After days of silence, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has given his views on the newly established security outfit by governors of the South-West named Amotekun.
According to Tinubu, the creation of the new outfit is not in any way a threat to national unity as claimed in some quarters.
In a statement on Wednesday, Tinubu said, “Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.
“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the South-west have also lost their compass.
“Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.
“Amotekun is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war.
“Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun, they are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.
“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many.
“If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances.
“I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue.
“Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”
The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has described the attack of the Supreme Court by the Peoples Democratic Party as reckless and dangerous.
In a stunning verdict, the apex court on Tuesday nullified the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC as Governor of Imo State.
The PDP on Thursday disparaged the Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court panel that heard the governorship appeal on Imo and asked it to recuse itself from the pending cases on Bauchi, Sokoto, Benue and Adamawa states.
Addressing journalists on Friday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Oshiomhole accused the PDP of attempting to blackmail the Justices of the Supreme Court.
He said the PDP which was a beneficiary of electoral fraud tried to deepen the culture of do-or-die politics, stressing that the former ruling party lacked the credentials to disparage the judiciary because of their antecedents.
Oshiomhole said democracy had worked and rule of law had prevailed when the PDP won in courts, while there should be no judiciary again if the APC won her cases in courts.
He said the APC still has reservations over the rulings on Rivers and Zamfara that denied the party opportunities to produce governors and the loss of senatorial seats in Ekiti and Sokoto States.
Oshiohmole, who said the PDP laid the foundation for votes rigging in the polity, gave an assurance that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration would do all within its powers to ensure electoral reform before the end of his tenure.
“For PDP and Secondus to call for the resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) because they have lost a state that was never theirs is the height of recklessness,” Oshiomhole added.
China’s trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) posted robust growth in 2019, revealing the resilience of the world’s biggest trader against economic headwinds, customs data showed Tuesday.
Trade with BRI partner countries totalled 9.27 trillion yuan (about 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2019, up 10.8 percent year on year, outpacing the country’s aggregate trade growth by 7.4 percentage points, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
In the 2014-2019 period, the total trade volume between China and BRI countries surpassed 44 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth of 6.1 percent. China has become the biggest trade partner of 25 BRI countries, GAC data showed.BRI countries’ share of China’s total trade approached 30 percent last year, up by 2 percentage points from 2018.
Zou Zhiwu, vice minister of the GAC, noted that alongside fast growth with its major trading partners like the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China has also seen its imports and exports expand rapidly with the BRI countries and emerging economies in Africa and Latin America.
“The Chinese economy has significant resilience, potential and room to maneuver. It is the same in terms of its foreign trade,” said Zou, describing China’s trading partners as “globally scattered” and “flowering in various regions.”
Zou attributed the solid trade growth momentum with the BRI countries to enhanced customs cooperation and trade facilitation measures.
China has signed the most Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) agreements in the world to facilitate customs clearance for enterprises. Among all the 42 countries and regions holding AEO agreements with China, 18 are BRI countries and regions, he said.
The country has set up seven fast customs clearance channels for agricultural products at borders with BRI countries including Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Mongolia and promoted the opening of China-Europe freight trains for mail service.
Zou also noted that Chinese customs signed 198 documents on inspection and quarantine cooperation in 2019, including 89 with B&R countries and regions.
The Egyptian parliament approved on Tuesday a three-month extension of an already-imposed state of emergency due to security challenges facing the country, a member of the parliament said.
The parliament approved a presidential decree to extend the emergency state by another three months, starting from Jan. 27, Mohamed Abou Hamid told Xinhua. Under the decree, military and police personnel should take necessary measures to face terrorism and maintain security across the country.
The state of emergency was first imposed in April 2017 after two church bombings killed 47 people. It has continued since then.
Egypt’s security forces have been fighting terrorist groups concentrated in North Sinai and launched a major operation in the remote region in February 2018.
“Extending the state of emergency provides concerned executive institutions with the legal tools for fighting terrorism,” Abou Hamid said, noting that all the parliament’s members have voted for the decision.
Under the Egyptian constitution, presidential decisions to renew emergency state must be approved by the parliament.
Nigeria’s President Muhammodu Buhari on Monday signed into law Finance Bill 2019.
Revealing this on his Twitter page, the president said: “I am pleased to announce that this morning I signed into Law the Finance Bill, 2019.”
Since signing the bill, Nigerians do not really know what the Finance Bill entails.
Here are 10 things about the bill you need to know about as compiled by TheNews:
1. The bill was submitted to a joint session of the National Assembly October. 8th along with the 2020 Budget presentation by the president.
2. The Bill’s primary purpose is to make money available for the implementation of the 2020 Budget.
3. Although since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 no such Bill’s have been used, the practice is not entirely strange, as past military leaders from time to time used it to amend laws.
4. The Bill aims at curing the deficiencies of major primary tax legislation by amending obsolete and contentious provisions.
5. It emanated from the initiatives suggested by the President Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee.
6. It seeks to promote fiscal equity and align domestic laws with global best practices.
7. It Incentivize investments in infrastructure and capital markets; and raise Government revenues.
8. It increases VAT to 7.5% from 5%
9. The 2020 Budget presentation was the first time, since the return of democracy in 1999, that a Federal Budget was accompanied by passage of a Finance Bill specially designed to support its implementation, and to create a truly enabling environment for business and investment by the private sector.
Crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as some leaders of the party are reportedly plotting an offensive against the National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) over alleged poor management of party affairs.
The source said the planned offensive is fuelled by the growing discontent over Secondus’ leadership style.
