killings and robbery than the great tourism potentials that brought it to limelight.

To make matter worst, Ayade has reduced governance to a huge joke and comedy as indicated in the appointments of retinue of political office holders and aides in both the state, senatorial district and local government levels. He recently unleashed terror on the state crunched economy with the appointment of 1,106 which when added with the existing 800 would take his tally to 1,906. The categories include Personal Assistants, Special Assistants, Senior Special Assistants, Special Advisers and commissioners. He ridiculously appointed people to some boards and agencies that has no legislative backings. For instance,  Maize, Banana and Cassava Development Agencies.

Apart from duplication of offices, he also appointed embers and chairmen to some nonexisting commissions. For instance,  board of Cross River state Seaport Authority, Portside Authority, Wharf Etc. All these commissions are not seen anywhere near the state. The state House Assembly which is obligated to question this is a rubber stamp to the governor.

With Nigeria economy in recession, one would have expected the governor to runn a lean cabinet to cut down cost of governance to reflect the  state economic reality like his contemporaries in other states. How a state which receives one of the lowest allocations from the  federal government and has witnessed a drop in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N1.2 billion to about N800 million monthly recently harbour a cabinet lager than that of even the federal government is amazingly comical.

This is a state which sits third in terms of debt profile of states in Nigeria. According to research by Web Management Office, Lagos still tops the charts with the debt rate of about $1.17 billion Dollars, Kaduna with $234 million Dollars and Cross River in third place with $142 million Dollars.

With the debt of $142 million Dollars and a huge task of paying civil servants salaries and allowances there is no argument that instead of increasing the nineteen SAs appointed by Imoke administration to 1,106 and thirteen Commissioners to 29, he should run a lean government to reduce the cost of governance in the state.

This is how much Cross River, which has a capital that pride itself as the nation's paradise has fallen from glory to grass.
While other states like Ebonyi, Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa, Abia, Anambra to mention but a few are moving from glory to glory, Ayade has taken us back to Sodom and Gomora; we have returned to dark days where everything bad is associated with. We are surviving in the land where evil hold sway.

The eighteen months of Ayade has been nothing more than an icing on the cake of bad leadership. To say the least, the Biafra tales as chronicled in Chinue Achebe literature "There Was a Country" can be reframed to say, there was state before Ayade came on board.

Ayade should urgently return to the drawing board and come out with plans that can revamp the education, agriculture, tourism and health sectors. Development and improvement of our economy should be giving more attention than building political empire. He should as a matter of necessity, cancel his appointment bonanza; people should only be appointed into government to serve a purpose of growing our economy.

His projects and program should at every time reflect the reality of our state financial position. We should not only have governor but there should be government in place. Cross Riverians should feel the impact of his digitalization like he promised. The time for this administration to work her talk is now. There should be less promises, more action.

Army Major, Captain, 2 Policemen, 26 Others Arrested For Leaking Information To B'Haram Terrorists
The Nigerian Army is holding two officers – a major and a captain – in connection with alleged sabotage of the ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the North-East.

A military source said on Wednesday that the Army authorities were intensifying efforts to rid the service of saboteurs in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations.

It was gathered that the Army commenced a painstaking but discreet investigations into the activities of some of its personnel following the Boko Haram attack on troops’ location in Gashigar, on October 22, 2016.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, had said in a statement on Saturday that 13 soldiers were wounded during a surprise Boko Haram attack on troops at Gashigar in the north of Borno State.

Usman had stated that some soldiers were missing after the attack.

The statement did not give the exact number of those missing during the Gashigar attack.

It was learnt that both President Mohammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, were alarmed by the Gashigar attack, which involved an entire unit.

It was gathered that the Army authorities decided to conduct a discreet investigation into the telephone conversation of some of the security personnel and their civilian counterparts and uncovered some suspicious activities through the screening.

A military source said on Wednesday that the Army was intensifying investigation to unravel two established cases against the arrested suspects, which were the leakage of information on troops’ movement to the insurgents and the raising of funds to finance Boko Haram operations through cattle rustling.

The source added, “The President was furious and discussed  the matter with the COAS when some of the heads of that units were ambushed by the Boko Haram.

