Tag Archives: order

Regulate social media – Lai Moh’d order NBC


The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to implement regulations for online media.

In a statement released by his media aide Segun Adeyemi on Thursday January 9, the Minister said implementation of the regulations which has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari will reposition the broadcast industry, create jobs, promote local content, deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry.

Broadcasters were also asked to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers in line with regulatory requirements for 70 percent local content.


He said;

“Following my satisfaction with the report which was very professional and detailed, I wish to direct the commission to take the necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various provisions therein.

“This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring; Independence of the regulator and ease of issuing licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues.


“This will empower local producers with proper funding and investment, enhance foreign collaborations, develop the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and ultimately lead to job creation,” he said.

“The new regulations will also ensure that producers of content are paid promptly for adverts and sponsored content placed on all TV, radio and broadcast platforms, ensure that the production of adverts are localized to create and promote local production and, where it is not, to attract a charge every time such an advert is aired, with the charge being put into a fund to help develop local expertise in production.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

“For musical content, a new regulation will ensure that broadcasters are prevented from illegal and unpaid use of musical works without payment of the applicable license fees and/or royalties required by music rights owners.

“The new regulations will re-energise the broadcast industry, deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry for the benefit of the practitioners”.


#Newsworthy…

Ganduje stops women and men boarding same tricycle in kano.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Wednesday December 25, placed a ban on men and women boarding same tricycle in Kano State.

The Kano State Governor who was represented by Commander-General of Hisbah Board, Harun Ibn-Sina at the closing ceremony of 77th annual Islamic Vacation Course organised by Zone A of Muslim Society of Nigeria held at Bayero University, Kano, said the ban will be enforced from January 2020.

It was further learnt that former governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau introduced commercial tricycles popularly known as ‘A daidaita sahu’ as a means of transportation for women only after banning commercial motorcyclists from conveying women.

However after Shekerau left government, tricycles have been allowed to carry people of both sexes before the recent ban.

#Newsworthy…

Under 18 marriages ban by Saudi Arabia’s government.

Saudi Arabia through its Ministry of Justice on Monday December 23 issued a de facto ban on child marriages, setting the minimum age for marriage at 18.

In a circular issued by the country’s Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Sheikh Dr. Walid Al-Samaani, all courts in the country were directed to refer the marriage application of anyone under 18 to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.

The new order which is one of the social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago, came after an amendment to the Kingdom’s Child Protection Law was passed by the Shoura Council in January 2019.

Recall also that King Salman signed a decree permitting women to travel or obtain a passport without the permission of male guardians in October 2019. The decree did away with the need for permission of a guardian to marry, apply for a passport and leave the country. In the same month, women were allowed to join the armed forces.

The amendments also granted women the right to register the birth of a child, a marriage or a divorce, and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors. In January 2019, Saudi authorities stipulated that women must be paid equally to men.

#Newsworthy…

Wike, Governor Insist Soku Oil Wells Belong To Rivers State.

…says the boundary shifting was a mistake

The disputed Soku oil wells belong to Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has maintained.

He pointed out the Supreme Court had affirmed the oil wells belong to Rivers following admission by the National Boundary Commission (NBC) that it erroneously shifted the boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa States from River Santa Barbara to River Saint Batholomew in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria.

He spoke with reporters in Port-Harcourt on Monday.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike said: “In 2002, the NBC altered the boundary in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria.

“They made a mistake by shifting the boundary from River Santa Barbara to River St Batholomew. At the Supreme Court, the NBC wrote a letter a admitting their error.

“The Supreme Court made an order for the NBC to correct the error of the 11th Edition in the 12th Edition,” he said.

Wike lamented seven years after the Supreme Court gave the order the NBC was yet to effect the correction.

He said that preliminary report on the 12th edition indicated that the NBC made no attempt to obey the order of the Supreme Court.

“We had to sue the NBC to enforce the order of the Supreme Court where they were directed to ensure that the Boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa State is River Santa Barbara.

He said there was nothing personal in the fight for Soku Oil Wells.

“I am protecting what belongs to Rivers State Ijaw. I am protecting what belongs to Rivers State. “

He accused Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson of plotting to hijack the oil wells.

“The outgoing Bayelsa State Governor is the one trying to cause disharmony by attempting to collect what belongs to the Ijaw in Rivers State.”

He berated Dickson for refusing to respect the rules of Protocol when he visited the Amanyanabo of Kalabari without informing the Rivers State Government.

“The person talking about invading Rivers State in January 2020 lacks respect for Protocol. If he was well schooled, would he use that phrase that he wants to invade Rivers State?

“You have no respect. A Traditional Ruler who is a First Class ruler, recognised by Government and you say you are coming to a state as a Governor to see Rivers Ijaw people without observing Basic Protocol.

“Protocol demands you call your colleague that you are coming to the State. Even then, the Traditional Ruler failed to communicate with the State Government.

And I said, if you do this next time, I will withdraw the Recognition. I didn’t say I will dethrone him.

“I don’t make Chiefs. But I have the power to recognise or take back recognition if you run foul of the law. I have no regrets about it.

“Anyone who runs foul of the law, I will withdraw the Recognition and heaven will not fall. I never said that I will dethrone the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.

“I said that I will withdraw the Recognition by the Rivers State Government if he continues to disrespect the office of the Governor and not play according to the rules.

“How can Dickson invade Rivers State when he cannot defend Bayelsa State?”

#Newsworthy…

Kwara state government received 3,000 deployed personnel.

..police bans crackers

Kwara State Police Command has banned the use of fireworks and low explosives during the Christmas festivities.

It said that it had deployed 3,000 personnel during the festive period.

Spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi said: “Police Commissioner Kayode Egbetokun wishes to assure the good people of Kwara State that security measure has been put in place to guarantee a hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“In a bid to make the celebrations crime-free, the command has deployed 3,000 policemen and women to forestall any breakdown of law and order before, during and after the Yuletide.

“Consequently, the command is by this statement calling on the public to go about their lawful activities without any fear of molestation.

“The command wishes to warn against the use of low explosives without the necessary permit during the Yuletide. Any person found disobeying this order, if arrested, will be prosecuted.

“The command also wishes to use this medium to advise National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the state to always shun the temptation to embark on unnecessary and unauthorised journeys, especially during this period. Any corps member who must travel outside the state should always obtain clearance from the NYSC authority before embarking on such journey, but should be mindful of the risks associated with travelling outside the state, including the risk of kidnap.

