he face-off between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole may be far from being over, as a chieftain of the party in the state, Mr. Charles Idahosa, yesterday blasted Oshiomhole for allegedly being envious of the gigantic achievements of the Obaseki-led administration in the state.
Meanwhile, the governor and Oshiomhole had been at loggerheads, while they avoid each other at every function in order to avoid open confrontation with each other.
But Idahosa, who was a former Political Adviser to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, when he was the governor of the state, declared that the quarrel between his former boss, and Governor Obaseki, would be far from being resolved soon.
He, therefore, said that the reason the feud would not end soon was because Oshiomhole was envious and jealous of governor Obaseki’s achievements.
“Obaseki’s record is so intimidating, making Oshiomhole’s achievements look ordinary, so he is jealous”, he said.
While addressing newsmen yesterday in Benin, the state capital, on his 66th birthday, Idahosa, however, pleaded with the rival political actors to settle their differences in the interest of the state and the party.
But, in a swift reaction to the comments by Idahosa, a former Commissioner for Higher Education and member-elect of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Washington Osa Osifo, carpeted Idahosa and his comments about Oshiomhole.
He said: “I said in a live show yesterday that Governor Obaseki is a victim of wicked advisers with very inordinate ambition that will not benefit him and his government. I am not surprised that Hon. Idahosa has said what he said. That he has even judged Oshiomhole that way is a sign of his own failure because he was Oshiomhole’s adviser for eight years and as an adviser he was supposed to bring the best from his student even these his assertions are not true. It is like saying God is envious of us, mortals even when he created us. Comrade Oshiomhole is not God, but he made Obaseki who he is today. He threw in everything to make him governor.”
He said Idahosa has not done enough for his people despite his close relationship with the government over the years.
Idohosa noted that “Oshiomhole brought Obaseki and everything he (Obaseki) has done is at his doorstep.”
The former aide to Oshiomhole pointed out that the APC National Chairman was undermining Obaseki in recommending two persons from Edo for appointment into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board without the governor’s input.
He queried why Oshiomhole continuously wants be the governor of the state when his tenure was over.
Idahosa’s apparent reaction may not be unconnected with the much publicised recent interview by the APC National Chairman against Obaseki’s directive to his aides and government officials to ignore his predecessor.
He said he chose to speak up because he is one of the founders of the party and not Obaseki’s aide, adding that when he and other leaders of the party were fighting Obaseki over his style of governance, it was Oshiomhole who begged and convinced him not to leave APC, but wondered why the National Chairman is finding it difficult to convince politicians he referred to as “renegades in Abuja.”
Meanwhile, top politicians, including concerned governors; the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II; business magnate Aliku Dangote and the presidency had waded into the crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly, but to no avail.
It was learnt that the Presidency and the top hierarchy of the APC are aggrieved that the state government and leadership of the State House of assembly dragged the National Working Committee (NWC), the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC and the National Assembly to court over the lingering impasse in the state House of assembly.
Court rules APC has no candidate in Bayelsa
The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, on Thursday declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a governorship candidate in the forthcoming election in Bayelsa State.
This development is coming 48 hours to the election.
The court was presided over by Justice Jane Inyang.
The court’s declaration, was part of its judgement in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants.
Lokpobiri, a former Minister of State for Agriculture, had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not David Lyon, the authentic candidate of the APC.
“The court pronounced that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate,” Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, told reporters immediately after the court ruling.
A shocked Olorogun said the court declaration was not part of their prayers. “It’s strange,” he said.
Asked what was the next option for his client, Olorogun said “We’ll do the needful. But for now, the pronouncement of the court is that APC has no candidate.”
There was heavy police presence within and outside the court premises. The main highway way leading to the court was barricaded by the police. Visitors, including journalists, were frisked before they were allowed to enter the court building, reports premium times.
Lokpobiri, before now, has been urging the people of Bayelsa to vote for the APC in the November 16 election, despite his court case against Lyon and the party.
“I’m a very strong member of APC and I came today to formally tell our chairman and to speak to Nigerians, in particular, the electorate in Bayelsa that all of them should vote for APC regardless of what happens in the court case in which judgment is slated for Nov. 14, 2019,” the former minister said in Abuja after a courtesy visit on the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
“I told my supporters even before I came here that no matter what happened, I will remain in APC having served as a minister under this administration.
