Biafra: Northern Youths Dare El-Rufai, Insist Igbo People Must Leave

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A Coalition of Northern groups, tagged ‘Kaduna Declaration’, has dared Governor Nasir El-Rufai, as it insisted that the Nigerian Government should as a matter of urgency, initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbos go their way.

Biafra: Groups Order Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria Within 3 Months

The groups had on Tuesday came up with a position paper presented as the Kaduna Declaration, calling on the authorities and the international community to step in to formalize the actualization of the dream of a people who have said they are Biafrans not Nigerians.

Police Begins Manhunt For Groups That Threatened Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria

In a swift reply, El-Rufai ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to the statement, even as he assured residents in the state of “their freedom to reside where they choose”.

El-Rufai Orders ‘Immediate’ Arrest Of Groups That Want Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria

However, according to a joint press statement issued on Thursday through its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman and made available to newsmen in Kaduna, the coalition said:

“We are today compelled to make this further statement to clarify our stands after our meeting to review the fallout of the Tuesday’s declaration. Our groups have arrived that some elements have for reasons best known to them, mischievously distorted the intent of our original script by alluding such words as ‘violence, ‘ ‘threat, ‘ ‘war’ and ‘mass action’ to it.

“We find this mischievous because as cultured Thoroughbred Northerners, we have never anywhere and at anytime, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution.”

“We find this mischievous because as cultured Thoroughbred Northerners, we have never anywhere and at anytime, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution.

“In strict observance of that tradition, we never employed violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications.

“This informs why, a majority of discerning Nigerians, not necessarily northerners alone, understood and identified with our express call for the Biafrans to be allowed to actualize their long-held secessionist aspiration.

“We wholeheartedly endorse the moves made variously by our leaders to allay those fears and urge people to be peaceful and law-abiding while at the same time resolutely insisting on having the right thing done by allowing the Igbos to have and move to their dream country in accordance with the universal fundamental right to self-determination.

“We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.

“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognized international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualization of the Biafran nation out of the present federation.”

The groups noted that despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, “We make bold to say that the cheerful responses to our position which flowed through the internet and by way of personal telephone and conversations nationally and universally has resonated that peace-loving Nigerians who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbos are overwhelmingly desirous to put an end to it.

It continued: “As we acknowledge this outpouring of patriotic support across the nation, we implore people, particularly our cultured northerners to remain restraint in the face of any provocation from any quarter and to debate intelligently.

“We assure them that we shall be firm and resolute in honestly and painstakingly pursuing what we all know is a noble and just cause without hurting anyone.

“We have taken time to analyze the reactions that trailed our Declaration, and were nauseated by the comments of some disgruntled northern political power mongers.

“We are particularly disappointed by the treacherous positions assumed by Nasir Ahmed El-rufai and Kashim Shettima who in pursuit of their blind ambition for the vice presidency, chose to side with the secessionist Igbos against the interest of peace-loving Nigerians.

“El-rufai and Shettima are openly known to be waiting in the wings for Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari to die so they can further their plots to seek the presidency.

“It appears that characters like El-Rufai have no limit on how low they can fall in their inordinate desire to achieve their long held dream of power grab at the expense of the peace, well being and stability of our country.

“We would like to assure El-Rufai and his ilks that we shall continue to expose their recalcitrant treachery and opportunistic proclivities.

“We also assure them that the drive for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria in which the Igbos are not partners, will continue unabated.

“Similarly, we are irked by the hordes of lies and misleading innuendos issued by Kashim Shettima, ostensibly on behalf of 19 Northern governors in which he refered to us as faceless and violent.

“By our antecedents and track record, no politician or leader of honorable pedigree and impeccable character will associate us with such fabrications and this goes to prove that Shettima has disconnected from reality as he gets intoxicated by immoral wealth and property acquisition at the expense of people of the state suffering the devastation of Boko Haram.”

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Governor Ambode Pardons 18 Kirikiri Inmates Jailed ‘For More Than 30 Years’

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The Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy on Thursday handed an order to the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) for the immediate release of 18 inmates serving life sentences at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison.

The order was handed over to the Service through the State’s Controller of Prisons, Mr Olatunbosun Ladipo after Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode approved the order.

