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Thursday, JUNE 10, 2021/ Shawwal 29, 1442 AH

2585 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited

Vol. 36 No. 072 N200



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

ASUP suspends 65 days nationwide strike

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FEC okays N895.5b supplementary budget for military, Covid-19 vaccines FG to borrow N722b to fund security component

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President Muhammadu Buhari presenting a made-in-Nigeria Cell Phone, during Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday (9/6/2021)

Twitter approaches FG for dialogue over suspension All existing duly issued Put up policy to check Nigerian armed forces stretched to elastic limit - further devaluation of naira tinted permits remain valid- IGP immediately - Reps ask CBN Senate President pAGE 5

pAGE 4

pAGE 3

PG 6

Buhari: We must eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030 pAGE 2



News CONTENTS News 2-14 Op.Ed


Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-20 21

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


Gombe govt reiterates commitment to partner UNICEF, others on youth empowerment, girlchild education Page 4 Digest


Feature 26 Sports 30-31 Back Page


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SCI, stakeholders advocate funding for nutrition By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


orried about the countries indices on nutrition and its attendant effect on future generation, Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CSSUNN), in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI), Nigeria, converged on the nation’s capital to rob minds on how best to improve nutrition funding in the country. The aim of the meeting was also for participants to develop a SMART commitments which will arm the country’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in his presentation at Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo. Speaking at the meeting, Save the Children’s Advocacy, Campaign and Policy Manager for SURVIVE, Ifedilichukwu Innocent, said the meeting brought all stakeholders together so as to get a commitment that is implementable, unlike the previous ones. “Today’s meeting is a step in the right direction and this started in 2013 when different countries gathered in the United kingdom to make commitments. These commitments if we get it right and we are able to get federal government, the Vice President in particular to present this commitment, issues around malnutrition will be a thing of the past because we would have adequate and efficient management of resource allocation for nutrition. ” Our hope is that the lives of women and children will improve if we are able to get government to make a commitment that are implementable and actionable. Not the one that will be difficult for even them that are making it to implement like what has happened in the past. “In 2013 they made a lot of commitments, saying so many

things but so many years after, they were not able to implement most of those commitments. We are very mindful this time around. We are making a lot of consultations. We are reaching out to all stakeholders. We have professionals from relevant agencies and ministry of government, from development partners, from the Sun network, the academia, Civil Society organizations, office of the Vice President, United Nations and development partners. We hope to come up with the best recommendations aimed at addressing malnutrition in the country”. Also speaking, Director/ Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of Health, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, lamented poor implementation of previous commitment made by

the government. “At the first 4G summit in London in 3013, 110 stakeholders committed $4billion to tackle undernutrition and $19billion in completing nutrition-sensitive investment to prevent at least 20 million children from being stunted and at least 1.7 million lives by 2020”. On his part, Senior Health Adviser Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Dr Ahmad Abdulwahab, said nutrition is one of the priorities of the governors, adding that they have a scorcard where they measure progress. “Nutrition has been a problem because Nigeria currently has the second highest number of stunting and when you look at under five mortality you find out more than 50% of the underlining

cause is nutrition. When you look at this scary statistics, you know that nutrition is something that we need to prioritize in this country. “First, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum is a member of Nigerian Council on Nutrition. When you look at the priorities that the governors have outlined in universal health coverage, nutrition is one of the priorities. Infact the governors have gone ahead of what is happening today because they have already identified the areas of commitment where they need to intensify actions, and they have a score card which they use to monitor those commitments. So I can assure you that the governors are already two to three steps ahead of this gathering.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) during Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday (9/6/2021)

Buhari: We must eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030 By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called for a renewed global action to decisively address the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in the African region and eliminate the disease by 2030. The President spoke at a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on HIV\AIDS to review the progress on commitment to end the deadly disease by 2030 and provide recommendations to guide and monitor response in countries. According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President addressed the meeting in a video message. Pledging Nigeria’s full commitment to the Sustainable

Development Goals (SDG) and other international and regional initiatives towards eliminating HIV & AIDs in the world within the set goal, President Buhari said: ‘’We will continue to work with fellow Heads of State and Government across the continent to ensure sustained high-level political engagement in achieving these goals. ‘’I want to reiterate Nigerian Government’s full support for a clear and ambitious Common African Position & New Political Declaration that can help to reduce the public health threat of HIV/AIDS, strengthen resilience to end the disease, and in addressing current & future health emergencies. ‘’We further commit to urgently translating all new and agreed Political Declarations

into country action as a means of decisively addressing the HIV epidemic in the African region.’’ Apprising the meeting of Nigeria’s response to control the disease, the President expressed delight that the country ‘’has moved from a data poor to a data rich country with the results of the largest AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey, conducted in 2018.’’ He added that the result of this survey has enabled Nigeria to set realistic targets and identify those who were not being reached with the necessary services. ‘’This has further enabled Nigeria, through the support of the United States Government, Global Fund, Civil Society and other partners, to enrol almost 1.5 million Nigerians on life-saving HIV treatment. ‘’We have recorded tremendous growth in our

treatment programme. Especially over the past 2 years,’’ the President said. The statement said President Buhari told the meeting attended by Heads of State and Government, ministers and diplomats that Nigeria had made good its commitment at the HighLevel Meeting Side Event at the 72nd Session of the UNGA in September 2017, to commence placing 50,000 Nigerians living with HIV on treatment annually, using national resources. ‘’Furthermore, I personally granted an exceptional waiver for the use of competitive international tender facilities to procure antiretroviral medicines at more than 30% cost efficiency, enabling more Nigerians to be placed on life-saving antiretroviral treatment within the same budget,’’ he said.

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Continue tweeting - NASS Minority Caucus tells Nigerians

........dismisses threat of arrest by Buhari By Christiana Ekpa


he Joint Minority Caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives after its meeting over the ban on Twitter by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has asked Nigerians to continue tweeting even s the Caucus restated its condemnation of the embargo as draconian and unacceptable. The Joint Minority Caucus equally dismissed threats by the Buhari -led government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using twitter and called on Nigerians to go ahead and use their twitter as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or internationally. The Joint Minority Caucus in statement signed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe inority Leader of the Senate and Hon. Ndudi Elumelu Minority Leader of the House of Representatives recognized the provisions of Articles 19 and 20 of the United Nations Charter on Fundamental Human Rights, which Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as provisions of Sections 39 and 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and noted that by these provisions no one will be violating any law for using twitter in Nigeria. They said “As lawmakers, the Joint Caucus is pained by the anguish Nigerians, especially the youths, who find the use of twitter as a means of livelihood and genuine social interaction, are passing through just because the APC-led Federal Government feels slighted that an individual’s post, was deleted by Twitter for ethic violation. The joint caucus therefore called on Nigerians to use various opportunities offered by technology and continue making use of twitter since such does not violate any law in our country.

Ag. News Editor, Tobias Lengnam

All existing duly issued tinted permits remain valid- IGP •Directs retrieval of SPY Number Plates from unauthorized users

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has affirmed that all existing vehicle tinted glass permits, duly issued by the Nigeria Police Force, remain valid. The police in a statement issued yesterday by its spokesperson, Frank Mba, sad the clarification is coming on the heels of public enquiries following the announcement of the suspension of issuance of new tinted permits by the IGP during the meeting with Senior Police Officers at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Monday, 7th June, 2021.

The suspension, which is a temporary measure, will remain in force pending the release of a new protocol that would regulate the issuance of tinted permits for vehicle owners and operators in the country. The IGP noted that the move is part of efforts to streamline the process of issuance and usage in line with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act which is explicit on conditions for the use of vehicles with tinted glasses in Nigeria. This is in addition to, among other things, effectively address contemporary security challenges

associated with the usage of tinted glasses by criminal elements who hide under the cover of tinted vehicles to carry out their nefarious activities. In a similar vein, the IGP stated that existing SPY number plates must be used by authorized users, for purposes and vehicles specified by law while issuance of new SPY number plates remain on hold pending the release of a new protocol that would guide its issuance and usage in the country. Meanwhile, the IGP has directed Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the thirty-six (36) States of the Federation and the Federal

Capital Territory, as well as their supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), to give full effect to the directives as contained above. The IGP specifically directed the AIGs and CPs to ensure that all SPY number plates currently in use by unauthorized users or fitted to unauthorized vehicles, are retrieved forthwith. The IGP however warned that while carrying out these assignments, officers must ensure the rights and privileges of citizens are respected in line with the laws of the land and in accordance with international best practices. From left: Special Adviser to Oyo State Government on Environment, Ademola Aderinto; Oyo State Commissioner for Environment, Idowu Adeleke; Secretary to State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; and Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Environment, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju, during the launching of Mobile Toilets and Green Club as part of activities to mark World Environment Day in Ibadan on Wednesday (9/6/21).

We will produce comprehensive membership register for PDP-Obaseki

By Lateef Ibrahim Abuja


he People’s Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday inaugurated its committee on electronicregistration with the Chairman of the committee and Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki promising to produce a comprehensive and generally acceptable register that the party will be proud of. Obaseki, further declared that the committee, which has the Governor of Adamawa State, Mr Ahmadu Fintiri as Vice-Chairman, will be all inclusive and engage the brilliant young men and women in the country who exist and live in the digital world in carrying out its assignment. Obaseki categorically assured that the committee will leverage on the existing platform of the party to produce a membership register that the party will be proud of.

.....As Secondus insists PDP remains largest party

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, while inaugurating the committee, earlier, said that despite being in opposition in the country, the PDP, without grandstanding, remains the largest political party on the African continent. Secondus boasted that in terms of membership drive and outreach across states of the federation, PDP members outnumbered that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). His words, “when we say that PDP is the largest party in the continent, we are not grandstanding but stating the obvious, there is no nook and cranny of this country that you won’t find PDP members. “In 2019 general election, the

PDP was the only political party that fielded candidates in all the positions: Presidency, Governorship, Senate and House of Representatives and in all the 36 states Houses of Assembly. “Even in states where we are not in power, our members still out number even the ruling party in such states. “We are the only party since inception in 1998 that has been consistent in name, motto, manifestos and logo”, he said. The National Chairman of the main opposition party said due its size and reach, and the fact the party is dynamic and moves with the times, it is the desire of the party to digitalize its membership for proper database. He said e- registration is a project that is very dear to the party and has been on the card since 2010. According to him, “Reports we get

across the country shows that many more Nigerians want to belong to this party and this program will provide them such opportunity”. Secondus told the Obaseki and Fintiri (Chairman and Vice Chairman of the committee respectively) that “in appointing you as the Chairman of this project, the party took into consideration your background and your love for data and record keeping. “We have absolute confidence that you and your team will deliver in this assignment that is expected to update the data base of our party across the country. “Membership registration into our party is a continuous program. What we are embarking on is to digitalize it for proper analysis of issues. “The place of women and youths in our party cannot be over emphasized

and this program is going to help toward proper planning in our party. “Your Excellencies, leaders of our party here present, before I inaugurate this August body, may I use this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC party to immediately unban the micro blogging Twitter and stop limiting Nigerians from expressing themselves”, he said. Among the members of the committee are; the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, Deputy National Secretary, Dr Agbo Emmanuel, Hon CID Maduabum, Director-General of PDP Governors’ Forum; Prof. Wale Oladipo, Sani Kutigi and Hon. Austin Opara while the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) serves as Secretary.




Anambra Put up policy to check further devaluation guber: Parties of naira immediately - Reps ask CBN commence T primaries, collection of nomination forms today By Christiana Ekpa

he House of Representatives yesterday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately put in place, a policy to check further devaluation of the Naira against the United States (US) dollar and other international legal tenders. This is just as the Lower Chamber mandated its committee on Banking and Currency to ensure compliance with the directive, and report back in two weeks for further legislative action. These followed a motion sponsored under matters of urgent

public importance on Wednesday, by Hon. Bamidele Salam, who recalled that in February, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele while addressing the Bankers Committee during a summit on the economy in Lagos, informed the committee about the Naira devaluation against the USD, to the effect that the official exchange rate stands at N410 to the dollar. The lawmaker argued that the figure represented 7.6 percent weaker than the rate of N379 published on the apex bank’s website, noting that “while the value of the Nigerian naira relative to the US dollar has declined by 9% in the last 6 months, the South

African Rand and Ghanaian Cedi, have appreciated by 11.4 percent and One percent respectively”. According to him, in January 2021, the naira exchanged to the US$ at about N377, but that by June 7th, 2021, however, it exchanged for about N411. “The South African Rand, on the other hand, exchanged for about 15.14 Rand to the US$ in January and at about 13.41 Rand as of June 7th, 2021. Likewise, the Ghanaian Cedi, which exchanged for 1 US dollar at about 5.818 Cedi’s in January, has remained relatively stable in the last six months and even appreciated by about One percent”,

he noted. In his opinion, “all is not well with the naira and whatever policy is being adopted to manage it at the moment”, thus the urgent need to halt further value decline. The lawmaker lamented that while CBN has adopted multiple exchange rates since last year in a bid to avoid an outright devaluation, and the official rate used as a basis for budget preparation and other official transactions when ch differ from a closely controlled exchange rate for investors and exporters, the Naira has traded in a tight range between N400 to N410.

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has reminded political parties interested in contesting the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election of the commencement of primaries today. The election is slated to hold on November 6, this year. The Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led Commission said this in a statement yesterday by Chief Press Secretary to its Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi in Abuja. The collection of nomination forms by the political parties from INEC Headquarters will also start today. Already, the Commission, in continuation of preparations for the election, yesterday, (Wednesday 9th June 2021) implemented the first activity on its timetable by publishing the official notice for the election in its offices in Anambra State. The Commission reiterated its appeal to political parties to conduct credible and rancourfree primaries in compliance with the law and our regulations and guidelines. In its statement titled, ‘Anambra Governorship Election’, INEC said, “It will be recalled that on 19th January 2021, the Commission published the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Anambra State Governorship election, outlining 14 activities. “In continuation of preparations for the election, the Commission has today, Wednesday 9th June 2021, implemented the first activity on the Timetable by publishing the official Notice for the election in our offices in Anambra State. “Tomorrow, (today) Thursday 10th June 2021, the next two activities will kick off, namely, the commencement of primaries by political parties to democratically nominate their candidates for the election as well as the collection of nomination forms from INEC Headquarters. “The Commission hereby reiterates its appeal to political parties to conduct credible and rancour-free primaries in compliance with the law and our regulations and guidelines”, the statement concluded.

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FEC okays N895.5b supplementary budget for military, Covid-19 vaccines

FG to borrow N722b to fund security component

By Egena Sunday Ode


he Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the draft 2021 supplementary budget of N895,842,462,917 for procurement of equipment for the military and Covid-19 vaccines. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja. She said that the supplementary budget contained an aggregate sum N770.60 billion to further enhance the capacity of the defense and the security agencies to address current and emerging security challenges in the country. A total of N83.56 billion expenditure is set aside in the budget for Covid-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and

Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of the vaccines. Similarly, N40 billion was provided to take care of the needs for allowances to the health, education sectors and other wage related issues. There is also N1.69 billion for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme. The Minister said: “Today, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, presented to Council a proposal to seek Council’s approval for the draft Federal Government of Nigeria 2021 Supplementary Budget. “The Council deliberated on our proposal and approved as follows: Having noted the need for the urgent procurement of vaccines and also the need for funding to ensure that Nigeria is able to meet its commitment under the HIV, the Nigeria Progressive

AIDS Programme in State, Council approved that we should be able to proceed to the National Assembly with the bill in the total sum. “Also, Council noted the urgent need to specifically enhance the capacity of our military and paramilitary agencies to tackle the various security challenges that we currently have in the country, Council on this note approved the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill in an average expenditure of N895,842,462,917. “The total of this expenditure is made up of at N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of that 30 million vaccines. “It also contains the sum of N1.69 billion for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme that is currently operating in the states and an additional

contingency provision of N40 billion under the public servicewide adjustments to take care of the needs for allowances to the health sector, to the education sector and other wage related issues. This is an incremental provision over N100 billion that is already provided in the 2021 budget. “The Council also approved an aggregate sum N770.60 billion to further enhance the capacity of the Defense and the security agencies to address current and emerging security challenges in our country.” The Minister maintained that government will draw from N39.58 billion to finance the supplementary budget just as it will withdraw N135 billion from special levy accounts for the same purpose. She added: “In line with this approval, we have also been given approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totaling about N39.58 billion as

part of the financing source for this supplementary budget. “We will be working with the World Bank to restructure some of the existing facilities to realise this N39.58 billion. “We’ve also been given approval to withdraw N135 billion from some special reserve levy accounts to part-fund this supplementary budget, but specifically related to COVID-19 vaccine, salaries and other health-related expenditure as well as the recurrent component of the Defense and Security expenditures. “Finally, this approval also contains an approval to borrow the sum of 722.53 billion for security expenditures and these are the capital components of the security expenditure in the absence of any other additional supplementary sources of borrowing. This borrowing would be done from the domestic international capital market.”

COVID-19: NCDC tests 2.1m samples as Nigeria records 102 new cases

T From left: Country Programme Director, AIDs Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Dr Echey Ijezie; National Secretary, Alliance for COVID -19 and Beyond, Mr Atambi Ade; National President, Lawyers Alert, Mr Rommy Mom; General Secretary, Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Comrade Martin Egbanubi and Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF, Mr Steve Abarisade, during a round table meeting on COVID 19-vaccine access organised by AHF in Abuja on Wednesday

Gombe govt reiterates commitment to partner UNICEF, others on youth empowerment, girl-child education By David Hassan, Gombe


overnor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said his administration will continue to work in partnership with the United Nations Children Education Fund UNICEF and all relevant agencies in order to address social and economic challenges bedevilling the State especially as it affects youths employment and girlchild education. The Governor gave this indication during a meeting with stakeholders on the implementation process of the At- Risk Children Project, ARCP led by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Hajiya Maryam Uwais. Recall that Gombe State Government had this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment on the At-Risk Children Project, (ARC-P) aimed at complementing the efforts of state government in tackling the menace of out-of-school children and winning the war against societal ills such as drug abuse.

During the stakeholders engagement, which held at the Gombe state Governor’s lodge, Abuja, Governor Inuwa Yahaya commended UNICEF for playing a pivotal role towards the establishment of the Better Education Service Delivery for All BESDA whose objective was to among other things improve literacy through enrollment of out- of schoolchildren. He said being at the centre of the North East, Gombe State is overwhelmed by the influx of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs from contiguous states of Borno Yobe and Adamawa, noting that it was for this reason that his administration keyed into the ARC- P initiative to curb some of the societal ills and attendant vulnerability and consequences of the centrality of the state. Governor Inuwa Yahaya informed his guests that with a population of over 3.5 million people and with about 70 to 80 percent of unskilled youths and the rising unemployment rate among the educated ones in the State, every effort has to be explored in order to address the challenges. He said his administration is

ready to work with the United Nations Children Education Fund, UNICEF in whatever capacity in order to address the challenges confronting the girlchild and youths who are vulnerable, describing the situation at the rural areas as alarming and unacceptable. He added that Gombe is ready for the take-off of the ARC- P project. Governor Yahaya assured that his administration will continue to take all necessary measures, especially in collaboration with development partners and relevant agencies to remedy the situation. Earlier, Mrs Uwais commended Governor Yahaya’s political will and commitment to the implementation of the ARC- P activities in Gombe state. She applauded him also for all the steps taken so far by his administration to address socio-economic challenges in the state, assuring of sustained and robust partnership with the government through training and skills development as well as other areas of need. The Special Adviser to the Governor on human capital development, Barr. Sani Ahmed

while giving update on the At-Risk Children Project in Gombe State, said his office has already commenced mainstreaming and profiling of all the activities in the Project, through forming functional clusters. He said, “ the secretariat as Your Excellency is aware, has been constituted, with Eight (8) members Project Management Team (PMT) and seven (7) members Project Advisory Committee (PAC-as TA’s), their selections cut across various disciplines – ranging from health, Gender/children expert, sports, Horticulture, Science, technology and technical Assistant on Security – All are now fully onboard”. The Country Representative of UNICEF, Mr. Ibrahim Cisse and the head of Sports Section of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, UNODC, Mr. Ibenga expressed their agencies’ commitment to the project, even as they commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya for showing remarkable interest and leading the way in addressing socio-economic challenges in his state.

he Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has tested 2,180,444 samples for the Coronavirus as the country records 102 additional infections. The public health agency on its website noted that the additional infections brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 166,918. “On June 8, 2021, a total of 102 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria. “Till date, 166,918 cases have been confirmed, 163,259 cases have been discharged and 2,117 deaths have been recorded in 36

states and the Federal Capital Territory. “The 102 new cases have been reported from nine states – Ondo (68), Bayelsa (17), Kaduna (5), Lagos (3), Rivers (3), Akwa Ibom (2), Gombe (2), Ebonyi (1) and Oyo (1),” it stated. According to the the public health agency, a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at level 2, has continued to coordinate the national response activities. The agency added that the country’s active cases now stood at 1,542. (NAN)

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Baba Adamu

*Says insecurity pushing Nigeria to edge of precipice


outcome.” Referring to the 2010 Electoral Act Amendment, Lawan said the Senate will ensure the passage of the Bill before its long vacation in August, adding that though there has been remarkable progress, there are still gaps and inadequacies in the electoral process. “Our electoral process has shown remarkable improvement in the Fourth Republic with the cycle now virtually stable. In 2023, we shall have the seventh regular cycle of general elections, the longest in the history of our nation. “Despite the progress, gaps and inadequacies have been identified in the process. The electoral reform Bill seeks to address these gaps and we have committed ourselves to passing the Bill before the annual summer recess. “We also promised to break the jinx on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and we are on the verge of doing this by finally passing the Bill this month after about 20 years of failed attempts.”