The NWC is accused of stoking the embers of discord in some state chapters and for not convening regular meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Daily Sun gathered that some aggrieved party leaders who are dissatisfied with Secondus have commenced moves to sack him as part of efforts to realign the party in readiness for the 2023 election.
“Party leaders are unhappy with Secondus and the NWC over the handling of the crisis in the House of Representatives caucus of the party, as well as the circumstances surrounding the lose of the last governorship election in Bayelsa State,” NobleReporters learnt
It was learnt that five state chapters including Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Ogun and Bayelsa are enmeshed in crisis.While Lagos, Kano, Plateau and Ogun chapters are torn apart by leadership crisis, Bayelsa PDP is polarised by the outcome of the last governorship poll.
Section 31(4) of the PDP constitution( as amended in 2017) stipulates that NEC, which is the second highest organ of the party, meets at least once in a quarter to take decisions on key issues,including matters affecting states and zonal organs of the party.
Investigation revealed that the last time the national chairman convened a NEC meeting was June 20, 2019. A source at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja told Daily Sun that “a cabal” has hijacked the daily operations of the party.
“We can’t be happy with him ( Secondus). He has not been handling the party well, especially the case of Lagos. If they have held NEC, people would have drawn their attention to this misgovernance. But they didn’t hold any NEC meeting. Some people just take decisions and give it to the national secretary, he signs it, and sends it out in the name of the NWC.
“The NWC has not been doing what it ought to do. In fact, it has been causing more confusion all over the place. There is hardly any state where the NWC has not caused one crisis or the other. Many people believe that the national chairman should go, the NWC should be disbanded. That is what many of our people think.”
A NEC member, who is also a former governorship aspirant in one of the southern states, said members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) came short of passing a vote of no confidence on Secondus and the NWC late last year.
He, however, said stakeholders had been managing the crisis so it doesn’t harm the party.
Another PDP NEC member told Daily Sun that some aggrieved leaders of the party, including governors, have concluded plans to move against Secondus in no distant time.
“We will demand for a new chairman. You know our national chairmanship slot should have gone to South West. We still believe it should go there. It is not late. People are not happy with the party leadership. We are just coming from an election. Wait and see what will happen. What I can assure you is that no person is bigger than the party,” he said.
Ike Abonyi, media aide to Mr. Secondus, declined comments, saying Kola Ologbondiyan was in the best position to speak on the issues affecting the NWC.
When contacted, the PDP spokesman told Daily Sun that the party does not respond to rumours. He noted that the NWC since its assumption of office has followed laid down format in carrying out its activities.
“The party does not respond rumours, innuendos and beer parlour gossips. The PDP is a structured political party with established organs, much more than any other political party in Nigeria. And as such it has an established format of carrying out its activities. And under leadership of Secondus these responsibilities have not been called to question. I am sure that NEC has been called as when due, “ Ologbondiyan said.
Meanwhile, PDP has accused the All Progressives Congress ( APC) of endangering national unity by allegedly pursuing exclusionist policies and failing to bring perpetrators of violence to book among others.
The PDP in a statement said efforts by well-meaning Nigerians and groups to ensure unity and harmonious co-existence were allegedly being destroyed by the APC and the present administration through alleged disregard for the federal character principle in appointments, projects and programmes.
The opposition party stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s habitual body count and reference to the sordid experience of the unfortunate civil war, particularly to the youth, is rather fuelling disunity, as his administration is still perpetuating similar, if not worse injustices, inequality, corruption and impunity that lead to disunity.
“It is sad that Mr. President is always trying to face the nation backward instead of looking ahead to a glorious future. This is a sorry situation, which further confirms that the Buhari Presidency and the APC have nothing cheering to offer to the future of our nation.
Takht-Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN Friday that military action against the United States is “over for the time being.”
In his appearance on the cable news network, Takht-Ravanchi addressed President Donald Trump’s claims in a Wednesday speech that Iran was standing down, after Tuesday’s attacks against Iraqi military bases that housed American troops. “With the action that we took the other day, we concluded that phase of our military action against the U.S. forces,” the ambassador said.
Later in the interview, Takht-Ravanchi stated that while Iran was done with military action for the time being, Iran would respond if the U.S. attacked again. “When they started something like this and Iran responded proportionately, that phase was over. So, if the U.S. is going to start again, definitely we’ll have to respond,” he said.
The ambassador also said that Iran’s actions were a direct response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
“We didn’t start this episode,” he said. “It was started by assassinating a top general of the Iranian armed forces in the territory of Iraq. This is against international law; this is against the Iraqi sovereignty.”
In response to Vice PresidentMike Pence’s claimsthat Iranian forces weren’t “shooting to miss” and “intended to kill Americans” in the attack, Takht-Ravanchi said that the Iranian government was “not looking after killing Americans within this operation,” and intended to attack where Soleimani was killed.
“We chose the place where the attack against Soleimani was initiated,” Takht-Ravanchi said. “We do not consider a high number of casualties as an instrumental element in our calculations.
The ambassador also said that the attack intended to show the capabilities of the Iranian armed forces.
Takht-Ravanchi also said the Iranian government is not responsible for telling Iraqi militias not to attack U.S. forces. “It is not our job to say that this gentleman or that gentleman should do this or should not do this,” he said. “We are responsible for whatever action we take.”
The Permanent Mission of Iran did not immediately respond toNewsweek‘s request for comment.
On Thursday, Congress approved a War Powers Resolution that requires Trump to seek congressional approval before attacking Iran again.
