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BREAKING: Commercial activities grounded in Kaduna by NLC

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Commercial activities have been grounded in Kaduna the capital of Kaduna State following the industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) .

The organised Labour made good it’s threat by shutting down the state Secretariat, the train station at Rigasa, Commercial Banks, commercial vehicles and filling stations.

Also the state has been thrown into darkness by 12am yesterday as a result of the strike action.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on Monday stormed the Kaduna State Secretariat of the labour union and said their five-day warning strike calling for the reinstatement of sacked workers has commenced successfully with the total grounding of activities in the state.

Speaking at the rally, he said that they took the action because the Kaduna State Government’s action has caused untold hardship on those affected and their families.

“The railways are not working, the airport is shut down, fuel stations are locked, power is cut off and there is massive solidarity,” he said.

Wabba also accused the government of lying over several issues, including talks it said it had with the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

“The Government lied that they called us for a meeting yesterday. I actually received a call around 9pm yesterday for a meeting, I told them to make the invitation formal, but the person that called me later called back saying that the meeting had been cancelled.

“I have the number that called me and recorded the conversation,” he said.

The NLC President added that asides the sacked workers, the increment of school fees at the state-owned university is also an issue troubling the union because most of the children are wards of sacked workers.

BREAKING: Commercial activities grounded in Kaduna by NLC 3
The Rigasa train station

“We gathered that about 70 per cent of the children at Kaduna State University (KASU) are Indigenes of Kaduna State and some of their parents have been sacked,” he added.

Speaking further, he said he has also received calls from market traders whose stalls have been demolished and commercial tricycle and okada riders complaining of exorbitant taxing from Kaduna State Traffic Law Enforcement Authority (KASTLEA).

Hundreds of workers and union members were seen with placards with the inscriptions such as: “El-rufai, enough is enough, stop mass sack, workers are not slave

How Kaduna Govt misled us on minimum wage implementation – NLC

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…Govt plans to use tugs against us

The Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Kaduna state has disclosed how they were misled to the commended Kaduna State Government for being the first State to implement thirty thousand Naira (N30,000) minimum wage to both Civil Servants and the retirees only to revert to the old minimum wage of Eighteen thousand Naira (N18,000) in the month of April, 2021.

The NLC has also alerted the General public over the alleged plans by the Kaduna state government to use thugs to disrupt and discredit their planned peaceful protest as part of activities of the 5 days warning strike.

In a statement signed by the Chairperson, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman on Sunday and made available to Newsmen, the council further regretted how they were misled by the Kaduna state government on the #30,000 minimum wage among other issues in the state,saying

”Earlier, we were misled to the commended Kaduna State Government for being the first State to implement thirty thousand Naira (N30, 000) minimum wage to both Civil Servants and the retirees. But however, we noted with dismay that the government reverted to old minimum wage of Eighteen thousand Naira (N18, 000) in the month of April, 2021 Salary in the Local government council, about twenty thousand (20, 000) State civil servants received half Salary which is even less than the former Eighteen thousand Naira (N18,000) minimum wage.

The Congress is expected to embark on the warning Strike from Monday to protest the disengagement of workers in the state and among others things call for the reinstatement of the sacked workers.

”Health workers were denied almost all their allowances such as hazard, call duty, shifting, rural posting etc. The statement added.

NLC said ”It’s disheartening to say that Kaduna State Government on the basis of their claim that it had paid up to 14 Billion Naira as arrears of death benefit and gratuity from 2017 but the fact is that the same government disengaged over thirty five thousand (35,000) civil servants in 2017 and up to date over 80 percent have not received their retirement benefits.

”It’s sad for Kaduna State Government to claim its commitment to training of workers while those that are qualified for promotion remain stagnant for years.

NLC further said ”On claims by the government supporting civil servants to pay for houses through mortgages on a single digits interest, this claim is false. The reality of this, was that this mortgages was gotten by the joint effort of NLC and TUC.

”The State Government in its Ignorance failed to realize the obvious fact that payments of salaries have multiplying effects on the social – welfare and economy. In other words, when salaries are paid it reflect down the line.

”The unfortunate downsizing of work force in Kaduna State was not done in accordance with the statutory Labour law, with keen examination of it’s activities from 2017 till date, over fifty thousand workers were affected.

”It’s in the public domain that over Twenty One thousand Teachers were sacked, five (5) thousand Local Government workers were equally disengaged in 2017, while another Twelve (12) thousand State civil servants were also unfairly disengaged and the recent sacking of over seven thousand workers of local government in the month of April, 2021 these lay credence to the figure given by the NLC.

According to Labour ”The claim by the State Government to promote the right of the Children of the poor to decent education, is contradictory to the recent increase in tuition fees in the State owned institutions to the tune of more than Three Hundred percent (300%) increase.

”The warrant of arrest on the National President of NLC Comrade Ayuba Waba as claimed by Kaduna State Government is an unwarranted intimidation on Labour movement. This is considered as a violation of human right act. The National President’s involvement in this action is intended to protect the interest of Kaduna State workers.

”The claim by Kaduna State Government that NLC recruited hoodlums to cause mayhem during the strike is untrue because it is not in the character of Labour to indulge in such uncivilized manner as against the nature of politicians.”

NLC maintained that ”All the affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress are fully committed to participate in the strike action without compulsion.

”We calling the attention of general public to the planned mobilization of thugs by the State Government to discredit our peaceful protest of tomorrow. Hence, we advocate that the people of Kaduna State should be vigilant and stand against this plan.

”On this note, we impore the general public to remain calm and peaceful throughout the 5 days warning strike period which we are assuring the Kaduna State workers and the general public of our commitment to maintain peaceful strike action for the interest of workers in the State and the general public.” The statement added.

Contest for 2023 presidential election – New group begs Goodluck

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A new group, Youths Earnestly Demand For Goodluck E. Jonathan (YED4GEJ 2023), has backed former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest for 2023 presidential election.

The group also promised to raise campaign funds for Jonathan if he accepts to run for the election.

 The group also launched a campaign tagged #BringBackGEJ Project, on Sunday, said it believes Jonathan has all it takes to bring back sanity to the country as he is “a true democrat, a nation builder, a goal-oriented leader of integrity”

The National Chairman of the YED4GEJ 2023, Prince Teddy Omiloli and National Director Operations, Comrade Douye Daniel, in a joint statement at the launch of the campaign in Abuja, said they were optimistic that Jonathan would tackle the challenges bedeviling the country if given the mandate.

