Connect with us

     

News

Oshiomhole’ll destroy APC before 2023 polls –Okorocha

Published

on

Oshiomhole’ll destroy APC before 2023 polls –Okorocha

 

  • APC chair: Your greed has destroyed your political career

 

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has warned that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) risks serious setback in the 2023 general elections if its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, continues with his present leadership style. Okorocha, who blamed Oshiomhole solely for APC’s loss of key states in the South-East to the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 general elections, spoke with State House Correspondents, yesterday, after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. He warned that any attempt to further sideline the South-East in election and selection of principal officers of the incoming 9th National Assembly will worsen the party’s chances in future elections, especial-ly in the zone. According to him, Oshiomhole’s actions are capable of reducing the APC to a regional party, with serious setback ahead of the 2023 polls.

He decried the way the APC national chairman imposes his will on the party, a situation, according to him, which has resulted to APC not having any elected political office holder in Imo State after the last recent general elections. But, Oshiomhole, in his reaction, said Okorocha’s claims show that he “is still suffering from his own Iberiberism after he lost woefully in his effort to force his son-in-law on Imo people.” The APC national chairman, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, added:

“He (Okorocha) should be ashamed today that he connived with the PDP to rig the Imo guber election in favour of the PDP justbecause his son-in-law lost the governorship ticket of the APC. Okorocha’s greed has destroyed his political career and he may not resurrect from it. “Our candidate in Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, is very popular and not a political lightweight like Okorocha, who could not even deliver himself in the senatorial election, not to talk of delivering his son-in-law’s governorship ambition. Okorocha used the resources of the state to work against the APC, yet he lost woefully.

“Whether Okorocha likes it or not, the APC is in safe hands under Oshiomhole and he will continue to pursue policies that will unite and strengthen the party, and which will ensure that the collective decision of the party and not that of Okorocha is supreme.

APC will continue to soar higher beyond 2023, it is only Okorocha’s political career that would be destroyed before 2023. Okorocha should hide his head in shame.” Speaking on the debate over the leadership of the 9th National Assembly and possibility of having a repeat of the 2015 scenario, Okorocha said: “I have been watching carefully what is happening in the National Assembly, it’s a very interesting drama. But, all I ask of them is that they should consider the South-East in their calculations.

“This nation will not be properly balanced if the South-East is not carried along properly in the affairs of the National Assembly. Nobody seems to be talking about the South-East, it looks like the South-East doesn’t have a place anymore, that is wrong, politically speaking and that will not be good for APC. Because there is going to be a bigger APC after President Buhari must have left the seat. “My fear now is that APC might have a serious setback in 2023 as the Oshiomhole- led executive is actually turning APC into a regional minority party, which shouldn’t be because of his mistakes. Right now, in the whole of South-East, we don’t have an APC governor. So, if there is any discussion in Nigeria now within the APC governors and President Buhari, there would be nobody from the South-East.

This is what the APC chairman has done in the zone. “I think it’s a capital attempt to frustrate the efforts of the South-East, but I appeal to every Nigerian to support the cause of the South-East. The cause is germane and it should be supported in whatever position that is due them. They shouldn’t think about giving South-East whatever position for giving sake. You can’t just wake up and give them any position.

The South-East is a key zone in this country and if we don’t get the number one seat, we should get the number two seat.” Asked why his party was not making any case for him to be issued with a Certificate of Return after he was declared winner of the Imo West senatorial election, Okorocha said: “I won’t be surprised because you know the imposition we suffered in the party. When you say the party, you talk about the leadership of that party; it’s not the party.

“I don’t have problem with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, I only have problem with the chairman of the party, who took it upon himself to do the wrong thing against me for just no cause and to fight a battle that he can never win. He is the one that is behind all these impositions. Can you imagine, as I speak to you, the APC candidate in Imo State did not win a seat; APC does not have a councillor in Imo State now. It does not even have a member of the House of Assembly. But, the AA candidate has eight seats in the Imo State House of Assembly, two House of Representatives seats and they have one senator about to come to the Senate.

“This is why internal democracy must be respected. Let the will of the people prevail rather than this imposition. It is unfortunate what has happened in Imo State. At least, I have been vindicated for the fact that I said the APC candidate they are imposing on Imo people is not popular and he came from the opposition. For the first time, APC doesn’t have a seat in Imo State. When I was running the affairs of the party, we won 24 seats in the House of Assembly, we had governor, federal house members, but today, APC does not have any because of imposition,” he said. Okorocha maintained that withholding of his Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is unconstitutional as the returning officer, who claimed that he was forced to declare him (Okorocha) as winner of the election has not been able to name who held him hostage to make the declaration under duress.