President Muhammadu Buhari Swears In Two Federal Civil Service Commissioners During The Fec Meeting Held At The State House Abuja. Photo; State House

Nigeria armed forces stretched to elastic limit - Senate President he Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has warned that Nigeria armed forces are already overstretched to almost their elastic limit, just as he expressed concerns that banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and other attacks on public facilities are currently pushing the country to the edge of precipice. Lawan who made these worrisome remarks at the special session on the second anniversary of the Ninth Senate, said “Security challenges are currently pushing our country to the edge of the precipice. “Insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and attacks on public facilities are occurring daily in many parts of the country with our security forces stretched almost to their elastic limit. “To address the emergency, we passed several resolutions as part of our legislative interventions and kept engaging with the Executive in order to achieve the desired

In addition, Lawan pointed out the commitments of the 9th Senate towards the fight against corruption, which he identified as the thrust of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He said the 9th Senate within its two years in office, passed Bills aimed at strengthening the fight against corruption and the institutions of war against corruption. “The fight against corruption is critical to the progress of Nigeria and is a key point in the Agenda of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari. As part of our commitment to the success of the fight, we passed the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2021 to boost institutional capacity for fighting corruption in Nigeria. “We believe that the new institute will provide the kind of

services that can nip corruption in the bud in both the public and private sectors. We had earlier passed the Public Procurement Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.109); and the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.158) also to block the avenues for corruption in the procurement process by MDAs.” Speaking also on Constitution amendment efforts of the 9th Senate, Lawan said in line with the primary duty of the parliament which is to make law for the good governance of the country, the Senate passed hundred of bills, legislation, including confirmation of appointments for Executive Arm of Government. He said about 742 Bills were introduced during the two sessions of the Assembly, out of which 58 have been passed, while 355 Bills have gone through first reading, and 175 have gone through second reading and have been referred to the relevant committees for further legislative business.

He said future that 11 Bills referred by the House of Representatives for concurrence have also been passed, with all the Bills cutting across all the sectors and touching most areas of needs in the lives of the citizens. He said in respect of Constitutional amendment, the Senate just concluded Public Hearings in six Geo-Political Zones of the Country from which the Committee collected Memoranda from Nigerians and listened to their views. “The zonal hearings were followed by a national public hearing in Abuja last week. The essence of this process is to consider the major issues that Nigerians feel strongly about. We believe consensus building is essential to achieve the changes. It is gladdening, however, that Nigerians have shown enthusiasm for the process. “It is in line with this that we have set a target to consider the report of the Committee on the Amendment of 1999 Constitution before we embark on this year’s summer break in July.”




Insecurity: Okowa lauds Navy’s role in securing oil assets

By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Wednesday commended the Nigerian Navy for its collaborative role in providing security for the nation’s oil assets. Okowa gave the commendation when he received the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Kennedy Egbuchulam, at Government House, Asaba. He said that a lot was being done in collaboration with the Navy and other security agencies to secure the state, and urged the FOC to ensure that his tenure would further enhance peace and security in the area. According to him, there is no doubt that the Navy along with other sister agencies are actually doing a lot to help to secure the economy and the safety of our area. “I am glad that you visited your men in various locations even in the very remote parts of the state and it’s obviously a good boost for them. “Parts of our state like other states in the Niger Delta are actually very difficult to handle issues of security and development. “In order to truly ensure that the people provide a peaceful environment, we need to find collaboration between them and the state in such a manner that we also take development to them. “In realising this, we have tended to take to the best of ability within the limits of financial resources to take some level of development to these areas that are actually in the riverside. “With the cooperation of our people, it is beginning to pay off and we are thankful to the people for the level of peace that we are enjoying and we hope that by collaboration and talking to each other through dialogue, will continue to yield better results and cooperation from the various communities,” Okowa said. He called on the Federal Government to look at the plight of Niger Delta people by providing them with more development to make life more meaningful for them. “I have always used every single opportunity I have to call on the Federal Government to also continue to see what best they can do in trying to extend development to these areas. “It’s obviously quite difficult terrain and we will continue to see what we can do because the cost of development, especially if you are constructing roads, is quite high. “If you want to provide services, it’s quite difficult even drinking water, because they are surrounded by water yet they can’t find water to drink; they can’t find water to do a whole lot of things. “If you want to construct anything in that place, you will actually bring in a lot from outside and it’s not an easy thing to do, but we thank our people for their cooperation. ``We also thank your men for the great job they have been doing because collaboratively we have tended to have some level of peace in our waterways throughout this period,” the governor stated. He pledged the support of the state government in completing the fencing of Naval Command in Warri and Jetty at NNS Delta.

Twitter approaches FG for dialogue over suspension T

he Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the microblogging platform, Twitter, has approached the Federal Government for dialogue with a view to resolving the problem that led to the suspension of its activities in Nigeria. Mohammed made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday. According to him, he got the message from Twitter seeking dialogue with the government over the suspension order on

June 9. He maintained that the social media giant was suspended because it provided an avenue for unpatriotic elements that were bent on destroying the corporate existence of Nigeria. According to him, the owner of Twitter helped to fund the recent #EndSARS protest while allowing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of security agents and destruction of public facilities. He said Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets in spite of repeated requests to do so.

Mohammed listed conditions that must be met even if there is a discussion with Twitter including that it must now be registered in Nigeria as a business concern. He said that other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram must also be registered so that the country could be able to generate revenue from their operations. “Our decision to suspend Twitter has been lauded by some; it has been decried by some. “But let me make it clear that what’s important to us is the sovereignty of Nigeria and until when Twitter is paused. “And the cardinal thing is

that Twitter must be registered in Nigeria, Twitter must be licenced in Nigeria and Twitter must stop using its platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria or to its corporate existence.’’ According to the government spokesman, freedom of speech has not been stifled by the suspension of Twitter as he maintained that Nigerians can still use other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. He also denied that the suspension is not effective, arguing that that “Twitter is losing money as a result of the action’’. (NAN)

Resources, Front row from left: Chairman, World Energy Council, Prof. Abubakar Sambo; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Executive Wunti; Bala Mr Services, Management Investment Mr. Bitrus Nabasu; Mr Group General Manager, National Petroleum and Secretary, Petroleum Contractors Trade Section, Mrs Rosario Osobase; and back row from left: Executive Director of Corporate and Oshisanya; Tai Mrs Nigeria, Total Control, and Finance of Regulatory, Orwell Limited, Ms. Charlotte Essiet; Executive Director at the 4th President/CEO, Pedestal Africa Limited, Mr Paul Arinze, during a session on Oil and Money: Strategies for Energy Transition, (9/6/21). Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, in Abuja on Wednesday

Reps move to change Navy University to Admiralty, as Bill scales second reading By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives on Wednesday passed for second reading a bill seeking to make the Nigeria Navy University known as Admiralty University a conventional university. Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi said the passage of the bill into law will grant the institution full legal status to operate without any hinderance. Leading a debate on the bill, Gagdi said “this Bill seeks to establish the Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ibusa as conventional university with selected programmes, limited and focused faculties to promote scholarship,

research and other means of advancement of knowledge and its practical application to military hardware and software, and provide an opportunity of acquiring a higher and liberal education in Nigeria”. He said the University will offer courses in military policy, logistics and strategy, basic and applied sciences and arts, engineering, environmental and social sciences, education, agriculture, medical sciences, and any other field of study approved by the Senate of the University. He said the institution will also provide special training courses whether leading to university distinctions or not for such persons as may be prescribed,

conduct research in any field as may be prescribed or directed, arranging conferences, seminars, workshops and like activities and performing any other function as may be conferred on it by Statute. He said he objective will be to provide facilities for learning and give instruction and training in such branches of knowledge as the University may desire in order to ensure that students obtain the advantage of a higher and liberal education. It will also promote research and other means of advancement of knowledge and its practical application to military hardware and software, social, cultural, economic, scientific and technological situations, stimulate,

particularly through teaching (and research, interest in and appreciation of military policy, logistics and strategy. It will also encourage and promote scholarship and conduct research in selected fields of learning and human endeavour including entrepreneurship skills, enhance the diffusion of knowledge throughout Nigeria in general and the Nigerian Army in particular; and undertake other activities appropriate for a university. He appealed to the lawmakers to speedily pass the law establishing the institution which is already in operation, having been granted a license by the National Universities Commission.




18 people perish in Jigawa We’re working to rescue 136 auto crash From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse


o fewer than 18 people died in a ghastly motor accident at Birninkudu Local Government Area of Jigawa state. Reports from the state

indicated that the accident uccured at around 6:30am along Birninkudu to Kano road where two Hummer buses had head on collision at Malam Alyssa farm, about 10 kilometers to Birninkudu town.

Confirming the incident, the Jigawa state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Lawan Shisu Adam said “today 9th, two 18 seater Hummer buses from opposite direction had head-on collision and went in flames.

He added that 12 people were burnt beyond recognition. The police public relations officer added that 6 peoples died instantly. “Their corpses are deposited at federal medical center BirninKudu”.

abducted students - Niger govt From Yakubu Minna



he Niger state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso has said that in the last few days government has been engaging with security agencies to ensure the release of abducted 136 Salihu Tanko Islamiyya Students in Rafi Local Government Area. Ketso, stayed this while fielding questions from newsmen at government house in Minna. He however, refuted claims that it deliberately ignored the parents and people of Tegina. This is coming after parents including the head teacher of the Islamiya school lamented government’s nonchalant attitude and stands on ransom payment, saying their children have been left to their fates. Also speaking on ban on all illegal parks in Minna the state capital, the Deputy Governor said, as part of plans to decongest the state capital, only government approved parks will be allowed to operate.

From left: Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Magdalene Ajani; Minister of Transportation Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Managing Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC ), Mr Michael Yigao and Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria, during the inspection of Railway Project in Lagos on Wednesday (9/6/21).

Drama as NBA Chair alleges manhandling by EFCC in Benue From Uche Makurdi



peratives of the Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi, Benue state have allegedly beaten up the State Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Justin Gbagir. Peoples Daily learnt that the incident took place when the NBA chairman had visited the office to intervene in the release of a member of the NBA in the state, Mrs Aver Shima who was detained by the operatives. Mrs Shima, a law officer with Benue State Ministry of Justice is assigned to offer official legal services to Benue State Universal

Education Board, SUBEB. However, it was gathered that even though the EFCC had invited Mrs Shima to appear before it on Wednesday, but officials of the Commission detained her when she was in their office on Tuesday when the SUBEB boss appeared before it. However, in an unsigned statement posted on the platform of the EFCC in the state, the Information Officer Adebayo Adeniran denied the allegations. Pushed further to sign the statement, he said, “You people should wait and get a formal press release from the EFCC spokesperson in Abuja, Wilson Uwujaren. In the statement, the Commission vehemently denied

that the NBA Chairman was not beaten up. “I have carried out an investigations into the allegation that the NBA chairman, Makurdi Branch was beaten up.It was not true. “We are investigating someone for forgery at SUBEB, and we invited her for interview. “At about 8pm, some people came in large number after close of work led by NBA Chairman protesting that we should release the woman. “They were advised to leave EFCC premises in other to pave way for dialogue and eventually the said woman was released to the parrmanet secetary ministry of Justice.

“The NBA Chairman was not even around as the time the woman was released and he was never beaten as claimed. “EFCC Operatives are always civil in carryjng out their official duties. Following the encounter that ensued at the EFCC office at about 8pm on Tuesday, the NBA chairman was later hospitalised and placed on observation at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi. Speaking to newsmen on his hospital bed at the BSUTH on Wednesday, Gbagir said that the EFCC has been hostile to lawyers who accompany their clients to the Commission for fear of being exposed of unwholesome activities of the Zonal office.

killings is forcing us to be widows, women group laments From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he umbrella body for women in the North, Jam’iyyar Matan Arewa (JMA), has said the spate of killings in the country is forcing them to be widows. President JMA, Hajiya Rabi Musa Saulawa made the assertion during a press conference held in kaduna yesterday. She said, “our beloved country is today sadly at the precipice. The Northern part of Nigeria has become the epicenter of perennial crisis of epic proportions from all fronts.” The North, according to her is endowed with untapped human and natural resources that can propel Nigeria as a super power.




Twitter Ban: Impose visa ban on Buhari, Malami, Lai, PDP tells US, UK, others T By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia and other members of the International Communities to, immediately, impose visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet involved in stifling free speech in Nigeria. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP predicated its demand on the violation of UN international Charter on Human Rights by President Buhari by banning the use of Twitter in Nigeria. The PDP insisted that banning Twitter in Nigeria is a clear violation of Article 19 of the UN Charter as well as

section 39 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guaranteed freedom of expression to all Nigerians. The main opposition party also urged the world bodies to sanction the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami as well as certain leaders of the APC for “their individual ignoble roles in the ban imposed on Twitter in addition to associated harassments and threats to Nigerians”. The PDP urged the countries to bar President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, Abubakar Malami and their family members from entering their territories for any private purposes whatsoever. “For the avoidance of doubt, Article 19 of the UN Charter on Human Rights provides that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this

right includes freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, the party said. Continuing, it added, “In the same vein, section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”. “Our party holds that the trio of President Buhari, Lai Mohammed and Abubakar Malami and their agents cannot continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and rights extended by virtue of their offices in Nigeria, while at the same time blatantly flouting the UN Charter, which Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as the 1999 Constitution (as amended) upon which provisions they

hold office. “This is more so as the stifling of information flow as being witnessed in the ban on Twitter further creates an enabling environment for abuse of human rights and acts of terrorism in our country”, it stressed. The PDP called on the international community to hold the trio of President Buhari, Lai Mohammed and Malami responsible for the escalated abuse of human rights, constitutional violations as well as the situations that embolden terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and vandals in our country. The party equally said that it has commenced the compilation of list of APC leaders, involved in the infringing on the rights of Nigerians for onward transmission to the UN and other world bodies for sanctions.

SCI laments state of healthcare infrastructures in Nigeria From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


L-R: Executive Director Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa (RAFSANJANI), Executive Secretary Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Sadiq Isah Radda, Head of Research Unit, Department of Policy, Research and Statistics of EFCC, Mr. Abiodun Adebanjo and Deputy Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Hon. Micah Jiba, at the IFF conference on Corruption in Arbitration organised by CISLAC/Transparency International, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Kebbi APC spokesperson resigns over missing N100m controversy

From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


ollowing the ongoing crisis in the Kebbi State All Progressive Congress (APC) over missing N100m from the party account, the spokesperson

of the party, Alhaji Sani Dododo has tender is resignation. Addressing journalists in Birnin Kebbi, the former party PRO said that the leadership of the party lacks integrity and sincerity. He denied the allegation over

the missing of N100m from the party account. “I decided to resigned my appointment in order to maintain my integrity and values. I know that the acussed person Alhaji Bature who is the financial Secretary is innocent of

all the allegations.” Alhaji Sani Dododo who is a staunch politician and a stakeholder in the state said some leaders and stakeholders have no good direction to lead the party affairs in the Kebbi State.

group under the auspices of Save the Children, has lamented the state of healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria. Presenting the overview of the project at a hotel in Kaduna, Project Manager, Ifedili Innocent lamented that, the state of healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria remains very poor due to inadequate budgetary provision, releases and efficient utilization of available resources. Project Manager of the group, Ifedili Innocent disclosed this during the launching of a four-year health and nutrition advocacy project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Kaduna State, yesterday. Innocent explained that In 2014, the presidential summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) held in Nigeria, recognized that health is a fundamental human rights. According to him, Nigeria Health Watch stated in one of its reports that the health sector was reduced to a less significant sector in terms of Nigeria’s national priorities during the last fiveyear’s annual budgets.

Buhari to commission Lagos, Ibadan standard gauge railway project today By Albert Akota


ll is set for the commissioning of the much awaited Lagos, badan standard gauge rail line project by President Muhammadu Buhari today at Ebute- metta in Apapa Lagos State. The Minister of Transportation Mr

Rotimi Amaechi yesterday inspect the project for the final touches being put to the various stations and other facilities by the company, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC). The President is also expected to commission the Lekki Deep Blue project being supervised by the Nigerian Maritime

Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The minister was accompanied by officials of the Ministry including Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and

Fidet Okhiria. Amaechi who kick-started the inspection at the Ebute-Metta-Apapa main complex where work has been completed before proceeding to the other stations was joined at the Professor Wole Soyinka Station in Abeokuta by the Ogun State Governor, Mr Dapo Abiodun.


Uphold tenets to promote unity – NIDO -Singapore urges NASS


igerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Singapore Chapter has appealed to the National Assembly to uphold tenets that would further promote unity and progress of the country. The Vice President of NIDOSingapore chapter, Dr Jonathan Obaje, gave the advice in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Obaje commended the 9th National Assembly led by Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, in fostering legislative processes so far in the country. “We appreciate the courage of Mr Lawan and Mr Gbajabiamila in publicly accepting the overwhelming defects in the unitary constitution of 1999 currently operational. “We encourage the Senate and the House of Representatives to take a bold step in uniting our country, to help lay a strong foundation for acceptability of the outcome of the constitutional review. “The right process is to allow Nigerians to choose by way of referendum, to review the unitary constitution of 1999 or the Federation Constitution of 1963. “Thereisnoamountofamendments that can change a unitary constitution to a Federation Constitution; it is an effort in futility,” he said. He described the two National Assembly leaders as the only persons that could save Nigeria from the impending catastrophe. The NIDO Vice-President stressed the need for the legislature to urgently pass a bill to let Nigerians chose between using framework of Unitary or Federation constitution, as foundation for constitutional review. “This will help to quell agitations and distrust; once Nigerians have been allowed to make the choice, then meaningful review of the constitution can take place. “There is no longer any doubt that there is the need to review security strategy, to entrench peace and meaningful progress of the country. “Therefore, the call on Lawan and Gbajabiamila to save Nigeria now, as the last hope through adherence to tenets of legislative processes that can bring about sustainable growth,” he added. (NAN)



FG issues travel advisory to Nigerians T he Federal Government has issued travel advisory to Nigerians to Brazil, India, Turkey, citing risks from COVID-19. Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, gave the advice during a Town Hall Meeting on COVID-19 vaccination for the North East Zone in Yola, The meeting was organised by the PSC in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Mustapha, who was represented by Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, Minister of Environment, said Nigeria has the responsibility to safeguard the health of its people and block any chance to spread the COVID-19 in the country. “Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid non essential international travelling at this time especially to countries that are showing increase in number of COVID-19 deaths. “Consequently, any person who had visited Brazil, India and Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be denied entry into Nigeria. “Among other travelling guidelines, individuals, transporters and airlines who abuse the guidelines

shall be sanction,’’ Mustapha said. He explained that the PSC has been monitoring with keen interest the rise in cases of COVID-19 abroad. ”The Federal Government deeply sympathises with the government and citizens of those countries and assured them of unflinching support and solidarity. ”All Governors are also advised to ensure that all returned international passengers in their respective states adhere strictly to the mandatory seven days isolation period,” he said. The PSC chairman said that the cardinal objective of the meeting was to provide means for the government, communities and other relevant stakeholders to discuss about the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country. The SGF noted that records available showed that the daily incident of COVID-19 in the country has reduced. Also speaking, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the greatest health threat to the present generation. Ehanire disclosed that the impact of COVID-19 on country’s health, economic and social services have been so overarching, that it calls for all hands to be on the deck to focus on solutions to the disease.

“This meeting today is the second in the series of town hall interactions across the country to afford the opportunity to rub minds with elders and arrive at a messaging strategy for citizen engagement in ongoing vaccination to protect Nigerians against COVID-19 pandemic. “Since Nigeria recorded its first COVID-19 case in February 2020, the Federal Government has put measures in place to protect lives and mitigate the devastating effect of community transmission,’’ Ehanire said. He disclosed that Nigeria has lost over 2, 000 lives and it’s GDP has fallen by 23 per cent due to slowdown of global economic activity as a result of COVID-19. Also speaking, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, Executive Director, NPHCDA said that the town hall was organised to share mutual concerns, reach a consensus and take responsibilities in ongoing efforts to protect the citizens against the pandemic. “This Town Hall meeting is in line with the principles of pro-active community engagement, transparency and accountability of the PSC, under the able leadership of Mr.Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. “Our gathering here today is

anchored on our core principles and conviction that it is not enough to offer vaccines to Nigerians. “But that we must also empower the people with the correct information required for them to make informed decisions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19,’’ Shuaibu said. Shuaibu said Nigeria received a shipment of nearly four million doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine. He said the agency across the country had provided first COVID-19 vaccine doses to 1,966,548 Nigerians, which represent about 98 per cent of those targeted in the first wave of the vaccination exercise. “We have begun providing second doses. Those individuals currently eligible for second doses will have received their first dose six to 12 weeks prior,’’ Shuaibu said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants include top government officials from federal and six states of the zone. Others who attended the meeting are members of the State Assemblies from the zone, Traditional and Religious leaders among others. (NAN)

People scooping fuel from overturned fuel tanker at Unguwan Gwari area along Kaduna-Zaria Road in Kaduna on Tuesday (8/6/21).

