Tens of thousands of people, including MPs and ministers from all countries, former Nobel laureates and distinguished academics, can propose candidates for the various Nobel prizes.
Black Lives Matter, a movement which became a rallying cry after the killing by US police of an unarmed black man, has been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, a Norwegian MP said Saturday.
Founded in the United States in 2013, the movement received an impetus in May after George Floyd died.
A white policeman had knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes ignoring Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
The incident fuelled protests in the United States that sped across the world.
“This movement has become one of the strongest global movements for working with racial injustice,” Petter Eide, a socialist lawmaker who proposed BLM for the Peace Prize, told AFP.
“They have also been spread to many many countries, building up… awareness on the importance of fighting racial injustice,” he said.
The deadline ends on Sunday.
Several other names have been mooted for the Peace Prize including controversial Wikileaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange, former US president Donald Trump, media rights group RSF and a trio of Belarusian opposition leaders led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
The Nobel prizes will be announced at the start of October. This year’s prize went to the World Food Programme, the UN food agency.
Nigerian reality star, Mercy Eke also joined the fray; and posted a video of her challenge on her social media pages.
Popular Gospel singer, Mercy Chinwo, has written an open letter to all the women out there, condemning the viral x-rated silhouette challenge.
The challenge features women strip dancing to Doja Cat‘s 2019 song, Streets under red lights permitting viewers to see the silhouettes of their unclad bodied.
Some men, especially young men, are going absolutely nuts over it and some have joined the seductive challenge, while others featured their partners.
However, via her verified Instagram page, Mercy Chinwo urged women to carry themselves with dignity and not follow every trend online like the Silhouette challenge.
She also asked women to desist from imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around them.
“Dear women, you don’t have to follow every trend. Carry thyself with dignity, know your worth.. this is why you are different,” she wrote.
“Let your light so shine before men so that they may see your good works (Lifestyle, character) and glorify your father in heaven.. #ISTANDAGAINSTSILHOUTTECHALLENGE.” “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you. But be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.Romans 12:2.”
They get naked against a blurred red background when Doja Cats’ song, Streets which was released in 2019 comes on.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG), has warned strongly against online nudity.
Adeboye’s warning comes as #SilhouetteChallenge continues to trend online.
The challenge sees ladies strip down while dancing to ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’ released in 1987 by Paul Anka.
However, Adeboye has tweeted, “What are the things that the flesh usually tells you to do? They are listed in Galatians 5:19-21 as you must have earlier read in today’s Bible text. You think that you can view a few pictures or videos on social media where someone is almost nude and it is okay.
“You are quenching the Spirit. That little window you give to indulge the flesh will strengthen it such that you would find yourself going back to those pictures/videos after that time. The Bible is very clear – don’t ever do anything that will quench the Spirit. Never!”
Narrating how the deceased was murdered in cold blood, one of his apprentice and relative, Tosin Ajinda, said they were working at a site in the estate when his uncle asked him to call the okada rider that usually transported him.
Residents of Royal Estate, Isheri Olofin, in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), have called on the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Inspector of General of Police, to bring to justice the killers of Sunday Ajinda, a building contractor who was allegedly clubbed to death by some irate youths in the community.
He said: “On that fateful day, my uncle asked the bike man who usually takes him to other sites to come around. The bike man came and as he attempted to climb on it, two Hausa boys accosted him, saying he stole their okada. He tried to explain to them it could be a mistaken identity. He asked them if they didn’t know him and told them to follow him to the security post for verification.
“All efforts made by him to exonerate himself fell on deaf ears as they started clubbing him with wood. This was around 7:00p.m. The security men could not do anything as the okada riders were large in number. When we took him to Igando General Hospital, the doctors confirmed him dead on arrival.”
Describing the deceased as a good, honest and very hard-working man, the site owner where the late Ajinda was working on, Adeyemo Williams, said he had known Ajinda since 2015 and they had been working together.
“I will describe him as my right hand man; there is nothing I want to do that I don’t consult him. He is trustworthy to a fault. He was in Anambra State when his wife died last year during the lockdown. By his standard, he can afford 10 okadas. He recently bought one for one of his workers to enhance his movement across the sites they are working on.”
Commenting on the incident, the Community Development Association (CDA) chairman, Alhaji Abiodun Alabi, said mob attacks by the Hausa youths had become a recurring incident in the estate.
