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Vol. 36 No. 067 N200

Thursday, May 6, 2021/ Ramadan 24, 1442 AH

2571 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

27 kidnapped Afaka students regain freedom

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Bandits attacks:

Reps want Buhari to begin N10bn intervention in Benue, Nasarawa, others >>>page 5

President Muhammadu Buhar Presides over a virtual FEC Meeting held at the State House Abuja.


FEC approves Reps decry lose of $70m to Police arrest vigilante, Opposition lawmakers overheating N6.2bn for six illegal fishing by Chinese, 3 others over phone the polity - APC Senate caucus electricity projects European trawlers snatching in Kano warns pAGE 3

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News CONTENTS News 2-14 Op.Ed


Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-20 21

Police arrest vigilante, 3 others over phone snatching in Kano From Mustapha Shodi, Kano


ano state Police command said it has arrested one vigilante officer, Musa Sa’id, alongside three other persons who specialize in snatching mobile phones inside Keke Napep. The Command’s spokesman, DSP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, disclosed this to newsmen in Kano on Wednesday. He said the suspects met their waterloo while on a mission to

commit their illicit act at Ja’oji quarters, adding that the Police have recovered a Keke Napep and three knives from them. Other suspects identifies by the spokesman are Umar Mukhtar, 19 years, Yusuf Kadda’u 18 years old and Walid Abdulsalam 19 years old. He said the state’s Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko has ordered the transfer of the case to Criminal Investigation Unit for further

investigation, adding that the suspects would be prosecuted afterwards. Kiyawa urged the general public to immediately report suspicious movement of such hoodlums to the nearest Police station for prompt action. He also advised the public to immediately report loss or snatching, h of mobile phones to the nearest station, adding that people should also report to banks to block their accounts to prevent

possible unsolicited transfer of their monies. The vigilante officer confessed committing the crime, saying “I am prompted to engage in the phone snatching because I am broke. “ I therefore connibed with these three guys to snatching phone and sell it to get money. I took a weapon in our office to use in the operation. “This is the first time I have committed such an offence and i regret it, “ he said.

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


INEC begins nationwide verification of units to be converted to voting units Page 4



Feature 26 Sports 30-31 Back Page


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L-R: Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, Director, Spectrum Administration, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr. Hadi Muhammad, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT); Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (NCC); Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO (NCC); Chief Uche Onwude, Member, NCC Board of Commissioners; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director/CEO, NIGCOMSAT; Prof Abdu Bambale, Executive Director, Technical, NIGCOMSAT and Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services (NCC) during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCC & NIGCOMSAT for the use of C-Band Spectrum for 5G Services in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

Online Learning: Find solutions to students, lecturers challenges - Reps tell UNILAG mgt By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Management of the University of Lagos to find provisional solutions that would enable the students and lecturers to ease into the online learning system, adding that, the aims should be achieved even if it means adopting a blended system while following all COVID–19 protocols strictly. The House equally asked the Management of the University to ensure that the online learning system is well tested, and meets the minimum standard of what is obtainable in other jurisdictions where the system is a preferred choice. The Lower Chamber urged the Management of the University to ensure that lecturers are

continually trained on utilizing these new teaching methods to make learning more interactive. The Committee on Tertiary Education and Services was mandated to ensure implementation. These resolutions followed a motion on the Need to Address Complaints Surrounding Online Learning Platform of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) by Hon. Akin Alabi. The House was concerned that the launch of E–Learning Platform by the institution has been characterized by complaints, challenges and controversies which make learning challenging to students. The House noted that University of Lagos, a federal tertiary institution, was one of the first institutions to embrace and

pioneer E–Learning through its E–Learning Management System. The House said it was aware that the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic has forced numerous changes in the systems and workings of the country (and the world at large), one of which is the educational sector which resorted to online learning. It expressed concern that the launch of E–Learning Platform has been characterized by complaints, challenges and controversies which make learning challenging to students. The House said it was cognizant of extreme cases where submission of test results fail on the Platform or where correct answers are marked being wrong. It added that some students cannot access the platform to take the tests, which makes them feel that they are being set up for

failure. The House said the advent of the online learning system was to make learning easier and not to frustrate the students’ efforts or have lecturers completely abandon their duties of educating students. The legislators said they were convinced that failure to address the challenges with the Platform would make students view education as cumbersome, discouraging and stressful which is capable of undermining the nation’s educational development. They said the University should devise ways of addressing the matter by allowing for provisional tests to be taken in a way that will ensure a fair chance for all students before their final grading and also make online learning more appealing and exciting to students.

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Reps move to end 100, 000 yearly death of children due to sickle cell By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday moved to put an end to the death of about 100,000 babies from Sickle Cell in Nigeria every year, making Nigeria number one sickle cell endemic country in Africa. Statistics showed that, Nigeria remains the country with the highest burden of sickle cell disorder in the world as over 40 million Nigerians are carriers of the sickle cell gene and over 150,000 babies are born with it every year. Despite the highest rate, there is no single legal framework in Nigeria for the prevention, control and treatment of the disease and to address this, the House Representatives is working on a Bill for an Act to Establish the National Agency For Sickle Cell Disease and other Heritage Blood Disaster for the Treatment, Prevention Control and Management of the Disease in Nigeria. The Bill which has passed through first and second readings on the floor of the House was Wednesday subjected to Public Hearing along with the Bill for an Act to establish Federal Medical Centre Hong, Adamawa State. The bill Sponsored by Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun), the Bill seeks to improve the lives of people suffering from Sickle cell disease, recognize the disease as a serious and debilitating illness, and allocate new resources to monitoring, researching and treating it. Bill particularly seeks to: “formulate and implement policies, guidelines and strategies on sickle cell disease and other heritable blood disorders; facilitate the engagement of all tiers of government and all sectors on issues of sickle cell disease and other heritable blood disorders prevention, care and support. “Advocate for the mainstreaming of sickle cell disease and other heritable blood disorders interventions into all sectors of the country; promote, improve and support research and learning in sickle cell disease and other heritable blood disorders”. While declaring the public hearing on the Bill and that on an Act to Establish the Federal Medical Centre Hong in Adamawa, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila said both proposed legislations are in line with the 9th House legislative agenda to make interventions in the health sector. “We set out a Legislative Agenda that outlined the scope of our governing ambitions...In that document, we made commitments to improve access to healthcare services for all our nation’s people, increase funding for healthcare research, improve the mechanisms for training and providing for our healthcare professionals amongst other things”, Gbajabiamila said. In a presentation, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire said the Department of Public Health within the Federal Ministry of Health which currently deals with non-communicable diseases be strengthened to continue with the work which falls within its mandate.

Ag. News Editor, Tobias Lengnam

FEC approves N6.2bn for six electricity projects By Egena Sunday Ode


he Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved $8.29 million as well as N3 billion for the execution of various electricity projects in the country. Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday. Saleh said the projects, most of which are procurement of equipment as well as designs and manufactures, are for the upgrade of the nation’s electricity facility and improvement of power supply across the country. According to him, the Ministry of Power presented six memoranda to the FEC, all of which were approved. The aggregate of all the

figures, in both naira and dollar denominations, summed up to a total of N6,156,168,822, when the dollar component was converted at the official exchange rate of N380 to $1. “The Federal Executive Council today approved six memos under the Ministry of Power. The first one is the award of a contract for design, manufacturing and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330 kV, 132 kV and 33 kV circuit breakers to Messrs. Legen Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of N298,339,887.04. “The second one is the award of the contract for the procurement of 50 sets of 400 AH battery banks, 30 to 50 volts and 30 number of 110 volt battery charges for the substation used by the TCN in favour of Messrs. DTS Transformers Electric Industry Limited at the sum of

N644,805,953.10. “The third award of contract is for the procurement of 50 cent also of 132 kV isolators for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Leading Diagonal Engineering Nigeria Limited in the sum of $840,650 plus N53,900,000 within the delivery period of six months. “The fourth one is the award the contract for the design, manufacturing and the supply of three 60/66 MVA 132kV power transformers with accessories and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415kV earthing transformers for the TCN in favour of Messrs. Zhenjiang Transformers Company Limited, in the sum of N1,296,953,044.55 with delivery period of 12 months. “The fifth one is the award of the contract for the design, supply and installation of Optical Wire (OPGW) and Universal Optical Transportation Network

System (OTN) for some critical transmission lines in favour of Messrs. Xinjiang Power and Transportation Company Limited in the sum of $6,800,743.51, plus N668,843,634.74, with a delivery period of 12 months “The last one is the upward review of the contraction for the design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of 1X 100MVA, 132/33kV power transformers at Ogba Transmission Substation, Lagos, in favour of Messrs. Power Control and Appliances Limited, in the sum of $648,038.31, plus N48,342,524.18, with the delivery period of six months. “All these procurements are geared towards upgrades of the transmission system, to the national grid, so that we can have sufficient power supply to the nation”, he said.

L:R Commanding Officer of Nigerian Navy’s newest Offshore Survey Vessel NNS LANA, Captain Abdullateef Mahmud, Director General Portuguese Hydrographic Institute, Rear Admiral Carlos Ventura Soares and representative of the CNS,Rear Admiral Perry Onwuzulike in gift presentation to mark a visit to the Institute recently. Photo : DINFO

Governor Inuwa to ensure continuous partnership with FUK By Mariam Habeeb


ombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya said his administration will continue to work in partnership with the Federal University of Kashere, FUK in a manner that the varsity can keep providing quality education to the people of the State. Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated this when he granted audience to the joint delegation of FUK management and the Presidential Visitation Panel to the university led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Umar Pate at the Council Chamber of the Government House. The Governor assured that Gombe State Government under his leadership will continue to support the University based on the fact that the institution does not only provide tertiary education to the people of the State but also employment to its citizens. He said the presence of the

Federal University of Kashere in Gombe has helped greatly in reducing the risk attached to distant travels in search of tertiary education and has ultimately provided less financial obligations on parents who will rather patronize the institution than send their children very far to acquire university education. On some of the challenges confronting the University, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya assured the management of the institution that his administration will do everything necessary to ensure that the varsity is allocated additional land for expansion. On request by the University to have a link with the Leventis Foundation in Tumu for its sugar research programme, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said the initiative was in line with his administration’s Agricultural Entrepreneurship Training Centre, saying his administration will look at the best way possible to collaborate for optimal results.

He said despite the paucity of funds being experienced by the State, in the midst of multitude of demands, his administration will remain resolute towards supporting the University, as according to the Governor what goes into the Federal University of Kashere will eventually trickle down to the people of the State. Governor Inuwa Yahaya used the forum to advise secessionists and agents of doom to desist from fanning embers of disunity in the country, describing the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria as non-negotiable. He said what Nigerians want is an improvement on what God has endowed the country with so that everybody can have a sense of belonging and ownership in the affairs of the country Earlier speaking, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere, Professor Umaru Pate said they were at the Government House to officially introduce the new management of the University and to intimate the Governor on the vision of the

new team going forward. This vision as explained by Professor Pate is to develop the University and to consolidate on past achievements in the institution, saying anything less will not be accepted by his leadership. Professor Pate said as a young institution, the Federal University of Kashere is desirous of development where its certificate can be respected, research work noted and its scholars acknowledged any where in the world. In his remarks, the Chairman, Presidential Visitation Panel to the Federal University of Kashere, Dr. Mac John Nwobiala said the 6- man panel will appraise the performance of the institution in terms of leadership qualities of the Vice Chancellor, principal officers and governing councils with a view to ascertaining the extent to which they have fulfilled their mandate for public good during the period under review spanning ten years.



FCT: Gwagwalada PDP candidate promises to take everybody along By Usman Shuaibu


he Chairmanship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for 2022 in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon Rabiu Adamu Saba, has promised to carry everybody along irrespective of the party’s affiliation. Saba stated this while speaking to newsmen after he won the Party Primaries election on Thursday in Gwagwalada. He called on the PDP supporters/ members to deem it necessary to work for the progress of the party in 2022 election in the area. He appealed to the aggrieved members of the party to accept the outcome of the election in good faith. The Gwagwalada PDP Chairmanship Candidate, however, said if he wins the 2022 Chairmanship election, he would focus on the People’s oriented programmes in the area. Also speaking, the state PDP Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Baba, advised the entire members of the party to cooperate with PDP candidate for the overall development of the party. Declaring the election result, the Secretary of the Electoral Committee, Mr Dalhatu Ezekiel, described the conduct of the election as free and fair election. Meanwhile, Hon. Rabiu Adamu Saba scored 218 votes to defeat Hon. Mustapha Yohanna who has 12 votes.


Reps decrie lose of $70m to illegal fishing by Chinese, European trawlers By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives on Wednesday decried the loses of $70 million to Chinese and other European trawlers annually due to illegal fishing activities in the nation’s waters as observed by the Nigerian Navy since 2017. The House equally aksed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to put measures in place to curb illegal fishing activities on Nigeria’s waters. The Green Chamber also urged the Federal Government to review its licensing policy that tends to favour foreign trawlers at the expense of their local

counterparts and encourage indigenous investments into this agricultural sector. These resolutions of the House followed a motion on the Need to Curb Fishing by Foreign Vessels on Nigeria’s Territorial Waters by Hon. Patrick Ifon on Wednesday. It further urged the Federal Government to prevail on the Gulf of Guinea Commission to urgently introduce a legally binding framework to check excessive fishing or overfishing in the region. The Lawmakers were concerned that illegal and unregulated fishing in Nigeria’s waters undermines the economy, poses a security threat to the nation’s territorial waters, degrades the coastal communities and renders

artisan fishermen redundant. According to the House, Nigeria is a nation with a large coastal area rich in marine species, yet over half of the fish it consumes are imported from China and the Netherlands. The House said that Nigeria is the 4th largest importer of fish in the world with about two million metric tons per annum for an estimated population of over 200 million people. “Worried that despite Nigeria’s non-fishing agreement and arrangements with distant nations such as China and the European Union, illegal fishing on Nigeria’s waters persists due to bilateral agreements with the nearby Country of Sao Tome and Principe. “Concerned by the Overseas Development Institute’s Report

of 2018 that illegal fishing boats from China, Netherlands and Spain operating in the Country’s territorial waters commonly transfer catches from their trawlers into container and cargo vessels on the high seas, thereby flouting quota regulations. It was also concerned that the Gulf of Guinea Commission, which was established in 2001, to check issues bordering on fisheries beyond 20 nautical miles of each member nation is yet to come up with a legally binding framework to tackle illegal fishing activities. The Committee on Agricultural Production and Services was mandated to investigate the matter and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.

Some Catholic faithful during a protest demanding for the whereabouts of the founder of Adoration Ministries, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, at the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Enugu on Wednesday (5/5/21).

Job creation: Delta approves new cycle for RYSA, GEST By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta Government on Tuesday approved the commencement of a new cycle for the Rural Youths Skill Acquisition (RYSA) and the Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (GEST) programmes. Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Charles Aniagwu announced the approval at a post exco press briefing at Government House, Asaba. Aniagwu who was flanked by his Youths Development counterpart, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, stated that the approval followed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s desire to upscale the number of intakes for the various job creation programmes. The Commissioner noted that the challenge of laterites flowing from Okpanam have been largely checked by the construction of several roads and adjoining streets in Asaba and Okpanam. He stated that 900 girls are expected to be empowered under the project GEST while 810 youths are being targeted under the RYSA programme. “The approvals touched on human capital development as well as development of infrastructure and other issues that affect the lives of the people of the state.

INEC begins nationwide verification of units to be converted to voting units From: Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced nationwide verification exercise of voting points which are being proposed to be converted to polling units across the country. Towards this end, the National Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday visited some of the proposed centres and existing polling units in FCT and Nasarawa State. While answering questions from journalists at the Commission’s LG office Karu, Nasarawa State, during the tour, Yakubu explained that the purpose of the verification exercise was to ensure that right thing was done in the conversion of the voting points to polling units. According to him, “All the

National Commissioners are out, visiting the states of the Federation to verify the work of converting the voting points to polling units. “ So, we decided from the headquarters to visit some of the polling units and voting points in the FCT and also in the Karu Local Government, Nasarawa State. We have done that of FCT. We are now in Karu. “You will recall that as part of our engagement with stakeholders, we show images of one of the congested polling units in the country from Karu in Nasarawa State. “So, I have to verify that the right thing is being done in converting those voting points to polling units and relocating them in line with the Commission’s guidelines. “So far, it is work in progress. At the end of the exercise will address the media.”

The INEC Chairman said he had been informed that 395 voting points were being converted to polling units in Karu Local Government”, he said. With the conversion of Voting points to polling units, Yakubu assured that there would be expanded access to polling units for voters, while congestion of polling units would be eliminated in future elections. Continuing, he added, “What we have done, basically, is to build on what we did in 2019. Recall that we are converting the voting points used for the 2019 elections into autonomous polling units and relocating them. “This is going to be a continuous process. One exercise will not solve the problem, but we hope we have established the mechanism that going forward, the commission will be adjusting

the number of polling units as the number of registered voters increases.” Yakubu assured thst when the Continuous Voters Registration exercise commences in June 28 after the PUs conversion, voters would be given the opportunity to choose the location they wish to be their new polling units. He thus appealed to stakeholders and community leaders to support the commission and sensitise the people on the ongoing exercise for conversion of polling units. Some of the centers visited by the INEC Chairman included; PUs located in Government Secondary School Life Camp, Apo Legislative Quarters, and Zone-D entrance gate Apo, in to the FCT Others were the commission’s office in Mararaba, Karu Local Government office and Karu International market in Nasarawa State.

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By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to immediately intervene in the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across Benue, Nasarawa,Taraba and other States, using the N10 billion provided by the President for the reconstruction and resettlement of communities ravaged by herdsmen attacks.

Governance: PDP commences zonal stakeholders’ consultations

…As NWC receives Prof. Jerry Gana

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday that it is set to commence consultations with critical stakeholders across the six geo-political zones in furtherance of its democratic efforts to rescue the nation from misrule. The party equally disclosed that it is working on templates that will enable it to, within the ambits of laws, further harness suggestions from Nigerians on democratic means to tackle the festering insecurity, guarantee the safety of life and property as well as restore our national stability and cohesiveness. The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, stated this at the party’s national secretariat on Wednesday, while receiving former Minister of Information and National Orientation and founding National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Jerry Gana, who recently returned to the party. Prince Secondus stressed that main objective of the PDP is to rescue the nation from misrule, adding that it was imperative to tap from the wealth of experience of leaders like Prof. Gana. According to Secondus, “The main objective of the PDP is to rescue our nation from collapse. Our country is threatened and this is not a joke. “We are confronted with a guerrilla warfare and the very foundation of our country is being threatened. “That is why the PDP is leading the charge in seeking solution to the ugly situation our nation has been plunged into by the All Progressives Congress (APC)”, the National Chairman said. Stating that the party is glad that Prof. Gana was back to its fold, the National Chairman urged him to deploy his wealth of experience and intellect in the collective quest of well-meaning Nigerians to forge a direction for the nation. Earlier during the visit, Prof. Gana emphasized that Nigeria “is in a dire strait” adding that all hands must be on the deck to rescue the nation. According to him, “Nigeria is on the brinks. The economy is stagnated. There is insecurity everywhere. Nigerians are beginning to doubt our nationhood. “The political answer to the situation today is for PDP to take back power. Nigerians do not deserve what we are going through today.


Bandits attacks: Reps want Buhari to commence N10bn intervention in Benue, Nasarawa, other states The House als demanded that the money which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made mention of in Benue on May 18, 2018 should be utilized to return the IDPs to their homes or resettle them, reconstruct damaged communities and provide educational, health and other required facilities. It’s requested the Defence Ministry and Army to immediately deploy more personnel and equipment including, Surveillance and Intelligence gathering technology to operation Whirl Stroke Operatives in Benue State to enable them tackle the resurgence of attacks by suspected herdsmen and mandated the House Committees on Defence and Army to ensure compliance. It mandated the Committees on Defence and Army to immediately conduct an investigation into the prevailing circumstances and conditions of Operation Whirl Stroke and other military operations operatives across the country with a view to identifying any constraints deterring them from carrying out their mandate of protecting the lives and property of Nigerian people and report back in four weeks

The Lower Chamber also authorised the House Committees on Police Affairs and Justice to investigate the allegation that the Police is unwilling to support the Benue State Government in the enforcement of the Anti-open Grazing law and the constitutional implication and position in that regard and report back in four weeks. It further asked the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately provide relief materials such as food items, clothing, building materials, temporary shelter and health intervention to the affected community in IDPs in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and other States and mandated Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Internally Displaced Persons to ensure compliance. The House equally mandated the House Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Appropriation to prevail on the Budget Office and NEMA to ensure adequate extra allocation is provided in any impending supplementary budget and in NEMA 2022 budget to enable it provide monthly

comprehensive intervention to IDP camps across all 36 States of the Federation. The House reached these resolutions at plenary when it adopted a motion of urgent Public importance on: “Resurgence of Wanton Killing of Innocent Nigerians in Benue State by suspected herdsmen”, sponsored by Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue). Moving the motion, Gbillah expressed shock at the brutal murder of 17 innocent Nigerians by suspected herdsmen in Gwer-West Local Government of Benue State last Sunday and the recent apparent resurgence in the murder of helpless people by suspected herdsmen in Gwer-West, Guma, Makurdi and Agatu Local Government Areas where over 70 people have been murdered in the last three weeks with over 24 people murdered in Gwerwest alone. He expressed concern about the seeming inability of Operation Whirl stroke operatives stationed in GwerWest and other security agencies in the area to counter the current guerilla tactics of the attackers, immediately respond to distress caIIs by the victims, proactively prevent

the attacks and identify or apprehend even one of the murderers in the last three weeks. The lawmaker was: “Worried at the thousands of IDPs who have fled their homes as a result of these attacks and are currently seeking refuge in very unsanitary and uncovered schools and locations in different parts of the state without any means of sustenance, shelter or protection and at the mercy of inclement weather and Iikelihood of further attacks by the suspected herdsmen. “Also worried at the increasing number of IDPs these attacks have created in addition to the hundreds of thousands of IDPs already existing across Benue. Nasarawa and Taraba (other) States who for several years have been unable to return to their homes and neither have they been resettled but are languishing in inhuman conditions with increasing cases of loss of lives from malnourishment and diseases which have enhanced maternal and infant mortality in circumstances where children have been born for over five years without access to education or proper medical care”.