The group further explained that the former President had seen the need for a restructuring of Nigeria while in office with the National conference of 2014, but some forces would not allow him to implement the much needed restructuring by voting him out of office, “therefore, there was the need for Nigerians to give him another chance to implement the restructuring.”

“At this point in time, after a vivid look into the ideologies and activities of our present political players which includes the youths and elders, we saw in Goodluck Jonathan, a true democrat, a nation builder, a divine inspired goal oriented leader of integrity that has the solution to the present Nigeria problems,” the statement reads.

“He (Jonathan) has proven that he can sacrifice anything to ensure the unity, peace and development of our great nation Nigeria.

“We, as youths of this great nation, after discovering the Nigeria problems and found the solution in Goodluck Jonathan, we are calling on all Nigerians including our political elites, present administration and religious leaders to join the call for the return of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and also join our #BringbackGEJ project.

“We the youths are ready to purchase President Jonathan’s form in any party he chooses to flag from and we will fund his electioneering campaign from the beginning to end the moment he accepts this divine call.”

Amaechi, Wike hostility begins again as Wike blasts Amaechi over Rivers insecurity statement

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Sunday, renewed their hostility over the worsening insecurity in the state.

On the other hand,  Nyesom Wike, said it was disingenuous for the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, to attribute insecurity in the State to unemployment.

He said if the minister, who is the immediate past governor of the state had any modicum of sincerity, he would attest to the fact that security is the sole responsibility of the federal government.

The duo had been at loggerheads since 2015 when Amaechi left office as governor of Rivers State.

The Minister of Transportation, who spoke while receiving two former commissioners and other persons who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Port Harcourt on Sunday, blamed the insecurity in the state on unemployment.

He also accused Wike of acquiring properties and buildings everywhere in the state.

But in a swift reaction, Wike asked: “Is unemployment fuelling insecurity in Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Ondo, Ebony, Imo and Niger States governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC)?

“Is he (Amaechi) trying to indict his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and who is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of providing security for Nigerians.

“It is a well known fact that Amaechi is the one who appoints every Commissioner of Police that has been posted to Rivers State since 2015. So, if there is any security failure, he is to blame.”

He added: Perhaps, the minister is happy that members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are killing innocent policemen, who were protecting lives and property. Is Amaechi happy that the weapons of the slain security personnel were carted away by the hoodlums? Amaechi, from all indications, has lost focus and is now frustrated.”

The governor declared that his administration has offered scholarships to over 500 Rivers State students to study medicine and other related courses at the PAMO University.

Reacting to allegations by the minister that he is acquiring property in the State, the governor said it is better to acquire property in Nigeria than to do so in Ghana.

The governor further urged the minister to return to Abuja and resolve the financial malfeasance rocking federal agencies under his watch, and desist from destroying the homes of others.

Gov Tambuwal, Wike, Secondus other PDP governors gets to Ibadan for a meeting

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Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) have scheduled to meet on Monday (today) in Ibadan to discuss the state of the nation.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State announced their arrival on Sunday evening.

He tweeted, “Pleased to receive and host my brother Governors – Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Samuel Ortom, Douye Diri, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – all of our great party, PDP, in Ibadan tonight.

“We are meeting in Ibadan tomorrow, as members of the PDP Governors’ Forum, to discuss party issues as well as issues of national importance including security and the economy.”

A statement by the party’s Director General, Cyril Maduabum, said the meeting also aimed at reviewing the state of the party to strengthen it for future tasks and the meeting will be presided over by its chairman and governor of Sokoto state, Tambuwal.

The gathering, the statement stressed, will further avail governors elected on the platform of the PDP to review the state of the nation especially issues of national security and the economy, as well as “fine-tune strategies to support PDP as a viable and necessary alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration.”

PDP National chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin are expected to address the meeting on the way forward ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Over 60,000 workers sacked by Kaduna governor – Falana, ASCAB

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond says it is in full support of the planned five-day strike which will begin today  by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna state.

It was gathered that the proposed strike by the union is that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has sacked over 60,000 workers since he took office in May 2015.

ASCAB in a statement on Sunday called on all NLC affiliates and supporters to join the “essential strike” adding that a “firm action is needed to reverse the massive attacks on jobs and poverty induced insecurity in Kaduna State.”

Falana said the economy of Kaduna was traditionally built around textile factories and the public sector but in the decade before the administration of el-Rufai, the last four major textile factories were closed with many of the workers not receiving any terminal benefits despite two of the factories being mainly owned by the governments of the northern states.

The activist said rather than seeking to address this economic decline, el-Rufai has retrenched perhaps 60,000 public sector workers and many have not received their due payments.

He added, “Kaduna State is now a dangerous state in Nigeria to live, work or visit in terms of the regularity of bloodshed, kidnappings and killings by bandits and ethno-religious inspired violence. The level of insecurity in Kaduna State today is a function of unprecedented, cruel anti-workers’ policy of the Kaduna State Government including repeated mass layoffs. The uncontrolled insecurity is, therefore, the ’harvest’ or product of the State’s anti-labour policies.”

The activist noted that in 2016, over 13,000 workers considered to be ghost workers, were dismissed. The following year another 40,000 public sector workers were retrenched.

“Around half of these were teachers. The state arbitrarily pegged the pass mark for their competency test at an unprecedented 75 per cent. Many of these teachers did not receive any redundancy money.

From April of this year, the state government has been dismissing perhaps as many as another 17,000 workers. This includes 6,000 local government and primary health care workers who have all received their marching orders. The remaining 11,000 workers from the state ministries have been listed for dismissal on account of having spent 30 years and above in service and/or being on level 14 and above,” Falana said.

The senior advocate noted that pensioners who have earned pension for between five and 10 years and have ‘refused to die’ are no longer being paid.

He said the governor’s claim that these policies are necessary due to declining revenues is far from the truth.

“The state has plenty of money – ‘borrows’ from workers. Kaduna State Government has significantly increased its internally generated revenue over the last five years. IGR has increased by about 16 per cent a year in real terms (after taking into account inflation). So IGR is now about half the total income of the state despite the fact that the monthly FAAC allocations are now increasing again as crude oil prices have recovered from the Covid-19 dip,” he said.

6 vehicles burnt as hoodlums set Enugu INEC headquarters on fire

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Five Hilux Vehicles were completely burnt as unidentified hoodlums set fire on the Enugu headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Sunday night.

A sixth vehicle which also caught fire was partially rescued by the State Fire service.

Our source said the invaders had set fire on one of the major officees which was put out by the fire service.

It was learnt that a three seater chair in the office and a few minor things were burnt before the fire was stopped.

The attack happened around 10pm on Sunday, 16th May, 2021.