According to him, sometime last year, they attacked one of the estate security guards who demanded to know where they were coming from after the estate had been locked at night.
In his reaction, a leader of the Hausa community in the estate, Mallam Aliyu Ahmed Galadima, told NoRM that he was aware of the incident, and some of the culprits had been apprehended and handed over to the police. He added that no formal complaint or report of a missing okada was made by the youths to the leadership.
Debunking the alleged hostile attitude and recurring mob attack on members of the estate by Hausa youths, Galadima said: “That is not true. Despite this matter at hand, there has not been any incident of hostility from our youths.” Meanwhile, the CDA chairman led some members of the community to the palace of the traditional ruler in the area, Oniseri of Isheri, Oba Ayinde Balogun, demanding the relocation of the Hausa-Fulani community from their midst on account of their incessant attacks on residents.
Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Elisha Abbo who happens to be the youngest Senator in Nigeria, assaulted the owner of the shop he went to purchase some s*x toys by slapping and accusing her of poising her Air Conditioner.
This was because one of the ladies that accompanied him felt sick immediatly they entered the shop and she started throwing up.
The shop owner however replied the senator by saying that if the air conditioner was contaminated, others in the shop would have also taken ill.
This reply was said to have angered Abbo, and the two began exchanging words over the matter. The senator was said to have called a policeman who he then ordered to arrest the shop owner.
The shop owner quickly called her father to inform him that Abbo had called police over the matter and that she was about to be taken away.
The shop owner’s friend who had been standing nearby tried to intervene by pleading with the second man to take things easy but was slapped repeatedly by the lawmaker.
Senator Abbo however tendered an apology to the woman, days after the assault. He mentioned that regardless of the provocation, his action did not portray him a good ambassador of the Senate, the PDP and the youths of Nigeria.
In his words;
“It is with a deep sense of remorse and responsibility that I, Senator Ishaku Abbo profoundly apologize to all Nigerians, the Senate, the Peoples Democratic Party, my family as well as our mothers- the Nigerian women. “I personally apologize to Babra (the lady he reportedly assaulted) and her family for my action which has brought immense discomfort to our body polity.”
“l have never been known or associated with such actions in the past. Regardless of what transpired prior to my expression of anger, I am sincerely sorry and plead that all men and women of good conscience should have the heart to forgive me. To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
“To the Church of God everywhere in the world, I am sorry. As an Ambassador of Christ, much is expected of me. My family and religious upbringing do not give approval to such conduct and for this, as a leader, I seek forgiveness before God and all those who feel offended by my action. “
“Indeed, this episode has taught me a very great lesson both as a private citizen and a public officer particularly as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon whom public confidence is reposed.”
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has commenced an investigation into various allegations of corruption and misappropriation of COVID-19 funds in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Spokesperson of the ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, disclosed in a statement on Saturday that some top directors and staff of the agency have been quizzed after months of intelligence gathering.
According to the ICPC spokesperson, top officials are being interrogated in the alleged diversion of N5.47 billion meant for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the nine states of NDDC.
“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has quizzed top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), over allegations of various acts of corruption such as diversion of funds, procurement fraud and misappropriation of the agency’s Covid-19 funds.
“Some directors of NDDC were interrogated at the Commission’s headquarters recently, after months of intelligence gathering, following the receipt of petitions from Nigerians on the alleged illegalities and contracts fraud by some officials of the agency,” it added.
“Top officials of the agency are being investigated for their complicity in an alleged diversion of N5.474 billion meant for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the nine states of NDDC,” the statement read in part.
Mrs Ogugua said that the commission is also investigating the payment of monies for some staff training abroad, which was never attended due to the global lockdown measures enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The Commission is also investigating the payments of millions of naira to the staff of the agency for foreign training during the Covid-19 full lockdown which were never attended, as well as the non-payment of entitlements to students on foreign scholarships.
“Other allegations being investigated by ICPC include the selling of back-dated contract award letters for projects and awards of contracts that were not captured in the budget of the NDDC,” she stated.
The ICPC spokesperson added that the Commission has retrieved relevant documents that will help in uncovering the truth, recover diverted funds and prosecute anyone found to have breached the law.
The NDDC Saga The NDDC has been a subject of controversy in the last few months over allegations of corruption in the award of contracts and the non-payment of Nigerian scholars under the payroll of the commission.