The 18 inmates, who included 15 male and 3 female serving life sentences for various offences, and having spent more than 30 years in incarceration, were recommended for immediate release by the Council on compassionate grounds.

It is understood that the inmates got their freedom having been found to have fulfilled the very stringent conditions for their release.

Chairman of the Council, Oyelowo Oyewo, while speaking at the small handing over ceremony held at the hall of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, lauded the benevolence of Ambode, in assenting to exercise the prerogative in favour of the recommended inmates.

Represented by Mrs Bolatunmi Animashaun, Oyewo urged the pardoned inmates to turn a new leaf when eventually they are reunited with their families into the larger society, adding that they must steer clear of every temptation that could make them a repeat offender and jeopardize the once in a lifetime opportunity.

Also speaking, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem encouraged other inmates still serving in the Prison to be of good behaviour and exhibit conducts that could qualify them to benefit from such order.

Kazeem, who was represented by Director of Legislative Drafting in the State’s Ministry of Justice, Mrs Yejide Kolawole advised the inmates to improve themselves, as the application of other inmates eligible for State pardon were still under consideration.

The pardoned inmates were very jubilant and thankful to the Governor for his benevolence in giving them the opportunity of a second chance at living a purposeful life.

They also pledged to be of good behaviour, and to be law abiding citizens as they return back to the larger society.

In his response, the State Controller of Prisons commended Governor Ambode for his efforts at ensuring the well-being of inmates in the State Prisons through the regular assistance.

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Between Biafra And Restructuring Nigeria

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Between Biafra And Restructuring Nigeria, By Kingsley Moghalu

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It is the temptation of war to punish, the task of policy to construct. Power may sit in judgment, but statesmen must look to the future. – Henry Kissinger, former United States Secretary of State

This article was written by Kingsley Moghalu. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Nation-building is hard, but it need not be as difficult as we make it in Nigeria. Nation-building is also intentional. It doesn’t happen by accident. The real test is in the leadership and the actions that create a real spirit of nationhood, and the willingness of every stakeholder to build a united, stable and cohesive nation. Fifty years after Biafra, we are confronted with the imperative of defining a future for Nigeria that escapes our country’s past.

The Federal Government of Nigeria and all our countrymen and women should take the increasingly potent agitations by various groups for the Igbos of the South-East zone to break away from Nigeria with the seriousness the matter deserves. The Nigerian state must engage the agitations and address, and redress, their root causes that lie in decades of self-evident marginalisation that the Igbo have experienced in post-civil war Nigeria. These hurt feelings and the suspicions they breed have not just hampered the progress of nation-building in Nigeria. They are creating the foundations of certain state failure if further mishandled, as the bonds that hold our country together in an imperfect union continue to fray.

Why is the rise of the neo-Biafra movement, comprising mainly men and women who were babies or even unborn during the civil war of 1967 to 1970 a fundamental strategic shift in the trajectory of our national history? Minds unfamiliar with the larger sweep of world history will scoff at the agitations and see the relative youth of the neo-Biafra campaigners as evidence of their naivete. This perspective misses some fine points. The first is that the historical evidence is that the geographical structures of boundaries of nations are not cast in stone. The socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a construct of the Cold War, broke up in the Balkan conflicts in the early and mid-1990s into separate and sovereign countries. As a United Nations official, I played a role in the political negotiations between the Serbs and the Croats and in nation-building efforts in Croatia in the mid-1990s. Czechoslavakia broke up and become two nations, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Closer home, a plebiscite administered in 1961 at the behest of the United Nations to determine the wishes of inhabitants of certain parts of Cameroon resulted in Northern Cameroon becoming a part of Northern Nigeria while Southern Cameroon joined the Republic of Cameroon.

Second, international law provides some legal basis for the concept of self-determination of peoples. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the agitations for Biafra were a fringe and marginal movement, and likely would have remained so, were it not for the enhanced perception in the South-East that it has been comprehensively and strategically marginalised more than ever before in the past two years. This shift in sentiment has important implications. For one, if a referendum were held in the region today on the subject of remaining or leaving the Nigerian federation, a majority will, in all likelihood, vote in favour of leaving Nigeria. The dramatic swing in pro-Biafra sentiment from marginal to mainstream in the region underscores the mismanagement of our nation-building challenge.