The hoodlums numbering about seven in number reportedly stormed the INEC office in a small bus.

There was no casualty from the attack just as the timely arrival of the fire service saved the day.

When contacted, INEC’s Enugu Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said confirmed the incident.

He however said he will speak with the press Monday on the incident.

“We are just meeting; I think I will speak with the press in the morning so we can get our facts right.”

Director Enugu State Fire Service Engr. Okwudiri Daniel Ohaa who was at the scene said his men responded fast tomyue distress call which helped in handling the situation.

He explained that the hoodlums took the time to put fire on the vehicles one after the other which explains why they burnt beyond repair.

UK based suspect arrested in Imo with Riffle, Police Uniform

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Police operatives attached to the Imo State command have arrested UK based Michael Osundu for alleged culpability in the criminal activities in the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer PPRO of the command, Ikeokwu Godson Orlando (SP) made this revelation in a press statement.

Orlando said that the arrest of the suspect is in line with the mandate and directive of the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman (IGP)to restore peace and tranquility in Imo state as well as the determination and adoption of a robust crime prevention and detection strategy of the new Imo State Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro(CP).

The PPRO said that operatives of the command while on surveillance and confidence building patrol arrested suspect in Owerri who claim to be based in London, United Kingdom .

He said that UK based suspect was arrested in connection with criminal activities in the state and that he is reasonably suspected to be part of the hoodlums that attacked the Nigeria Correctional Services and the Police headquarters on April 5th 2021.

Orlando said that at the point of his arrest, one English made Pump Action rifle and twenty six (26) live cartridges , a pair of police uniform with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)which was hidden in his tinted Toyota Escalade vehicle were recovered .

The súspect according to the PPRO also claimed to be a Police Spy trained officer at the Police Training School, Ikeja.

Meanwhile the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro (CP) has ordered a full scale investigation into the matter, with a view of discovering his level of culpability and possibly arresting of other suspects.

He further called on any person who participated in the attack of April 5th as well as the escapee inmates/suspects to turn themselves in, or else will be made to face the full wrath of the law when caught.

The CP also charged members of the public to partner with the command by volunteering credible information which may lead to the arrest of criminal elements in and around the state.

Anambra 2021: Equity, fairness, Ojukwu’s spirit favours Nnewi – Nwosu

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A Chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and governorship aspirant for theNov.6 election in Anambra State, Mr. John Chuma Nwosu yesterday said that allowing a Nnewi man to succeed Obiano remains the surest way to ensure equity, fairness and also appreciate all that the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did for the Igbo.

Nwosu , a technocrat and Information Technology expert who spoke while on consultative tour in Onitsha noted that OJukwu’s spirit will be happy to see a Nnewi man become Governor of Anambra state considering that he devoted his life towards the liberation of the Igbo and was also the soul and body of APGA , the ruling party in Anambra State.

He also argued that equity and fairness demands that a competent Nnewi man should govern Anambra since the old Aguata region and Ihiala has produced governors in the past while Nnewi axis has never produced any.

On his aspiration to govern the state, he promised that if given the party ticket and elected governor, he will not only consolidate on the achievements of both former and present governors in the state but create a government that will be all-embracing and development driven anchored on transparency and accountability.

Nwosu said he will enthrone a maintenance culture in the state and ensure that rules and laws are obeyed in order to create a decent society where there will be prosperity and order.

“Looking at the three blocs in the south, I am someone that believes in equity. Aguata bloc has produced an elected governor in the past in the person of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the Ihiala axis has produced a governor too in the person of Mbadinuju . It is only Nnewi axis that has not gotten one. But if you look at the political history of Anambra State, Nnewi axis has shown commendable leadership and sacrifice in the past.

“They have sacrificed so much for the entire Igbo race. When you remember the late Ikemba Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who is the image behind my party, APGA, you will see that it is just proper that you give it to the Nnewi man. We believe that Nnewi has the right people to govern Anambra State.

“Come to Nnewi today and you see that most of the development projects have been done through private efforts and we believe that with such innovative ideas and ingenuity, given the chance in the public sphere, a typical Nnewi man will do it better as Anambra Governor. We are relying on equity, fairness and competence too.

“If my aspiration works out, it’s not going to be a one-man show government. Democracy they say is government of the people by the people and for the people. My own government will be all embracing. It has been put in practice in my company where we have people from all tribes and geopolitical zone working and offices across the regions too.

I believe that what Anambra needs now is a bridge builder who can unite all together irrespective of area of origin, religious denomination or creed. If you unite the entire state together, from there you move to the national level to achieve same national unity

“Taking a clue from this, we must redress our lack of maintenance culture. I will set up a road maintenance fund because it is cheaper to build and maintain than waiting for the whole road architecture to collapse before you repair. Maintenance culture will not only be limited to roads but in all facets of our public infrastructure” he said.

17 suspects arrested for armed robbery, attempted murder in Enugu

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Police operatives in Enugu State command have arrested seventeen suspected criminals.

This fact was revealed in a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Daniel Ndukwe (ASP).

Ndukwe said that the recent operational breakthroughs recorded by operatives of the command which led to the successful arrest of fifteen15 male and two female criminal suspects for the offences of armed robbery, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms, attempted vandalism amongst others.

The PPRO said that the operation also led to the successful recovery of three firearms, two live cartridges, one motor vehicle, one tricycle, six mobile phones of different makes and other incriminating items.

“Operatives attached to Awkunanaw Police Division of the Command, on 11/05/2021 at about 7.30am, recovered one custom-coloured Toyota Camry Car with registration number: ENU 556 MH, along Amagugwu Road, Awkunanaw, Enugu. Preliminary investigation shows that the car was stolen from where it was parked at Abakaliki Road, Enugu by the criminal gang, who abandoned the vehicle and fled due to intense pressure mounted by the police operatives.

“In another development, operatives attached to Enugu Metro Area Command, in synergy with Local Vigilante Group of Nchatancha-Nike Enugu, on May 9, 2021 at about 11.00am arrested one Ejike Okeke aged 18 of Nkwubor-Nike Village, Enugu East L.G.A. after him and others, who escaped on sighting the operatives, were found attempting to vandalize Railway tracks at Nkwubor Rail-line. One locally-made pistol with one live cartridge was recovered from him.

“Also, Operatives attached to New Haven Police Division on May 5, 2021 at about 4.20am, recovered one yellow-coloured Bajaj Tricycle with UWN 468 VJ, MD2A25BY9LWG94183 and AN-101177 as its Registration, Chassis and Engine Numbers respectively, at Chime Avenue, Enugu. The tricycle, suspected to have been stolen, was abandoned by its occupants after a hot chase by the operatives.