Reps want Buhari to submit RMAFC report to NASS

By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to submit to the National Assembly, report of the Revenue Mobilsation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) upon which revenue sharing to the tiers of government is based. The House equally directed its committee on Finance to invite Chairman of RMAFC and its commissioners to appear, and give further explanations on the development further, and report

back its findings within Four weeks. The House demand was as the result of the motion by the Minority Leader of the Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who drew attention of members to fact that revenue sharing proposals have been sent to the President countless times and yet none of this proposals have ever been brought to the National Assembly for legislative approval as required by law. Elumelu in the motion he titled; “Need for the Federal Government to Submit the Report of the Revenue Mobilization allocation and Fiscal Commission to The National Assembly”, noted that Section 162 (2)

of the 1999 constitution as amended explicitly provides that the President shall after receiving the report of the commission, forward same to the National Assembly. The said provision reads; “The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain

as well as population density; Provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved formula as being not less than thirteen percent of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources”. He said revenue sharing was one of the key issues that is vital to resolving the sharing formula debate, and true fiscal federalism, adding that the continuous disregard for this constitution pal provision, upsets national peace and creates fiscal inequity. “Note that Section 162 (2) of the 1999 constitution as amended explicitly provides that the President shall after

receiving the report of the commission should forward same to the National Assembly. “Aware that revenue sharing proposals have been sent to the President countless times and yet none of this proposals have ever been brought to the National Assembly for legislative approval. “Further aware that Revenue sharing is one of the key issues that is vital to resolving the sharing formula issues, and true fiscal federalism. “Concerned that the continuous disregard for this constitution provision, upsets national peace and creates fiscal inequity”




NECO says 2021 ASUP Suspends 65 days Nationwide Strike SSCE internal T registration will not be extended From Yakubu Minna



he National Examinations Council (NECO) has said that it will not extend the registration period for the 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school based candidates. This was contained in a press statement issued yesterday by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division of the Council, Azeez Sani. According to him, “the registration exercise which started on 31st March, will close on Friday, 25th June, 2021 and will not be subjected to extension, while the examination will commence unfailingly on Monday, 5th July 2021”. He stated that this will enabled efficient and effective planning for the examination logistics required for the smooth conduct of the 2021 SSCE internal. Sani however advised the State Ministries of Education, Commandants, Principals, Proprietors and other relevant stakeholders to take note of the closing date and ensure timely completion of their candidates registration.

Maryam Abeeb he Academics Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP has suspended suspend its 65days old industrial action with effect from 10th June,2021. In a statement by the Union, its reads’’ that ‘’Following an appraisal of the report indicating the gradual implementation of the items Contained in the Memorandum of Action signed between our Union and the Federal Government, the Union has resolved to suspend its

65 days old industrial action with effectfrom10thJune,2021. ‘’The suspension is for a period of three months to enable the government complete the execution of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed with the Union Since 27th April,2021. ‘’As part of the efforts communicated by the Federal Ministry of Education, certain items have been fulfilled like there constitution and inauguration of governing councils and visitation

panels in Nigerian Federal Polytechnics while we are led to believe that the release of funds for infrastructure revitalization and minimum wage arrears is currently being processed. ‘’Other items include the ongoing efforts at the review of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service for Polytechnics as well as the commencement work towards resolution of the issues around CONTISS15 migration arrears for the lower cadre.

Members of Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN) FCT Chapter, during a road work to create awareness for the activities of the association and the inauguration of the chapter in Abuja on Wednesday (9/6/21).

From Ahmad Mohammed, Bauchi


he National Directorate of Employment ( NDE), has commenced the training of 50 unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions on Start Your Own Business (SYOB) in Nasarawa State. Acting State Coordinator of the agency Mr Rotgak Goden-Go’ar, made this known in Lafia during the opening ceremony of a 5 day intensive training of 50 graduates on SYOB under the Small Scale Enterprise Department of the directorate. Goden- Go’ar maintained that the essence of the programme was to train and equip the graduates with business skills to enable them to be self-reliant and contribute their quota to the development of the country. He further stressed that the Federal Government was determined to tackle youth restiveness and unemployment thereby improving on the standard of living of Nigerians. According to him, the essence of these lectures is to train you to think outside the box and sharpen your skills as entrepreneurs.


ov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has dissolved the State Executive Council and sacked other political appointees.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mukhtar Gidado, the Special Adviser on Media to the governor, on Wednesday in Bauchi. The state government said the dissolution was with immediate effect. Mohammed also sacked the

Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Government House, commissioners and special advisers. The governor directed all commissioners to handover to respective Permanent Secretaries, while the SSG, Chief of staff and

other affected special advisers will handover to the most senior permanent secretary in the Government House. While thanking the appointees for the services rendered to the state, the governor wished them well in their future endeavours.

Nigeria, Netherlands agree to deepen trade, investment opportunities


he Nigeria-Netherlands Bilateral Working Group (BWG) has underscored strategic partnership and sustenance of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Netherlands to spur trade and investment. This was jointly agreed at the end of the First NigeriaNetherlands Annual Bilateral Working Group (BWG) Meeting on Trade and Investment on Tuesday in Abuja. Amb. Samson Itegboje, Director, Department of International Organisation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Co-Chair of the group, while addressing newsmen noted that for the fact that Nigeria was the biggest trading partner of Netherlands in Africa in 2020, there was need to strengthen the relationship. Itegboje acknowledged investments by the Dutch Development Bank as well as projects funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). He said that those were contributing to better access to finance and development, while also providing the enabling environment for young entrepreneurs and green economic growth in Nigeria. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting discussed priority areas of economic collaboration as well as opportunities for trade and investment. Itegboje, also noted that the priority areas as Agriculture and Horticulture; Green Economic Growth; Life Sciences and Health, Youth Employment, Entrepreneurship and ICT. Under the agriculture and horticulture, he emphasised on collaborative seed and dairy development programmes, National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) and exploration of technical support in cattle ranching and grazing

reserves rehabilitation. “Parties agreed to collaborate on Nigeria-Netherlands seed partnership, dairy development, export promotion process and capacity for research and knowledge exchange,” he noted. Under the Green Economic Growth, the Netherlands restated its commitment to setting up of a circular business platform in Lagos and linking Dutch and Nigeria businesses in the recycled plastics and solar energy sector. Other areas of mutual interest covered in the discussion included renewable energy and recycling, circular economy and solar energy to contribute to achieving climate mitigation and adaptation goals in Paris Agreements. Life Sciences and Healthrelated issues, as well as health insurance schemes were equally covered. On Youth Employment, Entrepreneurship and ICT he noted that the parties acknowledged Dutch initiatives

such as Orange Corners Nigeria, Work in Progress as well as support for The Next Economy Programme of the SOS Children’s Villages. ”Nigeria reiterated the need to increase the number of beneficiaries, ensure gender balance and geographical space in implementation of youth development programmes in Nigeria by the Dutch. “Nigeria solicited support to start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),” the Ambassador noted. The meeting featured participants from relevant MDAs, partner organisations from Nigeria and Dutch counterparts, Kingdom of Netherlands’ Ambassador, Harry Dijk. Others were: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, and his Industry, Trade and Investment counterpart, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, among others. (NAN)

Letter to the Editor



An unforgettable tragedy

igeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- “certainly not in vain.” According to him, Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 9 other “it is deeply saddening that I have to give military officers were killed in a these remarks on this occasion. Why are plane crash Friday at Kaduna International we here? Love for country. How did we get Airport. At 64, he was the first COAS to die here? Love for country. What is the purpose in active service. President Muhammadu of the oath of allegiance? Love for country. Buhari appointed him as the Army Chief “Yesterday, May 21, was a very sad day on January 26 this year. Attahiru and the for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, yesterday others were buried Saturday at the Military was a sad day for the nation as I received Cemetry in Abuja. with shock and utter dismay the gloomy President Buhari, on May 22, received news of the sudden demise of the Chief of a briefing from Defence Minister, Chief Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim of Defence Staff (CDS) and other security Attahiru and 10 other gallant officers and chiefs on the tragic plane crash. In his personnel. The loss of our gallant and reaction, he said he was shocked and energetic but calm Chief of Army Staff, and pledged that “the departed will not die in other heroes of patriotic zeal is painful, but vain. “In a statement by his Special Adviser certainly not in vain. Today, the recruits of Femi Adesina, President Buhari said he was depot Nigerian Army were to be on Passing “deeply saddened” over the air crash that Out Parade to herald their joining the claimed the lives of General Attahiru and workforce of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. other military officers. He described them The Chief of Army Staff was to be the as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for special guest of honour at the event. One of peace and security in the land.” our finest and best pilots The President said the was conveying him along crash “is one mortal blow to our with the entourage, after underbelly, at a time our armed landing at the Kaduna forces are poised to end the International Airport, security challenges facing the In his funeral oration, the cold hands of death, country. It is a tragedy to the the Chief of Policy which manifested in the nation and we must do all we stormy weather ended can to honour them. They were and Plans, Nigerian that journey. The sting known for their uncommon Army, Major General of death, you have not loyalty, a virtue that is required stopped the fight against Benjamin Ahanotu, all forms of insecurity. As of all of us at this trying moment.” mourn, I remember described the late we For his part, Vice President with a deep sense of pride Yemi Osinbajo said the death Chief of Army Staff as the lives and times of an of the Chief of Army Staff and accomplished General, others while in active service a disciplined, gallant reliable professional and “reflects the depth of sacrifice and professional a dependable colleague,” our military officers, men and Irabor said. women of other ranks are often soldier, who added Meanwhile, Buhari prepared to make.” Osinbajo, value to wherever he approved Monday, May who expressed sadness over 24, as a work-free day for worked the sudden death of the officers members of the Nigerian on Friday, said, “Their death Armed Forces in honour of while in active service in the the dead. He also directed defense of our country, reflects the depth that Nigeria’s national flag be flown at halfof sacrifice our military officers are often mast in all public buildings and official prepared to make. We honour the service residences across the country from Monday of the army chief and all those involved to Wednesday May 26. in this unfortunate accident even as we In the short time Attahiru was Chief continue to demonstrate our profound of Army Staff, he visited Borno State, the appreciation to all in our military services epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency, .... The gallantry of these heroes will always more than six times, to supervise ongoing be remembered.” military operations against Boko Haram. In his funeral oration, the Chief of Policy He had visited different army formations, and Plans, Nigerian Army, Major General mobilised and motivated troops in the front Benjamin Ahanotu, described the late Chief lines and been very active in peace-building of Army Staff as a disciplined, gallant and efforts. He was genuinely interested in professional soldier, who added value to giving the arm the cutting edge in the anti wherever he worked. In his remarks, titled insurgency campaign as required of him. “Love for country”, the Chief of Defence His sudden death is certainly a setback in Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said the death that regard. Hopefully, it will not take loñg of the senior officers was painful, but to name a suitable replacement.

NDE commences Bauchi Gov dissolves cabinet training of unemployed in G Nassarawa From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia

‘’We also acknowledge their cent passage of the Bill for removal of the dichotomy against HND holders in the country. ‘’In reaching the decision to suspend the strike, our Union took in to cognizance the appeals made by the government, revered traditional tools in the country, members of the National Assembly, Chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and indeed members of the public.”




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The FCT Minister and security challenges in Abuja Jamila Musa


buja is now regarded generally as the melting pot of Nigeria where everybody can come in and ake advantage of existing opportunities. One of the primary responsibilities of governments is to safeguard the life and properties of its citizenry and Abuja is not an exception.This is so as the government possess military capacity and threat of force which other segments of the society are incapable of. However, this security monopoly trends are fast changing. In a globalised world,preventing violent conflict and building sustainable peace requires complex strategies which includes cooperation with other stakeholders like the civil society groups and staying true to good governance.This is the known strategies of the minister of the Federal capital territtory, Mallam Mohammad Bello,that he has successfully deployed in making Abuja one of the safest capital in the world. It is true today, that Nigeria which is the most populated country in Africa and arguably its most economically advanced has recently becomes the theater of conflict in Africa. Recent events in Bamako,Beirut and Nairobi has focused the Minister on the need of deploying workable strategies in making Abuja more safe for its residents.It is good to note that terrorism which hitherto was an experience that is foreign to our country is witnessed daily in our country.Terrorists now attack major cities like Abuja whom they see as attacks of the whole of humanities and the values which they share has been witnessed in Abuja,the seat of power before the administration of Mohammad Bello,as FCT Minister,an experience which the minister prayed should never be allowed to occur again in the FCT Efforts of this administration in ensuring Abuja security,although focused on many different strategies,is part of his shared response. Abuja is truely a mega city in the making,it is one of the populated national capital of the world.In light of its history and importance to the national and international economy of the world, the minister wasted no time when he came on board to make Abuja safe for everybody. Abuja is undergoing its own share of the demographic transition in its history and this is unprecedented.Its urbanisation is increasing as more and more people flock to the capital daily in search of better opportunities and a brighter future.Technological innovations are transforming cities including facilitating greater migration from rural areas into the cities.More robust and affordable transportations networks are enabling people to move easily from rural areas to Abuja.The spread of cellular networks and advances in communicatim facilities in Nigeria have exposed rural dwellers to the allure of Abuja like never before.Changing weather patterns and rise in temperature in rural areas due to climate change are affecting economic and living condition,promting flight to cities.We also see mass migrations due to conflict as endangered population move to cities to raise their families. Abuja is not an exception. The minister believes that the use of force is the neccessary first step,but cannot be the only step always notes as a policy that nigeria cannot continue to hold on to the use of force to solve its multidimensional security problems especially in the fct.This approach has helped in keeping cuja safe. The Minister always states and note in his approach to solving the abuja city,s security challenges that urban populations are growing and not the jobs is implementing policies that are neccessary to make jobs available for the youth who normally are the tools for all security chakenges faced today in all societies. The implementation of the Abuja industrial policy by the Mallam Bello Mohammad administration has gone a long way in encouraging industries in Abuja in employing the teaming youths and this has led to lower crime rates in the

city. His management of the herders and farmers dispute which is the trend in the nation today has made the problems very low in Abuja because of the believe that introduction of the martial security measures will not neccessarily suffice or solve the problems but an economic solution would help in managing this problem and it has in abuja. The problems of unemployment,poverty,insecurity and extremism have many things to do with governance,over time.We must tackle the issue of poverty to solve at the very bottom our security problems which needs multidimensional approaches.He believes that if we limit the government role under the assumptions that governments spendings is intrinsically unproductive then we thitter ourselves to failure,failures witnessed in many state which has applied the one dimensional approach. The minister did well in keeping Abuja safe by studying how other capitals chartted their way during their formative years You will see that they do not entrench small government or the purporttedly free markets but .The goverment engaged m massive spending on infrastructure and education. They also engaged on the implementations of policies that protected their industries and only when they have matured and served their common interest that they started the implementation of the small government policies. This is the trend in the fct.where this minister is known to have spended big m its people thereby limiting insecurities. The minister has continually as a policy deliberately supported all the security agencies in Abuja.This policy is deliberate as it has tremendious enhanced the spirit of comraderieship between the city,s security personnel and the civil populace. The minister has taken so many proactive measures to enhance and ensure that Abuja is safe and secure for all.This measures includes and is not limited to the implementation of his administrations cardinal programmes which will ensure that the social security and welfare of the people is first. The minister is always sincere in acknowledging rather than living in denial that we have issues to deal with in abuja security wise and the administration in conjunction with the civil society groups will be leading this conversation in making lagos safe for all because abuja is very important to the country. Abuja is acknowledged as the melting point of the nation where anybody can come in with a lot of aspirations and positively expect to do well because it is a city that gives hope to a lot of nigerians.So the minister knows that he cannot afford anything to happen here.So with every sense of commitment he has ensure that the city is safe and secure for all. The minister has made extensive pronoucement in this regard.So,it is not only about talk or film shows but he has from time to time rolled out measures in this regard.He has committed himself to supporting all the security agencies to boost their morale in making abuja safe. Some of the measures the administration has taken includes the issue of motorcycle in systematic order and to make it have a human face and provide credible alternative because he cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. This alternatives are systematically and pragmatically fashioned out to make Abuja residents sleep with their two eyes closed.He has also severally appeal to citizens who have buildings that are uncompleted or abandon to get proffessional security company to take them over so that they can monitor and police them well instead of leaving them open to criminals as hideouts. Jamila Musa wrote in from Abuja




Beware of funds recovery scam! By Rotimi Onadipe


unds recovery scam is a type of scam whereby a scammer claims to help a victim to recover funds lost to fraudsters. The scammer’s target audience are victims that have been previously scammed. This type of scam is common among victims of Forex scam, binary options scam, investment scam and romance scam. How it works: The scammers pretend as funds recovery specialists or their representatives. Alternatively, they disguise as lawyers that are working in the legal department of funds recovery companies and they work in collaboration with those who defrauded the victims previously so as to obtain some of the victims’ personal information and previous correspondence with the scammers. They will contact the victims through emails, phone calls, text messages, courier or postal services. They usually contact a large number of victims so as to increase their chance of getting more victims that will fall prey to their scams. The main focus of funds recovery scammers is to collect certain

amount for consultancy, legal services, processing of documents or cost of transfer of the total amount to be recovered. Once the money is paid, some of them will refer the victim to another scammer while others will block the phone number of the victim. They also use the strategy to obtain personal or sensitive information of the victims and sell it to other criminals on the dark web. Why are so many people falling victim to funds recovery scam? Millions of people around the world are falling victim to various types of scams because they are searching for any available business opportunity that will help them to earn more money and live a better life. In an attempt to achieve this, they fall victim to different types of online or offline fraud e.g. investment fraud, Forex trading scam, binary options scam, romance scam, credit and debit card scam, inheritance scam etc. Scam victims around the world have lost a lot of money to fraudsters. They are frustrated and desperate to get their lost funds recovered at all costs so that they can start a new life. The scammers are aware of this and they want to take advantage of

On the Twitter ban By Adewale Kupoluyi


he media have been awash with the Federal Government’s suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria. Ordinarily, such a tough and sensitive decision is seriously generating mixed feelings among the people going by the influence that Twitter wields within the social media world. The suspension, which was initially referred to as ‘indefinite’, was later tagged ‘temporary’ regarding microblogging and social networking service in the country, citing the persistent use of the a platform for activities capable of undermining the nation’s corporate existence and other social media platforms, where misinformation and fake news spread, culminating in the commencement of the process of licensing all Over-the-Top (OTT) and social media operations. Despite wide criticism by local and international observers, government officials keep maintaining that the decision of Twitter to place an embargo on the account of President Muhammadu Buhari was selective and unjustified, but the network had insisted that its action was right and in order. No doubt, the advent of the New Media remains a boost to information and communication technology, as about 40 million Nigerians are said to have active Twitter accounts, according to NOI polls; a public opinion and research organisation while the network is also ranked as the sixth-most used social media platform in the country. Today, information can promptly be sent and received from one remote part of the globe to another within seconds. That is the beauty of social media. On the other hand, fake

news, cybercrimes, intrusion into privacy; addiction, and hate speech have been associated with this technology. However, no matter how we may look at it, the coming of social media has definitely been a plus to humanity. Taking a look at the President’s message that got him sanctioned, the retired general had threatened to deal with separatist groups accused of violence, saying that “Many of those misbehaving, today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”. Ordinarily, one is tempted to feel that Buhari was merely expressing his opinion on how to prevent ‘trouble-makers’ from causing mayhem in the country. This is not exactly correct. However, there are a number of issues that need to be examined concerning the controversial tweet. How did we get to this point where there is alarming insecurity in the land? Why are secessionists’ agitations becoming louder by the day and across the country? What is prompting the various ethnic and tribal affiliations to be fed up with staying together under the same umbrella or country? The truth is that presently, Nigeria is more divided than ever before. Apart from the general insecurity and near-comatose economy, the distribution of national wealth remains highly uneven, appointments into key political offices are skewed in favour of certain parts of the country at the disadvantage of the majority while flagrant and continued outbursts by some religious and political leaders are perceived as




Can ‘Plea Bargain’ be a solution to corruption In Nigeria?

the situation. Fraud prevention starts with all of us. Our vigilance and awareness of the tricks used by fraudsters will always protect us from falling victim to any type of fraud. However, to avoid falling victim to funds recovery scam, we must be suspicious of any individual or organisation that asks a victim of scam to pay any fee in order to recover his lost fund. How to spot a funds recovery scam: 1. The victim receives a lot of unsolicited calls, emails, text messages or parcels from individuals or organisations that claim to be funds recovery specialists. 2. The scammer requests for urgent action to be taken by the victim before a particular expiration date. 3. Check the content of the email or text if it has any grammatical error e.g. spelling, punctuation or any incorrect sentence 4. The scammer tells the victim not to share his/her experience with anyone. 5. If the content of the email, text or letter sent sounds too good to be true, be suspicious. 6. The scammer asks for certain amount for registration, ID card,

processing of documents, legal services or cost of transfer of the lost funds. 7. If the scammer discovers that the victim refuses to pay any amount, he/she will persuade the victim to pay a very little amount so as to make sure there is a commitment on the part of the victim. How to avoid funds recovery scam: 1. Do a thorough investigation before you contact any organisation that claims to be a funds recovery company e.g. authenticity of their registration, year of registration, website, referees, testimonials and success stories of the company. 2. If any individual or organisation contacts you as funds recovery companies or their representatives, be suspicious because most funds recovery companies don’t contact scam victims. 3. Don’t believe everything you hear about any funds recovery company. Always seek advice from professionals or independent investigators. 4. If you are contacted via email, text message or phone call about your past experience with scammers, don’t share your personal or sensitive information with whoever contacts

you e.g. banking details, credit or debit card information, date of birth etc. 5. If you are a victim of scam, you must be informed that the same group of scammers that defrauded you previously will always contact you to defraud you again with a different name, email address or phone number. 6. Be suspicious of unsolicited calls, letters, text messages or emails from any individual or company that claims to be funds recovery specialists. 7. Don’t pay any upfront fee to anyone to recover the funds you lost to scammers. 8. If you are a victim of funds recovery scam, don’t be desperate to recover your lost funds. 9. If you are suspicious of any unsolicited call, text message or email to be from funds recovery scammers, report immediately to the the appropriate authority for necessary action e.g. police or anticyber crime organisations. 10. Educate yourself about how to avoid online scams.

a clear violation of mutual respect for others through the backing. It is for these reasons that the nation is constantly engulfed in undue tension and militarisation, sectarian crises, ethic violence, youth restiveness, religious intolerance, and political turmoil, and the call for restructuring, secession, constitutional amendment, and a revisit to the national question. In view of the anxiety and tension brewing across the country, the tweet of Buhari can be described as ill-timed and hence, the reason why his account was suspended. The current administration cannot be exonerated from the many challenges facing the nation because of the way and manner that insecurity has been handled and the failure to apprehend and prosecute culprits fanning the embers of discord in the country. Even the fight against corruption that forms a cardinal programme under the Buhari administration has been tagged as selective and not well handled. What many Nigerians had expected was an assurance from the President himself, not by his proxy that the fears and concerns of the people are adequately being addressed and not to come up with volatile a message that can create more problems in the polity. Another issue of worry is the quality of communications being churned out. Without prejudice, presidential aides are meant to be seasoned professionals that should never fail to discharge their duties. Unfortunately, many people feel that the appointees seem to have compromised professional ethics all in a bid to satisfy their principals. This should not be. The Twitter ban could have been averted had the aides done the needful by challenging the action in court.

