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Xenophobia: How to end attacks on Nigerians, by ASUU

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Xenophobia: How to end attacks on Nigerians, by ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has proffered solution to the ongoing xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

ASUU called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the opportunity of the attacks to properly reposition and fix Nigeria.

The union said Nigerians would not be forced to join the increasing army of global migrants and wanderers in search of elusive greener pastures if their country was economically buoyant and politically stable.

The ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who briefed reporters at the end of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), also urged the Buhari administration to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s education sector.

Ogunyemi, who was flanked by the ASUU-FUNAAB Chairman, Dr. Adebayo Oni and other union leaders, decried the poor living condition in Nigeria which is forcing citizens to flee.

The ASUU president noted that as the Federal Government begins the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa in response to xenophobic attacks, adequate and sustainable welfare package should be activated for the evacuees.

He explained that with the increasing insecurity, mindless betrayal of the people’s trust by elected politicians, mass unemployment of the teeming youths, ethno-religious conflicts and rising cases of violent crimes and criminalities in the country, there are ominous signs of a failing Nigerian nation.

Ogunyemi submitted that if Nigerian leaders fix the country, the citizens would prefer to stay back and rather contribute their quota to its development.

He said: “We have the resources to compete and beat South Africa on any ground such that the respect would be mutual. But, today, they see us as dependent, inferior and people they could just discard with.

“If you go to South African universities, maybe 50 per cent of their top notch scholars are people from Nigeria or tutored by Nigerians. The academic and intellectual community in South Africa respect Nigerians. But when you now start to compete with their income section, there is bound to be conflict.

“If we fix our country, South Africa will respect us. We lost our respect the moment we can no longer cater for our citizens. Even if we bring back people from South Africa and we don’t have plans for them, they will still find a way of going back.

“ASUU believes that Nigeria is not inferior to any country in this world. What we only need to do is to get our acts right; fix our country; even leading countries in the Western world will respect us. We remain dependent and that is why we call Nigeria dependent peripheral rentier country. Nigeria operates at the fringes of global economy.

“If we have a country that does not respect her intellectual community, that country will never witness what we call transformation because education is the catalyst to development.”

The union leader lamented that the critical sector of the Nigerian nation, including education, health and power, had continued to deteriorate on account of wanton corruption and the alleged deliberate mismanagement of the economy by an insensitive and reckless ruling class.

He also condemned the move by the National Assembly to purchase exotic vehicles for Senators and House of Representatives members, describing it as insensitive and provocative.

Ogunyemi warned that if the nation’s leaders failed to find solution to the problems confronting the country, they risk being stoned by the citizens.

The ASUU president said: “Nigerians have been subjected to decreasing infrastructural decay, abandoned educational institution and accumulation of months of unpaid salaries in many states and decrease in value of lives and properties.

“It is not only uncharitable that a government that is still foot-dragging in finalizing the framework for paying the minimum wage at a time our National Assembly is planning to spend billions of naira on the purchase of exotic luxury vehicles for themselves; it is not only uncharitable, it is inhuman.

“Over 70 per cent of Nigerians could not afford two meals and we have a timid population that call themselves legislators and other categories of politicians. They move about in armoured cars against the needs at a time those who suffered under rain and sunshine to put them in office are languishing in abject poverty.

“They are insensitive to the point that they are telling us they want to buy what they called exotic cars. It is provocative and at a time Nigerians become fully conscious, they would be stoned.

“A time will come that the rich would not be able to sleep when the poor are hungry. And that is what the Nigeria ruling class is not recognizing. We are in a pathetic situation; they don’t know the enormity of the war of revenge that awaits them. If they know, they will democratise education.”

He restated the commitment of ASUU to repositioning Nigerian universities for the radical transformation of the country.

“Towards this end, we call on all progress-loving workers, media practitioners, civil society organisations and friends of Nigeria to continue to support ASUU in our struggle for a transformative education for the betterment of Nigeria,” Ogunyemi added.

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Catholic bishops to Buhari: Your govt losing legitimacy

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Catholic bishops to Buhari: Your govt losing legitimacy

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he President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to the security challenges confronting Nigeria or risk losing his administration’s legitimacy.

 

The cleric also called on Buhari to urgently review his appointments at the federal level which, according to him, lack diversity and does not fulfill the spirit of total integration.

