Jandor’s campaign: PDP, APC trade blames over Surulere attacks

Jandor’s campaign: PDP, APC trade blames over Surulere attacks

 

APC and PDP clash in Lagos

APC and PDP clash in Lagos

The PDP and APC in Lagos State have disagreed over the alleged attacks on the campaign train of the PDP Governorship Candidate, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran (Jandor), in the Surulere Local Government Area of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adediran’s campaign train had been reportedly attacked by political thugs in Badagry, Ikorodu, Agege, Kosofe and Surulere, leaving some of his followers wounded and vehicles smashed.

It was also reported that the attack on Friday in Surulere was the third attack in succession where suspected hoodlums were said to have fired guns and destroyed some of the campaign vehicles in Adediran’s convoy.

Subsequently, the Lagos State PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Hakeem Amode, in statement on Saturday, described the Surulere attack on Adediran’s team as “repugnant to the deepening of democracy in Lagos“.

Amode, who is also the Chairman, Media, and Publicity, JandorFunke 2023 Governorship Campaign, said that the attacks were “clear evidence of APC high-handedness and imperialism rule”.

According to him, the alleged APC sponsored thugs in Surulere LGA unleashed violence on persons and groups of people in the area ahead of the scheduled visitation of the PDP gubernatorial candidate to the ward on Thursday and Friday.

He explained that the visit was in continuation of Adediran’s tour of the 245 wards in the state.

Amode said: “The hoodlums went to the Baale of Ojuoluwa in Empire area of the LGA to threaten him not to receive the entourage who was billed to pay him a courtesy visit.

“The gates leading to the entire Empire area was locked and vehicular movement around the area disrupted.

“In the same vein, the canopy and chairs arranged at Iponri Housing Estate was violently destroyed by APC killer-thugs who were armed with dangerous weapons, including guns, and many of our members who were making the arrangements were wounded in the ensuing fracas.

“The same set of the APC-sponsored thugs mobilised themselves to Soloki Street, Aguda ,where Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran went to observe Jumat prayers, welding dangerous weapons, destroying vehicles in the entourage and violently smashing one of the campaign vehicles.

“They also vandalised the campaign vehicles of our House of Representatives Candidates, Hon. Soyinka, who is a sitting member of the House of Representatives.

The PDP spokesman added that the political thugs also went ahead to vandalise the PDP Secretariat at No. 2 Shittu Street, Aguda, during which several members of our party sustained various degrees of injury.

He said that a similar incident also occurred on Teniola Street where members of the community, who were waiting to receive the entourage of Adediran’s entourage, were dispersed and many also wounded during the attack.

“We are once again using this opportunity to appeal to the President and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammad Buhari, to use his good offices to stem the undemocratic practice of APC in Lagos State, against opposition parties.

“This is to ensure that the desire of the president to leave a legacy of credible elections is not truncated on the altar of selfishness and entitlement by the ruling party in the state.

“We are also using this opportunity to call on the Inspector General of Police to rise to the occasion and provide adequate security for all and sundry to enable them to exercise their franchise in the coming elections,” he said.

Amode also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure no intimidation and harassment undermined its efforts towards organising credible elections, especially in Lagos State.

He appealed to all members of party to remain resolute and focused, saying the PDP leadership and candidates would not be cowed by thugs.

“We urge every loyal member to see the violence display as a show of a bad loser party who has nothing to offer the people of the state and would do anything to continue squandering our commonwealth in the state.

“We urge the ruling party to focus on writing their handle-over notes because their time is up in governing the state.

“Our party PDP and the people of the state will no longer tolerate their misrule beyond 2023,” Amode said.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, Mr Seye Oladejo, the Lagos APC Publicity Secretary, said in a statement that Adediran rather unleashed terror on innocent residents and three people reportedly killed in the course of his campaign in Surulere.

“The incident left in its wake several injured victims and three people reportedly died.

“We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.

“In broad daylight, Jandor’s thugs fired guns at their hapless victims who ran for dear lives,” he said.

According to Oladejo, Lagos cherishes its enviable status as the safest state in the country, a result of long running and painstaking investment in security.