“In yet another development, following joint operations carried out by Operatives of the Command attached to 9th Mile Police Division and Anti-Cult Unit as well as personnel of the Nigerian Army, 82 Division Enugu; the under-listed suspects were arrested for acts of cultism and unlawful possession of firearms at different locations, dates and times. They include: Cornelius Uche aged 31, Ifeanyi Umeneze aged 22, Chijioke Anachuna aged 34, Chibuzor Umeayo aged 28, Chinedu Okeke aged 23, Ozinachi Obadike aged 22, Ifeanyi Nwagbo aged 27, Chigozie Okeke aged 18 and Chikamso Odinwankpa (f) aged 18; who were all arrested on May 4, 2021 in Ezeagu, Ezeagu L.G.A., following their alleged involvement in bloody cult clashes.

“Others include: Ozor Chidubem (a.k.a Percy) aged 22, Amina Inalegwu aged 18, Benard Bright aged 20, Ugwu Chidera aged 21, Ani Chukwuebuka aged 23 and Onoh Obumneme aged 20, who were all arrested on April 19, 2021 at about 3.30ham, along Enugu/Makurdi Expressway, 9th Mile, Udi L.G.A. on their way to plan and perfect a heinous cult activity, Another of the suspect, one Uchenna Aniagozie aged 28, was arrested on April 28, 2021 for his alleged involvement in a deadly cult clash sometimes in January, 2021.” Ndukwe highlighted the breakdown of the breakthrough.

He said that all the suspects confessed to being members of Vikings Confraternity, while one cut-to-size locally-made gun, one locally-made pistol, two live cartridges, six mobile phones of different makes, powdery substance suspected to heroin otherwise locally called Mkpuru-mmiri and weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp were recovered from them.

Ndukwe said that the suspects would be prosecuted accordingly once investigations are concluded.

The PPRO called on the rightful owners of the motor vehicle and tricycle to visit the mentioned Police Divisions with relevant documents to identify and claim them.

He urged the residents of the state to remain law-abiding, vigilant and quickly report suspected criminals and their activities to the nearest Police Station or by calling the Command’s emergency hotlines on: 08032003702, 08075390883, 08086671202 or 08098880172.

Meanwhile, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed N. Aliyu(CP) said that the command under his watch, will sustain the ongoing onslaught against unrepentant criminal elements in the state.

Abaribe never wanted to set IPOB against me– Orji Kalu dejects claim

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Former Governor of Abia State,  Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has rejected the claim that senator representing Abia South Senatorial zone, Enyinnaya Abaribe, tried to set members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against him.

This was included in a statement signed by Barrister Emeka Nwala, Kalu said Abaribe has no reason to do so as they have good working relationship in the Senate and share the same concern of how to put food on the tables of Nigerians.

According to him, “such reports ought to be ignored because there is no reason for such call. Senator Kalu’s stance on national unity is neither new nor ambiguous to anyone.  He has long stood for a united  Nigeria and anyone trying to take advantage of the current insecurity in Nigeria to create further tension has failed.  Kalu and Abaribe may share different political ideologies and disciplines, but do not welcome destruction.

“Our aim is to continue  moving forward and impacting more on the lives of our constituents and no one can distract us.  In the few period we have served Abia North, we have performed beyond expectations. We built 19 roads in the first year and we are doing another 17 roads in this second year.  We have renovated schools, rebuilt hospitals, empowered many of our people and will continue to do more.

“We believe that our score card should be an inspiration to others and not a threat.   We are glad that our people are happy with our representation. We are therefore not threatened by rumors of destruction because our people don’t believe in destroying their homes to hurt their enemies.”

Kalu urged the people of Abia North to ignore the reports and whatever it tries to achieve and continue their daily activities.

“We urge you to stay vigilant at all times. We are more concerned in providing infrastructure for our people than entertaining reports of threats. ” the Senate  Chief Whip said.

I am ready to implement ban on open grazing final – Wike backs South govs

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has announced his readiness to implement the decision of Southern governors on open grazing in his state.

Wike said he cannot be cowed by anyone from implementing the governors’ decision to ban open grazing in Rivers State.

You’ll recall that on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Southern Governors’ Forum placed a ban on open grazing of cattle across the southern region after a meeting in Delta State.

They also demanded the devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, and state policing among others at a meeting held in Asaba, Delta State.

Some individuals including the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan had knocked the governors over some of the decisions taken at the meeting.

The governors stressed that he has taken further steps to enforce the decision.

He said: “Nobody can cow me. The government cannot cow me. I will say my mind and I will do what is right for my people. Nobody can kill me before my time. I will die the day God wants me to die.

“Let me also tell those who are criticizing Southern governors’ ban on open grazing, let me inform them that I have taken further steps to enforce what the southern governors resolved in Asaba.

“We have taken a decision and there is no going back. Enough is enough. We (Southerners) are not second-class citizens of this country. We also own this country and we must partake in what is happening in this country.”

Buhari leaves Nigeria today to France on official visit

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President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to depart today froim Nigeria to Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit.

In a statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the summit will focus on reviewing African economy, following shocks from COVID-19 pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.

The Presidency, which disclosed this on its Twitter handle, said President would attend the African Finance Summit which is expected to review the African economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He will also meet his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss several issues of mutual interest including bilateral ties between the two countries.

Before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community in the country.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by four ministers – Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Zainab Ahmed (Finance, Budget, and National Planning), Adeniyi Adebayo (Trade and Investment), and Dr. Osagie Ehanire (Health).

The National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (retd) and Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, will also be on the trip.

JAMB: 2021 UTME registration shifted to May 29 [See more details]

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THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB,has extended the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME and the Direct Entry,DE registration by two weeks.

 The board also extended the UTME examination as well as the mock to further dates. JAMB’S Registrar,Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, announced the extension at a press conference, Saturday, in Abuja.

According to him, the deadline for the UTME registration has now been pushed forward to May 29.

JAMB had earlier fixed May 15 as the deadline for registration.

Oloyede said following the development, the mock examination earlier scheduled for May 20 would now hold on June 3 while the UTME would hold from June 19 to July 3.

The registrar said: “Field reports showed a huge improvement in the processes. As of today, 1,134,424 candidates have so far registered.

“Stakeholders undertook an on-the-spot assessment of the CBT centers and discovered lapses that warranted the extension.

“The challenges among other include candidates’ non-compliance with registration requirements, using the wrong format to generate profile code, and using multiple phone numbers, among others.”