 

He spoke at the opening of the second plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

 

Governors Dapo Abiodun, Kayode Fayemi and Simon Lalong of Ogun, Ekiti and Plateau states respectively as well as the deputy governor of Osun State, Olugboyega Alabi, were in attendance at the event.

 

Also present were the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Jimi Agabje; renowned economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and Most Rev. Antonio Filipazzi, who represented Pope Francis.

 

In his address, Akubeze, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Benin, decried the rising level of insecurity in the land which continued to manifest in violent killings, herdsmen and farmers’ clashes, kidnappings, insurgency and banditry.

According to him, the Federal Government has been slow or failed to promptly respond to the prevailing security challenges.

 

The cleric submitted that any government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens had failed.

 

Akubeze said if Nigerian leaders cannot guarantee peace and security, they have no business using taxpayers’ money to provide security for themselves and their families while the rest of the citizens kept dying.

 

He said: “At various times, we have called on the government to deal seriously with the issues of insecurity in the land. We have urged the government to stop celebrating the few instances of what they call success by stating that the terrorists have been technically defeated.

 

 

“Nigerians do not want to have a debate on the meaning of the word ‘defeated.’ We are just interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our home land.

 

“Nigerians do not want to be faced with the daily tasks of looking for security persons to escort them to their farms. Nigerians do not want to be afraid when they go to the market to sell or buy; or when they go to the church or mosque to pray.

 

“We are not asking the government for too much. We want to be able to move freely in the country. Every government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens has failed. The government, if it does not respond rapidly to change the situation for good, is gradually losing legitimacy.

 

“If the leaders of a country cannot ensure peace and security, they have no business using taxpayers’ money to provide security for themselves and their families while the rest of Nigerians are dying daily.”

 

The archbishop also bemoaned the lack of diversity in the federal appointments and sensitive positions of governance, saying the approach of the Buhari administration to the issue has been “minimalistic.”

Akubeze declared that no federal agency in the country should be dominated by one ethnic or religious group.

 

He pointed out that as president, Buhari has same obligation to those who voted for him and those who did not vote for him.

 

He said: “The lack of diversity in the appointments by this government at the federal level should be reviewed with the aim of assuring every Nigerian that appointments to positions of importance is not based on the number of people who voted for you from those areas.

 

“The president is the president of every Nigerian. He has the same obligation to those who voted for him as well as those who did not vote for him. He uses the taxes from people who voted for him and those who did not vote for him. Therefore, equity is expected in appointment of persons to federal agencies.

 

 

“Nigerians reject a minimalistic approach to this issue. We have heard the government say that they have fulfilled the constitutional requirement of appointment at least a minister from each state. This is a minimalistic approach and does not fulfill the spirit of total integration of every Nigerian.

 

“All federal agencies should have directors and staff that reflect the diversity in our land. No federal agency should be dominated by one ethnic group or one religious group. Nigeria belongs to everyone of us.

 

“We must not establish cultural hegemony or a religious hegemony in a constitutional secular state like Nigeria. If we allow it, I can assure you that it is a recipe for disaster.”

 

Akubeze stressed the need for justice and peace which, he noted, are necessary for a sustainable nation.

 

He added: “Development does not take place during crisis. People do not build their economy during crisis. What leads to crisis in every part of the world is injustice. Injustice is the fertile ground for breeding violence, for creating war, for promoting generational prejudice; it is the ground for destruction.

“If anyone desires peace, the person must work for justice. Justice requires us to give everyone their due. From sharing of resources to caring for the human person. Where there is no fair share of wealth, there will be crisis.”

 

 

Earlier in her remarks, the chairperson, Planning Committee, Prof. Oluyemisi Eromosele, said the conference was the convergence of all bishops in Nigeria to address the state of the nation and contemporary issues affecting the Catholic Church and the country at large.

“The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, incorporated in 1958, has been, over the years, a veritable force for the unity, communion and solidarity of over 36 million Catholics spread across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” she stated.

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Xenophobia: South Africa dispatches envoys to pacify Nigeria, others

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Xenophobia: South Africa dispatches envoys to pacify Nigeria, others

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resident Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has dispatched three special envoys to seven African countries to deliver messages of pan-African unity and solidarity following xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

 

 

The special envoys are expected to visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

 

But the peace move is coming just as a former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi urged Nigeria to take legal action against South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherland.