This prompted the National Assembly to invite the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godwill Akpabio, and the former Interim Management Committee head, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council approved N722.3 million for eight field forensic auditors to audit the NDDC in a bid to unravel the level of corruption in the agency in charge of the development of the Niger Delta region.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the major concern of religious leaders with the recently enacted Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is the fear that the processes are not abused in a way that compromises the entire structure and operation of the organisation
Professor Osinbajo who spoke during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference on Thursday stated that these leaders want to be accountable, contrary to views based on reactions to a section of the act.
He maintained that the CAMA 2020 is massive legislation that covers a wide range of issues on companies and if a section is contentious, what the aggrieved parties can do is to approach the National Assembly and propose an amendment.
“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable. I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization. And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.
“The concern of the Churches is that it could lead to a situation where practically anybody could be appointed as a trustee to oversee the Church and a Church or a Mosque is a spiritual organization and if you do not share the same faith with the Church or Mosque, you may be the wrong person and if a wrong is appointed, you may create more trouble for the organization.
“What can be done is that, whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the views of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put in the form of a proposal that will be taken to the National Assembly for consideration for an amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued,” the Vice President added.
CAMA Fears President Muhammadu Buhari signed the CAMA bill into law in August, repealing and replacing the extant 1990 act, with the aim that the new legislation will be the most significant in three decades, promoting the ease of doing business, while reducing regulatory hurdles in the country.
However, a portion of the legislative piece tagged Incorporated Trustees, states that religious bodies and charity organisations will now be strictly regulated by the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the supervising minister.
Additional clauses in the act show that the commission can suspend the trustees of an association and appoint an interim manager to run the affairs of the organisation
But Vice President Osinbajo clarified that the section will affect these organisations; “Churches, Mosques, and church organizations are regarded as charities. It is the Incorporated Trustees Section of the Companies and Allied Matters Act that has become controversial. And because churches are charities, the provisions in the incorporated trustees’ section obviously affect the churches.
“What the Churches are concerned about is a provision that says that in the event that some wrong-doing is found to be perpetrated by the trustees of the particular organization or Church, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) can go to court and get an order to appoint interim administrators or interim trustees for the Church or whichever charity organization and manage the organization.”
C.A.N Talks Tough Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the act and called on President Buhari to suspend the law in the interest of the country.
“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations. This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.
“How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political? For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It is an invitation to the trouble that the government does not have the power to manage. Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people.”
The Muhammadu Buhari administration will not sweep the major issues underlying the crisis in Southern Kaduna under the carpet, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Professor Osinbajo gave the assurance on Thursday during a special conversation featuring him and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference.
He listed the issues to include ensuring justice, fixing economic marginalisation and the prosecution of persons responsible for the murders.
The Vice President who stated that the government would ensure that the impunity does not worsen urged those who have concerns about the recently signed CAMA legislation to approach the National Assembly for possible amendments.
“I have been involved since 2001 through the work of the Macedonian initiative, an NGO that focused on providing relief materials to displaced persons in Southern Kaduna and several other places, especially in the north-central part of Nigeria,” he said on the way forward in the Southern Kaduna conflict and making reference to his personal experience.
Professor Osinbajo added, “There have been judicial commissions and all sorts, but the problem remains. So, there is the need to address the underlying issues. You can’t sweep under the carpet, justice and the cries of economic marginalisation.
“The fact is that we must prosecute persons responsible for these murders or otherwise impunity will worsen, and also support those who have lost their breadwinners.”
According to the Vice President, the mindless callous killings in Southern Kaduna are heart-breaking and unacceptable as they are avoidable.
He stressed the need to condole those who lost loved ones and those injured or who have suffered loss of property in the crisis.
Possible Peace-Making Efforts Professor Osinbajo highlighted what the Federal Government has done and was doing to deal with the situation.
He said, “First is the improvement of security in Southern Kaduna. Now, we have a military base there, for the first time. We also have a lot of Air Force surveillance.
“We have about 500 conventional and Mobile Policemen in Zangon-Kataff and Kaura Local Government Areas and then, the combined military team of the army and the navy who are also on ground 24 hours. This is basically to just take care of the volatile situation there.”
The Vice President noted that President Buhari had several security council meetings where the issues were discussed, and the possibilities of engagement have also been discussed.
On a personal note, he revealed that he has engaged community leaders in Southern Kaduna and the state governor to look at what peace-making efforts were possible.