He described as gangsterism, INEC’s declaration of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ihedioha, as Imo State Governor-elect, saying such if not corrected, a time would come when a mad man could be conscripted and declared winner of an election in the country. Okorocha said Ihedioha didn’t win two-third of votes in the 27 local government areas in the state as required by law, adding that the votes cancelled were more than the margin with which the PDP candidate won. His words:

“The governorship candidate of PDP never won that election because the election flouted section 179 of the constitution, which says that you must have the highest votes and you must have 25 per cent in two-thirds of the local governments. Now, this gentleman who was declared the winner by the same INEC, had 135,000 votes from 24 local governments, but had over 130,000 votes from his three local governments. “Of course you know, he didn’t win that election. But, even at that, we had the highest mark. The returning officer of INEC was never patient to even calculate to know that there was 200,000 cancelled votes and there was supposed to be a rerun, thereby flouting that basic provision of the constitution, which says you must have 25 per cent in two-third.

“So, as far as I am concerned, there will be a rerun in Imo State and the professor that did that should either be de-robed or should be charged for that serious offence of not respecting the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What this means is that someday, one crazy person might just walk on the street and take one mad man, give him result sheet and declare him winner even if the man does not belong to a party.” The governor said notwithstanding his problem with the ruling party, he maintains a cordial relationship with President Buhari and was in the Presidential Villa to invite him to commission several federal and state funded projects in Imo State before the end of May. According to him, “As a matter of fact, Buhari is a great man, he is a man of wisdom, a visionary leader. That is why you see some of us going along with him.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Like

    April 2, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

24 soldiers, 17 militants killed in Mali attack

Published

on

24 soldiers, 17 militants killed in Mali attack

Twenty-four Malian soldiers were killed and 29 wounded in an attack on an army patrol in northern Mali on Monday in which 17 militants were also killed, a spokesman for the army said.

The West African country is still reeling from an attack on an army post that killed 54 in early November – one of the deadliest strikes against its military in recent memory, which underscored the increasing reach and sophistication of armed jihadist groups active in the wider region, reports Reuters.

The Malian patrol attacked on Monday was in Tabankort, Gao region, while on a joint operation with Niger against militants operating near the border.

“During this attack, Malian forces suffered 24 deaths, 29 wounded as well as equipment damage. On the enemy’s side, 17 were killed and a certain number captured,” army spokesman Diarran Kone said.

The authorities have not named the assailants or identified which group they belonged to. From strongholds in Mali, groups with al Qaeda and Islamic State links have been able to fan out across the Sahel, destabilising parts of Niger and Burkina Faso.

Violence has surged this autumn with heavy military and civilian losses in Mali and Burkina Faso.

In addition to November’s bloodshed in Mali, 38 Malian soldiers were killed on Sept. 30 in coordinated attacks on two army bases in the centre of the country, which has slipped from government control despite the presence of the French army and other international forces.

Meanwhile 39 people were killed in Burkina Faso on November 6 when militants attacked a convoy carrying workers of Canadian gold mining company Semafo.

Continue Reading

News

Hong Kong leader urges peaceful resolution of campus standoff

Published

on

Hong Kong leader urges peaceful resolution of campus standoff

Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she hoped a standoff between police and a hold-out group of anti-government protesters at a university could be resolved and she had told police to handle it in a humane way.

A last group of about 100 defiant protesters remain in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University after more than two days of clashes with police surrounding it in which more than 200 people have been injured.

Lam spoke at a news conference shortly after the city’s new police chief urged the support of all citizens to end five months of unrest, triggered by fears that the Beijing government is stifling the city’s special autonomy and freedoms, reports Reuters.

Lam said her government was very much on the “reactive side” but did not rule out further violence even as she urged peace.

“If the protesters are coming out in a peaceful manner … then there is no situation when that sort of violence would happen,” she said.

But if the situation changed, police would have to take “necessary action”, she said, adding she had been shocked that campuses had been turned into “weapons factories”.

Lam said 600 protesters had left the campus, including 200 below the age of 18.

The university is the last of five that protesters occupied to use as bases from which to disrupt the city, blocking the city’s central cross harbor tunnel and main roads, and forcing the closure of businesses including shopping centers, in order, they said, to put the government under economic pressure.

Hundreds of protesters fled from the university or surrendered overnight amid running battles on surrounding streets as police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets and protesters lobbed petrol bombs and bricks.