 

Spokesperson to the South African Presidency, Khusela Diko, said the special envoys will deliver a message from Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of their property.

 

 

According to Diko, the envoys will reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity. They will also reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law.

 

The special envoys will brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and to hold the perpetrators to account.

 

New Telegraph could not confirm if the special envoys dispatched to Nigeria had arrived or when he would arrive as officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja were not available for comments on the issue.

 

Meanwhile, Prof. Akinyemi has urged the Federal Government to take legal action against South Africa at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherland.

 

In a statement issued yesterday by the elder statesman, Akinyemi said that during the recent violence, the South Africa government failed to protect Nigerians and other nationals in that country.

 

Akinyemi said Nigeria should file complaints against specific South African officials for aiding and abetting the xenophobic attacks.

 

 

The former minister said the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals were condoned by the South African state which, according to him, violated the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international laws.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in the wake of the xenophobic attacks, ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians willing to leave the country.

 

 

The former minister cited statement credited to the South African Minister of International Relations, Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor, that Nigerians were drug dealers; the statement credited to Deputy Police Minister, Bongani Mkongi, that they fought for their land and that, that land would not be surrendered to immigrants; the statement credited to the South African Defence Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, that South Africa is an angry nation and that the country could not prevent the xenophobic attacks; and various statements credited to South African diplomats blaming the immigrants.

 

 

Akinyemi noted that the anti-immigrant acts by the South African Immigration service officials which for all practical purposes amount to holding Nigerian immigrants hostage by refusing to allow them to be evacuated.

 

 

“I have come to the conclusion that the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other immigrants are acts sponsored or condoned by the South African state in violation of Article 2, paragraph 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 2, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination; and the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.

 

 

“I, therefore, call on Nigeria to sue South Africa before the International Court of Justice for failure in its duty of care and protection of Nigerian citizens’ resident there.

 

 

“I furthermore call on Nigeria to file complaints against specific South African officials at the International Criminal Court for aiding and abetting the xenophobic attacks,” Akinyemi said.

 

 

South Africa was hit by a spate of violence in the past few weeks. At least 12 people, including 10 South Africans and two foreigners, have been killed. The country is host to some 274,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from African countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Xenophobic attacks are common in South Africa, where foreigners are blamed for taking up employment that should have been taken by locals.

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Ondo: Drunken policeman stabs nine in club

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Ondo: Drunken policeman stabs nine in club

N

ine persons sustained various degrees of injury when a suspected drunken policeman allegedly stabbed them in a club in Akure, Ondo State.

 

The policeman, Sergeant Taiwo Orisadare, attached to Area Commander’s office, allegedly stabbed nine young men during a brawl.

 

It was learnt that a fight broke out between Orisadare and the young men at a popular club at Alagbaka area.

 

Witnesses said the policeman was drunk when he started harassing the victims who had come to relax at the club.

 

One of the witnesses said trouble began when the policeman, who was obviously drunk, started pestering one of the boys.

 

“It was so clear that he (Orisadare) was drunk and was becoming a nuisance. He won’t just listen to those trying to tell him to take things easy. It was at that point that things went awry as he started attacking everyone he could lay his hands on.

“In total, he stabbed nine people before he was overpowered,” the witness said.

 

 

Meanwhile, some of the victims were recuperating in various hospitals while some were said to be in critical conditions.

The state Police Public Relations Officers (PPRO), Femi Joseph, said both parties were engaged in a brawl.

 

 

He said: “They were both fighting. The policeman did not stab anyone to death. Do you even know the condition of the policeman now?”

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Khafi evicted from BBNaija Season Four

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Khafi evicted from BBNaija Season Four

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hafi Kareem has been evicted from the ongoing Big Brother Naija season four.

 

The UK Metro police officer was evicted during the live show yesterday.

 

Khafi, who was put up in a strong competition with Tacha, Mike and Seyi, got on stage in her usual, bubbly demeanour.

 

When the nomination reel was played for her, she told host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu that she was surprised Ike nominated her seeing as they both bonded in the house.

 

 

NAN reports that Ike, on Thursday had revealed that he planted a condom by Khafi and her love interest, Gedoni to imply that they had sex.

 

While both Khafi and Gedoni had denied that they had sex, they also insisted that their romantic feelings for each other were real.