The more important implication from a longer-term perspective is that struggles for freedom from oppression or domination tend to have an inevitable historical logic that almost always ends in success. It does not matter how long it takes, nor is this historical truth affected by the reluctance of dominant and powerful groups to recognise it. The biblical Jews in slavery in Egypt for 430 years led to freedom by Moses and Joshua, the struggle for decolonisation by numerous African and other colonised nations, the ultimate end of Apartheid in South Africa, the end of slavery and the civil rights movement in the United States in the face of white racism and privilege that thought it would last forever, are just a few examples.

The Biafra campaigners believe that the long arc of history is on their side. Ridiculing them by references to their relative youth misses the point. Their resolve is steely and their fervour is driven precisely by their youth. The danger now, which must be prevented, is that some in these groups may be increasingly radicalised and tempted to take up arms against their fatherland. This would be an abject failure to learn the lessons of the original Biafra five decades ago. The groups have also become increasingly intolerant of alternative approaches which argue that the Nigeria project is not necessarily beyond redemption, and can be remedied by a negotiated outcome that redresses and rebalances our failing federation by ensuring equity for all its citizens. Moreover, the use of vitriolic and dehumanising language in argumentation, whether for or against a new Biafra, is wrong and counterproductive.

Which brings us to the question: Where do we go from here? For reasons that include the resurgence of agitation for Biafra but go well beyond it (because the interests of other groups in Nigeria also matter to the extent those interests are legitimate ones) there really is no alternative to the constitutional restructuring of the Nigerian federation. Specific to the Biafra question, however, it is the only alternative outcome with any chance of addressing, slowing or reversing the momentum of the campaign for Biafra 2.0.

Several rational arguments make a strong case for taking the bull by the horns and re-engineering Nigeria. All Nigerians should reflect and act on these arguments in our collective self-interest. Our country is not working. Many groups, not just the Igbo of the South-East, feel marginalised or have felt marginalised at different stages of our national history. We can’t achieve greatness as a country without national unity, stability and cohesion. Many nations have achieved nationhood and prosperity in diversity, which is the default composition of most nations on earth. Only a few nations, like Japan and Korea, are truly homogenous.

All that is required is that we bury the winner-takes-all mentality driven by ethnic and religious irredentism and design a structure that works for us all. This is doable with real leadership, political will and commitment. Restructuring, if well done, will have a proactive effect of stabilising Nigeria so we can get on with real development. That’s a far better scenario than the episodic, reactive fire-brigade responses to the Yoruba after the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by M.K.O. Abiola was cancelled, the Niger Delta militancy over crude oil “resource control”, the Boko Haram rebellion, and today’s neo-Biafra uprising. In other words, 57 years after independence, we remain stuck at the level of fundamentals. We can’t take off unless we sort them out.

To work well, a restructuring exercise must make informed choices. We must choose between maintaining a unitary state (which is Nigeria today despite officially being a federation) in which the central government is very powerful, with devolution of powers as is increasingly the case in the UK, a true federation in which regions could be the federating units and the central government and the federating units are roughly equal in status as in the United States, Canada, Germany, India, Australia and Brazil, or a confederation in which the federating units are superior to the central government, with Switzerland as a prime example.

The best arrangement for Nigeria is neither the “unitary federalism” the military leaders imposed on us, nor a confederation, but a real federation with a finely calibrated balance of powers and responsibilities between the central and federating units. In this scenario, the federating units can look after themselves more effectively without the “feeding bottle” of the central government. The centre becomes less powerful, but not weak, because it will retain core sovereign responsibilities such as the armed forces and security services, citizenship and immigration, foreign affairs, and the central bank. The federating units in Nigeria should be the six geopolitical zones and not the present structure of states.

Restructuring is also essential because it will help our democracy achieve better governance. The periodic rituals of elections have not necessarily improved governance. There are two ways this will happen. One, restructuring will bring greater accountability and transparency to governance because power and responsibility will devolve closer to the people. This will help evolve a better culture and quality of leadership, and will also foster competitive development between the regions. Nigeria today is far more integrated than it was in the 1960s, and the six zones structure will prevent the extreme ethnic chauvinism that afflicted the First Republic. Restructuring ought as well to accomplish a reduction in the costs of governance at both the center and the regions.