At one stage, dozens of mask-wearing protesters staged a dramatic escape from the campus by shimmying down plastic hosing from a bridge and fleeing on waiting motorbikes as police fired projectiles.

Police allowed two prominent figures onto the campus late on Monday to mediate but many protesters refused to leave even though food was running out.

“There have been so many people who have sacrificed for this,” said a 21-year-old university student, who identified himself as T, after escaping from the university on Tuesday.

QUESTION OVER COURT

Many protesters say they fear even more bloodshed with no resolution in sight to a standoff that has seen some of the most intense violence in what has become the worst crisis since Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protesters were initially angered by a now-shelved bill that could have sent people to mainland China for trial but has since broadened into calls for full democracy and an end to what many see meddling by Beijing in China’s freest city.

China says it is committed to the “one country, two systems” formula introduced in 1997 granting Hong Kong autonomy and has accused foreign countries, including Britain and the United States, of inciting trouble.

The city’s police deny accusations of brutality and say they have shown restraint.

But the city’s autonomy has been thrown into question after China’s top legislature questioned the power of the city’s High Court to overturn a government emergency ban on face masks worn by protesters.

A spokesman for the legislative affairs commission of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, said Hong Kong courts had no power to rule on the constitutionality of the city’s legislation, the state Xinhua news agency reported.

‘MASSIVE’ BREAKING OF LAW

Newly appointed Police Commissioner Chris Tang, meanwhile, warned of an “institutional mismatch” that his 30,000-strong force was having to contend with.

“There is a massive scale of breaking of law in Hong Kong and there is a certain sector of the community that also condones that illegal activity,” Tang said in a brief public appearance.

He also said “fake news” was undermining the reputation of the force that had long been known as one of Asia’s finest.

The number of people demonstrating has fallen in recent weeks but clashes have worsened since last week, when police shot a protester, a man was set on fire and the city’s financial district was filled with tear gas in the middle of the workday.

Police spokesmen said they fired three live rounds early on Monday but no one was hurt.

Protesters have torched buildings, infrastructure and shops.

The city’s Cross Harbour Tunnel linking Hong Kong island to the Kowloon peninsula remained shut on Tuesday due to extensive damage, authorities said.

Some train services and many roads across Kowloon remained closed. All schools were shut again on Tuesday, extending a string of closures since last week due to safety concerns.

The city’s hospital authority reported 221 injuries over the past day with 12 people in serious condition.

The unrest poses the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters the United States was “gravely concerned” and said the Hong Kong government bore primary responsibility for ensuring a return to calm.

Continue Reading

News

Democrats dubious as Trump dangles impeachment testimony offer

Published

on

Democrats dubious as Trump dangles impeachment testimony offer

Democrats responded skeptically on Monday to President Donald Trump’s declaration that he might be willing to testify in his impeachment inquiry and also said they were examining the truthfulness of his testimony in the Russia 2016 election interference probe.

Trump said on Twitter that he would “strongly consider” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that he testify in the House impeachment inquiry into whether he pressured Ukraine to investigate domestic political opponent Joe Biden.

House Democrats saw his participation in the inquiry as unlikely, reports Reuters.

“President Trump should testify,” Representative Don Beyer said in a tweet. “He should allow top White House aides to testify. … He should turn over the documents Congress subpoenaed. He should end his illegal coverup. I’m not holding my breath.”

Trump has come under increasing pressure as public hearings have started in the impeachment probe, and the Democratic-led committees conducting the investigation have released transcripts of interviews conducted in closed sessions that contain potentially damaging allegations against him.

Late on Monday, they released a transcript of an interview with David Holmes, a top aide from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, who will testify at a public hearing on Thursday.

Holmes testified that he had overheard on July 26 a call, held on the outdoor terrace of a Kiev restaurant, between Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Trump.

In the call, he testified, Trump asked Sondland whether Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy had agreed to announce an investigation into the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a rival in Trump’s race for re-election next year.

Holmes, an aide to acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, said he could hear the conversation and believes two others at the table could as well.

“So he’s gonna do the investigation?” Holmes said he heard Trump ask.

“He’s gonna do it,” Sondland said, adding that Zelenskiy would do “anything you ask him to.”

Holmes described the call as extraordinary.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, someone calling the President from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language,” he said.

Holmes said he was concerned Trump’s call with Sondland could pose a security risk. “We generally assume that mobile communications in Ukraine are being monitored,” he testified.