The suspension may eventually not make any difference for many social media users because many of them had started migrating to other platforms, despite threats by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who directed the Department of Public Prosecution to prosecute anyone that flaunts the ban by using Virtual Private Network (VPN). Those likely to feel the government’s brunts are local employees and service providers that are mainly Nigerians and Nigerian companies since Twitter itself is an international organisation, whose investment in the country cannot be taken to be colossal enough to warrant crippling its operation with the ban. Taking a cursory look at the legal dimension, the ban could be viewed as an attempt to censor dissent voices and stifle the civic space, contrary to Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution that provides for Fundamental Human Rights such as the freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to hold opinions, receive and impart ideas and information without interference. What has just happened is not totally new when it comes to government activities in other climes. For instance, Twitter and Facebook once ‘permanently suspended’ former President Donald Trump after the storming of the US Capitol. Twitter and several other Western social media networks were also barred from operating in China. The respected US magazine, Forbes informs that in North Korea, the government generally bars its citizens from accessing foreign websites by confining computer users to heavily restricted and walled-off

intranet services. In Iran, Twitter and Facebook have been off-limits since 2009, just as Egypt had denied access to Twitter during the 2011 Arab Spring protests, Turkey equally banned Twitter for two weeks in 2014 while Uganda had disallowed social media use ahead of its general elections, among others. Beyond banning or suspending Twitter or any other micro-blogging organisations for that matter, what the government should do is to quickly channel its energy towards fixing the nation from its many ills. Why start a war you cannot win? Previous attempts to establish the National Hate Speech Commission and another to regulate social media were opposed by Nigerians who believed that the legislation would be used to witch-hunt perceived enemies of the state. The ruling party must ensure that all political appointments are made in line with meritocracy by taking into consideration, the nation’s diversity and pluralism. Security agencies should be better funded to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of sectarian and religious crises, ensuring that the war on graft is objectively fought while revamping the weak economy is given serious attention. Certainly, when all these issues are accorded the necessary priority, the rat race and distraction caused by the proscription of Twitter, which is simply performing the role of a watchdog, should not be sacrificed at the expense of democratisation and good governance, which the nation badly needs.

Rotimi Onadipe can be reached at onatechconsult@ gmail.com

Dr. Kupoluyi writes from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State

By Fatika Zainab Ibrahim


he notion of plea bargain in our system today has been a subject of discussion, argument and controversy. However, when one is arguing for or against the adoption of plea bargain, one has to put in mind the context and locality of such place. Looking at the Nigerian context where social vices are difficult to curb, one will wonder if really the concept of plea bargain should stay or not. Plea bargain is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is applicable in criminal cases. In this case, the prosecution will enter into agreement with the accused person to accept to plead guilty and the accused will be given a lesser punishment. It is also defined by Black’s law dictionary as a negotiated agreement – between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant where the defendant pleads guilty or no contests to a lesser offense or to one multiple charges in exchange for some concession by the prosecutor. Now, since plea bargain happens in criminal cases, it has been in use mostly in corruption cases. Corruption is one crime which seems to hinder the development of Nigeria as a country and it is such a notorious crime that seems almost impossible to curb. It is indeed a crime that has gained tremendous popularity in the news and articles of our national dailies. Generally, corruption has been defined as the misuse of public power by elected politicians and appointed civil servants for private

gain. In an attempt to eliminate this crime, however, By virtue of section 60(a) of the second schedule of the constitution that gave the legislature the power to enact and establish any authority “to promote and enforce observance of the fundamental objectives and directive principle contained in this constitution”. It is to this effect of the aforesaid section that made the legislatures to enact statutes in order to fight this crime. These are the EFCC Act as well as the ICPC Act. Moreover, apart from the traditional codes that fight general crimes which are: the criminal code Acts and the penal code Law, all the aforementioned statutes have provisions for corruption and its punishment. Therefore, if all these statutes are enacted to eliminate this crime, what then is the use of plea bargain? Plea bargain in the opinion of this writer is just a means to set corrupt people free and save them from punishment. For instance, in a situation where a criminal is apprehended for corruption, and especially where that person is entrusted with the people’s asset, will it be right to allow such a person to plea bargain, where other countries like China adopt capital punishment for corruption? According to Lord Denning M.R in one of his Dictum: “Justice is rooted in confidence, and the confidence is destroyed when a right-thinking person walks away thinking the judge is biased in the case.” And also the legal maxims “ Fiat justitia ruat coleum” meaning “let justice be done even if heaven will

fall”. In line with the aforesaid, is justice said to be done when you bargain with an accused person and not allowing the law to take its full course? It shouldn’t skip our minds that corruption is an offence in criminal law and thus termed a crime. When found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the only justice is to punish the offender. And plea bargain can never be termed as punishment. According to Aristotle, the supremacy of law is a mark of a state and not merely an unfortunate necessity. Judiciary is said to be the last hope of a common man. It is therefore highly significant for the judiciary to dispense justice without fear or favor or any favoritism in punishing those that are addicted to criminal tendencies in acquiring material things and other self-centered desires that tend to pervert holders of office. It is thus a mockery of our criminal law and a hold in the progress of judiciary in dispensing justice. “Man when perfected,” said Aristotle, “is the best of animals but when separated from law and justice, is the worst of all”. Where there is a crime, if punishment is inadequate, there is every likelihood of repetition. The use of plea bargain in corruption cases is indeed a mockery to justice and punishment. This is because the plea bargain is mostly used for the rich where they are saddled with responsibilities while disadvantaged citizens suffer the full weight of law, when they commit similar crimes. Typical illustrations to buttress this assertion are not far-fetched.

The case of Igbinedion in Edo state in December 2008 who was alleged to have stolen and looted N4.4 billion public funds belonging to the people of Edo state cannot be easily forgotten. He was charged and fined only for a pocket sum of N3.5 million which of course would have been taken out of the looted funds. The same happened in the case of the former governor of Bayelsa state, the case of F.G.N v. Alamieyeseigha who was also charged for looting of public funds in which the concept of plea bargain was adopted. The question here is: Can there be an adequate justice with the use of plea bargain? In an interview that was published in the Vanguard Newspaper of November 18, 2012, Eso, JSC said of plea bargain in Nigeria thus: “they bargain with the judge, bargain with the accused person, he returns half the money, and then they give him some hairyfairy punishment- go and serve three months in prison and the three months will of course be in the hospital. This, of course, is an encouragement for governors and other political office holders to steal when they come into office. There is no plea bargain in our law. It is encouragement of corruption to bring plea bargain into the law of Nigeria. Karl Marx was quite right in his Marxism theory on the prediction of the disappearance of law sometime in the future. They see law as an instrument of oppression employed by the capitalist class of the society to exploit and suppress the commoners and maintain their dominance over them. The

aforesaid clearly show how the law is being bargained with at the disposition of the rich while the poor are charged for minor offences. J.S Mill in his clear and coherent language said: To prevent the weaker members of the community from being preyed upon by innumerable vultures, it was needful that there should be an animal of prey stronger than the rest, commissioned to keep them down. Indeed Nigeria is in need of an animal of prey stronger than those who loot at their will not some cheap plea bargain that will encourage more looting. If plea bargain be used every time, what then is the use of our criminal law, the codes and other secondary enactments? In conclusion, it is crystal clear that all the aforesaid are pointing to the fact that there can never be adequate and genuine justice with the use of plea bargain in country like Nigeria, especially when it is bent on curbing corruption entirely. To this writer, corruption is such an offence that requires a capital punishment not some cheap plea bargain. This will however bring a significant increase in curtailing the notorious crime. Respect should be given to the constitution of federal republic of Nigeria which says “the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”. Plea bargain can never be a right punishment for the corrupt; it merely encourages more stealing with the view that there is always a plea bargain.

many Nigeria states can actually survive, for we are yet to control our resources. Salaries are being held, how much more, self control of resources. There is no state around the world like California today, likewise no country like USA, today, based on various margins you might look at it , but in my own perspective, I tell you, this is based on two factors, the system of government being practiced, and because the iron fist of the laws works there , things impossible there in terms of breaking of laws, are what we carry out recklessly here. In refrence to the form of government being practiced, while the United States pay royalties to the government in the central, the Nigerian States depend solely on the government in the center, to control all of its affairs and pay them bursary after each month, the elites would gather at the common table, the elites they call themselves, and little wonder progress is’nt recorded from time immemorial, and perhaps the Europeans left too soon. California like I say earlier has about a revenue or GDP of almost ten European country put together, understanding how important California is to any US government, the election past between Trump and Hillary Clinton would give a better clue. The victory of the current president almost spark a secession as some notable inhabitants threaten to break away from the United States, California could stand alone as a nation which Ultimately would metamorphosise

into a country. Back to Nigeria, a country with population walking towards a disadvantage, with a population on a geometrical increase of close to 200 million, Africa’s most populous country, but sinking at the center, especially at a time when the world is on a trend anew, technology wise, what would happen to the crude which seems to be a curse upon us, for with it my clansmen have forgotten the meaning of farming, and the hunger in the land won’t be saved by even another MacDonald. To conclude this observation, going through different places and states of Nigeria, there is only one song even on the lips of those people who have nothing to offer, a bitter truth, is Restructuring, secession, and everyone going their different ways, and if something isn’t done to kill this spirit by all this corrupt leaders sucking the sweat of the masses dry, then a regional disagreement would rise. It would give birth to riot, it will grow into anarchy, this would metamorphosis into a war, and ultimately a revolution, they will likely lose all before their eyes, thats if they are lucky enough to see the end, but one thing for sure, Nigeria might never be reffered to as a country again. Tragically those countries, which seems to be the way they are today once started this way, and walked towards this route.

Fatika Zainab Ibrahim writes in from Kaduna State.

An Epoch of Nigeria Federalism By Kareem Itunu Azeez


he struggles we pass through, didn’t start today. Did you know, that there was once a time in Nigeria , when things weren’t all rosy, but there was an acknowledgement of a life beyond average. During this time, resources were controlled by the regions and monarchical lords. Although, there was stil dissatisfaction among clans, but majority still lived above average. It is true that the Europeans underdeveloped us, but the greater truth is, we Nigerians under developed ourselves, through the greedy hands of corruption and self centeredness among those who were the lucky few to gain political power in its childhood, they call themselves the NATIONALIST. The nationalist were those who I will allocate all my disappointment levels to, our former monarchs, who couldn’t take us back to who we use to be, and how we deal with exchange through the barter system, but were overpowered by their insatiable thirst for power, they moved around blowing sirens of hardship, they continue to live the way the Whiteman was living, and they stranded us, with weapons of hunger, who will raise a hand when the stomach is empty? They called themselves the nationalist, but it got to a time, our fathers were asking, when will this independence ever end?, as par the hardship they were

passing through. In reference to today something known but unusual was what they were waking. Through times, one should understand several revolutions and overthrows has taken place, but there are notable few that shook men, and this was what paved way for the success of the many nations who experienced these difficult times, many people should know the man called, Mac Donald, he might have written history with just a baked bread, simply due to the arrival of McDonald’s in Moscow was a small but certain sign that change was on the horizon. In fact, in less than two years later, the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a nation, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as leader of the country, and various Soviet republics proclaimed their independence. As the American newsman reported, the first Russian McDonald’s customers “had seen the future, and it works, at least as far as their digestive tract.” Nevertheless, we should also know, I haven’t put down the number of casualties, as a result of this great Russian revolution,of 8th March 1917, how the revolution, started we all know, and down here in my hometown, the doors are now ajar for thesame, and sadly enough, the horizon wouldn’t know the innocent nor the victim. A revolution of capitalism in place where only plutocracy seems to be in power. When one of the few individual I believe is a marxist in person of

Associate Professor, Mudashiru, from the faculty of social science, Lagos State University, during a lecture, he said, “The death of Ken Saro Wiwa, has sent parking the activist of this age, because Abacha had achieved two things from his capital punishment, firstly, to serve as deterent to others clamouring for a change, secondly to prove saro wiwa and his cohorts as troublers of shell” how true Dr. Mudashiru was, for today, when a rich girl messes around, they say shes enjoying her life, but when a poor girl does thesame, they call her “Ashawo” which means prostitute. Nigeria, my country, which seems to be passing through troubled waters right now, and once more calling for a rift revolution breeded by hunger, poverty, and joblessness. I hope the RULERS, understand theres no place to hide, not even the overseas anymore, for when the game finally changes, foreign lands May never suit you all, and hopefully it won’t suit you at all. Today, it is argued that all we need is ‘Restructuring’, but what is Restructuring, I can tell you firmly this is just FEDERALISM, in its real sense, some others may say true federalism, but I tell you, if there has to be true federalism definitely there must have been a false federalism, and if thats just a fallacy then federalism , is federalism. One then might agree with me, that all they are clamouring for is just regionalism and self control of resources in Nigeria. But if this eventually becomes a success, how

Kareem Itunu Azeez can be reached at Ikareemazeez@ yahoo.com




NYSC signs MoU with NALDA to boost agricultural productivity

APC names 7-member C’ttee to screen Anambra guber aspirants By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


By Albert Akota


he National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to boost food production in the country. The Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim during the signing of the MoU at the NYSC National Directorate Headquarters in Abuja, commended NALDA for recently training sixty-eight Corps Members as Soil Doctors and Extension Service Workers. He also lauded the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, for his vision and passion for national development. The DG said NYSC Scheme mobilises more than 350,000 corps members annually and there was the need to tap their potentials for both personal and societal development. He disclosed that the MoU would make the NYSC farms become more active, with stakeholders’ support to enhance food sufficiency.

Gov Badaru appoints another aide on media content development

From Mika’il Tsoho , Dutse


he Jigawa state Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar has approved the appointment of Habibu Muhammad Ringim as Special Assistant on Media Content Development. This was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of Jigawa State, Alhaji Adamu Abdulkadir Fanini. The statement said the appointment is with immediate effect. The appointment came one day after appointment of two media aides that included: special adviser to the governor on media and public relations and senior special assistant on print and social media.

L-R: Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State with the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, during the Governor’s visit to the NEPC corporate Headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NGOs hampering Nigeria’s agric technology, NABDA DG cries out From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


he Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Abdullahi Mustapha has decried that some Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are scuttling the progress of Nigeria in agricultural technology. Prof. Mustapha stated this while delivering his address during the opening of a 2-day retreat for journalists, farmers and extension workers in Kano state on Monday. According to him, over the years, arm-chair critics have taken advantages of the media to propagate unscientific views and opinion that not only stalled our agricultural progress but also instill fear in our farming communities. He therefore cautioned the media against giving space and airtime to anti-technology critics, who are hell bent to disrupt Nigeria’s progress in agriculture by advising farmers against using technology in enhancing their production. Prof. Mustapha reiterated the need for media to play crucial role in Nigeria’s efforts to boost food production,

especially the deployment of modern biotechnological tools in addressing agricultural productivity challenges. He noted that northern Nigeria is one of the leading producers of agricultural products in the country, stressing the need for mass production of commercialized produce to help farmers get profits and boost their economy. “Northern Nigeria is one of the leading producers of agricultural products in the country hence, the just commercialized products of biotechnology (Cotton Bt. and PBR Cowpea) will go a long way in helping our farmers profit from their efforts, this means the media must be prepared to support them in their efforts to ensure a food secured Nigeria,” The DG maintaied that Nigeria made history as the first country in Africa and the world at large to develop and release a cowpea variety that is resistant to the notorious Pod Borer, which has the capacity of destroying a whole beans farm and leaving the farmer helpless. He said the National Biotechnology Development Agency as a Federal Government

Agency who is responsible for promoting biotechnology activities has been doing so positively in response to the government’s aspirations of ensuring national food security, job/wealth creation, affordable healthcare delivery, and sustainable environment. “It is also the duty of the agency to make Biotechnology an engine of growth for socioeconomic development of Nigeria by promoting, coordinating, and deploying cutting-edge biotechnology research & development, processes, and products for the socio-economic well-being of the nation,” In his remark, the Kano State Deputy Governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Alhaji Hafiz Mohammad said Nigeria’s agricultural prowess is being consistently weakened by some age-long practices and factors. Some of the factors, according to him, include over reliance on rain-fed agriculture, smallholder land holding, poor planting material, low fertilizer application, and the weak agricultural extension system in the country.

He said Nigeria could by-pass these challenges with effective use of emerging technologies and the media. The Deputy Governor explained that Nigeria could leapfrog other countries to become major supplier of agricultural products with timely deployment and adoption of biotechnology and getting the media to communicate it rightly. “Even though agriculture remains the largest sector of the Nigerian economy and employs two-thirds of the entire labour force, the production hurdles have significantly stifled the performance of the sector.” “Over the past 20 years, valueadded per capita in agriculture has risen by less than 1 percent annually. According to FAO, Nigeria has lost USD 10 billion in annual export opportunity from groundnut, palm oil, cocoa and cotton alone due to continuous decline in the production of those commodities,” He noted that while other countries are getting almost 10 tons of maize per hectare, in Nigeria, the highest variety is giving about 4 tons.

Anambra Poll: APC set up 7-member screening committee


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has set up a seven-member committee to screen aspirants jostling for its ticket in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election. Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) announced this in a

statement on Wednesday in Abuja. He said that the committee was expected to conduct the screening of the aspirants in line with the provisions of the party’s Constitution and guidelines for the nomination of candidates. According to him, Mr Ikechi Emenike will serve as chairman of the committee while Augustine

Utuk is its secretary. Other members of the committee include; Eugene Odo, Prof. Ben Angwe, Mrs Kemi Nelson, Ahmed Aliyu and Prof. Adeolu Akande. The committee would be inaugurated on June 10 at the APC National Secretariat. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 14 aspirants

were jostling for the APC ticket to contest the election slated for Nov. 6. The party’s primary to pick its candidate among the 14 aspirants had been fixed for June 26. The APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms were sold to aspirants for N2.5 million and N20 million respectively. (NAN)



he National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni, has approved the appointment of a sevenmember Screening Committee for the party’s 2021 Anambra governorship aspirants. A statement issued yesterday by the National Secretary of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John James Akpanudoedehe, said the committee is expected to conduct the Screening Exercise in line with the provisions of the party’s Constitution and guidelines for the nomination of candidates. The Committee members are: Chief Ikechi Emenike, who will serve as the Chairman, Hon. Augustine Utuk, who will serve as the Secretary, Eugene Odo (Member), Ben Angwe (Member), Kemi Nelson (Member), Ahmed Aliyu (Member) and Adeolu Akande (Member). The statement said the Committee will be inaugurated on Thursday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

Secondus didn’t pressure me to reconcile with Fayose – Arapaja By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP South West), Taofeek Arapaja, has denied the allegation making the rounds that the party’s National Chairman, Uche Secondus, had prevailed on him to visit former Governor

Ayodele Fayose, after the former governor consistently pleaded that he should be visited. In a press statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media and publicity to the PDP National Vice Chairman (South West), Bamitale Ibrahim, and made available to journàlists, Arapaja described the information as the handiwork of

mischief makers who are fanning the embers of discord within the party. He maintained that his visit to the former Ekiti State Governor was part of his effort to seek support for the unification of the party, disclosing that Fayose’s warm reception to him and his team was a declaration that he is

From left: Special Adviser to Oyo State Government on Environment, Ademola Aderinto; Oyo State Commissioner for Environment, Idowu Adeleke; Secretary to State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; and Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Environment, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju, during the launching of Mobile Toilets and Green Club as part of activities to mark World Environment Day in Ibadan on Wednesday (9/6/21).