“The command is collaborating with the NYSC authority in the state to ensure the safety of corps members. The commissioner of police wishes all citizens, residents and visitors in Kwara State a happy Christmas celebration and a prosperous New Year ahead.”

#Newsworthy…

Actress Joke Silva speaks on Hate Sppech Bill.

…says, proper education should be conducted

Veteran Nollywood actress Joke Silva has said she is in support on the hate speech bill.

She disclosed this in an interview with The Nation.

She said “My view is that anything legal that will get us away from tribalism and religious intolerance is very much welcome.

I think what needs to be done is a proper education of the general public of what we feel it’s really about. I don’t think it is anything that will curtail our freedom of speech, but I think it is something that will support it.

I’m hoping that it will support our unity as a people and in doing that, we are getting rid of the things that people use to bring division amongst us and those things are ethnic intolerance and religious intolerance.”

Regarding the crashes of some Nollywood marriages, Joke Silva, who marked her 34th wedding anniversary with her husband, veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, on Wednesday, shared tips of what has sustained her marriage.

She said: “Well, I am not particularly sure that others are doing anything wrong or doing anything right. I just think that because we are in the entertainment industry, there is a lot of focus on us, so people think that there a lot of divorces in entertainment more than any other field.

I think I will rephrase the question and say, ‘What are the causes of breakup in marriages?’ I really don’t know but at the end of the day, it is always irreconcilable differences.”

Addressing married couples, she said: “First of all, I really don’t like advising people on their emotional journey because I’m not in their shoes.

I cannot speak for anybody but what I will say that worked for me was that I’m in a relationship with my friend. I got married to a good friend. We have had our ups and downs and we were very committed to learning about the journey right from the beginning.

And we’ve had some really tough times but somehow by God’s special grace, we’ve been able to get rid of these tough times and I think continuous wanting what is best for the other person.”

#Newsworthy…

Customs seized foreign foods, vegetable oil, rice in Adamawa.

The Nigeria Customs Service has revealed that it seized foreign rice and some food commodities in its raid of a market in Adamawa State.

The Adamawa/Taraba command in the raid led by Comptroller of Customs in charge of the two states, Kamardin Olumoh, said that contraband goods worth millions of naira smuggled into the country were seized.

#Newsworthy…

Fuel not finding its way out of the country – DPR.

… consumption dropped in 70% in adamawa.

The quantity of petrol coming to Adamawa State has dropped from 100 trucks per day to about 30, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has disclosed.

The state Operations Controller of the DPR, Alhaji Ibrahim Ciroma, who stated this, attributed it to the closure of Nigerian land borders which has curbed smuggling.

Ciroma said while on inspection tour of the border villages in Bele in Maiha local government area and Gurin in Fufore local government area that the border closure had ended fuel racketeering across the border along the Adamawa borderline.

The DPR coordinator, who was touring filling stations 20 kilometers to the border to ensure compliance with a Federal Government directive, said the border closure had done much good in the fight against fuel smuggling.

“Prior to this closure, the number of trucks we received in Adamawa was up to 100 trucks per day but today it has dropped to between 30 and 40 trucks.

“So, it’s a clear indication that fuel is not finding its way out of the country,” Ciroma said.

Ciroma added that with the drop in supply and without scarcity in the state, “it is a confirmation that 70 trucks of the products lifted by some marketers were smuggled out of the country.”

He said compliance by filling stations in prohibited areas had been effected 100 percent, and that measures were also taken to ensure that other filling stations not within the prohibited zones were selling so that people within the prohibited zone can easily get fuel without travelling long distances.

He assured Adamawa people that they would get fuel constantly during Christmas and New Year as there is enough supply already to last the season.

“I want the people of Adamawa to be rest assured that there will be no scarcity. We have substantial quantity at the Yola depot and all filling stations are selling except those in prohibited zones.”

#Newsworthy…

Nigeria’s reputation damaged internationally due to sowore’s rearrest – Ex U.S Ambassador

…What is different this time is the parallelism

John Campbell, a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria has accused the Buhari-led administration of tainting Nigeria’s international reputation with the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore in his statement titled: “Buhari’s Dictatorial Past and the Rule of Law Today in Nigeria”

The diplomat also spoke about the danger ahead of the press following Punch Newspaper’s editorial on prefixing President Buhari’s title with his rank as a military dictator and referring to his administration as a “regime” as a symbolic demonstration of their protest against the President’s alleged autocracy and military-style repression.

The statement released by Campbell who served as U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria from May 12, 2004, to July 19, 2007, was published on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations and it reads in part;

“The state security service assault on a courtroom and the re-arrest of Sowore has already damaged the country’s international reputation.

“Buhari is not surprising, but it is worth noting that Zakzaky and Dasuki are both northern Muslims. What is different this time is the parallelism between military rule and Buhari’s civilian administration.

“Nigeria’s foreign friends will be hoping that the government takes no move to limit Punch’s freedom of expression. The SSS assault on a court room and the re-arrest of Sowore has already damaged the country’s international reputation.

“The Sowore re-arrest is consolidating opposition to the president by civil society, the press, international opinion and now religious leaders. It is to be hoped that the Buhari administration is looking actively for a way to defuse the Sowore issue, perhaps by allowing him to return to the United States.”

#Newsworthy…

Alcoholic drivers to be prosecuted by Ogun government

Poised to reduce road crashes in Ogun, the state government has vowed arrest and prosecute alcoholic vendors and consumers of illicit drugs in all motor parks across the state.

The chairmen of the Ogun State Interim Committee on Transportation, Sunday Adeniyi, gave this position on Friday, while speaking during a seminar on “Road Safety Driving During Festive Season” organized by the committee in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Adeniyi said the Dapo Abiodun’s administration was collaborating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for possible arrest and prosecution of alcoholic dealers and illicit drugs at Ogun motor parks.

He observed that consumption of alcoholic beverages by commercial drivers was responsible for majority of the road crashes witnessed over the years, declaring “the state will do everything possible to eradicate alcoholic consumption by commercial drivers operating in the state”.

In his presentation at the seminar, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) in the state, Clement Oladele, said no fewer than 338 died from the road crashes recorded in Ogun highway corridors between January and 20th December.

The FRSC boss explained that 50 per cent of the death occurred at diversion points of which trucks and other articulated vehicles were responsible for about 80 per cent of the total road crashes recorded so far in the Ogun corridors.