Restructuring also is the best path to economic transformation. A six-zone federal structure will offer economies of scale in terms of the ability of a regional government to mobilise adequate tax revenues and utilise these resources for development. It will do the same in the areas of manufacturing, as well as intra-regional, inter-regional and international trade. A restructuring based on the current 36-state structure will not work. That most states in Nigeria today are fiscally unviable has been demonstrated beyond any doubt. Paying salaries to state civil servants as and when due, or in arrears, has become a governance “achievement” in our country! With the reign of crude oil regressing into historical memory, the future is bleak and unsustainable, under our current fiscal structure, without a fat federal government oil purse to be distributed to dependent states.

I believe that restructuring is necessary and inevitable. Some stakeholders may dismiss the prospect because of a fear of the loss of perceived political advantage. But no one has anything to fear in an intelligently restructured Nigeria. There can no peace without justice. The question is not whether Nigeria will be redesigned but when, and who will lead the process of achieving that outcome in which every Nigerian, regardless of tribe, tongue and creed, could be a winner.

www.kingsleycmoghalu.com or kingsleymoghalu@hotmail.com

This article was written by Kingsley Moghalu. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Osinbajo Visits Maiduguri Hours After Boko Haram Attacks That Killed 18, Injured 24

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday visited Maiduguri, Borno state, to launch the special intervention relief plan for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Osinbajo arrived the Borno state capital hours after Boko Haram members attacked some towns in Maiduguri, burning houses and killing residents.

Thousands Of Residents Flee As Troops Repel Boko Haram Attempted Siege On Maiduguri

The acting president, who is in the state to commence the distribution of 30,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains for the IDPs in the North-east, landed at the Maiduguri International Airport in a presidential jet at about 12:30pm.

Upon arrival, Osinbajo also visited the palace of the Shehu of Borno where he said that it matter to President Muhammadu Buhari that IDPs are fed.

Under the special intervention relief plan, bags of grains will be distributed to IDPs quarterly.

The State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who welcomed the Acting President, said he was surprised that the visit took place despite the attacks by Boko Haram on Wednesday.

It is understood that security was beefed up across the town, with heavily armed personnel from the army, navy, airforce, police, DSS, immigration and other para-military agencies deployed in major roads and streets.

It would be recalled on Wednesday evening, security agents engaged the insurgents in a gun battle that lasted hours.

Although residents were assured of safety, many of them fled their homes.

Earlier today, it was gathered that 18 persons, including three suicide bombers, were killed, while 24 others were injured on Wednesday night in multiple suicide attacks in some parts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The Commissioner of Police, Borno State Command, Mr. Damian Chukwu, who made this known at a press briefing today, added that the attacks were carried out by three female suicide bombers.

He said: “There were multiple suicide bomb attacks by suspected Boko Haram terrorists as three female suicide bombers detonated IEDs strapped on their bodies. The first explosion occurred at about 1835hrs in a mosque at Goni Kachallari village, Jere Local Government Area, in the outskirts of Maiduguri. The bomber blew herself up when Muslim faithful were coming out from the mosque. The bomber and six others died, while 18 others are wounded.”

According to him, the second incident happened at about 9:20pm when another female bomber stormed the premises of Chad Basic Development Authority, Maiduguri and detonated the IED on her body, resulting in the death of the bomber and three others.

“The third bomber blew herself up across the road outside the Chad Basic Development Authority, killing herself and one other. Police Explosive Ordinance Device teams were promptly dispatched to the scenes to sanitise and render the area safe,” he added.

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Benzema Insists Ronaldo Is Not Selfish

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Karim Benzema insists Cristiano Ronaldo is not selfish as people think and can turn provider, whenever needed.

Ronaldo scored 42 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid, to help win the La Liga, UCL, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

And despite Messi getting 19 assists, seven more than the formidable Portuguese forward, Benzema insists he passes when needed.