Clerk of the committee on health institutions, Mr. Mohammed Atiku; Chairman of the committee on health institutions, Hon. Paschal Ibi and a member of the committee, Hon. Dachung Musa during a public hearing on a bill for an act to establish the national agency for sickle cell disease and other heritable disorder at the national assembly yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

27 kidnapped Afaka students regain freedom From: Kaduna




he 27 kidnapped students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, have been released. Chairman of the Concerned Afaka Parents, Malam Abdullahi Usman confirmed this to the media yesterday in Kaduna. It will be recalled that, 37 students were abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka on the 11th March, 2021.

***As troops rescue 13 others Ten of the student were later released in two batches after payment of ransom by parents. Usman however said that, the release of the remaining students was facilitated by the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee. However, the state Government have not confirmed the realeased but in a statement, the State Commissioner Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said

troops rescue 13 kidnapped persons from bandits after fierce gun duel in Chikun LGA. According to Aruwan, “the 13 citizens, originally from Dutse, went to work at a farm called Tanadi Farm, which is located around Bakin Kasuwa in Gwagwada general area of Chikun LGA. They were attacked by the armed bandits in the process. “ Toops on receiving credible intelligence of the abduction

trailed the bandits to a forest near Bana village and engaged them in a gun duel. The 13 citizens were thus rescued. “After the operations, the troops discovered that the bandits had shot two volunteers before their arrival. The two deceased were identified as: Ezekiel Iliya and Nasara Yohanna. “ Thle bandits also burnt a church and looted some houses in the area.”



News By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation, in his own voice, on the worsening insecurity in country. The party made the call in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP, while saying that it has become obvious that the presidency and the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government can no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property, the only way out is for the National Assembly to immediately amend the constitution and establish state police to guarantee the security of Nigerians as already recommended by the party. “The PDP calls on President Buhari to come out of hiding and address the nation, in his own voice, on the worsening insecurity in our country, occasioned by his misrule”, it said.

Reps ask FCT Minister tackle flooding, erosion in Nation’s Capital

Insecuriry: PDP urges Buhari to address Nigerians in his own voice ..…Insists on State Police The main opposition party equally said that the statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji, Lai Mohammed that it was not the primary responsibility of the the Federal Government to protect Nigerians from bandits, has confirmed apprehensions that the All Progressives Congress and the Presidency have surrendered “our nation to terrorists”. The PDP stressed that the statement by the minister is another clear evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed absent, has completely abdicated the responsibilities of his office and capitulated to bandits. According to the party, “Lai Mohammed’s statement further reveals that the Buhari Presidency has not been committed to

combating banditry but had, all along, been feeding Nigerians with lies, propaganda and falsehood, while bandits are pillaging our nation. “It is incredulous that the Buhari Presidency, in its failures, is abdicating a responsibility exclusively vested on it by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to operate all apparatus of national security; the police, military, paramilitary and all other armed services; to secure lives and property in all parts of our country. “Perhaps, President Buhari and his minister of information need to be tutored that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) clearly vested the control of all apparatus of national security on the Federal Government and not the states.

“Items 2, 28, 38, 45, 57 of the Exclusive List are clear in vesting the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the state. “The APC and the Buhari Presidency needs to be tutored that bandits and kidnappers are terrorists and that in line with the provisions of our constitution, the agencies vested with the statutory responsibility of protecting Nigerians from such outlaws are under the control of the Federal Government. “It is unthinkable that President Buhari, who promised to lead from the front, is now running away from duty while seeking to

heap the burden of his office on the states, who do not have control of security agencies. “Moreover, the fact that a cabinet minister in the shade of Lai Mohammed is left to address this critical aspect of our national security that is vested on the President, shows that our nation is plagued by Presidential absenteeism and a dysfunctional command structure. “Such situation never occurred under the PDP administration. “Now that President Buhari and the APC-led Federal Government can no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property, the only way out is for the National Assembly to immediately amend the constitution and establish state police to guarantee the security of Nigerians as already recommended by the PDP.

By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives asked the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Bello Muhammad to compel the estate developers, individuals within the nation’s capital to comply with building codes, regulations and specifications, especially the Lokogoma Community. The House also mandated the Committees on Federal Capital Territory and FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters to investigate the matter and report back within four weeks for further legislative action. The House resolutions followed a motion on the Urgent Need to Address the Devastating Gully Erosion in Lokogoma Community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by Hon. Micah Jiba Yohanna. The House noted that Lokogoma Community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is affected by an increasing gully erosion that resulted in the loss of farmlands, vegetation and loss of lives. It recalled that sometime in 2017 a torrential rainfall which started around 7 am and lasted for about four hours submerged a bridge and a vehicle conveying three family members plying the road. The House worried that one Kenneth Nwaogu, a 49–year old father, reportedly died in the canal while trying to rescue his daughter and son who were carried by flood in a bid to escape from a car that was submerged in the flood. It said the tragedy was due to the absence of infrastructure like good road network, quality bridges, good drainage system, etc which would have channeled the heavy flood thus avoiding large scale erosion. The House said it was aware estates within Lokogoma Community of the Federal Capital Territory are being threaten by gully erosion and the lives of residents of the are in danger.

From left: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment (MWCE), Mrs Kafayat Ajenifuja; Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke; and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, during the Ministry’s news conference to commemorate the second anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in Lagos on Wednesday (5/5/21).

Allegation of undemocratic leadership change, a cheap blackmail by Presidency, APC, says PDP …Asks Buhari to look inwards By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the allegation by the presidency that some Nigerians were plotting a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership, as a resort to blackmail in the face of failure. The PDP however advised the APC to know that such blackmail against Nigerians cannot help their cause. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP said that rather than live up to the responsibilities of office by taking charge and securing

the nation, the Presidency is busy engaging in frivolous allegations against Nigerians. The main opposition party said however that it is imperative to state that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are being haunted by their own shadows as Nigerians know the persons as well as the political party with the history and penchant to scuttle democratically elected government. The statement reads, “Perhaps, the Presidency has forgotten that in 1983, Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari, as he was then known, led a military coup to truncate a democratically elected government thereby causing our nation a huge drawback on democratic

governance. “Also, in 2015, the APC, which was hurriedly formulated, made itself available as a vehicle of brigandage to disrupt our political process by beguiling Nigerians and taking power through violence, propaganda and falsehood. “Even in 2019, Nigerians will be quick to remember how the APC imported bandits, vandals and thugs from neighboring countries, as political mercenaries, to unleash violence, disrupt our voting processes and muscle itself to power. “The PDP therefore counsels the Buhari Presidency and the APC to look inwards as all fingers toward any possible plots to upturn our

democracy point to them. “Our party believes that the statement by the Buhari Presidency is an attempt by the APC to heighten political tension in our country ahead of the 2023 election, having realized that they cannot face the people at the polls”, it said. The PDP however advised the APC to know that such blackmail against Nigerians cannot help their cause. It added, “For us in the PDP, our party will remain undeterred, alongside other patriotic Nigerians, in our commitment towards the sustenance and stability of our democracy as well as the unity and corporate existence of our country, Nigeria”.



crime News

Judiciary Insecurity : Our past leaders contributes in making Jigawa peaceful - Gov Badaru strike: T Jigawa CP decries suspects conjunction From Mika’il Tsoho

he Jigawa State Government, Muhammad Abubakar Badaru attributed the present peace being enjoyed in Jigawa state to the good effort made by the past leaders in the state. Governor Badaru dropped the hint at the launching of grains distribution to vulnerable group by a political group known as BABA for ALL held at Dutse

local government secretariat Jigawa state. He said, the present insecurity bedevilling the country may not be unconnected with previous injustice to some groups of people in the country. “ In Jigawa our past leaders played a signaficant roles in creating a mutual understanding and harmony among the different groups of people for peace to rain in the state” “ we are not depending

President Buhari or security agencies but, let the truth be told that the since before his emergence as president there is insecurity activities in the country” he said. The governor then pray for more peace in the state and the country at large, urging Nigerians to embark on special prayers particularly in this month of Ramadan for a better an peaceful Nigeria. While making his remarks,

the leader of BABA for ALL and member representing Ringim/ Taura federal constituency Alhaji Ado Sani Kiri said they disbursed 6,750 bags of rice and maize to vulnerable groups in the state. He maintained that, each local government received 200 bags rice and 50 bags of maize with aims to support the vulnerable and pray for peace in the country.

From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse


ollowng the continued judicial strike, the Commissioner of Police, Jigawa state command, Mr Usman Sule Gomna decried conjunction of suspects in cells. CP Gwomna disclosured this while fielding question to news men in Dutse shortly after an expanded state security meeting chaired by the state governor Alhaji Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar held at Ahmadu Bello Hall Dutse. He said “our is conjucsted as a result of the current strike by judiciary staff nation wide”. Mr. Usman Sule Gonna explained that “we face serious challenges of conjuction in our cell as we can not prosecutes suspect because of the current strike by judiciary staff that stopped court sittings”. According to him “as you there is so many criminals cases that is not ordinary bellable, such as rape, murder etc that we can not give bell of the suspects and law did not parmit us to transfer them to correctional centers”. Gomna stated further that “among of the present major challenges by the police is feeding of the suspects in the police cells”, he added that “the amount of feeding had seriously increased”. He noted that the police had contacted the state attorney general to find a solution to the matter, “I meet the attorney general and he promised to do something, he said he will try to see that even two courts should have special sittings to bring some solutions.

From left: Plateau Commissioner for Finance and Board Chairman of Bureau for Public Procurement, Dr Regina Soemlat; Gov. Simon Lalong; and his wife, Regina, during Lalong’s 58th birthday celebration in Jos on Wednesday (5/5/21).

Insecurity in Imo, Witch hunt will be counterproductive Secondus warns ..... Charges Journalists to defend democracy By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has advised Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State on the need to adopt a holistic approach in seeking lasting solution to the security situation in the state. Secondus specifically harped on the need for Uzodinma to try all possible means in getting to the root of the matter, with a warning to the Governor and security operatives to perish any move to witch hunt politicians over the rising tension in the state. Prince Secondus spoke

on his party’s position on the rising insecurity in the state at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday night. He said holistic approach should be used in seeking lasting solution to the situation by trying to get to the root of the matter. According to Secondus, it’s baffling that over 1000 inmates of Correctional center could be released and Police Headquarters burnt and the government is not looking deeply at the situation but heightening tension. Prince Secondus warned Governor Uzodinma against aggravating issues by trying to fabricate and label opponents as such vindictive move will be

counter productive. His words, “The only way to nip any problem in the bud is to take a wholistic look at it and tackle it from the root rather witch hunting opponents”. 8 The PDP National Chairman also charged Journalists to brace up for the challenges in the country as the democracy they fought for is being seriously undermined by insecurity and apparent incapacity of the ruling party. He noted that from inception, the PDP, in and out of power, has always maintained a robust relationship with the press because of their strategic importance in the deepening of democracy.

Prince Secondus charged journalists to continue to be factual in their reports since truth as the bedrock of the press remains sacrosanct and unchanging. On the issue 2023 general election and securing PDP votes, Prince Secondus said the party expects the National Assembly to fast track the Electoral Act amendment so as to give hope to voters that the election will not only be free and fair but also transparent. The media interaction which was part of the quarterly meeting between the National Working Committee, NWC and the accredited journalists covering PDP was attended by some NWC members and leaders of the party.

Delta Police nabs 38 suspected cultists By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta State Police Command on Tuesday confirmed that forty six vehicles were in the early hours impounded in Ubulu Uku Community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, disclosing that thirty eight suspected cultists were arrested

Police Commissioner in the State, Mr Ari Muhammad Ali who spoke to Journalists in Asaba said that the suspects were arrested based on intelligence gathering. He added that the vehicles were abandoned by the Suspects for during which they were assembled for initiation rites inside the forest of Ubulu Uku Community where the

Anti Cultism Policemen closed on them. Sources said that the Cultists were caught unaware by the Anti Cultism Policemen inside the forest where they assembled flashy vehicles and were about starting initiation when they armed policemen closed on them to deflect their tyres According to the police boss”

The Anti Cultism Policemen closed on them and shot at the vehicles’ tyres and unfortunately for them thirty eight of them were arrested other fled the scene and as I speak with you the vehicles are all parked at Ogwashi Uku Police Station for further investigation” Meawhile, the police have intensified efforts with a view to

arresting those causing troubles in Ogwashi Uku Kingdom. The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Edafe Bright said that the police reports indicated that some persons were creating troubles in the Community with a view to ensuring crisis, adding that the police will arrest anyone who makes trouble in the community.




Court declares Usman Mohammed Jahun as Commander General of VGN By Usman Shuaibu


he Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Kaduna State Judicial Division has declared one Dr Usman Mohammed Jahun as an authentic Commander General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) with Appeal No: CA/K/253/2018. This was contained in a press release signed by the Secretary General of Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Gwagwalada chapter, Hon. El-Usman Adamu and made available to Peoples Daily on Monday. The release said the Kaduna Court of Appeal had declared that one Navy Captain Umar Bakori (rtd) was no longer the National Chairman of Vigilante Group of Nigeria. The release further pointed out that Vigilante Group of Nigeria Gwagwalada Chapter would not allow one Ali Sokoto to operate an illegal Vigilante office situated along Doma fueling station in Gwagwalada based on the judgment of Court of Appeal Kaduna State.

Lagos places 4,000 unemployed graduates on N40,000 monthly salary


he Lagos State Government says it has placed 4,000 unemployed graduates on N40,000 monthly salary for six months. The Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, made this known on Wednesday during the 2021 Ministerial Press Briefing in Commemoration of the Second Year in Office of Gov. Bababjide Sanwo-Olu. Arobieke said this was implemented through the ministry’s Graduate Internship Placement Programme (GIPP) intended to address the challenge of unemployment among unemployed graduates in Lagos State. She said the programme, which was planned to last for six months, was meant to expose interns to a particular job, profession or industry and

enhance networking. According to her, through the initiative, interns will be given the opportunity to excel and possibly learn a job with the organisation; as they are exposed to professional skills and interpersonal relationships in a structured setting. She said the programme would expose interns to possible niche of entrepreneurial opportunities and provide opportunity for the graduates to have employability skills and exposure to today’s world of work. ”The GIPP is meant to assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other companies to choose from the state’s database of groomed talent/interns, to enhance productivity and boost their businesses, thereby, promoting economic growth at no cost through the intervention of the

state government. ”A total of 51,514 graduates applied for the internship online, over 1,932 companies indicated interest to onboard the interns after their trainings and 4,736 applicants attempted the online Assessment Test. ”About 1,000 candidates who scored a minimum of 60 per cent were invited for the first tranche of the employability skills training, while 4,000 interns are targeted to be placed on a monthly stipend of N40,000 for six months. ”You will agree with me that the state government under Sanwo-Olu is leaving no stone unturned in mitigating the unemployment scourge,” Arobieke said. She said the ministry’s Employability Department, during the period under review, organised youth focused

programmes which included the ”Mindset Re-Orientation Programme” Arobieke said the programme was aimed at reorientating mindset of the unemployed youths in facing realities of present day labour market. According to her, observations have shown that the number of unemployed youths seeking employment and particularly, white collar jobs outnumbers the vacancies required to be filled. ”Hence, the need for reorientation of the mindset of the job seekers to imbibe learning vocational and technical skills to be self-employed. ”The 2020 edition of this programme had 2,163 unemployed youths that participated in the webinar with seasoned practitioners in various fields or areas of specialisations as facilitators,” she said. (NAN)

RTEAN launches accident insurance scheme, begs FG for Bank

By Usman Shuaibu


he management of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) for the drivers across the country, while the National President of the association Alhaji Muhammed Musa called on the Federal Government to establish Bank of Transportation in the country. In his address at the occasion, Musa also pleaded with the Federal Government to privatize the federal roads so as to enable the private investors to come in, so that the budget allocated for the construction of roads could be channeled to other meaningful ventures that would bring development to the country. He said: “Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme which is targeted to benefit Millions of Nigerians who travel across the country in our major parks and garage that accidentally have an accident which required emergency respond towards medical attention”. According to him, “millions of Nigerians depend on transportation as a source of their livelihood and we are ready to do more, which this programme can create huge employment opportunities”.

The Infection Prevention and Control Team, Department of Microbiology, National Hospital Abuja, during an awareness rally to encourage hand washing practice among health workers, in the Hospital on Wednesday (5/5/21).

FCT ITPN solicits continuous training upgrades from NIHOTOUR By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


ederal Capital Territory (FCT), Chapter of Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), said the association is soliciting for continuous training upgrade from National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Management ( NIHOTOUR).

The training and upgrade would present a competent professional practice and quality service delivery in the tourism and hospitality industry to performance in line with global best practice. This was contained in a statement signed and issued by the Director, Media &Public Relations, Ahmed Sule.

The statement said officials of the association led by its Chairman, Mrs. Ebikaboere Seimodei, made the appeal while on a courtesy visit to congratulate the Director General of (NIHOTOUR), Nura Kangiwa, on his recent appointment. Mrs Seimodei said the aim of the courtesy call was to seek

for collaboration on manpower training for practitioners in the industry. She expressed dismay on the practice where expatriates are considered and placed above their Nigerian counterparts in terms of job positions remuneration and appealed for a reversal of the trends .


Page 9

Civil servants, appointees to contribute Lagos Assembly to victim of Katsina fire disaster suspends G 3 council chairmen T From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

overnor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state has disclosed that the state civil servants and political appointees will contribute to the victims of Katsina Central market fire disaster. Masari made the disclosure yesterday while receiving the

he Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday suspended three local government council chairmen over alleged disregard for the rules governing their activities. The affected chairmen are: Ogidan Olaitan of Lekki Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Suleiman Jelili of Alimosho Local Government and Tajudeen Ajide of Surulere Local Government. The House announced their suspension through a voice vote during the plenary shortly after Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) raised a complaint against one of the suspended chairman. The House said it could no longer continue to watch the council chairmen flouting the state’s local government guidelines governing their activities. Yusuff, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry, told the House how Olaitan had been allegedly unruly and had disregard for the assembly members. He complained that Olaitan accused the lawmakers of carrying out an oversight function on a memorandum of understanding in relation to an issue that arose from a resettlement programme in Lekki. The lawmaker further said that the council chairman had total disregard for those in his domain whom he was elected to govern. Commenting, Mr Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju-Lekki 1), accused Jelili and Ajide of questioning the House for investigating the councils based on the petitions raised by their counsellors.

report of a committee set-up on the Katsina Central market fire disaster. He noted that since they consumed about 80 per cent of the state resources there was need for them to contribute to the victims of disaster. Similarly, Masari noted that a white paper committee will be set-up by the government to come up with a resolution on the report

submitted by the committee. According to him, with the series of disaster plaguing the state there was the need for people to repent and seek for God’s forgiveness. Earlier submitting the report, the chairman of the committee, Alhaji Tasi’u Dahiru Dandagoro has lamented on the distortion of the original master plan of the market.

He added that the market lacks functional fire fighting equipments,no boreholes or overhead tanks and violation of electrical connections. Dandagoro similarly said that the committee had identified 685 victims,605 shops, 59 attached shops and 25 affected by vandals. He also submitted a number of proposal to the governor on how to rehabilitate the market.

Representative of the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja, Dr Olanrewaju Falodun and Chairman of Infection Prevention Committee, Dr Kenneth Iregbu (M) and others, during an awareness rally to encourage hand washing practice among health workers by the Infection Prevention and Control Team, Department of Microbiology, National Hospital Abuja on Wednesday (5/5/21).