He said that APC viewed the attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of would-be voters as we count down to the elections.

He added: “It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.

“The PDP and its candidate have been busy in the past few days, have been crying in the media that their posters were being torn. Unknown to the public, he (Adediran) perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.

“While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood of potential voters,“ he said.

The APC spokesman called on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident, bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state in order to forestall a re-occurrence.

He urged residents to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remained irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and property of all and sundry.

Fuel scarcity worsens, bites harder in FCT

Fuel scarcity worsens, bites harder in FCT

Fuel queue depicting scarcity

Fuel queue depicting scarcity

Residents and motorists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environ have continued to lament the hardship being experienced as scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as petrol worsened.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the filling stations on Friday reports that long queues of vehicles were seen at all the stations that have the petroleum product.

Those that have the product were dispensing at N195 per litre while the NNPC Limited Retail stations were dispensing N194 per litre.

A good number of the filling stations were seen without having the product.

In the City centre, NNPC Limited Mega station by Church Gate and NNPC Limited retail station at Zone 1, Wuse were seen with long queues of vehicles.

Conoil and TotalEnergies filling stations, opposite NNPC Limited Towers also had long queues of vehicles.

The situation is also the worse along Nyanya-Keffi high way, as many filling stations did not have petroleum product,
while along Lugbe, Airport road, queues were seen at Danmana, NIPCO, Shafa and AA Rano filling stations.

Many motorist expressed dissatisfaction over the non availability of the product, adding that the situation was frustrating and demoralising as they normally stay over the next day to get fuel.

“I usually queue till 12 midnight and the next day to get fuel. If not, my taxi business will suffer a loss,” Mr Ismaila Jimoh said.

My Sadiq Yakubu said though he was on Coupon Queue, to be charged through his credit card but it had not been easy, calling on the Federal Government to hasten up with laudable decision to resolve it.

Mr Peter Okpe, Manager, TotalEnergies station who appealed to the government to find lasting solution to the crisis said though it always served motorists for 24 hours but its queues had become too long because enough product was not in circulation.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management to find lasting solution to disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products.

Other terms of reference of the committee are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

Oba Abdulraheem: New colossus bestriding Kwara governorship race

Oba Abdulraheem: New colossus bestriding Kwara governorship race

Prof. Abdulraheem, Kwara NNPP governorship candidate

His foray into Kwara politics is not fortuitous; the foundation seems to have been laid as an administrator and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ilorin, which till now has one of the highest, if not the highest, rate of subscription by Nigerian students and applicants through the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

 

Emeritus Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, also the holder of the chieftaincy title, Talba of Ilorin, has brought excitement and vibrancy to the Kwara State governorship race since Tuesday, June 28, 2022, when he became the governorship candidate on the platform of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

 

Oba is seen as a very formidable candidate whose entry is putting candidates of other political parties on their toes, thus waking them from their deep sleep due to his superior yet intimidating credentials and strategic leadership prowess.

 

He is popularly referred to in the state as Ọ̀rẹ́ Mẹ̀kúnù or Abokin Talakawa (A friend of the poor masses) due to his close affinity to the people at the grassroots level.

 

The NNPP governorship candidate was also a former Sole Administrator of the Kwara State College of Education Oro, Chairman of Governing Council of the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin and the third Executive Chairman of the Federal Character Commission.

 

He was also the Chairman Governing Council, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

 

Oba was the Initiator and Coordinator of the Ilorin Aviation College Committee, Chairman Political Transition Committee 2003, Chairman Implementation Committee, Muhammad Kamaldeen University, Ilorin and Member, JAMB Governing Board.

 

These experiences mostly in the public service are evidence that Oba is a versatile manager of human and capital resources.

 

As a chieftaincy title holder, the Talba is also a grassroot leader who is always at home with

rural dwellers and the youth population in Kwara State.

 

His campaign train has been moving steadily from one part of the state to another, communicating the credentials, capabilities and inspiring vision of the illustrious son of the soil to the people that matter most, Nigerians at the grassroots level.

 

Undoubtedly, Oba has garnered a lot of experience in service to humanity, an attribute a Governor of any Nigerian state should possess.