While attributing causes of the crashes to over-speeding, wrongful overtaken around construction zones as well as break failure among others, Oladele, said FRSC was prepared to prosecute truck owners found culpable of causing road crashes and ensure that compensations are paid to accident victims.

#Newsworthy…

Alaafin of Oyo speaks on Hate speech bill, gives opinion different from FG’s death sentence.

The Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi has criticized the controversial hate speech bill which was re-introduced in the 9th senate by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

Speaking at a book presentation which is part of the activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nigerian Tribune, the Alaafin of Oyo called on lawyers and lawmakers not to allow the bill which seeks to regulate and punish people who make unguarded statements to be passed into law.

The Oyo monarch wondered if an opinion contrary to that of the government is enough for one to be put to death. He added that a government official who doesn’t want to be criticized has no business with governance.

He said;

“If I have not killed anyone; and I give an opinion that is contrary to the government’s, will it be a sufficient reason for me to be charged for death penalty? Where are the lawyers in Nigeria? Constitutional lawyers in Nigeria, where are they? Can’t they speak up?”

NobleReporters culled that the Alaafin of Oyo also went down the memory lane to back up his claim on the need to defend free speech and right to education.

“My friend, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe has a peculiar character and I wish he could continue to learn about the constitutional lesson from Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his reply to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. We have quotation and quotations from this literate man.

“During the Constitutional conferences that held in the 50s at Lancaster House, three giants from the country postulated different approaches to the Nigerian Independence. Sir Ahmadu Bello said North is for Northerners; East for Easterners and West for the Westerners. Azikiwe said, there should be one Constitution, one Country, one destiny.

“Awolowo rose up and said No!. We are not talking about the Constitution that will be suitable for Nigeria. But what is suitable for Nigeria is when you have a multi lingual, multi national and multi religious country with diverse races. That before independence the whole school we had on ground was 123 for the whole of the North while the South had 5,000 schools. There is no way. That illiterate will continue to govern the literate people. It cannot work and it will not work.

“Awolowo projected what will be the question of North-east, North-central. That of you don’t educate the people, the Almanjiri will become bandits. Today, in Zamfara and Yobe, the governments are now subjected to banditry. And they are exchanging these bandits, giving them money. How can government give bandits money? That is a collapse of governance and government.”

He also commented on the insecurity in the northern region of the country. The Alaafin of Oyo said;

“Just three days ago, Governor Ganduje said that Kano has the largest number of out of school children. How can we have stability in the country when half of the country are governed by illiterates? When banditry has taken over the governance? Surely there cannot be peace in the country. And tell me, Editors are here. When you said you have technically defeated Boko Haram, what is the technicality in defeat?

“Either we agree we have not been able to subdue them and admit it. Now, they are quoting United Nations figures for us. And our government is telling them we are not under America or UK but we are going there to loan money from them…”

#Newsworthy…

Court demand arrest of local government chairman.

…for slapping lawmaker in ebonyi

The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of Clement Odah, the Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area, accused of assaulting one of its members Chinedu Onah at the committee room of the assembly complex in Nkaliki.

The incident reportedly occurred after four nominees Odah selected for management committee members and liaison officers were allegedly disqualified.

Ebonyi State House of Assembly calls for arrest of local government Chairman who slapped a lawmaker

The local government chairman was accused of storming a room where house of assembly members were drilling Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA) in the state on the budget presented by the state governor and slapping one of the committee members.

Recounting how the incident occurred, Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Benjamin Ezekomam said;

“What happened is that Chinedu Onah stepped outside from the committee room because he said he saw his chairman and he went and greeted him so the chairman walked out on him and started going inside the committee room.

“Chinedu Onah as an honourable member, moved in to the committee room and the chairman said ‘you small boy, you are interrupting me by stopping my nominee. I put you there’.

“Chinedu replied, ‘you didn’t put me there, my constituency put me here not you as a person’. He (the Chairman) said ‘is that what you said, is that what you said’ and he slapped him. We all were embarrassed, we didn’t know what to do, so the guy calmed himself down.”

Ebonyi State House of Assembly calls for arrest of local government Chairman who slapped a lawmaker

Mr Onah who represents Ohaukwu south constituency in the assembly corroborated the claim. He said;

“Yes the local government chairman of Ohaukwu barged into the community room this morning where we were taking some MDA’s on their various budgets as was presented to the house and started shouting ‘this small boy, you stepped down my nominees as members of management committee members, I have come here to tell you that you must clear them’.

“But unfortunately I did not step down anybody that is not my constituency. I am not from his constituency, I am not representing Clement Odah beside if I had seen any reason to step anybody down on the course of the screening, I owe him no apology to have done that because that is my job to represent my people. But unfortunately I did not do that.

“The next thing he did was that when they asked him that chairman you should have asked me if I did or not before accusing me, the next thing I heard was a very huge and dirty slap on my face for just doing nothing. But the only thing I did was not retaliating because I am an honorable member and the law should take its course. That was exactly what happened.

“The honourable members simply suspended the committee room and moved over to the plenary, resolved that he should be invited by the committee on LGA and that the psychiatric hospital should ascertain the level of insanity in him.

“That the security agencies should get him arrested and prosecuted and that the committee on LGA should investigate more and ascertain his activities at the local government.

“The plenary was presided by the deputy speaker, the motion was moved by the leader of the house and every other honorable member was allowed to make an input.”

Premium Times reported that Mr Odah denied slapping the House of Assembly member. He said;

“I did not slap anybody. Yes I was at the house of assembly today but I went there to meet one of my friends. While I was waiting for him, I seized the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with some of the honorable members, most of whom are my friends and colleagues.

“Yesterday the nominees for management committee members and liaison appeared in the house for screening. About four of them were not screened on the basis that there was petitions against them. On getting to the house of assembly, I sighted one of our honorable members. I felt it was a ground to get some clarification so I inquired from him, Chinedu Onah to be precise.

“That was all. Then I moved in to interact with other honorable members where they were waiting for other members at the conference hall. It was not a sitting, not at all. I believed they were waiting for the principal officers.

“After about three minutes, he came in and advanced towards me shouting that he was not happy the way I talked to him. I said there is nothing wrong with the way I talked to you. I just proffered my little advice as my younger brother and your council chairman.

“When the argument was heated, other honorable members advised that we should call it off and then they advised me to leave the conference hall. I entered my vehicle and left the assembly complex. The other version of slap is alien to me.”

#Newsworthy…

Corps members cautioned against fake letters – NYSC.

Lagos State Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr. Sunday Aroni has urged corps members to disregard a fake letter being shared on the social media that claimed they had permission to travel for the yuletide from December 20.