Before the vote, Trump tweeted his disapproval of the resolution. “Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution,” he wrote.
Nigerians and other foreign national, were yesterday, handed a 12-hour ultimatum Some by indigenes of Keimoes and Upington areas of northern cape province South Africa, to move out.
Adetola Olubajo, president of Nigeria Union in South Africa, said in a statement that the development was as a result of an “ugly incident” that took place between a police officer and a Nigerian on Wednesday.
He said the Nigerian, an indigene of Abakaliki in Ebonyi state, allegedly stabbed to death the police officer, Nico Visagie, during a disagreement.
Olubajo said the details of the disagreement were still not very clear as the “major witness” was also stabbed multiple times and was still in critical condition at the hospital.
“After the horrific incident, the community members of Keimoes and environs went on rampage burning and destroying properties belonging to foreign nationals, Nigerians in particular,” he said.
“These attacks spread to Upington and Nigerians and other foreign nationals were also expelled from Upington.
“Prompt Police intervention this morning brought about calm but the situation is still tensed. Some locals were arrested by the police for public disturbance and malicious damage to properties.
“They appeared in a magistrates’ court this morning for bail hearing.”
He added that the suspect who stabbed the police officer had been arrested and would appear in court on or before Monday.
“We commend the swift intervention of the members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the arrest of the suspect is a welcome development,” he said.
“We hope the police will continue to maintain law and order in the area.”
There was tension in August following xenophobic attacks in South Africa and reprisals in Nigeria.
Many Nigerians were forced to leave the country while a diplomatic face-off was prevented between Nigeria and South Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the country in October and both nations renewed their diplomatic ties while President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised to Nigerians.
The ward Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Paul Onomuakpokpo, has been killed by gunmen suspected to be hired assassins.
Narrating the incident to SaharaReporters, an official of the party in the area, who does not want his name mentioned, disclosed that the party chairman was killed on Wednesday night along the Ogoni Road near the palace of Olomu Kingdom.
The source said, the armed assassins may have ambushed the deceased at that odd hours and bathed him with bullets as well as his Toyota Camry car, where he died on the spot.
“Till this moment, no one knows while Paul, the party chairman was killed in such as dastardly and cruel manner. His killers made sure he was dead before left him.
“We are calling on security agents to as a matter of importance rise up to the challenge and unravel the reasons behind this cruel murder and fish out the culprits. The entire ward and the kingdom are mourning right now.”, the source said.
Calls to the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, were not responded to as at the time of filing in this report.
Iran on Tuesday January 7, fired a barrage of missiles on two US bases in Iraq following the country’s threats to revenge the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Forces.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif has since called the missle attacks ‘self-defense,’ adding that they do ‘not seek escalation or war’ but would defend themselves against any aggression.
There are indications that Nigerian electricity consumers are in for a rough patch as power supply is said to have dropped from 3,993.65 megawatts, MW, to 3,608 MW.
According to a Vanguard report, this is as a result of “inadequate gas, poor transmission infrastructure and limited distribution facilities.”
The paper quoted a source from the office of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as saying that “On January 2, 2020, average energy sent out was 3,608 MW/Hour (down by 385.65 MW from the previous day). 2,026.5 MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas.” It further noted that “60 MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 2,417.1 MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from the unavailability of distribution infrastructure. The power sector lost an estimated N2, 162,000,000 (Two Billion One Hundred and Sixty-Two Million Naira) on January 2, 2020, due to constraints from insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.”
France urged Tehran Saturday to stick with a landmark nuclear accord at risk of falling apart, the day after Washington killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he had discussed the issue with his Chinese and German colleagues, hoping to avoid escalation of an already intense stand-off between Iran and the United States.
“France fully shares with Germany the central objective of de-escalation and preservation of the Vienna (nuclear) accord,” Le Drian said in a statement.
With China, “we in particular noted our agreement… to urge Iran to avoid any new violation of the Vienna accord,” he added.
The 2015 agreement negotiated between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — plus Germany offered Tehran relief from stinging sanctions in return for curbs to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year and reimposed even more sanctions on Iran, which in turn has progressively dropped key commitments in the accord, including limits on uranium stock and enrichment levels.
Tehran recently announced that it would take a further step away from the accord in early January and this was widely expected to be announced on Monday.
The European Union, which helped broker the 2015 deal, has been trying to keep the accord alive despite the US withdrawal, but analysts say that now looks increasingly unlikely after the US killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian figure.
The men’s US national team has called off plans to go to Qatar for a winter training camp due to the tension in the Middle East after the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Unit, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a United States airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump.
‘Due to the developing situation in the region, US Soccer has decided to postpone traveling to Qatar for the Men’s National Team’s scheduled January training camp,’ US Soccer said in a short statement.
‘We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar’s world-class facilities and hospitality,’ US Soccer added.
The men’s US national team were to play closed-door games at Doha’s Aspire Academy before heading home to face Costa Rica in Carson, California on February 1.
This comes after the Iranian general and his deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were among those killed on Friday, January 3, 2020, at Baghdad International Airport. The attack was ordered by President Donald Trump.
Iranian President, Hasan Rouhani has since announced that they will be avenging the death of its Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleiman and others killed in the attack.
A Kenyan woman identified as Edna Mukwana has left many shocked, after she sold her husband for Ksh 1700 equivalent to N6,000 to buy clothes for her children.
According to Mukwana, she took the decision after she caught her husband who didn’t return home for over 7 days with another woman on their matrimonial bed.