Professor Osinbajo was optimistic that the issues would be resolved, noting that some of the peace-making efforts have been fairly successful.
“But there is also a lot of work going on to ensure that some of these fundamental issues are being addressed and it’s an evolving situation, but it’s something we can’t afford to ignore and it’s gone on for far too long and it’s redressable and possible for us to resolve,” he stated.
On his part, Gbajabiamila spoke about the collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature under the present administration in addressing some of the critical issues facing the country.
He said the actions of the lawmakers would continue to be guided by the legislative agenda adopted by the House at its inauguration in 2019, in line with the vision of the President.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disengagement of Professor Charles Dokubo from office as the Coordinator of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement on Thursday.
He noted that the disengagement of Professor Dokubo from office was with immediate effect.
President Buhari, thereafter, approved the appointment of Retired Colonel Milland Dikio as the Interim Administrator of the programme.
According to the President’s spokesman, Dikio’s appointment is with effect from August 21.
He added that Professor Dokubo has been directed to hand over all official matters to the most senior officer of the programme.
President Buhari appreciated the services of the sacked Amnesty Programme chief to Nigeria and wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Professor Dokubo, a former Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, was appointed by the President in March 2018.
He replaced Retired Brigadier-General Paul Boroh who was sacked over allegations of financial impropriety and other acts in the programme under his watch.
Barely two years later, Professor Dokubo was suspended by the President in February 2020, on the recommendation of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Babagana Monguno.
The NSA had up a caretaker committee to investigate the activities of the programme following numerous allegations and petitions surrounding the programme.
Part of the committee’s task was to ensure that allocated resources were properly utilised in consonance with the Federal Government’s objective of alleviating problems in the Niger Delta region and stamping out corruption in the programme.
It was also directed to review and oversee the running of the programme, with a view to ensuring that the government objectives were achieved
United Nations-backed talks on a new constitution for Syria resumed in Geneva on Thursday after Swiss health authorities gave the green light despite four delegates testing positive for Covid-19.
The discussions, aimed at rewriting the war-torn country’s constitution, were put on hold almost as soon as they started on Monday when the test results came through.
UN envoy Geir Pedersen, who is moderating the tentative talks between representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, the opposition and civil society, has voiced hope they could pave the way towards a broader political process.
His office said in a statement that “following additional testing and further medical and expert advice regarding four earlier positive tests for Covid-19”, Swiss authorities had determined the meeting could go ahead at the UN Palais des Nations. They resumed at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT).
The committee members — 15 each from the government, the opposition and from civil society — were tested for the new coronavirus before they travelled to Geneva, and were tested again on arrival in the Swiss city.
The positive second tests were found among delegates who arrived from Damascus, opposition negotiations leader Hadi al-Bahra told a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.
One opposition delegate, one from civil society and two representing the government, tested positive, he said.
Pedersen said further testing in recent days “indicates that the earlier positive cases do not pose any risk,” adding though that “out of an abundance of caution”, the talks would proceed at the UN “only with those who have tested negative.”
He stressed strict precautions would be followed during the talks.
The discussions had been scheduled to wrap up Friday, but Pedersen said the plan now was to extend the talks into Saturday.
He said committee delegates seemed eager to resume dialogue as “a signal of the importance of this process.”
He hailed a “constructive” first meeting on Monday, and said delegates appeared keen to have “substantive discussions” for the remainder of the week.
The Constitutional Committee was created in September last year and first convened a month later.
Disagreement on the agenda prevented a second round of planned talks from taking place in late November. The pandemic has delayed them ever since.
The United Nations has been striving for more than nine years to nurture a political resolution to Syria’s civil war, which has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced more than 11 million.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday said community security outfit, Amotekun, will be instrumental in keeping the state safe.
He made the remarks while addressing chairpersons of the 68 Local Government and Local Council Development Council Areas in the state, at a meeting held inside the House of Chiefs, Secretariat Ibadan, a statement from his spokesman, Taiwo Adisa, said.
The Governor also said Amotekun will not be under the control of the Federal Government.
“We want our people to sleep with their two eyes closed,” Makinde said. “Of course, security is one of the pillars of this administration and we must do everything possible to invest in the security of lives and property. In Okeho the other day, armed robbers went to rob and the community rose against them and apprehended them. They combed the forests and they got them.