In the post eviction interview, Khafi said that she bonded with Gedoni in the first week because they were both up for eviction.

 

She told Ebuka that she believes he loves her as much she loves him, adding that she was a forlorn lover when he was evicted.

 

She announced that she would be moving to Lagos from London and plans to go into acting and presenting.

 

During her stint in the house, Khafi was Head of House, won N1 million and a car.

 

Ebuka announced that there will be no eviction next week, although the veto power of chance task will still hold.

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Access, Zenith, FBN, UBA, GTB’s assets hit N26.8trn

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Access, Zenith, FBN, UBA, GTB’s assets hit N26.8trn

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espite the tough economy, the nation’s Tier 1 banks – Access Bank, Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, UBA and Guaranty Trust Bank – generally succeeded in growing their assets in the first six months of this year, findings by New Telegraph show.

 

According to the audited Half Year 2019 (HI’19) results released by the big five lenders, their total balance sheet size rose by 12.6 per cent to N26.8 trillion at the end of June this year, from N23.8 trillion in the corresponding period of 2018.

 

New Telegraph’s analysis of the results show that in the wake of its merger with Diamond Bank in April this year, Access Bank is now the largest lender in the country in terms of assets, with total assets of  N6.49 trillion at the end of H1’19, which was a 48.43 per cent increase over the N4.37 trillion the bank reported for the same period of last year.

Zenith Bank followed with total assets of N5.90 trillion in the first half of this year, compared with the N5.96 trillion the lender posted in the corresponding period of 2018.

 

It was closely followed by FBN Holdings which grew its total assets by 7.5 per cent to N5.7 trillion in the first six months of this year from N5.3 trillion in the same period of 2018.

 

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) also grew its total assets in the period under review to N5.10 trillion from N4.87 trillion in the previous year.

 

Similarly, Guaranty Trust Bank’s total assets rose by 9.45 per cent to N3.60 trillion in the first half of this year from N3.29 trillion in the same period of 2018.

 

Although, the Tier 1 banks (apart from Access Bank’s significant growth) mostly reported a marginally rise in their total assets for the first half of this year, financial experts believe that given developments in the foreign exchange market, the big lenders, which already control over 65 per cent of the industry’s total assets, are set to extend their dominance over their Tier 2 counterparts.

 

For instance, following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) establishment of the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) foreign exchange window in April 2017, which eased a crippling dollar shortage, Bloomberg reported that it was mainly the Tier 1 banks that took advantage of the development to try to raise dollar loans, while smaller lenders by contrast, did not seem confident enough to take the risk. It predicted a widening of the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 lenders in terms of profitability and balance-sheet size.

 

Also, in a note issued at the time, Exotix Partners LLP analysts Jumai Mohammed and Ronak Gadhia, stated: “We view the Tier 2 banks as potentially challenged,” adding that the lenders seem unable “to weather asset-quality deterioration storms.”

 

Indeed, in its 2017 Banking Report, Afrinvest West Africa Limited predicted that the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks in terms of market share would widen due to naira depreciation, which impacted banks’ Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR).

 

The Chief Executive Officer of Afrinvest West Africa, Mr. Ike Chioke, noted that although the depreciation of the naira affected all banks in 2016/2017 by making their capital-adequacy ratio appear quite compressed, Tier-1 banks benefited from the development, leading to a widening of the market share gap between Tier-1 banks and Tier-2 banks.

 

The Afrinvest boss said: “Once upon a time, Tier-1 banks accounted for about 60 per cent to 65 per cent of the market share of the banking sector. In the universe of the 14 banks surveyed in the report, we saw that the percentage has risen to about 70 per cent. The Tier-1 banks have continued to grow often at the expense of the tier-2 banks.”

 

In its economic report for July 2019 released a few days ago, the CBN stated that: “Total assets and liabilities of the banks amounted to N39,623.4 billion at end-June 2019, showing a 0.2 per cent increase, compared with the level at the end of the preceding month.

 

 

“Funds were sourced, mainly, from foreign liabilities, mobilisation of time, savings and foreign currency deposits and reduction in claims on Central Bank. The funds were used mainly, to acquire foreign assets, shore up capital accounts and pay off demand deposits,” the apex bank added.

CBN added that: “Total specified liquid assets of banks stood at N13,880.1 billion at end-June 2019, representing 59.7 per cent of their total current liabilities. At that level, the liquidity ratio was 1.5 percentage point below the level at the end of the preceding month, but was 29.7 percentage points above the stipulated minimum liquidity ratio of 30.0 per cent.