“There is no way the outcome of the governorship primaries will make me leave APC. We are working and campaigning at different levels.
“I always advise that anybody that is grieved, the only place to go is the court.
“So, whatever happens in the matter that is pending in court will not be an infraction on any part of our party’s constitution,” he said.
On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja had disqualified Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, from participating in the forthcoming election on the grounds that he provided conflicting information on the documents he presented to INEC.
The case against Degi-Eremienyo was filed by his party, the PDP.
Islamic Jihad says ceasefire with Israel agreed
*As death toll rises to 34
The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad says an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel has been agreed after air attacks killed at least 34 people in Gaza.
The truce was in force from 5:30am local time (03:30 GMT), the group’s spokesman, Musab al-Braim, told Reuters news agency, marking about 48 hours since Israel sparked the exchange of fire by killing the faction’s top Gaza commander in an air raid, deeming him an imminent threat.
Gaza health ministry said the death toll in two days of Israeli air attacks had risen to 34, including eight members of the Abu Malhous family. At least 63 Israelis received treatment for injuries in rocket attacks fired from Gaza.
A top Egyptian official told the AFP news agency that his country had undertaken efforts to end the two days of fighting that saw Israel bombing dozens of houses and farms in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
According to an Islamic Jihad official, the agreement stipulates that Palestinian factions must ensure a return to calm in Gaza and “maintain peace” during demonstrations, while Israel must stop hostilities and “ensure a ceasefire” during demonstrations by Palestinians.
There was no immediate confirmation of the agreement from Israel.
Its officials had said previously that if Islamic Jihad fighters ceased fire, Israel would follow suit.
Following the Israeli attack on Tuesday that killed Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata in Gaza, the two sides had been exchanging fire, with Israel’s military saying it recorded more than 350 incoming rockets.
Israel said Abu al-Ata was responsible for rocket fire as well as other attacks and was planning more violence, with the military calling him a “ticking bomb”.
In Israel, air raid sirens wailed and fireballs exploded as air defence missiles intercepted rockets, sending Israelis rushing to bomb shelters.
In Gaza, residents surveyed the damage and mourned their dead.
United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov arrived in Cairo on Wednesday afternoon, airport officials said, following reports he was to hold talks aimed at halting the fighting.
The UN and Egypt have been instrumental in mediating previous ceasefires between Israel and Gaza-based armed groups.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Islamic Jihad must stop its rocket attacks or “absorb more and more blows”.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Barayem had said the group was not interested in mediation as it retaliated over the killing of one of its commanders.
The flare-up raised fears of a new all-out conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, which has seen three major Israeli military operations in the past decade.
Australia bushfires: Death toll rises as communities remain on alert
Australian authorities say a fourth person has died in a week of massive bushfires on the nation’s east coast.
The 58-year-old man’s body was found in northern New South Wales (NSW) on Thursday, days after a fire ripped through the region.
Crews are still battling over 120 fires in NSW and Queensland, but locals in Western Australia have now been warned of extremely dangerous conditions, reports the BBC.
Police charged a 16-year-old boy with deliberately starting a damaging fire.
The alleged arson had destroyed 14 homes around the town of Yeppoon, 650km (400 miles) north of Brisbane, Queensland Police said.
Fire chiefs have warned the worst of the summer is “still ahead of us”, after expressing alarm at the scale and severity of the spring bushfires.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has often avoided questions on whether climate change has contributed to the fires, in a response that has drawn wide criticism.
Since Friday, four people have died and at least 300 homes have been destroyed or damaged by fires in NSW.
Police said the latest victim was found in burnt-out bushland near Kempsey, 400km north of Sydney. He was yet to be identified.
The discovery follows the deaths of Vivian Chaplain, 69, Julie Fletcher, 63, and George Nole, whose age is unknown. They were found in separate locations in rural NSW.
What’s happening on the east coast?
Cooler conditions are bringing some assistance to firefighters, but many communities remain on alert.
In Queensland, crews are working to contain over 70 fires. Thousands of residents were warned to leave or defend their homes when blazes escalated on Wednesday, prompting emergency warnings.
Further south in NSW, officials said the fight was “not over yet” due to forecasts of rising temperatures ahead of the weekend.
“Even in these pretty benign conditions we’re seeing quite a lot of aggressive fire behaviour simply because it’s so dry,” said Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers.