 

The Kwara NNPP governorship candidate has been visiting traditional rulers and their subjects at the grassroots level to carry them along and appeal for their support.

 

Among the rulers so far visited include the Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and the Oloffa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi.

 

Others are, Olukotun of Ikotun, Oba AbdulRasaq Abioye, Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba AbdulRasaq Afolabi, Onira of Ira, Oba Abdulwahab Oyetoro, Elerin of Erin Ile, Oba Abdulganiyu Ajibola and Olota of Ilota, Alhaji Mohammed Olarewaju.

 

Owa Lobo of Obbo-Ile, Oba Adebayo Rufus Olusegun and Olosi of Osi, Oba Salihu Abdulkareem Adasofegbe, also hosted the NNPP governorship candidate in their palaces.

 

Other traditional rulers he visited included, Alofa of Ilofa, Oba Samuel Dada. Olusin of Isanlu Isin, Oba Solomon Oloyede, Emir of Ilesha Baruba, Prof. Halidu Abubakar and Olola of Olla, Prof. Billy Olajide.

 

His love for the people at the grassroots must have informed his flagging off his gubernatorial campaign at Okuta in Baruten Local government area, very far from Ilorin, the state capital.

 

As expected, he paid a courtesy call on the traditional ruler, the Emir of Okuta, Alhaji Idris Abubakar.

 

At the Emir’s palace, Oba reiterated that one of the first things he will do in office is to re-establish local government authority by conducting the local government election immediately, not later than six months after the general elections.

 

The governorship candidate also promised to provide functional and quality education and invest in agriculture if elected as the governor.

 

“There is no doubt that Kwara State is in dire need of a change of effective leadership and good governance; my experience in the public service will bring about the needed transformation,” he said.

 

Oba alleged that the present APC-led administration in the state has performed below the people’s expectations, and he expressed the urgent need to replace it with an NNPP government.

 

He asserted that an NNPP government would bring the desired change to the people of Kwara, who are still yearning for fresh air regarding socio-economic development, especially at the grassroots level.

 

In his response, the Emir lauded the NNPP for flagging off its campaign in his local government area.

 

He wished the gubernatorial candidate and his team well at the elections.

 

Talking of qualities of a good leader, the NNPP governorship candidate says such a person must separate falsehood from the truth while following the latter.

 

Oba added that a good leader must always have his ears to the ground to gauge the pulse of the people he governs so that his programmes and policies will always include their inputs.

 

When asked about his chance of success in his quest to become the next governor of Kwara despite the strong presence of PDP and the ruling APC candidates, the NNPP candidate expressed maximum optimism about winning the election.

 

Oba also disagreed with the misconception that the NNPP is a new party that may not go far in the country’s political terrain.

 

“NNPP is not as new as you may want to think. It’s been registered almost the same time as PDP was registered.

 

“Throughout the years, it’s been contesting elections through various candidates all over Nigeria. In some states, they won; in some, they lost.

 

“Most importantly, it’s been contesting elections in Nigeria. In Kwara, NNPP may be coming to the scene late, but it doesn’t diminish its potential as a party that will win the governorship in 2023,” he said.

 

According to Oba, the character and social standing of those contesting elections are factors that matter, not the time a party is formed.

 

“They, the credible candidates, are the ones to bring recognition to the party as desired,” he said.

 

While speaking at a debate for governorship candidates in Kwara recently, Oba promised to make the education of Kwara people his priority.

 

Coming from a background of solid educational achievements, this should not be a surprise to any keen observer.

 

Oba, who completed his doctorate studies at the University of Kent, UK, has been a teacher and lecturer with many years of experience.

 

As an accomplished scholar and administrator, he has enjoyed a glorious career in the teaching profession, from the elementary classroom teacher to the professorial chair at the university.

 

He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees of Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Sheffield, respectively.

 

“An uneducated population is a doomed population. So the first people I am going to partner with are the teachers,” he told the audience at the debate organised by the Kwara State council of Nigeria Labour Congress.

 

“I will leverage technology as I did at the University of Ilorin to make Kwara State the knowledge hub for the world and, in the process, provide employment for the teeming youths,” Oba said.