” My husband is married to alcohol and whoring around. I told the woman who has been misleading him to send me Ksh 2000 but she sent me Ksh 1700 instead. I have used all the money to buy new year clothes for my children”
On if she will accept him back, Mukwana said;
”I can’t. I don’t want to get into the new year with the 2019 nuisance”
The High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana was neither evicted from its chancery nor its residence, says Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nwonye disclosed that the property sited on 10, Barnes Road, Accra, Ghana, is one of the official quarters of the High Commission.
Nwonye told Daily Sun that the lease agreement signed between the Nigerian Ministry of Finance and the Ghana expired in August, 2019. He said that the Ghanaian government ought to have informed the Nigeria of the expiration of the lease, but instead decided to lay claim to the property.
“We are working on it; there is no cause for alarm. It is not our chancery, not our residence, it is just one of our official quarters and have been unoccupied for sometime. Though we have some items inside it, no one is occupying it,” Nwonye said.
Nigerian High Commission in Ghana, was alleged to have been forcefully evicted from its diplomatic property in Accra and re-allocated to Amaco Microfinance in August 26, 2019 by Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources with the consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Michael Abikoye, confirmed receiving a terse letter dated December 27, 2019 from solicitors acting on behalf of Amaco Microfinance Company Limited, Accra, directing the high commission to vacate the property.
“As at December 31, 2019 the property has been broken into by the company and is being ransacked with the likelihood of being effectively occupied,”Abikoye said.
…Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Balarabe Musa, others speak
With the dawn of a brand New year, Nigerians across all divides are full of expectations. Naturally, many people are hopeful that Year 2020 will bring good tidings especially in view of the challenges that the citizenry had to contend with in 2019. Many were taken to task on the projections for 2020.
Critical observers believe that Nigeria in 2020 may not fare better considering the state of affairs in the country. For a country with about 90 million people which is roughly half Nigeria’s population living in extreme poverty, the fears of some observers are not far fetched. Available statistics show that around June 2018, Nigeria overtook India, a country with seven times its population, at the bottom of the table of poor nations. The situation continued in 2019 without any improvement in the lives of the people.
So, with the gloomy picture, analysts have taken President Buhari to task by way of setting agenda for him to ensure the rapid socio-political and economic development of the country in 2020.
Listen to all Nigerians -Ohanaeze
Leading the pack was Ohanaeze, the apex socio-cultural organisation of Ndigbo, which urged President Buhari to listen to people of other tribes rather than his own and those of his religion.
Speaking on behalf of the group, National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Uche Achi-Okpaga said Buhari should be open to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion and urged him to identify people who could make his government to succeed.
“When former president Obasanjo was in power for instance, he appointed Dora Akunyili who did justice to the health sector by sanitizing the issue of drugs. Everybody saw the magic a woman was able to do.”
He urged the president to ensure free, fair and transparent election and regretted that the nation’s electoral process has been torn into shreds.
Okpaga harped on the need to restructure the country, insisting that it remained the only way forward for Nigeria.
Buhari should correct his mistakes -Balarabe Musa
Also, former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, urged the president to take note of all the mistakes he is alleged to have made in 2019, saying Buhari knows them. He said: “Let him know those that severely affect the state of the nation negatively and correct them. They are so many but people who mean well and are honest say that there seems to be anarchy, lack of governance and so on. Let him sit down now and find out if those allegations are correct or not. And if they are correct, he should take immediate action to correct them.”
The elder statesman insisted that President Buhari should take particular note of the fact that the present system where the private sector leads in the economy would not work. He argued that it would be more realistic if the state could lead in the economy as such a move would ensure peace, justice, equality, dignity of human person and progressive human development of the country.
“People who have sympathy for the president mentioned certain things that people are still in doubt about, for instance, his plan to revive the railway and Ajaokuta Steel Company, as well as some other projects that affect the state of the Nigerian economy. Let him come out and tell Nigerians that it is true, for instance, that he has plans to revive railway from Lagos to Kano and from Port Harcourt to South East and North East as it used to be during the colonial days. Let him tell us he has actually planned to restore these two projects, just among others not mentioned here. Let him convince Nigerians that he has plans to revive them within the period left to him in this second term,” he said.
The former governor also wants the president to convince Nigerians that he is not seeking a third term in office because the people will not accept it.
President should unite Nigerians -Middle Belt Forum
For the National Publicity Secretary, Middle Belt Leaders Forum, Dr. Dogo Isuwa, President Buhari should tackle the security situation in the country, arguing that it would help to unite the country. He said that government should embark on policies that would engender more religious and tribal tolerance.
Dr Isuwa decried the state of affairs in the country and advocated the development of the right monetary and economic policy to boost the nation’s economy.
Former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Frank Kokori lamented that Nigerians are currently suffering and as such would want President Buhari to shine his eyes properly and see the way the country is going.
He said he would want the president to open the borders that have been closed for some time now, arguing that no country closes its borders and advised that the Customs and Immigration personnel at the border posts should rise up to their responsibilities.
He also urged the APC as a political party to have a lot of inputs in the running of the government, and advised that the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT) which has remained moribund should be revived and made functional in 2020.
The former labour leader said the president should make himself more available to the people and accused a few people he referred to as the cabal for shielding the president from the people and making access to him practically impossible; a situation he said is not healthy for the country.
Security should be taken more seriously -Izuogu
Another APC chieftain and member of the party’s Board of Trustees as well as its National Caucus, Chief Ezekiel Izuogu, said he would want to see the president take the issue of security in Nigeria more seriously next year. The security situation in the country, he said, is very bad, arguing that a situation where 11 Christians were murdered on the Christmas day is saddening.