More than one million hectares have been burnt across the state since September. The greater Sydney area was issued with its first ever “catastrophic” fire warning on Tuesday, with officials expressing relief no lives were lost on that day.
Exhausted firefighters have received help from counterparts from other states and New Zealand.
What’s happening in Western Australia?
Several fires escalated across the state’s coast on Wednesday, with two blazes threatening homes in the port city of Geraldton.
Officials warned of potentially “catastrophic” conditions in one region. About a dozen blazes remain burning in the region.
APC crisis gets messier
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State worsened yesterday as the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a splinter group which laid claim to the leadership of the party, said it had suspended Governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Hon. Philip Shuaibu, state party chairman, Anslem Ojezua, as well as the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie.
Their suspension came 24 hours after the state party executive led by Ojezua suspended the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for allegedly fuelling the crisis in the state chapter of the party.
The factional group, led by Col. David Imuse, revoked the suspension of the state secretary, Lawrence Okah, saying his purported and subsequent removal from office by Ojezua was a nullity.
The faction rather passed a vote of implicit confidence in Okah as the Secretary of their own faction of the party.
But in swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, described the suspension of his principal and other top government functionaries as a nullity.
Osagie stated that EPM cannot suspend any member of the APC in the state, as they were not recognised by the constitution of the party.
He argued that the said suspension was a huge joke as any decision taken by members of the EPM is ultra vires, null and void, and not binding on any bona fide member of the APC in Edo State.
“The rogue organisation, Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), claiming to have suspended the governor, the deputy governor and the SSG is outlawed by the APC in the state.
“This group was operating against the provisions of the constitution of the APC and was proscribed by the party. The group is, therefore, unknown to law. Hence, it cannot take any disciplinary action against any member of the APC.
“The kangaroo meeting of the rogue group was held at the residence of Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, who himself has been suspended by the party in the state. So whatever decision that might have been taken by the group is ultra vires, null and void,” Osagie said.
In revoking the suspension placed on Oshiomhole, the faction equally claimed that the no confidence vote passed in Oshiomhole was the handiwork of an unknown organ of the APC in Edo State.
“This development would have been laughable if it did not have serious implications for the overall integrity of our party. Their decision is unconstitutional and it is unheard of, for a lower level party hierarchy official to want to take disciplinary action against an official or organ on a higher level. We, therefore, pass a vote of implicit confidence in the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
“We wish to reiterate our position that Edo APC was plunged in this crisis by the unguarded actions and inflammatory statements by Anselm Ojezua. Thuggery and political violence has spiked and escalated in the pursuit of the second term ambition of Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Shuaibu.
“This is exemplified by the various incidents of attack on the Benin residence of the National Chairman, the congregation of thugs on motorbike that were led by Shuaibu to the convocation of Edo University Iyamho, the mayhem that was visited on the political meeting in Owan East LGA. The same pattern repeated at Ikpoba Okha LGA in Hon. Osarobo’s residence.
“On 18th June, 2019, members of our party who were elected into the Edo State House of Assembly were violently attacked by armed thugs led by the Chief Security Officer of the governor,” he said.
Imuse accused Governor Obaseki of anti-party activities which he said resulted in widespread electoral losses for the APC in Edo South Senatorial District during the 2019 general election.
“There is clear and unambiguous evidence by the admission of the governor himself that he actively supported and worked with opposition candidate in areas where his favoured aspirants did not pick the party ticket. This pattern of anti-party activities led to widespread electoral losses in Edo South Senatorial District, including the ward and local government of the governor where we lost.
“In the desperate bid of Mr. Obaseki to suppress all forms of perceived opposition and in his determination that no credible opposition emerges in the forthcoming primaries, elected council officials are indiscriminately removed from office with impunity.
“In light of the foregoing, it has become obvious that Mr. Obaseki has become a liability to the APC. We can no longer fold our arms and watch him drag our collective political fortunes into the abyss in his desperate bid to destroy the party. The only option is to protect the interest of all stakeholders who have laboured assiduously to build up the party,” he said.
Imuse alleged that there have been threats on the lives of members of his faction and urged the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies to take necessary steps to protect their lives and property which are now at risk.
He alleged that since his group decided to salvage the image and future of the APC in Edo State, thugs and hoodlums have been mobilized to hound them in their homes in the dead of the night, while some have been stationed at strategic locations, including the Benin Airport.