Five suspected IPOB members arrested in Imo over alleged killing of officer

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The police in Imo State said they have arrested five people suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenious People of Biafra (IPOB) over the alleged killing of a police sergeant, Joseph Nwaka.

This was contained in a release signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Saturday.

SP Ikeokwu said that the suspects were arrested in Isu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, some on Thursday, May 13, and the others on Friday, May 14, by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and other tactical teams of the command.

He also revealed that an AK 47 rifle with breech no 56-258115 and 15 Rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

Other items recovered were four locally fabricated weapons, six live cartridges, and a large quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp.

He added that the killers of Nwaka who, until his recent death, was attached to the Command’s Department of Operations, made away with his AK 47 rifle.

According to him, one of the suspects, Onyekachi Mmadufor, of Umudurukwe, Isu LGA confessed to being a member of the IPOB who, along with his cohorts carried out attacks and killings of police and other security personnel.

“The crime prevention and control strategies adopted by the Imo Police Command under the leadership of Commissioner of Police (CP) Abutu Yaro, to rid the state of activities of the proscribed IPOB and other criminal elements are yielding positive results.

“On May 14, the CP deployed Anti-Kidnapping unit and other tactical teams of the command to Amanato Isu LGA for the arrest of members of the IPOB but the hoodlums engaged them in a heavy gun duel.

“The operatives successfully repelled and dislodged them leading to the immediate arrest of five suspects while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds.

“Discreet investigation is in progress with a view to effecting further arrests, after which they will be charged to court for prosecution,” he said.

He further said that the CP commended the operatives for “a job well done” and enjoined them to sustain the tempo so as to ensure lasting security and safety of Imo residents and Nigerians at large.

He, however, urged the general public to support the Police and the state government in their efforts to ensure peace and tranquility of the state.

Naira witnesses unprecedented low exchange rate against US Dollars

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Nigeria Naira is experienced a record low exchange rate against the dollar on the official market on Friday, a development some traders saw a move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to unify multiple exchange rates.

Having traded within a band of 380 and 381 to the dollar since July last year, the naira hit a record low of 419.75 against the dollar on Friday. It then closed at 411.25 — the last closing rate for the naira on the over-the-counter spot market. The central bank did not respond to calls for comment and no quotes have been available on the naira’s official rate since Tuesday. It weakened further on the black market, traders said.

“What the central bank is saying is that the (OTC) spot rate will be the official rate because that’s where the largest volumes trade,” one currency trader at a major Nigerian bank told Reuters.

Nigeria operates multiple currency regimes, which frustrate businesses and have prompted calls from the World Bank for the rates to be unified to attract investment. Rising dollar demand has put pressure on the naira as providers of foreign exchange, such as offshore investors, exited after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a fall in global oil prices.

Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele in February said the currency was trading at 410 naira on the official market while the government has been using that rate for its business as it tries to boost earnings from crude sales, its main export.

The World Bank has linked approval of a $1.5 billion budget support loan to currency reforms. The central bank had been trying to unify the rates and boost the dollar supply through direct interventions. It revised the futures rate on the naira upwards last month to ease pressure on the currency after quoting the 150-day futures contract at 435.81 naira, in its first dollar sales to foreign investors this year.

The bank is due to hold its interest rate setting meeting later this month with economic data on inflation and first quarter growth figures expected from next week. It has kept rates on hold to support the economy hobbles by lower oil prices and impact of COVID-19 pandemic but dollar shortages have been contributing to rising inflation, a key source of concern for the central bank.

Nnewi community election: I am in a convenant to serve my people, says Ibeokonkwo

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By: Ifeoma Ejiofor

A top contender for the position of President General (PG) in the postponed Nnewichi-Nnewi community election, Chief Michael Ibeokonkwo says he is in a convenant with God to serve his people.

Chief Ibeokonkwo stated this during an interaction with journalists in his residence.

He said that he actually entered into a convenant to serve his people on the day he was elected PG of Obiofia.

“I cannot wish away the experience I had in 2015 when I was elected PG of Obiofia, when I looked back and saw the long line of people who voted for me, I shed tears of joy and right there and then, I promised God that I will serve the people.” He recalled.

Chief Ibeokonkwo stated that it was on the basis of that convenant that he was able to champion a people oriented administration and put in place in Obiofia what anybody has not been able to do since 1970.

The former PG of Obiofia said that he has indeed extended the convenant of serving his people to Nnewichi people and humanity in general.

“Nnewichi people are peaceful and God fearing, but the community is facing a serious challenge from some selfish cabals who want to indoctrinate them into their negative ways of doing things without respect for the welfare of the people. These cabals knock on a door and still come out to ask who was knocking on the door.

“I want to state it loud and clear again that whoever that would go to equity must go with clean hands, propaganda and manipulation cannot help my opponent who has headed every position possible in Nnewi without having any vision or physical structures to justify his long stay in leadership.

“The cabals have mortgaged the future, rights and opportunities of young people to serve Nnewichi, this is part of what I want to change. We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result. Our youths are our future, we must safeguard them jealously.” Chief Ibeokonkwo stated.

Asked to comment on what he thinks about the capability of the Nnewichi Board of Trustees (BoT) to resolve the stalemate, Chief Ibeokonkwo expressed the optimism that the BoT cannot be manipulated over a simple issue like community election because their integrity will be at stake.

Chief Ibeokonkwo thanked his numerous supporters even as he assured them that under his watch as PG of Nnewichi, a new day would dawn.

Curfew: Vigilante operatives inflict gun injuries on defaulters in Rivers

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Operatives of Rumuagholu Peace and Advisory Committee (RUSPAC) have allegedly inflicted gun injuries on defaulters of night curfew in different parts of Rivers State.

The members of the vigilante group were alleged to have attacked one of their victims around Oroazi by Rumuola junction in Port Harcourt, where they allegedly shot at him and collected all his valuables.

The incident was said to have occurred on Thursday night after the state wide curfew had taken effect.

Members of the local vigilante group were said be severely punishing those who defied the night curfew imposed by the state government.

A victim, Obodo Dimkpa who spoke from his hospital bed explained how he met about seven other persons being held in the vehicle of the vigilante members when he was arrested.

Dimkpa said “Some of them were putting on masks. They forced me into the car and I saw more than seven people on the back seat, some of them were under the seat of the bus. I kept asking what happened when one of the vigilante members walked up to me with a gun, asking why I was still talking, cocked the gun and shot me on my leg”.

Another victim who was arrested the same night narrated how he was released by the vigilante members because he “spoke the same Ikwerre language as the vigilante members”.