“The Army leadership took out time to screen the communications lines of the officers for several days without making it known.

“The suspicion was that they have links with some civilians and the links were traced. They are giving them vital information concerning the movement of soldiers.

“How come that the Borno State Governor and other officials have not been attacked, yet they ambushed the Chief of Army Staff. They have not attacked civilians but they attacked the COAS.”

When our correspondent contacted the Acting Army spokesman, he said investigation into the matter was ongoing.

He added that the Army would not release information on the matter in view of the fact that there was an ongoing planned rescue operation in the area.

He said, “Investigation is ongoing and once we conclude, the suspects would be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Usman, who denied reports that 83 soldiers were missing in action, said the military did not lose any soldier to the Gashigar attack.

He, however, stated that the military suspects would be subject to military laws in accordance with the law.

Usman had said in a statement on Tuesday that a total of 32 persons, comprising two military officers, two soldiers, two policemen and 26 civilians were in custody for allegedly sabotaging the ongoing operations.

Nigerian governors
Photo Credit: Googleplus
This year has generally been a challenging one for Nigerians across all social strata, even the rich that hitherto seem to be immune from the woes of the land are not exempted this time around.

It was widely reported in many of our dailies that even the “Almighty” Dangote sacked en mass in some of his factories due to the economic conditions in the country. 

Several banks, manufacturing industries, hospitality companies etc. have embarked on several drastic measures to keep their operations afloat.

The naira has encountered the worst form of instability since it came into existence, moving from as low as 199 naira to the US dollar in May 2015 to as high as 500naira to the US Dollar by July 2016. 

Oil prices have plummeted to their lowest in more than a decade, Government revenues have equally sunk to their lowest in decades. 

In the midst of this sustained hardship citizens have had to endure unbelievable inflation in the prices of foodstuff, groceries and other daily needs. Pump price of petrol have gone up more than 80%. The level of pain out there is glaring.

The federal government recently just admitted that we are in a recession, even though it assured that this recession will be a very short one as the economy is set to bounce out of it very soon.

Due to this very unfavorable situation, Civil rights groups as well as other well-meaning Nigerians have continued to mount pressure on the Buhari led government to act decisively and swiftly in implementing measures that can save the situation. In response, the Federal government has rolled out a few welfare/palliative programs of domestic spending to help cushion the effect of the current hardship being witnessed across the country.

In all of this there is a particular group that we may have forgotten, that I want to bring to our memory now, This group, no doubt, in my opinion, contributed a lot more than any other group to where we are today and this same group can make a difference quicker than any other, if only they do their part diligently and faithfully.

This group is no other but the State governors, yes! State governors, had they been a little more forthcoming in the delivery of their mandate to the people the situation will be nowhere near this bad.
At the moment the spotlight is on the federal government, this is very good. However ,it should not be at the expense of letting the state governors off the hook.

Over 95% of Nigerians reside in one of the 36 states of the federation. States and local governments take over 43% of our total earnings, as much as some people may what to argue that this percentage is not enough the question though remains what have they done with this 43% to better the lives of the people?

The challenge though is that, many in the current crop of state governors do not appear to be such that can provide leadership at this critical time.

We may have forgotten history so very soon, there was a crop of state governors in this country who didn’t have the luxury of receiving huge funds from the federal government as federal allocations yet they carried out massive projects that still endured till this present day.

In the days when we had the likes of Lateef Jakande , Adekunle Ajasin, Ambrose alli, Sam Mbakwe, Shehu Kangiwa. Governance at the state level was on another dimension, those were Glory days when state governments built schools and hospitals that could rival those of the federal government in standard and size.

State government built industries and businesses that were well managed and generated revenue into the state coffers, most state governments then offered free quality education.

Yet in all of this workers were not owed salaries. Today it is a different ball game entirely, all such industries created by these set of governors have been sold off, schools and hospitals built then have dilapidated due to lack of maintenance. The few new ones built are heavily inflated yet very substandard work.

All we see in this set of governors are the palatial state houses across the 36 states, convoy of SUVs trailing them junketing from country to country in the name of finding foreign investors that are not lost.