NY’AK Poly: Lalong receives Rector, declares support Yusuf Mairiga Shekarau, Jos


overnor Simon Bako Lalong has assured the Management team of newly established Federal Polytechnic in Shendam Local Government Area that the Plateau State government will give every support needed for success of the school. Gov. Simon Lalong gave

the assurance when he recieved the Rector of the Institution Dr. Mukaila Ya’u who led other members of the Management team to visit him at the Government House Rayfield, Jos. He said Plateau State was happy to have another tertiary institution that has a mandate of providing quality academic and entreprenerial skills to Nigerians.

The Rector disclosed that they were in Plateau with a clear vision and mission, to develop a world class Polytechnic which would provide quality academic, professional and entreprenerial skills to the students. He said the gesture would empower them to make positive impact in the technological and socio-economic development of

the country.

“ Our goal is to produce innovative graduates both at the National Diploma and Higher National Diploma levels, worthy of skills and character through effective teaching, learning and research for the technological advancement of our great country Nigeria,” he said.

Be good ambassadors of Delta, Edevbie charges protocol officers

By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta State Government on Tuesday charged protocol officers to be good ambassadors of the state by being diligent in their duties at all times. Chief of Staff Government House Asaba, Olorogun David Edevbie, gave the charge at a one-day capacity training for protocol staff (political appointees and civil servants) organised by the Office

of the Executive Assistant (Protocol) to the Governor of Delta State held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba. Edevbie who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Government House and Protocol, Sir Eddy OgidiGbegbaje, noted that protocol officers were frontline officers of the state and were expected to possess certain qualities that will enable them represent the state’s interest at all times. He said that protocol officers are

critical to the conduct of every government business because of the important role they play and as such, government must ensure that they possess the standard qualities required to be good protocol officers. A former State Director of Protocol, Dr Festus Okubor, in his lecture titled “Distinguishing between the duties of the political class and civil servants”, said the bedrock of good governance is quality relationship between the permanent

government and the political leaders. He added that such a relationship can only thrive when the political class does not meddle with systemic succession plans. A retired Permanent Secretary, Sir Emmanuel Okafor in his lecture titled “The Role of Protocol in the discharge of government business” urged protocol officers to always observe a code of correct conduct and ethiquettes in carrying out their duties.



News Group calls for end to killings, banditry

Ramadan: Former Governor Yari feeds 5,000 orphans in Zamfara

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau



group under the auspices of United Political Parties for Good Governance( UPPG), has called on the Federal Government to provide the necessary weapons to the military and operational funds for a timely execution of the war on terror. The National Secretary of UPPG , Hon. Ahmed Tijjani Mustapha made the assertion while speaking to media in kaduna yesterday. Hon. Ahmed Tijjani Mustapha who is the Deputy National Chairman, All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP) said the Group is an umbrella organization of some registered political parties in Nigeria, and was worried that few years to 2023 General Elections, the spate of insecurity across the country has continued to worsen, raising concerns and doubt in the mind of many about the future unity and survival of a corporate Nigeria.

ormer Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar has distributed N105 million worth foodstuffs and clothing to five thousand orphans selected from the seventeen emirates of the state. Speaking during the flag off ceremony (today) yesterday in Gusau the state capital, ex Governor Yari, who was represented by his former Commissioner for religious affairs,

Malam Maharazu Mafara, said the exercise will be continuous annually. Maharazu said, the idea of feeding the selected 5000 orphans from across the seventeen emirates of the state especially during Ramadan period was to assist alleviate hardship they might have faced in abject poverty which was caused by too many economic crisis. He further claimed he was compelled to embark on the feeding exercise having noticed that, the 2021 programme for

annual feeding of the orphans was skipped by the concern authorities in the state thereby leaving them (the orphans) stranded as prices of commodities were still rising. “I have started when I was in power as Governor of the state with 6,000 orphans in 2011, but the figure had risen to 40,000 in 2019 when I was rounding up my second tenure, now I am back again to continue from where I stopped because I can not watch orphans dying in hunger”, Yari has assured. According to the distribution

list,166 female orphans and 111 male orphans bringing their total number to 277 from each of the seventeen emirates would benefit two and half measures of rice and sugar, and six measures each between corn and millet, and brocade or wrapper respectively. Also speaking, the Secretary to the distribution committee, Sanusi Liman DanAlhaji, said 277 brocade and wrappers were provided alongside N1000 as suing fare to all the 5,000 beneficiaries across the seventeen emirates in the state.

Engineers laud FG, Lagos Govt. high on infrastructure delivery


he Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE) has scored Lagos State and Federal Government high on road construction and infrastructure drive in Lagos metropolis and Nigeria. NIHTE National Chairman, Mr George Nsonwu gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after inspecting ongoing rehabilitation works under the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge on Wednesday. Nsonwu said the ongoing rehabilitation was huge and demonstrated the commitment of the Federal Government to quality infrastructure delivery. He said that repairs on the surface of the bridge were visible when it was executed but the public was unaware of detailed ongoing construction works underneath to stabilise the bridge. “As a professional body, it is our intention to also visit the bridge and by way of advocacy, also showcase the enormity of what the government is doing. “That is what we did today, we were there and we saw the expansion joints and bearings which they have changed and we saw the new ones they have stored.

From left: Director of the Heritage Schools, Bida in Niger, Pastor Emmanuel Oladayiye; Chief Executive of the Schools, Mrs Olushola Oladayiye; the Grand Prize winner, Master Toluwani Wonder Ayeni (a student of the Schools); her mother, Mrs Antonia Ayeni; and the Champion Teacher, Mrs Comfort Eti, at the handover of the Grand Prize in the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) 2020 International Schools’ Essay Competition to Master Ayeni, in Suleja on Wednesday (5/5/21). Ayeni came top in a field of 1,017 entries from 54 countries around the world.

Stop meddling into affairs of Kano students union, NANS warn govt officials

From Kano




ational Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone A has warned some Kano state government officials to stay clear of the affairs of National Association of Kano State Students (NAKSS). NANS, in a press conference, led by Comrade Ziya’u Sarki, its Deputy Coordinator, held in Kano state yesterday, raised the alarm over the interference of some officials of Kano state government to the new leadership of the NAKSS. Although he did not identify the government officials, Sarki alleged that they challenged the emergence of Yahaya Usman Kabo, the new NAKSS President, who was voted last year and inaugurated on 10th April, 2021. According to him, the new

President was legitimately voted by the majority of members of the union, having fulfilled all constitutional requirements, and sworn-in by the Kano state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice. He therefore declared that any announcement or directive challenging the legitimacy of the emmergence of the new President “is a nullity and cannot be allowed to stand, let alone by Nigerian students who have an unblemished record of resistance to dictatorial tendencies and undemocratic resolutions.” Sarki said “sequel to complaints lodged by students organizations and individuals, we are however disturbed and displeased as an organization owing to the provocative and unwarranted attack on the just constituted leadership of National Association of Kano

State Students buy some elements under Kano state government. “ Instructively, we wish to call attention of those government officials and their cohorts to understand that leadership in students’ organizations only comes from students themselves through elections, in line with the provisions of the NANS Chater of Demands and the Constitution of NAKSS respectively. “So far, NANS have recognized the emergence of Comr. Yahaya Usman as the legitimate President of Kano state students, having fulfilled all constitutional requirements and voted by the majority of Kano students at the just concluded NAKSS Convention, last year, and was inaugurated on the 19th April, 2021,by Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice,” he said. The Deputy Coordinator added that NANS is hereby dissociate

itself with any person or group of persons working to destabilize the NAKSS movement, calling on anybody with genuine case to use appropriate channels to register their grievances. He also condemned the alleged announcement to remove the new NAKSS President from office by an aide of the Kano state governor, noting that the call had negated the tenets and principles of democracy. “We wish to call on those government officials to henceforth redirect their energy and focus on the assignment of their offices and not allow themselves or person to be seen as breeding disunity within the ranks of NAKSS. “ Henceforth, they are advised to stay clear of meddling into students affairs as they have both right to do so under any circumstance.



Letter to the Editor



Softly, softly

he Presidency Tuesday raised The warning from the Presidency an alarm over a plot by “some came two days after the DSS said it disruptive elements” to throw would begin a clampdown on “agents Nigeria into turmoil. Presidential of anarchy” in various parts of the spokesman, Femi Adesina, in a country. A statement on Sunday by its statement, said the aim of such persons spokesman, Peter Afunanya, faulted was to create a situation whereby a those said to be creating instability vote of no confidence would be passed through comments that threatened the on President Muhammadu Buhari. He sovereignty and corporate existence of recalled that the Department of State the nation. It condemned what it called Services (DSS) on Sunday alerted on “unnecessary criticisms and activities” “sinister moves by misguided elements by some religious and past political to wreak havoc on the government, leaders who have either called for a sovereignty and corporate existence of forceful change of government or mass the country.” action against the government of the Adesina said, day. The DSS described “Championed by some as unfortunate, a disgruntled religious and situation where those past political leaders, the who should be patriotic intention is to eventually There is no doubt were allowing their throw the country into a personal ambitions that the nation to ruin the nation.“ tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic is going through Nigerians have opted a very rough change of leadership. Further for democratic rule, patch. There unimpeachable evidence and the only accepted shows that these disruptive is a pandemic way to change a elements are now recruiting that is ravaging democratically elected the leadership of some government is through public health ethnic groups and politicians which hold and the nation’s elections, round the country, with the at prescribed times in economy. Then the country. Any other intention of convening some sort of conference, where a there is insecurity. way is patently illegal, vote of no confidence would No doubt, these and even treasonable. be passed on the President, fires are being Of course, such would thus throwing the land into attract the necessary stoked by further turmoil. DSS actual criminals consequences,” “The caterwauling, said on Sunday. and desperate in recent times, by these There is no doubt politicians. elements, is to prepare the that the nation is going grounds adequately for their through a very rough ignoble intentions, which are designed patch. There is a pandemic that is to cause further grief for the country. ravaging public health and the nation’s The agent provocateurs hope to achieve economy. Then there is insecurity. through artifice and sleight of hands, No doubt, these fires are being stoked what they failed to do through the ballot by actual criminals and desperate box in the 2019 elections. Nigerians politicians. have opted for democratic rule, and However, we advise caution in the the only accepted way to change a way the government intends to handle democratically elected government these “disruptive elements.” It must not is through elections, which hold at over react to their provocations. To do prescribed times in the country. Any so will be playing into the hands of the other way is patently illegal, and even detractors. It is exactly what they want: treasonable. Of course, such would get the government to make a panicky attract the necessary consequences. move that will explode in its face. “These discredited individuals and We are not saying the government groups are also in cahoots with external should sit by and do nothing. No. It forces to cause maximum damage in must act. But whatever measures it is their own country. But the Presidency, considering, they must be within the already vested with mandate and ambit of the law. Due process must be authority by Nigerians till 2023, pledges upheld, no matter what. This is the only to keep the country together, even if way to handle the “disruptive elements” some unruly feathers would be ruffled without setting the nation on fire in the in the process”, the statement reads. process.



Chairman “To be the market Malam Wada Maida, place of ideas and Oon, Fnge the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the Chief Operating Officer Editor, Daily truth, maintaining the Hameed M. Bello, PhD highest professional and ethical standards while Manager, administration delivering value to Hassan Hammanyaji our stakeholders”


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Can call for anarchy resolve Nigeria’s security challenges? By Musa Ilallah


t is undoubtedly true that the country has witnessed an astronomical upsurge of criminal activities in the last six months or so. It is also not in doubt that security agencies are overwhelmed in a way by such incidents because of their wide spread in the country. From the North to the South, from the East to the West, the story has invariably been very gloomy with insurgents, bandits, cultists, kidnappers, cattle rustlers, murderers, armed robbers, un known gunmen, cyber criminals/ internet fraudstars and all sorts of criminals unsettling the country with hundreds of lives lost and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed and billions of Naira stolen. Most hit states across the length and breadth of the country are Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Kano in the North West; Niger, Benue, Nassarawa, Kogi, Kwara and Plateau in the North Central and Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa and recently Bauchi in the North East. Others are Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi in the South East. In the South South, states affected are Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom. In the South West states hit are Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti. Despite all the efforts of the PMB administration to deal with the situation and nip it in the bud, we are in all honesty far from achieving our goal of restoration of peace in the country. The bottlenecks however are far from rearing their ugly heads out of sight. From the cries of insufficient budgetary allocations for security agencies to reports of allegations of sabotage and compromise by those charged with the responsibility to execute the war either in the battle front or off the field, there is an increase in crime recently. Others include allegations of tacit support by some members of communities being on the payroll of criminals serving as informants among others. Recent negative comments on the security situation in the country by some prominent Nigerians and groups as reported by traditional and online newspapers are not in any way helping the situation. Their comments are rather drumming up rythms of war, disintegration, breaking up of the country thus over heating the polity. Such comments by any interpretation are not only uncomplimentary but also views that will not be allowed to go without any reciprocal response by government since they are capable of endangering the current democracy being practiced in the country. “Nigeria’ll collapse in 6 months time Robert Clark swears by his father’s grave”, reported by Vanguard newspaper of 3/5/21; “Wale Oke: I’m praying God should remove Buhari”, The Cable of 2/5/21”; “Damning verdict:Why Buhari’s govt is collapsing- Mbazulike”, The Tribune of 2/5/21 and “Buhari’s resignation will pave way for national peace, says PFN President”, Thisday live of 2/5/21. “Herdsmen attacks: Buhari part of Fulani agenda to conquer Nigeria, Tiv youths allege”, Daily Post 1/5/21; “Presidential Villa empty, Nigeria’s future must be discussed-Oby Ezekwesilli” in Daily Post of 1/5/21; “Buhari must do something or else we will take the law into our hands, Niger Delta youth leader declared”, Austine Media of 1/5/21. Others were “Otom accuses Buhari of working for Fulanis to take over Nigeria,” GbetuTV 30/4/21; and “Insecurity: By the time you wake up Nigeria’s break up would have happened-Giwa to Buhari”; Daily Post 29/4/21” among others. One can confidently and without any fear of contradiction say that such comments are not only undemocratic but also deliberate attempts to drag the country into the mud and consequently cause disunity and anarchy in the country.

It is well noted that patriotic and well meaning Nigerians from all walks of life and across all the divides reacted in Choruses angrilly to such comments that are capable of plunging the country into a major crisis that would be difficult to contain. According to them such comments amount to a call for a take over of a democratically elected government through other means other than constitutionally recognised election through the ballot boxes conducted by INEC. Joining the voices of reason in defence of Nigeria, the Buhari Media Organisation, BMO described those calling for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari or asking him to resign as anarchists seeking the collapse of law and order in the country, A statement signed by BMO Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group urged Nigerians to rally behind their President and support the Armed Forces against terrorists and criminals while denouncing voices of chaos and anarchy calling for the President’s resignation or impeachment. Also reacting to such ungodly, un democratic calls, the Nigerian military while dissociating itself from such positions, pledged it’s oyalty and full commitment to democracy. “We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the civil authority and firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it’s constitution”.. The current security challenges are not insurmountable. The Armed Forces of Nigeria in partnership with other security Agencies are working assiduously to ameliorate the challenge, Onyeama Nwachukwu, Nigeria’s Acting Director Defence Information further stated. On it’s part, the Department of State Service, DSS in a statement signed by it’s Spokesman, Dr Peter Afunnaya said that it would no longer tolerate people trying to plunge Nigeria into anarchy, adding “Service reaffirms its unambiguous support to an indivisible, indissoluble and united Nigerian State in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, it will no longer tolerate deliberate machinations by subversive and hostile groups whose agenda is to throw the country into anarchy so as to serve the interests of their sponsors.” The DSS in the strongest terms warned past political leaders and religious leaders calling for “forceful change of government or mass action against it and cause disintegration of Nigeria” against doing so. It condemned the unsavoury statements by misguided elements who have continued to threaten the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of this country. From all indications those calling for PMB’s resignation or impeachment are reading a script by un patriotic Nigerians and their likes led by the opposition PDP towards destabilising the polity for them to reap where they did not sow as we approach 2023. It is therefore not surprising when The Presidency categorically stated that the opposition party is working with disgruntled external forces comprising of religious, past political leaders to overthrow President Buhari’s government. A statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity explained “further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are recruiting the leadership of of some ethnic groups and politicians round the country to throw it into turmoil. This has further confirmed that there are political undertones to the recent attacks on the government under the guise of worsening insecurity in the country. Conclusively, the hues and cries about insecurity today are targeted at derailing the Buhari administration.” Emeka Anyaoku Street Abuja musahk1234@yahoo.com




Taming Nigeria’s oil spillage and gas flaring scourge By Jerome-Mario Utomi


he recent news report that the Okordia-Rumekpe 14inch crude truck line operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) discharged some 213 barrels of crude oil into Ikarama community in Bayelsa, has again brought to our consciousness that though Nigeria prides itself as the giant of Africa and the most populous black nation in the world, yet, it is still riddled with third world challenges. Essentially, while clarifying that an estimated 1.34 hectares of land was polluted by the leakage which followed a rupture on the pipeline, SPDC among other things confirmed that probe into the incident had been concluded, Noting that out of the 213 barrels of SPDC’s bonny light crude stream leak, some 110 barrels are recoverable from the ongoing recovery exercise at the site, leaving an estimated spilled volume at 109.12 barrels. Admittedly, these claims by Dutch oil giant are verifiable facts but may not be the only explanation. Their clarification notwithstanding, there are indeed reasons that qualifies such happening in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as a reality that demands holistic analysis. Let’s begin with reality.

Aside from the awareness that spillage occurs, communal rights to a clean environment and access to clean water supplies are violated in such cases, and, the oil industry, ‘by its admission, has abandoned thousands of polluted sites in the region which needs to be identified and studied in details while communities adversely affected are adequately compensated for their losses’, this latest spill is coming weeks after a similar one from a ruptured pipeline facility managed by one of the International Oil Companies operating in the Niger Delta that reportedly ravaged Benikrukru and adjourning communities in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state. And another in the early hours of Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Polobubo/ Opuama Communities, Warri North Local Government Area, of the state, could settle. Such litany of spillages also include but not limited to, namely; the ‘historic’ large scale spillages in places such as the Ogoni Land, Rivers state and the Erovie community in Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government of Delta state 1990s, both in the Nigeria’s South South geopolitical zones, of which their negative impacts lingers. Are these the only explanations/ examples? The answer is a definite

no, as there exist yet other critical reasons/concerns why we should view the situation as a crisis. First and very fundamental is the inability of Nigeria and Nigerians to appreciate, and treat crude oil spillage and environmental pollution resulting from exploration/crude oil production related activities as a national calamity. The second is the stunning consciousness that gas flaring/ environmental degradation resulting from crude oil prospecting/ production related activities in the country is under reported. This second concern stems from a recent comment which according to media report was credited to the DirectorGeneral, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, who stated that findings by his agency showed that an average of five oil spills was recorded daily in Nigeria. Musa, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said, “In 2018 we had about 600 oil spill incidents and in 2019, we had over 700 oil spillimpacted sites across the country. . This wakeful comment becomes even more relevant to the present discuss when one remembers that Nigeria according to reports is dotted with about 139 gas flare locations spread across the Niger Delta both in onshore and offshore oil fields where

gas which constitutes about 11 percent of the total gas produced are flared. More than anything else, it brings to mind the questions as to; what exactly impedes the development of the petroleum sector and Niger Delta region? Is there no legislative works? Why is such legislative framework not providing a strong source of remedy for individuals and communities negatively affected by oil exploration and production in the coastal communities? If these frameworks exist, why is it not effective and enforceable? Is the framework as comprehensive as a legal solution to the issues of oil-related violations? Why has the nation not learned a valid lesson from the Dutch government where all operators are required to restore their areas of operation back to how nature intended? Regardless of what others may say, the truth is that if as a nation, we are desirous of developing policies that will engineer prosperity in the oil and gas sectors while saving the people of the region, then, we must be ready to locate the strategic triangles that hold the key to success. Separate from the fact that success requires a careful analysis of the various kinds of knowledge needed to make innovation possible, the need for the nation to straddle the middle ground has become necessary

since both the ministry and sector has for a very long time manifested signs of an institution with neither primed nor positioned potentials. And as we know, any organization, be it private or public that fails to search for its potentials leaves its survival to chance. At this instant, looking at both the operational templates of the Ministry and how the Up, Mid and the downstream players of the Petroleum industry has become reputed for noncompliance to set rules, it will not be a wrong assertion to conclude that the critical factors fueling crude oil spillage/gas flaring can be divided into the following; the existence of multiple but obsolete regulatory framework which characterizes the oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria; Federal Government failure to get the nations’ refineries back to full refining capacity; the Petroleum Ministry’s inability to get committed to making International Oil Companies(IOC’s) adhere strictly to the international best practices as it relates to their operational environment; And finally, nonexistence of clear responsibility/work details and action plans for agencies and parastatals functioning under the ministry. To be continued.