“This is why I will continue to say it and I am saying it for the whole world to hear; Amotekun is here to stay with us. And it will not be under the control of the federal establishment. It will be under our control. Security of our people is extremely important, because nothing can take place, as far as we are concerned, in an atmosphere of insecurity,” he said.
Makinde gave marching orders to the caretaker committee chairmen to immediately go back to their domains to set up Security Committees with a view to tackling the security challenges in their localities.
He maintained that the state government would provide all enablements for them to succeed in the task.
“From where we are here, the biggest challenge we have seen so far is in the area of security,” he said. “We are getting close to the ’ember’ months, a period in which some people who have not worked all year and want to have a Merry Christmas, commit all sorts of crimes.
“So, we expect that there will be a spike in criminal activities. I want to, as a matter of urgency, urge you that you all go back to your areas to set up your Security Committees. It must be done almost immediately. And I will be happy to release funds; to give approval for you to spend some money on security within your domains.
“Oyo State is very large; in terms of land size, we are more than all the states of South-East Nigeria put together. So, we have a lot to do to protect the state. We have international borders, so there is smuggling taking place. They killed a Customs Official in Saki a few weeks ago; those things are not acceptable to us.
“As the government that is the closest to the people, you have to take control of the challenges of insecurity in your various domains and you should please, once those committees are set up, any enabler that you need, let us know. We will work with the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, to make sure those enablers are provided.”
The meeting was attended by top state government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; chairman, State Advisory Committee, Senator Hosea Agboola; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Olawale Mogbonjubola, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chief Lawal and the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Affairs, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye, among others.
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has condemned the claims that he is causing trouble and division among the people of the state.
He described as unfortunate, the withdrawal of ethnic groups who have been in conflict for decades from tendering their memorandum and testimonies at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the sake of peace in the state.
The governor insisted that there was no problem without a solution, saying he was proud of seeking peace coexistence from every zone of Taraba and would not relent in his resolve.
He made the remarks on Wednesday when he received the paramount ruler of Kwararafa Empire, Aku-Uka, and his kinsmen at the Government House in Jalingo, the state capital.
“Today, we have a Judicial Commission of Inquiry in which the parties that have been accusing the government have refused to attend this commission’s sittings.
“It is unfortunate because we desire peace and anyone who desires peace will always go to where peace is and anyone who desires where peace is being stopped, then really does not want peace,” he said.
‘Run Faster Than Jonah’ Governor Ishaku, however, gave an assurance that he would not let residents of the state down in his quest for peaceful atmosphere.
He stressed that the five years of his administration has visible achievements and promised to achieve more feats.
“Even the peace that is eluding, we will come and get it and one day those accusing us will come and say thank you for the peace you have given.
“There is no problem that does not have a solution, it is only the will to make sure that peace is achieved or gotten, and it is gotten through sweat and sleepless nights,” the governor stated.
He added, “We are ready to spend sleepless nights to get to the bottom of the issues; we have done it and we shall do it again.”
Governor Ishaku insisted that the problems bedevilling Taraba in terms of crisis were with the state.
According to him, nobody has a monopoly of knowledge and he is a governor of a tenure.
“Unlike Jonah in the bible, I did not say no; I said Lord, here I am, but if I had known the problems that are here, I would have run faster than Jonah.
“This is because whatever you do, you have not done it right and I acknowledge the deputy governor and all other members of my cabinet for tortuously pushing them to the end of the road for better results of harmony,” the governor said.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday said it is committed to ensuring that “poor and vulnerable” Nigerians do not experience any undue increase in electricity tariff.
According to a statement signed by the Commission’s Chairman, James Momoh, electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) can only increase prices only after customers have been consulted and metered.
The DISCOs must also commit to increasing the number of hours of electricity supply per day.
“This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area,” Momoh said.
“Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariffs for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen.
“Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs.”
Also on Wednesday, Minister of Power, Sule Mamman, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a one-year waiver of import levies on electricity billing meters.
The move is expected to speed up the process of supplying customers across the country with meters and end estimated, arbitrary billing.
READ THE NERC CHAIRMAN’S FULL STATEMENT:
PRESS RELEASE: NERC COMMITTED TO PROTECTING CUSTOMERS
In response to media reports that there is an increase in tariffs for Nigerians, NERC wishes to clarify that tariff reviews going forward will only follow service-based principles. Under these service-based principles DISCOs will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service.