Asked whether Ukrainian officials felt pressure to announce investigations into the Bidens, Holmes said, “I think the Ukrainians gradually came to understand that they were being asked to do something in exchange for the meeting and the security assistance hold being lifted.”

Holmes said the call – which came to light in Taylor’s testimony last week – took place one day after Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Zelenskiy, which prompted the whistleblower complaint that led to the impeachment probe of Trump.

On that call, Trump asked Zelenskiy to open a corruption investigation into Biden and his son Hunter, and into a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump has defended his call with Zelenskiy as “perfect.”

Joe Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump in 2020.

Separately, House general counsel Douglas Letter told a federal appeals court in Washington that lawmakers were examining the truthfulness of the written answers the president provided in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump initially offered to testify in that investigation but only provided written answers after months of negotiations.

Those answers drew renewed scrutiny after they appeared to conflict with the testimony of a former Trump campaign official last week in the trial of Trump ally Roger Stone.

Lawmakers are examining whether Trump abused his power by withholding $391 million in aid to Ukraine as leverage to get Kiev to investigate Biden. The money, approved by the U.S. Congress to help U.S. ally Ukraine combat Russia-backed separatists, was later provided.

The Republican president has said he did nothing wrong and has railed against the impeachment inquiry and attacked witnesses, much as he did in the two-year Mueller investigation.

Holmes is one of nine witnesses set to testify in the second week of public impeachment hearings. He will testify on Thursday.

The committees also released a transcript of testimony behind closed doors by David Hale, a senior State Department official. In his interview, Hale confirmed that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew ware of the campaign against Yovanovitch, but were not going to act on it without evidence.

Pompeo declined to discuss the impeachment inquiry – or defend Yovanovitch – at a news briefing on Monday.

Hale is set to testify at a public hearing on Wednesday.

Others due to testify this week include Sondland, whose direct contacts with Trump are likely to be a main focus in the investigation of whether the president used U.S. aid as leverage to get Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on Biden.

Trump told reporters last week that he knew “nothing” about the call with Sondland.

Several witnesses testified last week that they were alarmed at the pressure tactics used against Ukraine, as well as the role of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

The hearings could clear the way for the House to approve articles of impeachment – formal charges – against Trump. That would lead to a trial in the Senate on whether to convict Trump and remove him from office. Republicans control the Senate and have shown little support for Trump’s removal.

Continue Reading

News

Kogi, Bayelsa polls: PDP cries foul, says God’ll judge INEC, IGP

Published

on

Kogi, Bayelsa polls: PDP cries foul, says God’ll judge INEC, IGP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidates in the November 16 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states yesterday cried foul over their losses at the polls.

The PDP governorship candidate in Kogi State, Engr. Musa Wada, condemned the outcome of Saturday’s election in the state, describing it as declaration and execution of war against Kogi people.

Wada also declared that the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, will account to God and the people for the roles they played in the election.

Speaking in the same vein, the PDP governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, said he won Saturday’s election in the state and asked INEC to declare him winner.

In Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC polled 406,222 votes to defeat Wada who garnered 189,704 votes.

The APC repeated the same feat in Bayelsa where its candidate, David Lyon, won with 352,552 votes. APC’s closest rival, Duoye Diri of the PDP polled 143,172 votes.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Wada, alongside his running mate, Bamidele Aroh, said he would challenge the results of the election at the tribunal.

Wada argued that what happened in Kogi on Saturday was “an organised war against democracy, coup against the people and seizure of power through brigandage and the barrel of the gun with members of the police and other security agencies coordinating the stealing of the people’s votes.”

He accused the police of aiding suspected armed thugs of APC to invade polling units with impunity, shoot and kill voters.

According to him, the hoodlums carted away ballot boxes to government facilities where results were written in favour of APC and handed over to INEC to announce against the will of the people.

Wada said: “Police helicopters were used to attack polling units, fire tear gas on voters and provide cover to APC hoodlums and policemen who brutalized the people of Kogi State and stole their mandate.

“The APC turned our state into a theatre of war. No fewer than nine innocent Nigerians were killed. Many more were maimed and injured by the APC in their desperation to seize power at all cost.

“It is, therefore, distressing that INEC went ahead with a shameful collation and declaration of fabricated results despite the glaring disruptions that characterized the shambolic exercise.

“In order to achieve this ignoble goal, INEC cancelled our votes in areas of our strongholds, subtracted from our votes in many other areas and padded the votes of APC to give a semblance of victory for APC.”

He said people of Kogi were horrified, brutalized and dehumanized, adding that there have been weeping across the state since the announcement of another four years of Yahaya Bello was made.