A timely discourse on fundamental rights By Adewale Kupoluyi


n our society today, many things are taken for granted. It becomes a problem when people are ignorant of the law for they are not only cheated, violators walk freely, and the law is disrespected. What happens is that chaos, indiscipline, jungle justice, and lawlessness become the order of the day. To ensure that sanity, peace, and orderliness prevail in our country, the need to bring to the front burner, a platform to talk about fundamental rights, beckons. Before we go into doing that, it is useful to look at the meaning of law from some perspectives, jurisprudence, and schools of thought. The Natural School of Thought believes that a court of justice decides all the laws, Positivists definition of law states that law is the aggregate set of rules set by a man that must be obeyed. The Historical law definition sees law as a matter of unconscious and organic growth, the Sociological assumption of law views law as a means of social control while the Realists define law in terms of judicial processes, among other definitions. Over the year, the awareness of human rights has grown. In 1948, the United Nations Organisation released the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which can be said to have become the most important document and yardstick for measuring basic equality and human dignity. Generally, good knowledge of the law equips us to be better citizens by obeying laws and doing the needful. Not only

that, it helps us to know the right steps and decisions to take at any time amid the various options that could come our way, especially when taken into consideration the common saying that ignorance of the law is never an excuse. Human Rights Career (HRC) equally points out 10 reasons why human rights knowledge is key. These include ensuring that people have their basic needs of life met such as access to medicine, food and water, clothes, and shelter. The Nigerian constitution equally provides for fundamental rights to comprise the right to life; right to dignity of human persons; right to personal liberty; right to fair hearing; right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; and right to property ownership. Meanwhile, there are exceptions to these rights because the rights of citizens are correlated with functions of the state, meaning that citizens are obliged to contribute to the social order. While hosting the maiden edition of the weekly programme, Radio Law Clinic on FUNAAB 89.5FM, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, some legal practitioners spoke on why it is imperative for the people to know their rights. Zainab Omope, an associate at TPO Odudu and Co, said that “It is incumbent on every citizen to know their rights. Knowing your rights help you to avoid some situations and also helps you to know what to do when you are caught up in a situation that has to do with the law or when your rights are being infringed upon. You will know how to redress

them, but when you don’t know them, you tend to beg for things that you know you have the right to. In Nigeria, knowing your rights is very essential because the poverty rate is very high and everyone wants to extort each other anyhow, but once you have a platform that helps you to know what to do; you are better equipped”. For Charles Alli of Omaflec Law Firm, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, discussing on a platform such as this is indeed an avenue to open the minds of the people to the importance of what the law generally is; what their place is regarding their rights, and to their duties under the law. In a society that is democratic in nature such as Nigeria, it is a presumption that the law should be the supreme idea and concepts governing activities of the people. Our rights are, in fact, clearly defined. Our rights pertain to our daily activities. Most of us moving around in society are in great danger because of ignorance, not having relevant information, not being aware of laws and how to engage the tools of law”. Tope Adeleke of Adeleke and Co, an Ibadan, Oyo State-based legal practitioner describes law as “An instrument of peace, direction, and correction. There are certain rights in the constitution. For instance, Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As amended) makes it abundantly clear on some certain rights of the citizenry and that programmes like this will help them know all of these and many more. Law is a physical God that human beings have made to protect, punish and discipline man since the law is a

respecter of nobody”. George Illah is a private legal practitioner from Nasarawa State, who practices in the law firm of SK Shelter and Co, admits that “Currently, the Nigerian society is faced with what I will call legal awareness-deficit because a lot of people are so ignorant of their legal rights such as how to go about vending their rights when they are violated. They do not know how to enforce their rights when they need to; they do not know the elementary things on how and when their rights are being violated in the first place. I think the law is meant for the people and not the people for the law, hence legal knowledge such not be restricted to legal professionals”. Furthermore, Taiwo Alabi, a counsel at Abegunde and Abegunde and Co, agrees that “Law programmes are very important because they are part of ways in which people can learn about their rights and learn what to do, what not to do, knowing the difference between what is morally right, and legal right. Through programmes like this, we are able to know that many laws in Nigeria are not functional and are like the toothless bulldog that barks without biting as the people do not know about them. Looking at laws like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act that prohibits spending money at parties, stepping on money, squeezing of money, and Naira notes in the pockets. It is wrong to do so, but the laws are just in the books without being functional”. Adefisayo Ajayi is a Lagos State-based attorney, observes that “Human rights are the foundation

of society and the legal system. Human rights are there to protect the citizens; even non-citizens are allowed to enjoy protection. The knowledge of substantive rights helps to protect people. We say in law that delay delays equity. The law also provides for limitations on certain things. As a general rule, there are also limitations to rights. People go about saying they know their rights; but do you know the limitations of these rights, as rights are not totally absolute? You have the right to personal liberty, but there some situations that your personal liberty would be limited. Certainly, human rights are fundamental, but they do not oversee all other laws in the land. Today, fundamental rights are pre-condition to having a civilised society”, he added. In the final analysis, the discourse has shown that the knowledge of the law is crucial. It does not only make people good and patriotic citizens, it breeds orderliness, sanity, and creates the enabling an environment for peace to thrive. This is the truism that the award-winning song by Robert Sylvester Kelly (R-Kelly); the American singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist resonates that, ‘The Storm Is Over Now’, as far as legal matters are concerned, only when the people are indeed empowered with the basic knowledge of the law. Kupoluyi writes from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, @AdewaleKupoluyi




WPFD2021: In defense of press freedom in Nigerian tertiary institutions By Nurudeen Akewushola

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” These are the words of Thomas Jefferson to a friend in 1780s on the importance of a free press to keep government in check in a democratic society. Every 3rd of May marks World Press Freedom Day and according to UNESCO, it’s a day set aside as “a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is also a day of support for the media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.” Even as freedom of expression is boldly enshrined in section 39(1) of Nigeria constitution, the reality is that the Press Freedom remains a contentious issue in our society and it is even more worrisome in a rotten country like Nigeria with prevalent cases of corruption, bribery, kidnapping, and other maladies. Coupled with the risk attached to their task, the threats, assaults, and attacks that journalists are facing in the course of discharging their duty cannot be over emphasized. According to the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, Nigeria ranked 120 out of 180 countries globally as west Africa’s most dangerous

and difficult country for journalists. Over the years, scores of journalists have been killed, many were assaulted, tortured and traumatized while many have gone hidden to protect their lives. Meanwhile, as the larger society is still wrestling with the challenges impeding press freedom, the state of Press Freedom in Nigerian tertiary institutions which is one of the basic tools for education reform is in a precarious state and therefore calls for urgent intervention by the media and human right agencies for proper restructuring. Students who are practicing journalism within the confinement of their tertiary institutions are facing bigger problems in carrying out their functions in their tertiary institutions. A cursory look at situations where student journalists get suspended for revealing the problems in their institutions, get intimidated, and not to talk of the attacks they are facing from the miscreants in their institutions. As I write this, the culture of threatening campus journalists with their admission has become prevalent in our campuses. Campus Journalists can no longer tell the truths nor expose ills in their institutions otherwise they face disciplinary actions by the management which can go as far as getting suspended by the management for a semester or more. In the past we have had the case of Kunle Adebajo who got suspended by the University of Ibadan over a critical article about the school, recently a press club from Ibrahim Babangida reported a top official in the University threatening to scrap their Union and

destroy the life of a student for reporting the issues of amenities in the campus, we had the case of the press club in Adamawa state University that was suspended in 2020 and not reinstated up till today among other pressing issues wrestling press freedom in our tertiary institutions. This is just one of the few reported cases. What about cases of student journalists which did not generate public attention? What about those campus journalists who have been victimized to step down impactful stories within their institutions? What about the challenges that our press clubs are facing in reporting fair and balanced stories in their institutions? Beyond the above are many other challenges facing the activities of student journalists and press clubs in their tertiary institutions. The role of Campus Journalism in media development cannot be overemphasized, it is Campus Journalism that has given birth to many erudite journalists who are performing outstandingly in the media space today. We have the likes of Fisayo Soyombo of FIJ, Kemi Busari of Premium Times, Kunle Adebajo of Humangle and recently we have Ibrahim Adeyemi, Adejumo Kabir, Akinpelu Yusuf, and Alfred Olufemi, Alao Abiodun, Uthman Samad, to mention but few who are now making laudable impacts in the mainstream medium. Our tertiary institutions have become cesspits of corruption, misappropriation of funds, sexual harassment, negligence of duties, and others but who will hold the system accountable? Cases of infrastructural

decay, lack of social amenities, and other students’ welfare challenges are there which internal students of the institutions dare not report. My point is that absence of of free press in our institutions prevents students from staging a report that can make positive changes in their institutions. Cases of sexual harassment, misappropriation of funds, maladministration, corruption, and abuse of offices, and other internal problems are now thriving in our tertiary institutions since press freedom has been defeated and our press clubs have been turned to a voiceless dog that cannot even bark not to talk of bite. A scholar once said: “This era is an era of silence…Whoever speaks truth in this era will meet his jeopardy”. This is actually the apt term to describe the dwindling state of free press in our tertiary institutions. As a result of intimidation from authorities, our campus press clubs have been turned to cracks that sheer grit and guild could blow open, the habit of resilient journalism is now dying in our campuses, who is ready to speak and get rusticated? The morale and passion of young journalists are being massacred and campus journalism has been struck and gunned down by these attacks. In order to confront these frightening challenges, Campus Journalists in Nigeria need to be given the support and protection needed to be able to carry out their checks and balances roles in their institutions. There should be a cordial relationship between Campus Journalism bodies and mainstream media outfits for enlightenment, precautions,

mentorship, protection, and capacity building. There should be a body responsible for the safety of student journalists. Student Journalists and activists should be given an avenue to report the challenges they are facing in their institutions without reprisals. It is commendable that, recently Gender Mobile Initiative in collaboration with student bodies launched a mobile application for student communities to report cases of sexual harassment in their institutions. The same initiative can be adopted for student journalists and activists as well to monitor issues concerning press freedom and other human rights challenges in tertiary institutions. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that should not be suppressed under any guise. All hands should be on deck by Human Right Organizations and other concerned civil society organizations to pull free press in our campus from falling to the brink. Intimidation, harassment, and threatening of press clubs need to end to allow student journalists to perform their functions of disseminating information, promoting human rights, ensuring accountability of student leaders and management, and eradicating cases of corruption in our institutions. Nurudeen Akewushola is an advocate of Press Freedom and the Publicity Secretary 1 of National Union of Campus Journalists, he can be reached via akewushola8@gmail. com

A pragmatic reconciliation of education and morality in Nigeria By Reuben Avong


an according to a Confucian disciple called Mengzi is naturally moral and good; to him, man has every natural inclination and tendency in him to do good and be morally upright. However, Nigeria as a country has faced a lot of hitches with respect to been educated without been moral. Our country has always been known for high rate of emphasis on the issue of morality but at the same time with high records of immorality through the ages. Meanwhile, different traditions have used their diverse thought patterns in trying to reconcile this very problem of education and morality, emphatically on whether knowing morality implies doing and practicing it, whether the morally sound individual is only known to be moral when he exhibits such charisma, whether education plays a vital role to morality, whether morality is only practiced by the educated men who claim having a good and appreciable knowledge of it and been ignored by the ignorant, whether our forefathers who were not educated never practiced morality, and finally whether the present day morality could be compared to theirs. These and many more are the problems which have existed since time immemorial. Meanwhile, on the other hand, pragmatism as a philosophical doctrine has always emphasized on the workability of ideas, theories, and knowledge at large less they remain insignificant as abstract entities in us and to the society. The same applies here that we see many morally educated men act in

some licentious manner and sometimes see the ignorant do the otherwise which has always been an issue that calls for a serious concern on whether this so called education is really a prerequisite for been practically moral. However, the onus alongside the thrust of this paper is to see how pragmatism can be properly harnessed and applied as a significant philosophical doctrine to our moral life and also to critically take a pragmatic reconciliation of education and morality taking in mind strictly the educational and moral ideologies of both Plato and Jean-Jacque Rousseau. It was Aristotle in his work called the organon that for any philosophical argument to be clear and distinct, some major terms must be clarified. It is against this backdrop that I would like to clarify some key terms. The concept education has no univocal or universally used definition since it is conceived in different ways by people. Etymologically, the word education originates from the Latin words educare and educere. “Educare” means to nourish, to bring up, or to train and to mold. The child has to be brought up like a plant in the garden by the teacher. His potentialities should be developed with proper care and nourishment. Educere simply means to lead out, to draw out and to bring forth; each and every individual has the innate powers. The innate powers of the individual should be properly cared for and given scope to be developed by those assigned the task of educating. However, education involves both the training and molding of individuals and

the unleashing of innate potentialities which could be seen and exemplified by Socrates when he played the role of the mid wife as he would say by gad flying people and helping them bring out their innate knowledge via asking of questions. Morality simply means the rightness or wrongness of human acts. Morality is that which determines the quality in human acts by which we call them right or wrong, good or evil. 2.3 Pragmatic The concept pragmatic stems from the Greek word pragma meaning action. However, the pragmatic nature of something simply means its workability and practicality which means the practical usefulness of things or concepts makes them pragmatic. One of our concerns as people living in a country that lay so much emphasis on the issue of morality should be whether we live a morally sound life or not because it is expected of every Nigerian to have the natural propensity of being moral. Historically speaking, morality has been in existence for long even though it is not objective and truthful in itself but rather relative and highly subjective since it varies according to individuals. What we have as morality might not be the same with that of our forefathers, the rate at which it is practiced today is not the same with that of antiquity. In antiquity, morality was held with high esteem but has gradually been losing its worth and pragmatic nature as seconds turned to minute, minutes to hour, hours to day, days to week, weeks to month, and months transcending to years which makes this same highly pronounced

morality country record immorality rate. Be that as it may, a known fact about our country Nigeria is that morality is fast eroding despite the many educational institutions in the country, how different militia is emerging also despite our level of education which places a serious concern in the critical mind that leads to yearning to know whether morality rate could be determined by the number of institutions and educated men. Plato was a prominent disciple of Socrates who was executed by the Athenian Government of his time because he taught doctrines that they regarded an offensive one. As such Plato became very grieved because of the evil treatment Socrates received as a result of an out-shown and pragmatic ignorance of the Athenian Authorities. He however became convinced that the politicians were suffering from ignorance, and the only remedy to the ill in the society was to educate future politicians to become philosophers. He came to the conclusion that ignorance is the source of evil and knowledge (education) is the source of good (morality). Rousseau, a modern philosopher made a contrary assertion to that of Plato that the coming of learning and civilization brought evil, that morality has now been sacrificed on the altar of learning, unlike when man was in the state of nature having only the knowledge of himself and him alone, all he thought of in that state was himself and nothing else, man was totally at peace and in a state of total happiness, not until when people gradually became enlightened by the coming of civilization specifically

education, and that is why he came up with the assertion that learned men have replaced virtuous men, knowledge has replaced morality. Invariably, Rousseau said education is the source of societal evil and immorality as against Plato’s view. We have analyzed the thoughts of two vital philosophers who represent two different traditions in philosophy (Ancient and modern) as far as this issue is concerned. Plato said one needs to be educated in order to be moral; that is all educated men are moral and all moral men are educated (but is that what we actually see in practicality) today? No it is not because we have recorded cases of well-educated men who portray immoral behaviors, and have seen the societal annihilated creatures who we often call the illiterates or ignorant exhibit morally sound behaviors which sets us on an academic pedestal and in a state of total educational blindness on weather education is a necessity in trying to be moral or not. Rousseau on the other hand postulated that education brought immorality and evil to the human society which was initially devoid of this so call evil when man lived in his happy ignorance in the state of nature with no knowledge of anything other than his individual self since man was so individualistic and egoistic in this state which connotes that Rousseau’s state of nature was characterized by individualism, self-centeredness and egoism. Reuben Avong can be reached chatnkom@gmail.com



Afaka 39: Parents faults reports linking Sheikh Gumi, to banditry

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


arents of of the 39 abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando in Igabi Local Goverment Area of kaduna has disassociated itself from a report by one of the parents that they contributed and paid the sum of N800,000 naira to a Fulani man through Sheikh Gumi for the release of their children. This was contained in a statement signed by Malam Abdullahi Usman and Mrs Catherine Y. Saleh Chairman and Secretary of the Committee Respectively. The statement said, though the woman in the said video has a child in captivity, but her claim is untrue, saying she is not a member of the committee representing the affected parents and did not speak on behalf of the parents.

Insecurity: Niger Gov. expresses confident on FG, security agencies From Yakubu Minna



overnor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state has expressed confidence in the federal government and the security outfits for acting quickly to the current security challenges bedeviling the state. Governor Bello made this known yesterday in government house, Minna, when he received the new GOC, One Mechanized Division, Nigeria Army, Major General Danjuma Hamisu AliKeffi. Bello said, “we are impressed with the new development and the response of the federal government in addressing the security challenges in Niger State.


Jigawa inaugurates Task Force on Hadejia Wetland Park

From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse


he Jigawa State Government has inaugurated a 16 - Member Task Force Committee for the implementation of a smooth handover of the Hadejia Wetlands National Park to the Federal Government through the National Park Service. This was contained in a statement signed and issued to news men by the Public Relations Officer of the Secretary to the Government of Jigawa State, Ismail Ibrahim Dutse. Inaugurating the committee, the Secretary to the Government of Jigawa State, Alhaji Adamu Abdulkadir Fanini, enjoined them to discharge their duties with probity and fear of God, adding

that their appointment was based on their individual experiences. Represented by the State Head of the Civil Service, Alhaji Hussaini Ali Kila, the SSG said “the Task Force is for the implementation of a smooth handover of the Hadejia Wetlands National Park to the Federal Government through the National Park Service “. He explained that part of the terms of Reference of the Committee “is to physically identity boundary cutline of the reserve and retrieval of encroachment areas including those allocated by the Local Government Councils, marking and fixing of concrete beacons along boundary cutline to avoid future encroachment. It said, the identification of any physical assets or structures

within the reserve, assessment of existing staff directly engaged in the reserve with age, years of remaining to retirement and present position and any other recommendations that will positively impact the take-off.” While speaking, on behalf of the Committee members, the Chairman of the Committee who is also the Permanent Secretary Administration and Finance SSG’s office, Alhaji Muhammad K. Dagaceri, thanked the State Government for appointing them and finding them worthy for the assignment. He assured the Government that they would do all what what is possible to justify the confidence bestowed on them. The Members of the Committee are representatives

of Hadejia Emirate Council, Sarkin Fulanin Hadejia, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, Durbin Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Daudu Zakar, Deputy Director Nature Conservation from Ministry of Environment, Field Officer from Ministry of Environment, Ismaila Sabo, District Head of Auyo Alhaji Umar Muhammad Baffale, District Head of Baturiya, Dallatun Hadejia, Alhaji Sambo Ginsau and District Head of Kadira, Danmajen Hadejia, Alhaji Haruna Abbas. Other members include, Jigawa State Surveyor General, Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan, representatives from Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Police, Department of State Service (DSS) and Chairmen of Kirikasamma, Guri and Auyo Local Government Councils.