A leader of Rivers State Command of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Wilcox Mambo who visited the victim at the hospital promised to ensure that those who were involved in the attack do not go free.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Rumuagholu Security Peace and Advisory Committee, Henry Nyebuchi-Amadi, has denied any involvement of his men in the crime, claiming that they may have been impersonated by hoodlums.

The PPRO Rivers State command could not be reached for police angle of the story.

2 arrested in Bauchi for dumping decomposing body of woman, child into sewage

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Two men have been arrested by police operatives attached to the Bauchi State Command for criminally dumping the decomposing body of a pregnant woman into sewage.

The suspect Lamido Gunduma was said to have conspired with his friend Ishaq Abdullahi, to dump the body of a decomposing lady, Jamila Saidu and her child inside sewage in Unguwar Yari-Mari, Jamaare, Bauchi state.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Bauchi Command, Ahmed Wakil(SP) said that the suspect’s induced labour in Jamila Saidu led to her death and the newborn baby.

The PPRO noted that the father of the deceased, on April 7, 2021, had filed a report at the police station declaring his daughter missing and that it was discovered the following day that Lamido had deposited the corpse in a sewage system within his compound and fled to Kwadon in Gombe state where he was tracked and arrested.

Wakili said that it was discovered uring preliminary investigation that the suspects criminally conspired and fixed canola into the arm of the said Jamila Saidu and administered her with dextrose water, Quinine and ostagen in order to abort her pregnancy which culminated into induced labour that resulted to the death of the victim and the newborn baby.

He said that the suspects would soon be taken to court for prosecution.

Tension in Plateau community as Lebanese molests 14 minors

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There is palpable tension at the Abattoir community, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State as residents, mostly women and young girls protested alleged sexual molestation of about fourteen young girls in the area by a Lebanese.

The alleged molestation, the protesters claim, has been ongoing for years without anything being done to bring the suspect to book.

Sources claimed that things got out of hand when the suspected Lebanese was eventually arrested and handed over to the police and released immediately.

It was gathered that the Lebanese was arrested and handed over to the Police on Thursday after parents of two of the minors in the community reported that their children were sexually molested.

Apart from the two girls, twelve more girls also confessed that they were also at different times molested by the suspect whom they said did unprintable things to them.

The protesters called for justice to be served and appealed to Government, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations to intervene so that the issue is not swept under the carpet.

One of the protesters, Abigail Haruna said, “this thing has been going on for almost twenty years. I grew up in Abattoir here and I have been hearing about it. This time around, about fourteen girls between the ages of ten to eleven are involved. A Lebanese man in Abattoir here used to sexually molest the girls, one the girls is even pregnant. This should not be allowed to fester.”

Another protester, Esther Emmanuel added, “Since when I was little, I heard about this man that he uses little girls to do blue film but we never took any action but thank God this case came up yesterday (Thursday). Parents of the girls went to the police station to report.

“It is really annoying that this thing has been happening but we never did anything about it. None of these girls is up to fifteen years. Two of the girls are pregnant, one has HIV, this is annoying. The problem is that when it happens, you will not hear anything again, the issue will just die off like that.

“The parents are left with their children, they will be asked to go and take care of their children and will even be blamed for refusing to train and educate their children. If we go to their country, will they allow that? We want justice to be served. The man was arrested but now what we hear is that he has been released.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in Plateau State, Gabriel Uba(ASP) has confirmed the incident.

Uba said that investigation is ongoing to ascertain the true state of the matter.

“Nobody is happy to hear such a devilish act, investigation is ongoing. Nobody released the man, if they don’t get vital information, they will do things out of ignorance. The matter has been transferred to the State CID, the man has not been released.” Uba pointed out.

PDP frowns at forceful deduction of workers’ salary in Anambra State

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The Peoples Democratic Party PDP has frowned at the forceful deduction of workers salaries in Anambra State.

The chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu flanked by Hon. Christian oKeke, Nnamdi Nwangwu and other party executives while addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Udoka, Awka expressed shock that the All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA controlled government can be so insensitive to the plights of civil servants in the state.

“Anambra State under the incumbent governor, Chief Willie Obiano has practically been run underground. The level of infrastructural decay in our dear state is unprecedented and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) controlled government is unperturbed.

“It is on record that Anambra State Civil Servants belong to the class of least paid workers in Nigeria. States across the country that are not as endowed as Anambra State have since upgraded the salaries and entitlement of their workers in line with the nation’s minimum wage policy.

“It has come to our notice that deductions are being forcefully made from the workers’ meagre salaries for the capitalization of Ndiolu Micro Finance Bank.

“We had it on good authority that the Head of Service (HOS) in a memo to the Accountant General (AG) and Secretary JAAC on March 8, 2021 instructed that certain percentages of the workers salaries be deducted as their contributions to the stabilization of the troubled bank.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was said to have directed all Microfinance banks in the country to raise their capital base before 30th April.” Chief Nwobu noted.

He said PDP is genuinely concerned about the welfare of Anambra State Civil Servants who are coerced to part with certain percentages of their meagre take home salaries.

“One begins to wonder why the workers whose salaries were deducted since March will continue to be exploited for three months when the CBN’s directive was meant to implemented before 30th April.

“The development has raised more questions than answers and of course has demonstrated the insensitivity of the APGA controlled government to the plights of Anambra workers whose real income have suffered depreciation because of the galloping inflation in the nation.

“What a responsible and responsive government should be doing by now is to think of what to do to alleviate the suffering of the workers and not making things harder for them through illegal deductions from their salaries.” The PDP boss pointed out.

He expressed the sympathy of PDP to civil servants in Anambra State and condemn the APGA’s government exploitative tendencies in it’s entirety.

PDP demanded that the deducted money from the workers’salaries be returned with immediate alacrity.

“As the Anambra State governorship election draws closer, we thank the civil servants in the state for their support for PDP.

“We assure Ndi Anambra in general and Civil Servants in particular of better deal under a PDP controlled administration.” He concluded.

Senate President rejects Southern governors’ opinion for restructuring

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The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday hits back at southern governors’ demanding for the restructuring of the country saying that they are missing the point.

Lawan, while reacting to the 17 governors’ demand for the country’s restructuring, during a chat with State House correspondents after the Eid-il-Fitr prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said it was unacceptable for governors and other elected officials to lead such agitation.

The Senate President also blamed the worsening insecurity in the country on the absence of functional local government system.

The governors had during a meeting held in Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday demanded the devolution of power and state police among others.

Lawan said: “We are all leaders and we are in this together, the solutions must come from us regardless of what levels of leadership we are – whether at the Federal Level, State Level, or even at the local government level.