He also urged the president to focus on massive industrialisation of the country. “Nigeria is not yet industrialised; people are suffering as there are no jobs and no means of livelihood and it is only massive industrialisation that could address the problem,” he stated.
Izuogu also cautioned the president against the move to open Nigeria’s borders to foreigners without visa, warning that no important country leaves her doors open for everybody to enter. “If you do that, crime would be in great multitude because there are many criminals out there. They will just find a home in your country and there will be no peace. Nobody’s life will be safe. So, the president should have more compassion for the masses of the country,” he pleaded.
Buhari can’t follow people’s agenda -Fasika
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Olumide Fasika said setting an agenda for the President Buhari-led government will amount to waste of effort and time. He said Buhari failed to follow the agenda he set for himself and as such cannot follow the agenda set by others.
He said, “A man who sets an Agenda for himself and fails to pursue it because of the weakness of his own character cannot possibly pursue an agenda set for him by others. It will be a waste of time setting an agenda for such a person. Candidate Buhari successfully sold an agenda to Nigerians in 2015 which President Buhari (2015-2019) did not live up to. Rightly or wrongly, he’s been given the opportunity to repeat the class.
“I set him no agenda different from the one he (or his handlers) formulated and sold to Nigerians, and on which he first got elected in 2015. If selling petrol at N40 per litre and bringing the Naira in parity with the US Dollar were mere campaigning banters, what of the promise to lead by example and provide moral leadership and authority in governance? The promise to cut waste in governance, starting from his own office of President is something completely within his reach to attain. He promised to sell off or use the jets in the Presidential fleet to start a new National Airline, and instead travel commercial like most first world leaders; he promised that he will not patronise medical treatment abroad with Nigeria’s tax-payers money.
“Had he lived up to these promises, his street credibility would have gone rocket-high, and so would have his moral authority over us as our President. It would have been seen to be completely within the template of his leadership by example by banning importation of rice and similar foreign agric and other products that we can produce for ourselves.
“I will be pleasantly surprised if rice consumed in the Presidential Villa is Ebonyi or Kebbi rice. Even his flagship agenda of anti-corruption appears a ruse. Prof Ango Abdullahi, just reminded us a few days ago, how the corruption case of one ex-Governor that had been going on for years and was almost being completed was withdrawn to buy his support for a particular candidate being backed for headship of the Senate. Whereas some ex-governors lacking such quid pro quo are facing the music. Even the Chairman of the President’s party confirmed the insincerity of the anti-corruption item of the President’s agenda when, at a campaign rally, he engaged in loose and irresponsible talk of describing the ruling party, the APC, as a mafia, a protection racket for corrupt politicians. In other words, Nigeria is being ruled by a party of hypocrites, with the President as leader. If there’s any agenda worth setting for the President, it’s that he, and the governing party he leads, the APC, should stop being hypocritical and asking him to live up to his promises.”
He should improve human rights records -Afenifere
National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, who spoke on behalf of the Pan Yoruba group said the realities facing the country makes it necessary for the government to begin to think of restructuring.
He said, “The other day, I read in the papers the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed warning that the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. This is an indication that the system we operate is not economically viable. The Federal Government must begin to think of restructuring this country to make it economically viable.”
On human rights and respect for the rule of law, Afenifere said: “My advice to the government in 2020 is to improve on its human rights records. The government should go to school in 2020 to learn how to respect human rights. We are in a democratic era but the government is still behaving as if we are in a military regime, so they should go to school to learn how to respect human rights and obeying court orders, and not deciding which ones to obey.
“The excuse the government always gives is national security and interest, the government has the power to arrest people suspected to breach the laws, but when the court makes an order on their release, the court order must be obeyed. The government cannot decide which orders to obey or not.”
He chastised the government for what he called the policy of “exclusion”, and advised the administration to retrace its steps and run an inclusive government.
He added, “This administration does not practise inclusive governance, what it knows is exclusion. For the first time in this country, the head of all the organs of government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary are core northers.
“Also look at all the economic and revenue yielding institutions, the Ministry of Finance, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Customs, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Accountant General of the Federation, they are all headed by northerners. The Federal Government should make the government inclusive.”
End Nepotism now -Uwazuruike
Goddy Uwazuruike, who is former President of Aka Ikenga described the government’s border closure policy as “an amateurish response to the influx of rice through the neighbouring countries.”
He advised that rather than border closure, the government should “plan a massive cultivation of rice” to crash the price.
He said, “There is no magic in economic planning and management. The law of nature is that demand and supply determine the price of a commodity. A good example is the frenetic propaganda on rice importation. The price follows this law of nature. For the government to have even a scintilla of success, it must plan a massive cultivation of rice. In a simple language, flood the market with cheap rice which the masses will be drawn to. It is not of much consequence if the upper class prefer the foreign rice. This is because the government will use high import taxes to expand the local production of rice. Closing of borders is an amateurish response to the great influx of rice through the neighbouring countries. Efficient control of customs service is a sine qua non to the improvement of the economy.”
On rule of law and respect for human rights, Uwazuruike stressed that by disobeying court borders that the Buhari-led government is ridiculing his oath of office.
He said, “There is no alternative to the rule of law. Human rights provisions are part of the rule enshrined in the constitution. All political and major office holders swore on the Bible and Koran to uphold the constitution. By announcing that your government will not obey all laws and that the rule of law is subservient to the constitution, the entire swearing becomes a charade. In a different language, the office holder is not only dishonest but also a person who ascended to the office by subterfuge. Obedience to the rule of law is a hallmark of a country.”