Opposition lawmakers overheating the polity - APC Senate caucus warns

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) senators in the National Assembly have raised the alarm that their counterparts in the opposition parties have continued to overheat the polity despite the already tensed atmosphere across the country. Briefing journàlists yesterday in the National Assembly complex, the APC senators, led by the Majority Leader, Abdulahi Yahaya (APC, Kebbi North), said the comments by the caucus of the opposition lawmakers against insecurity across the country is beyond normal criticism. Recall that on Tuesday, the Minority Caucus of both Chambers of the National Assembly, passed a vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari over the ravaging insecurity in the country, saying that the president is sleeping

on duty. Responding, Senator Abdullahi said “We in the APC Caucus totally reject the many incorrect statements contained in the said press release. Indeed, we are quite aware of the role of the opposition in any democracy. “However, the statement by the PDP Caucus has gone too far given the good working relationship in the 9th Assembly and especially with the Minority Caucus. In any democracy, the rights to present criticisms and concerns on the state of the nation’s affairs are unassailable. “However, while we respect such rights; which come with obligation and responsibility, we are concerned that the statement issued by the Minority Caucus is capable of over- heating an already charged polity in which men of good conscience and patriotism are expected to act as leaders and

Statesmen. While we acknowledge the natural disposition of playing politics, we are worried and disturbed that our colleagues are playing with lives. The unfortunate state of insecurity; for which the Senate has continuously debated and issued resolutions to support the actions of the executive under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in the overriding interest of the public, is too delicate to play with.” Speaking further, he said in all their deliberations, the entire Senate including the minority, had discussed exhaustively in a very robust, transparent and patriotic flavor to arrive at its concrete resolutions, one of which he said is the current invitation to engage the service chiefs. While cautioning against reckless comments by the opposition lawmakers, the APC

senators said “we take exception to the unfortunate charge that our President has not been seen. This is false and cheap politics. Mr. President and service – chiefs are meticulously busy every day and every night in deliberations with a view to addressing the security challenges across the entire country. “Similarly, Mr. President had always made statements to Nigerians on all major security incidents and assured Nigerians and indeed the international community that he would continue to do his best in making sure that the security challenges are tackled head-on. “We want to assure Nigerians that Mr. President is in charge of government and is discharging his duties conscientiously and patriotically. It is a well-known fact that the Federal Government under the PDP refused to invest in the security infrastructure of

the country while Mr. President under the APC led Government had massively invested in this regard more than any past governments and we are confident that the nation will surmount its current security challenges. “Furthermore, it must be noted that the global economy is in turmoil triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s is not an exception. The Federal Government is aware of the challenges and is working to massively get the economy working for Nigerians through agricultural intervention projects, infrastructure development projects and social interventions to reduce the pains of the economic downturn on ordinary Nigerians. “We therefore call on our distinguished colleagues and indeed all Nigerians to join hands with us as we proffer solutions to this hydra-headed security

Gov Lalong represents shinning light of Nigerian politics - APC Governors By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


The members of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) at the resident of Sheikh Usman Bauchi to break fast with Sheikh Usman Bauchi in Kaduna yesterday. Photo: Shehu K. Goro

Promoting arts, culture will foster national unity – Group


gbariam Heritage Group, an Igbo cultural organisation, has called on cultural enthusiasts to promote Nigeria’s diverse arts and culture to foster national unity and integration. Mr Ikechukwu Kabakwu, founder of the group, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. According to him, arts

and culture are veritable tools to promote tolerance and understanding among Nigerians irrespective of tribal and religious divides. He lamented that increasing insecurity across the country and the agitations for secession in some parts of the country have created disaffection among many Nigerians. He said, however, that wrong

perception of one another can be erased through the promotion and acceptance of the various arts and cultural heritage that abound in the country. Kabakwu said despite the call for secession by some people in the South East, the wrong perception of ‘Ndigbo’ by the rest of the country can be changed through the promotion of Igbo arts and culture.

He said: “People don’t really know much about our culture, and so they have a misunderstanding of who we are. “These days, people only get to know about the activities of IPOB, MASSOB and other secessionists but we want to change all that through the promotion of Igbo cultural arts and entertainment.”

he All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum has described the chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong, who is also the governor of plateau State, as a shining light of Nigerian politics. In a birthday message issued yesterday by the chairman of APC Governors Forum, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who is also the governor of Kebbi State, the PGF said it join the Plateau Governor to celebrate his birthday. The statement said “Along with the people of Plateau State, the people of Northern Nigeria and other well-meaning Nigerians, we celebrate this special occasion with you and your family. “We in particular wish to acknowledge and commend

your leadership, vision and commitment to a united prosperous Nigeria. “Under the leadership of our party, APC, we acknowledge your contributions to our team of Progressive Governors through your insightful and resolute inputs to the processes of managing governance in Plateau State as well as the entire Northern Nigeria and at the national level. “As Governor of Plateau State, through all the development initiatives being implemented by your APC-led government, you represent the shining light of our politics! “Once more, as we rejoice with HE Simon Bako Lalong, we also reiterate our commitment to with the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve all the nation’s security challenges.”

R-L; NSA Maj Gen Babagana Mongonu Rtd, Chief of Staff Prof Ibrahim Gambari and Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during a virtual FEC Meeting held at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 5TH 2021

NASS to return Nigerian students trapped in Volcanic Caribbean Island - Lawan By Musa Baba Adamu


resident of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has assured Nigerian students currently stranded in the Southern Caribbean nation hit by volcanic explosion that the National Assembly will intervene to ensure that they are safely brought back home. Lawan gave the assurance in response to a request for Intervention by the Consul General of the Island Nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,

Dr. Levi Odoe who paid him a courtesy call at the National Assembly, Abuja on Wednesday. “Let me commiserate with you on the volcanic eruptions that took place in the Island. “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a country that is very friendly with our country Nigeria over a long time. We have many bilateral and multilateral interactions and we appreciate your cooperation, support and partnership over time with our country. “It is rather sad that you had

volcanic eruptions that have caused serious damage in the Island. “I’m also saddened by the loss of lives and of course the situation of the Nigerian medical students who are now trapped in the Island. “When we sit here at the National Assembly, we represent every Nigerian wherever that Nigerian is. Therefore, it is our responsibility and obligation to take all the necessary measures to ensure that the Nigerian students who are trapped are brought back safely to Nigeria until the

situation is remedied. “It is also the attitude of our country to come in support of countries and our friends. So when we have issues like this that require emphathy and support of our country, we will look into it definitely with a view to finding some kind of support for the Island,” Lawan said. Earlier, the Consul General of the Island Nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Levi Odoe said the purpose of the visit was to seek Nigeria’s assistance for the Island and the intervention of

the Senate President with respect to about 230 Nigerian medical students currently stranded in the Island. “They(stranded Nigerian students) have been calling me requesting to see what can be done and I thought to myself, that the best thing to do will be to request an audience with His Excellency, the Senate President. “So we are here to request any assistance at all that can be given to the Island and to Nigerians that are stranded there,” Dr Odoe said.




ADC kicks against INEC’s plan to create more polling units ahead of 2023 general elections By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he African Democratic Party (ADC) has expressed opposition to the plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create additional polling units ahead

of 2023. The National Chairman of the party, Okey Nwosu, addressed the media in Onitsha on Wednesday. He said that establishing more units in addition to the existing 120,000 was bad timing, considering the current

economic challenges. The chairman said America, with more population and landmass, has only about 240,000 polling places. “How do we justify this with INEC’s call for additional polling units? Is it because INEC is spending from

government coffers?” he quipped. The ADC leader advised the electoral umpire to be judicious with public money. Nwosu added that elections should not continue to drain funds that could be used for other purposes.

Communal clashes: Senators call for peace in Benue, Ebonyi By Musa Baba Adamu


orried by the lingering communal Clashes among people of some communities in their States , Senators Abba Moro ( PDP Benue South) and Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North), have sued for peace. The two senators at a joint press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said the warring communities across the two states should cease fire by allowing the National Boundary Commission to wage in as far as appropriate demarcation of territories are concerned. The jointly signed press statement by the Senators reads “As the Senators representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District and Benue South Senatorial District, we are here to brief you on recent security concerns that have substantially threatened the peace and development of the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in our Senatorial Districts. “On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, alleged herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped 5 persons. “While we were mourning our people and trying to identify the extent of damage, we were surprisingly greeted with a statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, without any form of investigation, that the attack was carried out by Agila people, and not Fulani herdsmen. “This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State. The

people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf. “There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities. “We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities

and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission. “We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts”. The two federal lawmakers also proffered similar solutions for the Ezza/ Effium crisis. They said: “On the Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be

contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities. “The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal attack. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker

more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter. “We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities. “We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence, maintain peaceful coexistence and rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities”.

L- R: Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) Professor Ismail Junaidu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sunny Echono and Director, Educational Planning and Research, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Ogochukwu Ufoegbune, during the Launch of Accelerated Basic Education Curriculum, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

National Conscience Party calls for political summit over insecurity By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he National Conscience Party (NCP) has called for a political summit as a measure to address the insecurity in the country. National chairman of the party, Yunusa Tanko, said this will calm frayed nerves and assure the people that the government has their best interest at heart. Giving this idea as a guest on a radio current affairs programme in Osogbo, Yinusa Tanko, who is the Spokesperson of the National Consultative Front (NCF) asked

the government to also call for a national security meeting. He said it was clear that the present administration is overwhelmed and has shown weakness in handling the current security situation. He said since the government has not been able to deal with the matter of insecurity, citizens have resorted to self-help. According to him, “The Nigerian state at the moment is in dire need of help and the government should not be ashamed to seek help from those they have neglected.

“Government have allowed the issue of insecurity to stay for too long without taking a decisive action and if care is not taken, more situations will arise because of the way the government is handling insecurity in Nigeria.” On the news that some disgruntled persons were calling for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari, the NCF spokesperson claimed that such was the case because the people had become unhappy. “The accusation is that the President has been lackadaisical in dealing with the Fulani herdsmen

crisis, banditry, kidnappings and insurgency. “Some of the bandits have revealed that it was some of the politicians that armed them during elections and they want to teach some of them a lesson because they abandoned them after achieving their aims. “Kidnapping has moved from groups to individuals, becoming a recurring decimal even in neighbourhoods. “The tide must be stemmed. We need to deal with hunger, corruption, accountability and incompetence lacking in this

government. “Anybody who does not have a solution to Nigeria’s teething problems does not have business being in power. If a leader cannot deal with a problem as it rears its head, the problem may consume such a leader.” While revealing that there was no room for grandstanding and name-calling anymore, Dr. Tanko maintained that the spokespersons of the President were not helping the situation. He advised the administration to retrace its step and apologise to those it offended.




Bayelsa APC crisis: Faction opens parallel party secretariat By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he crisis rocking the Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a new twist on Wednesday following the opening of a new parallel party Secretariat in Yenagoa, the state capital. The Ebierien Fala Itubor led faction of the party who is in charge of the new secretariat and is suspected to be loyal to former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, also accused the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, of failing in his leadership role. The newly opened parallel secretariat is miles away from the popular APC secretariat located around the Bay bridge area, both in Yenagoa. The Sagbama coordinator of a group, known as the Timipre Sylva Supreme Ambassadors, loyalists to Sylva, Comrade Ebikewenemor Robert Romeo, dismissed claims against the minister, insisting that there is no faction in Bayelsa APC. Also speaking, the party’s Organizing Secretary, Comrade Tari Emperi said Sylva has proven himself as a credible leader that accommodates all party members and a performing minister that has attracted more development to the state despite his party affiliation. He said the party is more united than before with Chief Timipre Sylva despite the frivolous claim by a faction. It was gathered that the decision to open the parallel secretariat has thrown up issues against the style of leadership of Chief Timipre Sylva in the party. It was also gathered that most prominent stakeholders in the party including Senator Lokpobiri, Chief David Lyon and many others have resolved to confront Sylva over the control of the party. They cited the alleged poor leadership style of Chief Timipre Sylva, which is chasing away party members in their numbers into the ruling PDP in the state including the recent defection of the APC State Assemblymember, Hon. Daniel Charles. They also claimed that Sylva had neglected to call a stakeholder meeting to resolve issues that arose from the last Governorship election and had allegedly

neglected the party and engaged in anti-party activities with the negotiation of the party’s 2020 Governorship victory away to the People’s Democratic Party. The decision by the Hon.

Ebierien Fala Itubor led faction of the party is coming few days after they wrote to the Mai Mala Buni led National Caretaker Committee that the gale of defections by party members to the People’s

Democratic Party only be halted reconciliation. A close aide to Chairman of the pleaded anonymity,

(PDP) can by genuine

the factional APC, who claimed that

“the party members were angry at Chief Timipre Sylva for refusing to call an enlarged meeting of stakeholders of the party in the state to discuss the outcome of the 2020 Governorship election.

Adamawa State to have 4,104 polling units during 2023 general elections


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, indicated that the Adamawa State will have 4,104 polling units during the 2023 general elections. INEC explained that to arrive at the new number of PUs, a total of 1,495 voting points (VPs) used for the 2019 general election will be converted to polling units in addition to the existing 2,609 PUs used for the 2019 election. The INEC Resident Electoral

Commissioner in Adamawa State, Kassim Gaidam, in an address said converted voting points would be moved from the vicinities of PUs where they currently exist to places with no PUs. He explained that conversion of VPs and their relocation to new settlements is to enhance booth level voter access with the likelihood of encouraging greater voter turnout in future elections, as envisioned by INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu.

“In Adamawa State, there are 1,495 VPs to be converted to PUs. The objective is to decongest booths with many VPs and address the big challenge of poor turnout or voter apathy during elections by locating such PUs in public buildings nearest to the people who are either unserved or underserved,” the Adamawa INEC resident commissioner said. He told representatives of interest groups who attended the INEC stakeholders meeting the

body was already working to put everything in place. “Our officers have been in the field locating PUs using maps and GPS coordinates with the view to converting all VPs already known to you into PUs. “Recall that during the 2019 elections, we had 1,973,083 registered voters spread among 2,609 PUs and 1,495 VPs. With this exercise, the state will have 4,104 full-fledged PUs.

INEC announce new 1,235 polling units in ImoPublished on May 5, 2021


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has created additional 1,235 polling units in Imo State. The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Francis Ezeonu made this known while briefing newsmen on Wednesday, NAN reports. Ezeonu said over the years, there had been attempts by the commission to create additional

polling units to cater to the interest of new settlements and areas with unmanageable voter population. He explained that in 2011, the commission opted to create voting points and voting settlements to address the issue of overcrowding during elections and new settlements not served by existing polling units. Ezeonu said the 1,235 new units created brings the total of polling

units in the state to 4,758. The INEC REC said the additional polling units were in line with the expectation of the law which provided that “the Commission establish a sufficient number of polling units in each Registration Area and allot voters to such polling units.” Ezeonu said the commission would continue to improve the quality of access to electoral

services provided to voters by ensuring better access to polling units for persons with disabilities. “The commission has also decided to improve the health and safety conditions at polling units during elections in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols as well as address declining voter turnout at elections due to lack of access to polling units,” he said. L-R; Head, Biosecurity Department, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr.Agha Ukpai Agha, Director, Administration and Finance NBMA, Dr. Rebecca Oamen , Director General, NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba and the Head, Biosafety enforcement and Operation , Hauwa Tahir Ahmed, during NBMA press briefing on the safety of GMO product in Nigerian. held yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Senate passes bill to establish Nigeria Steel Varsity, 2 others By Musa Baba Adamu


he Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to establish the Nigeria Steel University, Ajaokuta, Kogi State. Also passed were the Agricultural Research Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021; and the Federal Medical Centre Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment)

Bill, 2021. The three bills were passed following consideration of three separate reports by the Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Agriculture and Rural Development. Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), who presented the report of the Committee

on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on behalf of the Chairman, Ahmed Baba Kaita, said the Nigeria Steel University, when established, would provide the required manpower needs of Nigerians in the areas of metallurgical and technological advancement. He added that the institution would provide specialized services

in engineering and training in every aspect of education and fields of applied learning. In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the growth and stability of the Nigerian economy would be largely impacted by the revival of the steel industry. According to him, the establishment of the Nigeria

Steel University would provide the required manpower for the industry to thrive successfully. He said, “Our way to growth, development and stability is to have our steel industries functioning. [And] this university, if and when established, will definitely provide the necessary and needed manpower for the steel industry in our country.”



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Stock Watch: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 Low

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2.80 3.15 0 1.94 3.94 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.64 0.64 0 4.60 8.60 0 37.00 68.30 0 3.79 4.21 0 9.65 10.05 0 31.50 34.00 0 1.90 1.92 0 18.45 18.45 0 1.72 1.84 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.20 0.20 0 6.10 6.10 0 1.75 1.75 0 186.00 186.00 0 6.00 6.65 0 14.60 14.55 0 1.80 2.00 0 3.37 3.37 0 4.30 4.70 0 14.00 14.00 0 7.35 7.80 0 1.62 1.65 0 1.91 1.96 0 4.95 4.95 99 0.33 0.33 0 21.85 21.85 0 29.60 30.70 0 0.20 0.20 0 12.20 13.05 0 32.60 32.95 0 72.00 72.00 0 1.18 1.18 0 1.53 1.53 0 31.50 31.50 0 0.51 0.54 0 0.20 0.20 0 23.25 23.25 0 0.44 0.44 0 0.30 0.30 0 1.36 1.36 0 0.72 0.72 0 0.52 0.49 0 1.83 1.83 0 2.45 2.45 0

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5.80 6.00 ACCESS -0.35 3.94 3.94 AFRIPRUD 0.00 0.27 0.27 AGLEVENT 0.00 0.64 0.64 AIICO 0.00 8.60 8.60 BERGER 0.00 67.00 67.00 BETAGLAS -1.30 3.79 3.79 BOCGAS -0.42 9.65 10.05 CADBURY -0.40 31.50 31.50 CAP -2.50 1.90 1.90 CAVERTON -0.02 18.45 18.45 CCNN 0.00 1.72 1.72 CHAMPION -0.12 23.25 23.25 CONOIL 0.00 0.20 0.20 CORNERST 0.00 0.20 0.20 COURTVILLE 0.00 6.10 6.10 CUSTODIAN 0.00 1.75 1.75 CUTIX 0.00 186.00 186.00 DANGCEM 0.00 6.00 6.25 DANGFLOUR -0.65 14.60 14.60 DANGSUGAR 0.05 1.80 2.00 DIAMONDBNK -0.20 3.37 3.37 EKOCORP 0.00 4.30 4.30 ETERNA -0.40 14.00 14.00 ETI 0.00 7.45 7.60 FBNH -0.35 1.62 1.67 FCMB -0.03 1.92 1.98 FIDELITYBK -0.04 4.95 4.95 FIDSON 0.00 0.33 0.33 FIRSTALUM 0.00 21.85 21.85 FLOURMILL 0.00 29.60 29.60 FO -1.10 0.20 0.20 FTNCOCOA 0.00 12.20 12.20 GLAXOSMITH -0.85 33.50 33.50 GUARANTY 0.55 72.00 72.00 GUINNESS 0.00 1.18 1.18 HONYFLOUR 0.00 1.53 1.53 IKEJAHOTEL 0.00 31.50 31.50 INTBREW 0.00 0.53 0.53 JAIZBANK -0.01 0.20 0.21 JAPAULOIL 0.00 23.25 23.25 JBERGER 0.00 0.44 0.44 JOHNHOLT 0.00 0.30 0.30 LASACO 0.00 1.36 1.36 LEARNAFRCA 0.00 0.72 0.72 LINKASSURE 0.00 0.52 0.52 LIVESTOCK 0.03 1.83 1.83 MANSARD 0.00 2.45 2.45 MAYBAKER 0.00

Stock Close Gain UPL 1.14 0.13 LIVESTOCK 0.52 0.01 SOVRENINS 0.21 0.03 OKOMUOIL 60.00 1.80 GUARANTY 23.50 0.55

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0.11 0.21 0 0.21 0.21 MBENEFIT 0.00 0 0.43 0.43 0 0.43 0.43 MCNICHOLS 0.00 0 1.05 2.05 261 2.05 2.05 MEDVIEWAIR 0.00 0 124.80 184.80 0 184.80 184.80 MOBIL 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 970 0.20 0.20 MULTIVERSE 0.00 0 3.50 3.50 0 3.50 3.50 NAHCO 0.00 0 18.00 18.00 0 18.00 18.00 NASCON 0.00 0 78.50 78.70 0 79.50 79.50 NB 0.80 0 0.78 0.78 0 0.78 0.78 NEIMETH 0.00 0 2.60 2.60 0 2.60 2.60 NEM 0.00 0 552.20 552.20 150 552.20 552.20 NESF 0.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 0 1,475.00 1,475.00 NESTLE 0.00 0 1.60 1.65 0 1.60 1.60 NPFMCRFBK -0.05 0 4.60 4.80 0 4.60 4.75 OANDO -0.20 0 80.00 76.20 0 80.00 80.00 OKOMUOIL 3.80 0 64.00 64.00 0 64.00 64.00 PRESCO 0.00 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 PRESTIGE 0.00 0 12.30 12.30 0 12.30 12.30 PZ 0.00 0 4.20 4.20 0 4.20 4.20 REDSTAREX 0.00 0 0.20 0.21 0 0.20 0.21 REGALINS -0.01 0 0.50 0.50 0 0.50 0.50 RESORTSAL 0.00 0 0.21 0.23 0 0.21 0.22 ROYALEX -0.02 0 640.00 640.00 405 640.00 640.00 SEPLAT 0.00 0 0.20 0.20 0 0.21 0.21 SOVRENINS 0.01 0 46.50 46.00 0 46.50 46.50 STANBIC 0.50 0 102.00 102.00 122 102.00 102.00 STANBICETF30 0.00 0 1.97 1.96 0 1.97 1.97 STERLNBANK 0.01 0 203.00 203.00 0 203.00 203.00 TOTAL 0.00 0 6.10 6.10 632 6.10 6.10 TRANSCOHOT 0.00 0 1.15 1.21 0 1.16 1.18 TRANSCORP -0.05 0 9.60 9.60 0 9.60 9.60 UACN 0.00 0 1.74 1.92 0 1.74 1.74 UAC-PROP -0.18 0 7.60 7.80 0 7.90 7.95 UBA 0.10 0 6.00 6.05 0 6.00 6.05 UBN -0.05 0 2.89 2.94 0 2.89 2.91 UCAP -0.05 0 36.30 37.00 0 36.30 36.30 UNILEVER -0.70 0 0.27 0.27 0 0.27 0.27 UNIONDAC 0.00 0 1.00 0.99 0 1.00 1.00 UNITYBNK 0.01 0 2.04 1.97 0 2.14 2.14 UPL 0.17 0 0.23 0.23 0 0.23 0.23 VERITASKAP 0.00 0 4.50 4.99 0 4.50 4.50 VITAFOAM -0.49 0 11.30 11.50 0 11.30 11.65 WAPCO -0.20 0 0.40 0.40 0 0.40 0.40 WAPIC 0.00 0 0.59 0.61 0 0.59 0.61 WEMABANK -0.02 0 21.20 22.70 0 21.70 22.50 ZENITHBANK -1.00 0 Copyright © 2019 NgTradeOnline

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Tax Evasion: FIRS Plans Direct Deductions From Defaulters Bank Accounts, Assets By Etuka Sunday


he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has served public notices to tax defaulters that the Service plans “to recover taxes due from the defaulters’ assets in the custody of any person, including but not limited to sums standing to its credit with a financial institution in Nigeria”. FIRS said, the decision was reached following rising cases of wilful and illegal withholding of taxes collected by companies, corporations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other agents of collection. The Director Communication and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad in a statement said, the Service stated this in widely publicised notices in national newspapers and online news platforms. The notices were signed by the Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami. The notices to all companies, corporate entities and other agents of collection stated that they were required to pay all outstanding tax liabilities to the FIRS within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice. It would be recalled that FIRS had previously issued a similar notice to MDAs demanding payment of all outstanding tax liabilities to the Service within 60 days from the date of publication of the notice. It becomes clear, following these notices, that any MDA, company, corporation and other collecting agent that fails to comply with the directive stands the risk of having all outstanding taxes deducted directly from their bank accounts or statutory allocations, or have their other assets seized by the FIRS and turned over to the Government of the Federation in lieu of the withheld taxes. According to the FIRS, this move is in line with the Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended). The FIRS, in the notices, stated thus: “Sections 78, 79, 80, 81 and 82 of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) Cap. C21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (as amended) and Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act Cap. V1, LFN, 2004 (as amended) imposed obligations on companies, corporations and other relevant persons as agents of collection, to collect, deduct or withhold taxes (as the case may be) on supply of goods and services or payments and to remit same to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (the Service) within stipulated time frame.” The notices further emphatically stated that “the Service shall, without further notice, apply the provisions of Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended) to recover taxes due from the defaulters’ asset in the custody of any person (including but not limited to sums standing to its credit with a financial institution in Nigeria).” The notices added: “In addition, the Service shall take all necessary steps to prosecute defaulters for wilful negligent, tax evasion, unlawful conversion of government property, etc. as the case may be.