Why Kwara APC crisis lingers – Ex CPC National Vice Chairman, Mustapha

By Musa Baba Adamu


ice National Chairman North of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mallam Saliu Mustapha, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has revealed that the crisis rocking the State chapter of the party has lingered because of the ego of the parties involved. Mustapha who stated this to newsmen in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, however said the issues would be resolved in a matter of weeks. He noted that although the crisis started too early in the life of the party administration, its resolution wasn’t beyond the capacities of APC members to achieve. “The crisis stems from a battle of supremacy between two blocs. It was, however, heightened after the purported removal of Alhaji Bashir Bolarinwa as the state chairman of the party. “It’s quite unfortunate that Kwara APC has to find itself in this kind of situation; it is uncalled for; it’s unnecessary because it started way too early. “But it’s understandable that in politics, there will always be a divergence of opinions, views and interests. “It’s now a task for people like me to see that we reconcile everybody and find a solution to the crisis that has been rocking the party for the past 2 years,” he said. He added, “I believe that in the shortest time possible, I’ll be able to achieve this by sitting together with the governor and other stakeholders of the party in the state and finding a lasting solution to the crisis. “The crisis is definitely not beyond our capacity to resolve and we shall resolve it without wasting time so that we’re able to strategise together and win the next election in Kwara as overwhelmingly as we did in 2019.”

open to true reconciliation so as to move the party forward. According to him, neither the National Chairman of the Party nor former Governor Fayose initiated this move for reconciliation, adding that it was borne out of the initiative of the South West executives to unify the party in line with the campaign promises.

NASS joint minority caucus asks Nigerians to continue using Twitter By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Joint Minority Caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives has asked Nigerians to continue to use Twitter contrary to the directive issued by the Federal government banning the social media platform and asking Nigeria not to use it again. In statement issued jointly yesterday by the Senate and House of Representatives Minority Leaders, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus said it has met over the ban on Twitter by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government and restates its condemnation of the embargo as draconian and unacceptable. The Joint Caucus also dismissed threats by the APCled government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter and called on Nigerians to go ahead and use their Twitter as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or any international statute.

The statement said “The Joint Minority Caucus recognizes the provisions of Articles 19 and 20 of the United Nations Charter on Fundamental Human Rights, which Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as provisions of Sections 39 and 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and notes that by these provisions no one will be violating any law for using twitter in Nigeria. “As lawmakers, the Joint Caucus is pained by the anguish Nigerians, especially the youths, who find the use of twitter as a means of livelihood and genuine social interaction, are passing through just because the APCled Federal Government feels slighted that an individual’s post, was deleted by Twitter for ethical violation. “The joint caucus therefore calls on Nigerians to use various opportunities offered by technology and continue making use of twitter since such does not violate any law in our country. “It is agonizing that Nigeria and Nigerians have been losing billions of naira on a daily basis

since the ban on twitter. This is completely unacceptable as it is worsening the already biting economic hardship and frightening unemployment level in the country.” It said moreover that the ban on Twitter in Nigeria appears to be in favour of criminal and terrorist elements, whose activities fester in an environment of suppressed information flow. To this end, it sympathized with the organized private sector, manufacturing and service providing companies, small and medium enterprises, online businesses owners and other hardworking entrepreneurs across the country, whose genuine business and means of livelihood have been crippled by the unwarranted ban on Twitter by the APC federal government. “It also identifies with our students, research-based organization, media houses, the organized civil society, faithbased organizations, community groups among others, whose information-based activities have been violently disrupted by the

ban. “In the same vein, the Joint Caucus sympathizes with regional, states, local government as well as members of the international community, whose genuine and constructive activities have been crippled by the prohibition of twitter in Nigeria “It also identifies with traditional rulers, who have even found twitter as a means of communicating with the constituents, especially in this era of insecurity in the country. “The Joint Caucus vehemently berates the APC-led government for abandoning its duty of addressing the serious economic and security problems confronting our nation to rather focus on dissipating energy victimizing Nigerians over their disagreement with Twitter for deleting a post by an individual. “The Caucus counsels the Federal Government to swallow its pride, accept its misdoing and go and settle whatever issue it has with Twitter instead of this resort to inflicting pains on Nigerians”, the statement said.




Ekweremadu asks South East Govs to summon emergency security summit By Musa Baba Adamu


ormer Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has enjoined the South East Governors and Ohanaeze, to summon an emergency security summit of South East leaders, to genuinely dialogue how to douse the tension and stop the ongoing killings in the South East and also offer solutions to the security situation nationwide. In a statement he issued yesterday titled ‘Playing extreme and dangerous politics with south east insecurity’, Ekweremadu said he has been in touch with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide on the issues in the South East region. “I have personally spoken with the governors of the South East, impressing on them the need to call meetings of all stakeholders in their states and engage everyone, irrespective of their political persuasions, to find solutions to the security challenges in their respective states in particular and the South East in general. “I have personally spoken with Governor Hope Uzodinma on the need for a meeting of political stakeholders and leaders in Imo State to collectively proffer solutions to the turbulence in that state”, he said. While decrying as sheer blackmail the insinuation by some political leaders that Igbo leaders have not spoken out against the security crisis in the zone, the Senator said “it is unfortunate that some people prefer to blame everyone else, except themselves, believing that their brothers and sisters on opposing political divides will be profiled and taken out for them by federal might ahead of 2023 to make it easier for them to kidnap political positions in the South East. This is extreme and dangerous politics. “Nevertheless, it is imperative to underscore the fact that the rising insecurity and agitations in the South East are not peculiar to the region. It sadly has become a national new normal. From the North West to North Central, North East, South West, South East, and South South, there is a conflagration of insecurity, crises, and all forms of restiveness and separatist agitations.” He therefore reiterated that it is extreme and dangerous to play national or regional politics with serious matters such as in Nigeria today rather than solving the challenges before it is too late. He cautioned that pragmatic leadership and patriotism is needed at this time, pointing out the need to rally Nigerians, and come together as leaders to provide solutions and not trade blames or seek to make political capital out of what is clearly capable of consuming the entire nation, including any political ambitions by anyone.

Northern senators decry insecurity in Nigeria, seek solution By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


orthern Senators yesterday expressed deep concern about the rising insecurity in the country, stating that the situation can’t be allow to continue without a lasting solutions. Arising from an emergency meeting in the National Assembly complex yesterday after about

three hours closed door meeting, the Northern Senators Caucus, led by its chairman, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, said they are concern over the security situation, urging relevant agencies to ensure the issue is tackled. Briefing journàlists immediately after the meeting, senator Wamakko, who was former Governor of Sokoto State, said “We met as Northern

Senators to show our deepest concern over the security challenges in the country. “We are concern as Nigerians and as Northerners and things cannot continue this way. We want every Nigerian to sleep with his eyes closed. “We have to find a solution. We are worried that all the geopolitical zones of the country have one security challenge or the

other. We must find a solution,” Wamakko said. According to him, Nigeria has been using the security outfits very well in tackling the challenges but added that other avenues must be explore to address the issue. “We have started the discussion on the security challenges and we will continue when we return from the recess,” Wamakko added.

L-R: Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State with the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, during the Governor’s visit to the NEPC corporate Headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Buhari to address Nigerian youths on democracy June 21st By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident Muhammadu Buhari will on June 21st address Nigerian youths on the tenets of democracy during the maiden All Progressive Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference which will be held at the International Conference Center, Abuja. Briefing journàlists yesterday at the APC national Secretariat, the National Youth representative in the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Ismael Ahmed, said the Conference being the first of its kind since the inception of the APC, at this very crucial state of Nigeria’s democratic journey, seeks to restate the progressive values of the party and give hope, inspiration to a new generation to the mainstream of the party towards a surer political future. According to him, the conference will attract progressives youth delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding “to participate, youths are encouraged to log

on to the official website of the conference www.pyc21.ng and register. The website goes live today and registration is opened till Saturday June 19, 2021. “You will agree with me that Youth, vision, energy and skill is essential to moving the country forward. Nigeria as a country was built on the back of these ideals and remains a young nation. Over 70 percent of Nigeria’s population in under 35, however, the median governor’s age is 55. “While age alone is not a predictor of success in governance, the realities of the pace of commerce, culture and technological change requires adept hands-on leadership best found within the youth. “Noteworthy also is that citizen influence and participation in politics is the pillar of any democracy. The last elections had shown that the future of politics and governance lies with citizen and youth engagement. Parties which emerged on elitist ideals are today currently facing difficulties in attracting new party members, and in particular youths due to continued marginalisation.

“The proportion of registered voters in 2019 elections are as follows; Youth (18-35) was 51.11% Middle-age (36-50) 29.97% Elderly (51-70) 15.22 % Old (70+) 3.69%. From this statistics it is evident that the youths make up more than half of the voting population.” Meanwhile, speaking about the federal government decision to ban Twitter, he said “The government didn’t ban social media as a lot of people will insinuate, it is very important that we know that because Facebook is still in operation, Instagram is still in operation, Watzup is still in operation and a lot of other social media platforms still in operation. In fact, some people will tell you Twitter is for the elite young people and not necessary for the general public. “I think there are far more subscribers of Facebook in Nigeria than they are of Twitter but having said that it’s still a very important medium for people. So for whatever it is that government felt to suspend Twitter, not ban, there was a suspension and ofcourse there is a conversation

going on between the government and the representative of Twitter and I am sure it will be resolved.” When asked how he personally felt about the development as a young man, the APC youths leader said: “We as young people our job is to represent our constituency and to plead with those we can plead with to come to amicable resolution. “But as a government, if you are asking me as Ismaeel Ahmed whether I am okay with the suspension of a non-legal entity in Nigeria who feels it is okay for it to delete a tweet of the President without a recourse to a conversation with the government representatives if it can reach it, I think at some point government needed to reinstate that it is a sovereign Nation and that no company with whatever name that does not have any legal personality in Nigeria will do to it as it pleases. But I’m I happy that there is no Twitter today that I cannot tweet? Ofcourse not, but I hope there will be an amicable resolution and I hope Twitter will be responsible going forward.”




Ex Ogun guber aspirant, Akinlade replies those mocking Gov Abiodum in leaked video By Musa Baba Adamu


governorship candidate in Ogun State, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, has reacted to a viral video wherein Governor Dapo Abiodun was seen stumbling over errors as he was being recorded for a scheduled television broadcast. In his own reaction, Akinlade slammed those “celebrating” the leaked video of Abiodun prepping before a broadcast. The former House of Reps Member noted that “what the video shows is a man who identified errors in a prepared speech and went ahead to correct same on the spot.” According to him, the same people would have castigated Abiodun if he had presented a flawed speech. A statement made available to journàlists by his media aide, Adelani Azeez, read inter alia: “Although, we do not share the same vision for the State which is based on principles, we both share a common heritage which is Ogun State”. So to encourage or join anyone in making jest of him is as good as making jest of Ogun State and by extension, ourselves. “All over the world, leaders and heads of governments do what we call “preps” before any live broadcast. We have bigger issues confronting us as a people. Bandits are kidnapping and raping our women, killer herdsmen are ravaging our lands across Ogun West, men of the Nigerian Customs Services are killing us unabated, road infrastructures are collapsing across the State, and we are here reposting PDA’s prep video. “My dear good people of Ogun State, we cannot afford to take our eyes off the ball. Considering how we got here, it is almost understandable for us to “celebrate” any slip by our tormentors but in the end, it is our determination and victory that will heal our pains, not their sorrow. “We must as a people call upon the government to stand up to its responsibilities by providing adequate security for us. We must be vigilant and steadfast in our resolve to survive this mayhem enveloping our lands. Ogun State is all we have, preserving it should be a collective effort. God bless us all,” he submitted.

Senate to screen Buhari’s Aide, Onochie, other nominees as INEC Commissioners By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to confirm six nominees as national commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to its Committee on INEC. The confirmation request was made by the President in accordance with paragraph 14 Part I(F) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. The names of the nominees for screening include: Professor

Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Lauretta Onochie (Delta); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti); Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa); Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North-Central); and Dr. Baba Bila (North-East). Moments after an Executive Communication in the name of the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North) was read at the commencement of plenary, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe rose to challenge the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner to represent Delta State.

He said: “Mr. President, in seconding this motion, we have dealt with this matter of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie. “So, we feel surprised that the same name has resurfaced no longer as a National Commissioner, but as a Delta State Commissioner. “Mr. President, reluctantly, I second the motion that these nominations be referred to the relevant committee for action and we shall meet in Philippines.” Responding to Abaribe’s observation, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, however, made clarifications on Onochie’s

nomination. “The nominees are not state resident electoral commissioners, they are national commissioners. “And there was no change of request, so they are not resident electoral commissioners”, Lawan explained. The President’s confirmation request was, thereafter, referred by the Senate President to the Committee on INEC. The Committee which is chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) is expected to screen the nominees and report back to the upper chamber in two weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari receives security briefing from service chiefs, at the State House, yesterday

PHOTO; State House

2023: Northern youths adopt Bala Mohammed as presidential aspirant


he Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) adopted Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, as its choice presidential aspirant for the 2023 election. The Forum, which has been adopting presidential candidates since 1999, picked Bala Mohammed through a poll in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, where delegates of the forum voted to decide between Bala and AIT founder, Chief Raymond Dokpesi. Bala and Dokpesi had emerged as the last shortlist of

a long list of people who were initially being considered for adoption by the northern Youth Leaders Forum, according to the Forum’s National Chairman, Comrade Eliot Afiyo. At the forum’s poll, which began Wednesday afternoon, Bala polled 116 votes while Dopkesi got 28, with one vote discarded as invalid. Delivering his speech after the election and declaration of Bala as winner, the NYLF chairman said, “I hereby declare today the 9th of June, 2021 that the NYLF, the umbrella

body of 42 Northern Youth Groups, has publicly endorsed Senator Bala Mohammed as our choice Candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election under any political party.” He called on all NYLF Members in Nigeria and abroad to immediately commence consultations, lobbying and campaigning for the choice candidate. “We want to use this opportunity to also congratulate Raymond Dopkesi who came second out of 27 people that were shortlisted. NYLF has

no doubt that Senator Bala Mohammed has the capacity to fix our Nation.” Fielding questions from journalists after the Forum’s election, Eliot Afiyo indicated that his Forum had adopted Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for the 1999 and 2003 presidential elections, Umaru Yar’adua for 2007, Goodluck Jonathan for 2011, and Muhammadu Buhari for 2015. He said however that the Forum did not adopt any presidential material for the 2019 election.



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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

Low 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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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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NLNG signs Sales, Purchase Agreements to supply domestic LNG By Etuka Sunday


igeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has signed 10-year LNG Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) with three offtakers for the domestic supply of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in country. The Company will supply 1.1 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA) of LNG on DES basis to Asiko Power Limited, Bridport Energy Limited and Gas-Plus Synergy Limited. The SPAs will facilitate the project execution and infrastructural development by offtakers to aid LNG delivery into the domestic market. The announcement is coming close on the heels of an NLNGsponsored pre-summit conference of the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) organised by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources where the Company committed to supporting the deepening of the gas industry and gas utilisation in the country. The execution of the SPAs follows a Domestic LNG (DLNG) Workshop which was held in November 2019 to stress test the delivery model with industry stakeholders and series of engagements to identify suitable actors to co-create the initiative, andto stimulate market interest for potential offtakers. Speaking on the Company’s initiative, Engr. Tony Attah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, said the signing and execution of the DLNG SPAs was a strong expression of the Company’s commitment to unlocking the country’s gas potential and making gas count for the good of Nigerians. He added that NLNG was already transforming conversations held at the Decade of Gas event held in March 2021 into concrete actions that Nigerians

can easily relate with. “With Nigeria’s enormous gas reserves, I am not in doubt that with the right drive from the government and the support of corporate organizations, we as a nation can stand with our head held high to be counted among major players. The government has demonstrated its readiness to take the gas sector to the next level by declaring this decade our nation’s Decade of Gas. “We believe this will be the decade for us to leverage on our gas reserves to accelerate our power generation solutions

through Gas-to-Power projects. It will be the decade when as a nation we stop reporting deaths from pollution through the use of wood and solid fuels as domestic energy sources. And it will be the decade for empowering local SMEs to take advantage of the various investment opportunities that the Decade of Gas will attract. “In addition to the Domestic LNG Scheme, we have the ongoing Train 7 project with capacity to attract about $10bn in foreign direct investment. We are also looking to expand the LPG value chain by increasing our supply to

the domestic market, guaranteeing LPG supply and enhancing its affordability, and enabling the development of a value network for a sustainable ecosystem,” he said. The General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Eyono FatayiWilliams in a statement said, Engr. Attah added that NLNG took similar steps in 2007 when it started supplying Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the country. He said the Company was looking to expanding the LPG value chain by increasing to 450,000

tons its supply to the domestic market , guaranteeing LPG supply, availability, affordability, and enabling the development of a value network for a sustainable ecosystem. NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr.l (10.4%).

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno (3rd L); Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline-Tallen (3rd R); and other dignitaries, during the commissioning of the renovated Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno on Monday

Technology, very Germane to Nigeria’s competitiveness in Oil Market – Seplat CEO By Etuka Sunday


echnology will play a key role in ensuring Nigeria stays cost competitive in today’s oil market, Mr. Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Plc, has said. The Seplat CEO said this in his keynote address titled, “Oil Market Forum: Who Is In Control?” at the ongoing 2021 Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja. With the International Energy Agency (IEA) setting out a road map to what it believes is required to achieve net carbon zero 2050 coupled with oil prices rising on COVID-19 pandemic recovery, traders betting on sustained revival in oil demand and the activities of OPEC/OPEC+, Brown noted that

the end consumers, suppliers of energy, governments / regulators and providers of capital could b said to be in control of market outcomes. Given the current market realities, he said Seplat has identified cost savings initiatives, flexibility to scale projects, promotion of innovation and gas resource development as major value drivers for all its stakeholders. Brown therefore urged operators and other stakeholders to heighten their priority to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs, ensured the implementation of high caliber remote working technologies, and adopt new systems, new habits and new patterns that have emerged and impacting work processes.

The Seplat CEO added: “There is the need for pursuit of strategic new opportunities and streamlining operations . Portfolios have been reshaped and capital reallocated to the highest-return opportunities, that is, those best aligned with future value creation and sources of distinctiveness. “Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles are now key drivers in how companies plan for long term growth; thus the responsibility of companies to undertake gap analyses and ensure that sustainability thinking is embedded across the organization is very critical at this time.” On oil and gas engagements, Brown urged Nigeria to reduce operational costs, aim to be lowest quartile producer, drive

technological development using Artificial Intelligence; ensure lower costs to market, promote free market pricing for domestic gas with the right fiscal or other incentives, and balance LNG development with Domestic Gas developing both. On electricity, he advised that the country move away from off grid diesel generation, improve electricity supply chain and develop on grid gas as a catalyst for on-grid renewable energy. While for biomass, Roger called for the development of the LPG and CNG markets, and reduction of reliance on biomass, that is, arresting deforestation. He also advocated for a balance of Environmental and Social development whilst delivering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

(SDG). In embracing changes and controlling its future, he said Seplat was investing in its people and motivating them by providing a safe working environment and career development opportunities; pursuing profitable and sustainable new opportunities; driving energy transitions in its sectors and improving access to affordable and greener energy; and being a responsible and accountable corporate citizen, understand local issues and positively contributing to host communities. According to him, Seplat is also improving profitability, maintaining strict cost control and implementing the most appropriate technologies whilst creating value for all stakeholders.



BUSINESS NCC charges Nigerian Youth on responsible internet usage By Etuka Sunday


he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged Nigerian youths to leverage Internet/broadband access to unleash their potentials for innovation and creativity, as well as their quest for job opportunities and skills acquisition. The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, made the call during the presentation of 100 pieces of mattresses to the Federal Capital Territory’s Permanent Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Kubwa, Abuja recently. The presentation of the mattresses was in demonstration of the Commission’s solidarity and corporate social responsibility

(CSR) to support the replacement of some of the items carted away from the camp by hoodlums during the EndSARS protests of October 27, 2020. Speaking on behalf of Danbatta during the presentation, NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the youths play a great role in nation building as they contribute to national development by bringing about social reforms, noting that the NCC will always support the course of the youth in the country. Adinde said the Commission, has various youth initiatives and programmes aimed at making them self-reliant while enhancing their contributions to the economy. He, therefore, charged the corps members to use Internet services for gainful and profitable activities, while also advising them

to refrain from using their access to telecoms services for irresponsible and nefarious activities, which could land them in trouble. “Access to telecommunication services, especially the Internet, plays a key role in job creation for the youths and ultimately for accelerating economic development. It is critical to the overall socio-economic well-being of every economy and the youth have a greater role to play, as agents of social change, in using the Internet for positive ventures,” he said. He also charged the large gathering of corps members, who attended the presentation ceremony, to take advantage of the various consumer-centric initiatives which the Commission has emplaced to protect and empower them as active users of

telecoms services. These include the NCC’s tollfree number 622 for consumer complaints resolution, the NCC Do-No-Disturb 2442 Short Code for dealing with unsolicited text messages, the 112 National Emergency Number managed by the Commission’s Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) located across the country. Meanwhile, NYSC FCT Coordinator, Abdul Suleman, expressed appreciation for the solidary and support shown by the NCC to the NYSC family, especially regarding the welfare of corps members deployed to the Federal capital for the mandatory one year service to the nation. “I am happy to receive 100 mattresses donated by the NCC, under the leadership of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the

Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, to alleviate the pains inflicted by the miscreants who vandalized the camp. The generosity of the NCC is coming at a time it is most needed, especially with the orientation camp in session.” “On behalf of the DirectorGeneral, Management, Staff and Corps members, I wholeheartedly express our profound gratitude to the NCC for the magnanimous gesture and for investing in the Nigerian youths,” Suleman said. At the presentation ceremony, the Commission created a lot of fun and excitement for the corps members through the ‘fast-finger’ game where airtime of different network operators were picked up freely by the corps members. Smart phones were also given out to lucky winners of the raffle draw organized by the Commission.