 

The NNPP governorship candidate also assured the organised labour unions that he would work with them with honesty and sincerity.

 

At a town hall meeting with the people of Oyun local government, in Erin Ile, the Talba promised to bring the government down to the grassroots through local government autonomy.

 

He also urged youths in the area to participate fully in politics, leveraging their energy, passion and technology competence to achieve inclusive, sustainable development through the ballot box.

 

Oba was given a warm reception at the palace of Elerin of Erin Ile by the chiefs though the traditional ruler himself was not around.

 

The chiefs prayed for Talba’s victory while giving testimonies of his achievements in their community, Kwara State and Nigeria at large.

 

On his campaign visit to Offa, another prominent town, the emeritus professor assured the people of Offa Local Government of his support if voted as the next Kwara Governor.

 

He said that based on his consultation with different groups in the community, if elected, his administration would address many of the challenges facing the ancient town.

 

The former Vice Chancellor urged his supporters to get their permanent voters’ cards while thanking them for the show of love accorded him.

 

The State Chairman of NNPP, AbdulRasaq Abdulsalam, described Prof. Oba as an honest man who would deliver on all his promises.

 

Oba did not just believe in hard work; he is a prayer warrior and religious person who believes in the power of Almighty God.

 

Towards this end, he led NNPP candidates in Kwara in December 2022 in a prayer session with notable Islamic clerics praying for the candidate’s success in the 2023 general elections.

 

They also prayed for the success of the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Musa Kwankwaso.

 

Oba expressed confidence in the party’s victory in the elections, saying the party is ready to take over power in Kwara and Nigeria in general.

 

“Insha Allah, we are doing everything possible to achieve success. This is because we have confidence in Allah, and when you have confidence in Allah, you will achieve success,” he said.

 

While assessing the level of preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the elections, the NNPP governorship candidate hailed the commission for “their impartiality” and the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) in the electoral process.

 

Oba however, condemned the relentless attacks on INEC facilities across the country.

 

Speaking on vote buying, he urged Nigerian electorates to resist the vice, saying that it must be stopped as it was not giving credibility and authenticity to the country’s elections.

 

“Vote buying is another disease we must cure,” the governorship candidate emphasised.

 

Keen observers of the Kwara political landscape are unanimous that with the emergence of Oba in the race for Government House, a new sheriff is indeed in town to take over affairs in the “State of Harmony”.

 

With his campaign slogan of “Ìrọ̀rùn dé” (Comfort is here), Oba is seen by many as the genuine bringer of the social, economic and political reliefs the people of Kwara have long been yearning for.

Biu calls for barricades on Ojuelegba bridge

Biu calls for barricades on Ojuelegba Bridges

Fallen container that claimed nine lives on Sunday at Ojuelegba. Lagos

 

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Dauda Biu, has expressed concern over recurring container crashes on Ojuelegba bridge in Lagos.

Consequently, he called for barricades to stop articulated vehicles from using the bridge.

Biu said this in a statement issued by the Federal Road Safety Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, on Sunday in Abuja.

He was reacting to the fatal crashes that occurred at Ojuelegba Bridge in Lagos in which nine people died and another that claimed 11 lives at Soka bridge on Lagos-Benin Highway.

He said that the construction of the barricades would provide permanent solution to the recurring crashes.

Biu also called for the expansion of connecting roads under the Ojuelegba bridge to accommodate articulated vehicles.

He revealed that FRSC rescue teams in collaboration with other emergency agencies had cleared obstructions from the two crash scenes for ease of movement.

Biu added that the driver of the truck that caused the Ojuelegba accident was arrested and handed over to the police, while efforts were on to arrest the driver that caused the Soka bridge crash.

The corps marshal reiterated the need for enforcement of laws that would bring justice to victims of traffic crashes.

“Efforts should be made to activate them so that justice will be served accordingly to both the drivers and the victims,” he added.

The corps marshal cautioned commuters against route violation and driving against prescribed legal speed limits.

He urged the public to call the FRSC toll free line 122 and National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM to report any traffic emergency.