FG mulls equal salary for workers on same grade level By Etuka Sunday


ontrary to reports by some media, the federal government is not thinking of cutting wages, rather mulling salary harmonisation. This is against the backdrop of the fact that there are some government agencies paying much higher than others, for staff on the same grade level. Therefore, the government, according to Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, is seeking more of pay parity. She disclosed at the ongoing ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday that the President had directed the salaries committee to review payroll and also review the number of agencies. “What government hopes to achieve is to redistribute wages equally across board. Let us bring our salary structure within government agencies as close or as equitable and fair. “what we seek to achieve is to create fairness and equity and to reduce cost” With this readjustment, when finally done, workers in the public service will earn a fair and equitable wages,” she said. “We still see government expenditure increase

to a terrain twice higher than our revenue,” Ahmed said. The Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi in a statement said, the government had approved a N13.88trillion budget with a deficit of over N5.6trillion, and projected a revenue of N7.98trillion to fund part of the 2021 budget. The Minister urged that all agencies must come together to trim their costs, given Nigeria’s dwindling revenue. According to her, the government would also remove some unnecessary items from the budget as a move to cut the cost of governance in the country. She said, “We need to work together, all agencies of the government to cut down our cost. We need to cut down unnecessary expenditures. Expenditures that we can do without. Our budgets are filled year in year out with projects that we see over and over again, and also projects that are not necessary.” “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the salaries committee, which I chair, work together with the head of service (HOS) and other members of the committee to review the

government pay rolls considering stepping down on cost.” She revealed that the government would also review the number of government agencies in terms of their mandates. Ahmed disclosed that for agencies with the same mandate, the government would look at merging the two. The Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye, noted during the stakeholders meeting, that the cost of governance is the “driver of corruption in Nigeria.” He said that the government had committed to improving the country’s revenue from new and existing sources. Owasanoye said that the government’s commitment to streamline payroll, removal of subsidies and reduction of the cost of contracts and procurement are all for the benefits of the poor and vulnerable. He also said that a critical area of concern was he called ‘payroll padding’ and the ‘phenomenon of ghost workers.’ The ICPC boss lamented the duplication of projects such as the constituency projects of lawmakers, and noted that funding for such projects was usually released without any mechanism for monitoring and evaluation and reconciliation of the funding.

Medical Director, Federal Medical Center (FMC) Jabi, Prof Sa’ad Ahmed (middle), the representative of the Director General Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC)_ Dr Chinwe Ochu (middle) with the cross section of other participants during the 2021 world Hand Hygiene day celebration, held yesterday in Abuja.. Photo: Justin ImoOwo.

NCC set to deploy 5G Network, signs pact with NIGCOMSAT By Etuka Sunday


he Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has disclosed that all issues impeding the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria has been adequately addressed. Prof. Danbatta disclosed this at the NCC signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) on the clearing of C-band for deployment of 5G services, Wednesday in Abuja. He noted that the policy attached to the deployment of 5G network services in the country was ready Federal Government’s approval. “First of all, issues associated with the safety of this technology have been adequately addressed. Nigerians have been sensitised on the safety of this technology with regards to health the security dimension. “We have gone to the government and very soon they will come up with a statement on the date for the deployment of 5G services because the policy is equally ready. “So the information of the state of readiness as we can see is satisfactory. We have the policy, we have the resource for the deployment of 5G services in the country. “We have mobile network operators that are willing to bid for the available spectrum that will be used for the deployment of this subs to Nigerians. So our state of readiness is really high indeed,” he said. The EVC intimated that the next step was

for the spectrum to be allocated to the NCC by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), assuring that government would give approval for the utilisation of the spectrum to deploy 5G services in the country. “Well the next step is for the spectrum in question to be allocated to the NCC by the National Frequency Management Council which has the honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as chair. “The minister is aware about this signing of the MOU, he has given his blessing and therefore we are not envisaging any problem at the level of the national frequency Management Council. We are assured of getting the approval for the utilisation of the spectrum to deploy 5G services in the country. Speaking further he said that 5G would build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities. “We are glad that the Management of NigComSat and NCC have taken a bold step in the right direction to release contagious quantum of Spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for early deployment of 5G. Danbatta, however, said that the 3.4 GHz -3.9GHz arel the best frequency allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). He said that the C-band was most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70 per cent of global

commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band. He said this was the importance of the spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria and it cannot be over emphasised. According to him, amongst the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the C-band (3.4GHz - 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity. The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, While leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz–9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use. The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.” “For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites”. Dr Abimbola Alale, Director General, NIGCOMSAT, appreciated all stakeholders that made the MoU a reality and added that she cannot thank them enough for their efforts.





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Police nabs 5 suspected car snatchers, armed robbers in G/Lada, Wuye By Stanley Onyekwere


he FCT Police Command has disclosed the arrest of five (5) suspects for car snatching/armed robbery along Gwagwalada and Wuye axis of Abuja. In a statement from the command’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yusuf Mariam, those arrested were all members of a four-man robbery gang terrorising Wuye axis, and one member of a

notorious 4-man car snatching syndicate in Gwagwalada. The statement made available yesterday, revealed that one Mohammed Musa ‘m’ 30-yearold, a member of a notorious 4-man car snatching syndicate was arrested by Police detectives from Gwagwalada Division during a routine patrol on Friday 30th April, 2021. It said the suspect confessed that the syndicate operates by disguising as stranded passengers

to lure their unsuspecting victims(motorists). It added that exhibits recovered are; one (1) blue colour Toyota Corolla with reg no YAB 15 BK, one (1) locally fabricated pistol and six (6) rounds of live ammunition, while effort is in place to arrest the fleeing suspects. Similarly, Police Operatives from Wuye Division arrested one Abdullahi Haruna 25-year, Naziru Nasiru 23-year, Sani Ibrahim 20year, Umar Musa all male and

members of a four-man robbery gang terrorizing Wuye axis. Also, the suspects stated that they are responsible for snatching phones, bags etc along the Stadium area. Exhibits recovered from the suspects are: one (1) red colour Gulf, four (4) mobile phones, two (2) sharp knives and three (3) reflective jackets. According to the Police, the suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of investigation. “The Command wishes to

reiterate the ban on the use of unauthorized covered number plates within the FCT to desists, as violators will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. “The Command Implores residents to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, through dedicated numbers, and to report the conduct of Police Officers, call the Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) Line : 09022222352”, the statement added.

L-R: Leader of the Senate Yahaya Abdullahi, Chief Whip Senator Orji Kalu and Deputy Whip Senator Abdullahi Sabi briefing the Journalists the out come of their Caucus meeting on the wrong notion of the Opposition Party toward the President and APC rulling Party, at the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FCTA reads riot act to hospitals rejecting accident victims By Stanley Onyekwere


o ensure effective healthcare emergency services, the FCT Administration has read riot act to public hospitals rejecting accident victims within Abuja, the nation’s capital city. To this end, the FCTA vowed to sanction any erring hospitals, even as it noted that staff, who display any negligence to accident victims will be punished according to Civil Service Rules. Making this disclosure, the Acting Secretary, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Muhammed Kawu noted that the move, was against the backdrop of viral video on the social media, purporting that an accident victim was rejected by Maitama District hospital, which the FCTA had commenced a comprehensive investigation to ascertain its veracity. Kawu said the investigation over the video was to ensure that no staff jeopardises the efforts

of the administration towards umbellished health services delivery. Recall a short video produced in hausa language, that went viral on the social media two days ago, suggesting that an accident victim was brought to the emergency unit of the hospital, but was rejected. According to the Secretary, who was in the hospital to see the accident victim in question, identified as George Imohimi, and a resident of Mpape who hails from Edo state, who is currently on admission in the hospital, and recuperating. He reiterated that any staff found to have exhibited any form of negligence over the matter will be sanctioned in accordance with civil service rules. He added that all public hospitals in the territory are bound to accept and treat accident victims before any other protocols. “ FCTA is very concerned and the Minister has directed that I come here personally and observe

the situation and also ensure that it is brought under control. Investigation is ongoing, we have seen the video and we are investigating further. “The Administration wants to assure all Nigerians, particularly FCT residents is that all public facilities are for the public, every person has the right to go to any of these hospitals, and must be atnded to . “This has been the policy and will continue to be so. The policy is that you take in accident victims and treat them before you look for police. We will let the public know what the issue is all about after the investigation. “But now the patient is getting adequate attention. Any public servant that is found to have erred will be dealt according to civil service rules”, Kawu stated. Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Imuentinyan Igbinovia, said that victim was actually taken into the emergency unit for proper

attention, as against the message conveyed by the viral video. Igbinovia, however noted that the lady who brought the accident victim had expressed discontent over the delay in admiting the victim, but after explaining the situation to her, the disagreements with the emergency unit staff was resolved. The CMD further clarified that despite the great influx of patients into the hospital on a daily basis, the hospital management has remained committed to excellent health care services to all residents. Igbinovia said, “ It was on Monday around 8am about an hour prior then some accident victims were rushed in and staff were seeing them and I joined them. About 30 minutes later another accident victim was rushed in and the staff also went to attend to the second set of victims. “Unfortunately there was ultercation between those that

rushed the victims and the accident emergency staff, I was able to calm down the situation and also spoke to the lady who brought in the accident victim. “Immediately after that a stretcher was brought and the victim was taken into the emergency unit. After the victim was admitted and stabilised I spoke with the Police Divisional Officer who was also around. The lady who brought in the victim thought that our responses would have been faster, I explained the situation to her. “ To the best of our knowledge the matter has been settled. The victim is in the ward now receiving treatment and is getting better. To our surprise we saw the social media messages which we have taken in good faith. “I want to assure the public that Maitama hospital is poised to take care of patients and from what you can see, there is a very large crowd that come here every day”.

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world news



George Floyd killer Derek Chauvin asks for new trial


he white former Minneapolis police officer convicted last month of the murder of the black man George Floyd has requested a new trial. Derek Chauvin’s legal team have filed court documents alleging misconduct by both prosecutors and jurors. Chauvin, who was captured on video kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter. His lawyer says his client was deprived of a fair trial. The rare verdict against a police officer was considered a milestone in the racial history of the US and was widely applauded by Americans. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison. He will be sentenced next month. What is Chauvin’s legal team arguing? US media report that the request for a new trial was expected and is a common move following a conviction. The New York Times quoted experts as saying it was unlikely that the jury’s decision would be overturned because of the evidence in the case. In court documents Eric Nelson argues that the process was not impartial because of pre-trial publicity. He writes that it was “so pervasive and so prejudicial” before and during the trial, that it amounted to a

“structural defect in the proceedings”. The motion also alleges that errors were made by the judge and that there was prosecutorial misconduct and witness intimidation. What is the controversy about the juror? Supporters of Chauvin have pointed to juror Brandon Mitchell, who was pictured last August at an event in Washington held on the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement’s historic March on Washington. The event included a Get Your Knee Off Our Necks protest at which speakers including Martin Luther King’s son demanded racial equality. Mr Mitchell was pictured wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Get your knee off our necks” and “BLM”, referring to the Black Lives Matter movement. Jurors in the Chauvin case were asked before the trial whether they or people they knew well had “participated in protests about police use of force or police brutality”. Mr Mitchell - the only juror in the trial to give media interviews - says he answered no to that question. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he had attended the event to commemorate the civil rights movement and had not seen it as an anti-police brutality protest. “The opportunity to be around thousands and thousands of black people, I just thought it was a good opportunity to be a part of something,” he said. Before the trial, during questioning by Chauvin’s defence


Mr Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes team, Mr Mitchell said that he saw Black Lives Matter as a statement that he supported. How did the trial unfold? The 12-member jury took less than a day to declare Chauvin guilty following a highly charged, threeweek trial in which 45 witnesses took the stand and several hours of video footage were shown. Several witnesses broke down in tears as they watched graphic footage of Mr Floyd’s death and described feeling “helpless” as events unfolded. Mr Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes Expert witnesses on behalf of the

state testified that Mr Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to the manner of restraint employed by Chauvin and his colleagues. Chauvin himself chose not to testify, invoking his right to not incriminate himself with his responses. What happened to George Floyd? The 46-year-old bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in May 2020. A shop assistant believed he had used a counterfeit note and called the police after Mr Floyd refused to give the cigarettes back. When police arrived, they ordered Mr Floyd out of his parked car and


everal employees of a pharmaceutical company have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly washing and reselling used Covid nasal swab test kits. Up to 9,000 passengers at an airport in Medan may have been tested with the reused swab sticks, say police. State-owned company Kimia Farma is now reportedly facing a potential lawsuit launched on behalf of the travellers. Covid nasal swab testing has become routine in many countries hit by the global pandemic. Police said they believed the scam had been happening since last December at Kualanamu airport in Medan, North Sumatra. Passengers are required to have a negative test if they want to fly, and the airport offers the option of getting the swabs done on site. Airport authorities had used antigen rapid test kits supplied by Kimia Farma. Following complaints from passengers that they had received false positive test results, police sent an undercover officer to pose as a passenger last week, reported local news outlet Detik. When he was swabbed and received a positive test result,


handcuffed him. A struggle ensued when officers tried to put a screaming Mr Floyd in their squad car. They wrestled him to the ground and pinned him under their weight. Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. As he was being restrained, Mr Floyd said more than 20 times that he could not breathe, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please”. When the ambulance arrived, Mr Floyd was motionless. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Covid nasal swab testing has become routine in many countries hit by the global pandemic (file picture) other officers swooped in and raided the test site, where they found a used test kit that had been recycled. Last week, five Kimia Farma employees - including the company’s Medan manager - were arrested. The suspects are accused of breaking health and consumer laws by washing nasal swab sticks and repackaging them for sale. Local media said authorities

have compiled reports from 23 witnesses, and are investigating whether the profit from the scam - estimated to be around 1.8bn rupiah (£89,700; $124,800) was used to fund the construction of a lavish house for one of the suspects. Kimia Farma, which is headquartered in the capital Jakarta, has since fired the staff involved and promised to tighten

internal controls. Indonesia has banned domestic travel at the end of Ramadan this month This week, two lawyers who frequently flew via Kualanamu airport in recent months, said they were planning to sue Kimia Farma, the South China Morning Post reports. In a collective lawsuit, they hope to get 1bn rupiah for each passenger who has been affected by the scheme. Earlier this week, Indonesian authorities said they had identified two cases of the new Covid variant first seen in India. Last month, Jakarta stopped issuing visas for foreigners who had been in India in the previous 14 days. The Muslim-majority nation has also banned domestic travel at the end of Ramadan this month, a period which traditionally sees people travelling across the country to visit relatives, and introduced heightened restrictions for other dates. Indonesia has seen one of the worst Covid outbreaks in Asia, and overall has recorded about 1.7m positive cases and more than 46,000 deaths linked to the pandemic.

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Ancient child grave was Africa’s earliest funeral


Nick Kamen: Model and singer dies aged 59 Covid: Reused nose swab scam busted in Indonesia airport odel and singer Nick Kamen has died at the age of 59, a friend of his family has confirmed to the BBC. The Essex-born star was known for appearing in a Levi’s 501 advert filmed in a launderette in 1985. His music career peaked the next year with a top five hit Each Time You Break My Heart, which was written by Madonna. His friend and fellow singer Boy George led the tributes on Wednesday, describing Kamen as “the most beautiful and sweetest man”. Kamen - real name Ivor Neville Kamen - rose to fame in a jeans commercial, which showed him arrive at a laundrette and strip down to his boxer shorts, as several women looked on. The advert, soundtracked by Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine, helped to boost the company’s denim sales and made him a sex symbol in the process. It also caught the attention of the queen of pop, who told the BBC at the time she had been taken by Kamen’s “charisma” and “beautiful voice”. Madonna then reached out and got Kamen to record the synth-pop track - left over from her third studio album True Blue - and she provided backing vocals. Source: BBC


glimpse of human grief, at the loss of a child 78,000 years ago, has been revealed in the discovery of the oldest burial site in Africa. The Middle Stone Age grave - of a three-year-old child - was found in a cave in Kenya. In a paper in the journal Nature, the researchers who studied the fragile, ancient remains described how its head appeared to have been laid on a pillow. Scientists have named the child Mtoto, meaning “the kid” in Swahili. The international team of archaeologists carefully cast the entire grave in plaster in order to preserve the arrangement of surviving bone fragments. This enabled them to transport the body safely to a laboratory for detailed study. “It was like excavating a shadow,” said Prof María Martinón-Torres, director of Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution. “[When we moved the cast], we didn’t know we were carrying a child in our arms,” she told the BBC’s Inside Science programme. The researchers were able to study the teeth to confirm that this was the tiny body of a human child - between two and three years old. Scans revealed that the body had been laid in a fetal position. And the bones had moved in a way that suggested it had been wrapped tightly when buried, with its head was originally resting on something like a cushion of leaves, which subsequently decomposed. “We think the child was wrapped in a shroud made of leaves or animal skins - like he was placed in his last sleep,” explained Prof MartinónTorres. “There is such a delicacy and intention that really expresses feelings from the group towards this child.” Further examination of the size and shape of the bone fragments led the researchers to conclude that Mtoto was most likely a boy. “He was buried in the cave - where the people lived,” Prof MartinónTorres said. “All this behaviour meant something - maybe grief, maybe not letting him go.” Africa is considered the cradle of human modernity, but amid all the evidence of early tool use and community living, scientists say that burials were an important missing piece of the human evolutionary story there. “The next oldest grave in Africa is about 74,000 years old,” explained Dr Louise Humphrey from the Natural History Museum in London. “Interestingly, that was also a young child, but it was poorly excavated about 50 years ago, so we don’t know much about it.” “Here, there is definitely a sense of personal loss,” she added. “It’s evidence of people who had a more symbolic representation of the world around them.”


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Malian woman gives birth to nine babies


25-year-old Malian woman has given birth to nine babies - two more than doctors had detected during scans. Halima Cisse gave birth to the nonuplets in Morocco. Mali’s government flew her there for specialist care. The five girls and four boys were born by Caesarean section and were doing well, Mali’s health minister said. It is extremely rare to give birth to a set of nonuplets - and complications during and after birth often mean that some of the babies do not survive. Fanta Siby, Mali’s health minister, congratulated the medical teams in both countries for the “happy outcome”.