L-R: Kwara state first Lady, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, chairperson of the Forum and Ekiti state First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Akwa Ibom state First Lady, Martha Udom Emmanuel and Edo state First Lady, Betsy Obaseki during the Governors’wives meeting tagged,Against Gender Based Violence at NGF secretariat, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa


Mpape: Residents beg FCT Minister to demolish illegal structures over insecurity By Stanley Onyekwere


esidents of Mpape Hills have sent a distress message to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) , Mallam Muhammad Bello, calling for immediate demolition of all illegal shanties and other structures that have allegedly continued to constituting security threat to people in the area. They noted that life has become very unbearable for them, following persistent criminal activities as well as a

By Etuka Sunday


he National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced the process of data collection on MICS 6/NICS 2021 starting with the Training of Trainers(TOT) workshop in Lagos on the 9th of June 2021. Immediately after the workshop, some selected trainers would be sent to four states

(Anambra, Kano, Plateau and Oyo) to conduct the pretest exercise. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS6/NICS) is the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide, focusing on issues such as; health, education, child protection, water and sanitation, amongst others. The Head, Public Affairs & International Relations Unit, NBS, Mr. Ichedi, Sunday Joel in a statement said, the survey also

serves as a major source of data in measuring achievements of some of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international commitments. According to the statement, “the first round of MICS in Nigeria was conducted in 1995 by the then Federal Office of Statistics, now National Bureau of Statistics. Since its inception, a total of 5 rounds have been conducted with technical support from UNICEF. “As NBS commences the

implementation of MICS6/NICS, we appeal to the general public for their maximum cooperation towards the successful completion of the project. “We specifically appeal to the media and our potential respondents in this regard as their contributions is key to successful outcome of the survey. “The media should kindly play their traditional role of information dissemination by informing the general public of

the need to volunteer information to NBS teams of data collectors during the data collection exercise in all the states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “NBS wishes to assure all our respondents that any information given out during this survey exercise shall not be divulged to a third party and will be used as anonymized data for statistical purposes only”, the statement said.

frustrating traffic gridlock along the only major road corridor in the area. Chairman, Mpape Residents Association, Gen. John Agi (Rtd) who made the call yesterday, when he led members of the Association on a courtesy visit to the Minister, lamented that overtime, moving in and out of Mpape has become very tiring and precarious for motorists and commuters. Agi stated that intelligence reports have revealed that the wave of crimes in the community was alarmingly increasing,

due to unchecked migration of many questionable characters who are indiscriminately building shanties and other illegal structures along the road shoulders. He noted that many of the suspected criminals pretend to engage in petty trading along the road, but resorts to crimes at night. He also added that traders and mechanic workshops have taken over great parts of the roads, imposing painful constraints on residents and other users of the road. The retired Military officer

pleaded that FCT Administration should immediately carry out a comprehensive sanitation both along the road shoulders and other places in the community to get rid of the criminal elements, to guarantee safety and security of lives and properties. Stressing that the demolition was urgently needed, he also called the Minister to facilitate provision of basic amenities to the community. In his remarks, the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello said FCT Administration has remained consistent in ensuring that Abuja

master plan was preserved, while the administration works hard to ensure quality infrastructures across all the districts. Also, the Minister has directed the Director, Department of Security Services, Adamu Gwary, to immediately galvanise all relevant agencies to commence clean up of Mpape Road corridors and environs. He also noted that all illegal structures must be removed, and that there is no hiding place for criminal elements and law breakers within the nation’s capital.

Editor-in Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Salas Uwoha (3rd L); President, Nigeria Guard of Editors (NGE), Mr Mustapha Isa and other NAN Editors, during the visit of the President of NGE to the Agency Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday (9/6/21).

Bello seeks guaranteed funding for Abuja’s infrastructural dev’t By Stanley Onyekwere

T NBS, UNICEF begins Data Collection for MIC 6/NIC 2021 Surveys


Page 21

he FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has proposed for the creation of an FCT Infrastructure Development Fund, as a guaranteed funding arrangement, to ensure adequate and unhindered funding for the rapid development of the Territory. Bello noted that with the rate of population growth, without a robust and well-structured funding arrangement, for the provision of and maintenance of infrastructure, the FCT might ultimately be birthing an urban slum. He made this point recently, in his presentation at the ongoing National Public Hearing by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, in Abuja. He explained that proposal was essential considering the fact that

Abuja, is home to an ever increasing number of Nigerians who have made the Territory their homes. According to him, of the 196 districts that make up the FCT, only 10 districts have been fully developed with infrastructure, 12 districts partially developed with 70 districts within the Federal Capital City undeveloped. “We propose that a definitive constitutional provision be made to ensure adequate and unhindered funding of the FCT through the creation of an FCT Infrastructure Development Fund, OR through a 1st line charge on the funds of the Federation or some other acceptable arrangement”, he stressed. Similarly, the Minister also made submissions to the Committee where he prayed for amendments to certain sections of the constitution, which will amongst others bring governance closer to the people.

While seeking amendment to SECTION 7 of the constitution, the Minister proposed the inclusion of a new sub section immediately after Section 7(5) to read as follows: A: (6) The functions to be conferred by law upon the Area Councils may include those set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution and, where so conferred, shall be performed outside the Federal Capital City (FCC) and such areas as may be designated from time to time by the Minister in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”. He explained justification for the submission, is that “Section 7 (5) as presently constituted gives room for duplicity of roles, conflicts and mismatches in planning, provision of infrastructure and service delivery in the FCT. He added that the proposed amendment, is aimed at addressing

the aforementioned problems and achieving harmony between the FCTA and the Area Councils. According to him, the Area Councils are entitled to their Constitutional mandates. However, they should do that outside the Federal Capital City (FCC) and, as a matter of expediency, collaborate with the FCT Administration, to ensure harmony in the development of infrastructure and provision of amenities. He noted that collaboration between the FCT Administration and the Area Councils, is necessary because the Federal Capital Territory is a planned modern project with a centralized planning system, cohesive infrastructural coordinates and interconnected engineering designs. In proposing amendments to section 301 of the Constitution, the

Minister submitted that Section 301(c) to read: “References to persons, offices and authorities of a State were references to the persons, offices, and authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration with like status, designations, and powers, respectively. “The proposed amendment will enable the Federal Capital Territory functionaries to assume the statutory roles assigned to certain Government functionaries under the Federal Capital Territory applicable laws as contained in the Schedule of the Federal Capital Territory Act”. Equally, in his submission, the FCT Minister also proposed an amendment to the First Schedule Part 2 of the Constitution which is “Amend Area Council Headquarters for Abuja Municipal from Garki to a town outside the Federal Capital City.


Page 22

world news Srebrenica massacre: UN court


rejects Mladic genocide appeal


ormer Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has lost his appeal against a 2017 conviction for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UN court upheld the life sentence for his role in the killing of around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. The massacre, in an enclave supposed to be under UN protection, was the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two. It is not yet clear where Mladic will serve the rest of his sentence. The five-person appeals panel found Mladic had failed to provide evidence to invalidate the previous convictions against him, although the presiding judge dissented on almost all counts. However, the Appeals Chamber also dismissed the appeal brought by the prosecution, which had sought a second conviction against Mladic over crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in some other areas during the war. The verdict was delayed by technical difficulties, which continued throughout the session. Mladic had denounced the tribunal during his appeal hearing in August, calling it a child of Western powers. His lawyers had argued he was far away from Srebrenica when the massacre happened. Mladic, known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, was one of the last suspects to face trial at the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He was arrested in 2011 after 16 years on the run. In 2017 he was found guilty of genocide over Srebrenica, but acquitted of genocide over his army’s 1992 campaign, in which Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats were expelled from their homes or detained in appalling conditions. In 2016, the same court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of planning the Srebrenica massacre, among other crimes. His initial 40-year sentence for genocide and war crimes was later increased to life in prison in 2019 - the remainder of which he will serve in the UK. What has the reaction been? Survivor Semso Osmanovic, who lost 23 family members in the massacre, told the BBC’s Guy De Launey that the verdict meant he finally felt able to return to his

Ratko Mladic was in court to hear the verdict on Tuesday home town. “I was living the whole of my life for this moment - to see justice being done by the international court. And hoping to bring my children and my wife to Srebrenica,” he said. “That’s the place I was born.” Sehida Abdurahmanovic, whose husband was killed in Srebrenica, watched the verdict at a memorial centre in Potocari. “Mothers who barely hear, who can not see, those sick and can hardly walk, came to see this. As it was yesterday, everything is still fresh,” she told BBC News Serbian. “It is of utmost importance that he got this life sentence and that genocide in Srebrenica was confirmed.” In Sarajevo, one Bosnian newspaper led its online coverage of the verdict with the headline: “Look at the butcher’s tears when he realises that he will die behind bars.” But the reaction among Mladic’s supporters was very different. The former general’s son, Darko Mladic, said his father “did not have a chance for a fair trial” and described the proceedings as “a travelling circus”. The current president of the Bosnian Serb enclave, Zeljka Cvijanovic, said the tribunal had “once again confirmed its role as anti-Serb court, which establishes responsibility for war crimes not by evidence, but by the ethnicity of the indicted”.

Long wait for justice “He has blood on his hands,” Munira Subasic told me when I visited her home, a short walk away from the killing fields of Srebrenica. Ratko Mladic was the enforcer of a political plot, engineered at the top, to make sections of Bosnia’s Muslim population disappear. The ethnic cleansing began with persecution propaganda turned neighbours against one another - and for many thousands it ended when Ratko Mladic’s men overran the UN base at Potocari, a designated safe zone. It was here that Munira’s 17-year old son Nermin was torn from her arms, as he tried to reassure her everything would be fine. Twenty-two members of her family perished in the genocide. It’s been a long journey to justice for Munira Subašić. She traveled to The Hague to look the man she considers her teenage son’s ‘executioner’ in the eye as, she hopes, he’s jailed for life.https://t. co/ahzwryaEFB#Mladic https://t. co/lnHOGwM80A pic.twitter.com/ krBmPmNLoM Ratko Mladic spent 16 years as a fugitive; many feared he wouldn’t live to see this final legal judgment. Munira travelled to The Hague to

witness the moment she believes will bring her peace. Prosecutors here hope this trial sends a message that resonates in the region and beyond - that justice delayed does not mean justice denied. What happened during the appeal? The hearing in August had been delayed by Mladic’s health problems and coronavirus restrictions. He remained defiant throughout, attacking both the court and the prosecutor. Speaking about Srebrenica, he said he had signed an agreement with the Bosnian Muslim army to honour it and other protected areas, and suggested he was not to blame for any violation of these zones. But prosecution lawyer Laurel Baig said Mladic had been convicted of some of “the most heinous crimes of the 20th Century”. “Mladic was in charge of the Srebrenica operation,” she said. “He used the forces under his command to execute thousands of men and boys.” A defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, denied his client had played a role, saying: “Mr Mladic is not a villain. He was someone who at all times was trying to help the UN do the job it couldn’t do in Srebrenica at a humanitarian level.” How did the genocide happen? Between 1991 and 1999 the socialist state of Yugoslavia broke up violently into separate entities covering the territories of what were then Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia. Of all the conflicts, the war in Bosnia was the bloodiest as, ethnically and religiously, it was the most divided. Yugoslav army units, withdrawn from Croatia and renamed the Bosnian Serb Army, carved out a huge swathe of Serbdominated territory in Bosnia. More than a million Bosniaks and Croats were driven from their homes in socalled ethnic cleansing, and Serbs suffered too. By the time the war ended in 1995, at least 100,000 people had been killed. At the end of the war in 1995, Mladic went into hiding and lived in obscurity in Serbia, protected by family and elements of the security forces. He was finally tracked down and arrested at a cousin’s house in rural northern Serbia in 2011. Source: BBC

China vigorously promotes protection of marine biodiversity By Liu Shiyao, People’s Daily


une 8 marked the 13th World Oceans Day, whose theme this year is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”. The day also marked the 14th National Marine Awareness Day of China, which has paid close attention and made continuous efforts to protect marine biodiversity. China is one of the countries with the richest marine biodiversity in the world. It has over 28,000 marine species on record, which account for about 13 percent of the world’s total, ranking third in the world. In recent years, China has vigorously pushed ahead with the promotion of marine biodiversity and reaped the rewards for its efforts. There are more than 35,000 known fish species in the world, among which over 32,000 live in the ocean. China has recorded over 4,500 fish species, including more than 3,700 kinds of marine fish. The country has conducted investigations into marine fish biodiversity and carried out researches on the protection and restoration of marine fish biodiversity in the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East Sea, and other waters in China.

In the East Sea, China has undertaken research on the protection and restoration of large yellow croaker resources. Relevant researchers analyzed the reasons behind the decline in large yellow croaker resources in such aspects as characteristics of hydrological environment, biological features of the marine fish population as well as trophic structure of the food web in the ecosystem, and adopted measures like optimizing artificial enhancement and releasing of large yellow croakers and setting up marine protected areas in a bid to protect marine fish biodiversity. Mangroves, a typical marine ecosystem, can be found in over 100 countries, including China. Over 800 species of benthic animals, including many endangered species, have been found live in China’s mangrove trees, which mainly grow in the country’s Guangdong province, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Hainan province. China is one of the few countries in the world with a net increase in the area of mangroves. Strengthening the protection and restoration of mangroves has always been an important part of the country’s marine ecological protection and restoration efforts.

Under the guidance of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), local governments in coastal regions have implemented the Blue Bay Initiative, which aims to improve marine ecology. Driven by the initiative, China has established over 50 protected areas for mangroves. Chinese white dolphins are sometimes seen swimming in the waters near Xiamen city, southeast China’s Fujian province. Over the past more than one decade, the Third Institute of Oceanography under the MNR has conducted long-term field investigation into the Chinese white dolphins in the Xiamen Bay near the city. Latest research data from the institute show that the population of the animal stands around 60, and has basically maintained stable. Chinese white dolphins mainly inhabit the nearshore waters and estuaries along the southeastern coast of China. As an alpha predator in its surrounding ecosystems, the animal indicates the condition of the ecosystems in coastal waters and estuaries. Coral reefs are considered one of the ecosystems with the richest biodiversity and highest productivity,

and hailed as tropical rainforests of the sea. Relevant institutions in China have carried out plenty of research on and achieved many results in the comprehensive observation of coral reefs, breeding of hermatypic corals, coral reef degradation and adaptation mechanisms, and coral reef ecological restoration technologies. China’s coral reefs, which rank eighth in the world in terms of area, are mainly found in the country’s Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, and the South China Sea islands. Since 2000, China has conducted many biological survey voyages, during which the country has continuously improved its survey platforms and equipment, and made new breakthroughs and progress in exploration as well as research and development. Based on these breakthroughs and progress, China has gradually built resource pools including a database of deep-sea bacteria, completed a great deal of research on the classification and systematic evolution of many new marine microorganisms, and evaluated the potential of microbial resources for application in marine biological medicine and biotechnology.



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Tigray conflict: ‘We have no food, we face death’


eople in a district of Ethiopia’s Tigray region have told the BBC they are on the verge of starvation. “We don’t have anything to eat,” a man in Qafta Humera said, saying their crops and livestock had been looted during seven months of war. He added that they were being prevented from seeking aid by a militia fighting with government forces. The testimony comes as UN chief António Guterres has warned that parts of Tigray are on the brink of famine. A conflict erupted in November between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels, forcing close to two million people from their homes in Tigray, a region that was already food insecure. The Ethiopian authorities insist that order is now being restored across the region and humanitarian access expanded. But last week, the UN warned of a repeat of Ethiopia’s devastating 1984 famine and called for an immediate ceasefire in Tigray. What are conditions like? Dire and frightening, according to people living in Qafta Humera, an isolated district in the west of Tigray that is close to the borders of Sudan and Eritrea, who were contacted by the BBC Tigrinya service via phone. Since November 2020, the western Tigray zone has been occupied by progovernment forces and militias from the neighbouring region of Amhara. “We are civilians, our crops and cattle have been taken by the armed men,” one farmer in his 60s said. “They took from me around 30 cows and oxen - there are some who lost 100-200 head of cattle.” Another farmer, in his 40s, told the BBC: “We were eating small remains of crops that we managed to hide, but now we don’t have anything. “Nobody has given us any aid. Almost everyone is on the verge of death - our eyes are affected by the hunger, the situation is perilous. “Death is knocking on our door. You can see the hunger on the face of each of us.” Residents said they had seen vehicles carrying aid pass by, but noone had bothered to inquire about their predicament. Why aren’t residents fleeing? Because they are trapped. The older farmer said people have

A local administrator appointed for the area in the wake of the conflict told the BBC that no federal aid was available and only limited assistance was coming through for neighbouring Amhara.

Cattle have also been lost during the conflict

been trying to travel elsewhere, like the towns of Shire and Sheraro about 200km (125 miles) east of their district, to find food and humanitarian supplies. But transport has been difficult to come by and those that have vehicles have been prevented from leaving the area by the militia. “When we want to go to the place where there is aid all roads are blocked,” he said, adding that those who have tried to flee on foot have been asked to pay bribes, which they cannot afford. “Even if we try on foot if the militias from Amhara found us they force us to pay 4,000-5,000 birr [between $90 and $115] each.” The younger farmer added that people feared being killed if they came face-to-face with the militia in the bush.

Eritrea blames the US for Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict


ritrea has blamed the US government for the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. In a letter to the UN Security Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Osman Saleh accused the US of “stoking further conflict and destabilisation” and planning to “resuscitate the remnants” of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) regime, which used to rule the northern region. The US has been calling for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray region after they were accused of human

rights abuses. Mr Osman’s letter did not comment on the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray. The Ethiopian government had previously denied the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray but later admitted to it with a promise that they would withdraw. The government made the same announcement last week. International agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis developing in region with the UN chief Antonio Gutteres saying Tigray was “on the brink of famine”.

“If we try to go to the place where there is aid we will be killed in the forest,” he said. What has the response been?

Mr Guterres warned the situation would “only keep getting worse” unless funding was increased and humanitarian access was improved. The government says international humanitarian workers have been allowed into most parts of Tigray. Months after the conflict begun, many critical services have not been fully restored. Dozens of health centres and hospitals have been destroyed or looted. Why is there a war? It erupted when Ethiopia’s government launched an offensive to oust the region’s then ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The party had had a massive fallout with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over political changes to the country’s ethnically based federal system though the TPLF’s capture of federal military bases in Tigray was the catalyst for the invasion. Mr Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared that the conflict was over at the end of November, but fighting has continued. Thousands of people have been killed and about 1.7 million have fled their homes. Tens of thousands have sought refuge in neighbouring Sudan. The conflict has also involved troops from neighbouring Eritrea fighting with the government. All sides have been accused of numerous human rights abuses.