SFH retreat will rewrite constructs of Africa health system

SFH retreat will rewrite constructs of Africa health system

 

 

The Society for Family Health (SFH) , an NGO, says its international retreat on Monday will among other issues rewrite the constructs of the Africa health system.

This is with a clear focus on stronger partnership, forward thinking science and an untiring commitment to transforming health outcomes for all.

The Managing Director of SFH, Dr Omokhudu Idogho,  the retreat marks the end of the operation of the SFH strategic plan, Facilitating People-Centred Healthcare (FPCH)

“The retreat marks the end of the operation of the SFH strategic plan, Facilitating People-Centred Healthcare (FPCH), and heralds the development of a new strategy for the next generation.

“This will be the basis of the operations of the organisation.

“This next strategy calls us to leverage our 40 years of experience to rewrite the constructs of the Africa health system.

“This is with a clear focus on stronger partnership, forward thinking science and an untiring commitment to transform health outcomes for all,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat is scheduled to start on Monday, Jan. 30.

It is to map out work strategy and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Society for Family Health (SFH).

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib; Lagos and Ekiti states Health Commissioners, Prof. Akin Abayomi and Dr Oyebanji Filani, and other eminent technocrats and government officials will be in attendance.

“The retreat, which is to be held in the Lagos  is also a precursor event to the year-long 40th anniversary celebration of SFH.

“During which the organisation will take stock of its achievements in the last 40 years and look to a future of more successes in the healthcare space.

“This anniversary is a unique opportunity to tell our stories and to celebrate the people we serve – our donors, and our governments.

“This retreat, therefore, is an opportunity for us to pause, reflect, unlearn, learn and re-ignite our collective purpose to finish the job we have started, working with our partners,’’ said Prof Ekanem Ikpi Braide, President of the Board of SFH.

SFH prides itself for contributing substantially to Nigeria’s health sector achievements in the last 40 years.

This is including the reduction of maternal mortality from 1,000 per 100,000 live births in 1985 to 512/100,000 live births in 2021, and infant mortality rate coming down from 132 per 1,000 in 1985, to 54 per 1,000 live births in 2022.

It has also been a leader in family planning, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, nutrition, hypertension, diabetes, and COVID among others.

Leaders from SFH branches in the four Anglophone West African nations—Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria will be attending the two-day retreat

Lagos PDP guber candidate tasks IG-P on spate of attacks during campaigns

Lagos PDP guber candidate tasks IG-P on spate of attacks during campaigns

Lagos PDP Governorship Candidate, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran (3rd from Left) at a news conference

 

The PDP Governorship Candidate in Lagos, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran (Jandor), has appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, to take measures to check incessant attacks on his campaign trains.

Adediran, at a news conference on Sunday, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intervene in the attacks.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adediran’s campaign train had been attacked by political thugs in Badagry, Ikorodu, Agege, Kosofe and Surulere, leaving some of his followers wounded and vehicles smashed.

It was also reported that the attack on Friday in Surulere was the third attack in succession where suspected hoodlums were said to have fired guns and destroyed some of the campaign vehicles in Adediran’s convoy.

Clearing issues around various attacks, Adediran noted that his change of campaign strategies by going to the people through his ward tours to sell himself to them had exposed him and his followers to huge threats and harassment from political thugs.

“I have constitutional backing to go everywhere to campaign for this election.

“Many of the people attacked are here because these attacks are not about me but the people, hence the account we are giving now.

“At Surulere, the moment I stepped out of the mosque, these boys came and began to shout “where is Jandor?”, and started to shoot everywhere. I quickly entered my car and we drove away.

“The thugs hijacked one of our cars. Before we knew it, all our campaign vehicles were damaged and the party secretariat was also damaged.

“We still want the IGP to take these happenings in Lagos State very seriously. Police should please live up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting our lives and property,” he said.

Adediran, who noted that his team had severally reported all the attacks to the police, said that there were video clips and pictures of the attacks.

He lamented that in most of the places, political thugs were also in the habit of harassing and dispersing people waiting to receive him.