He advised the Federal Government to end the policy of nepotism and embrace the whole country in appointments and distribution of government privileges.
“When I was growing up, I was told of the twin evil of nepotism and corruption. Today, I hear of corruption only. Nepotism has become a normal thing in this government. This talk of subterranean employment is a painful topic among job seekers. What about political appointment? The government makes pretences about the lack of all-inclusive government. I wish this government can one day see how lopsided this government is. It is important for the government to do a self-examination on its appointment since 2015. It is never too late to change”, Uwazuruike said.
For Kayode Ajulo, who is the former National Secretary of the Labour Party, he advised the Federal Government to embrace good governance, which he said is “central to economic growth and development.” He insisted that the government must make proper planning for 2020 to be a successful year for Nigerians and the country.
He said, “Good governance is central to economic growth and development and the absence of the latter is symptomatic of the failure of government to deliver on the former. Economic development is attainable through the provision of the right infrastructure and engaging all the variables in the market so as to attain the desired equilibrium. The aim of economic development must be to improve the material standards of living by raising the absolute level of per capita income.”
Ajulo identified five different sectors, which he said the government needs to work on. They include Development of the Nigerian Workforce through investment in education sector, Job Creation, Tourism, Infrastructure and Local Business.”
He added, “If all these could be touched by the government in the new year, the Nigerian economy will transform in no time.”
He said the closure of the Nigerian borders is “a necessity to prevent the impeding doom which the dumping of foreign goods portends for this nation.”
“Many have criticized the act as insensitive and untimely. Well I must say that the bold steps taken by this administration ought to have been taken several years back. I must admit that it is not easy for us as a nation to adjust our consumption pattern to suit locally produced goods overnight but with time, we will learn to appreciate this sacrifice”, Ajulo said.
He said the Federal Government did not violate the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of goods and persons by closing the borders.
He added, “A lot have also been said by our neighbours in West Africa, particularly about the possible breach of the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of goods and persons. As a lawyer, I have gone through the protocols which only concern goods produced by the respective member states and not goods produced by non-member states.
“The sad reality is that these countries are using transit countries for goods meant to be dumped in the Nigerian market and should this remain unchecked, the Nigeria economy will continue to suffer. However, I will advise this current administration to use this period for capacity by promoting local production of those goods which were hitherto smuggled into the country through our porous border.”
On human rights, Ajulo condemned what he referred to as “executive arbitrariness” and noted that the rights of citizens can never be guaranteed under such situations.
He said, “The Nigerian state comprises three arms of government, namely the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and even the fourth estate of the realm—the press. The duty of protection of the fundamental human right of citizens falls squarely on all the arms of government. The legislature in discharging its duties of making laws for the state must ensure that the laws passed do not only guarantee the fundamental human rights of the citizens but also ensure that they are protected.
“It also imports that in the exercise of the powers of government, the executive must ensure that the rights of citizens are protected at all cost. The judiciary on the other hand provides the avenue for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of citizens whenever these rights have been, are being or are likely to the breached. I must say that both the executive, legislature and the judiciary have been up and doing in the area of human rights protection. Starting from the legislature, I must say that the National Assembly has been very careful in passage of laws by ensuring that the right of all citizens is protected irrespective of the ethnic groups which they belong.”
Ajulo described the furore over the Hate Speech Bill as unfortunate.
He said, “The Hate Speech Bill is a bill meant to protect citizens from ethnic related violence which may build up if reckless ethnic commentaries or opinions aired both in the social and print media are not checked either by positive legislative or executive actions. It is a pity that the lofty ideas of the legislature are not appreciated but deprecated by some persons who are bent on painting the current government in bad light.
“The current Federal Government (FG) may be described as a traditional African mother who is over protection of her newly born child and in this analogy, it is, we the citizenry that are the newly born child. I say this because, this government has taken it upon itself to guard jealously the security and safety of the Nigerian citizens by ensuring that those who use their influence or position in the state to put in place certain events which are calculated to turn this place to the middle-Eastern part of the world are not only prevented but also dealt with. I however have a word of caution, in doing this premium, regard should be given to the positions of our courts; court injunctions should be obeyed immediately.”
“Although, given the nature of the powers at the disposal of the executive for the protection of the citizens, it is possible for the intentions of the executive to be misinterpreted to suit the agenda of some persons within the state. This is quite evident in the interpretation of the executive handling of the cases of the likes of Sowore and Dasuku. I am happy that both men have now regained their freedom.”
In spite of plots to sack him by some members of his party, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, declared yesterday that he remained calm and committed to moving the party to greater heights.
Addressing party faithful in Iyamho, his home town in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, he urged his supporters to remain focused and continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari.
Besides, he urged party members to ensure they integrate all members who have ‘re-integrated’ into the party.
Reeling out his scorecard as APC helmsman, Oshiomhole said: “There are facts of history nobody can change. I became chairman precisely on the 24th of June 2018. The first election was Ekiti election. By the special grace of God we won.
“The next election was Osun State election and by the special grace of God APC won; the next election was presidential and National Assembly elections, by the special grace of God and our president was re-elected for the final second term and we won more seats in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.
“Unlike in 2015, this time we managed our victory more creatively, memory fails fast that is why I am saying this because in 2015 we had majority, yet APC produced Senate President and PDP produced Deputy Senate President and it was a riotous National Assembly permanently fighting against the president.
“This time, we managed our victory more creatively, more smartly and we conducted peaceful secret ballot and our party won all the principal officers that were there to be contested. This time there was no grafting of APC and PDP.