Kenya and Ethiopia celebrate mobile phone deal


thiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, on Tuesday, witnessed the official awarding of a telecommunications licence to a consortium of private companies in Addis Ababa. The consortium will be the only privately owned mobile services provider, as Ethiopia seeks to liberalise the economy. The issuance of an operating licence is the first step in a journey expected to give Ethiopians an alternative to state-owned monopoly Ethiotelecom. The two leaders termed the event monumental for Ethiopia. The consortium is led by Kenya’s Safaricom

which will own a 52% stake in the new business. Safaricom’s parent company Vodacom, plus Vodafone, Sumitomo Corporation from Japan and CDC Group also form part of the consortium. The companies won the bidding process in May, edging out a rival consortium led by South Africa’s MTN Group, with the backing of Chinese investors. The deal opens up more than $8bn (£5bn) worth of investment in 4G and 5G network across the country. The Global partnership for Ethiopia further projects that up to 1.5 million jobs will be created. Source: BBC



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Belt and Road cooperation a path of hope for countries By Li Yan, Yan Huan, People’s Daily


n May 27, Hungary inaugurated the country’s largest solar power plant, the 100-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power plant project built by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) near the southwestern city of Kaposvar. The plant, whose construction kicked off in June 2019, is expected to produce 130 million kWh of electricity annually after it is connected to the grid, and help Hungary save 45,000 tons of standard coal and reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 120,000 tons each year. It’s believed that the project bears great significance for improving Hungary’s energy structure and clean energy development. As a key project in the cooperation between China and Hungary under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a representative of a great number of BRI projects, the Kaposvar solar power plant has fully demonstrated the philosophy of peaceful cooperation and win-win results upheld by the BRI. As a result of the active participation and support of various parties, the BRI has become the world’s largest platform for international cooperation and a wellreceived global public good. As of January 2021, China had signed 205 cooperation documents on jointly building the Belt and Road with 140 countries and 31 international organizations. From 2013 to 2020, the volume

Photo taken on July 24, 2020 shows a view of the Ban Ladhan Mekong River Super Major Bridge, one of the two cross-Mekong bridges along the China-Laos Railway. (Photo/Pan Longzhu) The Chinese-built Addis Ababa- Ababa-Djibouti railway, among which of trade in goods between China and countries along the routes of the BRI Djibouti railway connecting the two ten have been completed, creating totaled $9.2 trillion. In the meantime, East African countries of Ethiopia more than 100,000 jobs and effectively China has invested $136 billion and Djibouti is the first cross-border driving economic development for in countries along the BRI routes electrified railroad in Africa, and areas near the railway. and attracted nearly $60 billion of hailed as the lifeline of transportation If a country participates in the BRI, in Ethiopia. investment from these countries. it can see hope and harvest tangible Since the outbreak of the benefits, said Melaku Mulualem from In spite of the severe challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 pandemic, the Addis Ethiopian International Institute for economic and trade cooperation Ababa-Djibouti railway has played Peace and Development. between China and countries along a vital role in guaranteeing people’s With the help of China, the the Belt and Road has shown strong livelihood. Thanks to the railway, East African region has become more than 1.5 million tons of cargos a role model of connectivity and resilience and vitality. In the face of the current complex including daily necessities, anti- rapid development on the African international situation and mounting epidemic supplies, and industrial continent. The connectivity will global challenges, countries around raw materials have been transported also benefit the construction of the the world can only achieve peaceful from the Port of Djibouti to the African Continental Free Trade Area development and common prosperity hinterland of Ethiopia. Last year, (AfCFTA). by strengthening cooperation and while improving the efficiency in In pursuing Belt and Road the transfer of important goods and cooperation, China focuses on the overcoming challenges hand in hand. By promoting cooperation under materials in the East African region, fundamental issue of development, the framework of the BRI, China the railway saw its annual volume of and aims to release the growth hopes to pursue development, uphold freight climb 35 percent year on year. potential of participating countries Ethiopia has planned to build and achieve economic integration the idea of win-win results, and spread 13 industrial parks along the Addis and coordinated development to the hope together with other countries.

benefit of all participants. Such ideas and corresponding efforts have yielded fruitful results. Gwadar, once a small fishing village in Pakistan, is now a modern port. Greece’s Piraeus Port, where even the bridge cranes of the container terminal were too rusty to function normally, has seen its world ranking in terms of container throughput rise constantly. While continuously attracting investment, the ChinaEgypt TEDA Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Egypt serves as a good example of resuming work and production and boosting employment amid the COVID-19. Belt and Road cooperation binds countries together for the long haul, and forms ties that are extremely difficult to cut, which is perhaps what Chinese President Xi Jinping means when he speaks of the “Community of the Same Destiny,” said an article published on the website of U.S. magazine Forbes. As countries around the world are eagerly longing for green recovery and a path to sustainable development, China launched a number of green action initiatives covering wideranging efforts in green infrastructure, green energy, green transport and green finance, which have received active responses from people of various countries. As a participant, contributor and trailblazer in global ecological conservation, China is committed to taking concrete actions and making unremitting efforts to foster a community of life for man and nature.

Highways become a fantastic window on China’s development, vitality

By He Juan, People’s Daily


s of the end of 2020, China’s total mileage of highways reached 160,000 kilometers. Highways in China, which have been built from scratch and developed rapidly over the past three decades, have become a great window on the development, changes, and achievements of China. China’s highway network has witnessed the country’s resolve and strength to build highways wherever possible. Since the implementation of the country’s reform and opening-up policy, especially since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 2012, the construction of highways in China has experienced leapfrog development. By the end of 2020, almost all the Chinese cities with a population of over 200,000 had been covered by the country’s highway network. The Beijing-Urumqi Expressway, which stretches from China’s capital city Beijing all the way west to Urumqi in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and spans the vast Gobi Desert, has reduced the road distance between Beijing and Urumqi by more than 1,300 kilometers. The Ya’an-Xichang Expressway

in southwest China’s Sichuan province, where half of the sections are rampways, winds along and passes through mountains and crosses over rivers, turning deep chasm into thoroughfare. The Ningbo-Zhoushan Expressway in east China’s Zhejiang province connects islands through towering crosssea bridges and opens up a lifeline for the islands in Zhoushan city of Zhejiang. By prevailing over whatever challenges that lie ahead, unclogging bottlenecks, reconnecting disrupted links, and overcoming challenges, China has formed a highway network that links the eastern and western regions and runs through the northern and southern parts of the country. Drive through China’s highway network, one can see the secret behind the country’s success in development. The country’s highways extending in all directions have generated opportunities for development. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway, one of the busiest highways in the country, links China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and three cities of south China’s Guangdong province, namely Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen.

With an average daily traffic flow of 650,000 vehicles, the expressway accelerates the integrated development of Guangdong and HKSAR, drives improvement in the layout of industries and economic restructuring of cities along the route, and facilitates the emergence of a world-class city cluster. In more than ten provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities of China, all the counties have been covered by highway network, thus smoothening the channel for promoting industrial products in the countryside and bringing farm produce to urban areas and offering a powerful driving force for rural vitalization. Like a special bond between different parts of China, highways have formed a network that facilitates the flow of resources and sharing of opportunities, and allows different areas to complement each other’s advantages. Such a network has laid a solid foundation for the coordinated development of various regions and unimpeded circulation on the domestic market. The highway network of China has mirrored the evolving development philosophy of the country. Since 2012, many Chinese cities have attached more attention

to old revolutionary base areas, areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups, border areas, and poor areas in the construction of highways. Relevant endeavors have not only helped these areas sell agricultural products throughout the country, but brought to these places talents, technologies, and other resources, providing strong support for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This is one of the best examples of the idea of shared development in the country’s new development philosophy. In fact, highways in China not only mirror the country’s new development philosophy, but help promote the philosophy in various areas. Examples of the fact can be easily found in such efforts as removing all toll stations at provincial boundaries of national expressways to further lower logistics costs and improve the efficiency of road networks, giving priority to protecting important ecological functional zones to the greatest extent and keeping clear of ecologically sensitive areas in projects under construction, as well as seeking digital transformation and empowering highways with new technologies including big data, AI, blockchain, and supercomputing. China’s highway network demonstrates the country’s

confidence in its development in the future. Infrastructure construction plays an important role in driving economic growth and generates strong spillover effect. It can help reduce a country’s cost of economic circulation and improve the overall efficiency of economic operation. Whether a country is capable of providing complete infrastructure shows its capabilities to mobilize resources, organize activities and implement plans. China’s achievements in the construction of infrastructures such as highways and high-speed railways, while manifesting the country’s strong governance capacity, serve as an important cornerstone of China’s economic development. Looking into the future, China aims to develop itself into a country with a strong transportation network and promote coordinated development of traditional and new forms of infrastructure, according to China’s latest blueprint for national development, the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (20212025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. Efforts made to realize the goal will no doubt lay a solid foundation for high-level selfreliance in science and technology and higher-quality development of the country.



Group urge FG to compel shell to clean massive pollution By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


ivil society groups in Nigeria have urged the Federal government to compel Shell to clean up the massive pollution its extractive activities have created in the Niger Delta and cautioned that the company’s plans to move offshore is only targeted at evading the scrutiny that its onshore activities have attracted. Three organisations – Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), and the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/ FoEN) made this demand following reports that Shell is in talks with the Nigerian government to sell its stake in onshore oilfields. Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, had announced last week at the oil company’s annual general meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, that the company has struggled for years with spills in the Niger Delta because of pipeline theft and sabotage as well as operational issues. Beurden had remarked that Shell cannot solve community problems in the Niger Delta, and added that, “that is for the Nigerian government perhaps to solve”. But in a joint statement issued in Lagos, the three organisations described the Shell plan as a clear abdication of responsibility for years of ecocide in the Niger Delta and expressed worry that the Nigerian government will be setting a wrong precedent if it allows Shell to move offshore without addressing the grave environmental imprints its extraction has caused in the Niger Delta region. Besides attempting to dodge responsibility over their onshore mess, Shell is attracted to offshore extraction because oil companies pay less, and sometimes zero, royalties to Nigeria on wells in deeper waters. The move to extend exploitation with impunity for higher profits is unacceptable. The groups however noted that this is the time for Nigeria to diversify and transition from oil/gas rather than allow Shell and her cohorts to set their eyes on more polluting activities offshore. Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey said: “We never expected less from a company that has ridden roughshod on the environment and people of the Niger Delta while raking in blood profits. From Ogoni to Ikarama to Ikot Ada Udo and Ejama-Ebubu, the footprints that Shell wants to run away from are open wounds that cannot be healed by evading responsibility”. He insisted that Shell’s operations have been a vicious cycle of reckless extraction, pollution and environmental degradation, utter disregard for the people, and brazen attempts to place the blame on the same people it has inflicted pains on. Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “We are not deceived by the media whitewash on the reasons for Shell’s so-called divestment. Shell must own up to the onshore mess. Offshore operations mean aquatic

life will suffer and our fishers will make fewer catch. It means we will have more dead fish littering our shorelines. Ultimately, it will only expose the incapacity of the Nigerian government to track pollutions. “What we demand is accountability and the Nigerian government owes the impacted people of the Niger Delta the responsibility of making Shell do that”. Acting Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams said: “It is simply unacceptable and wishful thinking for Shell to even think it could escape liability from the mess it has created in the Niger Delta. The landmark ruling of the Dutch court against Shell in favour of the Niger Delta farmers in January 2021 and the UK court ruling in February affirming the rights of communities to sue even in European courts have opened vistas of opportunities that communities will exploit to hold Shell accountable.” “Shell is going nowhere without cleaning up and paying up. The era of impunity is over”. The groups urged communities that have been impacted by Shell’s operations to remain undeterred in their quest for justice, citing the January 29, 2021 landmark Dutch court ruling ordering Shell to compensate for oil spills in two villages over a decade ago as example to show victory will certainly come even if it is delayed. It urged the communities to explore legal tools such as the Liability Roadmap launched in 2020 to hold Shell to the task. “There is no hiding place from the mess that Shell has created. It must not only own up, but it must also clean up and pay up. We are undeterred in our quest to bring Shell to justice”, they insisted.

Chairman , National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa (Rtd) (middle), flanked by the Chairperson, Women Youth Children Crime Organization (WYCO), Mrs Farida Waziri (right) and the member of the organization, Dr. Dayo Kusa (left), during the WYCO members courtesy visit to the NDLEA cooperate Headquarters in partnership for drugs abuse free Nigeria , yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Buhari approves national climate change policy for Nigeria By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


resident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the revised National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and the National Climate Change Programmes for Nigeria during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held yesterday. This was contained in statement signed and issued by the Director press, Saghir el Mohammed said speaking on the development, the Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Abubakar explained that the new Policy document captures updates of emerging issues in the sectors not reflected in the

previous policy. These, according to him, include “the inclusion of the Paris Agreement, signed by Mr. President in 2015 and Gender mainstreaming, which he said are very relevant to national response to climate change”. Dr Abubakar further disclosed that the new National Policy on Climate Change with its programmatic plan of action is expected to run through 20212030. “The objective of the new policy is to implement mitigation measures and promote lowcarbon, high-growth economic development and also strengthen adaptation towards a sustainable

climate resilient development Pathway. “The National Climate Change programmes document compliments the National Policy by identifying measures and actions that will be implemented in a programmatic manner to address most, if not all, of the challenges posed by climate change and climate vulnerability in the country. The Minister thanked the President for approving the policy document and for his unparalleled commitment to climate change issues and concerns that earned him global recognition.

HOMEF, CAPPA, ERA/FoEN hail court ruling against Shell

… Encourages more groups to sue oil companies By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


he Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) have hailed the court ruling against Shell in The Hague in a climate change case brought by several groups including Friends of the Earth Netherlands. The landmark ruling mandates Shell to reduce its carbon emissions throughout its supply chain (including its suppliers and customers) by 45% as compared to 2019 levels by the end of 2030. The ruling comes amidst the immense global pressure the company is facing to set short, medium, and long-term emissions targets that are consistent with the Paris Agreement. The lawsuit was filed in April 2019 by seven activist groups —Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Greenpeace, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij Netherlands, ActionAid, Jongeren Milieu Actief and the Waddenvereniging— on behalf of 17,200 Dutch citizens.

In a joint statement issued in Lagos, HOMEF, CAPPA and ERA/FoEN welcomed the judgement and revealed that Shell knew for several decades that their activities were responsible for global warming, putting people and the planet at grave risk, but continued to deny and live in denial. Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nnimmo Bassey said: “We expected nothing less. The court at The Hague rightly held that Shell’s plan to cut emissions by 20% by 2030 relative to 2016 levels was measly and grossly inadequate. Even worse is the fact that the so-called cut was to put them on the path to achieving “net zero” status by 2050.” Bassey explained that “Net zero” does not mean ending of emissions; It simply means Shell would continue polluting and merely carry out some activities that assume to absorb some of the carbons they emit using mathematical formulations. The court apparently did not buy such shenanigans and demanded a cut of 45% of their emissions compared to 2019 levels.

Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “The Dutch ruling is a clear and an unmistakable warning to oil companies that believe they can deny climate change and keep engaging in destructive exploitation of fossil resources across Africa and elsewhere. Shell thought it could pollute in the Niger Delta and other communities in the global south and enjoy immunity in the global north. Obviously, the company was wrong. Judgement day has already begun for Shell.” Oluwafemi added that the ruling will further embolden impacted communities that have long sought justice to look to the courts for reprieve against Shell and other oil companies perpetrating ecocide on African soil and elsewhere in the global south. Acting Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams said: “The landmark Dutch court ruling is heartwarming because it reinforces our conviction that the tragedy of the Niger Delta must be nipped in the bud without delay. “Shell must not dream of running into the deep offshore in the Niger Delta, dodging

responsibility for over six decades of its onshore pollutions and stereotyping of the locals. Cutting their emissions as demanded by the Dutch Court is a first step, they must also clean up their mess in the Niger Delta and restore the environment to its pristine. The future of fossil fuels investment is fast becoming history.” This is the time to wake up from the deadly fossil fuel revenue dreams. As the African proverb says, those who burn their father’s house inherit the ashes. We are at a pivotal moment in time. It is a time for urgent transition from fossil fuels dependency rather than not trap needed resources in stranded assets. The case is the first in which activists have taken a major energy firm to court to compel it to overhaul its climate strategy. In January, some Niger Delta farmers also secured a win against Shell. “The court has ruled. Oil companies and governments must listen,” the groups insisted.





By Osaigbovo Iguobaro

Ceuta and Melilla: Spain’s enclaves in North Africa


n Morocco they call them the occupied “Sebtah and Melilah”. The rest of the world knows them as the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. They are the only piece of European territory on mainland Africa - a political and legal reality that has never been recognised by Morocco, which has continued to demand their return, along with four other smaller territories in the Mediterranean all in the narrow strait of Gibraltar. Last month, an exceptionally large number of migrants crossed the border in one single day - some 8,000, mostly Moroccans. It also emerged that the Moroccan guards had turned a blind eye to the breach. The incident quickly developed into a diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco, prompting the Spanish government to send reinforcements to the territories and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to describe it as an “unprecedented [crisis] in recent years between the EU and Morocco”. As the crisis was unfolding, Moroccans launched a campaign on Twitter, with the slogans: “Ceuta and Melilla is not Spain” and “Ceuta and Melilla are Moroccan - end colonialism”. Arab media reported on ugly scenes inside Ceuta showing angry altercations between Spanish protesters opposed to migration and Muslim women of Moroccan descent. “These are not migrants, they are in their own country,” one person tweeted. ‘A classic case of European colonialism’ Subsequently it emerged that the failure of the Moroccan guards to stop the influx had not been an accident, but rather a deliberate attempt to send a warning message to Spain for hosting Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front, which campaigns for the independence of Western Sahara. Spain, like most other countries, has never recognised Morocco’s claim to the territory, and a Spanish court on Tuesday refused to order Mr Ghali’s detention on charges of war crimes, saying there was a lack of evidence against him. But there is broad consensus in Morocco that Western Sahara is every bit as Moroccan as Ceuta and Melilla. Talk of the status of the two

Spanish forces battled to curb the arrival of migrants in Ceuta and Melilla

A fence separates Melilla and Morocco - and Europe from Africa

cities flares up every now and then, especially in the context of illegal migration. On the face of it, the Moroccan claim to the territory seems to make perfect sense. The enclaves are on African soil, while Spain is in Europe. It looks like a classic case of European colonialism. Once you scratch the surface, however, you uncover a host of competing narratives and legal complexities. Like most territorial disputes, this one comes with a lot of emotional luggage and national pride on either side of the Mediterranean. Reminder of Muslim ‘humiliation’ Arab sources describe Ceuta as the launchpad for the Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula in the 8th Century, an occupation which lasted for

800 years. The ports were re-captured later in what is known as the Reconquista - the military campaign to evict the Muslims from what is now Spain and Portugal. Both cities were captured by Spain between the 15th and 16th century - roughly the same time Christopher Columbus was “discovering” America and paving the way for eventual European colonization of both North and South America. For the Muslims, Ceuta and Melilla are a painful reminder of Muslim defeat and humiliation by rising Western, Christian powers. “It’s a Muslim land no matter for how long the occupation lasts, an old wound that some think has healed, but it continues to bleed and there is no other cure than the re-

conquest,” is how one Arabic publication describes the sentiment. Even the Arabic Wikipedia describes the two cities as Moroccan under Spanish control. However, although Morocco went to war to capture Western Sahara after the Spanish evacuated the territory in 1975, its pursuit to regain control of Ceuta and Melilla has been lukewarm at best. Crucially, Morocco failed to press its case at the UN, to include them among territories that are yet to be decolonized, also known as non-selfgoverning territories. Moroccan political scientist Samir Bennis says after independence from Spain and France, Morocco acted in good faith, assuming the issue would be resolved amicably in the

future, but the Spaniards didn’t respond in kind. “On July 6 1963, the late King Hassan II [of Morocco] and General Franco [the ruler of Spain] met in Madrid’s Barajas airport to address their pending territorial disputes. “Morocco agreed to separate the issue of Ceuta and Melilla from the other territorial disagreements, pitting the two countries against each another in the UN Special Political and Decolonization Committee, known as the 4th Committee,” he says. Today, Spain rejects categorically any talk of negotiation on the two cities, and insists that they have been Spanish for more than five centuries and that they are an integral part of the Spanish state. But Mr Bennis questions the Spanish claim on historical and legal grounds. “From a political and administrative standpoint, for the most part of their history, these two enclaves were not considered full-fledged Spanish cities. “Their status varied between being military fortification shadowy people were sent to serve their sentences or were outright disposed of and kept away from the peninsula,” he says But what does international law say on the claim and the counter-claim? “Under international law, Morocco doesn’t have strong claims to Ceuta and Melilla, which have been Spanish for hundreds of years. There are significant legal and political barriers to any change in status of those territories in favour of Morocco,” writes Dr Jamie Trinidad of Cambridge University in the UK. “Politically, the fact that the populations of Ceuta and Melilla wish to remain Spanish is the most significant barrier to any change of status. The idea of Morocco taking over these cities against the wishes of their populations is almost unthinkable in this day and age,” he adds. In other words, even if there were ever a dramatic change in the balance of power and the question of sovereignty was put to the people of Ceuta and Melilla, what are the chances of them ever opting to be ruled by Morocco rather than a European democracy? It’s not hard to guess. Source: BBC


embers of Edo State vigilante Network (ESVN) have reportedly clashed with bereaved Nigerians whose relatives were shot dead by one of its personnel in IkpobaOkha Local Government Area of the State. 63-year-old woman, Mrs. Lucy Nwaorie and 38-year-old Tony Bassey were allegedly murdered on May 20, 2021 by a vigilante member identified as Mr. Osagie Ufua also known as stone in Efehi Street, off College Road, Aduwawa in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the State. Fearing attacks by angry youths that could possibly lead to jungle justice, the murder suspect, Mr. Osagie turned himself into police custody after the tragedy. In search of justice for the murdered Nigerians, on Monday, grieving family members embarked on a peaceful procession to police headquarters in Benin City, but they were


crime News Edo vigilante clashes with families of Nigerians killed by personnel

attacked at an intersection of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) House road near the Edo State Secretariat of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the State Capital where they addressed the Press. During the peaceful procession on Monday, about 20 armed vigilante personnel ambushed the mourners and ordered them to abandon the placards they

displayed to draw the attention of the public to their plights. As the tension escalated, a fight broke out between members of vigilante and the defiant mourners, prompting other curious pedestrians and commuters who were caught in the traffic snarl to intervene before the mourners were let-off the hook. Addressing newsmen earlier

at the NUJ Press Centre, Mr. Uche Nwaorie, eldest son of the mother of seven Children who hails from Enugu State, demanded for justice and called for a thorough investigation into the incident which he claimed was a planned attack. “The alleged killer came to the shop without a gun. Immediately he arrived the shop, he (Osagie) ordered for

bullets. Condemning the behaviour of some lawless vigilante members and residents in the State, former Attorney-General of the State and national President, Committee for the Defence of Human Right (CDHR), Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, called for an overhaul of the local security Network and a reorientation towards checking abuses.

Chairman , National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa (Rtd) (middle), flanked by the Chairperson, Women Youth Children Crime Organization (WYCO), Mrs Farida Waziri (right) and the member of the organization, Dr. Dayo Kusa (left), during the WYCO members courtesy visit to the NDLEA cooperate Headquarters in partnership for drugs abuse free Nigeria , yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin ImoOwo

Oyetola says youths critical to his administration’s sustainable devt PDP alarmed over killing of Dega,

From:Femi, Kaduna



sun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola said youths are critical to his administration’s sustainable development. He made the assertion when he launched the state Youth Policy Document to develop and empower the young people and put them at the centre of the development of the State. According to him, the newly unveiled Youth Policy Document which was christened 4Es---Youth Empowerment, Youth Engagement, Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Education, was developed to provide a crucial framework for guiding the State’s approach to ensure that large number of youths residing in the state are provided with high quality of life. Oyetola disclosed that his administration has enunciated a clear policy framework to ensure that an enabling environment is created for the youths to maximally realise their creative and productive potential.

Ortom’s Security Adviser

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it is alarmed by the gruesome murder of the Senior Special Adviser on Security to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, AIG Christopher Dega (rtd) by gunmen in Jos, Plateau state capital yesterday. The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr

Kola Ologbondiyan, condemned, in very strong terms, the murder of AIG Dega (rtd). The main opposition party described the murder as barbaric as well as ominous, given the recent attempts on the life of Governor Ortom by terrorists and bandits, marauding various parts of Benue state. The party described the slain Dega as a very patriotic Nigerian and dutiful aide, who gave his

all i”n the service of our dear fatherland and his home state, Benue”. The PDP therefore charged the police to immediately go into action and follow the leads to apprehend and bring the assailants and their backers to justice. The party also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “end his lethargic approach to security matters

and take decisive steps to end the activities of terrorists, bandits and vandals, who have been emboldened by his administration’s body language and overt failure”. The PDP commiserated with Governor Ortom, the Dega family as well as the government and people of Benue state and prayed God to give all the fortitude to bear “this sad episode in our national life”.

LASG pays over N32bn to 7,998 retirees in 2 years


he Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it had paid over N32 billion to 7,998 retirees of its public service in the past two years. Mr Babalola Obilana, Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) disclosed this during the 85th bond presentation to benefiting retirees in the state. Obilana said that the state government considered the welfare of pensioners as top

priority and was committed to the speedy resolution of all pension issues in the state. He explained that one of the targets of the present administration was to successfully conclude the payment of accrued pension rights at the end of the governor’s first term in office. According to him, this will enable pensioners to receive their entitlements upon retirement from the state’s public service on a ‘pay as you leave’ basis.

Obilana noted that in fulfilment to the government’s commitment to pensioners’ welfare, the Retirement Saving Accounts (RSAs) of 326 retirees were credited with over N1 billion for the month of May. “The governor is committed to retiree’s welfare that is why in spite of all odds, retirees are still on the front burner of his agenda. ” It is clear that the financial freedom of the state’s pensioners is paramount to this administration,” he said .

Obilana advised the retirees to choose the right option for their pension needs between annuity and programmed withdrawal. He urged the elder statesmen not to follow the decision of others but ensure that they select choices that best suit them. Mrs Felicia Ojo who spoke on behalf of the retirees, thanked Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the management and staff of LASPEC for their unflinching support for pensioners in the state. (NAN)







sports@peoplesdailyng.com, SMS- 08142929046


Falcons land in America for Summer Series

By Albert Akota


ine –time African champions Nigeria have arrived in the United States of America for this year’s Summer Series – a 4-Nation Tournament also involving hosts USA, Jamaica and Portugal’s ‘A’ Women Teams. A contingent of Nigeria –based technical crew and nine home – based professionals flew aboard

a Delta Airlines’ flight on the long haul from Lagos to Atlanta and arrived in the capital of the State of Georgia on Tuesday morning. They were aboard another flight from Atlanta to Houston, in the State of Texas, hours after. The team’s Head Coach, Randy Waldrum, an American, and a number of overseas –based players are expected to join up with the squad in Houston ahead of Nigeria’s first match

of the series against Jamaica at the BBVA Stadium on Thursday. Three days later, the Falcons, one of only seven teams to have featured in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals since the competition was launched 30 years ago, will tackle Portugal at the same BBVA. Their last match is against the USA squad, four-time winners of the FIFA World Cup and four-time winners of the Olympic football

gold, at the Q2 Stadium on 16th June. Matches will be played at the BBVA Stadium in Houston and at the brand-new, $240million Q2 Stadium in Austin built by the newest club in the Major League Soccer, Austin FC. Both cities are in the State of Texas and the clash between the Super Falcons and the US Women A team will be the first-ever football match at the state-of-the-art Q2.

The USA is the only one of the four teams in the Summer Series that will compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The match against Nigeria will mark the first time the USA has ever faced the Super Falcons outside of a world championship and it will be just the third-ever friendly against an African country for the Americans, with the previous two coming against South Africa.

David, four other Nigerians listed for CAF Champions League qualifying tournament By Albert Akota


FF’s Acting Director of Competitions, Ruth David, is among officials who will play key roles in the organization of the qualifying tournament for the maiden edition of CAF Women’s Champions League competition,

after being named as one of the match commissioners in the tournament slated for Cote d’Ivoire. David will be joined by fellow Nigerians Felicia Okwugba (who will serve as technical instructor), Yemisi Akintoye (referee), Friday Mfon (assistant referee) and Promise Uwaeme (information

technology) at the tournament in Abidjan, 15th – 30th July. Six teams will participate in the championship, including Nigeria’s Rivers Angels (winners of the Super 6 tournament held in Ijebu-Ode). Others are Association Sportive de la Police de Niamey (Niger Republic); Onze Sours de Gagnoa

(Cote d’Ivoire); Hasaacas Ladies Football Club (Ghana); Amis du Monde Football Club (Togo) and; Union Sportive Forces Armees (Burkina Faso). The inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League competition will be held in Egypt later this year.

Nigeria Begins Nation’s Cup campaign with defeat to DR Congo

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Nigeria Begins Nation’s Cup campaign with defeat to DR Congo By Albert Akota


he Nigeria’s Women Handball Team began their Africa Women Handball Championship on a losing note as they lost to DR Congo in the first match of the Championship. The match which was played in front of few fans at the Yaoundé Multipurpose Sports Complex saw Nigeria capitulate 16-35 to their Congolese counterparts in the first match of Group B. The Coach Rafiu Salami tutored side couldn’t match up to the DR Congo girls and paid dearly for some missed opportunities as the first half ended with a 18-3 scoreline in Favour of the Congolese. Nigeria came back with determination to reduce the deficit and better defenders and scored some important goals but they still couldn’t outscore DR Congo. The match ended 35-16 and DR Congo leads group B. Cameroon will play Kenya in the other group B match later on. The National Women Handball Team will next play Cameroon on Thursday.

Swan congratulates new FCT chapter EXCO By Albert Akota


he National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) congratulates the newly elected State Executive Committee of its FCT Chapter led by Mr. Ndubueze Chidoka. Despite the numerous challenges in the buildup to the election, it is gratifying to note that

FCT SWAN chapter was able to overcome those challenges both from some insiders and their collaborators from outside the Association. This is sequel to the report of the threeman NEC delegate that supervised the said election in line with Article 12 (g)(ii) of the SWAN Statute. According to the report by the delegate led by the South-South Vice President

of SWAN, Bonny Nyong, the election was conducted in a very peaceful and convivial atmosphere to the admiration of everyone. NEC wants to advise the elected Chairman and his executive members to be magnanimous in victory and ensure they accommodate every bonafide member of the chapter. To this effect, the Executive Committee may consider setting up a

reconciliation committee to reconcile any member who may have been angered by the outcome of the election. Similarly, the Executive Committee should also at all times knowing that SWAN is a professional body, endeavour to pilot its affairs in line with the Statute of the Association. Going forward, the leadership of FCT chapter should encourage its members to regularly

update their membership because that is the only way they will be eligible to participate in every activity of the Association both in the chapter and at the national level. It must also be noted that the NEC under the leadership of Sir, Honour Sirawoo will continue to work and collaborate with the various chapters to develop the Association. Yours truly,


PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESday, june 9, 2021

New report details Big Polluters’ next Big Con


xposé of “net-zero” pledges uncovers grossly insufficient plans and the strategies polluting industries have used to lock in the ineffective schemes

LAGOS – In the midst of virtual discussions of the UN climate treaty, a new report shines a light on how polluting industries are pushing a “net zero” agenda to become the presumed centerpiece of global climate plans and how the details in these plans (should any be included) delay action and do not add up. The report, entitled, “The Big Con: How Big Polluters are advancing a “net zero” climate agenda to delay, deceive, and deny,” comes following a year packed with record announcements of “net zero” pledges from corporations and governments, and builds on a growing body of research that calls the integrity of “net zero” as a political goal into serious question. As more and more “net zero” plans have been rolled out, the scientific, academic, and activist communities have all raised grave concerns about the inability of these plans to achieve the commitments of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report, written by Corporate Accountability, The Global Forest Coalition and Friends of the Earth International, was endorsed by over sixty environmental organizations including Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), ActionAid International, OilWatch, Third World Network, and the Institute for Policy Studies, amongst others. “The Big Con” joins a series of recent reports in uncovering the dubious arithmetic, vague targets, and often unachievable technological aspirations of these “net zero” plans, analyzing plans from a number of key polluting industries including the fossil fuel and energy, aviation, technology, retail, finance, and agriculture industries. It also includes an indepth look at some of the strategies these industries have deployed to ensure their “net zero” agenda becomes the primary dogma of the global response to the climate crisis. Some of the key findings highlighted in the report include: The Tactics: Big Polluters, including the aviation and fossil fuel industries lobbied massively to help ensure the passage of a tax credit in the US, called 45Q, that subsidizes carbon capture and storage. Those same corporations are likely to have raked in millions from the credit, despite not having the right systems in place to qualify. The International Emissions Trading Association, perhaps the largest global lobbyist on market and offsets (both pillars of polluters’ “net zero” climate plans”) has leveraged its outsized presence at international climate talks to

advance its agenda over others. Corporations have made massive financial contributions to renowned academic institutions including the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Imperial College London to shape and influence the type of “net zero” related research these institutions pursue. In one example, Exxon Mobil retained the right to formally review research before it is completed and in some cases to plant its own staff on project development teams at Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project. The Plans: By 2030, Shell alone plans to purchase more offsets to compensate for its emissions every year than were available in the entire global voluntary carbon offset market capacity in 2019. Walmart’s climate plan entirely neglects its value chain emissions, which account for an estimated 95 percent of the corporation’s carbon footprint. Eni is planning on increasing its oil and gas production over the coming years, a feat that the corporation proposes to offset through reforestation schemes that have been described as fake forests. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has pledged to reach “net zero” emissions in its portfolio by 2050. But despite pledging in 2020 to sell off most of its fossil fuel shares “in the near future”, it still owns US$85 billion in coal assets due to a loophole in its policy. JBS’ commitment to eliminate deforestation in its supply chain by 2035 in effect means it will continue contributing to deforestation for the next 14 years (until 2035), instead of immediately ending the deforestation associated with its supply chain—arguably one of the most effective and quickest ways for JBS to decrease its emissions.

The report was/will be released in a press briefing at 12:30 Amsterdam time during the virtual discussions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UN Secretary General and the COP presidency, who are organizers of the next milestone in the UNFCCC process COP26, have already made “net zero” a primary focus despite a number of recent controversies including the recent backlash against Mark Carney’s initiative. To join the press briefing on June 9, 2021, at 12:30 Amsterdam time, visit the UNFCCC webcast portal. If you’re registered, please see this guide for instructions on how to join. If you’re not registered, visit the webcast portal and click the link under “press conferences” for June 9. Quotes from authors: “This report shows that ‘net zero’ plans from big polluters are nothing more than a big con. The reality is that corporations like Shell have no interest in genuinely acting to solve the climate crisis by reducing their emissions from fossil fuels. They instead plan to continue business as usual while greenwashing their image with tree planting and offsetting schemes that can never ever make up for digging up and burning fossil fuels. We must wake up fast to the fact that we are falling for a trick. Net zero risks obscuring a lack of action until it is too late.” - Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International, Climate Justice & Energy program co-coordinator “After The Big Con, it’s hard not to see the recent fervour over ‘net zero’ as anything but a scheme propped up by Big Polluters that’s way too little, way too late,” said Rachel Rose Jackson of Corporate Accountability, “These players stacked the deck to make sure the world would hinge its hopes on plans that are nothing more than greenwashing. If we don’t course

correct now, the world will be on the fast track to climate destruction incompatible with life as we know it.” - Rachel Rose Jackson, Director of Climate Policy and Research, Corporate Accountability “We are deeply concerned about the corporate capture of climate policies and finance, and the growing nexus between governments and corporations to promote false solutions through Net Zero and ambiguous concepts like NBS. Instead of deep emissions cuts, they continue to pursue ‘green’ neocolonial offsetting schemes to reap more profits and pollute through forest offsets, afforestation, reforestation, tree plantations, and dangerous techno-fixes. This Net Zero circus has to stop: the planet and people need real and ambitious targets and commitments, real emissions cuts, and real zero targets.” - Coraina De la Plaza, Climate Campaigner, Global Forest Coalition Quotes from endorsing organizations: “While these companies are pledging to be carbon neutral three decades from now, they keep investing in business as usual including the expansion of fossil fuels development and lobbying and PR efforts to paint themselves green - without actually cleaning up their act. We can’t afford to play hide and seek with the climate crisis. Big polluters will never voluntarily change their destructive business models, unless someone forces them to. In the meantime, they pollute not only our air, our water, our food, but also our democracy. They must be stopped.” -Agnes Hall, Campaigns Director at 350. org “As big polluters hide behind false claims of supporting climate action, they are planning to do more damage by pushing carbon offset projects in developing countries, leading to more forest and land grabs. Such efforts


promote climate injustice and will impact the poor communities and indigenous peoples in the Global South. This has to stop.” - Meena Raman, Third World Network “Europe’s biggest fossil fuel companies are using their flimsy ‘net-zero’ plans to curry favour with our decision makers. But in exchange for their hollow commitments, Shell, BP and others have successfully lobbied for financial and regulatory support for techno-fixes like carbon capture and storage or fossil-hydrogen, which will allow them to dig up and sell yet more oil and gas. An utter climate catastrophe. Net zero is nothing more than a massive con, letting the EU and its polluting corporations to talk the talk while walking in the opposite direction.” - Pascoe Sabido, Researcher and Campaigner, Corporate Europe Observatory “The Big Con” is not only timely, but it also reinforces what we have been saying for years. The fossil fuel industry is not about to repent. Net Zero is a scam intended to keep us in a state of suspended animation while for the industry, it is business as usual.” - Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa “Proclamations of Net Zero targets are dangerous deceptions. Net Zero sounds ambitious and visionary but it actually allows big polluters and rich governments to continue emitting GHGs which they claim will be erased through unproven and dangerous technologies, carbon trading, and offsets that shift the burden of climate action to the Global South. Big polluters and rich governments should not only reduce emissions to Real Zero, they must pay reparations for the huge climate debt owed to the Global South,” - Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development “Net Zero is just the latest attempt by corporates and colluding governments in the Global North to undermine real action on the climate crisis. It follows (and includes) decades of different variations of big cons from outright denial to carbon markets and a slew of other false solutions pushed out by public relations machines and strong arming of the big economies. What cannot be avoided, and is becoming a permanent reality are the cyclones, wildfires and a multitude of other climate related disasters impacting regions like Africa with the fiercest intensity. As our world gets pummelled by these forces, impacted women and others in the Global South are starting to make the connections, pierce the veil, demand climate justice, and rise up to claim real zero solutions.” Trusha Reddy, Programme Head: Women Building Power for Energy & Climate Justice, WoMin African Alliance

. . . putting the people first



SPORTS Children must count in our devt discourse latest

Spurs begin Antonio Conte talks


nglish Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspurs have started key negotiations to recruit Antonio Conte as new manager The top Italian manager is clubless after leaving Inter Milan with a Serie A title but could not continue due to the club’s plans to sell key players instead of adding more depth to compete for bigger titles. Following Jose Mourinho’s departure after Mauricio Pochettino in the 2019/20 season, Spurs are looking for another high calibre manager. According to the transfer reports expert Fabrizio Romano, Spurs are chatting to Conte about their project goals, contract and salary expectations.

Mikel Obi signs new Stoke City deal


ormer Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has penned a new oneyear contract extension with Stoke City, furthering his stay at the club till the summer of 2022. Mikel linked up with Stoke City in August 2020 after severing ties with Turkish club Trabzonspor. The 34-yearold midfielder played 41 times for the Potters in the 2020/21 season. Mikel who won a Champions League and two Premier League titles with Chelsea regularly captained Stoke City last season, showing some impressive performance. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi

Advert: news: Kano: lagos:


lready, permutations and realignments are in the offing as Nigeria rounds the bend to start gearing up for another round of national elections. It is still little over two years to the Nigeria general elections but we need to begin the task of preparing our minds and articulating our expectations. Do would be aspirants and incumbents have plans for the Nigerian child and the future generation of Nigerians? Thinking of the child implies that these politicians are actually thinking of us, about our general wellbeing and our collective development. It also in simplistic terms an exhibition of deep understanding of our socio-economic situation, something we cannot in all sincerity credit these crop of people or politicians; not the so called “not too young to run group” nor the older war horses who have supposedly seen it all or have gathered all the experience necessary to take us on the right path to development and growth. Over 190 countries including Nigeria have acceded to the Convention on Rights of the Child since the UN General Assembly that birthed it in 1989. Essentially this convention seeks to address the challenges that confront the child and childhood. It seeks to set aside the distinct rights of the child and address barriers to child rights and development. Much as this convention have sought to change the global conversation on how children are perceived and treated, it is unfortunate that over three decades later the child particularly the child domiciled in sub-Sahara Africa is no where near any form of succor. The worse hit are probably the ‘Almajiris’ found predominantly in northern Nigeria. Unfortunately, for these children they do not constitute an issue in political discuss. But does any one care? The politicians and the rest of us should care not just for the sake of humanity but because these group of

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SAFIYA ADAMU yandokye@gmail.com children are going to grow into readily available source of mercenaries and foot soldiers for the perpetration of wanton destruction on societies. Who is speaking up for the ‘Almajiris’? Really, is the existence of the institution itself necessary in present times? Let me rephrase that…. the institution that produces them has outlived its purpose majorly because it has failed operationally, it has failed to adapt to modern times. Its products are neither useful to themselves nor to society instead they have become more of a menace to people and society. The ‘Almajiri” is today the poster child for human abuse, societal and leadership failures. The presence of millions of children out of school in Nigeria is frightening to say the least. Sadly, according to world bodies about 90% of these children are to be found in northern Nigeria and this is tragic. Unfortunately a lot of people see this as a northern Nigeria –Muslim society

exposure to all manner of abuse?? But then it is not only the ‘Almajiri’ child that suffers in Nigeria; a lot of children are treated as less than human by their guardians. It is grossly inhuman and criminal to take a child away from its parents no matter how poor or poverty stricken those parents may be and expose that child to dehumanizing conditions, treatments and situations. Every child has a right to childhood; right to be fed, protected, sheltered, and educated, anything less is unacceptable. Child labor, hawking or deployment as child soldiers are crimes against humanity and should be treated as such. I have noticed that some political aspirants talk vaguely of education but every one of them is tending to talk vigorously about employment. They are all going to create employment but certainly not jobs. Why? Because it is just not possible and has never been done anywhere that employment is

Every child has a right to childhood; right to be fed, protected, sheltered, and educated, anything less is unacceptable. Child labor, hawking or deployment as child soldiers are crimes against humanity and should be treated as such. problem. With this mind set tackling the issue, as a central problem requires tough political will that should be all encompassing and holistic. Some argue that it is the form of education their parents understand but I say NOT TRUE! We all know that these children learn nothing; for who can learn under such conditions of hunger and exposure to the elements,

generated outside of human capital development. Those that claim they are going to generate employment or millions of jobs within a period of two years simply lie. And this is the problem with politicians worldwide. In Nigeria it is particularly sad because the leaders and those they purport to lead do not understand the socio-political economy. They fail to grasp

the root cause of issues instead they trade punches and sling mud. This is where we are. But let us all know that children matter, and that every child including the Almajiri matter as much, we need to wake up to the reality that the future of this country is on the precipice and unless we muster the political will to tackle this menace of negligence of human capital development we do not have a prayer to make anything work. Nigeria’s domestication of the Convention for the Rights of the Child in 2003 has not impacted on the situation of the child. Children are still being trafficked across the country by relatives and those seeking cheap domestic labor and no consideration for the welfare of the child. These issues run deep and we must develop an all-encompassing strategy to address them. Each time a child abuse case comes to fore the world wails and wrings its fingers but that is where it stops. Children do not have a voice and sadly most become victims in the hands of those who should protect them. My question is to those aspirants and elected persons that bestride the landscape in designer clothes, outfits, and apparels that cost enough to feed hundreds of these street children for months and more; do you really care? My advice is that you should care and so should the rest of us. Yes we must all care. We should hold leaders and aspiring leaders accountable; we should and must hold them to commit to the welfare of the child now.


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

Why were they hiding them?

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