“I also want to take this opportunity to say that we have diminished the local government system. I think we can attribute the security issues to the absence of a Functional Local Government System.

“I think the time has come for us to take up the challenge and ensure that the local government system functions. This is as we look for ways to curb the security challenge.

“We must never neglect the local government system. We must go back to our local government system to ensure they are autonomous and functional.”

“I believe that, as leaders, especially those of us who are elected into office should not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing.

“Because, even if you are a governor, you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are demanding at the federal level, you have done it in your state as well.

“What you may accuse the Federal Government of, whatever it is, you may also be accused of the same thing in your state.

“So, we are supposed to ensure that we have a complete and total way of ensuring that our systems at the federal, state and even local government levels work for the people.

“We must allow people to participate in governance so that whoever feels he has something to offer to make Nigeria better does so freely without any let or hindrance.”

2 gunmen shot dead in Imo by combined security team, recover arms, others

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Two unknown gunmen have been killed by a combined team of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Police on Thursday in Imo State

The state Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Abutu Yaro confirmed the incident in Owerri, the state capital.

He said that the bandits were killed in a gun battle between the military and the unidentified gunmen at Ikenanzizi in Obowo Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, two rifles, five motorcycles, a Lexus jeep and one 18 seater bus were recovered from the gunmen.

Yaro added that the operation was in line with Federal Government’s resolve to end the insecurity plaguing the country.

The CP said: “It was a joint operation of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Police. Two unknown gunmen were killed in the process and investigation is ongoing.

He, however, said the team recovered only one corpse while the hoodlums escaped with the body of the second victim.

“We have one corpse but they escaped with the other one and it has been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, morgue,” Yaro added.

Nnamdi Kanu mocks Nigerian Army for claiming to have arrested ESN’s deputy commander

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Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Friday mocked the Nigerian Army for claiming to have arrested the deputy commander of the group’s Eastern Security Network (ESN).

It could be recalled that the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, had on Wednesday claimed that troops arrested one Awurum Eze, who he described as the second in command to the slain ESN leader, Ikonso.

In a tweet, the IPOB leader reacted to the claim on his Twitter handle, shared photos he took with prominent leaders in the South-East and wondered if they were also ESN commanders for posing for a photograph with him.

He wrote: “Since standing beside or taking a photo with me makes you an #ESN deputy commander, perhaps the very preeminent & foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Nwabueze, @DaveUmahi, & Gov. Ugwuanyi are all #ESN deputy commanders. @HQNigerianArmy exhibiting their usual idiocy. #ZOO.”

Dortmund beat Leipzig 4:1 to win fifth German Cup

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Borussia Dortmund put up a fine performance on Thursday night to beat RB Leipzig in the 2020-21 German Cup final.

Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund withstood a second-half fightback in teeming rain to beat Leipzig 4-1 in the German Cup final on Thursday.

It was a fifth-ever triumph for Dortmund in the competition, having also won it in the 1964–65, 1988–89, 2011–12 and 2016–17 seasons.

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Sancho curled in the opener in the fifth minute and tapped in a third before the break.

Haaland scored the second goal and rounded off the scoring late on after Dani Olmo had scored a consolation for Leipzig.

Manager Julian Nagelsmann, who is taking charge of Bayern Munich next season, had been hoping to sign off with his and Leipzig’s first piece of major silverware, but failed.

Insecurity: Buhari to resuscitate special court for insurgent crimes, others

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that the federal government will soon resuscitate special Terrorism court for the trial of Boko Haram fighters and their financiers.

In a statement made available to journalists by his media aide on Thursday, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the minister urged Muslims to continue to be law-abiding, have sober reflection and exhibit the lessons learnt during Ramadan.He said: “The federal government is committed to ending insecurity in the country. The courts are to bring to book all those found guilty in connection with terrorism so as to serve as deterrence to others.

“In addition to the prosecution of 400 suspected Boko Haram financiers, the measures taken by the government will counter the twin trouble of insurgency and insecurity in the country.”

The AGF also felicitated with Muslim faithful all over the world on the occasion of the year’s Eid Al-Fitr.

He urged Muslims as they celebrate to be law-abiding, have sober reflections, and exhibit the lessons learnt during the period of Ramadan.

Malami added: “The lessons include sincerity, honesty, commitment, sacrifice, selflessness, introspection and empathy, among others.”

North part wants to leave Nigeria too –Ex-governor

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Former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, yesterday, revealed that is not only the South West and South East that are struggling for self-determination, alleging the northern part of the country is also preparing to leave.

According to the elder statesman, the South West and South East were more vocal in demanding for Oduduwa Republic and Biafra Republic, the North had been working silently for the possibility of Arewa Republic.

He made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in his house at Bodija, Ibadan after he observed the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the University of Ibadan Central Mosque.

Answering a question on agitation for self-determination in the country, Ladoja said: “Let us start with tolerance.

At certain level, people will be talking, but we only know the beginning of a war, not the end. Nobody will remember how the war in Syria started and it is still on for years. And everything they built is being destroyed.

So, I think we have to do it softly. We have started democracy. We are not happy with the way it is going.

“But even Quran says there will be time when God will give you good leaders; there will be time when the leaders that you are given by God are not as good because He wants you people to see the difference. We should assume that this too will pass. It started six years ago. In another two years, it will go.

“If you are saying because of that you want to go or you don’t want to go, who even tells you that the North is not even getting ready to go? Let us look at it, people in the South are talking too much, and people up North are acting too much.

“In Yorubaland, we talk too much. The North is also preparing to leave and they are working at it. Do you think it is a mistake that they are constructing railway to Niger Republic when we have not built railway from Ibadan to Kano, not even Abuja, and they said it is the first place we are going to spend our money?

“Can’t the refinery in Kaduna be repaired? Why are they saying they would build another refinery in Daura (Katsina State)? And they would be bringing crude oil from Niger Republic to the place. Don’t let us deceive ourselves, maybe a time will come when all of us will sit down together and separate peacefully.”

Gov. Ortom, group supports southern governors on open grazing ban, restructuring

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has accused opponents of the resolution by Southern Governors to ban open grazing as harbouring a hidden agenda.

Ortom said this while speaking during the ‘Media Week and Communications Day 2021’, organised by the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, at Holy Ghost Parish Hall, Makurdi, on Thursday.

He commended his colleagues from Southern Nigeria for towing the right path towards addressing insecurity in the country.

The governor said, “Open grazing is no longer feasible in the country due to development and population growth.”

Ortom noted that it will be difficult for Nigeria to attain its full potential without the safety of lives and property of its citizens.