Adediran explained that his running mate, Ms Funke Akindele, was also chased out of the Fruit Market in Kosofe by thugs while some others mounted a road block against his passage in the same council and resorted to hurling stones and bottles at him.

“We will go out there and continue with our campaign. We don’t want anybody to harass us, we don’t want to be intimidated.

“I have been speaking to the people, interacting with artisans, professional and religious groups as well as various associations and stakeholders.

“We were attacked in Badagry, Agege, Kosofe and Surulere in Lagos.

“All these happened in Lagos. Our expectation was that the Chief Security Officer of the state would have addressed the people of Lagos and condemned the attacks in its entirety, but nothing of such happened.

“We believe that they (the ruling party) actually want to use that to scare us away from embarking in the ward-to-ward tour. We will forge ahead,” he said.

Urging no one to twist the story, Adediran said that his followers could not have attacked the people he wanted to sell his manifestoes to, as was being alleged.

According to him, his team will not succumb to any threat from anywhere but will got out and engage the people at the grassroots, telling them what he would do differently if elected.

Adediran said that political actors should not resort to violence but allow the people of the state to select their leaders.

Stressing that the party had written an official petition to the IGP on the attacks, Adediran urged the police to do the needful.

Also speaking, Mrs Aduke Akinde, a PDP leader at Iponri in Surulere, said that party members were preparing and waiting to receive Adediran and his team when masked political thugs drove in and destroyed the rented canopies and chairs on Thursday.

In her comment, Mrs Idowu Adeniyi (Iyalaya), a trader at fruit market in Kosofe, who is a PDP member, said that since the foiled attempt of Akindele to campaign in the market, the market authorities had not allowed them to enter their shops.

“Up till now, no opportunity to enter the market. We plead for help; we are being threatened since Tuesday. Our fruits, apples and bananas must be rotten now,” she said.

In his remarks, Pastor Philips Aivoji, the Lagos State Chairman of PDP, said that there were so many other attacks on PDP members in the state not reported in the media.

Aivoji, who noted that many PDP members in rural places were being threatened, said that election should not be a do-or-die affair.

“These cannot deter us. We will continue to forge ahead because we believe we are on the side of the people. We are not going to be intimidated,” he said.

Reacting to the alleged attacks in a statement on Saturday, Mr Seye Oladejo, the Lagos APC Publicity Secretary, accused Adediran of unleashing terror on innocent residents in the course of his campaign in Surulere.

Oladejo condemned the resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign

New Naira: 10 days extension not enough- CPPE

New Naira: 10 days extension not enough- CPPE

 

Dr Muda Yusuf, Founder, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE) says a further extension by six months is ideal for old naira notes to be phased out of circulation.

Yusuf said this on Sunday in Lagos while reacting to the 10-day extension to the Jan. 31 deadline to change old naira notes to new ones by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the extension was announced on Sunday by the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in Daura, Katsina State.

According to Yusuf, the 10-day extension is grossly inadequate and can put N100 trillion component of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at risk.

He noted that two critical sectors were particularly vulnerable – trade and commerce; and agriculture.

He said the crippling of business transactions at the distributive trade end amid the currency swap crisis would not only undermine these sectors but would have a knock-on effect on manufacturing value chain and the services sectors.

“This is because whatever is produced has to be sold; the trading end of the chain has been greatly disrupted by this currency swap crisis.

“The trade sector contributes about 14 per cent of GDP, and the agricultural sector contributes 25 per cent; with most of the activities in the rural or informal sectors of the economy.

“These are the sectors that have been driving the resilience of the Nigerian economy amid numerous domestic and global headwinds.

“Any policy measure that would negatively disrupt these sectors should be avoided,” he said.

Yusuf added that for an economy that was tottering on the brink, the capacity to absorb shocks and disruptions such as a currency swap was severely constrained.

He noted that with 133 million Nigerians in poverty, inflicting additional hardship on the citizens would be unfair, insensitive and inconsiderate.

He stated that the vote buying argument was not compelling enough to justify the scale of pain, agony, trauma and economic disruptions foisted on Nigerians by this currency swap pandemonium.

He furthered that the argument that currency swap would enhance monetary policy effectiveness and curb inflation had no strong basis in economic theory.