Mali’s health ministry has posted this image of three of the nine babies born on Tuesday

Ms Cisse’s pregnancy became a subject of fascination in Mali - even when it was thought she was only carrying septuplets, the Reuters news agency reports. Doctors in the West African nation had been concerned for her welfare and the chances of the babies’ survival - so the government intervened. After a two-week stay in a hospital in Mali’s capital, Bamako, the decision had been made to move Ms Cisse to Morocco on 30 March, Dr Siby said. After five weeks at the Moroccan clinic, she had given birth on Tuesday, the minister said. The mother and her new brood are expected to return home in several weeks.

Nicolas Dupuis: ‘I have nothing to reproach myself about’


uspended Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis has told BBC Sport Africa that he has “absolutely nothing to reproach” himself about following his temporary ban. The Frenchman was suspended, without pay, until further notice last Friday by the Malagasy Football Federation (FMF). In a letter to the coach, the FMF said the coach spent “more time [pursuing] commercial interests for personal publicity” than on the

team whose “image” had recently “regressed”. Dupuis has told BBC Sport Africa that everything he has done is “transparent”. “I have absolutely nothing to reproach myself about,” he said. “The whole of Malagasy football, the executive committee of the federation, supporters, players agree (the suspension) is right. “With five weeks until our next matches for the moment I would prefer not to say anything in order

not to disturb the preparation of my players. I accept this temporary decision.” At the beginning of June, Madagascar will host Benin before travelling to play Tanzania in their opening group games for 2022 World Cup qualifying. In Dupuis’ absence, former Paris St-Germain defender Eric Rabesandratana will be in charge of the national team as head coach. Dupuis was appointed by Madagascar in 2017 and led the team

to a maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations two years later. Madagascar reached the quarterfinals in Egypt in 2019 but the Barea failed to qualify for next year’s finals in Cameroon. Dupuis last led the team to a victory in November 2019, four months after Madagascar unexpectedly reached the last eight of the Nations Cup. Since January 2019 he had combined his job with Madagascar with being the sporting director at French fourth-tier side FC Fleury 91.

Child malnutrition ‘alarming in Ethiopia’


n international medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), says it has found what it describes as “alarming” levels of malnutrition in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans

have been displaced during seven months of conflict between regional forces and the Ethiopian army. MSF said a third of children screened in rural clinics are malnourished. It said aid was rarely extended beyond large towns.

Some families are eating just once a day, and often only bread. The charity said the situation would probably worsen during the approaching rainy season as the war is preventing farmers from going to their fields.

Many have been driven off their land and have sought refuge in towns or across the border in Sudan. Ethiopian federal forces and their allies, including Eritrean soldiers, have been accused of using aid as a weapon of war in Tigray.

Seychelles brings back curbs despite vaccination success


he Seychelles, which has fully vaccinated over 60% of its population against Covid-19, is bringing back restrictions amid a rise in cases. The archipelago of nearly 100,000 people recorded close to 500 new cases in the three days to 1 May and has about 1,000 active cases. A third of the active cases involved people who had had two vaccine doses, the country’s news agency said. The rest had either had a single dose or were unvaccinated. Schools have been closed and sports activities cancelled for two weeks. Bars, restaurants and shops are to close early and some gatherings have been banned. “Despite all the exceptional efforts we are making, the Covid-19 situation in our country is critical right now with many daily cases reported last

Schools have been closed and two weeks week,” Health Minister Peggy Vidot told a press conference on Tuesday. More than four-fifths of the active cases were among Seychellois people, with the remainder made up

sports activities cancelled for of foreigners. The Seychelles, which relies on tourism for much of its income, began vaccinating its population in January using Chinese-made Sinopharm

vaccine doses donated by the United Arab Emirates. By mid-April about 60% of the vaccine doses administered in the country were Sinopharm, with the rest Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses, Bloomberg reported. Trials in China and the United Arab Emirates have put Sinopharm vaccine efficacy at 79% and 86% respectively. The World Health Organization is expected to approve the Sinopharm vaccine and other Chinese-made vaccines for use later this week. In April, China’s top disease control official said the efficacy of the country’s Covid vaccines was low, although he later insisted his comments had been misinterpreted. Researchers in Brazil have put the efficacy of another Chinese-made vaccine, the Sinovac vaccine, at

Zulu queen's remains expected back in palace


ourners have gathered at Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu’s palace in South Africa's northern province of KwaZulu-Natal, waiting for her remains to arrive from Johannesburg where she died last week. Zulu maidens known as isiphithiphithi regimen will be

accompanying Queen Mantfombi’s remains in preparation for the burial which will be held in the early hours of Thursday morning. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state funeral for the regent of the Zulu nation. Wednesday is the sixth day of mourning at Khangelamankengane

royal palace in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. There’s a heavy police presence along the road leading to the palace. The royal house is a hive of activity - a number of cows have been slaughtered to feed all the people who are gathering here to pay their respects. A decision on who will now lead the

Zulu kingdom is expected to be made after the queen’s burial. This comes at the back of a legal challenge that has been launched by some members of the royal family who have questioned the authenticity of the will of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s who died in March. Source: BBC



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Israel: Netanyahu’s future in doubt after failure to form government A

deadline for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government has expired, putting his political future in question. President Reuven Rivlin may now ask a rival to try to assemble a coalition. Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, and Naftali Bennett, head of the rightwing Yamina party, spoke to Mr Rivlin on Wednesday morning. But there remains a risk of the country having to hold a general election for the fifth time in only two years. This will be a blow for Mr Netanyahu, Israel’s longestserving leader. However, after the inconclusive result of the last election on 23 March, it is an outcome that was widely predicted, the BBC’s Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party is the largest in the Knesset, with 30 seats Mr Netanyahu was given 28 days to build a coalition with a majority in the 120-seat parliament, the Knesset, but he was unable to do so before the deadline ended at midnight on Wednesday. His right-wing Likud party - which emerged as the largest in the election, winning 30 seats - blamed the failure on what it said was Mr Bennett’s “refusal to commit to a right-wing government”. Mr Netanyahu told his former protégé and defence minister on

Monday that he would be willing to hand over the premiership to him for one year as part of a rotation agreement, despite Yamina only controlling seven seats. Mr Bennett dismissed the proposal, noting that even with his party’s support Mr Netanyahu would still be two seats short of a majority. The far-right Religious Zionism alliance had also ruled out joining a coalition supported by the small Arab Islamist party, Raam, which said it was open to working with Mr Netanyahu to address the needs of Israel’s Arab citizens. After Mr Netanyahu returned his mandate, Mr Rivlin’s office said he intended to make a decision in the next three days “about the next steps in the process of forming a government” and was considering inviting members of parliament who were candidates for the task to meet him. The first two leaders to travel to the president’s residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday were Mr Lapid, whose party is the second largest in the Knesset with 17 seats, and Mr Bennett. Both asked Mr Rivlin for the mandate. Yair Lapid (L) and Naftali Bennett (R) met President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Wednesday Mr Lapid, a former TV presenter and finance minister, is expected to be given a chance to form a government. But our correspondent says he would face a challenge to bridge wide


vanadalised offices and even looted shops run by BJP workers. But the TMC has denied the charge and said seven of its workers were killed in clashes. The BJP has said it lost nine workers to the violence. The alleged deaths come amid a steep surge in Covid infections in India. Cases are rising especially fast in West Bengal, which saw massive election rallies ahead of the polls. The TMC, BJP and a coalition of leftist parties have all traded blame for instigating the violence. Unverified visuals on social media show ransacked offices, burning buildings and people being


uslims faithful have been called unpon to offer special prayer for peace and unity of Nigeria during the Ramadan fasting. Iman Khalifa Yunus Ahmed Tijjani stated this in a Ramadan Lecture Organised by Agwa Muslims Communty in Chikun Local Goverment Area of kaduna state yesterday. The Cleric noted that the nation needed more prayer now than ever due to the emerging security and economic challenges.

Benjamin Netanyahu was given 28 days to build a coalition with a parliamentary majority ideological differences between the parties he could ask to join a coalition. He has previously said that he would be prepared to share the premiership with Mr Bennett, with the latter leading the country first. “We will do everything to form an Israeli unity government,” Mr Lapid told reporters following his meeting with the president. Mr Bennett said: “With

God’s help, we will form a good government for the nation of Israel.” If a nominee asked by the president proves unable to put together a government, he can task the Knesset with selecting a candidate. If it cannot, Israel will hold another election. A long period of political stalemate in Israel has been complicated by Mr Netanyahu’s ongoing trial for corruption,

which he denies. His rivals argue he should not remain in office while facing criminal charges. Mr Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving leader, having led five governments since 1996. The last, which saw him share power with the then-main opposition party to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, collapsed in December, triggering the latest election.

attacked. It’s still unclear how the clashes began. The re-elected chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked people to show restraint and not take part in any violence. She was sworn in on Wednesday in a small ceremony in which she took her oath in Bengali, and pledged to tackle the escalating Covid-19 crisis in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned the state’s governor, Jagdeep Dhankar, and expressed his concern over the situation. The federal home ministry has also sought a report of the violence from its state

counterpart. BJP president J P Nadda also arrived in the state on Tuesday. He met the families of two party workers who died in the clashes. A former BJP district leader told BBC Hindi: “Fearing the TMC workers, many party workers have fled their homes to save their lives.” The situation remains tense as reports of violence have poured in during the last 24 hours from several districts across the state. But TMC leaders allege that this is fake news being spread by the BJP. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original

tweet on Twitter West Bengal, where political parties have a larger than usual presence on the ground, has a history of poll-related violence involving party cadres. And the latest clashes come in the wake of a hard-fought election, which saw PM Modi campaign prominently, making himself the face of the BJP in the state. Ms Banerjee didn’t just hold on to power but won comfortably. This surprised political observers who expected the might of the nationally-ruling BJP to dent the TMC’s vote count.

Myanmar charges Japanese journalist over alleged fake news


Japanese journalist arrested in Myanmar has been charged with spreading fake news, the country’s Japanese embassy has said. Yuki Kitazumi is the first foreign journalist known to be charged since the coup. He was arrested in April and has been in prison since. More than 700 people have been killed and thousands detained, including many local journalists, since Myanmar’s military staged a

coup in February. Mr Kitazumi who was working as a freelance journalist had been reporting for many of Japan’s major news outlets, appearing as a rare foreign reporter from within Myanmar (also called Burma). The 45-year old was arrested on 18 April when police raided his home in the country’s main city Yangon (Rangoon). He had already been briefly detained on 26 February. The Japanese embassy in Myanmar said he showed no health

Insecurity: cleric calls for special prayer for peace and unity of Nigeria

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

West Bengal: India parties claim 17 dead in poll clashes t least 17 people have allegedly been killed in India’s West Bengal state since Sunday in clashes following local elections. They were all reportedly party workers who belonged to the state’s governing Trinamool Congress (TMC) and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Violence reportedly broke out after the incumbent TMC swept to power for a third time in the battleground state. But police are yet to confirm the deaths or what started the violence. The BJP has alleged that TMC workers attacked its members,



problems but added they were urging the military to release him. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison, according to Japanese media. Aside from covering the coup and the subsequent protests and killings for Japanese newspapers and broadcasters, Mr Kitazumi had also frequently posted about the situation and its impact on citizens on his social media accounts. Mass protests have been taking place across Myanmar since

the military deposed the elected government and declared a yearlong state of emergency. Throughout the months of demonstrations, authorities have cracked down on the protesters and also press freedom. Around 80 local journalists are known to have been detained for their reporting so far. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, 50 of them are still in detention and half of those have been prosecuted.

A few foreign journalists have also been arrested. The armed forces have justified their takeover by alleging there had been widespread fraud during a general election late last year which had returned elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party (NLD) to power. The military promised instead that it would hold “free and fair” elections once the state of emergency is over. Source: BBC

Resuscitate Ajaokuta to grow economy -Don

Makinde pays N1.38bn gratuity to 456 beneficiaries T he Oyo State Government has paid the sum of N1.38 billion as gratuity to 465 retired primary school teachers and local government staff. The cheques were distributed on Monday at the lobby of Water Corporation Building, Secretariat in Ibadan. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gratuity, paid to both the living and dead staff, was the sixth tranche since inception of the Gov Seyi Makinde-led administration. Alhaji Bayo Titilola-Sodo, the Special Adviser to Makinde on Labour Matters, appreciated God for giving the governor the required wisdom, strength and strong will to withstand criticism from the opposition as well as pessimists. “You will all recall that Gov. Makinde has been so passionate

about the pensioners, that’s why their welfare has been so paramount to him. “He does not joke with issues bordering on both the serving and retired personnel at all. “This kind gesture of our dear governor was however reciprocated by the national body of pensioners with an award just recently,” the special adviser said. He said that Makinde was doing everything humanly possible towards ensuring all the gratuity debts were cleared during his time, notwithstanding the economic situation across the country. Prince Adebayo Adeyemi, the Chairman, Local Government Staff Pension Board, expressed gratitude to God and thanked Makinde for displaying interest in the welfare of the downtrodden. He commended the governor

for prioritising the welfare of senior citizens who had contributed immensely toward the development of their beloved fatherland. “Most often, when we consider the multifaceted challenges confronting the State in the art of governance, one is marvelled by the governor’s efforts in tackling the issue headlong, even in the face of the present economic downturn and ever increasing obligations to attend to,” Adeyemi said. The board chairman said that 465 retirees benefitted from the N1.38 billion earmarked for the 6th tranche of cheque distribution. Earlier, Dr. Ayodele Busari, the Board Secretary, appreciated Makinde for giving the pension board staff a conducive atmosphere to operate.

He also thanked members of staff for working hard to make the payment a huge success. Pastor Samuel Awobode, the representative of Auditor-General for Local Government and Mr Segun Abatan, the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), appreciated the governor for his effort. The duo in their separate remarks, applauded the state government for rising to the challenge of regular payment of gratuity/pensions, admonishing the retirees on judicious use of the entitlements. Mr Akin Funmilayo, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Local Government Service Commission; executive members of NUP, management staff of Pension Board and other important dignitaries were present at the event. (NAN)


rof. Benjamin Adewuyi of the Federal University of Technology Akure has advised the Federal Government to resuscitate Ajaokuta steel company in order to serve as a catalyst for economic growth. Adewuyi of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering of the institution, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. According to him, Ajaokuta steel is a national asset that should be given adequate attention to ensure it played it part in the Nation’s economy. He said that no country would record economic growth without a viable metallurgical sector put in place, adding that Nigeria should revive its moribund metal sector. “The company is stagnant; we spoke with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, few weeks ago and he said that the Russia team that will take audit of the company will soon arrive in Nigeria,” he said. NAN recalls that the accord to revive Ajaokuta steel company was reached during a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Vladimir Putin in Russia in 2019. The Russian government had nominated TYAZHPROMEXPORT (TPE), a Russian company, the original builder of Ajaokuta steel to conduct technical audit of the steel company to ascertain the level of work to be completed. On Delta Steel in Aladja, he said that it would take political will to correct the mistake made on the company at its initial concession to an Indian company. He said that nothing had changed about Delta steel since the administration of late Umar Ya’adua retrieved Delta steel from the Indian company called Global Infrastructure (Nigeria) Ltd.(NAN)


Killing: Tiv Youth President advocates deployment of security From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia


resident of Tiv Youth Organization in Nasarawa state, Barr. Barnabas Zayol has called for the deployment of security operatives in some parts of Keana and Doma Local

Government Areas of the state, where 50,000 farmers have been displaced by suspected herdsmen. He made the call on Tuesday in Lafia, while speaking with our correspondent. Barr. Zayol said since last Saturday when some of his

tribesmen were attacked by suspected herdsmen, killing 11 people in Ajimaka community and other surrounding communities, security operatives were yet to be deployed to the affected areas to restore normalcy. According to him”We are

appealing to the Federal and State Governments to deploy security operatives to the affected places of Doma and Keana Local Government Areas because our people, amounting to over 50,000 have been displaced by suspected herdsmen.”





Coronavirus: How India descended into Covid-19 chaos


n Monday, a senior official from India’s federal government told journalists that there was no shortage of oxygen in Delhi or anywhere else in the country. As he spoke, several small hospitals - only a few miles from where he stood in the capital were sending out desperate messages about them running out of oxygen, putting patients’ lives at risk. The chief doctor of one of the hospitals - a specialist paediatric facility - told the BBC that “our hearts were in our mouths” because of the risk of children dying. They got supplies just in time, after a local politician intervened. And yet, the federal government has repeatedly insisted that there was no shortage. “We are only facing problems in its transportation,” Piyush Goyal, a senior official from India’s home ministry, said. He also advised hospitals to “ensure judicious use of oxygen as per the guidelines”. Several doctors who have spoken to the BBC say they are giving oxygen only to patients who need it, but there is not enough. But experts say that the shortage of oxygen is just one of the problems which shows both federal and state governments were not prepared, having failed to do enough to stop or minimise the damage of the second wave. A street in Delhi in early March, when, despite warnings, India’s health minister said the country was in the “endgame” of Covid-19 Warnings have in fact been repeatedly issued, including: • In November, a parliamentary standing committee on health said there was an inadequate supply of oxygen and “grossly inadequate” government hospital beds • In February, several experts told the BBC they feared an impending ‘Covid tsunami’ • In early March, an expert group of scientists, set up by the government, warned officials about a more contagious variant of coronavirus spreading in the country - only for no significant containment measures to be taken, one scientist from the group told the BBC. The government has not made any comment on the allegations Despite this, on 8 March, the country’s health minister announced that India was in the “endgame of the pandemic”. So, where did it go so wrong? The basics In January and February, the national number of daily cases fell to under 20,000 from peaks of around 90,000 in September last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Covid beaten, and all places of public gathering opened. And soon, people were not adhering to Covid safety protocols, thanks in part to confused messaging from the top. While Mr Modi asked people to wear masks and follow social distancing in his public messages, he addressed large unmasked crowds during his election campaigns in five states. A number of his ministers were also seen addressing large public gatherings without wearing masks. The Kumbh Mela, a Hindu festival - which attracts millions - was also allowed to go ahead. The Kumbh Mela religious festival in midApril, which, like political rallies at the time, were attended unmasked “There was complete disconnect between what they practised and what they preached,” says public policy and health systems expert Dr Chandrakant Lahariya. Prominent virologist Dr Shahid Jameel says “the government just did not see the second wave coming and started celebrating too early”. But there is more to the story: the devastation has also exposed the underfunding and neglect of the public healthcare system in India. The heart-breaking scenes that have been witnessed outside hospitals - people dying without getting treatment - shows the grim reality of India’s healthcare infrastructure. As one expert puts it, India’s “public health infrastructure was always broken, the rich and the middle class are just finding out”. Those who could afford it have always relied on private hospitals for treatment, while the poor struggle to get even a doctor’s appointment. Recent schemes, like health insurance and subsidised medicines for the poor, are not helping because very little has been done in decades to increase the number of medical staff or hospitals. India’s healthcare spending, including both

private and public, has been around 3.6% of GDP for the past six years, the lowest percentage in the five Brics countries: Brazil spent the most at 9.2%, followed by South Africa at 8.1%, Russia at 5.3% and China at 5% in 2018. Developed nations spend a far higher proportion of their GDP on health. In 2018, for instance, spending in the US was 16.9% and Germany 11.2%. Even smaller nations like Sri Lanka (3.76%) and Thailand (3.79%) spend more than India. And India has fewer than 10 doctors per 10,000

died because of a lack of oxygen. “The outcome has been that desperate family members are spending thousands of rupees to secure an oxygen cylinder on the black market and then stand for hours in a queue to get it filled,” points out Dr Lahariya. Meanwhile, those who can afford it are also paying hefty amounts to procure drugs like remdesivir and tocilizumab. An executive from a pharmaceutical company which manufactures remdesivir said “demand

people, and in some states the figure is less than five. Preparation Several “empowered committees” were last year looking at the preparations needed to tackle the next coronavirus wave, so experts are baffled by the shortages of oxygen, beds and drugs. “When the first wave was tapering, that’s when they should have prepared for a second wave and assumed the worst. They should have taken an inventory of oxygen and [the drug] remdesivir and

had dried up” in January and February. “If the government had placed an order, we would have stockpiled and there wouldn’t have been any shortage. We have ramped up production but demand has grown significantly,” he said. In contrast, the southern state of Kerala planned for the surge in advance. Dr A Fathahudeen, who is part of the state’s Covid taskforce, says there was no shortage of oxygen in the state as necessary steps were taken in October last year.

then ramped up manufacturing capacity,” Mahesh Zagade, former health secretary of Maharashtra state, told the BBC. Officials say India produces enough oxygen to meet the spike in demand but transportation was the problem. Experts say this should have been fixed much earlier. The government is now running special trains carrying oxygen from one state to another and stopping use of oxygen in industries - but only after many patients

“We also procured sufficient stock of remdesivir and tocilizumab and other drugs well in advance. We also have a surge plan in place to tackle any exponential rise in the numbers in the coming weeks,” he says. Mr Zagade says other states should have also taken similar steps “to avoid the suffering”. “Learning means someone else has done it and you can do it now, but that means it will take time,” the former health secretary for Maharashtra said.