“I have no words. When I hear his name, I just have a gesture of admiration,” he said of Ronaldo, as quoted by AS.

“He’s an extraordinary person. We understand each other well on the pitch. He wants to have the ball but it’s very difficult to get it when he runs with it.

“He’s not selfish on the pitch but if he has the ball he always wants to go for goal. And suddenly, he’ll set me up to score.”

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Shakespeare Appointed As Leicester City’s Permanent Manager

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Craig Shakespeare has been appointed as Leicester City’s permanent manager, after signing a three-year deal.

Shakespeare replaced the sacked Italian, Claudio Ranieri as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Leicester won eight out of 16 games managed by the 53-year-old, with Leicester narrowly crashing out 2-1 in the quarter finals of the UCL.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue along this new path in my career and to continue to work with a club and a group of staff I’ve grown extremely close to,” said Shakespeare.

“I’m grateful to the owners and the board of directors for their continued faith and support.

“Our preparations for pre-season and the new Premier League campaign have been ongoing for some time, but we can now move on with certainty and ensure we are well equipped to compete at the levels now expected of a club like Leicester City.”

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BREAKING: Senate Steps Down Bill Proposing N5 Levy For Petrol | Passes Bill To Protect Whistle-Blowers

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The Senate on Thursday stepped down consideration of the report on the National Roads Fund Establishment Bill, seeking the Committee on Works to make “further consultations” on it.

The panel had specifically recommended multiple taxes, including a N5 levy on every litre of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and Automobile General Oil (diesel) imported or refined in the country.

Road Users To Pay Multiple Taxes As New Bill Awaits Senate’s Ratification

The recommendation, particularly the N5 levy on petroleum products, which generated outcry among Nigerians, was suspended, after several lawmakers, who spoke on it, expressed their reservations.

It was agreed that the panel should review the report.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed a bill to protect whistleblowers and witnesses directly involved in the prosecution of certain criminal cases.

The bill, titled Witness Protection Programme (Establishment etc), SB 157, was passed today following a report submitted by the committee on human rights, legal matters and judiciary chaired by David Umaru (APC-Niger).

It was sponsored by Isiaka Adeleke, the Osun West APC Senator who died in April.

In his remark after the bill was passed, the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, thanked his colleagues for the bill, which he said, was in honour of the deceased Adeleke.

The bill must now be passed by the House of Representatives and then signed by the president before it can be into the Nigerian law.

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Senate Moves To Stop Extra-Budgetary Spending At CBN As Bill Passes 2nd Reading

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The Senate on Wednesday approved a legislation aimed at halting what it called extra budgetary expenditure at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) – in a move that will check alleged financial recklessness on the part of the apex bank.

This is sequel to the adoption of a bill titled: “A bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 to ensure transparency and accountability in the operation of the bank and subject intervention advances to the approval of National Assembly.”

While passing the bill for second reading, the Senate accused the apex bank of acting in contravention of the provision of the Constitution and the Fiscal Responsibility Act through what it described as extra-budgetary intervention to selected bodies, institutions and agencies under the guise of intervention funds.

Leading a debate on the motion, the sponsor, Senator Rose Oko, lamented that there is no mechanism in place to monitor and track the CBN intervention funds, adding that this has made it difficult for the lawmakers to properly oversight the agency.

Senator Oko further called out various intervention funds, which the CBN‎ had carried out without the National Assembly’s approval.

“The total capital budget for 2016 was N1.8 trillion. If N1.2 trillion was indeed disbursed or intended ‎as intervention fund, then an amount almost size the capital budget was disbursed without appropriation and tracking to know effectiveness of the intervention in the economy,’’ she said.

The senator also said there was need to bring the CBN Act 2007 in line with provisions of Nigerian constitution by subjecting it to National Assembly scrutiny and approval.

According to her, some of the various intervention funds given out by CBN  without National Assembly approval in recent times are the N620 billion bailout for five banks, including  Afribank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria, Oceanic Bank and Finbank plc.

She said the intervention funds were also extended as donations to tertiary institutions running into several billions of naira, the N300 billion bailout to states, drawn from $2.1 billion NLNG’s taxes and dividends to pay salaries.

Virtually all the senators who contributed to the debate on the bill supported its motive, upon which the Senate passed it for second reading.

The upper chamber then mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out more legislative work on it within the next six weeks.

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Police Begins Manhunt For Groups That Threatened Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria

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Following a directive by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, the police in the State said a manhunt has been launched for the signatories to the statement.

The manhunt, according to the police, is backed by the order given by the Kaduna State government to have them arrested.

Speaking on the directive, the Force Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Moshood Jimoh stated that every Nigerian has a right to live anywhere in the country as enshrined in the constitution.

He said: “Kaduna state government has reacted promptly to the issue.  We are also using this opportunity to warn anybody that wants to foment trouble to beware because we will deal decisively with such group or persons.”

Biafra: Groups Order Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria Within 3 Months

A coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, had on Tuesday, gave all Igbos residing in the 19 states of the North a three-month ultimatum to quit or be forced out after the expiration of the October 1, 2017, deadline.

It also directed all Northerners in the South-East to get prepared to come back home.

Meanwhile, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, in a statement, expressed regret over the outburst of the Arewa youths.

The statement signed by Chukwudi Ibegbu, national deputy publicity secretary said, “this invidious act has no doubt sent shock wave over the country.

Also lending voice on the matter, the President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, urged Ndigbo all over the North to remain calm but vigilant.”

Ohanaeze expressed hope that Nigerian security agencies will do the needful by protecting the lives and properties of all Nigerians in general and Ndigbo in particular in the North in view of the threats.

Nwodo said he would not react to the statement made by the Northern youths until the northern elders speak on the matter.

“I will not react to a statement made by the Northern youth. I will not. If their fathers speak, then I will summon my executive and we deliberate on it. Thereafter, I will speak. It is our hope that the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders Forum will also rise to the challenges of the moment,” he said.

READ MORE HERE: El-Rufai Orders ‘Immediate’ Arrest Of Groups That Want Igbo People Out Of Northern Nigeria

 

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Nigeria Loses N7.5 Trillion Annually To Poor Electricity Supply

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A report has emerged that Nigeria is losing $25 billion – N7.5 trillion at the current exchange rate of N305 per dollar – yearly due to irregular electricity supply.

This information is based on a document obtained from the Federal Government by Nigerian Guardian through its Power Sector Recovery Programme.

Nigeria’s Total Debt Stands At N19.1 Trillion

It is understood that aside this, accumulated power sector cash deficits from January 2015 to December 2016 amounted to N931billion ($2.9 billion).

This is the total amount underpaid by all the distribution companies (Discos) to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) for invoices submitted to each Disco for electricity delivered to their distribution networks – including losses incurred by the companies due to lack of a cost-reflective end user tariff.

Power sector operators believe that the revenue shortfall will adversely impact the ability of the Discos to make capital investments in metering, network expansion, equipment rehabilitation and replacement that are critical to service delivery.

Nigeria’s economy has been bedeviled by irregular electricity supply due to gas constraint – a challenge that has remained a biggest threat to the economy of Africa’s most populous nation.

For example, on June 2, 2017, average power sent out decreased to 3809Wh/hour, due to gas supply challenges, which constrained about 1718 megawatts of electricity.

A statistics released at the weekend by the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) showed that the reported line constraint was 147.5MW, while constraints resulting from high frequency were 800MW.

It further said that the power sector lost an estimated N1.279 billion on June 2, 2017 alone due to different constraints.

The total gas supply indebtedness of power plants from January 2015 to December 2016 is N155 billion ($500 million). Supply has been erratic and low, resulting in 1,400MW of constrained generation.

The vandalism of oil and gas delivery infrastructure has also shut down gas production, resulting in another 2,900MW of constrained generation.

Read more here..

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Thousands Of Residents Flee As Troops Repel Boko Haram Attempted Siege On Maiduguri

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Militants of notorious Islamic group Boko Haram on Wednesday engaged troops of the Nigerian Army in a gun duel, after attempting to capture Jiddari Polo community in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

However, the troops scored a major battle victory as it successfully repelled the attempted siege in a battle that lasted for about two hours – between 5 and 7 pm.

This led to apprehension as some residents on the outskirts were cut off from other parts of the town.