Guber polls: U.S. vows to sanction vote-buyers, perpetrators of violence
The United States, yesterday, vowed to apply necessary sanctions for political actors who incite violence or broadly disrupt the conduct of this Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos while briefing some select journalists ahead of the November 16 election in Bayelsa State, the U.S Consul-General in Lagos, Ms Claire Pierangelo, said the U.S. and the international community will monitor the election closely.
While reiterating that the Bayelsa election provides a channel for the citizens to choose a leader who will govern fairly, the envoy said the U.S. government has assisted Nigeria with strengthening the electoral process since 1999 by supporting a free and fair electoral process, preventing and mitigating election-related violence and encouraging an expansion in Nigerian civic and political engagement.
The Consul-General said she had, ahead of the election, visited Bayelsa and met with the leading candidates and leadership of the political parties, adding that the visit provided her the opportunity to engage with public and private key stakeholders in the state and expressed the U.S. expectations from the election.
Fielding questions on whether the U.S. will sanction anyone who disrupts or incites violence during the Bayelsa election, the Consul-General said: “I think for any election that happens in Nigeria, we are going to be looking at, in verifiable cases, those folks who contributed or incited to violence or the disruption of the election in any way. It doesn’t have to be violence. It could be vote-buying, it could be a missing ballot, it could be all of these.
“Anyone that can be identified and verified, we are going to consider what consequences we can impose and it might be that it might be something different. It really depends on the situation. But I think it is really important to know.
“Other countries and organizations are looking at the same thing. That is why it is incredibly important for people to get out and try to vote and to help us document as observers the ballot vote tabulation as it is critical and necessary to help us verify the veracity of voting because that helps us pinpoint where the bad actors might be.”
While stating that the U.S. and the international community will deploy monitors to the South-South state, she said: “As a friend of Nigeria and its people, we will follow the election closely. We will be out there in the field observing the election. I am aware that many other foreign, international organizations will also be on the ground in Bayelsa. We will work closely with our colleagues and partners in the international community to promote a credible process that will benefit the people of Bayelsa.
“It is also critical that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) operates free from outside pressure and intimidation and in a totally objective manner. Voter intimidation, vote-buying, interference by security forces and violence cannot be tolerated.”
Pierangelo said the professional conduct of all stakeholders – especially security forces – is crucial for free, fair, credible, transparent and peaceful elections. The Nigerian security services must provide a safe, secure and impartial environment for the people of Bayelsa to exercise their right to vote.
“Political actors, political parties, bloggers and other influencers must not engage in hate speech or incite violence. People who engage in such conduct must be held accountable.
“I encourage all eligible voters in Bayelsa to participate in the upcoming election and exercise their political franchise. A large turnout will enhance the credibility of the election and Nigeria’s democratic reputation. I would, especially, ask that every effort be made to boost the participation of women, youths and people living with disabilities.”
The U.S. also encouraged citizens to participate actively during the elections and help in documenting cases of vote-buying and any form of disruption.
DSS: We’ll release Sowore to his sureties
…denies shooting at protesters
…accuses Falana of ‘subverting state authorities’
The Department of State Services (DSS) has assured of its readiness to release the convener of #RevolutionNow, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, from detention, once those that stood as sureties for him, come forward.
This was as the DSS denied reports that its operatives opened fire at a group of protesters who staged a protest for the release of Sowore on Tuesday in Abuja.
This was the first time the secret service was speaking on the development, which has continued to generate diverse opinions.
The Service reiterated its adherence to due process and the rule of law, in the conduct of its operations.
In a statement yesterday by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the intelligence organisation called out a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, accusing him of not only playing to the gallery, but mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities.
“The DSS wishes to state that its operatives did not open fire on alleged protesters who had stormed its facility on 12th November, 2019.
“As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye Sowore.
“Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible organisation, did not shoot at the so-called protesters. It could not have done so.
“For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release Sowore once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of Sowore,” the DSS said.
According to the Service, “While all those that have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and, therefore, unqualified, many others have either chosen to grandstand or politicise it to achieve hidden interests.
“In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers. The media is called upon to be neutral and remain champions of the truth.”
On Falana, the DSS noted that: “It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for Sowore present themselves and have him released to them.
“It is even more disappointing that Femi Falana, who is a senior lawyer, would wrongly guide his client and supporters.