In an interview on the sidelines of the closing of the Batch C Stream II corps members Wednesday, Aroni also said the person behind the fake letter bearing a forged signature of the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, would be prosecuted if found.

Aroni said: “I want to equally use this medium to let the Public know that some hoodlums, some miscreants have come out with a letter purportedly sign by my Director-General allowing corps members to travel for Christmas holiday, that was a fake letter, that did not come from the NYSC, it was forged and it is very criminal. If the author is caught, he will be prosecuted. So I want to warn all member of Public to disregard that letter.”

The Coordinator said the fake letter was printed on an old letter-head of the Lagos State NYSC which is no longer in use.

In his speech, Aroni counseled the corps members to be mindful that their activities on the social media do not promote falsehood and hate speech.

“May I use this occasion to admonish my dear corps members to avoid the abuse of social media, broadcast of false news and hate speech in line with the Federal Government’s effort at containing avoidable crisis in our country,” he said.

Also speaking, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Wale Ahmed, advised the corps members to impact the communities they are posted to.

“As you move to the next stage of your service year, I encourage you to create visions and execute projects that will advance the overall socio-economic lives of the people in the communities you would be posted to. I also enjoin you to remain good ambassadors of the NYSC shceme,” he said.

The ceremony featured the quick and slow march parade by some of the 1,832 corps members mobilized for the stream led by Parade Commander, Emmanuella Bob-Manuel of Caleb University, the first female to lead the parade in a long while.

#Newsworthy…

AGF reacts to rumor of him being sanctioned on sowore’s continued detention.

…says, he was not sanctioned.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said he was never summoned by the Federal High Court over the continued detention of Omoyele Sowore.

According to Malami in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, on Wednesday night, “the issues that surrounded the subject matter borders on the application filed by Sowore’s lawyer on the 15th day of November 2019.

“The Court adjourned the matter to the 23rd day of January, 2020 for the hearing of the substantive matter.

“Surprisingly, on Tuesday the 17th day of December, 2019, the Applicant’s Counsel adopted an ex-parte application filed on the 15th day of November, 2019 before Hon. Justice I E. Ekwo.

“However, the Court, being aware of the fact that parties have joined issues, ordered that the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation) shall inform the 1st & 2nd Respondents of the case and the next adjourned date.”

According to him, court order in question was only to bring to the notice of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami and the Director General of the State Security Service to take notice that upon the motion ex-parte filed on November 15th that applicants want an expedited hearing of the matter.

Quoting the order obtained from the court, Malami said: “an order is hereby made that the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation) of this Court shall bring this case and the next date of hearing to the notice and attention of the 1st and 2nd Defendants”.

Buttressing the fact that the timing for hearing falls during the holiday season the court said “an order is hereby made remitting this file to the Hon. Chief Judge for assignment of this case to Vacation Judge for hearing as the next date of hearing falls within the vacation period”.

The Court also ordered that the case file be remitted to the Hon. Chief Judge for assignment to the vacation Judge for hearing as the next adjourned date of hearing falls within the vacation period.

It is noteworthy that the day or date of the next adjourned date was not indicated in the order of the Court. Therefore, flowing from the above and the Order from the Court dated Tuesday, the 17th day of December 2019 there were no evidence to show that the Director DSS and the Attorney-General of the Federation have been summoned by the Court as some individuals want to allude.

#Newsworthy…

Border closure to improve economy – Former Speaker.

…Alarape, Minority Leader, Oyo Assembly

Former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly and currently the Minority Leader of the same House of Assembly, Asimiyu Alarape believes that the closure of Nigerian borders will have long ter positive effects on the economy.

The lawmaker who represents Atiba state constituency in the parliament after defecting to the APC with former senate leader, Teslim Fiolarin spoke on various issues in this interview.

President Mohammadu Buhari recently ordered the closure of all borders in the country and this has led to increase in the prices of foodstuff, especially rice. What is your take on this?

Honestly speaking, the president does not mean bad for the people of this country by closing Nigerian borders against the importation of some goods because he believes we can produce them locally within our country.

President Buhari to me, is only doing this to encourage local production which will in turn boost our economy. Our economy had gone so bad under the past administration to the extent that it only requires a disciplined leader like President Mohammadu Buhari to revive it. Reviving of economy in our country requires the sacrifice of all of us and part of that sacrifice is the closure of borders. I want to believe that with time, all the prices of foodstuffs that have gone up will come down by the time we have enough of local production in our country.

In fact, to be honest with you, in any good administrative set up, encouragement of local production and materials for enough consumption within the country and exportation of the remaining excess to other countries is one of the best ways to boost any country’s economy and that is exactly what president Buhari is trying to do. We should be a producing nation rather than being a consuming nation. Any nation that is a consumer of foreign products alone and not a producer can never grow economically.

They are usually referred to as a poor nation. So, we should encourage exportation rather than importation if we want to develop economically in Nigeria because there is no consuming nation that can ever rise economically in the world.

How would you assess the APC -led government in the last five years that your party has been in office?

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is a success in all ramifications. One major area where President Buhari deserves kudos is in the area of corruption eradication. You see, before the advent of this administration, corruption, embezzlement and diversion of public funds into private pockets were the order of the day. By then, corruption became a canker worm that was eating deep into the fabric of our society.

In the area of security, despite the prevalent security problem we are having in the country, President Buhari has tried a lot more than the immediate past government in putting an end to security crisis that Nigeria is facing. For example, look at the effort the President made at ensuring that the abducted Chibok school girls were released which later led to the freedom of almost 200 of them from Boko Haram captives.

In the area of job creation, to me, Buhari stands out among all the leaders we’ve been having in this country since we gained independence in 1960.

Let’s for instance, look at a lot of youths he has employed into both the military and para-military forces and the Federal Government’s establishments is not also left behind as thousands of young graduates have been gainfully employed into all the ministries and parastatals. Also, in his efforts to co-opt youths into the governance of this nation and create jobs for them in the political circle, he signed into law the “Not too young to rule” bill which has now started yielding results because many of our youths have now been elected or appointed into various political positions in Nigeria. He introduced N-power programme in which many unemployed youths and adults have benefited greatly.

In the area of education, the president introduced free feeding for pupils of primary and secondary schools across the country so as to encourage them to go to school and learn well while several dilapidated school structures have been rebuilt. He made education compulsory for all the children from primary level to secondary school level while school fees in all schools are reduced drastically.