He added: “We, therefore, stand with the people of Kogi to state without equivocation that this brigandage and stealing of our mandate cannot stand.

“We will never despair, but remain strong in our determination to retrieve the mandate freely given to us by the people in their desire for a change.

“We will pursue this course to its logical conclusion within the confines of the law of this country.

“We commend the people of Kogi State for their resilience in the face of all intimidation. They showed, once again, that nobody can suppress their will at any time.

“Our campaign mourns our compatriots that were killed by the APC; their blood demand for justice and we will ensure that they did not die in vain.”

The PDP candidate insisted that the INEC chairman and IGP would account to God and the people for their roles “if not in this world, then certainly in the hereafter.”

He called on all Nigerians to stand with the people of Kogi State at this trying time as they quest for the restoration of their mandate in the election.

Meanwhile, Diri, who briefed reporters in Yenagoa, said that the results monitored by his party’s Situation Room in the eight local government areas of the state, showed in clear terms that he won the Bayelsa poll and should be declared the governor-elect.

The governorship candidate, who announced 98,582 as the total figure scored by the PDP, said the APC got a total of 55,903 in the election.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said the PDP scored 4,096 in Brass Local Government Area while the APC got 2,525.

According to him, the PDP polled 9,903 votes and the APC had 7,976 votes in Ogbia while the PDP scored 12,225 in Southern Ijaw LGA and APC got 9,542 votes in same council.

Diri claimed that the PDP polled 21,165 votes in Yenagoa and the APC scored 15,560 votes while in Sagbama, the PDP got 60,339 and APC had 7,831 votes.

He further explained that the PDP polled a total of 21,381 votes in Ekeremor while the APC scored 8,780 votes.

Also in Kolokuma/Opokuma, he noted that the PDP had 12,110 votes and APC polled 6,659 votes while in Nembe, PDP polled 24 and APC had 908 votes.

Diri contended that it was illegal for the APC to have contested the governorship election because of a subsisting court judgement, urging the electoral commission to disqualify the APC.

He stressed that he did not contest the election against the APC candidate, who was returned winner by INEC, saying the party had already been disqualified by the court before the election.

Also speaking, the PDP’s agent, Chief O.O. Osusu, said there were two subsisting court judgements before the conduct of the November 16 governorship election, stressing that it was wrong for the APC to be on the ballot.

In separate remarks, some governorship candidates, including Eniye Zidougha (Green Party), Fayeofori Bob-Manuel (All Progressive Grand Alliance), Okiah Jones (Masses Movement of Nigeria), lampooned INEC for declaring Lyon as winner.

They lamented that despite obvious irregularities, including the use of the Nigerian Army to intimidate voters and subvert the will of the people, the electoral body still went ahead to announce the results.

They also berated the Army for allegedly interfering in the polls to favour the APC and called on the electoral umpire to declare Senator Diri of the PDP as winner of the governorship election.

The Chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area, Hon. Ebinyon Turner, recalled his ordeal in the hands of soldiers of the Division 6 of the Nigerian Army who arrested him and other party members during the election.

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Total: Nigeria’s untapped oil assets hit 1trn barrels

Published

on

Total: Nigeria’s untapped oil assets hit 1trn barrels

The untapped oil assets in Nigeria have hit the all-time high of one trillion barrels.

A major oil acreage concessionaire, Total, which yesterday declared this at pre-conference workshop of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorarionists (NAPE) in Lagos, tasked the government to create enabling policies as well as deploy more technological innovation in order to bring to bear the untapped oil assets on the country’s economy.

Deputy Managing director, Deepwater District, Total Exploration and Production, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, who said this, emphasized the need for Nigeria not to rest on its oars in the search for more oil in its frontiers.

He also emphasized the need for the nation’s oil industry to encourage digital application in the deep offshore assets, saying that the development would cut capital expenditure by 20 per cent.

He said his company is committed to sustainable strategy to create enduring environment in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

He also said Total would continually deploy technology and innovation in its deep offshore operations with a view to deepen its presence in the oil and gas sector.

Speaking, Nigeria Country Manager, Google, Juliet Ehimyan-Chiazor, said that the use of digital application could increase the country’s oil production by more than eight per cent annually.

In his remarks, President of NAPE, Ajibola Oyebamiji, said that the oil and gas industry has witnessed rapid technology advancement in recent years, while new technologies are providing different and undefined opportunities for producing unconventional oil and gas in different regions of the world.