The set of former governors I mentioned earlier did not need to travel anywhere to seek foreign investors before they industrialized their various states, These new groups have traveled so much that some of them practically spend more time outside of their state than in the states they govern. Some even acquired private jets from the states resources to further increase their junketing spree. 

Bottom line of my position is this; we need to hold our governors accountable, they control so much and can make so much happen, but only if they manage the resources of the states judiciously. 

Read recently that 19 northern state governors traveled to Washington for a summit on security, it is commendable that they are trying to find solution to our security problems but trust me the solutions to our security problems cannot be found only in Washington.

Can you imagine the toll on our economy the bill of 19 governors with their aides and probably spouses on this already fragile economy, some of these governors are owing workers salary for upward of more than six months. I challenge any of the governors who made this trip to show how much this trip cost his state in US Dollars and let s convert to naira and see how many more workers could have been paid.

These are really challenging times for Nigeria and Nigerians generally can any governor come forward and tell us in specific terms the luxuries and entitlements he has denied himself during this time of recession to allow for the catering of the welfare of the citizens of his state.

Without turning the spotlight on state governors very little progress will be made. It is plain wicked for any governor to embark on any foreign trip if he has any outstanding salary to pay. It is demonic for governors to continue to enjoy undisclosed security votes monthly uninterrupted, yet owe salaries and pensions for months.

Several state governments were given bailouts recently to pay salaries yet what we hear is that rather than pay the backlog of salaries owed, many of the governors diverted the monies into other stuff leaving the impoverished civil servant unpaid for months, what else is evil if not this. 

There’s so much noise about this current hardship but if we look within, we will discover that the part that state governors contribute to this is huge.

Let us as citizens be very vigilant, it is very okay to keep a watch on the federal government but in my most honest opinion it will do us more good if we all turn the spotlight on our various state governors.

Ibekwe a public affairs commentator writes from Enugu, Enugu State.

Trump and Clinton
Donald Trump has warned of a World War if Hillary Clinton is elected as president and her policies on ISIS, and the Syrian conflicts are implemented.

Democratic Party U.S Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton revealed during the last presidential election debate that the U.S will create no-fly zones in Syrian airspace in order to combat ISIS and also allow for peace and normality to return to the already war-torn Syria and it's citizens. 

If a no-fly zone is implemented by the U.S on Syrian airspace and a Russian jet flies on the airspace, the U.S have the right to shoot it down, a move that could cause war between both nations and Trump on Tuesday warned that Hillary Clinton would surely cause a World War III if elected as president.

"What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria," Trump told Reuters on Tuesday morning at his resort in Doral, Florida. 

"You're going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton."

"You're not fighting Syria anymore, you're fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk," he said.

Trump also said Clinton's claim that he was Putin's 'puppet' in the last presidential election debate was a very naive one because anyone who becomes president will have to negotiate with Russia's president Putin in order to have World peace, but how do you do that 'when you've painted him badly?

"How is she going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil."

Mr Trump's warning of confrontation with Russia echoes concerns raised last month at a congressional hearing by the highest-ranking military officer in the US military.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Gen Joseph Dunford told lawmakers a "no-fly zone" in Syria could spell war with Russia.

"Right now, senator, for us to control all of the airspace in Syria it would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia," Gen Dunford told the Senate Arms Services Committee.

"That's a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I'm not going to make."

The Clinton campaign on Tuesday evening pushed back against Trump's 'World War III rhetoric.
"National security experts on both sides of the aisle have denounced Donald Trump as dangerously ill-prepared and temperamentally unfit to serve as commander-in-chief," Clinton spokesman Jesse Lehrich said. "Once again, he is parroting Putin's talking points and playing to Americans' fears, all while refusing to lay out any plans of his own for defeating ISIS or alleviating humanitarian suffering in Syria. Moreover, this incendiary attack is aimed at a policy that his own running mate, Mike Pence, strongly supports."

Trump also said that the election can't be lost to Hillary if the Republican party had unity.

"If we had party unity, we couldn't lose this election to Hillary Clinton," he told Reuters.

"The people are very angry with the leadership of this party, because this is an election that we will win 100% if we had support from the top," he said. 

"I think we're going to win it anyway."

Excerpted from LIB

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