“The loans-to-deposit ratio, at 57.64 per cent, was 0.3 percentage point higher, compared with the level at the end of the preceding month and was lower than the maximum ratio of 80.0 per cent by 22.4 percentage points.”

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Brace up for flood, experts tell Kogi people

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Brace up for flood, experts tell Kogi people

A

head of an impending flood disaster in parts of the country, stakeholders in emergency management yesterday called on Kogi State government to begin preparation towards mitigating victim’s suffering should the disaster hit the state.

 

 

The stakeholders in a communiqué issued in Lokoja after their meeting, urged the state government to immediately begin the renovation and cleaning of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the state in readiness for the impending flood, most particularly in all the affected local governments.

 

 

According to the stakeholders in the communiqué, schools should be provided as camps where necessary with health facilities, welfare package for the camps.

 

 

The communiqué was issued at the end of a one-day meeting convened by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to appraise the level of preparedness and early response strategies put in place to confront the disaster by the stakeholders.

 

“Children in camps should be provided with training facilities,” they said in the communiqué signed on their behalf by Mr. Enemali Abdul, of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Mr. Ginikanwa Nwosu, of NEMA.

 

Stakeholders that participated in the meeting include officials from SEMA, NEMA, Ministry of Environment, Navy, Civil Defence, Red Cross, Fire Service Department and NIMET, among others.

 

The emergency experts also called for the provision of big stores to accommodate relief materials such as food, drugs and non-food items.

 

According to the communiqué, emergency tenders should be on standby while mobilisation of funds from government and non-governmental organisations should commence without further delay.

 

“Adequate sensitisation and enlightenment of communities prone to flood should be encouraged to reduce human and material loss,” it stated.

 

 

Mr Bitrus Samuel, Head, Abuja Operation Office of NEMA, while addressing participants, said the rising trend of the level of water in River Niger and prolonged heavy rainfall this year had made flooding inevitable.

 

Bitrus, who was represented by Mr. Shola Babatunde, Assistant Head, NEMA, Abuja Operation Office, explained that all hands must be on deck to confront the challenge.

 

 

He called on stakeholders to come up with a well-articulated programme to educate and sensitise members of the public, saying this would help in reducing the impact of the disaster.

 

Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Julius Mejiyan, in his address said members of staff of the agency were on ground and ready to be deployed.

               

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Mind your utterances against three-man tribunal, Kalu warns supporters

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Mind your utterances against three-man tribunal, Kalu warns supporters

Former Governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu has called on politicians to be cautious of their utterances for the sake of nation-building.

 

 

Speaking against the backdrop of the call for supplementary election in some polling units in Abia North Senatorial District by the National and the State Assembly Election Petition Panel sitting in Umuahia, Kalu urged his political associates, followers, members and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to make derogatory statements against any member of the Three-man panel led by Justice Cornelius Akintayo.

 

The Senator stressed that the judiciary must be accorded due respect by Nigerians regardless of party affiliation, adding that the Appellate court, will correct the undoing of the tribunal.

 

Addressing a group of Abuja based professionals of Abia state origin on Sunday, Kalu emphasized that the rule of law must be respected at all times, adding that the result of the February 23, 2019 national assembly election in Abia North Senatorial District is a clear demonstration of his popularity and goodwill among the people.

 

He said, ” my victory in the February 23, 2019 national assembly poll was landslide beating my closet rival, Mao Ohaubunwa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with over 10,000 votes.

 

 

” I am aware of the controversies the ruling of the panel has generated.

 

“However, I am appealing to our people to thread with caution for the sake of peace and harmony.

 

” As a strong advocate of the rule of law, I have confidence in the judiciary.

 

“Despite the condemnation of the tribunal ruling in many quarters , I am optimistic that the Appellate court will do the needful to correct the anormaly.

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PPPRA: Nigeria recording growth in LPG Utilisation

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PPPRA: Nigeria recording growth in LPG Utilisation

T

he Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, has commended the efforts of Federal Government, industry operators and regulators in deepening the utilization of Liquified Petroleum Gas. According to him, the effort was paying off for the growth of the country.

 

 

The Executive Secretary made this disclosure in Abuja in a statement he issued yesterday.