He said: “With the era of cheap-to-discover oil and gas gradually coming to an end, new digital technologies are coming on board aiding the imaging and discovery of new oil and gas fields that were hitherto undiscoverable while reservoirs at deeper depths concealed under thick layers of shakes that were previously undrillable due to high temperatures and pressures have become accessible through improved drilling technologies in complex structural and stratigraphic traps.

“Technological change, in turn, is the main driver of the global trend in oil and gas industry and is of particular importance for government, policymakers and all stakeholders to have the necessary knowledge of how such technological changes can be deployed and sustained in developing countries (Nigeria inclusive).”

According to him, the development of relevant technologies suited to the Nigerian market should be a key driver in guaranteeing energy security and diversification, thereby boosting Nigeria’s industrial development.

Meanwhile, the expectations that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would extend production cuts supported oil prices yesterday, helping them hold on to last week’s gains.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, which rose 1.3 per cent last week, were little changed, trading at above $63 per barrel at 1100 GMT.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was also flat at $57.7 a barrel, having gained 0.8 per cent last week.

This was also buoyed by the hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China.

Continue Reading

News

NBS: Rise in food prices push inflation to 11.61%

Published

on

NBS: Rise in food prices push inflation to 11.61%

…highest in 17 months

 

Increase in prices was recorded across all divisions of foods in month of October, Consumer Price Index (CPI) released yesterday by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed.

The CPI rose to 11.61 per cent (year-on-year) in October 2019, higher than September figure of 11.24 per cent, representing 0.36 percentage points higher than previous figure.

This was the exact inflation rate recorded in May 2018 when the country was recovering from the recession and high inflation rate.

On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.07 per cent in October 2019, or 0.03 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in September 2019 (1.04 per cent).

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending October 2019 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 11.30 per cent, showing 0.03 percentage point increase from 11.27 per cent recorded in September 2019.

The urban inflation rate stood at 12.20 per cent (year-on-year) in October 2019 from 11.78 per cent recorded in September, while the rural inflation rate was recorded at 11.07 per cent in October from 10.77 per cent in September.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.15 per cent in October 2019, up by 0.02 percentage points from 1.13 per cent recorded in September 2019, while the rural index rose by 0.99 per cent in October 2019, up by 0.03 percentage points from the rate recorded in September 2019 (0.96 per cent),” NBS stated.

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 11.68 per cent in October 2019. This is higher than 11.63 per cent reported in September 2019, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in October was 10.95 percent compared to 10.94 per cent recorded in September 2019.

Continue Reading

News

Banking industry earnings to hit N4.9trn –Afrinvest

Published

on

Banking industry earnings to hit N4.9trn –Afrinvest

                 …Profit’ll rise to N1.178trn

  • Experts seek structural reforms

 

 

Afrinvest West Africa Limited has projected that the banking industry gross earnings will hit N4.9 trillion at the end of 2019.

The Group Managing Director, Afrinvest (W.A), Mr. Ike Chioke, who stated this yesterday at the 14th edition of the Afrinvest Banking Sector Report Launch titled, ‘Beyond the precipice: Pulling back from the brink’, said the industry, which is expected to recover strongly during 2019, will grow by 19.5 per cent from N4.1 trillion in 2018 to N4.9 trillion in 2019.

He also predicted that the industry profit will hit N1.178 trillion from N497.9 billion in 2015.

To achieve the desired level of strong economic growth and prosperity as well as improve on the performance in key sectors of the Nigerian economy, financial experts at the launch stressed the need for adjustments in structural reforms.

Chioke explained that the current administration is facing challenges in key sectors of the nation’s economy while adding that the Federal Government needs to reduce the level of borrowing, subsidise petrol consumption, reduce the cost of governance and prioritize more infrastructures.

He said: “Over the last 10 years, we have budgeted over N7 trillion and spent about 55 per cent of that in a disorganised manner. For example, if we plan to spend $110 billion, then we need to organise the infrastructural spend year-on-year. A road, which will cost N50 billion and will be done in 18 months, the money will be there instead of the allocation of N1 billion every three years to that particular road.

“We need to start using our intelligence efficiently as this would mean that the government will not have to keep borrowing just to spend money on infrastructures.”

Corroborating him, Partner and Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria, Andrew Nevin, noted that structural changes are needed to fix some of the challenges facing the economy.

He said: “The entire states spending in all three levels of government in Nigeria is about N14 trillion, the economy is about N143 trillion. Take out the interest payment, you have N12 trillion and by my calculations, that is about N60,000 for every Nigerian. It is impossible to cover education, healthcare infrastructure, power, security with that N60,000 per Nigerian.