“We went to Kogi, our neighbour and we won, then we went deeper to South-South: Bayelsa State, the heart of the Ijaw nation. We fielded a candidate; a humble man from a very humble beginning and as we can see, we have Bayelsa.
“By February, he will be sworn in and the number of APC governors will increase, so I am proud to say that under my chairmanship, we won one more state in the South-South and it is not just another state, it is a very special state, the state that produced the immediate past president.
“I have no enemies; I have brothers and I have sisters. Some may be happy with me today some may not be happy with me tomorrow but that is right.
“We have quality minds because the governance of our country and the quality of politics must reflect the quality of the people who are in it so we are not just celebrating good people today, we are celebrating quality re-union with my brothers and my sisters.
“I ask all of you to do the same thing in your various wards. Please, work hard to re-integrate all those who have re-united with us in all your wards, in all the local governments and, of course, at the state level.
“Our president in our last NEC meeting reminded us that the strength of our party should be at the grassroots at the unit level, you must properly get yourself re-integrated and he believes that if we are not on ground at the unit level, how can you have the wards. He said we must listen to the ordinary members of the party and we will try the best we can to run our party transparently. The ordinary members are as important as all because without them we cannot win elections.
“You must have read a lot of stories about my person. I sleep well because my heart is at peace, but let me ask you to always please remember me in your prayers. I believe when God says yes, no man can say no.
“I believe when we work with our good heart, we might even seem to be persecuted even for the good that we are doing but this season is the best season to remember that the purity of our heat does free us from people throwing stones at us.
“Don’t say I am doing my best because even that best is the reason somebody will fight you.”
Nigeria has been listed among countries where death of journalists and media professionals occurred in 2019.
While over 19 journalists were harassed, assaulted, brutalised, arrested and detained in 2019, a reporter was killed in the country.
The death of Precious Owolabi, a reporter attached to Channels TV, sees Nigeria emerging the least country with record of death of journalists.
Recall that the detention of Agba Jalingo was recorded in the November list of One Free Press Coalition of the most urgent cases of threats to press freedom suffered by journalists around the world.
Student journalists are also facing attack and intimidation by various state governments with the growing repression of media space in the country.
The Federation says that while the apparent decreasing bloodbath in the journalists’ community is a welcome relief, the spread of killings and the motives behind the killings are sobering reminders that violence against journalists is still rampant and failure to combat impunity for these attacks remain a damning indictment on those in power.
“Africa (9), Asia Pacific (12), Europe (2), Latin America (18) and the Middle East and Arab world (8). The Federation also recorded six work-related accidental deaths in Tanzania (5) and the United States (1).
“The death toll is the lowest since 2000, when 37 journalists and media staff were killed, but the causes of the loss of life during 2019 remain largely the same,” said IFJ President, Younes Mjahed.
From Nigerian scholar, Pius Adeyemi to Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison and Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, here are some of the notable deaths of 2019.
– 10: Emir Of Lafia died of an undisclosed ailment at the age of 84.
– 13: Former South Africa star Philemon ‘Chippa’ Masinga died aged 49 in a Johannesburg hospital from cancer
– 21: Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, 28, was killed when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel.
– 30 Grammy-Winning R&B Singer James Ingram dies at 66; his rise to fame came after he lent his smooth vocals to the songs “Just Once”
-11: NFF General Secretary Taiwo Ogunjobi died of a brief illness.
-16: Bruno Ganz, the actor whose role as Hitler inspired countless parodies died in Zurich, he was suffering from cancer. Ganz died aged 77.
-19: Iconic Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld died at 85. Lagerfeld was artistic director at Chanel.
-28: Veteran Musician Andre Previn died at 89.
-01: Former Kano Governor, Hamza Abdullahi died in Germany of a brief illness.
-09: Mr Temitope Olatoye, a House Of Reps Member was shot dead in Oyo State.
-10: Nigerian scholar, author and popular columnist/activist, Pius Adesanmi, was among those killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed.
-o1: Grammy-Nominated US Rapper, Nipsey Hussle was shot dead, he was only 33.
-13: Former Appeal Court President Mamman Nasir died at 90.
-12: Respected boxing judge turned broadcaster Harold Lederman died of cancer, he was 79.
-13: Hollywood Icon Doris Day died at 97, she had always been in good health till she contracted pneumonia.
-31: The President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Francis Johnson died of a brief illness.
-01: Ex-Arsenal Striker Jose Reyes died in a car crash.
-17: Egypt Ex-President Morsi died after fainting in court.
-07: Disney Star Cameron Boyce (20) died in his sleep.
-22: Precious Owolabi, a corps member serving with Channels TV died in a clash between Shiites and men of the Nigerian Police Force.
-25: Tunisia’s President Beji Essebsi died at 92, he was severely ill.
-27: Veteran Sports Journalist, Akinloye Oyebanji, died at the age of 62.
-06: Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison died at 88,
-12: DJ Arafat died in a road crash.
-27: First Gambia President, Dawda Jawara died at 95.
-06: Zimbabwe Ex-President Robert Mugabe died aged 95, he died of an undisclosed ailment.
-19: Tunisia’s Ex-President Ben Ali died at 83.
-22: Ex-Ghanaian international Agogo died at 40, he suffered a stroke.
-23: Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Ambassador Osakwe passed on. It was undisclosed what the cause of his death was.
-26: Former SGF, Ufot Ekaette (80) died of a brief illness, he was appointed SGF in May 1999 by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
-26: Former French President, Jacques Chirac died of an ill-health.