In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase. In line with these expectations, DISCOs are directed to engage with their customers on a Service Based Tariff structure. Under the Service Based Tariff Structure, DISCOs can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions:
Customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply Customers are metered
No estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation. This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.
Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs.
In addition, the President has directed that there should be a nationwide mass-metering program in an effort by the Federal Government to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity. He has also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters, so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs.
The general public and all stakeholders in the power sector are by this statement urged to disregard any reports of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians.
James. A. Momoh Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has called for the urgent creation of special courts in the state.
In a communique issued after a Security Council meeting on Tuesday in Abakaliki, Governor Umahi said the move is necessary to try offenders of COVID-19 laws, cases of cultism, herdsmen attack, rape, and killings in the state.
Umahi spoke through the Deputy Governor Kelechi Igwe after meeting with members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) at Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre.
The governor who said the special court will resolve the cases of rape, killings, attack in some communities suspected to be members of Miyetti Allah, added that these incidents have led to the destruction of farmlands and disruption of peace in the communities affected.
He warned the leadership of the association that they will be held responsible for any destruction of crops, rape, killing, and attack on communities if they do not produce the perpetrators of the evil act amongst their membership within seven days for arrest and prosecution.
Governor Umahi also asked the community leaders and other political stakeholders in the state to take responsibility in their communities.
In doing this, he urged them to produce attackers on herdsmen and their cows for arrest and prosecution, whenever such occurs within seven days.
While expressing worry over the killings and attacks in the communities, Governor Umahi directed that all herders must reside within communities where they graze their cows.
This comes as the state government prohibited the grazing of cows around school premises, churches, and government properties.
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed says all persons must refuse to accept the conditions that make violence against women and girls possible.
The UN top official made the remarks in a pre-recorded video broadcast on Tuesday during a Spotlight Initiative townhall.
The Spotlight Initiative, a new, global, multi-year initiative from the European Union (EU) and the UN, is determined to eliminate all forms of such violence against women and girls (VAWG).
“Around the world, violence against women and girls, especially rape is skyrocketing,” Mohammed said. “Many incidents have triggered widespread outrage. Yet some keep trying to play the oldest game in the book; the blame game. Blame the COVID-19 pandemic, blame social and economic stress, blame uncertainty. Even outrageously, blame the victim – usually a woman or, worse still, a girl. Blame anything, everything but the perpetrator.
“Let’s be really clear, sexual violence and any form of violence is violence. There is absolutely no excuse, there is no justification and there must be zero tolerance. All of us must stand together and speak out.”
The former Nigerian Minister of Environment called for more persons to support the Spotlight Initiative, which is designed to “bring focused attention to the issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Below is an excerpt from Mohammed’s speech at the town hall meeting:
I am the proud mother of four daughters, but the loudest voices urging me to speak up came from my sons and they said, ‘Mom, this is already a dangerous issue – it is in our chat spaces; you need to do something about it, people will listen.
I am not sure people will listen but if I can make a difference in one woman’s life, then it is worth speaking about it.
When I asked what they were hearing, they said it varies. Some say violent is not right, but others, appallingly, say women asked for it. Really? You and I know that men and boys who commit violence against women and girls are just simply not men. They are weak, it’s shameful. They are, sadly, the textbook definition of a coward.
And for those who turn a blind eye or deaf ears saying it is a private matter, know that you too are accomplices to violence. Now, we can agree to disagree, but because of these attitudes, women and girls face a clear and present danger of the threat of violence and rape every day at home, in school and, these days, online. Men and boys, fathers and sons, husbands, we must have this conversation. Take responsibility, speak up. Stand with women and girls.
Let’s join hands with survivors of violence including rape. Listen to their stories. Let’s call out victim blaming and shaming. Let’s rally our communities to say ‘No’ to gender-based violence. Let’s remember that if not for a woman, and her nine months of labour, I am not sure that you men will be here today.
So, let’s stand with our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our partners and, together, let’s declare in one voice, I am with her’.
President Muhammadu Buhari has once again called for an end to violence against women and children in the country and around the world.
In solidarity with Nigerian women and children, President Buhari said the country has made a lot of progress in the fight against gender-based violence.
“I stand in solidarity with all the women and children in Nigeria and around the world and say no to violence against women and children,” he said in a message during the UN Spotlight Initiative Town Hall on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.
“A lot of good progress has been made in the past few months. We have established an inter-ministerial management committee on the eradication of gender-based violence in the country.