“He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Service restates its commitment to the rule of law and particularly respect to the court. It, therefore, calls for calm, but states that it will not be intimidated or harassed into hasty actions.”
Accordingly, it reassured the public that it will not waste a second to release Sowore if the proper processes are followed.
FEC approves purchase of $50.6m shares in W’Bank’s IBRD
…okays N1.7bn for Bonny Jetty
- FG confirms N650bn releases for capital projects
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved for Nigeria to subscribe additional 3,230 shares, worth $50.637 million, in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank.
The IBRD, at the last meeting of the World Bank Group in 2016, granted approval for Nigeria to secure the additional subscription.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that Nigeria, prior to now, had a share capital of 16,187 shares at the IBRD.
She was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.
The Finance Minister explained that the increase in the share capital will assist in strengthening the country’s position and enhance the nation’s voice in the global financial architecture.
She said: “Prior to now, Nigeria holds 16,187 shares at the IBRB. During the last meeting of the World Bank Group, a capital increase was adopted in October 2016 and an additional allocation of 3,230 shares were allocated to Nigeria, both for general capital increase as well as selected capital increase. The total value of these shares is in the sum of $50,637,747.60.
“This additional subscription to the Bretton Woods Institution by Nigeria is not just desirable, but necessary. It will strengthen the country’s position and enhance our voice in the global financial architecture.
“It is important that we also reported to council that Nigeria is now classified by the World Bank as a middle-class income country by reason of its GDP of over $387 billion and a per capital income today or as at the end of 2018 of $1,960 per head.
“This makes Nigeria qualify for a Bretton status in the World Bank Group that gives a country the leverage and enables us to access some less restricted resources of the bank both at the IBRD as well as the either windows.”
According to the Finance Minister, the subscription of shares will enhance the future of the status of Nigeria as a middle-income country as well as project the image of the country as strong emerging market.
“We are required to, at the end of March 2019, have accepted this offer. We have done the acceptance,” Zainab noted.
The Finance Minister also disclosed that the Federal Government has so far released a total of N650 billion for capital projects in the 2019 budget.
She said that additional N250 billion would be released by December 2019 to bring the total releases for capital projects to N900 billion.
The minister explained that the figure had already surpassed the N600 billion President Muhammadu Buhari directed to be released as of October.
While responding to the excuse given by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, that poor funding was the reason road projects were not executed at a faster pace, Ahmed explained that much as the government was faced with revenue challenges, works, housing, power and transportation had so far received the highest releases.
She said: “Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded, same is transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges.
“It gives me an opportunity to state that the Minister of Works and Housing has a proposed budget of N247 billion for the year 2020 and the greatest component of this budget is the fixing of Nigerian roads. It is true that we are not able to fund the budget 100% but whenever we release funds for capital projects, the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Works and Housing are always the priority and also the Ministry of Transport.”
FEC also approved a draft of Executive Bill to be sent to the National Assembly for legal framework for the National Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Council also approved a total of N1.7 billion for the award of contract of a jetty in Borno, Rivers State.
NNPC trucks out N2.5trn worth of petrol in 10 months
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) trucked out N2.517 trillion worth of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in 526,000 trucks across the country in the last 10 months.
The corporation noted that 17.36 billion litres of PMS were moved out between January and October, 2019.
Using a N145 litre modulated price, the 17.36 billion litres of petrol stood at N2.5172 trillion.
Releasing this data as part of measures to ensure safety and smooth operation in the petroleum products distribution value chain, the NNPC yesterday said it had activated the Safe-to-Load initiative to mitigate incessant petroleum product tanker accidents and ensuing fire outbreaks across the country.
The meeting of the stakeholders, which held at the corporation’s towers in Abuja, was sequel to the initiative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Haulage Operations in Nigeria aimed at ensuring safety in the whole gamut of bridging process across the country.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, in a statement issued by Acting Group General Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Samson Makoji, said proffering a lasting solution to the challenge had become imperative, given the frequent fire incidents from petroleum tankers with attendant loss of lives and properties.
Kyari stated that the corporation, as a socially responsible entity, placed high premium on the lives of workers and citizens, noting that safety was one of the core values of the organization.
“As an organisation founded on operational excellence, NNPC has a safety checklist for loading of petroleum products from its terminals and is interested in ensuring harmonization of the Safe-to-Load checklists being used by all terminals across the country,” he said.