“So, the result of that is that Nigerians are very intelligent; they supply their own power, their own education, their own healthcare, their own security and their own infrastructure. So the fact that most people are not aware is that 85 per cent of school children in Lagos are educated in private schools. I would say the number one challenge for the Federal Government is to be relevant to the people because right now they are not relevant. They are relevant for the wrong reasons.”

Chairman, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Fatumata Coker, called on the government to focus more on education and technology while adding that broadband penetration ought to be pursued vigorously so as to compete with its peers in the African market.

“We keep adopting the same concept and we need to look at this in our own context. Singapore, for example, took a step back to understand what they had mapped out for their economy. Our banks are doing well, but are they

Continue Reading

News

Senate: Hate Speech Bill unrelated to Third Term

Published

on

Senate: Hate Speech Bill unrelated to Third Term

The upper chamber of the National Assembly has debunked speculations that the Hate Speech Prohibition Bill currently before it was designed to silence Nigerians and pave way for the launch of the rumoured Third Term Agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari and Islamisation of Nigeria. The clarification came at a media chat yesterday; same day promoters of the bill rose in defence of it and described the controversies trailing it as unnecessary. Acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Godiya Akwashiki (APC – Nasarawa) said that contrary to the speculations in some quarters, the bill was a private member bill and not a joint effort between the Presidency and National Assembly to advance some ulterior motives. “I want to clarify our position because of what the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said recently that the bill is a collaboration between the Senate and President Buhari for the purpose of achieving third term agenda.

“I am happy the sponsor of the bill is here and he has cleared the air. It is the right of a Senator to sponsor a bill as private bill. The executive arm of government has no hand in this bill. “Even though the Senate can also entertain executive bills, the Hate Speech Bill before the Senate today is a private bill. Mr. President has nothing to do with this issue and this bill has nothing to do with third term agenda or the Islamisation of this country.

“As leaders of political parties, we should be mindful of the way we speak and what we say at all times. We should be peace lovers,” he said. Akwashiki said it was wrong to read ulterior motives to the bill at this stage because it had just passed the first reading and its details were yet to be unveiled. According to him, when the bill gets to the second reading stage, all the Senators will have the opportunity to debate the general principles of the bill, look at it section by section, clause by clause to ascertain if it is suitable for passage into law. Sponsor of the bill, Senator Abdullahi Sabi (APC – Niger) said he embarked upon the promotion of the bill for altruistic reasons rather than any sinister motives. He said that the challenge of hate speech was growing by the day as politicians and other Nigerians continued to exploit the fault lines of religion and ethnicity to incite violence against perceived enemies.

The uproar over the bill, he said, was the handiwork of armchair critics who have neither sighted nor read the bill to understand its provisions and what it seeks to achieve. Sabi, who admitted that he sponsored the same bill during the 8th Senate, said he could not pursue it to a logical conclusion because the political environment was not suitable for such a bill at that time.

This explanation even triggered an altercation between him and some journalists who sought to know further how the bill ended during its first journey through the legislative mill. While some journalists said the bill was thrown out, shut down, expired or died a natural death, the lawmaker who was visibly angry could not accept any of these terms. He explained that the bill was only read for the first time and he did not present it for second reading and debate. According to him, the bill he introduced in the 8th Senate was neither shut down nor killed by anybody, but elapsed with the life of that session.

“I was the sponsor of the bill in the 8th Assembly and I can tell you that the bill was neither shut down nor withdrawn. I told you that I read the mood of the time and did not go for a second reading because politics had crept in and the atmosphere was charged. But by the grace of God, I am back and I can tell you that the basic reasons which motivated me to sponsor the bill at that time are still present with us. Nothing has changed. “In fact, if anything, hate speech is increasing by the day and that is why I felt I still believe in the cause and that is why I have introduced the bill again.

This time around, I started early so that whatever it is, we will have ample time, devoid of politics, to look at these issues dispassionately, believing that this issue of life is not something you toy with or talk about casually. It is a serious matter because I know that there are people who are victims of this hate speech,” he said. On the arguments that the issue of hate speech had been addressed in existing legislations, Sabi said it was not true, adding that hate speech had assumed a life of its own and cannot be lumped together with offences such as libel, slander and incitement to violence.