Also, the president has traveled to several countries of the world to woo foreign investors into Nigeria while economic ties were also cemented with several leaders of many foreign nations of the world. Buhari has also tried in the area of infrastructural provision for the good citizens of this nation; immediately on his assumption of office five years ago, he did not waste time at ensuring that all the bad roads that have become death traps were tarred while drainages were constructed for the free flow of water so as not to damage the roads.

He encouraged agricultural activities by giving money and farm implements to farmers, in order to boost food production. Presently, he has ensured the upward review of workers salary from #18,000 to #30,000 in which any moment from now, he will start to implement it.

As a leading opposition member in the state, how do you cope with the system?

I am not disturbed and I don’t disturb any individual whether at the House of Assembly or outside the House. I engage in my political activities without any intimidation from any quarter. I enjoy a good working relationship with all the members of the House of Assembly.

As a member from the minority party in your state, are you in any way being deprived of your rights and privileges?

My duties are to make laws and in this regard, I cannot be deprived of the roles that the constitution spells out for me as a lawmaker in Oyo

State. I have a duty to make laws and regardless of my political affiliation, no individual can deprive me of the right to carry out my constitutional responsibilities.

What have you been able to achieve since you assumed office as a lawmaker in the state?

Although, my major assignment is to make good laws for the benefit of our constituency and the entire people of Oyo State in general, but notwithstanding, within my few months in office so far, I have been able to do a lot for my people in many areas.

I assisted many of my constituents especially the unemployed youths to secure jobs, moving of reasonable motions on the floor of the house, sponsoring of bills that will have direct bearing on the good people of my constituency and the whole of the state, making several efforts to bring the state government’s presence down to my constituency.

Also in terms of physical projects, I pay constant visit to my constituency to brief my people on our activities in the House of Assembly and to also know their needs. I have assisted market men and women, farmers, artisans, and students financially. I am making efforts to introduce entrepreneurship skill programme where youths can learn one or two things and later establish businesses for themselves so as to further reduce unemployment rate among them.

Are your colleagues in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not making efforts to draw you to the party?

I am a committed member of the APC and I am a leader of the party in the state. I remain a loyal party man to the core and I will not compromise my stand for any reason. I am not someone who can bend to pressure and people know me for my stand and position wherever I belong.

#Newsworthy…

Presidency signs 2020 Budget into law.

…To forward 2020-2023 borrowing plan to NASS

…As Senate considers borrowing plan

…Early passage’ll reduce uncertainty in economy

President Muhammadu Buhari at 3:37pm on Tuesday, signed the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law, thereby restoring Nigeria to the January to December budget circle.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; and the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed as well as other principal officers of the National Assembly and presidential aides.

The President in his remark at the occasion, commended the patriotic zeal of the National Assembly for the quick passage of the budget.

He hinted that he may revert to the National Assembly with a request for a Virement or other relevant amendments following the increase of the budget from N10.33 trillion as proposed by the Executive to N10.6 trillion (10,594,362,364,830).

Buhari further stated that being a deficit budget, an appropriate 2020 – 2022 Borrowing Plan will be forwarded to the National Assembly, in due course.

He added that to optimise the desired impact, he has directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and all Federal MDAs to ensure effective implementation of the budget.

He noted that with today’s global oil market outlook and his administration’s strategic approach to revenue growth, there was optimism that government will be able to finance the 2020 Budget.

He said: “However, being a deficit budget, an appropriate 2020 – 2022 Borrowing Plan will be forwarded to the National Assembly, in due course.”

In view of this, the President directed that the 2021 budget estimates be submitted to the National Assembly by September next year.

He appealed to the National Assembly for cooperation and support in the speedy passage of the borrowing plan.

Buhari described as “pleasant” coincidence his signing the budget on his 77th birthday, thanking the leadership of the National Assembly and members for attending to the 2020 Appropriation Bill expeditiously.

This was as the Senate on Tuesday referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan request to its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

The President’s request was forwarded to the Committee for further legislative work following its presentation by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, during plenary.

The Committee has Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central) as Chairman and Senator Bima Mohammed Enagi (APC, Niger South) as Vice Chairman.

President Buhari had in a letter dated November 26, 2019, said the Eighth National Assembly approved only a part of the External Borrowing request forwarded to it in September 2016.

This, according to him, stalled the Federal Government’s implementation of critical projects spanning across the mining, power, health, agricultural, water and educational sectors.

The letter read: “Pursuant to Section 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, I hereby request for Resolutions of the Senate to approve the Federal Government’s 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing plan, as well as relevant projects under this plan.

“Furthermore, in the twenty years since the return to civilian democracy, this will be just the fourth time that the Federal Budget was passed before the end of the previous year, and this is the earliest.

“The passage of the Finance Bill, which I am told will be done in the coming days, will also be a landmark achievement worthy of recognition, being the first time, this has been done in the last twenty years.

“We look forward to receiving this Bill, shortly, for Presidential Assent. Once passed into law, the Finance Bill will support the funding and implementation of the 2020 Budget. We shall sustain this tradition by ensuring that subsequent budgets are also accompanied by a Finance Bill.

“I equally thank the Ninth National Assembly for supporting important legislations such as the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Amendment Act and the 2019 Finance Bill. These laws are vital to the successful implementation of the 2020 Budget.

“I am aware of the regular high-level discussions that took place, between senior officials of the Executive and the Legislature during this period. I commend this renewed partnership, the mutual understanding as well as collaboration between these two arms of government.

“Now, we are well positioned to effectively implement the budget and deliver our promises to Nigerians. Businesses will also benefit as they are now in a position to plan more effectively.

“We have to sustain this harmonious working relationship. I expect that, going forward, this will be the norm.

“I have directed that efforts be made to ensure the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly in September 2020. I am confident that all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies will cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to keep to this timeline.

Meanwhile, the nation’s Organised Private Sector (OPS) yesterday said early passage of the 2020 Budget will reduce the uncertainty that has bedevilled the economy over the years.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) while reacting to the signing of the Budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that the timely signing of the Budget was laudable.

The LCCI Director General, Muda Yusuf, said the budget coming early will equally impact positively on its implementation and the timely delivery of the expected outcomes from the budget.

He said, “Secondly, it will reduce uncertainty experienced by the stakeholders, in the past whio were especially impacted directly by the budget.”

He stressed that there is no doubt that the passage will make planning easier for relevant private sector and public sector stakeholders in their budget process, adding that members of the OPS only hope the return to January-December budget Cycle will be sustained.

The LCCI boss however expressed reservation on the success of the Budget in terms of funding, emphasising that revenue constraints remain a major factor in the implementation.

#Newsworthy…

Olusegun osoba calls for unity against hate speech bill.

…expressed the shock that the Bill had scaled

Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has called on journalists and media houses to be united in resisting the Hate Speech Bill before the Senate.

Osoba, a journalist, stated this, yesterday, at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, during the launch of “The Gatekeepers” and “160 Years of Nigerian Journalism” authored by O’ Femi Kolawole.

The author chronicled the lives and works of 20 editors that had contributed immensely in the development of Nigeria’s democracy by speaking truth to power.

The former governor expressed the shock that the Bill had scaled though the first and second reading in the Senate. He, therefore, charged media practitioners to storm the National Assembly when the bill comes up for public hearing to revolt against it. According to him, the bill held inherent dangers to the media if passed into law. Osoba said the bill must be killed before getting to the committee level for consideration.

He, however, regretted how untrained bloggers and other internet users have invaded social media platforms throwing away the basic rudiments of journalism in their work.

Osoba said he was not out to defend the atrocities of some of the social media users as their impunity and blackmail had become worrisome.

He charged trained and professional journalists to take over the online platform by publishing investigative stories, which would serve as the alternative for social media users.

Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, one of the editors chronicled in the book, commended the author for his persistence and professionalism in the course of sourcing materials for the book. He praised Osoba, who was the chairman of the occasion, saying he brought light to journalism and showed his contemporaries and subordinates the way to follow.

“Chief Osoba is a man we are all proud of because from journalism he became a governor. Today, we use him as a reference point. As a governor, he excelled because all the ills he preached against as a journalist, he tried to correct them when he was elected.”

Onuoha said journalists do so much for the country, but were the least appreciated. He reminded those gathered how journalists fought and put their lives on the line during the June 12 political struggle only for the politicians to end up taking the glory.

#Newsworthy…

Seme customs intercept 47 trucks smuggling rice.

… Arrests 47 suspects, convicts 4 for border crimes, impounds hard drugs

The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) said it intercepted 47 trailers load of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country in 2019.

This is even as the Command arrested 47 suspects for various border crimes while four were convicted having pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the Federal High Ikoyi in Lagos State.

However, within the same period under review, hard drugs and narcotics worth N37,874,400.00 were impounded by the officers of the Command.

In a press statement made available to our correspondent by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Husaini Abdulahi, the Customs Area Controller of Seme, Compt. Muhammed Uba said the seizures which are equivalent of 28,180 bags were worth N778m.

According to the statement, the Command made a total seizure of N1.6billion which includes vehicles, used clothing, textiles and vegetable oil.

The statement reads: “Compt. Uba mentioned that, within the period of 11 months reviewed, the Command’s anti-smuggling operations yielded a total of 1,302 seizures with the duty paid value (DPV) of N 1,6billion.”

“These seizures include the following: 28,180x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent to 47 trailers load with DPV plus levy of N778million, Sugar 140x50kg with DPV N588,000, 62 used vehicles and means of conveyance worth N220million.”

Others were 1,100 bales of used clothing and 101 sacks of used clothing worth N70million, 185 sacks of shoes, bags, belt, slippers both new and used worth N28billion, the statement said.

The statement indicated that the command also intercepted smuggled textile materials worth N11million and frozen poultry worth N49million.

About “1,539 bales of six yard, 30 bales of seven yards, 16 bales of 6 yards textile materials and wrappers worth N11million, 5,489 cartons of frozen poultry products worth N49 million, 397 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil, nine kegs of 10 litres and 37 kegs of five litres of vegetable oil worth N139 million and 2,109 kegs of 25 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) worth N 8million,” were intercepted.

“General merchandise worth14, 955 items with DPV of N 234 million, hard drugs narcotics 1992 parcels DPV N38 billion,” were also seized the statement added.

However, the Comptroller attributed the harvest of seizures recorded during the period under review to the strategic policy measures put in place to tackle the menace of smuggling, irregular migrations and other trans-border crimes.

He further reiterated his commitment to ensuring that smuggling business becomes unattractive through vigorous community and public enlightenment, sensitization on the dangers of smuggling and its impact on economy and national security.

The Comptroller urged economic saboteurs to take the advantage of various Federal Government programmes on agriculture such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme for rice farming, growth enhancement support scheme (GESS), government enterprises and empowerment programme (GEEP) and many others and key into for legitimate earning.

Similarly, the command collected the sum of N4.9 billion from January till date, representing 76 per cent of its annual allotted target of N 6.5billion the amount which is lower compared to N5billion recorded same period of 2018; the shortfalls it was learnt was as a result of border drill exercise that was initiated by Federal Government, which commenced on August 20 this year, placing temporary embargo on movement of goods through the land borders nationwide.

#Newsworthy…

Court scrap Bayelsa of oil field, Rivers grab possession.

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, December 16th ordered Bayelsa State to hand-over Soku oil field to Rivers State.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, said it was satisfied that the oil field rightfully belonged to Rivers State. It, therefore, directed the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to rectify an error in its 11th Edition of Administrative Map, wherein San Bartholomew River was in 2002, designated as the boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa States, instead of River Santa Barbara.

Justice Ekwo ordered the commission to promptly produce the 12th edition of the Administrative Map and restore River Santa Barbara as the inter-state boundary between the two states, as it was in 1996 when Bayelsa State was carved from Rivers State.

According to the Court, NBC, was duty-bound to comply with a 2012 judgement of the Supreme Court that affirmed River Santa Barbara as the boundary between both states, by correcting its self-admitted error of designating River San Bartholomew as the boundary.

The judgement followed a suit Rivers State lodged before the court for an order of mandamus to compel the NBC to correct the error in its 11th Edition of Administrative Map that gave location of the disputed oil fields to Bayelsa State.

The court noted that NBC had in a letter dated July 3, 2002, while responding to protest by Rivers State government, admitted its mistake and promised to rectify it in the 12th edition of the administrative map. However, owing to NBC’s failure to amend the map as it conceded to, Rivers State, in 2009, took the matter before the Supreme Court.

Cited as defendants in the matter including the respondents in the matter included the Attorney-General of Bayelsa State and the Attorney-General of the Federation. In a verdict it delivered in 2012, the apex court, granted reliefs Rivers State sought before it and ordered NBC to rectify the boundary mapping error.

In view of delay by the NBC to execute the Supreme Court’s directive, Rivers State, in August this year, lodged the suit Justice Ekwo decided on Monday.

The high court Judge directed that his judgement should be served on relevant statutory bodies, especially, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to enable an immediate recomputation of the amount of oil revenue accruable to Rivers State with the transfer of Soku oil field to it.

#Newsworthy…

Hate speech bill will affect future generations if passed – Sani Yagbaji.

Chairman, Action Democratic Party (ADP), Yagbaji Sani, has carpeted the perennial borrowings of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government.

He said that if the trend continues, it would affect future generation.

Sani, also looked at the governments of Presidents Jonathan and Buhari, hailing the former for having good economic policy though he allowed corruption to dwarf the progress made.

The former presidential candidate also frowned at the hate speech bill, which is before the National Assembly, saying that the government and the sponsors were ill-advised and warned that if not relaxed, it would plunge the country into authoritarianism, as well as stifle the country’s democracy. Excepts:

You have raised concerns over the country’s debt profile and the $30 million loan request by President Mohammadu Buhari to finance infrastructure. What exactly is your fear?

We have had borrowings in the past in this country to the extent that the Paris Club and other institutions had to let go certain loans. And those loans, you ask yourself; what were they used for? The excuse that the government always give is that we are going to use it for productive purposes, that is infrastructure development. But at the end of the day the reverse is the case. You and me know that once civil servants get hold of this money it is gone. Besides, the contract they are awarding is over-inflated. A contract that would ordinarily cost N1 billion will cost N10 billion. If you are not lucky at the end of the day the contract may not even be completed. So, you will now have to look for another loan to complete the project. You need to first of all look at the system where you are bringing these loan facilities to. Are these people really responsible? Corruption, Mr President knows more that any other person that the civil servants in this country are corrupt, the governors are corrupt. So, when you give this money to them, if you are lucky, one-third of it will be utilised and those projects would not be completed. We have been on this matter before and we have seen what normally happens with regards to loans, which is why we are asking the government to look inwards and block all these leakages where these problems emanate. For instance, in the oil and gas sector, billions of dollars are stolen with the knowledge of the government. So, why can’t we block the leakages and save from what we are able to get from those places and develop infrastructure? If care is not taken, we will find ourselves before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bail out. We do not want President Buhari to push us to the point where we will go and ask the IMF to bail us out. And you know that IMF will hand down draconian conditions that you will not be able to meet. So, you now find yourself in a worse economic, social and political scenario.

Are you in support of the pension reform bill to allocate huge pension to former governors like the one we have in Zamfara State?

Of course not! In the first instance, the cost of governance in this country is too high. The current expenditure is more than 70 per cent, which is even the federal budget. When you go to the state it is worst. And even the one you call capital budget like I told you, 30 per cent of it is spend on capital project, while 70 per cent is stolen. Even Mr President had to come out to say that monies sent to states were stolen. In such a porous system, you will have to be very cautious on the visible areas of spending. For us as a party we are asking for lean government so that you will be able to safe money to invest in infrastructure development. I think government should start by looking at other ways of financing infrastructure deficit. They should approach the capital market so that private sector will come in and you will have a much more efficient way of building the country’s infrastructure. We will not mind if you ask us to pay for tolls provided the roads are maintained. If I am to pay N100 to N200, I won’t mind because with bad road, if I ride on it and by the time I come back, I will be talking about N20,000 to N200,000 to fix my vehicle before of the bad road. So, government should discourage the financing of this project directly because it does not have the capacity and system of deliverance. If you give the money to civil servants you know what will happen to it. So, government should give guarantee to private sector. The ADP government will emphasise on capital market, individual financing infrastructure development. Our government will give the guarantee because I know that if you approach financial institutions outside this country, they will deliver.

Please, what do you mean by lean government?

We are advocating lean government because government has no business in business. Nigerian government is too much involved in business activities. If you look at our productive sector, it is about government. We should begin to devise means by which our economy should be private sector driven. By the time we get the private sector deliberately involved in developing the economy you will find efficiency, effectiveness, and the corruption you are talking about will disappear. Besides, I do not know why we have bicameral arm of government. Democracy, to a very large extent is luxury because you need to have the means to sustain it. America that operates bicameral legislature has the means of funding it. The country has enough money, their economy is stronger than ours. We are behaving like emperors or as if it is a monarchical system of government; that people will just take money and do whatever they like. We do not need bicameral legislative arm of government. And, if we must have one, it should be like the British system. Let people who want to come to the Senate be independent; people that can take care of themselves and work for the government. They are everywhere in this country. They do not need allowances. All they want is to give back to the society.

Why are you encouraging people who are self-made to come into politics when you know that they stand the risk of being influenced by the system given the humongous sums of money spent at party levels and electioneering?

They are not contesting under any political party because parties will also like to play politics. They would be people who are concerned about the development of the country. When you take issues to them, they are not looking at it from the political viewpoint. So, each senatorial district should come together and identify an individual whom they believe would serve them. You cannot tell me that in a whole senatorial district you cannot find one person who will command respect and his or her inputs germane to scale up development.

What is your perspective on the impasse between the Department of State Services (DSS) and Publisher, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore. Isn’t the DSS over stretching its bounds?

It tells you a lot about the government of the All Progressive Congress (APC); it has not been able to get itself out of the syndrome of grabbing power without leading, otherwise the matter should not have been blown out of proportion as it is done. Sowore is just one individual. There is freedom of demonstration in this country provided you are not encroaching on anybody’s right. One should be able to demonstrate peacefully. And the court should not be reduced to nothing or bastardise the judiciary. Interestingly, government itself needs the rule of law to survive. If you abuse it you are calling for anarchy. So, government should be custodian of the rule of law because it is the number one beneficiary of the rule of law. Without the rule of law you cannot call yourself president. If you abuse it, you do not have any protection. I do not know what he (Sowore) has done. And whatever it is the rule of law should prevail if not anarchy will take place.

What is your take on the hate speech bill, which has generated wide reactions?

One of the foundations of democracy is freedom of expression without fear or favour. If you come and say people should not express themselves then democracy is being stifled. I think government is misadvised and misinformed; it did not make deep analysis of what it is trying to introduce. Granted that the press, social media are very powerful, government should find a way of regulating it so that we will not wake up and find people killing themselves. I tend to agree that you need some kind of control, but not in any draconian manner of trying to kill anybody.

So, are you tactically supporting the bill?

I am not supporting the bill as it is, but I am supporting anything that can regulate and control the excesses coming from the social media. There are civilised ways it could be done.

Let’s do a comparative analysis between the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and President Buhari. What would be your assessment?

This government made a lot of mistakes, missed a lot of opportunities that is why it is still grappling with the force of amnesia on how to even begin to solve our economic, social and political problems. And even the insecurity we are talking about. When President Buhari came in 2015 and did not appoint his ministers until after six months, he lost the initiative. Even the handover was not done in a manner that can hit the ground running; it was haphazardly handled. Unfortunately, again, the man became ill and opportunities were missed, that is why it was difficult for them to take advantage of the popularity he came to power with. It could not be converted to dividends of democracy. On the other side, the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) under Jonathan which could be described as a locust years, lost confidence of Nigerians because of the brazen manner corruption was allowed to take place. Otherwise that government had better programmes. It was more focused economically and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by nearly eight per cent or so. Today, it has plummeted to about one per cent. So, every indices has nosedived. Most of these problems could be traced to the opportunities Buhari missed in giving Nigeria the kind of leadership it needs. I am calling on the president to know that what remains is him as a person not so much about APC. He has the chance to rise to the occasion and think beyond his immediate circle of not only appointing his friends, but identifying those who can deliver and bring them to the table. It is not too late yet because he still enjoys the respect of a lot of people. You cannot trace any corruption to him directly.

2023 is a bid far, but there has been plethora of agitations regarding which geopolitical zone is to produce the next president. What is your take?

As a party, we do not believe in zoning. We believe that the best candidate should be allowed to govern this country; the person can come from wherever. We also believe in equity because through that we will have stability, peace and unity in this country.

Your party is relatively young, what should Nigerians expect in 2023?

We will produce the next president in 2023. You can write it down somewhere.

How do you intend to achieve that when you are relatively young and without political bigwigs?

It is not how young you are or the people, it is how disciplined you are, how respected you are, how organised you are. Our party possesses all these qualities. You can see what is happening in all these so-called big parties, how they are crumbling. ADP, by the grace of God, will be the saving grace. Political watchers of development know that there is no way this contraption called APC can survive 2023. There won’t be APC come 2023. You just find shell of what is called APC today.

#Newsworthy…

CAN declined the call to include sharia’s clauses into nation’s constitution.

Kano State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has vehemently rejected the call to include additional Sharia clauses into the nation’s constitution.

Chairman of the association in the state, Revd Samuel Adeyemo disclosed this in a statement at weekend where he said that the Shariah law already in the constitution was enough for a secular state like Nigeria.

According to him, individual states could adopt the Shariah law at their state level but its application must be limited to Muslims alone and should on no account be applicable to non Muslims.

The statement held that “the utterance of the CJN came as a great shock to us considering his lofty position and the nature of the meeting and audience he was speaking at: 20th Annual Judges conferences at ABU in Zaria.

“The CJN should know that Nigeria is a secular nation and so her constitution must not be in any way tilted to side one religion.

One begins to imagine the motive of the CJN. Is he working on the script of a certain artar to plunge Nigeria into religious crisis?

” While the other FAITH and the other parts of the nation are trying as much as possible to go along with the president on the lopsidedness of his various political national appointments, this utterance of the CJN is trying to scratch the heal wounds open to life again,” said the statement.

“We therefore call on the CJN to know that he is the CJN of Nigeria and not of religion and must respect and uphold in utmost esteem the secularity of Nigeria and not to promote any religion at the expense of others and to the detriment of the peace and unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians in all the geopolitical zones.

“We are very sure the CJN knows the position of the nation’s constitution in Section 10 of the constitution of the Federall Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended prohibits STATE religion that &NO STATE OR FEDERATION SHALL ADOPT A RELIGION AS IT’S OWN

“Thus calling for more Sharia clauses in the nation’s constitution as suggested by the CJN is like Islamizing NIGERIA which is a secular state with different RELIGIOUS practices, OR IS THIS THE MOTIF OF THE CJN?*

“The call for constitutionalising Sharia is unnecessary and an attempt to heat up the polity. This is a regional affair and should never in any way be made to become additional law in the nations constitution.

Individual states can adopt Sharia law at the state level but that will bind only Muslims and not non Muslims and other necessary inhabitants of that state which include indigenes”

“CAN in KANO is committed to prayers for the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria and our dear state hence we take exception to anyone no matter the status and position to be working inimical to this prayers that God has answered and is answering by keeping Nigeria as one”.

#Newsworthy…

Johnny drille say customs’ bill on his N70k order is too high.

Mavin’s act, Johnny Drille has narrated how Nigeria customs asked him to pay N120k for a N70k clothing he had ordered online for his shows this weekend.

The singer disclosed that he had to get another stylist for his show even though the clothes he had ordered arrived the country on December 2.

Johnny Drille added that in every situation people find themselves in Nigeria, there is always someone trying to profit from it.

Customs asked me to pay N120k for a N70k clothing I ordered online - Johnny Drille

#Newsworthy…

Social Media Causing Death, Lawlessness, Violence – Garba Shehu.

…calls for regulation

President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu has called for the regulation of social media which according to him has led to lawlessness, violence and deaths.

The Presidential spokesperson who spoke at a media award event organised by Kawararafa Reporters, said the Nigerian government was not against free speech but against use of social media to wreck havoc.

Mr Shehu said;

“For instance, the entire Kasuwan Magani saga that resulted in the death of more than 50 people was because someone posted misleading information on WhatsApp that went viral.

“All countries in the world are trying to make laws to check the excesses. Many countries are trying to control the situation. The Europeans have placed a new law that holds the companies responsible.

“In United Kingdom, the parliament has received a report on social media. There is a youth addiction to it, just like cigarettes. Without any form of control, it has done harm to women, ethnic minorities, individuals, institutions and countries.

He also pointed out that journalists around the world undergo training, accreditation and licensing before practicing while social media users with a phone, a tablet or laptop anyone can reach millions, sometimes for good and other times with ulterior motives.

Garba Shehu further argued that the Nigerian constitution never anticipated social media, thus the need to tackle hate speech so Nigeria can be a sane place to live in.

He added;

“The federal government is saying that stakeholders should come together and agree on regulation. We know that no matter how bad the situation it favours someone.

“Some have argued that our constitution already has laws in libel, but the laws of the ‘60s never anticipated social media.

“No government has the right to muzzle freedom of speech. We don’t support the taking of lives as punishment. People insult others and share false information on social media. I hope that hate speech will be tackled so that Nigeria will be a sane place to live in.”

#Newsworthy…