 

 

According to him, while domestic utilization ranged between 40,000 MT and 54, 000 MT from January to April 2018, July 2019 monthly utilization hit 78,000 MT.

He said: “This figure is expected to increase in the months ahead as some of government and industry initiatives take root.

 

 

“Correspondingly, there has been a steady decrease in Kerosene utilization within the same period indicating that Nigerians are increasingly finding value in the switch to LPG from House Hold kerosene for cooking and other domestic purposes.”

 

 

Further,  he said: “The rapid growth in LPG utilization is in fulfillment of the vision of the government on deepening LPG utilization in the country as encapsulated in the National Gas Policy 2017.”

 

 

He assured Nigerians that government, regulators, operators and other stakeholders would remain focused on the formulation and implementation of a stream of policies that will see to the actualisation of the 5 Million Metric Tons cumulative target by the year 2022.

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Bandits release 30 kidnapped victims in Katsina

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Bandits release 30 kidnapped victims in Katsina

T

he repentant bandits in Katsina State have released additional 30 kidnapped victims, following the dialogue initiated by the state government with their leaders.

 

 

The victims were presented to Governor Aminu Masari at the Government House yesterday in Katsina.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victims were kidnapped by the bandits from Kankara and Shimfida, both in Jibia Local Government area of the state.

 

 

They were thereafter taken to their hideout in Damsadau forest, Zamfara State, where they spent some weeks.

 

Addressing the victims, Masari said that government would continue to persuade the bandits to release more kidnapped people until all of them were freed.

 

 

He directed that the released victims be taken to hospital for medical checkup before reuniting them with their respective families.

 

One of victims, Zinatu Sani from Kankara, while narrating her ordeal in the hands of the bandits, said that she was kidnapped from her matrimonial home, with two of her children.

 

 

She said that the bandits demanded for a N20 million ransom before they could release her and the children.

 

Sani explained that the ransom was later reduced to N6 million which, she said, her family could still not afford to pay.

 

She said that the suspected bandits used to give them rice to cook, with only water and salt.

 

“For 55 days, we slept in an open place without a roof, not minding the rainfall or heat,” she lamented.

 

Sani expressed appreciation to the governor for securing their release, adding that there were still several other victims in the forest yearning for their release from the bandits.

 

 

The returnees were handed over to the Transition Committee Chairmen of Kankara and Jibia local government councils to ensure that they were reunited with their families after medical checkup.

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I’ve experienced turbulent electoral process, says Abiodun

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I’ve experienced turbulent electoral process, says Abiodun

O

gun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun yesterday said several court cases challenging his election and eligibility for the public office had been turbulent for him.

 

 

Abiodun, who spoke against the backdrop of the election petitions tribunal judgement affirming his victory expressed gratitude to God that he had continued to triumph despite facing daunting opposition.

 

 

The Justice Yusuf Halilu-led tribunal had on Saturday, dismissed the petition of Allied People’s Movement (APM) governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, challenging Abiodun’s victory in the March 9 gubernatorial election.

 

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of over-voting and falsification of information against the governor and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

But speaking in an interview with reporters in Abeokuta, Abiodun, who just returned from a trip to Burkina Faso thanked God and people of the state for his victory at the tribunal.

 

The governor also appreciated the judiciary, his team of lawyers and party members who stood by him while the court cases lasted.

 

He said: “This (victory) is a further affirmation that indeed, with God, nothing shall be impossible. This victory is for Ogun State people who have entrusted me with this mandate. It has been contested in so many courts.

 

“I have gone through probably one of the most turbulent periods any governor could have gone through. I went through several pre-election cases, about eight or nine and also this tribunal. But God has continued to remain God.

 

“This mandate is a divine mandate and I believe that is obvious to all. This is a decision of the people of Ogun State and that was further ratified by the people yesterday (Saturday). Unfortunately, I was away in Burkina Faso yesterday but, I was being informed about what was going back home and I was told it was a detailed judgment.

 

“I am thankful for the judiciary, the Ogun people and my team of lawyers who are very learned and I am thankful to my party that has stood by me during this period. They are very disciplined, very resilient, supportive and I could not have opted to be in another party apart from APC.

“It is not because I am the best in the state, or I am special. God has just given me the assignment to lead Ogun State at this point in time. I have pledged I will do so with all God has given me.”

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