He also defended the provisions for death by hanging as one of the penalties for hate speech, arguing that the bill before the lawmakers was purely a proposal and subject to passage if the rest 108 lawmakers in the red chamber approve of such provisions. “The death penalty is not definite like some Nigerians are making it seem. In the National Assembly, bills go through legislative processes. The concerns on the death penalty are genuine and will be amended accordingly. “During these processes, amendments are made to fine-tune the bill in meeting with existing realities. Therefore, the hate speech bill will go through these processes to ensure Nigerians get the best out of the proposed bill,” Abdullahi said.

Continue Reading

News

High-fat diet by mothers could cause brain damage in unborn children

Published

on

High-fat diet by mothers could cause brain damage in unborn children

Researchers in Austria have found that high-fat maternal diets could cause life-long changes in the brains of the unborn child.

According to the findings of a new study published in the journal ‘Molecular Psychiatry,’ when a pregnant woman consumed a diet high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids, her body would produce an excess of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), which overload the foetal system and impair the development of healthy brain networks.

In animals that give live birth, the foetal circulation is the circulatory system of a foetus. The term usually encompasses the entire foetoplacental circulation, which includes the umbilical cord and the blood vessels within the placenta that carry foetal blood.

The ‘Medical Express’ reported that an excess of endogenous cannabinoids could overload the corresponding cannabinoid receptors in the foetal brain and limit their ability to signal.

Consequently, nerve cells would no longer be able to correctly integrate into the brain to fulfil their prospective functions.

Endocannabinoids serve as a fundamental communication system in the brain as well as other organs are substances produced by the body.  In the adult brain, endocannabinoids limit communication (‘chemical neurotransmission’) between neurons by binding to cannabinoid receptors. “This means that any substance that influences either endocannabinoid levels or directly affects cannabinoid receptor function will inevitably impinge upon brain development,” the ‘Medical Express’ reported.

Similarly, the study also showed that these impairments persist throughout life of the affected offspring and could serve as critical triggers to developing psychiatric disorders later in the life of the child.

Psychiatric disorders that could result from this impairment include the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.

It is however, unlikely that such damage could simply be reversed by a subsequent change of diet.

A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. ADHD can affect a child at school, at home, and in friendships.

The study examined in cell and mouse models, how intake of high-fat diets throughout pregnancy (rich in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids) impacts foetal brain development.

Continue Reading

News

Presidency to PDP: You’re a disgrace for rejecting polls’ results

Published

on

Presidency to PDP: You’re a disgrace for rejecting polls’ results

The Presidency has described the rejection of the results of the Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a disgrace.

The party has been advised to accept the outcomes with grace.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, the presidency said it observed that it is predictable that PDP had raised allegations of fabricated results on the elections.

Shehu said this happens each time the poll result does not favour the opposition.

According to the presidential spokesman, “Predictably, we have seen the accusation of fabricated results from the opposition PDP. Yet, the only fabrication is PDP’s conduct.

“It has now become standard procedure for the party to challenge any poll that does not return its candidates. Election is good when the PDP wins. The opposite is the case if any party other than the PDP wins.

“Democracy is not only about who wins or who loses, but also about the process. In disparaging every unfavourable result, they disgrace themselves by casting aspersion on the entire system.”

The presidency recalled that February 2019 election saw the loss of five APC governors, adding: “The government accepted the results. In doing so, we realised that we did not win the argument in those contests, and so we didn’t win enough votes.

“We retired to assess what went wrong: were we responsive enough to the electorate’s needs and priorities? How can we improve on speaking to the nation’s hopes? We got ready and prepared ourselves well for the next contest. The result is a healthier, more rigorous election.

“In rejecting the results as PDP has done, this reflection does not happen. Instead, the electorate gets mudslinging. Improvement is not sought, but cries of victimization; this is not an atmosphere in which democratic debate can thrive.

“Opposition strategy of attacking the electoral commission, security agencies, government at the centre and the person of President Muhammadu Buhari after each election loss is antithetical to healthy democratic norms.

“Candidates and parties, especially those that have lost, are not told to examine their campaign tactics and strategies with a view to improving their chances for the next election. The result of not doing this is a loss for the electorate and for the parties concerned.

“We call on APC supporters to show dignity in victory, and for all Nigerians to remain peaceful in the wake of these elections. We call on PDP to learn to be democrats. We must now come together to build a brighter future for Nigeria.”

Continue Reading

Categories

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

ABUJA MAN REVEALS (FREE) SECRET FRUITS THAT INCREASED MANHOOD AND LASTING POWER IN 7DAYS

 

… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

 

 

 

BUA Adverts

Trending

%d bloggers like this: