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Vol. 36 No. 067 N200

Thursday, May 13, 2021/ Ramadan 24, 1442 AH

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



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

NPA: I did not exempt Dangote from statutory charges -Bala Usman >>PAGE 2

As Muslims celebrate Eid-el-Fitr today

Our challenges surmountable when we come together, says Buhari

>>>page 5

IGP orders water tight security

PG 5

Katsina, Daura emirates suspend Durbar

PG 4

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

System collapse: TCN begins investigation, grid recovery pAGE 19

Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi Appeal Court upturns defies Sultan, led EidYouth Party’s el-Fitr prayer deregistration pAGE 9

pAGE 3

Southern senators back Govs on State Police, restructuring, others pAGE 15



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


I did not breach NPA rules, exempt Dangote from statutory charges - Bala Usman By Stanley Onyekwere


uspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, on Tuesday dismissed media reports ( not included) suggesting that the NPA management under her leadership breached NPA rules and exempted the Dangote Group of companies from paying certain statutory charges at the Onne Ports, River State. “I wish to state with all emphasis that these accusations are false and mischievous,” she said in a statement. According to her, “Even the letter dated February 5, 2019(published in the media report), communicating the

Authority’s decision on this subject to the management of Intels Nigeria Limited states in the last paragraph: “Hence, the Authority therefore directs that all cargoes of Messers Dangote Industries Limited and INDEED ALL IMPORTERS BEING DIRECTED TO ONNE PORTS for customs clearance, specifically for these projects, and are multipurpose in nature to be treated by applying the same operational rates used by other multi-purpose terminals.” This paragraph is explicit about the fact that all multi-purpose cargoes diverted to Onne were expected to benefit from this directive.” Giving the background to the directive, Ms Bala Usman said: “Until 2018 when the

Authority wrote when the Federal Government approved the decategorisation of Onne Ports as the solely designated oil and gas terminal in Nigeria, only oil and gas cargoes called at the ports, contrary to global practices in the maritime industry. “For reasons, which included national security, ease of doing business as well as the need for Nigeria to embrace international best practices, this oil and gas monopoly was removed in 2018, with the effect that all categories of cargoes could call at the Onne Ports. This means that importers could choose and have their cargoes delivered at any of our port locations regardless of what their consignments were. “With that decision, it followed

that tariffs must be reviewed to reflect the specific category of cargo being imported as opposed to the rates that existed when the Onne Ports received only oil and gas cargoes. “This reality got more urgent when the congestion at the two ports in Lagos became worsened by uncleared cargoes meant for construction at the Petrochemicals Refining Gas and Fertilizer project of the Dangote Groups at the Lekki Free Trade Zone. At a point, the company wrote to inform the Authority that it was expecting 60,000 containers and 1,000,000 (One million metric tonnes) Break Bulk cargo. If these were allowed to proceed to Lagos, it would have turned into an emergency.”

Sallah: Obi urges spirit of oneness, peaceful coexistence among Nigerians Page 8



Feature 26


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Eid-el-Fitri: Makinde congratulates Muslim faithful


ov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has congratulated the Muslims faithful in the state and the country at large on the completion of the Ramadan fast and the celebration of Eid-elFitri. Makinde in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, on Tuesday in Ibadan, described the end of the Ramadan as a thing of joy for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The governor, who used the opportunity of the Eid el Fitri to call for prayers to end insecurity in the country, enjoined Muslim faithful in the state to reflect the spiritual benefits of Ramadan. According to Makinde, the spiritual benefits of Ramadan include love, peace and justice in their daily living and through this, contribute to the development of the nation. He equally called on all Muslims not to depart from their good ways exhibited during the 30 days of spiritual exercise, which, he said had drawn them closer to Almighty Allah (SWT) with a lot of lessons learnt in the process. The governor also urged all Nigerians to be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of love, selfdiscipline, kindness and tolerance as taught by the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW). He urged residents to celebrate in moderation and show love to one another, asserting that the current situation in the country had made it imperative for Muslims and non-Muslims to live in peace and harmony. He further urged the people to seek the face of God in prayer for divine intervention over the various challenges facing the country. (NAN)

Ag. News Editor, Tobias Lengnam

Eid-el-Fitr: Police deploys 4,144 personnel in Kano State


he Police Command in Kano State has deployed 4,144 personnel to provide security across the state during the Sallah festival. This is contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the command, ASP Abdullahi Haruna, on Wednesday in Kano. Haruna said policemen would be drafted to strategic places including Eid prayer grounds during the festival. The spokesman said the command was working with other security agencies and civil volunteers to ensure adequate protection for lives and property.

“The command advise residents of the state to be vigilant as well as observe security and safety tips. “Worshippers going to Eid praying grounds are advised to avoid carrying unnecessary objects that may trigger suspicion or apprehension. “Under-aged children and unlicensed persons are not allowed to operate motor vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles and bicycles while going to the Eid praying grounds. “Parents and guardians should always accompany their children with adults while going to Eid praying grounds so as

to checkmate cases of missing children, accidents or any unsolicited dealings,” he said. Abdullahi enjoined groups and individuals not to engage in any act capable of breaching the peace, warning that defaulters would be arrested and prosecuted.

He also urged residents to observe COVID-19 safety protocol, including wearing of facemask and observance of social distancing throughout the festive period. According to him, the command has embarked on rigorous patrols and raids of

criminal hideouts to avert breach of the peace by criminals and miscreants in the state. The spokesman quoted the Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, as commending the people of the state for their cooperation to the command and respect for law and order. Dikķo urged the people to pray for the country and report suspicious persons and movements to security agencies. He advised residents to reach out to the police in case of any emergency through toll free numbers: 08032419754, 08123821575, 08075391163. (NAN)

Some Muslim faithful observing prayers to mark the end of Ramadan at Agodi Eid Praying Ground in Ibadan on Wednesday (12/5/21).

Appeal Court upturns Youth Party’s deregistration

Sports 30-31 Back Page

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By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

From left: An activist, Comrade Aghedo Kehinde; Nollywood actor, Yomi Fabiyi; and Alhaja Sikirat Tiwo, during a protest by a coalition of civil society organisations over alleged continued detention of Baba Ijesa a Nollywood actor by the Police without bail over accusation of sextual assault and molestation of a minor, in Lagos on Wednesday (13/5/21). 02123/12/5/2021/Wasiu Zubair/BJO/NAN

We don’t demand money from job seekers, NDLEA warns applicants


he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has advised candidates scheduled for screening as NDLEA officers not to pay money to anyone. This is contained in a statement signed by NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, in Abuja and

made available to newsmen on Wednesday. Babafemi said that the NDLEA was aware that scammers were sending messages to applicants demanding money. “Our attention has been drawn to some messages being sent round to some shortlisted candidates and other job seekers

to make payment into some bank accounts to secure them employment slots. He said that the shortlisted candidates, other job seekers and the general public should note that the NDLEA would not ask for payment from anyone seeking to work in the agency. Babafemi,therefore, urged

applicants to discountenance the fraudulent message and similar ones. According to the statement, the Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, has directed the agency’s directorate of intelligence to track and apprehend fraudsters behind the scam messages. (NAN)


he Federal Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has upheld an Abuja High Court’s decision reversing the de-registration of Youth Party as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had in October 2020 ruled that INEC breached the party’s right by deregistering it in spite of a pending suit filed by the party against the electoral umpire; a ruling that has now been sustained by Justice T.Y. Hassan of the appellate court. The Lead counsel to the Youth Party, Barrister John Ochogwu told newsmen in Abuja that the action of INEC was unlawful ab initio and called on the Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led commission to obey the rule of law now that an appellate court has upheld the earlier ruling.

...We’ll test judgment at Supreme Court- INEC

He said: “After the conduct of elections in 2019, INEC, the umpire deregistered some political parties. Ours, The Youth Party was one of the parties deregistered. “Before the deregistration of our party, there were publications on the social media giving indications that INEC was going to deregister some political parties for failure to win at least a seat in the general election. “When our attention was drawn to those publications on the social media , we went to court and filed an originating summons before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, presided over by the Honourable Justice Ekwo. “We also filed a motion seeking to restrain INEC from deregistering us pending the determination of the suit we filed. “While the matter was pending before the court, we served them all

our processes, some of which they responded to. “Unfortunately while the matter was pending in court, they proceeded and deregistered Youth Party, as a political party in Nigeria. “We immediately drew the attention of the Presiding judge to that development and he gave them time to revisit their decision but unfortunately they stuck to their gun. “The matter was adjourned for judgment and judgment was delivered in our favour and the deregistration was set aside by the Honourable Judge. “Now following this judgment, INEC appealed before the Court of Appeal, Abuja. Naturally, we also joined issues with them and arguments were taken on 17th of February 2021. Monday, we got notice that judgment was going

to be delivered virtually today (Tuesday). “The Presiding judge, Honourable Justice T.Y. Hassan, delivered another judgement today (Tuesday, 11th May, 2021) wherein the deregistration by INEC of our party was set aside”, he said. An elated Ochogwu added that “technically, the decision of the trial court was upheld. As it stands today, Youth party is one of the registered parties in Nigeria. “The court expressly reprimanded INEC for taking steps in a matter that was pending in a court of law and said it was an extrajudicial action on the part of INEC and a disrespect to a court of law”, he said in Abuja. Similarly, a member of the party’s executive committee, Chief Ogala Osoka said for the sake of

emphasis, Youth Party was not one of the 74 parties deregistered by INEC a few months ago, noting however, that following the ruling of the appellate court, the umpire needs to now abide by the decision. According to Osoka, “We are aware of the Supreme Court judgment regarding some other political parties. One of the issues is distinguishing that case from this one, which the trial court did and the Court of Appeal has upheld as well. “The position of the law now is that the other parties that were deregistered, their deregistration was upheld by the Supreme Court, whereas our case has been distinguished and set apart. “We want to encourage INEC to respect the rule of law. I know staff members of the commission are doing their best with budgetary limitations and the issue they have.”




Sallah: Niger Police assures of adequate deployment, safety From Yakubu Minna



iger State Police Command has reiterated its readiness to provide adequate security before, during and after the Eid- el Fitr Sallah celebration. This was contained in a statement issued by the command Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, DSP, Wasiu A. Abiodun. He assured of sufficient deployment of Police personnel to Eid-el praying ground, recreation centers, and other public places across the twenty- five (25) LGAs in the State to ensure safety of residents. The Command therefore, called on parents/guardians to caution their wards against any act of public disturbance. He said the Command will not hesitate to clamp down on any miscreant who may want to use the period to foment trouble or cause any disruption of public peace.

Eid-el-Fitr: Katsina, Daura emirates suspend Durbar T

he Katsina Emirate Council has cancelled Sallah Durbar, popularly called ‘HawanSallah’. The Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir, gave the directive in a statement by the council’s Secretary, Alhaji Bello Mamman-Ifo, on Tuesday in Katsina.

“In view of kidnappings and banditry taking place around the emirate, and based on advises received from the state government, security agents and health personnel, the emirate will not conduct ‘Hawan-Sallah’ and other festivities during the Eid-elFitr celebration,” he said. The Emir, however, noted that

Eid prayer would be conducted and a special prayer for peaceful coexistence in the state and the country in general would also be offered. Similarly, the Daura Emirate Council also cancelled Sallah Durbar due to insecurity challenges in some parts of the state.

The council’s Secretary, Alhaji Abdulmumini Salihu, made the announcement on behalf of Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruq. He further said that Eidprayer would be conducted where a special prayer for peaceful coexistence in the state and the country, in general, would also be offered. (NAN)

Uzodimma dissolves cabinet, sacks 20 commissioners


ov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo on Wednesday dissolved the state’s Executive Council, and sacked 20 of the 27 commissioners in the cabinet. The governor however, retained eight commissioners. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri. He said the dissolution was to restructure the governor’s administration to further achieve his numerous projects of the 3R of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery agenda. Emelumba said the eight commissioners that were retained included information and Strategy, Works, Finance, Health and Youths. Others were Tourism, Technology and Women Affairs. According to him, the governor wants to rejig his administration and soon he will reconstitute his cabinet to further achieve his agenda for Imo people,” he said. (NAN)

The Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniy Ajigbotomokekere (L); Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan (3rd R) and others observing prayer to mark the end of Ramadan at Agodi Eid Praying Ground in Ibadan on Wednesday (12/5/21).

Eid-el-Fitr: Fire Service CG cautions Nigerians on fire safety measures


ontroller-General of Federal Fire Service, Dr Ibrahim Liman, has urged Nigerians to observe fire safety precautions during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations, to prevent fire outbreaks. Liman, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the warning had become necessary, following the high risk of fire associated with cooking during Sallah celebrations. He noted that several combustibles or free-burning

materials were usually in use during such seasons, adding that if not attended to with caution, it could result in possible loss of lives and property. The CG warned that leaking gas cylinders that could lead to explosions should be exchanged for good ones and kept outside the kitchen but away from direct sunlight, to avoid explosions. “Use of firewood should also be properly attended to, with candles quenched properly, gas cookers turned off properly, handset used far

away from gas cookers/cylinders and electrical sockets turned off when not in use,” he said. Liman further explained that generator fumes were unhealthy to inhale and should, therefore, be kept distance apart from the main house. “Fumes from generator are not friendly; so precautionary measures are advised at this period of festivity,” he said. The CG advised parents to warn wards to stay away from playing around lit fire and call the attention of guardians if they sensed that

something was burning. He advised citizens to make fire extinguishers available in case of any emergency, to help curb spread of fire. Liman said that it was important for wards to be educated on what to do in cases of fire outbreaks and how to prevent such occurrences. While wishing Muslim faithful peaceful and fire-safe Eid-el-Fitri celebrations, he implored to use the period to show love to one another, irrespective of their ethnic, religious and cultural affiliations. (NAN)

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Sallah: IGP orders water tight security By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Baba, has ordered a nationwide deployment of Police officers and other operational assets of the Force for water-tight security ahead of the 2021 Eid-elFitr celebration and beyond. A statement issued yesterday by Force PRO, Frank Mba, said the IGP’s order was contained in a directive to Assistant InspectorsGeneral of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs) and other strategic commanders of the Force as part of efforts by the Police leadership toward stabilizing security, improving public safety and making the country a safer place for all citizens. The IGP who noted that the nation’s security ecosystem is challenged, assured however that these challenges are not insurmountable. He reassured the citizens that the Force under his new policing vision is already implementing new, improved, tailored-to-suit and robust security solutions aimed at tackling crimes and neutralizing both existing and emerging security threats in the country. The IGP, while restating his belief that the nation will soon overcome its security challenges, further noted that the Force is equally upscaling its collaboration with the military and other law enforcement agencies in both intelligence sharing and other target-oriented missions and operations. He enjoined citizens to support the Police to stage a common front in tackling the challenges. In addition, the IGP reminded the citizens of the newly introduced Phase-4 National Response on COVID-19 Health Protection Regulation and called for voluntary compliance with the protocols. He equally directed Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ensure full enforcement of the Protocols. He however warned that Police officers deployed for such enforcement must do so with utmost professionalism, while exhibiting compassion, decorum and due respect for the fundamental rights of the citizens. Meanwhile, the IGP, on behalf of the entire officers of the Nigeria Police Force, congratulated all Muslim faithful in the country as they join the Muslim Ummah across the globe to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr. He urged them to internalize the virtues and teachings of Ramadan in their day-to-day endeavours and admonished all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of obedience to the laws of the land and the pursuit of common good.


Eid Al Fitr: Our challenges surmountable when when come together -Buhari By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari has called for unity and solidarity among all citizens, noting that the multiple challenges the country is currently facing can be overcome only when they come together as one. The President stated this in a message of best wishes to all Nigerians and Muslims across the globe as they mark the Eid Al Fitr following the completion of a month of fasting. In the message signed by him, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the

President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said: “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all. “Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one. “It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to

those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages. “We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity. “We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.” According to the President,

it is noteworthy and delightful to see Christians breaking fast and in some instances, extending goodwill and gifts to Muslim faithfuls during the Ramadan. “This model also shone through with Muslim groups joining Christian festivities. These are practices that promote brotherhood and forgiveness,” he was quoted to have said. President Buhari also urged Nigerians to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention measures and celebrate responsibly during the holidays, the statement noted.

FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello (3rd right) flanked by the Minister of State Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu (4th right) FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Ciroma (2nd right) Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola and heads of military and other security agencies in the FCT following the FCT monthly Security Committee meeting in Abuja yesterday. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDP urges unity, patriotism @ Eid-el-Fitr By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has,felicitated with Nigerians on this year’s Eid-el-Fitr to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan and urged them to use the opportunity to unite in confronting the challenges facing our nation. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr

Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP admonished that the virtues of self-sacrifice, love, perseverance and inner peace embodied in the lessons of the holy month of Ramadan should continue to “guide us as a people to face and overcome the challenges of life, particularly the evils confronting our nation today”. The main opposition party said, “As a people, we are faced by

all sorts of new surge in terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, vandalism; recklessness and insensitivity in governance as well as the menace of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Indeed, this is the time for Nigerians to keep hope alive believing that with trust in God and unity of all, this ugly phase in the life of our nation will surely pass”, it said. The PDP urged Nigerians to also use the occasion to pray for

the nation as well as show love to one another, especially the downtrodden and the victims of the scourge of terrorism and banditry in our nation. The party charged Nigerians to remain vigilant and continue to keep their trust in God’s infinite mercy at this critical time. The PDP wished Nigerian a pleasant Eid-el-Fitr celebration.




Achike Udenwa heads PDP appeal panel on Anambra guber primary By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. has approved the nomination of former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa and twelve others as members of the Screening Appeal panel for it’s Anbra State gubernatorial primary. Chief Udenwa is the Chairman of Screening Appeal Panel committee for the primary scheduled for June 6 this year. This was confirmed in a statement yesterday by the National Organizing Secretary of the party, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd in Abuja. The Appeal Panel sitting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at the NWC Hall, Wadata Plaza, Abuja FCT by 9am. The Panel will consider appeals arising from the Screening Exercise of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Primary Election headed by former Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada. Aside Chief Udenwa, other members of the panel are; Amb. Taofik Arapaja, Hon. Theophilus Dakas Shan, Chief. Dan Orbih, Dr. Emmanuel Bovoa, Chief Ali Odefa, Dr. Aminu Abdullahi, Hon. Mrs. Owoidighe Ime Ekpoatai and Hon. Zakari Salisu Ningii. Others are; Sen. Danjuma Laah, Mrs. Omolola Ajueyisi, Hon. Johnbull Sheka, and Hon. Barr. Uzo Azubuike who is a Member/Secretary. According to the statement, “The National Working Committee (NWC) of our Great Party, the PDP, has approved the nomination of the following party members to serve on the SCREENING APPEAL PANEL. ‘The Panel will consider appeals arising from the Screening Exercise of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Primary Election. “The Appeal Panel seating is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at the NWC Hall, Wadata Plaza, Abuja FCT. Time is 9:00am”, it said. The Anambra State governorship election has been fixed for Saturday, November 6 this year, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

National grid: TCN confirms total system collapse


he Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said the national grid experienced a total system collapse on Wednesday resulting in blackout in some parts of the country. The TCN made the confirmation in a statement by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Mbah said: “The TCN hereby states that at about 11.01 a.m today, May, 12 ,2021, there was a total system collapse of the grid, as a result of voltage collapse at some parts of the grid. “TCN commenced grid recovery immediately after the collapse, from Shiroro Generating Station to Katampe TS, Abuja through the Shiroro – Katampe line at 11:29 a.m and also through

Delta Generating Station to Benin Transmission Substation and has reached Osogbo and parts of Lagos.” According to her, while the restoration of the grid and power gradually progress to other parts of the country, the cause of the voltage collapse that precipitated this failure is equally being investigated. “TCN appeals for patience as

it works assiduously to ensure full restoration of the grid and consequently power supply to the remaining parts of the country,” she added. NAN reports that the national grid on Feb. 17, experienced partial collapse leading to power outage in some parts of Nigeria including Lagos State. (NAN)



Eid-el-Fitr: Wase, Reps Minority Caucus congratulates Nigerians, urges peaceful coexistence .......Calls for sober


crime News

Sallah: Report suspicious movement, police tells Kaduna residents From: Kaduna




s Kaduna residents’ go about celebrating the Sallah, Kaduna State Police Command has advised them to report any suspicious movement noticed in their area to the nearest security formation or call the command’s emergency

numbers; 07039675856, 08075911105. The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jeliga stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday. The statement stated that the Police Command in synergy with all security agencies in the state equally re-assure members

of the public of their safety and urged them to go about their lawful business without fear of molestation or harrasment from any quarter. “In this regard, the Command has deployed both conventional and mobile police personnel of Operation Puff Adder as well as undercovered operatives to man and monitor key/vulnerable

points with a view to ensuring tight security across the state. “The command once-again re-assures the good people of Kaduna State of its readiness to promptly respond to distress calls and decisively deal with any person or group of persons who in any way attempts to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere during the festive period.”

By Christiana Ekpa


Archbishop of the Catholic Arcdiocese of Abuja, Most Rev.Ignatius Kaigama (middle) flanked by the Communication Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev Fr. Patrick Alumuku (right) and a member of the Catholic Media Practitioners, Mr. Law Mefor (left) during the Bishop state of the Nation World Press conference in commemoration of the 2021 world Communication day ceremony, held recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Kogi registers indigent households impacted by COVID-19 T he Kogi Government says it has started registration of the poor and vulnerable economically impacted by COVID-19 pandemic for them to be able to access the emergency Social Interventions’ Support. Mr Asiwaju Asiru Idris, the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, who disclosed this in Lokoja, advised the Kogi indigenes to take advantage to get themselves registered. The commissioner added that government would sensitise the people toward the success of the programne.

He advised the concerned citizens to respond to messages on their phones and get registered in view of the numerous advantages embedded in it. Idris emphasised that the programme known as ”Rapid Response Register” (RRR), was designed as a shock response framework by the National Social Safety Net Program (NASSP) in collaboration with the World Bank to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the RRR would provide emergency social interventions to poor

and vulnerable households in challenging circumstances such as natural disaster, epidemic, pandemic, economic downturn among others. “The RRR is, therefore, a Subset of the National Social Register (NSR) and State Social Register (SSR) but only deployed for emergency circumstances and interventions. “The Kogi Government under the leadership of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in collaboration with Federal Government efforts, has designed to target and capture the urban and semiurban areas in Kogi State that

are economically impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. ”This is because the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people deeper into poverty and vulnerability. “In Nigeria at large and Kogi in particular, the economic impact of the pandemic has been felt mostly by urban and semi-urban dwellers, many of whom lost jobs, businesses and consequently incomes. “Although Kogi remains the safest state so far, but the global economic down turn, due the pandemic, has brought enormous hardship on our people.”

he Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon Ahmed Idris Wase, has urged Muslims in the country to use the period of the Eid-el-Fitr to reflect on their spiritual lives as individuals and how they can contribute more meaningfully towards the unity, stability and progress of Nigeria. The Deputy Speaker also urged Nigerians to be conscious of their health by strictly adhering to the COVID 19 protocols. He further stated that the recent out break of third wave in some countries is a source for concern for all Nigerians. In a Sallah message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Muhammad Puma, Wase, called on all Nigerians to be more dedicated to the Nigerian project, adding that with unity of purpose, building a virile and strong nation is achievable. The Deputy Speaker said despite the serious security challenges confronting the nation, the determination of Nigerians to see their country return to peace has never been in doubt. He said leaders at all levels must close ranks and work for the unity and progress of the nation. He urged all Nigerians to always remember the less-privileged at all times. “ I implore us to apply those attributes learnt during the holy month in our engagements after Ramadan. Only by so doing we can truly say we have imbibed the teachings of the Holy month into our every day lives,” he added. Also, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has congratulated Muslim Faithful on the completion of Holy Ramadan fasting and urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr to rekindle hope in tne unity of the country The caucus in a statement signed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu urged Nigerians, especially the leaders, to deploy the imbibed lessons of self-restrain and trust in God to engender honesty, justice, mutual respect, tolerance peaceful co-existence as well as love and care for one another, in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed. “Indeed, we must, as a people, instill such virtues in our everyday life in order to salvage and stabilize our nation at this critical time. “Against this backdrop our caucus charges leaders at all levels, to rededicate themselves to a life of selfless service, honesty and transparency in all their dealings.

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

Eid-el-Fitr: NSCDC deploys 700 personnel in C/River T he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Cross River Command, has deployed 700 personnel across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state. The State Commandant, Mr Majekodunmi Abidemi, who made the disclosure in a statement on

Wednesday in Calabar, said this was to beef up security during the Eid-elFitr celebration. “To ensure a hitch free celebration, I have emplaced security deployment of 700 personnel across the 18 local government areas of the state. “Let the Muslim Ummah go

about the celebration without fear but with extreme vigilance. “It is with great delight that I join the Muslims Ummah in Cross River to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebration. “Cross River and the Nigerian nation at large is in dire need of the supplications of Muslims and indeed

all religious men and women as we navigate the challenges of insecurity and national cohesion,” he said. Abidemi used the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr to extend the felicitation of NSCDC and that of the Commandant General, Dr Abubakar Audi to the Muslim community in Cross River. (NAN)

he Police Command in Plateau has deployed 2,161 personnel for the Eid-el-Fitr celebration in the state. ASP Ubah Ogaba, the command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Jos. According to Ogaba, the measure is aimed at ensuring a peaceful, crime free and memorable Eid-el-Fitr celebration in the state. “The command in its quest

to have a hitch free sallah celebration has developed strategies. “In view of the above, the command has deployed 2,161 personnel to detect and prevent crime, as well ensure free flow of traffic in the state. “This is to also ensure adequate security and safety of citizens of the state during the celebration,” he said The PPRO advised the Muslim faithful in the state to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing, use of

hand sanitizers and wearing of facemasks among others at the designated Eid grounds. He said that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 would move round to ensure compliance, adding that anyone caught would be sanctioned. Ogaba said that the command had banned the operation of tricycles between Wednesday and Thursday, adding that all recreational centres would also remain closed during same period. He added that the ban on sale and use of all kinds of fireworks

and explosives was still in force and warned that anyone caught using them would be arrested and be made to face the full wrath of the law. The spokesman called on parents and guardians to counsel their children and wards to desist from drugs abuse and other forms of social vices. He enjoined members of the public to be security conscious, give useful and timely information to the Police and other security agencies for prompt response. (NAN)

Eid-El Fitr: Police deploy 2,161 personnel in Plateau T




Low key Sallah preparation in Kaduna From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


ome residents of kaduna have opined that this year’s Sallah is expected to be nothing but low-key because of the economic recession, Covid-19 pendemic and security challenges. Investigations by Peoples Daily revealed that some market in the crocodile city known for hustling and bustling is now fading in activities. A resident, Mallam Nasir Umar said the low-key preparation is as a result of the recent insecurity bedeviling the state. According to him, kidnappers and bandits’ have forced people to the four wall of their room, saying traveling is now things of the past because it is only the living that celebrate. Another resident, Dinah Dauda attributed the low key preparation to the current economic recession, adding that the economy was not favourable for elaborate celebration. “It is no longer news that the country is in recession; therefore, I do not expect people to have elaborate celebration in this year’s celebration.”

Sallah: Obi urges spirit of oneness, peaceful co-existence among Nigerians .....says Nigeria needs ardent prayers

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


ormer Governor of Anambra State and Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has charged Nigerians not to allow the prevailing hardship and mounting insecurity in the

country to adversely affect their spirit of love, brotherliness and peaceful co-existence. Obi advised that the people should, rather, use this year’s Eid-El Fitri festivities to engender the spirit of oneness and also rededicate themselves to the virtues of love, patriotism and unity for the desired national development.

The former Governor, in a statement from his media office, noted that Nigerians should allow the solemnness of the last one month of Ramadan to positively influence their thoughts and actions in relating with one another. According to him, the Ramadan period presents a great opportunity

for Nigerians to devote themselves to the values that unite and bind all citizens in love, while permanently putting behind them all divisive tendencies. Obi thus wished all Nigerians a happy Sallah celebration and prayed for enduring peace in a secure and peaceful country.


s Muslims in Osun join their counterparts across the world to mark the 1442 AH Eid-el-Fitri celebration, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has urged them not to forget the significance and lessons of the just- concluded month of Ramadan. This was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan and made available to media in kaduna yesterday. Oyetola congratulated the Muslim Ummah on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and wish them a blessed and peaceful Eid-el-Fitri celebration. He prayed Allah to accept all acts of worship and supplications of the Muslim faithful during the glorious month. While urging the faithful to celebrate in accordance with COVID-19 protocols, he encouraged them to reach out to the less privileged in the society to make them share in the joy and happiness that come with the festival.

Page 9

Osinbajo Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi defies Sultan, led Eid-el-Fitr prayer arrives in A Kampala for Museveni’s inauguration From Ahmad Bauchi


reknown Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi has led Muslims faithful to pray two Raka’at eid elfitr prayer in Bauchi on Wednesday, against the decision of Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad

Abubakar who said eid will be on Thursday. Adressing Muslims after the prayer, Sheikh Dahiru said “after listening to reports from different parts of the country, we are satisfied that the moon was sighted in Bauchi, Gombe Argungu,Nassarawa, Kebbi, Maradun and other places.

“If something of this nature happens, one will act according to what Allah and Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said. Allah and his messenger said fast when you see the new moon and Ramadan will be completed after seeing the new moon of Shawwal. And if two people who are trust and fair saw it, then

L-R: Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola with the new Controller General, Nigeria Correctional Service,Haliru Nababa after the decoration ceremony of Nababa, recently in Abuja, Photo: Justin Imo-owo.

Buhari sends delegation to Taraba, says we will miss ex Minister

By Egena Sunday Ode


resident Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday joined the people of Taraba State in their moment of grief as they mourn Hajiya Aisha Jummai Alhassan, former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, saying that her death has left a huge void in Nigerian politics. Represented by a delegation led by Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State, Works and Housing, President Buhari told her bereaved father, Alh Abubakar Ibrahim OON, Sarkin Ayyukan Muri, the Emir of Muri, Alhaji Abbas Tafida and the Taraba State Governor, Architect

Darius Ishaku that the nation has lost a woman leader. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari to have said through the Minister: “We lost a great leader with an indomitable spirit with people, especially the womenfolk at her heart. The late Aisha Alhassan was strong, bold and people-oriented,” said the President. He prayed to Allah to repose her soul. A brother of the deceased and former Senator, Abdulaziz Ibrahim who spoke on behalf of the family thanked the President for making their sister a minister and assured that they will

continue to be with him. The Emir on his part described death as inevitable. He prayed for the deceased and thanked the President for his support to the people of the state. He urged him to remain calm and steadfast and act decisively to deal with the enemies of the state who he blamed for the security challenges facing the nation. Governor Ishaku described the late Minister as one of the closest persons to him: “Once she is committed to something, she remains consistent. She was a great mobilizer. She served well as minister and did not speak lies.” The Governor expressed the appreciation of his

administration to the President for the confidence he has in him. “We appreciate Mr. President. He cares about us,” said the Governor and expressed his happiness that he did not disappoint the President by bringing back peace to the Mambilla plateau. “Mambilla is peaceful today,” he said, hoping that the solidarity and friendship between the state and the centre will continue. Other members of the delegation were Barrister Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, Minister of State, Science and Technology and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

ice President Yemi Osinbajo has arrived in Kampala, Uganda, to represent Nigeria at the inauguration of re-elected Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni. The event, which comes up on Wednesday at the Independence Grounds in Kampala, will be Museveni’s sixth inauguration as a democratically-elected leader. Museveni was declared winner of the January 14, 2021, election after defeating National Unity Platform’s candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine. Nigeria and Uganda share cultural, social and economic similarities. Both countries enjoy good diplomatic relationship, including working together as member-states of the Commonwealth, the African Union, and the United Nations, among others. The two countries have signed Bilateral Agreements on Technical Aid Corps, Trade, and on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation. Osinbajo is accompanied on the trip by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, and the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President, Amb. Adeyemi Dipeolu. (NAN)

people must agree with them”. Sheikh Dahiru said “ even though we couldn’t reach Sultan, I have sent information to him through Sarkin Malaman Sokoto and Sarkin Kafin Argungu-that the moon was sighted and I have sent a message to the emir of Bauchi through Ajiya and the Chief Imam of Bauchi.

L-R: Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola with the new Controller General, Nigeria Correctional Service,Haliru Nababa after the decoration ceremony of Nababa, recently in Abuja, Photo: Justin Imo-owo.


Don’t forget lessons of Ramadan, Oyetola implores Muslims

From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


Eid-el-Fitr: Gov. Bello urges Nigerians to keep faith with government


ov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger and Chairman North Central States Governor’s Forum, has felicitated with the Muslim Faithfuls in the country on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration and the successful completion of the Ramadan Fast. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, the Governor said the occasion calls for sober reflection and fervent prayers in view of the prevailing security challenges in the country. Sani-Bello enjoined Muslims to draw from the enduring

lessons of Ramadan and allow the spiritual benefits of the religious obligation positively influence attitudinal change towards a better society. “I call on all Muslims to apply the lessons of selfcontrol, discipline, sacrifice and perseverance, derived from fasting in the month of Ramadan, and stay off evil in the overall interest of the state and country.” He expressed hope that the enthusiasm to gain righteousness and eternal Bliss during the sacred month would be sustained all year round in order to derive

maximum benefits and reward from Allah. The Governor used the opportunity to call on all citizens to keep faith with the government as it finds enduring solutions to the problem of insecurity affecting the state and the country as a whole. He said the state government is aware of the challenges arising from the growing insecurity in some parts of the state. Sani-Bello said government was working, in conjunction with all security agencies, to reverse the trend and ensure that all displaced

persons are returned to their communities. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of the residents and assured of continued support and assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons until they are reunited with their communities and sources of livelihood. While congratulating the Muslims for yet another opportunity to witness the Eid-elFitr, the Governor urged the Ummah to use the period and pray for unity, stability and peaceful coexistence. (NAN)

Okowa reaffirms commitment to women, girl-child empowerment By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to boost women and girl-child empowerment and education in the state. Senator Okowa stated this in Asaba on Tuesday during an advocacy and inception meeting of the Japan-UNESCO project on empowerment of women and girls in marginalised communities for better well-being through education and advocacy. The goverenor, represented by the

Commissioner foer Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Patrick Ukah, said that empowerment and education of the girl child was deserving special policy attention in view of the male dominated social construct that could marginalise the girl child. Okowa said that the meeting would afford the state the opportunity to do a proper self examination and track the progress using advocacy and education to advance the economic and social status of traditional underprivileged girls in the state. He noted that 26 years after the Beijing Declaration, the girl-child was

still grappling with issues of gender discrimination, crushing poverty, early/ forced marriage, identity crisis, social and parental pressure as well as low self-esteem. Senator Okowa said that Delta State recognised the importance of women and girls in bringing about societal transformation hence their empowerment through advocacy and education was top on his administration’s priority list. The governor said that in line with the state government’s commitment to the education and empowerment of the girl-child, the state had created the

Girl-Child Empowerment Office with the mandate to train and empower young ladies between the ages of 18 and 30. Earlier in his remarks, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Paul Osahor, lauded UNESCO for its efforts at tackling gender-based violence as well as support in curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic. The information commissioner stated that the Japan-UNESCO project would go a long way in alleviating the problems associated with the effect of COVID-19 pandemic that had ravaged the world.



News By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


n Abuja based legal practitioner, Barrister Maxwell Opara has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid the embarrassment of being documented as a serial law breaker in the court records by acting in accordance with the very law he assented to. Barrister Opara also urged the President to avoid being misled into the destruction of State Institutions with unnecessary politics and influence peddling. The legal practitioner said these in an open letter he wrote to President Buhari in respect of the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the acting Inspector-General of Police and the implication of appointing a legally unqualified person to such position. Barrister Opara encouraged the President to heed his admonition in the overall interest of our nation, especially at this precarious time that legitimacy will go a long way in covering the gap created by obvious acts of nepotism at the expense of our law and national unity. Barrister Opara in his open letter dated May 10, this year to the President, pointed out that Nigeria is currently going back to the same scenario of unnecessary distractions of lobbying and attempts to subverts the clear provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by desperate politicians who are only interested in 2023 elections and

Lawyer writes Buhari over appointment of Alkali as IGP ....Wants due process followed are out to impose an unqualified IGP who they believe will do their bidding. The legal practitioner, in his open letter asked, “Why do we enjoy the destruction of State Institutions with unnecessary politics and influence peddling? He added, “It is widely rumoured that so much money have and is being spent in the bid to retain the appointment of anyone as Inspector-General of Police, irrespective of the obvious lack of qualification – whether this is true or not, it should not be allowed to degenerate to this level before Mr. President does the right thing and act by the law. “I am hopeful that Mr. President will heed to this kind admonition in the overall interest of our nation, especially at this precarious time that legitimacy will go a long way in

covering the gap created by obvious acts of nepotism at the expense of our law and national unity. “If Mr. President knew that he was not willing to abide by this law, why did he assent to it? “Is the application of law now subjected to political, ethnic and religious considerations? Continuing, Barrister Opara said, The subject matter of appointing a new Inspector-General for the Nigeria Police Force has been one that I saw as an opportunity for this great nation to rise above primordial cleavages and, for once, abide by the letters and spirit of our laws devoid of politics, nepotism and or religious and tribal sentiment. “That was my driving force when I challenged the tenure extension granted to the former InspectorGeneral, Adamu Muhammed upon his statutory retirement. “That case was due for judgment

before Mr. President realized the error and effectively removed him from office. “My action was not borne out of hatred for the former InspectorGeneral of Police, neither is my present resistance for the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the Acting Inspector-General borne out of tribalism or religious consideration. “My action is solely a passionate pursuit of justice for Nigerians and the need to uphold our laws as they are presently in effect. “My action is a patriotic public interest activism aimed at ensuring that our foremost internal security institution is insulated from politics and unnecessary favoritism in the appointment of its leadership. “Mr. President will agree with me that the wrongful extension of the tenure of the former IGP led to an unnecessary distraction in the

core responsibility of the police as the then IGP became pre-occupied with lobbying to secure his office rather than securing the lives and properties of Nigerians. “He hired lawyers to present bizarre argument on his behalf with the intention of turning the law on its head in order for him to remain in office beyond his mandatory statutory retirement age. “Your Excellency, we are currently back to the same scenario of unnecessary distractions of lobbying and attempts to subverts the clear provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by desperate politicians who are only interested in 2023 elections and are out to impose an unqualified IGP who they believe will do their bidding.

From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


R-L:United State of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mary Beth Leonard, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio and the Minister of State MNDA, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura, during the US Ambassador courtesy visit to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, on Tuesday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Delta partners UNESCO on women, girl-child empowerment By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


elta Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, said his administration would continue to give priority attention to programmes and projects that would empower the girl-child and women. Okowa stated this yesterday when he received the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Multi-sectoral Regional Officer, Mr Lamine Sow, and his delegation at Government House, Asaba. He remarked that the girl-

child and women were relevant in every society and thanked UNESCO for considering Delta as one of the states to benefit from its women and girls’ development programmes. He said that the state government would ensure that the programme was successful in the state. According to the governor, “Third World countries are always confronted with the challenge of relegating women to the background and I am confident that the move by UNESCO will reverse the ugly trend.” He said that a lot of

programmes have been initiated by his administration towards empowerment and economic emancipation of women and the girl-child, coupled with the creation of the Girl Child Development Office in the state. He advocated for concerted efforts aimed at giving women and the girl-child opportunity to realise their potential in the society, stressing that any investment in the lives of women had the tendency to affect the society positively. “Let me thank you for considering Delta as one of the three states currently involved in the project implementation and it

is important to us because of the huge role women and the girl-child usually play in the family. “I am glad that out of 36 states in the country we are among the three participating and what makes it more imperative for us is that you actually picked a segment of the society that is more oppressed. “Although here in Delta, they have not been relegated but to some extent we have not paid attention to them and to that extent, anything that will help to ensure that they are better positioned in the society makes a lot of meaning to us.




Happy Eid el Fitr

oday, Wednesday, May 12 is the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the beginning of Eid el Fitr, also called ‘Festival of Breaking Fast’. It comes up at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. In the spirit of the festive season, the Federal Government has declared today and tomorrow public holidays.

and the young. Indeed, the first three days of Shawwal are spent in celebrations. For the young, in particular, it is an occasion for a fashion parade, when they strut in their new fineries. For them, no Eid el Fitr is complete without donning brand new attires to impress one another and the ‘competition’. Sadly, at a time when all Muslims should be cheerful, they are not. The mood is somber, no thanks to the Covid-19 global pandemic that has killed over two million people across the world. The death toll is rising by the day. Nigeria’s infection cases have overshot140,000, with over two thousand deaths. The silver lining is that more than half of infected persons have recovered fully and rejoined their families. However, the signs are all very clear that the Sallah day celebrations in the country, in general, but the North specifically, may never be the same again for a long time to come.

A press release by Dr. Shuaib Belgore, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Interior, quoted the minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as calling on “all Nigerians, at home and abroad, to use the period of this year’s Eidul-Fitr celebrations to pray for peace, stability and economic transformation in the land.” It said Aregbesola noted that “development cannot thrive in a rancorous atmosphere,” and so, he urged “all Nigerians to be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of love, self-discipline, kindness and tolerance, as taught The minister by the Holy Prophet Mohammed” (Peace Be assured that Upon Him). He also called the resolve on all security agencies to of President be more courageous and Muhammadu patriotic to surmount the ongoing battle against Buhari’s resurging insecurity and administration to activities of criminal end the scourge elements.

of crime and

Sallah: Police warn against breach of peace in Kebbi

he Kebbi State Police Command has warned all the residents against acts that may lead to breach of peace during the Sallah festival. In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer DSP Nafi’u Abubakar, said the Police Commissioner, Adeleke Adeyinka Bode, gave the warning in his Sallah message to the people of the state. “The Police and other security agencies in the state are fully prepared to ensure a hitch-free celebration. “It is therefore necessary to use this medium to warn all potential trouble makers, miscreants and hoodlums to avoid engaging in any unlawful activity, as measures have been put in place to bring them to book. “The Police will continue to ensure the safety of lives and property of people across the state before, during and after the celebration,” the commissioner said. He appealed to the general public to provide useful information on suspicious persons to the nearest police station or call 09062925404 and 08038797644 in case of any emergency.


In spite of this new global public health challenge, we urge the Muslim faithful to not give in to fatalism but do their part in the fight against Covid-19. This requires that everybody conforms to the safety protocols given by the health authorities. It also means that our Muslim brothers and sisters pay more than perfunctory attention to what Eid el Fitr requires of them. This is an occasion for honoring God and serving humanity.

The minister assured criminality in that the resolve of the country and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration restore peace to end the scourge of to every nook crime and criminality in and cranny of the country and restore Nigeria was peace to every nook and “sacrosanct” cranny of Nigeria was “sacrosanct”. He said, “This administration will not be deterred in its efforts until every Nigerian and resident of the As we bid farewell to the holy country is free to move around month of Ramadan, let us welcome without fear of any threat to his/her Eid el Fitr with a renewed attitude life and property. We are, therefore, of gratitude and forgiveness in our putting necessary measures and hearts. In particular, we should strive strategies in place to strengthen the to inculcate the lessons of the month stability of the country as well as in ourselves and give peace a chance ensuring economic prosperity of our in our dear nation. We want to use dear nation.” this opportunity to once again call on our leaders to change their ways of In normal times, the Eid doing things and put the nation first is an occasion for celebration, and always in both their deeds and characterized by feasts and general utterances. We wish all Muslims in merrymaking by both the old Nigeria happy Eid celebrations. OUR MISSION


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Letter to the Editor

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


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

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




COVID-19 and the loose logic of religion By Idowu Odeyemi


umans developed science to provide evidential solutions to the problems of the universe rather than the speculative prepositions of ancient philosophers who, although rigorous, are moved by the desire to fulfill their curiosities. Albeit science has been an effort to drive solutions to human problems since the time of Aristotle, modern science, as we know it today, did not start until the 17th century – Newtonian age- when people start developing the scientific thread of observation, experimentation, formulation of hypothesis and the verification of inquiries. The 17th century kick-started human existence with the kind of solution that cures diseases that were once a symbol of witchcraft or God’s punishment for earthly sinners; religious people had to look forward to a life after death before someone they consider a sinner get punished. Scientific inquiries indict humans with the agility to accept their freedom, act in accordance with such freedom, and face the consequences of their choices. One of the credits to science is its effort to anticipate and solve problems through the numerous tools it has developed. Humans, after the advancement of science in modern times, now put all hope on science to solve their natural problems. Human beings, putting all hope on science to solve their health problems, now focus on how to earn money and lead a good life. Covid-19, the world’s new unseen enemy (seen through scientific tools alone –pastors, imams, and

Onisegun finds it incorporeal), has numbed the whole world and with it, dropping millions of people dead like dropping flies. The pandemic caused by covid-19 instigates science as the hope for humans’ survival and once again, humans count on science to solve this unseen problem. Even people who put hope in unseen forces now have to count on science to solve the problem this antagonist of human movement bought forth. With Covid-19 countries that are presumed as powerful now look so little and skepticism pervades the mind as one thinks about their presumed powers. Nations with little economic budget were let down by presuming powerful nations that they have always count on. The race for a vaccine has been the major contention for the world’s powerful nations as they restrict their citizens into their homes. Nations with colonial history and small economies have no hope to find a vaccine for this virus; instead, they have provided measures to lockdown their citizens and count on leading scientific countries as they seek and aim to find a vaccine. Countries with corrupt leaders that have carted away the finances of the Ministry of Health are facing the consequences of their corrupt practices. They no longer can travel outside of the country to attend to their health issues that tend to by doctors well trained in Ivy League universities in foreign countries that fund their health and education sectors. The restriction of human movements under lockdown rules pushed many countries into economic recession. Once

again, covid-19 did not leave out presume powerful countries out of this economic havoc. With the presumed powerful countries getting the most infections, strict lockdown rules made businesses shut down and public sectors suspend work. Covid-19 declines societies of wealthy economics and deodorized the entire world’s economy. Private sectors, to maintain themselves in the sector, have to cut down salaries or sack their employees. Small business owners have to lockdown their shop hence leaving them in emotional and mental instability of what to eat and how to pay their rents. This economic crisis the world might have plugged into will be huge havoc for political and community leaders who are throwing punches with criticisms. Once again, the competence of such organizations as the World Health Organization has enshrined in skepticism. The organization has faced criticism from the world, mostly political leaders of the world. Many powerful leaders have criticized their sluggish response to the covid-19 as the cause of the pandemic. Covid-19 no doubt is the reason for much community havoc of this time. With the percentage of unemployment increasing due to loss of jobs and businesses shutting down, many individuals have fled towards crimes –kidnapping, robbery, and rape- as their means of survival. Religious leaders who attribute everything to a loving, omniscient, and benevolent God are at once facing the issues of interpretation, evaluation, and understanding His attributes. With curious religious followers thinking and asking if God

has not informed their leaders about the Covid-19 pandemic, religious leaders are confronted with a quandary regarding what to tell their followers who are feed the delusions of nothing is coming that God is not aware of. For every leaf that plucks from a tree, God is aware of it. The omniscience and omnibenevolent God religion fed humans, again, face the criticism of exposure to evil. With church and mosques under lockdown, wise religious leaders asked that their followers adhere to the guidelines laid down by health experts, government, and institutions while some pig-headed religious leaders were prosecuted for violations of orders: no crowd singing and dancing and shouting to the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven above to hear their supplications at midnight. If anything, Covid-19 has been an absurdist teacher robbing on our face the meaninglessness and lack of a prior values inherent in our universe. It has again bought to our consciousness that, with death, all we ever aim to achieve and gain in this world is inherently futile. With covid-19 not selecting who it kills base on class, the color of the skin, age, citizens, or immigrants, we have come to the understanding that there are threatening diseases that can wipe out the entire human existence if protective measures are not taken and science continue to be low funded. To imagine the world, with all its scientific advancements, will be a congregation hoping for a solution before the Covid-19 pandemic would be a flawed imagination propagated by a mind that thinks tragedy. One now subconsciously

thinks of our mere existence: how we are now detached from our own intersubjective agreed reality of hustling and buzzing. Covid-19 has brought a new order to the world. The most evident order comes in the area of human engagement. Covid-19 has instigated a new way by which the humans’ engage with each other: One can no longer hug a friend he/she miss and see for the first time in ten years. One can no longer walk outside of his/her home without putting on a facemask as an effort to stop covid-19 from spreading. People have to self-isolate themselves after every interstate journey. Political leaders now have to face an unprecedented problem and seek solutions for the betterment of their followers and entire citizens. Covid-19 made solitude humans’ ally like ever before. Normalcy now depends on the scientist, health practitioners, and the scientific firm we, through how the government used our taxes, have built. We must then ask the question, where is the place of God through religion in finding solutions to human concrete issues? Throughout history, we know washing with the blood, sacrificial redemptions, bended knees, holy wars, and crusades can’t solve human problems. If the only offering of religion is vindictive punishments for the irreligious and dining with the Holy Ghost for the religious in the face of human sufferings, we must be critical about its logic. Idowu Odeyemi is a 21-year-old philosophy M.A candidate, poet, and essayist.

Arm yourself with an artificial ear while on a mission to By Ifeanyi Nwokeabia


aughter was banned completely from existing in our midst. “No one should ever laugh”, they warned sternly. As a matter of fact, we all sat down to watch how the last man that laughed was executed. He was tied to a stake, and a burning fire was set under his legs. Soldiers were made to guard us against stretching helping hands to the burning man. We were forced never to look away, but to watch the fire burn through its victim without mercy. Then the chief executioner in a commanding charismatic way said, ” we have shown you little of hell on why no one should ever laugh.” “If this is little, how then will a bigger punishment be?” I asked myself. We all went home helplessly sad. No one ever spoke of that day’s event. We lived in pretentious believe that “all is well.” Moving on became a mantra for who it has not directly happened to. It became pertinently clear to us that death is an only gateway, the day a man was murdered for a smile. The shock of it sent everyone drowning in the deep pit of River Niger. “Smile is a menace. It’s betrayed greatest of men. It must not be allowed to last longer

on the face of the Earth. It’s buffoonery to allow it to still live when it kept on deceiving the rich that the death traps set for the poor are yet to kill them all in a single swoop. So, we shall kill anyone that smiles again. Stiffen every face and live all days in an anguished face.” This was the recap of the executioner’s long speech. I could have got a longer version of the speech, but I was teary watching another man burned on the stake for smiling. Were we not told to suffer and smile? Were we not told after the death of laughter that smile is the only healing balm to our aching soul? In my attempt to get a lasting solution to the present woes, I found out that I lack the power to shoulder all the affairs. Then, I remembered a version of the Bible where Christ made mention of one carrying his cross. I tried to make more meaning to it, but having lost the knowledge of Bible classes made me hiss and shook head in self pity. The thought of my father flashed in like a torch to my mind. “To live in heaven, always arm yourself with an artificial ear. Two ears are imperatively too small to hear and understand the wonders of this world, so, get

an extra ear(s).” He concluded. We have known our father to be a man with fewer words, and each time he spoke, he lives us with so to haggle in our minds. We watched him that evening as he listened to his four-battery radio. Being an inquisitive one amongst my siblings, I asked my elder brother what our father meant by an extra ear? He laughed and told me to never mind our father with his deep words with no meaning like Lakunle in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel . Although, I wasn’t satisfied, but who am I to say it when we have been told to see our elderly ones as wisest? So, I slept and buried the thought. After a long time, yes, it’s so long that I didn’t remember the last incidence. It was on my eighteenth birthday. Though it’s later that I observed from the cackling laughter of my older siblings that that has become a tradition to our father. He came back home on my eighteenth birthday with a radio. He said, ” son, may this ear lead you through.” He spoke this word like a flash of lightning, and went to sit and relax his body on his preferred cane chair. Initially, I never loved it, but time heals and makes everything beautiful. I later fell in love with it, cuddling it like

a pet to anywhere I went. I sat to listen as my father do, in the morning and evening. No news passed by without having hand shakes with us. It helped me to calculate my movement on daily basis. It exposed me to the wisdom of laws and orders. It brought the latest policies to my doorstep, and help me to adjust easily. On one evening, I was so busy with my radio when father returned and exhaled, “son, you have been fully indoctrinated.” I looked up to him to him and smile. You knew that thankful smile that says, ‘thank you for showing me this path?’ That’s what I felt. It’s a painful thing to me today that I have lost the face to look my father in the eyes and tell him that I have lost the treasured ear that once fed our ears with enough information to the vituperating social media and internet of today? I knew how he would drew my ears and accuse me of leaving my root. I knew how he would have advised me never to leave my ears to inglorious razzmatazz of the users of these platform? But of truth, time changes all, but in the same old way, just different practice. Nigeria in the present time has suffered and is still suffering from insecurities. I may not

vouchsafe that there’s still a state without a fair share of her worries on security currently. In applying Charles Darwin’s theory of the fitter of the fittest, one needs an extra ear to survive. Arm yourself with so much information before setting out for work or anywhere you may wish to go. God is the protector, but a human must endeavour to help himself, so that, God can do His part too. Information in the present time is scattered like oil bean in a dry season. Everyone needs to wear wide ears, and accompany it with a sieve, to select genuine information from false one. Wrong information can cause pogrom within the minutest time, so be careful! Water is good for life, but not every water is drinkable. Information is water, drink responsibly. But could it truly be that those persons that were burnt on the stakes failed to arm themselves with artificial ears? Or were they not having ears at all? The answers to these questions and many more are neither here nor there. Like my father, I’m also a man of fewer words. Let silence speak from here. Nwokeabia, Ifeanyi John is a poet and teacher.




Why people fear politics? By Abdulrahman Yunusa


ctually, we do intend to venture ourselves into it, but our inability to fathom the complex issues around it is what honestly deter us from taking risk of diving into the system for we are not sure of which result we would make when we get involved. Many hesitate to refer politics as game of interest or game of numbers. while me in particular I must go with Malam Aminu Kano notion where he selflessly asserted, “Politics is a man management “. So long as you have interest in politics and your utmost intention contradict serving people interest or managing people affairs aptly, then what you should venture yourself is something else but not politics. Well, if I were a leader, I would passionately focus on people welfarism over anything. Their health, shelter, clothing and all other basic necessities are what should be my priority before I move to the other angle. Socialist or communist economic system is all the answer to majority questions of governance and politics. For only under such economic system people interest are well served. Don’t be perplexed when I say so, I said this, because I’m a victim of the contrary gesture. Now we are living in the world where every leader is narcissist, they claim to be leaders yet running away their

uprimary duty which is serving our interest as at all cost. Then with such kind of men can we still be owk with those deceptive men eying our votes, I think we shouldn’t. And even if to say the players in that real are relatively good, then the intricacies of having bad element as actors beside them is what often makes the game looks brazenly terrible. Nevertheless, it’s the influence and unethical act of those subordinates ( Stake holders ) in the course policy formation and implementation that ruin the image of their masters and failure to get fired at a due time by their Boss is what consume the political might of their masters. For this reason I helplessly come to a point where I left with no choice than to fervently hate power vehemently. Of what essence power will serve my interest when I couldn’t afford to meet the demands of the majority with the resources we have ? If I couldn’t let my people enjoy their resources directly then power is a poison to me. Methinks there is no filmsy excuse that could henceforth be

accepted by the poor masses when agent of perfidy used treachery to win their valid votes at the poll. Because electorates are getting wise enough for the lots of unfavorable incidences that are emerging day by day are giving them lesson worth learning. Notwithstanding no matter how bad people turn to be, there is possibility of having rare people of excellent personality but the problem is that, they are always striving hard to hide themselves from people, thinking that they don’t want to be exposed in the

be governed by the worst set of people among them and thereby pay the price in hardship. Let’s do Justice to ourselves by fishing out people with leadership qualities, vision and zeal for delivering selfless service to humanity, integrity can be included but it shouldn’t be the top attributes to consider while recruiting leaders. Meanwhile, when talking of leadership attributes we shouldn’t be lure by people over zealousness for it has been said that people who yearn power madly, deliver a very terrible result. Moreover we should be diligent and vigilant in choosing who to lead us, because poor leadership kills not only people but it contaminate the society holistically to an extent that no angle could escape to pay the price of mediocrity and ineptitudeness. Always, be focus on who to choose and if possible ask them present you a guide that you will follow to assist you deliver well. Above all the interest of the electorate should top your priority as a leader, be social while making and executing policies that would touch their

lives directly in a wrong way. Be with them, console them and show them sense of belonging and if the condition sounds unbearable use your personal saving to cajole until when things are over. They couldn’t never fit to forget you in their life, even if you are no longer with them, take Yar’adua of a blessed memory as example. When he was serving he experience a massive hullabaloo from Nigerians but what happened after his demise, people fail to forget him for the good he gave them when he was serving them as a president. Therefore be often fond of giving and listening to your people commotions, act aptly the way they will be coax, talk to them a in a persuasive tone that they will feel love and concern from their leaders, that will earn you and unflinching respect and love from their eyes. Leadership is a game of shrewd fools can only satisfy themselves but not their people. Finally, Don’t forget to be sharp while having affairs with your enemies for you have all it takes someone to champion their hearts with power and influence. Give them chance and treat them wisely. Join hands and move the society forward with no discrimination

savage country where people insult anyhow. And obviously, the bank wasn’t getting enough engagement and they needed to do something to bring enough audience to their timeline, this definitely work out for them because for almost throughout that week, the trending issue was all about the BANKS WAR. In 2015, the politicians noticed that propaganda is what they could use to get the attention of the masses, then made use of it to their advantage, it helped the present ruling party to win that particular election. As a politician who already have the knowledge of what people are looking for online can also just make a promise that he will make sure he bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the country to train with the super eagles and a lot will fall for it because all we want is ENTERTAINMENT and FOOTBALL. If you try to get what the advanced countries like UK query the search engines, you will see topics like; how to make

money online, how to buy and sell bitcoin, where can i get the nearest library; where to get academic scholarship; how to get sponsors for academic research etc… these type of search engine queries is what will motivate and encourage organizations on developing contents that will encourage learning and at the same time organize events that will make people want to learn more Our priorities as human or even Nigerian citizens should not be misplaced. Yes, we can have fun, we can play but we shouldn’t sacrifice the ability to learn for jokes and having fun alone, you and I are the one that is making education going down the drain when we are not interested in learning, teaching and also re learning. Let us try to work on ourselves and get to know more of the necessary things that we all need to improve our Nation Nigeria. It is said that if you want to kill a nation, kill education first and the nation is dead, so also if you want to build a nation, improve on the ability of people to learn and the nation will be great. This is a reason why our founding fathers took education very serious and you can see the impact of that in the development of Nigeria then as against the Nigeria we have now.

Let’s do Justice to ourselves by fishing out people with leadership qualities, vision and zeal for delivering selfless service to humanity, integrity can be included but it shouldn’t be the top attributes to consider while recruiting leaders. world of politics which is care is not taking it would consume their hard earned colorful reputation. Then what can we do to figure out men of honor to trust them with our mandates as representative in government circle ? Though we know that when the wise and educated men abscond power, they would surely

Abdulrahman Yunusa is a Public Affairs Analyst.

How we are killing education By Rabiu Oladele


hese are the things I hear each and every one of us want from our government to provide for us, but do you know that we are the cause of the reason they have not been doing what we want. Education is what builds a nation. But since we all have neglect education, the government has their choice not to do it for us. They have noticed that we have misplaced our priorities. You might want to wonder how am I a contributor to the inefficiency of the government to produce what’s needed towards education. I will like to let you know that for anyone/ organization/politicians who want to get a desired result for any set goals, they put into consideration who their audience are and how to get their attention. These leads them to making lot of research to be sure on how to get their desired results. One of the best place to get attention of their audience is the cyber space which could also be the Social Media. What they do is to get to know what you and I do online, what is our interest, how do we respond to issues online. After getting all these statistics, they put it in the proper usage to get our attention and manipulate the way we think. Due to my professional career as a digital marketer, I have

the opportunity to follow up on online trending issues via various channel or platforms (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, google, etc…) Some months ago, there was a serious argument online when someone from University of Nigeria Nnsuka graduated with 1st class and was awarded the sun of 10,000 naira only as compared to the winner of Big Brother Africa who is awarded millions of naira. To me, it’s not the fault of any organization that is not sponsoring educational activities, WE caused it. I will like you to do me a favor, go online and try to know what are the things Nigerians ask GOOGLE search engine and you will be surprise to see what the results are. Nigerians lack the will to learn. The response you will likely see are : how to tie GELE; how to dance SHAKU SHAKU; Wizkid music SOCO; who is the richest musician in Nigeria; BLACK PANTHER; NPOWER; How to prepare banger soup; BET9JA; NAIRABET; who is the best between RONALDO

and MESSI; football FIXTURES and RESULT and so many un educating queries. Now, if any organization is ready to have a positive result towards the benefit of its organization, they will rather want to go along with what the audience wants and better organize a SHAKU SHAKU dance challenge which they know they will get enough engagement from the audience and at the end,

Some months ago, there was a serious argument online when someone from University of Nigeria Nnsuka graduated with 1st class and was awarded the sun of 10,000 naira only as compared to the winner of Big Brother Africa who is awarded millions of naira. will gain more customers, so in return, they give out token to the winners. Some weeks ago, there was an online trend of BANKS WAR in Nigeria and a lot of banks keeps using polite insult against each other. The bank (name withheld) that started it doesn’t just decided to do that, it had understudied that Twitter has become a

Rabiu Oladele is a Public Affairs Analyst.




Invasion of presidential Villa shows Buhari RTEAN can’t secure Nigeria, says PDP launches T accident insurance scheme, begs FG for Bank By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Monday that it is alarmed by the invasion of Aso Presidential Villa by armed robbers, saying the development further points to the collapse of security command structure under President Muhamamdu Buhari’s watch. The party said this in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja. The PDP pointed out that the reported assault on the

residence of the Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, within the precinct of the Presidential villa, is too close to home and has heightened apprehensions over the capacity of the Buhari Presidency to secure the nation. The main opposition party stated that all over the world, the Presidential Villa, as the seat of power and national sovereignty, is the fortress of the nation that ought to have impregnable security. “As such, any breach of security, particularly by outlaws

and in sequence, sends a clear danger signal to the overall security of the nation”, it said. According to the party, “It is imperative to state that such security infraction, that gave way for outlaws to invade the Presidential villa in sequence, inspite of its perceptibly secured ambience, can only happen under an absentee President, who have not demonstrated the required capacity expected of his office”. The PDP recalled the security breaches in June last year, involving shooting, violent combats, raids and free use of

firearms within the precinct of the Presidential Villa, arising from a bitter squabble between members of President Buhari’s family and some security aides. It added, “Our party is worried that if President Buhari cannot guarantee the security of the Presidential villa, then his capacity to secure the entire country is no longer assured”. The PDP therefore urged President Buhari to wake up from slumber, review his security architecture and take decisive steps, beyond his lethargic body language, to secure our nation.

By Usman Shuaibu The management of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) for the drivers across the country, while the National President of the association Alhaji Muhammed Musa called on the Federal Government to establish Bank of Transportation in the country. In his address at the occasion, Musa also pleaded with the Federal Government to privatize the federal roads so as to enable the private investors to come in, so that the budget allocated for the construction of roads could be channeled to other meaningful ventures that would bring development to the country. He said: “Travelers Accident Insurance Scheme which is targeted to benefit Millions of Nigerians who travel across the country in our major parks and garage that accidentally have an accident which required emergency respond towards medical attention”. According to him, “millions of Nigerians depend on transportation as a source of their livelihood and we are ready to do more, which this programme can create huge employment opportunities”. He charged the members of the association across the country to be law-abiding citizens at all times, adding that they should obey the laid down rules and regulations guiding the COVID-19 pandemic in the area of their operations. The RTEAN president also advised the entire members of the association to support the government of the day in fighting crime in the country.



Southern senators back Southern Govs on State Police, restructuring, others By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


outhern Senators Forum (SSF) has thrown their weight behind the recent resolution by the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to convoke a national dialogue to resolve the insecurity across the country, and to put measures in place to create State Police and restructure the country on the part of equity and fairness. A statement jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Secretary General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Mathew Uroghide (Edo) and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu), respectively and made available to journalists in Abuja and Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, applauded the step taken by the Governors, saying it would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands,

kidnappings and carnages. The statement said “As insecurity continues to take a toll on the country and subjecting many to kidnapping and killing, the Southern Senators Forum (SSF), has commended Governors from the region for outrightly taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning open grazing of cattle. “The Senators submitted that such deft and unanimous policy would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.” Recall that Southern Governors Forum (SGF), had at its meeting held in Asaba, Delta State Capital, on Tuesday, unanimously passed a verdict prohibiting open grazing in the region to checkmate herders-farmers clashes and senseless kidnapping as well as

killings of Nigerian citizens of southern extraction. Following this, the Southern Senators lamented how the Southern farmers were losing hundreds of millions of naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity. They said: “At this critical point of our national life when the economy was being bedeviled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens. “Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders. “Most appalling were the

seemingly unabated kidnapping , raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system. “With this uniform resolve by our Governors to initiate noopen grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self -sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914”. Bamidele, Uroghide and Utazi saluted the Governors for ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this will also help to remove the venom that had permeated the land on account of alleged neglect of certain sections of the country. The SSF leaders stated that ushering in equality, equity and justice in the way the country is

being run will wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and ward off agitations for secession that are now gaining traction across the land. The Southern Senators Forum encouraged the Governors to swiftly follow up on their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working with the two arms of the parliament to ensure that their well articulated positions on the state of the nation, especially as related to restructuring, State policing and the jettisoning of archaic traditional grazing methods, which fall short of global best practice standard and a potential threat to our national cohesion and peace, are thoroughly and decisively addressed through the ongoing constitutional review exercise.

Insecurity: Pray for Buhari to protect Nigeria, Tinubu tells Nigerians By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

F First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu ( fifth from right) , Wife of the deputy governor, Hajiya Halima Yombe (Sixth from right) and others during the breaking of Ramadan fast organised by the office of the first Lady in Birnin Kebbi recently .

ECOWAS Court women’s forum share food items to indigents in FCT


he ECOWAS Court of Justice Women Forum on Tuesday donated food items and other materials to some indigent citizens and less privileged persons in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The forum led by its

Chairperson, Frances Ibanga, donated the food items when the group visited the Human Rights Radio in Abuja on Tuesday. Speaking at the station, Ibanga said that the donation was done in the spirit of Eidel-fitr to assist those who could

not afford food items during the festive period. “We are here in the spirit of Eid-el-fitr to share the little we have with those that are less privileged. This forms part of our project for the year. “We have series of projects and this is part of it: reaching

out to people and helping out in whatever way we can. “Today we have come to Human Rights Radio with food stuff and other items so that we can share with those that may not be able to afford so that they will be able to put smiles on their faces,” she said.

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


he Chairmanship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for 2022 in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon Rabiu Adamu Saba, has promised to carry everybody along irrespective of the party’s affiliation. Saba stated this while speaking to newsmen after he won the Party Primaries election on Thursday in Gwagwalada.

He called on the PDP supporters/members to deem it necessary to work for the progress of the party in 2022 election in the area. He appealed to the aggrieved members of the party to accept the outcome of the election in good faith. The Gwagwalada PDP Chairmanship Candidate, however, said if he wins the 2022 Chairmanship election, he would focus on the People’s oriented programmes in the area. Also speaking, the state PDP Deputy

Chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Baba, advised the entire members of the party to cooperate with PDP candidate for the overall development of the party. Declaring the election result, the Secretary of the Electoral Committee, Mr Dalhatu Ezekiel, described the conduct of the election as free and fair election. Meanwhile, Hon. Rabiu Adamu Saba scored 218 votes to defeat Hon. Mustapha Yohanna who has 12 votes.

ormer Lagos state governor and a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has asked Nigerians to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and his government so as to have “requisite strength and wisdom to protect the nation, defeat the challenges” confronting the country. Tinubu also urged prayers for the military and other security agents confronting insurgents and bandits. In his Sallah message he personally signed Wednesday, the APC leader urged Muslims not to forget all the lessons of Ramadan as it ends. He said “The righteous acts and efforts of Ramadan must guide our actions and conduct going forward. Let us put politics aside and continue to pray to Almighty Allah for our country and all its people. Let us remember President Muhammadu Buhari and his government in our prayers that they may be given the requisite strength and wisdom to protect the nation, defeat the challenges that confront us and help establish Nigeria as a more prosperous and just land. “Let us pray for our brave soldiers and security agents confronting insurgents and bandits. We must keep in close

remembrance those whose lives have been lost to or impaired by either the violence of terrorism as well as to those who have been lost to or harmed by the global pandemic that is Covid-19. May we see an end to this disease and its consequences in no distant time. “Not only must we pray for good things, we must also act in a better way. We must dedicate ourselves to performing the compassionate and benign things that lie within the power of each of us to do in order to give peace and improve the lives of the people around us. This is the true message and meaning of Ramadan and of Islam itself.” While calling on Nigerians to build a better society free from want, violence and hatred, Tinubu said people must never condone and tolerate the works and words of those who would do evil or who would pit brother against brother, Nigerian against Nigerian. “I join with Muslims in Nigeria and across the world in marking the faithful completion of this year’s Ramadan fast, one of the most critical pillars of Islam. As Muslims we have fasted and prayed in a special way during this holy month. We have sacrificed. This act of sacrifice in abstaining from food, drink and other worldly things from dawn to dusk, is not simply a ritual to be performed so that we may seem religious or pious to others.

Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on Innovation, Science and Technology, Mr Elvis ObiNwankwo (6th, L); Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Obi Carl-Kama (7th, L) and other dignitaries, during Enugu Tech Stakeholders Roundtable, in Enugu on Wednesday (12/5/21).

Ex-convict remarks: Oshiomhole desperate to be relevant – Idahosa By Musa Baba Adamu


ormer Commissioner for Information in Edo state, Charles Idahosa, on Wednesday said that former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is not sincere with his latest praise of the Nigerian judiciary adding that he is only seeking political relevance. Oshiomhole, who spoke when he received the leadership of Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), had said that he would have been an exconvict in Nigeria were it not for the courage of the Nigerian Judiciary in upholding the rule of law. But in a statement, Idahosa who served as Political Adviser to Oshiomhole during his tenure as Edo governor, expressed surprise that the same Oshiomhole who made derogatory remarks about the judiciary when he was APC national chairman has now turned around to hail the judiciary. While advising Oshiomhole to remain silent instead of embarrassing

himself, the PDP chieftain urged Nigerians not to fall for his gimmicks as he has been expressing populist views as a way of getting national relevance. Idahosa said: “I think Oshiomhole is just desperately trying to bring himself into relevance after disgracing himself out of office and the humiliation he suffered in the Edo election. Most of the things He says makes one ashamed. I was once his Political Adviser so I know him very well. He has not learned his lesson at all. “There are times you keep quiet and just watch things before you open your mouth to talk but like I said, Oshiomhole speaks without thinking, making himself an embarrassment to we Edo people. “Last week he said Governor Nasir El-Rufai is responsible for insecurity in the country because he retrenched workers. He is trying to say populist things so as win the hearts of the people. I also read in one of the national dailies where he said he would have been an exconvict if we didn’t have a courageous judiciary.

“It makes one ashamed when you now go back and hear what the same Oshiomhole said about the same Nigerian judiciary when he lost election cases. How can now be praising the same judiciary he was lambasting throughout his tenure as APC national chairman? “The one that comes to my mind is that of the Supreme Court justices that he abused thoroughly, even going to the extent of saying that there will be no vacancy in Bayelsa after their candidate was thrown out because of certificate issue. Now the same Oshiomhole is now praising the judiciary because he is looking for relevance after he has gone into political wilderness. Everyone knows that Oshiomhole is not sincere about what he is now saying. He just wants an avenue to be in the national space again” “To me, Oshiomhole’s career is dead politically. When I warned him then that Obaseki will finish him politically, he did not believe. So, my advice to him is that he should respect himself and Edo people by keeping quiet.”




Stop demarketing Nigeria on social media – Osun Speaker

By Musa Baba Adamu


he Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, has called on Nigerians to promote the positive sides of the country instead of demarketing the nation on social media networks. The Speaker in a statement by his Media Aide, Kunle Alabi, to commemorate Eid-El-Fitr and made available to journàlists on Wednesday stressed that, the continued efforts of some Nigerians using the media to always exaggerate happenings in

the country to the international communities will do no good to the nation as no investor will be attracted to a badly reported country. He held that with the citizens’ determination and patriotism, the country will overcome her present challenges of criminal activities pervading almost all the states of the Federation. Owoeye urged Nigerians to be focused on one indivisible country, saying sooner than later, there will be an end to criminal activities of insurgents, bandits and kidnappers with the new tactics of

security agencies in the nation. In his words, “It is not in doubt that the past one month has been a period of sober reflection’s and closeness to the Almighty Allah by all Muslim faithful over the world, Nigeria and Osun. “The period has afforded us to pray for the peace and unity of our state and nation. “We must not stop at Ramadan. We must continue to pray fervently for Nigeria so that the current situation can become a stepping stone to greatness. “Though it is not yet Uhuru with our security but we are

beginning to witness that the military and other security agencies are recently on top of their game in combating insurgencies and kidnappings. We will definitely rejoice at the end of the day. “I will also want to enjoin those at the helm of affairs to always prioritise people’s welfare and place their interest above individual and personal aspirations. Political office holders should inculcate right attitude that will guarantee peace and stability of Nigeria”, he concluded.

Some Muslim faithful observing prayers to mark the end of Ramadan at Agodi Eid Praying Ground in Ibadan on Wednesday (12/5/21).

Maintain regional unity – MASSOB lauds Southern Govs over stance on open grazing By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has commended the Southern Governors for the bold steps being taken to protect the citizens of the region. Recall that the Southern Governors Forum on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to urgently convoke a national dialogue to address the

widespread agitations in the nation. The 15 members in attendance also called for restructuring of the country leading to the evolution of state police. Reacting, in a statement made available to journàlists on Wednesday, MASSOB lauded the governors for the critical decisions taken to protect the political interest and future survival of southern Nigeria. The group said the people

will always stand solidly behind the southern governors and support their latest moves of salvaging the people from the marauding herdsmen allegedly imported from some West African countries. It said “The unanimous decision of the southern region governors in banning the open grazing by Fulani herdsmen and insistence on national dialogue have suddenly aroused and stirred up the frustrated anger and insensitivity of the northern

leaders. “MASSOB advises that the indigenous people of the Middle Belt region unanimously oppose every external pressure of the Fulani oligarchy to subject them as political tools of waging war against the southern region. “The indigenous people of the Middle Belt region must join the southern region in their quest for political emancipation from the subjective domination of Fulani oligarchy,” the statement said.

Eid al-Fitr: Ekweremadu urges prayers for Nigeria unity, peace



gun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has felicitated with Muslims on the successful completion of Ramadan fasting, urging them to celebrate Eid-el-Fitri moderately in face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the insecurity challenges in the country. Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, noted that Muslims had engaged in the spiritual exercise as directed by Allah for the past one month, calling on the faithful not to do away with love, prayers, unity and harmony that formed the basis of the holy month. He further urged them to continue to offer prayers for peace and unity in the country, particularly in the face of security and economic challenges. The governor added that the present situation in the country calls for sober reflection, stressing that “as you celebrate the end of Ramadan, I urge you to reflect on our situation as a nation and continue to pray for peace and security to return to Nigeria”. “I want to use this opportunity to urge our Muslim brothers and sisters as they celebrate Eid-elFitri, that COVID-19 is still much around. Hence, they should endeavour to observe the safety protocols and guidelines against the pandemic. “Also, they should engage in moderate celebration to mark the end of the fasting. The situation in our dear country calls for sober reflection and prayers, therefore, they should not forget to supplicate to the Almighty Allah for peace, tranquility, unity and security in the land.” Abiodun assured that his government shall continue to obey the Rule of Law and govern with the fear of God, wishing Muslim happy Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

Insecurity: Politicians sponsoring killing of police in South-South – Biafra group By Christiana Ekpa


he Biafra Nations League (BNL), has alleged that most attacks in the Eastern Region, especially in Akwa Ibom, Rivers States are politically-motivated. The group said that some cultists who are being sponsored by politicians are hiding under ‘unknown gunmen’ to perpetrate evil. BNL said this while refuting

reports linking unknown gunmen with Biafra agitation. In a statement on Wednesday by its Deputy National Leader and Head of Operations, BBs Media Ebuta A.Takon, the group said it has come up with the conclusion that some of the attacks especially in Rivers State, Akwa Ibom and some South East towns are carried out by sponsored cultists who are being used by aggrieved politicians. The group dissociated its

members from the recent attack on Police facility in Etim Ekpo in Akwa Ibom, adding that they are not part of the activities of unknown gunmen. Takon warned Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, against creating confusion in the State by accusing Biafra secessionist groups of infiltrating the State and killing police officers. BNL accused the Governor of making inciting comments and

reminded him that Rivers State has been a violent state since its creation. He said “People in that state can kill themselves over politics, everyone knows that Rivers State is the center of political violence in South South and number 2 in Nigeria after Kano. “Wike knows that but he is only using blame game tactics like he did over the crisis in Oyigbo during a nationwide EndSars protest in


Eid-el-Fitri: Celebrate moderately – Abiodun tells Muslims By Musa Baba Adamu

other to exempt his State from Biafra agitation.” BNL, however, said it will not condemn the attacks on police officers “because of the crimes, atrocities and evil that the Nigeria Police have committed in the past.” The group said they would have condemned the violent activities of the unknown gunmen if they had killed innocent individuals who are not officers of the Nigerian security.



By Musa Baba Adamu ormer Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the Muslim faithful on the successful completion of this year’s Ramadan Fast, urging them to seize the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr to pray for a nation in distress. Ekweremadu made the call in his goodwill message to the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, noting that the nation needed divine healing at this point of her history. “I celebrate with the Muslim faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid al-Fitr and congratulate them on the successful completion of the Ramadan Fast. “This is no doubt a very trying period for the nation. With the dire circumstances characterised by worsening insecurity, mindless killings, bourgeoning kidnap industry, economic hardship, and ethnic tension, there is no doubt that Nigeria is in distress. “The times therefore call for both leadership and fervent prayers, knowing that we can always win if we shun ethnic, religious, and political differences to work and pray as one people”, he said.

Eid-el-Fitr: APC seeks spiritual support over insecurity By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has celebrated Muslim faithful and entire Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s Eidel-Fitr, calling for spiritual support to enable the government address the security challenges facing the country. A statement issued yesterday

by the National Secretary of the party’s caretaker Committee, John James Akpanudoedehe, said “As we celebrate, we enjoin Nigerians to use this period to demonstrate the essence of Ramadan which is about personal sacrifice and sharing with the less privileged. “We also urge Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for our

leaders and the country’s peace and development. Our collective efforts is required to ensure that citizens enjoy the many pro-people developmental strides of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in an atmosphere of peace. “The APC calls on all people of goodwill and patriotic citizens to use the occasion to extend their

spiritual support for the efforts of our administration in its continued quest to place the country on the path of economic prosperity. *On this day, we assure Nigerians of our commitment to securing the nation from all fifth columnists and secessionist elements who have continued to seek ways of dragging the nation backwards.” From left: Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on Innovation, Science and Technology, Mr Elvis ObiNwankwo; Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Obi Carl-Kama; and Chief Executive Officer of InfoSoft Technology Process, Chief Pius Okigbo, during Enugu Tech Stakeholders Roundtable, in Enugu on Wednesday (12/5/21).

2023 Presidency: How Igbos can produce Buhari’s successor - Group By Musa Baba Adamu


socio-cultural group, the World Igbo Peoples Assembly (WIPAS) has asked Ndigbo to put their acts together to be taken seriously by other Nigerians in the legitimate quest to produce the next President of Nigeria. WIPAS, in a statement by

its Board of Trustees Chairman, Chuks Ibegbu on Wednesday, also asked Igbo presidential aspirants to begin to announce their interest to show that the Igbos are serious. The group, however, warned those who have nothing to offer Nigeria not to indicate interest in the race as the presidential office is a serious business.

WIPAS in the statement claimed the mood of the nation favours an Igbo to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 but noted that Ndigbo must put their acts together. It called on all Nigerians to support the just and equitable project. WIPAS also regretted utterances by the Governor of

Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai on the agitations in the Southeast, noting that agitations in other parts of the country did not stop their own from producing the President of Nigeria. The Igbo group further asked Nigerian politicians to be circumspect in their utterances for an inclusive nation. The socio-cultural body urged

agitators in the east to also factor in the efforts by other Igbo and Nigerian patriots to address the inequity in the polity. The group appealed to agitators to cease fire to enable the government at all levels and critical stakeholders to come up with workable templates towards addressing their yearnings.

Eid el-Fitri: Ekiti PDP chieftain, Ajijola salutes muslim faithful By Musa Baba Adamu


eopes Democratic Party stalwart in Ekiti State, Oladimeji Lateef Ajijola, has congratulated the Muslim faithful on the celebration of this year’s Eid El-Fitri. In a goodwill message to Muslims in Ado-Ekiti, he thanked the Almighty Allah for seeing them through the Holy month of Ramadan. “I rejoice with my fellow

Muslim brothers and sisters for the opportunity given them to celebrate another Sallah on earth” “It is a privilege and grace of God to successfully see the end of Ramadan” Ajijola said Allah created the Holy month of Ramadan for Muslims to be able to come closer to him and cleanse themselves of all their unrighteousness He admonished the faithful to make use of all the good

lessons learnt during the period of Ramadan and never revert to unholiness because they have been purified and given a new life to live by Almighty Allah. He also called on fellow party members to come together as one formidable force to take over the mantle of leadership from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) come 2022. While expressing displeasure on the state of insecurity in the country, Ajijola said ”A functional

and proactive Government should be able to secure the lives and property of citizens. ”Any government that fails in this area should be regarded as a complete failure because that is a fundamental responsibility of government“. Speaking on the next bye Election in Ekiti State, Hon Ajijola advocated unity among PDP members to present a credible candidate for the Election.

He appealed to members of PDP in Ekiti State to come together and speak well of the party ahead of next year’s governorship election. The PDP scribe noted that the party could only win the polls if the national leadership of the party addresses the lingering congress problems tearing the party apart in the state and ensures a genuine reconciliation of members of the party.

Lawan say Nigeria needs prayers, restates NASS commitment to security of lives By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has felicitated with the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria on the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast, even as he said that Nigeria needs prayers now than

ever before. “Every true Muslim feels joy at participating in the Ramadan fast, which is a key obligation in Islam. May Almighty Allah therefore reward us for the spiritual voyage and grant our earnest wishes for ourselves, families and dear country.

“Because of the current security and economic challenges, our country Nigeria needs the prayers of every patriot now more than ever before to achieve the peace, unity and progress that were the dreams of the founding fathers. “I assure us that the

Government, including the National Assembly, will not waver in its determination to provide robust security in the country that guarantees every law abiding citizen the liberty to live in peace and pursue their legitimate businesses anywhere they choose. “Let us remain strong in our

hope that Nigeria will become what we fervently want it to be: a nation that fills its citizens with happiness and pride,” Lawan said in a Salah message issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awonoyi.



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Stock Watch: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 Low

OPEN Volume Close High

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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NEITI meets ECAN, plans to enforce sanctions in extractive industries By Etuka Sunday


he Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said it would partner with law enforcement agencies of the Federal Government to enforce compliance and sanctions in the extractive sectors. The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji disclosed this while playing host to a team from the Energy Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) Monday in Abuja. He said the agency would be signing MoUs with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit. The NEITI boss, pointed compliance as one the major

challenges facing the extractive industries’ transparency initiative. He said, “One of the challenges we have in implementing the EITI is compliance and enforcement. You are aware that reports are published in Nigeria and is usually (a challenge) to implement. “This is because agencies just don’t think to do so. If there are no sanctions or incentives; sanctions for refusing to implement, incentives for doing well, everybody moves on and that is the bane of our society.” Ogbonnaya Orji added, “That is why we said that we will have to align with those who have very powerful machineries to enforce sanctions. So in the next couple of days we will be signing a draft MoU between us and the EFCC and it is being reviewed by the two organisations. “The draft with the ICPC is being reviewed by the two

organisations and the draft with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is also being reviewed.” He said all parties had given themselves this month of May to sign the MoUs. Ogbonnaya Orji stated that each of these agencies had been encouraged to establish professional extractive industry desks equipped with staff with requisite training in that area. “In the EFCC we have geologists, geoscientists and people who have worked in the oil and gas industry. If they don’t have, they will engage and when our reports are released we share with them,” he stated. The NEITI boss added, “They analyse it and find out where there is financial malfeasance and misconduct in terms of managing extractive industry revenues. “If it is outside the country, such as the stealing of our crude

oil, the NFIU will trace it. The NFIU is an international agency.” On the function of the ICPC, he said the commission had to do with the public service or institutions that were either pilfering or stealing extractive industry revenues. “So we are not alone and have moved fast in the last two months to strengthen our relationship with them,” Ogbonnaya-Orji said. He went on, “We want oil revenues to reflect in the lives of citizens of our country, as well as on the infrastructure of Nigeria. We want Nigerians to be happy because the current insecurity is a function of poverty.” The NEITI helmsman further stated that the agency had commenced moves to partner the Federal Ministry of Environment on how to draw up data on how activities in the extractive industry affects the environment.

Ogbonnaya Orji also stated that NEITI would be linking its reports to physical impacts going forward, as the agency had been expanding its capacity on this. He said, “We are equally trying to make sure that we are able to link our reports to impacts. When we publish reports, monies are recovered or we highlight monies that are missing. “We want to follow-up and ensure that those monies are recovered into government coffers and we are committed to ensuring that the monies are well utilised. How do we do that? “We want to expand our capacity to monitor. In our renewed monitoring functions we should be able to visit industries’ sites real time. We don’t have to wait until our reports are published and I think we are going to collaborate with energy correspondents in those trips.”

Special Adviser to Enugu State Governor on Innovation, Science and Technology, Mr Elvis Obi-Nwankwo (6th, L); Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Obi Carl-Kama (7th, L) and other dignitaries, during Enugu Tech Stakeholders Roundtable, in Enugu on Wednesday (12/5/21).

System Collapse: TCN Begins Investigation, Grid Recovery By Etuka Sunday


he Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has announced that at about 11.01 am today, 12th of May, 2021, there was a total system

collapse of the grid, as a result of voltage collapse at some parts of the grid. TCN commenced grid recovery immediately after the collapse, from Shiroro Generating Station to Katampe TS, Abuja

through the Shiroro - Katampe line at 11:29 am, and also through Delta Generating Station to Benin Transmission Substation and has reached Osogbo and parts of Lagos. The General Manager, Public

Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah in a statement said, while the grid restoration and power restoration gradually progress to other parts of the country, the cause of voltage collapse that precipitated this failure is equally being

investigated. TCN appeals for patience as it works assiduously to ensure full restoration of the grid and consequently power supply to the remaining parts of the country.




AMAC Chairman urges humility, love By Stanley Onyekwere


he Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Adamu Abdullahi Candido has implored Muslims faithful and other residents in the council to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Fitr with humility and love. Candido, who described the occasion as a period which signifies the end of the Ramadan fast, advised all residents of AMAC to go about celebrating in peace, love and unity. The AMAC Chairman, in his Sallah message, while conveying the greetings of the good people and government of AMAC to Muslims and non Muslims alike, urges that residents to share what they have with their common brothers, neighbours and friends. “Don’t eat everything alone, share it with your brothers particularly those that don’t have. That’s in the spirit of what the practice of our prophet (SAW) who preaches love among his people. “I want to urge all of us to celebrate with humility and love, and by the grace of God, Nigeria will overcome the current state of crisis that has befallen this nation”, Candido stressed. Commenting on measures in place to ensure that there is no security breaches during the Salah celebrations in AMAC, the Council boss revealed that there have been engagement with traditional and community leaders and various heads of security agencies in AMAC to ensure a hitch free exercise. According to him: “We discussed security and its challenges, and how to nip in the bud most of these challenges across the twelve Wards of the Council. And we have taken note of where the flash points are; and we have directed on what the police should do in these areas. “So these are some of the steps we had rightly took now, and by the grace of God, we are assure residents of AMAC that there is going to be a very peaceful celebration of sallah, because the Police and other security formations are on top of the situation. “We however, urge residents to respectively conduct themselves accordingly, and by the grace of God we will be adequately protected.


Page 21

Eid el-Fitr: FCT Minister preaches love, unity By Stanley Onyekwere


s Muslims mark this year’s Eid el-Fitr celebrations, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has charged all residents to remain steadfast in the spirit of oneness and caring for one another in the Territory. In particular, the Minister stressed the need to always stand firm and resolute against divisive and unpatriotic elements in the society, by continuing to care for each other irrespective of ethnic or religious differences. Bello, who gave this charge in a Sallah message, on behalf of the FCT Administration heartily felicitated with all FCT residents especially the Muslim Ummah on

the Eid celebrations. He urged everyone to continue to practice the lessons learnt during Ramadan, in order to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and unity. He said: “Most importantly, I congratulate us all on the successful completion of 30 days of Ramadan, which involved fasting, prayers and charity. It is therefore an opportunity to thank Almighty Allah for the successful completion of this religious obligation and pray that our supplications to Him will be favourably received. “It was indeed gratifying to witness residents of the FCT reaching out to the less privileged members of the society, regardless of ethnicity or religion in the spirit of oneness and caring for one

another. “Let us be reminded that the Federal Capital Territory was built on a foundation of national unity with the strong conviction of our founding fathers, that it is only when we stay together and work together, with a single purpose, that we can truly reach our potentials as a great nation”. He continues: “Let us also remain vigilant and be security conscious at all times. Report to the security agencies all suspicious movements and characters in our communities and be more discerning with information that you imbibe or share especially from the social media. “On our part, we will continue, in collaboration with the various security agencies, to put measures in place to safeguard the lives and

properties of all residents of the FCT”. The Minister however added that” as we celebrate the Eid festivities, we should please do so from the safety and comfort of our homes. Please note that despite the seemingly low cases of positives and fatalities recorded in recent weeks, COVID-19 is still with us and remains a deadly disease. “The possibility of a third wave is very real and we should therefore continue to observe the non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing. “I once again, congratulate the Muslim Ummah on the successful completion of Ramadan and I wish you all joyous and re-invigorating celebrations”.

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, during distribution of assorted food items and clothings to persons living with disabilities in Abuja, as part of activities to mark this year’s Sallah.

Aliyu distributes food items to persons living with disabilities By Stanley Onyekwere


s part of activities to mark this year’s Sallah, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has distributed assorted food items and clothings to persons living with disabilities in the Territory. Items distributed to 100 beneficiaries include; 2 bags of 10kg rice each, one cartoon of condiment each, wrappers amongst others. Also, the Minister used the occasion to reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the empowerment of persons living with disabilities, and to ensure that they are not only self reliant but

employers of labour. Aliyu, who made the assertion at the Old Parade Ground, Garki Abuja, however, revealed that the administration has commenced profiling of persons living with disabilities and training in various skills acquisition programmes in line with one of the core mandates of the Social Development Secretariat. Her words: “As you can see, we are here with persons living with disabilities in the Federal Capital Territory. In the spirit of Sallah celebration, we are here to reach out to the less privileged in the society. “We are profiling all of them to ensure that we capture them, and at the same time prepare them

for empowerment. They are being trained in the acts of soap making, cream making, detergents, beads, shoes, bags, to ensure that they earn a living by themselves and by extension become employers of labour, not only will they become gainfully employed but they will be self employed. “When this happens they will be off the streets, we want to take them off the streets systematically by engaging them, by making them appreciate themselves and realizing the value within them. We have discovered graduates among them, some are certificate holders”. The further assured that upon graduation, the administration would secure a market and the enabling environment to market

their goods to the benefiting communities. In her response, the chairperson, Network of Disabled Women, Mrs. Lois Auta-Udokanta, thanked the Minister for using the occasion to cushion the effect of post COVID-19 in the lives of persons with disabilities. According to her, “This is very huge, and we are very proud of FCT Minister of State for this huge contribution in the lives of persons with disabilities. This will go a long way to cushion the effect of post COVID-19 in our lives. “We are very grateful to her, we are very thankful to her, we are very proud of this gesture and we pray for greater opportunities for our honorable minister”.


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world news


George Floyd killer Derek Chauvin asks for new trial


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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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Ancient child grave was Africa’s earliest funeral


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


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


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Malian woman gives birth to nine babies


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Child malnutrition ‘alarming in Ethiopia’


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

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

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

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

Seychelles brings back curbs despite vaccination success


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

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

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

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

Zulu queen's remains expected back in palace


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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myanmar charges Japanese journalist over alleged fake news


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

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

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

From:Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

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



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

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

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

Resuscitate Ajaokuta to grow economy -Don

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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





Coronavirus: How India descended into Covid-19 chaos


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








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THURSDAY, may 13, 2021

Chelsea set up all English Champions League final

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

>>PG 31


S p

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




Rangers players embark on one-week break




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




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

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

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

Tuchel admits he wants Real Madrid over Liverpool in UCL semis


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


T Rangers players celebrating


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

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

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

Akure to host NLO division 3


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . putting the people first

THURSDAY, may 13, 2021


SPORTS When we threaten our existence! latest

Raheem Sterling: Manchester City forward racially abused on social media


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

Advert: news: Kano: lagos:


his may not go well with quite a number of us because we have conditioned our mental state to believe that our problems come from leadership and the solution therefore lies with them. We forget that we get a share of what we all bring to the table. We are each all a part of the sum and therefore the rot in one part invariably affects the rest of the parts or at best creates a defect on the sum. We can only stand as one when all the parts pull their lots. On my mind today is Nigeria; as this country bleeds, as it weeps, and struggles to remain on its feet we, the people, seem to be oblivious to its pains instead fan and blow on the embers threatening it. What exactly is wrong with us? I hear people who I had unfortunately placed high up on some tall pedestals open their mouths and what comes out just send me coiling and searching for some hole to hide in. Some send shivers up your spine and you realize this country is in more trouble than one dares to think or imagine. One disturbing factor is the lies and rumor mongering that have come to characterize our discuss. The social media has become for us a poisonous medium very accessible with the right dose of poison for a people that have strong aversion to reasoning and reading. We do not care to investigate, ascertain, or even demand for explanations and accountability. We just hop on the joy ride so long as it feeds our macabre thoughts. So we go along indulge in ethnic profiling, religious bigotry, and senseless undermining of state apparatus. Unarguably the leadership is wanting, in need of some bite and will. So the Nigerian people are in a bad ride and we do not seem to understand that simple fact. The sad thing is that we seem very oblivious to lessons that abound around the world, lessons that have developed as

0806 564 8620 0814 292 9046 0803 587 5846 08074420617


SAFIYA ADAMU yandokye@gmail.com a result of such negatives. Each block that makes up this country believes that their individual actions don’t matter; but they do. When it comes down to it we simply all want to walk away from our responsibilities. For those who delude themselves into thinking that they would be welcome in other people’s countries where they would be better off have better have some serious rethink. We all do not have any other country

forefront of Africa liberation and Africanism. They had a well thought out economic plan that would have taken them to a level beyond what is envisaged for any country in Africa. Yes, Gaddafi was a dictator, but you cannot wish away his plans and achievements which are the issues of consideration here. The question is; did the removal or killing of Gaddafi make Libya any better or give the people of Libya any reprieve from their woes? At the time of the so –called Arab Spring the rebels all came united against one common foe. What happened next the absence of the common e n e m y ? The once celebrated united rebels broke into innumerable factions with loyalties only defined by home cities, r e g i o n s , political and ideological beliefs, and foreign backers. This happened in a country under a dictatorship, the one common factor that you would expect to keep them united given their shared experience and love of country. Yet that was not enough to keep them going for the common good. And given Nigeria’s own experience and almost total lack of love for country? In the face of our obvious worship of materialism what do you think would happen if we allow ourselves to descend into orgy of violence? Common let’s get real here! Just look at our total landscape – economic, social, and political. The so – called ‘not too young to run” shouts that erupted onto our political landscape ended in not so unexpected disunity. Even in a relatively calm environment

Their citizens do not even have enough so why should they share with you? How many of us watch stories of immigrants and the humiliation they have to undergo in order to survive? How many millions of us do you think they can accommodate? to call our own except this one country called Nigeria. The only reason why anyone is giving you any salient support is because the country exists and they see potentials that you fail to see therefore a chance to destroy that which you fail to see even before it takes roots. Let’s look at most recent history close to home. You know once upon a time there was a country called Libya? You probably think you know what happened to her, well maybe you think you do but even if you really do, do you understand the intrigues and the unfortunate consequences of those actions of its citizens in that disastrous time so called the Arab spring? Well it is and was beyond the so –called Arab spring that yielded nothing but war and destruction. Libya was at the

they could not bury their differences nor harmonise their interests, objectives, and goals, no ideology to drive the many vast, incompatible thoughts and ambitions that drive them. And you think break up would produce just north and south? No! We will have enclaves like south, sout-south, south east, south west, south north, northwest north, north, northeast north, north-north and the counts grow and grow. Warlords would be a dozen a dime. We would be worse than Somalia or is it Somaliland now? Anyone taking a look at South Sudan? Is any one listening? The problem is not leadership but us the people. Those countries we are looking up to for refugee status, or immigrant status were built by their own people, with their sweat and blood. So why would you think they would welcome you with open arms? Their citizens do not even have enough so why should they share with you? How many of us watch stories of immigrants and the humiliation they have to undergo in order to survive? How many millions of us do you think they can accommodate? My point is simple; we are better together. We have to fight for this country. Truth is that leaders are picked from amongst us. We pick leaders that reflect us, we are responsible for our own situations and must take responsibility for them. Our common enemy is within us and that is what produce the fertile grounds for maladministration that is our bane today.


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

Why were they hiding them?

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