He expressed gratitude to the citizens and residents of Benue State for their support for his administration.

The governor  gave a hint about his administration’s plans to commence the teaching and learning of local languages in schools owned by the state in the next academic session.

A youth body, under the aegis of Save Enugu Youth Initiatives also commended the governors’ recommendation for the restructuring of the country, state policing and the jettisoning of open grazing as panacea for the lingering insecurity across the federation.

The youth body described as factual, the problems identified by the governors, while urging the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, muster courage and embrace the timely calls by the southern leaders, to save the nation from sliding into a ditch.

Speaking yesterday, the Convener of the group, Gwiyi Solomon, who was flanked by the state coordinator of the group, Comr. Chibueze Nwoga, commended the southern governors for demonstrating genuine leadership and exemplary representation, especially as it concerns burning national issues.

“What the southern governors resolved at Asaba, in Delta State, on Tuesday, is the only way out of the debacle in which we found ourselves in the current Nigerian nation.

“Their resolutions are far-reaching and shouldn’t be swept under the carpet by the federal government if, indeed, they love and have Nigeria at heart. A resolution to ban open grazing is the way to go; a resolution calling for restructuring and national confab are both timely and necessary now,” Gwiyi concluded.

Meanwhile, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and the Agbekoya Farmers Society  described the ban of open grazing as a welcome development that would go a long way in checking insecurity across the entire southern Nigeria, but also sought the governors permission on the use of juju to enforce the ban and deal with criminal/ defiant herdsmen ruthlessly.

OPC Publicity Secretary, Yinka Oguntimehin and the National Secretary of Agbekoya, Prince Adegbenro Ogunlana made the pledge at separate interviews with Daily Sun. Oguntimehin said:” It’s a very welcome development, and we believe it would go a long way in checking issues of insecurity. If we get the government’s backing, we will use all we have, including juju, to tackle insecurity.”

On his part, Ogunlana said: “It’s a good step taken in the right direction by the governors if they are sincere with their decision and not just playing politics, as usual.

Nobody is against anybody; all we care for is security of life and property. The South is not against the North. Apart from ban on open grazing and other resolutions of governors, the farmers should also be compensated for their loss in the past; government should support us. If government can back us, our traditional ways of protecting life and security are still with us, and we are ready to unleash it, if permitted by the government.”

•New confab not necessary- Ozekhome

However, Constitutional lawyer and rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, yesterday, advised the 17 governors in the Southern Nigeria to perish their call and expectations for another constitutional conference, stressing that they should rather demand the implementation of the 2014 confab.

Ozekhome, while speaking on the topic “Legal Profession in a Lawless Society, in Awka, Anambra State capital”, during the 25th Law Week of the Awka branch of the NBA, where he was a keynote speaker, said that the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 confab convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan, would go a long way in solving the country’s challenges.

Ozekhome said: “I was at the 2014 national conference headed by late Justice Idris Kutigi, and the over 200 recommendations we made at that conference are yet to be touched.

“So, when I heard the 17 southern governors talking about another conference… I know they mean well for the country; but we do not need another dialogue.

“Let them go to the 2014 recommendations, they will see that we recommended state police and part-time legislature. The Constitution made the sitting of member of the National Assembly six months, but they are receiving fat salaries.”

New, greater Anambra is possible, APC Guber aspirants – Moghalu, Chidozie Nwankwo insist

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…to make Youth welfare, empowerment priority

By: Chuks Collins, Awka

A key governorship aspirant in the forthcoming November 6, 2021 election in Anambra state and Chief Executive of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr George Nnadubem Moghalu has disclosed that youth welfare and empowerment will be his top priority as governor of Anambra state.

The well decorated political bigwig of the All Progressives Congress (APC)who spoke during the formal inauguration of his mainstream political support group tagged “George’s Likeminds” at his Awka Campaign Headquarters yesterday however cautioned party faithfuls to remain vigilant and be wary of bogus and empty political promises by desperate aspirants, who are all out to manipulate support in their favour.

Lamenting the poor state of youth affairs in the state, Moghalu said he would tackle the burgeoning restiveness, idleness, insecurity, unemployment, criminality and anti social behaviors with jobs.

He listed technical education, sports, skills acquisition and agriculture as some of the areas he will put to good and proper use to stem idleness among the youth.

Without going deeper into his package for a new, greater and better Anambra state, Moghalu who has been described and rated as the most consistent and well-focussed political leader in the state appealed to APC delegates to give him their votes so as to ensure the party wins the main election coming on Nov 6,2021.

Also another key governorship aspirant on the platform of APC -Dr Chidozie Nwankwo has admitted that a new, better and greater Anambra state is very possible with the support of the party members and voters.

Dr Nwankwo who addressed a select group of All Progressives Congress (APC) top brass in Awka yesterday said, “…to you my dear party delegates, electorates and good people of Anambra State, I truly believe that everything we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose.

“There are no accidents; we’re all teachers. If we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks, and not wait for some miracle to come knocking at our doors we will definitely win this election with your support.

“Let’s work hard for what we want because it won’t come to us without effort. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to.

“If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

“With your prayers, support and encouragement, we will make a new, better and greater Anambra State that we will be proud of. It is very possible”. He therefore enjoined all to support his governorship project, for they will never regret it when he wins.

Three shallow graves discovered in Ebonyi by police

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Three shallow graves found in Ebonyi State by the Policemen.

The graves were discovered on Tuesday and It was unclear who were buried in the graves but police said they were armed robbers gunned down in a shootout with law enforcement officials and buried by fellow robbers.

There was a gun battle two weeks ago with some robbers at Onueke in Ezza South local government area of the state.

The hoodlums attempted to rob a bank but were unsuccessful, though they dispossessed some residents and site workers of their belongings.

They killed a policeman and shot the bank manager.

Police arrived and engaged them in a gun battle.

Police spokesperson Loveth Odah said three of the robbery suspects were killed in the shootout.

She said arms and ammunition were also recovered from them, adding that a few days after the incident, three shallow graves were discovered by the police in the area.

She said, “We have been arresting them and they have been having casualties. They have never come and gone unchallenged. They are no longer unknown gunmen; we have been seeing their faces.

“One was gunned down at Abaomege; two of the ones that went to Ohaukwu a few days ago to attack a patrol vehicle were gunned down.

“Three of the ones that attempted to rob a bank at Onueke, including a woman, were gunned down. Several rounds of ammunition were recovered from them and the Commissioner of Police earned IGP’s commendation as a result of that case.

“We actually bust their hideouts and recovered a lot of arms and ammunition and also discovered three shallow graves in which they buried their members.