Yusuf noted that the total money supply in the Nigerian economy as at December 2022 was N52 trillion; total currency was N2.6 trillion.

“Thus, cash as percentage of money supply was only 5 per cent, which implies that 95 per cent of money is still within the banking system.

“It is, therefore, a gross misrepresentation to give the impression that 85 per cent of money is outside the banking system.

“Given the size of the Nigerian economy, our large population of over 200 million people, the dominance of the rural economy, the huge informal sector, the literacy level, and the over 30 million Nigerians that are unbanked, a minimum of six months window ought to have been given for the currency swap exercise.

“The CPPE, therefore, calls for the urgent intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to save millions of Nigerians from the anguish and pain of the current stampede of currency swap inflicted by an unrealistic timeline and glaring capacity gaps in the management of the process,” he said

Hoodlums attack firefighters as fire engulfs filling station in Abuja

Hoodlums attack firefighters as fire engulfs filling station in Abuja

The Director-General of FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Abbas Idriss, has condemned the attack on the fire service men and vehicles that responded to a fire call at Enya filling station, Halli Brothers, Wuse Zone 1 Abuja on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the filling station went in flames at about 7pm when a a fuel laden tanker parked within the premises caught fire.

The fire which lasted for about two and a half hours razed down the filling station. It was reported that no life was lost, while virtually all vehicles queueing for fuel were safely evacuated except few ones affected by the heat of the fire.

Idriss told NAN that the impact of the fire would have been minimized if hoodlums had not prevented the fire service men from accessing the filling station.

While expressing worry over the unfortunate incident, he wondered why individuals would want to destroy fire trucks procured for the purpose of extinguishing fire and  the safety of lives and property.

An eye witness, who identified himself as Ishakku, had earlier said that crowd began to gather upon explosion from the tanker, with smoke billowing out from the burning station.

He said that the fire had burnt for almost an hour before the fire service operatives came and the crowd mixed with hoodlums had become impatient.

He said that the hoodlums, on sighting the fire service vehicles began to throw stones, sticks and other materials at them.

According to him, the first two fire vehicles that arrived at the scene early could not do anything because they were attacked.

”The officers with their vehicles have to run for safety, which made the fire to cause more damage at the filling station.

”Had it been the fire service trucks were not attacked and the men were allowed when they came, the damage would have been minimal.”

He said it took the combined intervention of military officers, police, DSS and other security personnel in FCT to disperse the crowd before the fire service men could gain access to the filling station.

The FEMA director-general, who was at the scene of the incident to assess the impact, described the act as barbaric, adding that it was a serious offence punishable under the law.

”The fire service came to extinguish the fire and they were being attacked they can’t stay and you can see the damage caused

”Hoodlums are attacking them (fire service men) it is a very seriously offence that must be addressed , and such act must be discouraged across the country.

Idriss stressed the need for public to be enlightened on why they should not prevent or attack fire service men or vehicles who came for operations.

”If hoodlums are throwing stones and injuring them, they can’t stay, it is very important that the public are aware on the importance of the service of fire official and other agencies.”

The director-general also sought the support of the media in sensitising the public on the operation of fire service men and emergency management officials

”It is very unfortunate generally we have been having filling station fire in the FCT, but we have been doing everything to nip it in the bud,” he said.

He commended the FCT police commissioner, FRSC Sector Commander, the military, DSS and other sister agencies for timely intervention and  well coordinated efforts to control the crowd without loss of life and to also put the fire under control.

Jubilation envelopes Imo community as Anglican Church gifts bungalow to widow

Jubilation envelopes Imo community as Anglican Church gifts bungalow to widow

 

 

Joy and excitement enveloped Umuanum Ohekelem community in Imo on Saturday as the Anglican Communion of Egbu Diocese, Imo, handed over a three-bedroom bungalow to an indigent widow, Mrs Ihuaka Achor.

Before the church constructed and furnished the house tastefully, Achor was living in a hut on the same site.

The building which took over her dilapidated hut was a project mapped out by the Anglican diocese of Egbu as a way of alleviating the plight of indigent members of the communion.