He stated that the corporation had commenced digitalising all its analogue-loading facilities to ensure that all trucks leaving the NNPC depots comply with the required axle limits, emphasising that the corporation had kick-started installation of weigh-bridges and sprinklers across all loading gantries to forestall incidents.
The NNPC boss said that the corporation currently relied much on the land transportation system to get its products across various locations in Nigeria.
He hinted that efforts were on to fix the corporation’s pipelines to efficiently move petroleum products across the nation.
Kyari, who recognized the support of the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, in the Safe-to-Load project, stressed that NNPC, as a player in the hydrocarbon business in the country, would continue to champion any cause geared towards efficient product distribution for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Speaking at the event, Mustapha, who was represented by an official of the SGF Office, Mr. Ademola Ali said his office remained committed to ensuring safe roads for petroleum product distribution in the country.
Making a contribution at the event, President, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Kassim Bataiya, solicited the intervention of government in funding the subsector, saying safety on the road was a responsibility of all stakeholders, drivers, law enforcement agencies, among others.
He called for local manufacturing of vehicle components to curtail costs being incurred by transporters.
In his remark, the President, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Mr. Otunba Oladiti, commended the management of NNPC for its consistent interventions in cushioning the hardships faced by tanker drivers in their task of distributing products across the country.
Oladiti expressed the view that fixing the roads should not be the sole responsibility of the government.
Earlier in his presentation, the President of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Akporeha Williams, lauded the corporation for always complying with all safety standards in all its depots and restated the union’s commitment to work with the NNPC management in ensuring the success of the Safe-to-Load initiative.
NWC upholds suspension of Edo party chair, Ojezua
…sets up fact-finding/reconciliation committee
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has upheld the suspension of the Edo State party chairman, Hon. Anslem Ojezua.
The NWC also set up a fact-finding/reconciliation committee because of the crisis in the state party.
Edo State factional executive yesterday suspended the state chairman, Governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie.
In the statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the NWC said it upholds the suspension of Ojezua by the factional party executive in the state.
“The meeting of the NWC, which held on Wednesday, at the party’s National Secretariat, received a notification of the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by 11 of the 16 members of the Edo State Working Committee (SWC). We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.
“We, therefore, uphold the suspension of the Edo State APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua while we await the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee,” the party leadership said.
The NWC was silent on the suspension of the governor, his deputy and the SSG.
Onilu said: “The NWC has watched with grave concern the political development within the party ranks in Edo State and is deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events. We note that this is happening in spite of the various steps the party has taken to find an amicable resolution.
“Recall that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, and other eminent party leaders, had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.
“Sadly, these interventions have not yielded the desirable results.
“However, the immediate concern of the NWC is how to ensure that unity returns to the ranks of the party in Edo State. In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved.”
Testosterone supplements linked to blood clots in men
Scientists in the United States (US) have warned that testosterone therapy could double a man’s risk of suffering a potentially life-threatening blood clot. These are the findings of a new study in the online edition of ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’.
The researchers reported that men who had been receiving testosterone supplements during the previous six months had twice the risk for a deep vein blood clot. According to the lead author, Rob Walker, these findings should cause men to think twice about asking for testosterone treatments to battle normal symptoms of ageing. Walker is a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in Minneapolis in the U.S. A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent you from losing too much blood in certain instances, such as when you’re injured or cut. When a clot forms inside one of your veins, it won’t always dissolve on its own.
The increased risk occurred whether or not a man had the low-testosterone condition known as hypogonadism, which is also known as testosterone deficiency. This is a failure of the testes to produce the male sex hormone testosterone, sperm, or both. It can be due to a testicular disorder or the result of a disease process.
However, the increased risk for the blood clot appeared to be more pronounced in middle-aged men than in seniors, the study findings showed. While urging men to be cautious in asking for testosterone treatments to battle normal symptoms of ageing, Walker said, “If a potential patient reads this and maybe is seeking out testosterone therapy for some kind of common symptoms, like weight gain or sexual function, maybe they should seek out behavioural changes or lifestyle changes that will improve their health without a prescription.”
Quoting an Associate Professor of Cardiology, Critical Care and Pulmonology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, Dr. Umesh Gidwani, the ‘Newsmax- Health’ reported that testosterone posed the risk of blood clot because it “revs up the consistency of the clotting factors in the blood.”
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