“Many states in the country have passed laws promoting access to justice for women and children and services are being improved to support survivors of violence.
While commending the Ministry of Women Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice, lawmakers, Nigerian governors, and the Police Force for their “plans to ensure the creation of a national action plan to combat violence against women and girls,” he admitted that violence against children and women has consequences.
“Gender violence has consequences, not only for the victims and their families but on the community and the country at large,” he said.
“Preventing violence against women can save lives and prevent human suffering.”
According to Buhari, men also have a role to play in building a safer society for women and children and should recognize the role of women in the development of the economy and the country.
“A lot still needs to be done and I call on all our men and boys to help us in achieving our goal of creating a society that is free from domestic violence, rape and all other forms of violence against women and children,” Buhari added.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen asks states to create the Sex Offenders Register to curb rape cases and other forms of violence in the country.
The Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, says cases of rape and other forms of violence against women are under-reported.
“For every one reported cases of Gender-Based Violence, 10 are not reported,” she said while faulting statistics on GBV,” said Tallen who was a guest on the UN Spotlight Initiative Town Hall on Violence Against Women on Tuesday.
“I am happy that the last speaker you just interviewed on the street confirmed that some communities try to suppress and stop people from reporting Gender-Based Violence.”
The Minister called for an end to the rising cases of rape and other forms of violence against women and girls in the country.
While condemning the act, she declared that further violent cases were unacceptable.
She, therefore, encouraged Nigerians and other forms of victims to speak out in order to end the scourge of violence against the female folks.
According to the Minister, perpetrators of violence against women should be named and shamed to serve as a deterrent to others.
“All hands must be on deck. People must come out and speak, support, and encourage victims. It is the perpetrators that should be shamed.
“That is where I will commend the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Fayemi is one of the first governors that launched the Sex Offenders Register in his state,” she said.
The Minister reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government in ending the GBV in the country, thereby calling on states to emulate both Ekiti and Lagos in opening the Sex offenders Register.
She believes doing that will bring suspected rapists to book and stop the ugly trend of rape and other violent cases in the country.
The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia has approached a High Court of Justice in Plateau State for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing.
This is coming after the police, again, sent him an invitation which may not be unconnected with his previous appearance before the Department of State Services (DSS) over his comments on the security situation in the country while featuring on a radio programme.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday in Jos, Mailafia’s legal team said the suit has been filed challenging the letter of invitation.
The legal team is also asking the court to make a judicial pronouncement on the letter.
He described the invitation as an intimidation, harassment, persecution, and witch hunt.
Video app TikTok on Monday said it has filed a lawsuit challenging the US government’s crackdown on the popular Chinese-owned platform, which Washington accuses of being a national security threat
As tensions soar between the world’s two biggest economies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on August 6 giving Americans 45 days to stop doing business with TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance — effectively setting a deadline for a potential pressured sale of the app to a US company.
“Today we are filing a complaint in federal court challenging the Administration’s efforts to ban TikTok in the US,” the company said in a blog post.
More Nigerians stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have continued to return home following the evacuation of 252 persons from the Arab country on Saturday.
Disclosing this in a tweet on its official handle, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said the evacuees landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via an Emirates Airline flight.
“Out of this number,” NIDCOM said, “180 of them had their tickets paid for by the UAE govt, for those who claimed they couldn’t afford a return ticket.
“In total, 18 flights have so far evacuated 4,984 Nigerians from Dubai. Out of which the UAE government paid for 517 Nigerians on 3 Fly Dubai flights and 380 Nigerians on Emirates Airline.”
More evacuees – 174 – are expected to return to the country from the UAE on the 25th of August, 2020, according to the agency, with their flight paid for by the government of the Asian nation.
“This will bring the total number of Nigerians evacuated gratis by Dubai authorities to 1,071,” the statement added.
All evacuees, prior to their departure, NIDCOM said, had tested negative to COVID-19 but will be undergoing self-isolation in line with guidelines set by the Federal Government and other relevant health agencies.
The UAE is one of the countries where a good number of Nigerians have been repatriated since the outbreak of the pandemic halted international flights.
On August 12th, two hundred and ninety-two Nigerians returned from the country.
Ending Evacuation During a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, August 13th, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha had, however, said evacuation flights would end on the 25th of the month.
He noted that the decision was to enable international airline operators to prepare for the resumption of international flights which was halted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.