Achor worships at St. Mathew’s Parish, Ohekelem, under the Egbu Anglican Diocese.

She was one of the beneficiaries of Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Enyinnaya-Okereafor, the Bishop of Egbu’s housing scheme for the less-privileged.

President of Lagos branch of Ohekelem Development Union, Mr Valentine Okere, expressed joy and thanked the church for the kind gesture.

In a letter of commendation he wrote to the church, Okere stated that such gesture could rekindle the faithful zeal for Christ and promote good relationship between churches and host communities.

He described the gesture as Christ-like and stated that the church had demonstrated uncommon love and care typical of the early Church.

“This is a renewal of the ideals of the early Christian life and Christ-like way of living where people are others’ keepers as instructed in the scriptures.

“As a people, we are happy to see this happening in our society because it goes a long way to bond the people and the Church and foster unity of purpose between the Church and its faithful,’’ he stated.

Okere encouraged other churches in the community to emulate the Anglican Church, and practice what Christ instructed to foster peace in the society.

The dedication and handing-over ceremony was performed by Bishop Okereafor accompanied by his spouse Mrs Ngozi Okereafor (Mama Egbu).

The episcopal entourage was received by the traditional ruler of Ohekelem, Eze E.E. Okere JP (Ekelem 1 of Ohekelem) and his cabinet.

The President-General, Ohekelem Progressive Union Worldwide, Mr Raymond Anyanwu and his executives witnessed the event.

Retired Maj.-Gen charges officers to remain dedicated

Retired Maj.-Gen charges officers to remain dedicated

Guests at the Nigerian Army Signals 2023 Pulling Out Ceremony of retired senior officers

 

Maj.-Gen. Ademoh Salihu (rtd.) on Friday charged military personnel to be patriotic, creative and vigilant, especially at a time when the nation was faced with diverse security challenges.

Salihu, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the Nigerian Army Signals 2023 Pulling Out Ceremony of retired senior officers, said the security challenges had necessitated several kinetic operations, which had placed a high demand on the Nigerian Army.

“Consequently, I admonish serving military personnel to continue to be loyal, creative and extra vigilant.

“You must continue to demonstrate total commitment to the security of the nation just as you have exemplified in the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the country.

“Nigerians, especially we the retirees are expecting a lot from you,” the major general said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maj.-Gen. Ademoh Salihu (rtd.) was a Commander of the Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

According to Salihu, the unique ceremony signified the end of their military careers after about 35 years or thereabout, of active service.

“I am, therefore, deeply grateful to the Almighty God for his grace, guidance, wisdom and protection throughout our years of service.

“I am highly delighted to witness this event alive and in good health. It is also a premise that whatsoever has a beginning must ultimately have an end,” he said.

Salihu said that the Pulling Out parade was organised in honour of retired Generals in recognition of unblemished military service to the nation and dated back to the colonial era.

“The occasion brings serving and retiring officers as well as other well-wishers together to bid the retired Generals farewell as they transit to life in retirement.

“It is on this note that this ceremony is organised to celebrate me and other retired colleagues of the Corps of Signals for successful military careers,” he said.

The major general seized the opportunity to encourage serving officers and men of the Nigerian Army Signals to make early preparation for retirement.

“I still remember my cadet days in the Nigerian Defence Academy just like yesterday.

“You must not assume that 35 years is a long time and waste away precious time thinking you have enough time to plan for your retirement.

“Please endeavour to put everything you ought to put in place early enough, so that you are not put under any unnecessary pressure after retirement,” he said.

Salihu added that they should build good and healthy relationships based on mutual trust and respect and relate well with colleagues in the Armed Forces, friends outside the service and family.

He thanked the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, for his support to the Corps of Signals and for approving resources for the conduct of this pulling-out ceremony.

“I am particularly delighted with the resuscitation of some tradition and customs of the Nigerian Army that are almost forgotten.

“I also wish to humbly appreciate the Commander Corps Signals, Maj.-Gen Garba Abdullahi, for his selflessness in putting this memorable ceremony to honour our exit,” Salihu said.

NAN also reports that 18 senior officers were pulled out from the Nigerian Army Signals.