-29: Popular Twitter commentator Stanley Nwabia died following an unsuccessful blood transfusion procedure in Lagos.
-03: Nigeria’s Olympic Silver Medalist, Isaac Promise died at 31, he is said to have collapsed at his apartment gym in Austin.
-07: Veteran Broadcaster Kunle Olasope died at 82.
-26: Deborah Jibowu died at 95, she was Nigeria’s first female science graduate.
-31: First Lagos Governor, Mobolaji Johnson died at 83. Johnson became governor of Lagos State in May 1967 until he retired from the Nigerian Army in July 1975 during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).
-11: Former Petroleum Minister, Tam David-West died at 83, he served as Minister of Petroleum and Energy under President Muhammadu Buhari’s military regime.
-15: Nigeria’s Former Minister of Information, Alex Akinyele died at 81, he died of a brief ailment.
-07: Renowned Pentecostal Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke died aged 79, he was widely known for his gospel missions throughout African countries, including Nigeria and South Africa.
-18: Senator Ben Uwajumogu who was representing Imo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, died at the nation’s capital, he was aged 51.
-31: Dr Muhammadu Adamu Fagengawo, a Reps Member representing Garki/Babura Federal constituency in Jigawa state, died at a hospital in Dubai.
May their families, friends and loved ones find comfort, solace and fortitude to bear the loss.
In 2020, Nigeria will be saying bye bye to the Naira as its official currency, as it adopts a new currency called the ‘Eco’.
The ‘Eco’ is a single currency that will be adopted by West African countries as from next year as part of the sub-region’s greater structural reforms.
Here are 7 things you should know about the ‘Eco’ before it is officially adopted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
17 West African countries will adopt the Eco currency when it will be released. These countries are Benin Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The Eco is expected to be adopted on the first of July 2020, but since the concept arose in 2003, the target launch date for the currency has been postponed several times: in 2005, 2010 and 2014. Countries in the franc region and other West African nations such as Nigeria and Ghana, which have their own currencies, have for decades debated creating their own currency, the Eco.
With the adoption of the Eco next year,
French speaking West African countries will ditch the CFA Franc, known as “Colonies Francaises d’Afrique,” which was established in 1945 and pegged to the Euro since 1999.
The official symbol for the Eco will be ‘Ec’.
According to reports, the Eco notes will feature great African legends and showcase features of West Africa.
The official bank for the sub-region’s currency will be known as the Central Bank of West Africa (CBWA).
There is no official value for the Eco currency yet.
A specific launch date for the Eco has not yet been announced but it has been speculated that January 2020 is when the single currency will be launched.
The federal government may have concluded plans to discontinue free distribution of relief materials to an estimated 2.4million Internally Displaced Persons in rehabilitation camps across the country.
The Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons(NCFRMI), Senator Basheer Mohammed gave the hints Monday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. NobleReporters learnt
According to him, from first quarter of 2020, State governments will assist the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in reintegrating the IDPs to their original settlements.
He said the strategy for the reintegration of the IDPs going forward would be to provide care, maintenance and durable solutions to the needs of the displaced, most of whom were forced out of their original communities by insurgency.
Mohammed said, “The Commission has deemed it necessary to move from the provision of relief items to care, maintenance and durable solutions that will reintegrate our persons of concern (POCs) into normal lives where they can thrive.
“We currently have 2.4million IDPs in camps and host communities across the country. Though stability has been restored in many areas that generated the IDPs, the persons of concern are unable to return home for lack of durable solutions to ensure their smooth reintegration.
“In 2020, my first point of action will be to work with state governors to return and reintegrate IDPs to their communities, it is time that they begin to live normal lives and feel the pulse of a growing Nigeria.
“Recognizing the need for education at every level and the special needs of IDPs, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons will build educational learning centres in all IDP camps.
“This will encourage learning in children unable to attend regular schools and those with special needs due to the trauma of displacement.”
Human rights activist Deji Adeyanju has returned to social media five days after he was attacked and suffered injuries after allegedly being beaten by hoodlums during a Rally in front of the National Human Rights Commission.
From a Dubai hospital where he’s being treated, Adeyanju wrote,‘first time I’m getting up since I got to the hospital. Thank you to our leader in the struggle Dr Joe Odumakin for this inspirational visit & prayers. I feel blessed. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. ALUTA CONTINUA’.
The concept of the Nigeria’s Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) has been presented to Chinese Police in Chinese’s Guangdong province.
This was done in a seminar session at the ongoing security exchange programme between Nigeria and China.
The POCACOV National Coordinator, SP Ebere Amaraizu, who presented the initiative, disclosed this in a statement in Enugu on Saturday.
He said that the introduction of POCACOV to the Chinese officers was part of effort to educate participants of the seminar on the initiative in line with the practice of community-oriented policing of POCACOV.
According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, was on time with the initiative to counter the narratives of cultism and violent crimes among youths through strategic programme.
“The programme aims at involving different stakeholders to raise awareness and consciousness as well as galvanize support to reduce the menace and incidences of cultism,’’ Amaraizu said.
He x-rayed POCACOV’s scope, strategies and tactics, stakeholders’ mobilization strategy as well as achievement, challenges and ongoing evaluation mechanism among others.
CSP Usman Shugaba, who is the leader of the Nigeria delegation, also applauded the efforts of the IGP in crime prevention and control through various strategies and tactics in line with international best practices.
The ongoing 2019 seminar on Anti-Terrorism Capacity Building for Nigerian Officers is organised by Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department in partnership with the Nigeria Police.