Tina now sells her drink in cans and is trying to get more places to stock them

But time is running out as the second wave is now spreading to villages where healthcare systems are not equipped to deal with the surge. Prevention Genome sequencing of the virus is an important step in identifying new variants that could be more infectious and deadly. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) was set up last year and it brought together 10 labs in the country. But the group reportedly struggled to get funding initially. Virologist Dr Jameel says India started seriously looking at mutations fairly late, with sequencing efforts only “properly started” in mid-February 2021. India is sequencing just over 1% of all samples at the moment. “In comparison, the UK was sequencing at 5-6% at the peak of the pandemic. But you can’t build such capacity overnight,” he said. However, India’s main hope was always vaccination. “Any public health specialist will tell you there is no practical way to strengthen an already broken public healthcare system in a matter of months,” one woman, whose family runs a large private hospital in Delhi, told the BBC. “The best and most effective alternative to battle Covid was to vaccinate the population as quickly as possible so the majority wouldn’t need hospital care and hence not overburden the healthcare system.” India initially wanted 300 million people vaccinated by July, “but it seems the government did not do enough planning to secure vaccine supply to run the programme”, Dr Lahariya says. “On top of it, it has opened the vaccination for all adults without securing vaccine supplies.” So far, only about 26 million people have been fully vaccinated out of a population of 1.4 billion, and about 124 million have received a single dose. India has millions more doses on order, but still far short of what it actually needs. The federal government needs 615 million doses to vaccinate everyone above the age of 45 about 440 million people. There are 622 million people between the age of 18 and 44, and 1.2 billion doses are required to vaccinate them. The government has also cancelled exports, reneging on international commitments. The government has enlisted other firms like Biological E and the state-run Haffkine Institute to produce vaccines. It has also given credit support of $609m to the Serum Institute of India, which produces the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab which is being made in India as Covishield, to ramp up production. But that funding should have come earlier, Dr Lahariya says, saving precious lives. “It will take months before we have enough vaccines to speed up the programme. In the meantime, millions will continue to be at risk of getting Covid,” he adds. Experts say it is ironic that India is known as the world’s pharmacy and it is now facing shortages of vaccines and drugs. All of this, Dr Lahariya says, should serve as wake-up call for for both federal and state governments, which should invest drastically more in the healthcare sector because “this definitely is not the last pandemic we will have to fight against”. “The future pandemic may come earlier than any model can predict,” he says. Source: BBC Quote Genome sequencing of the virus is an important step in identifying new variants that could be more infectious and deadly. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) was set up last year and it brought together 10 labs in the country. But the group reportedly struggled to get funding initially. Virologist Dr Jameel says India started seriously looking at mutations fairly late, with sequencing efforts only “properly started” in mid-February 2021. India is sequencing just over 1% of all samples at the moment. “In comparison, the UK was sequencing at 5-6% at the peak of the pandemic. But you can’t build such capacity overnight,” he said. However, India’s main hope was always vaccination. “Any public health specialist will tell you there is no practical way to strengthen an already broken public healthcare system in a matter of months,” one woman, whose family runs a large private hospital in Delhi, told the BBC. “The best and most effective alternative to








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THURSDAY, may 6, 2021

Chelsea set up all English Champions League final

Timo Werner has been directly involved in 22 goals in all competitions this season (12 goals & 10 assists), the most of any Chelsea player


helsea will face Manchester City in the Champions League final in Istanbul after convincingly overcoming a fading Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge. On a night of high tension, even behind closed doors, Chelsea fully deserved a victory that sets up an all-English final against Pep Gua

Thomas Tuchel’s hosts were grateful to goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for two fine first-half saves from Karim Benzema but they were able to build on the 1-1 draw they achieved in Madrid when Timo Werner headed in from almost on the goal-line in the 28th minute after Kai Havertz had lofted a finish on to the bar.

It set the platform for a second half of total Chelsea domination that was nevertheless laced with anxiety as the hosts missed chance after chance to put the game to bed. Real’s former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved from N’golo Kante and Havertz, who also headed against the bar, while Mason

Mount shot wildly over the top when clean through. It was Mount, though, who finally sealed Chelsea’s place in their first Champions League final since they won the competition in 2012. The outstanding Kante, who was also instrumental in the opening goal, fed substitute Christian Pulisic and his cross

was turned in by Mount with five minutes left. It adds another chapter to the remarkable transformation under Tuchel since he succeeded the sacked Frank Lampard in January - and gives him the chance to make amends for the 2020 Champions League final, when his Paris St-Germain side lost to Bayern Munich.

Women’s Ballon d’Or holder makes plea to Messi, Ronaldo

>>PG 31


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U-15 La Liga/ NPFL Tournament: Enugu Sports Commissioners Assures of readiness




Rangers players embark on one-week break




eymar enjoyed playing with Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain, but he knows that the World Cup winner is still a long way from being as good as Lionel Messi. The Frenchman has impressed in the Champions League this season, most notably at the Camp Nou where he effectively knocked Barcelona out of the competition. “There’s no comparison,” Neymar said when asked to compare the two. “They have two very different styles of play. “Messi is the best player I’ve seen, and Kylian is on his way to becoming one of the best.”




Neymar: There’s no comparison between Messi, Mbappe Neymar, admitting he wishes he was as fast as Mbappe, had a lot of praise for his teammate. The Brazilian was asked for his thoughts on Mbappe having said that he can be hard to play with because of the speed at which he thinks.

“It’s the same for all high-level players,” Neymar said. “If you’re not careful, you risk losing them in a fraction of a second. “Kylian is very fast, so I have to be focused and attentive to him all the time. But it was the same with [Andres] Iniesta,

Messi or [Luis] Suarez. “I owe a lot of my happiness at PSG to Mbappe. He’s helped me to learn about the French way of life, he has explained the French mentality to me. I owe a lot of my adaptation to him.”

Tuchel admits he wants Real Madrid over Liverpool in UCL semis


nugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Manfred Nzekwe has assured Nigeria Football Federation/ League Management Company delegation in Enugu State of California the readiness of the State to host a hitch- free under 15 LaLiga NPFL , football tournament in Enugu State. Speaking while receiving officials of NFF/LMC with Enugu State Football Association Officials and the Local Organizing Committee members, in his office, Tuesday, Commissioner Manfred Nzekwe , commended the NFF for deeming Enugu State capable of hosting such important football tournament. He assured that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, by accepting to host the tournament, the state government will put everything in place to guarantee the success of the tournament adding that the tournament will be the best organized tournament in Nigeria. He further assured that every relevant stakeholder will be brought on board to ensure a successful tournament. In his speech, the leader of the delegation and General Coordinator Youth League, of the Nigeria Football Federation/ League Management Company, Dr Johnson Obaseki, informed the Commissioner that Under 15 LaLiga/ Nigeria Football Federation tournament will commence from Monday 12 the April, as arrival date, while kick- off will commence on Thursday15th April, with the final coming up on May 2nd 2021. He requested for accommodation of visiting teams and vehicle for the visiting Local Organizing Committee members, adding that the team will work in synergy with other stakeholders to ensure the success of the Championship. In his statement, the Chairman Enugu State Football Association Barr.Tony Ugwu, assured that all the necessary logistics required for the Championship will be provided by the state Football Association and the organizing committee.


T Rangers players celebrating


anagement of Rangers International F.C, the ‘Flying Antelopes’, ably led by Prince Davidson Owumi has approved a one-week break for players of the club with effect from Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Addressing the players at the club’ ultramodern players’ camp, Nkponkiti road, Independence Layout, Enugu, Tuesday, G.M/ CEO of the side, Prince Owumi Davidson, charged the players to be professional in all their conducts during the break stressing that the period was for each player to relax, refresh and refocus their minds for the task ahead in the second round of the 2020/21 NPFL season.

“This break is coming at the instance of the technical crew led by coach Salisu Yusuf as we now have a date for the start of the second round and I charge you all to be true professionals in this break period. I believe it is a period for you to take your mind off anything football. Just relax, refresh and refocus your minds on what you will do for us to achieve our set target in the second round of the league,” stated the astute football management guru while addressing the players. Also speaking, technical adviser, Coach Salisu Yusuf advised the players to maintain the level of fitness they have attained while on break warning that there will be penalties for any player that acts unprofessionally during

the period. “I know the level we are leaving you people and I expect to see it on your return in a week’s time. Please, be professional in all your conducts as there will be penalties for any reported unprofessional conduct during the break,” stated the vastly experienced gaffer. The players are expected back in Enugu on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 with training sessions commencing Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The ‘Flying Antelopes’ are currently placed 4th on the twenty-team log with 30 points from 18 matches played as the rescheduled match day 19 fixture with oriental neighbours, Enyimba International F.C is yet to get a date from organizers of the league, L.M.C.

Akure to host NLO division 3


he Nigeria Nationwide League One, NLO has confirmed that Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure will be one of the centres for the division three of its matches. The Chairman of the NLO, who also doubles as a board member of the NFF, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali stated this at the inauguration of standing committees by the Ondo State Football Association “My colleagues sent me to welcome him back as the Chairman back after his election. Am assuring the people of Ondo state that right from today, you will see changes. “The entire Congress of the NFF are happy with the election of Otunba Dele Ajayi. In the next edition of our NLO division 3, a big centre will be awarded to Ondo State. Inaugurating the committee, Board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh said,the constitution of the standing-committees, was in tune with the statutes of the NFF. Fresh said he was happy that the State FA Chairman,Otunba Dele Ajayi, had brought everyone on board from the last election and would be successful, saying,” A divided house will not last “ Fresh urged the members of Sports Writers in the state to also, always put the FA in the state in the right direction whenever they were astray. Earlier, the Chairman of the Ondo FA, Otunba Dele Ajayi said the state

homas Tuchel admits he would prefer to face Real Madrid rather than Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals after Chelsea reached the last four for the first time since 2014. Chelsea were beaten by Porto on the night in the home leg of their quarter-final in Seville, Mehdi Taremi’s scoring a stunning injury time overhead kick for Sergio Conceicao’s side. But Tuchel’s men had done the hard work in the first leg, winning 2-0 in the away game

which was also staged in Seville to render Porto’s late goal irrelevant. Tuchel said: ‘In general I like not to play against teams from your same league in the Champions League as it gives more of a feeling of a European competition but that is the only thing. The game is far from over but I will watch it for sure. ‘Everything is possible. Liverpool are very strong at home so we take what we get. It is a good situation for us.’

teams so far. “We know what to help both teams. It is too bad to owe for seven months for the male team and 13 months for the female team,” he said. Ajayi later thanked both Board members Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and Alhaji Mohammed Alkali for gracing the occasion. Alkali, who is the Chairman of the Nassarawa FA, said the whole of NFF were happy with the election of Dele Ajayi as the chairman of the FA in the state.

performance to not let your opponent perform. ‘Today (Tuesday)was the day to hang in and show all the effort, all the intensity, all the team spirit, that’s needed if you don’t have the experience, if you have a young team, it’s the moment to be together. ‘We talked about what we needed to do if you feel nervous and that is to use your body, work hard and make yourself sweat. This is what we did.’

Women’s Ballon d’Or holder makes plea to Messi, Ronaldo


merican female and world superstar Megan Rapinoe wants the world’s greatest male footballers to lead a stronger fight against the world’s sickening ills. Megan believes explained that the power of football as a leader and influence in Europe, can be the determining triumph over social issues like racism and homophobia - and Lionel Messi as well as Cristiano Ronaldo are key voices. “Football is the most popular sport in Europe; all eyes are on the players, they are among the best athletes,” she told RMC Sport, as shared by Soccer Laduma. Megan added a key distinction between American superstar sportsmen and football’s icons regarding the fight against discrimination. “When you see the commitment of

certain athletes, like Serena Williams or LeBron James here in the United States, it is important that people like (Marcus) Rashford, Messi, (Antoine) Griezmann or Ronaldo get involved too as people will listen to them, as they are global role models. “It is not just black players who have to talk about racism, not only gay players who have to talk about homophobia, not only women who have to talk about pay inequality. “We are all responsible, we must use our own voice to stop discrimination, to stop discrimination we face. “It really isn’t up to the people who are already oppressed to make sure they shut down a system they are going through, this is not how there will be real social change; everyone must collaborate, like in the USA,” Megan concluded.

Man United named most valuable team in England would be full of football activities with the committees in place. Ajayi said Ondo State FA has the solution to the problem of Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens, urging the state government to carry the association along. “We are ready to collaborate with people with ideas and personnel from people that can make Ondo state enviable heights. “We thank the governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for the huge amount he has released for the state owned

Hailing Chelsea’s progress, Tuchel said: ‘The semi-finals is a big achievement. It’s a big step to be in the semi-final. ‘We’re not used to being there but once you are there you play for the final.’ While Tuchel admitted the game was not a spectacle, Chelsea produced a professional display to keep Porto at arms’ length until it was too late for them to mount a comeback that took the game to extra time. Tuchel said: ‘It is also part of the

The latest Forbes list has put Manchester United as the most valuable team in England. United’s dip in form overall has not affected their position on the money list with the Red Devils leading a contingent of six Premier League clubs who occupy Forbes’ top 10 list. United are currently valued at $4.2bn with their close challengers being Liverpool who are valued at $4.1bn. However, the Merseysiders have had an 88% rise in the last two years thanks to their on-field success. United has experienced a 10% change in their value with only Atletico Madrid having a lower variation amongst the top 15 teams

on the list. The Red Devils were third on the list last year but have now been overtaken by Bayern Munich. Barcelona tops the list while Real Madrid comes in at a close second. United has also come fourth in revenue earned, with an impressive $643m. Apart from United and Liverpool, the other most valuable teams in the top ten from England include Manchester City ($4bn) in the sixth spot, Chelsea ($3.2bn) in the seventh spot, Arsenal ($2.8bn) in ninth and Tottenham Hotspur ($2.3bn) in tenth. The likes of Everton ($658m), West Ham United ($508m), and Leicester ($455) complete the list of English clubs in the top 20.

. . . putting the people first

THURSDAY, may 6, 2021


SPORTS Good governance or systemic failure? latest

Raheem Sterling: Manchester City forward racially abused on social media


anchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling has received racist abuse on social media. It comes two days after English football’s four-day boycott of social media, in response to ongoing online abuse, came to an end. A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it had removed the comment and “taken action” against the account responsible. Facebook added the abuse sent to the 26-year-old was “unacceptable”. “As part of our ongoing work in this space, we’ll soon be rolling out new tools to help prevent people seeing abusive messages from strangers,” it said. “No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse.” Is football’s racism battle being lost on social media? Two Manchester City supporters were banned from football matches for five years in January 2020 for racially abusing Sterling. Chelsea also banned a fan for life for using “racially abusive language” towards Sterling during a match at Stamford Bridge in December 2018. Two years ago, several footballers took part in the #Enough campaign - a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at online abuse - however players across all sports continue to be subjected to abuse. Rugby union, cricket and rugby league were among the other sports to join football in last weekend’s boycott. Facebook also removed Instagram accounts that sent racist abuse to Stoke City’s Wales winger Rabbi Matondo on Wednesday - the second time in 2021 that Matondo has received such abuse. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi

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As a social scientist, I have long come to the conclusion that that while governance or the lack of it is a serious issue in Nigeria, the greater problem lies with people of Nigeria. Never in modern or even ancient history has any country been so unfortunate to be populated with ethnocentric and religious egomaniacs. The people are so filled with selfimportance that each tribe and ethnic group is willing to set ablaze the common land. No learning from history, no learning from other nations’ experience. Leadership seems to have taken a walk while governance takes flight. But then who do we blame for the poor governance or total lack of it? I blame us, we the people who fail to even grasp the basic essence of governance, its implication, and expectations. This is why we cannot demand for accountability or hold leadership accountable. Others have argued and are still arguing that the people of Nigeria are so poverty-stricken or that the different governments at one time or another have ridden us so badly we have ceased to care. I don’t agree and I refuse to succumb to that defeatist stance. My take is that because of our failure to stand together as a people we encouraged and help grow the situation we find ourselves today. Governance implies delivery of services and results that meet the needs of a society and takes care of the general collective well being of the people. How does this happen? It happens when processes and institutions are deployed to produce results that meet the needs of society through optimal application of available resources. Optimal application of resources means optimization of efficiency, which implies sustainable use of natural resources, protection of the environment, and targeted deployment of revenue. In all, governance encompasses that process of decision-making and implementation of those decisions. It requires political will; unshakeable drive to deliver not just on promises but on what needs to be done to make life worthwhile for the general populace. Good governance is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable and transparent, responsive to the people’s needs and yearnings, effective and efficient and very importantly equitable and with a strong presence of the rule of law. Who are the people entrusted with this implementation? Who are those responsible for the operationalizing of policies

0806 564 8620 0814 292 9046 0803 587 5846 08074420617


SAFIYA ADAMU yandokye@gmail.com resulting from decisions taken? The public service provides that machinery and it is manned by the career civil service personnel, persons who “begged to apply “ for the jobs entailed in this machinery. The failure of these persons to implement and deliver on services is our collective failure. Because we the people do not demand for accountability and are not willing to hold anyone accountable so they get away with not doing the right thing, they get away with mediocrity and we let them. Punishment for failures or gross misconduct is not applied, because we have chosen to throw standards to the dogs. These failures have now become the new normal and are now systemic. Systemic failure is today the bane of our public service, it has created and constituted barriers to governance. This is an issue that causes me so much vexation. Why? Because it begs questions like; how did we get to this state of affairs? When did we lose it? Where are we headed? What happened to us as a people? Who stole our sense of ethics and morality? The questions are just endless and each one threatens to sink one. For real? Yes for real! Systemic failure in its simple meaning is failure due to a flaw or flaws in a system. But how can systems have flaws when there are people appointed, or elected, or employed to man it and run it? Something is most certainly not right here. Systems do no just fail overnight; flaws develop as a result of failure to apply checks and balances in the system, coupled with total refusal to carry out “turn –around” maintenance through upholding of standards. In the case of political entities and systems it is simply a case of refusal to do a review of the system and do away with what is not working while retaining that which works, replacing or redesigning what has to be done away with. There has to be continual improvement in the way we do things because ideas and concepts are continually evolving. Change is constant in life and we must live with it. The only way we can survive is by imbibing it wholesome. Why

are there no serious innovations in the system? Is this an intellectual laziness, or just lack of interest, or more likely, a case of short sightedness? Intellectual laziness may be; because the Research and Development (R&D) Departments are not necessarily funded or given any importance per se. Even where funds are available there are rarely any noticeable linkages between the public services and research institutions, moreover what little is done usually ends in files and file cabinets. Results hardly impact on the service, on policies and implementations etc so that year- in –year- out the processes remain the same and results remain unimpactful. The civil service seems to have peculiar effect on the civil servants. By some unwritten rule there appears to be a general consensus that efficiency and impact are anathema to the service and the bureaucrats. It just does not make any sense that things don’t get done properly yet the rules, laws and regulations are there, present in documents available to everyone. Short sightedness to the point that all that matters is accumulation, all that matters me, mine, and myself. It is frightening when you dare to compare the lifestyle and spending or “wealth” of some civil servants with their levels on the service cadre. What is going on? Systemic failure in this case is failure to deploy the processes and institutions to deliver services for the public good. Examples abound for this; take the budgeting process for one. Budgeting and budget preparations do not follow best practice in most of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies). This is because the process is found to be wanting or deficient in needs assessment, consultation, inclusiveness, and participatory. An effective budget references your past to predict your future and determine your present. So each budget cycle must necessarily reflect the needs of the people at that point in time, their wants and expectations from the decision makers and those responsible for implementing

those decisions. If the budget does not reflect the wants of the people, and the needs that would enhance their general well being then there would be a problem. Budget is an important instrument and a strategic tool in the kit of governance so a bad budget begets a bad macro economy this is why the budget must be right. We may shout and scream all we want about government failures but nothing exhibits these failures like the eruption of a crisis, any crisis. Budget becomes a good example because crises force us to face up to our inadequacies and force us into admissions. Take the Covid-19 pandemic for example. The pandemic has exposed the flaws in our healthcare system and how poorly equipped the hospitals are, how highly deficient they are in the face of such crises and even in day – to day healthcare. We see our inefficiencies and low capacity glaring at us. However the lack of good governance is not due to failure of particular administration but due to our complacence. The assumption that countries fail or succeed because of bad or good leaders and leadership is a fallacy. Failures or successes occur because of the dynamics within the system. Flawed systems happen because the people let them happen. Right now we are in a quagmire and I quote “ display of leadership including moral leadership is near impossible in a quagmire”. We must as a people collectively decide to have a leadership that thinks good governance, one with the political will to move this nation forward, a leadership with a bright mind and it is all encompassing.


We gave COVID-19 palliatives to all govs, Minister tells Reps -News

Why were they hiding them?

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