Thousands of civilians fled the fighting, according to some other witnesses.

Some other residents of the area who had planned to flee their homes were reassured with rapid response of Nigerian troops.

Speaking on the elimination of armed terrorists, the Army Spokesperson, Brigadier Sani Kukasheka Usman said: “there was an attempt by a few suspected Boko Haram to attack Jiddari Polo and all have been neutralized. Situation cool and calm.”

“The situation in Maiduguri is under control. The public is requested not to panic but to stay calm.

“The press is pleased requested to disseminate this information to the public.”

On Thursday morning, it is understood that there was heavy security presence around the area as the Nigerian Army attempts to calm the situation.

Fighter jets roared overhead as soldiers and police sped toward the scene. Three children were hit by bullets, one witness said.

Many residents of the town were made to stay indoors as bullets flew on the streets of Jiddari Polo, an area at the outskirts of the troubled town, the birthplace of Boko Haram.

Wednesday attack is the first in recent time that Maiduguri would be coming under siege of the Boko Haram terrorists though there have been incidence of suicide attacks in the last couple of months.

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Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Bans ‘Unapproved’ Government Agencies From Operating At Seaports

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has banned all unapproved government agencies from operating at the seaports.

The order was issued by the NPA’s Managing Director (MD), Hadiza Bala Usman, who said it was in line with the executive order by the Federal Government.

The MD further stated that only seven agencies have been endorsed even as she urged the unapproved ones to leave the ports.

Usman listed the approved agencies to include the NPA, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Ports Health.

“Other agencies that are not on the list cannot operate inside the port, but could base their operations outside and interact with the approved agencies.

“These agencies are aware that they had always been operating at the ports outside the necessary approvals,” she said.

According to the NPA boss, over 14 government agencies had before now, operated inside the ports causing a clash of interest. This had resulted in touting, bribery and corruption.

Usman explained that the NPA already has its portal and is working to establish a “ports community system” through which the stakeholders and agencies would interact. He said the system would be ready in the next one month.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, the Controller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Ahmeed Ali, said the order would bring changes in the port processes and enhance the ease of doing business.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo had issued the executive order on May 18, 2017.

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The Ask Series: BOI Need to Support the Fashion Industry – Uche Nnaji

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The weekly conversational series ‘The Ask Series’ had fashion entrepreneur and founder of African’s premium fashion and lifestyle brand OUCH Uche Nnaji as its guest. This edition which was tagged the fashion business edition was moderated by Omena Daniels and had several fashion start-up owners and fashion value chain players in attendance. It was an interesting melting point of conversation and networking for all.

While answering questions from participants at this edition of The Ask Series, Uche Nnaji touched on various areas in the fashion business in Nigeria including design, sourcing, production and pricing. Speaking at this edition he said, “fashion entrepreneurs must not be involved only in the glitz and glamour of the industry, they must begin to put in quality work to help build a sustainable fashion brand.”

This edition which is its 4th in the series hosted at The Waterside Ikoyi also had Uche Nnaji speak passionately about how the government through organisations like Bank Of Industry needs to genuinely support the industry which is capable of growing the national GDP and also create jobs.

The series continues next week Wednesday with TV girl Lamide Akintobi as the guest.

 

 

 

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INEC Registers APDA, Four Other New Political Parties

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INEC Registers APDA, Four Other New Political Parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday registered five new political parties.

It is understood that the five new political parties were part of the 95 associations that applied to the Commission for registration as political parties.

The new parties are Young Progressive Party (YPP), Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGP), All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).

APDA is the new party floated by former AIT chairman, Raymond Dokpesi and former Chairman of Labor party, Dan Anyanwu two days ago.

This disclosure was made by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “applications of five of the associations which have fulfilled the constitutional requirements for registration.”

In the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries, Soyebi said that the Commission received and considered submissions from the 36 states and the FCT, as well as reports from some accredited observers of the CVR exercise.

The national commissioners added that as At Friday, June 2, 2017, a total of 760,989 persons had been registered across the country, making up 59.5 percent males and 40.5 percent females.

Also, 31,808 persons had collected their PVCs while 34,560 others applied for transfer of Polling Units.

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