By Aminu Ahmed Garko
Minna, Feb. 21, 2019 The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) in Niger on Thursday staged a one-million-man march in support of the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and all the party’s candidates in the forthcoming general elections.
The Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Umar Shauibu, led the march.
Shauibu, who stated that members of the organisation embarked on the march on foot, said the event covered a distance of 20 kilometres.
He said the march carried them from Trade Fair Complex to Minna City Centre to Government House and to Buhari Support Organisation office located along Muazu Mohammed Way, Minna.
He said that Buhari’s second coming would totally transform the country to the Next Level.
“A vote for Buhari in these elections means continuity of more people-oriented projects that will enhance the well being of Nigerians.
“Mr President has kept his promises to Nigerians in the areas of fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and rebuilding the economy,” the coordinator said.
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) remained a strong party committed to offering hope for Nigerians through good governance.
“President Buhari has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is honest, sincere and committed to addressing the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians irrespective of political, tribal and religious differences,” he said.
Shuaibu also said that the APC-led government was doing everything possible to set the country on the right path and make her the envy of other nations.
“The president has succeeded in repositioning the country as witnessed in improved security, railways contruction, massive road construction, provision of farming implements and diversification of the economy, among others, which he has embarked upon,”he said.
He urged APC supporters to ignore any form of provocation from the opposition and come out on Saturday to cast their votes massively for Buhari other candidates of the party.
Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf
BSO says Executive Order 10 has stopped governors from acting as emperors
The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), Southeast Zone, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order 10 that has granted autonomy to the Legislature and Judiciary in the states.
The 0rder, signed by the President on May 20, 2020 expressly guaranteed financial autonomy of state legislature and judiciary.
The organisation, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Chief Stanley Ohajuruka, and Secretary, Mr Godwin Onwusi, after its virtual meeting on Sunday, said that the Order had stopped governors “from acting as emperors”.
The statement said that the implementation of the Order would facilitate respect to the Doctrine of Separation of Power at the state level.
“The governors have always acted as emperors. That toga has always beclouded them from adherence to the fine tenets of separation of powers, making them detest financial autonomy for the other arms of government –
“To BSO, the Executive Order 10, 2020, has set the stage to repealing that emperorship status which most of the governors are wearing and which is unknown to our constitution.
“It is that arrogant status that has also beclouded them from optimal performance and adherence to the fine tenets of Separation of Powers.
“A cursory assessment of democracy at the state level will confirm that both arms are mere appendages and rubber stamp to the executive.
“This dampens development, creates insecurity, gross unemployment and dwarfs the local council. Is that what we want?
“The Order extends to the execution and maintenance of the constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including, but not limited to, Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees financial autonomy of the state legislature and the state judiciary,” the BSO said.
The group dismissed the opposition of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to the Order, especially Section 7(b), which mandated the Accountant General of the Federation to take appropriate action to enforce compliance with the provisions of the order.
“If Section 121(3) of the constitution was implemented by our governors before now, there will not be any need for the President to sign the Executive Order 10.
“Lets be real. There is no democracy at the state level. That is why they answer Executive Governors, when there are no two governors in a state. This is why democracy is more or less in recession in Nigeria,’’ it said.
The group called for tight supervision to ensure the implementation of the Order and the right sanctions imposed on recalcitrant governors who failed to implement the provision of Section 121 (3) of the Constitution which they swore to uphold.
It rejected suggestions that the Order would infringe on true federalism.
“True federalism is better served and indeed actualised when you have independent legislature and judiciary at the state level.
“Have you asked yourself why the governors are more preoccupied with political domination of their citizens with security votes than socio-economic development?
The group maintained that the governors, as “emperors’’, were averse to alternative view points, opting to embrace, and listen to, praise singers instead of focusing on projects.
It urged the governors to comply fully with first-line charge for funding of state legislature and judiciary as it would, in the long run, result in a win-win situation for the collective good.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
NCC absolves Pantami of involvement in office space allocation controversy
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, is never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at its Complex.
In a statement clarifying the controversial issue on Friday in Abuja, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Henry Nkemadu, said that Pantami was never involved in the offer of the office space nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space
He said the minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue.
According to Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.
“It should, however, be made clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC.
“This led to taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.
He, however, reiterated the commission’s confidence in the leadership, person and office of the minister.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Russia to build space station, saying ISS becoming obsolete
Russia plans to build a new space station because the current International Space Station will last only another decade at most, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Monday.
“It’s still unclear whether the new station will be international or national,’’ Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said in comments carried by the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Rogozin said that the International Space Station (ISS) would be operable for another seven to 10 years.
The ISS, with segments built by Russia and the U.S., has been in continuous use for the past two decades.
The orbiting laboratory has been a collaboration of mostly U.S. and Russian crew members, tasked with conducting scientific research that would be impossible on Earth’s surface.
It is a unique source of cooperation between these two rival powers.
Rogozin did not provide a timeline for the construction of Russia’s new space station.
He said the issue of whether it would host international crews would be decided in the near future.
“The technical preparations are supposed to start now,’’ Rogozin said.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Egyptian banking sector holds enough cash to help absorb economic shocks from COVID-19 outbreak
The Egyptian banking sector holds more than 1 trillion Egyptian pounds (63 billion US dollars) in cash enough to help absorb the economic shocks from the coronavirus pandemic for several years, official news agency MENA reported Monday.
“The cash reserve that equals nearly 63 billion U.S. dollars gave a boost to both the public and private sectors during the coronavirus crisis,” said Tarek Amer, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
Earlier in the day, the CBE issued 7 billion pounds in treasury bonds to stimulate the economy.
For the current 2019-2020 Egyptian fiscal year ending in June, the budget deficit is estimated to hit a record 7.2 percent of the GDP, planned by the ministry of finance to be financed through treasury bills and bonds as well as international and Arab loans, the CBE said.
In an emergency meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBE also decided to cut the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, and the rate of the main operation by 300 basis points to to 9.25 percent, 10.25 percent and 9.75 percent respectively.
Egypt’s 2020/2021 draft budget aims to reduce the public debt of GDP to 82.7 percent by the end of June 2021, up from the earlier target of 82.5 percent by the end of June 2020, and 77.5 percent by the end of June 2022.
NAICOM worry over obsolete insurance laws,wants urgent amendment
Mr Sunday Thomas, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has reiterated call for the amendment of some laws governing insurance practice in the country.
Thomas made the call at a retreat organised by NAICOM for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom on Saturday.
He said that the laws needed to be amended to meet with international best practices.
Thomas said that a bill to amend the laws was being worked on and appealed to the House to give attention to the bill for quick passage.
“The Commission as a statutory regulatory agency derives its powers from the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 and the Insurance Act of 2003, to primarily oversight insurance practice in Nigeria.
“I believe this event provides me the opportunity to bring to your attention the fact that these laws in some of its provisions are fast becoming obsolete and thus requires urgent amendments.
“It is imperative to note here that a bill to amend the insurance laws has been in the works for some years now.
“We are however, optimistic that when the bill is eventually presented to the 9thAssembly, it will enjoy an accelerated attention,’’ Thomas said.
He said that the country’s insurance sector had two segments of underwriters comprising insurance and re-insurance companies, intermediaries which consisted of insurance brokers, loss adjusters and agents.
He said there were 55 insurance companies, two re-insurance, two micro-insurance operators, as well as over 500 insurance brokers and 2,000 agents operating in the country.
Mr Darlington Nwokocha, the Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, said the nation’s insurance industry when compared to the international community had a lot to catch up with.
“In spite of the fact that we are lawmakers, we have the sole responsibility to defend the laws we make.
“Today, the insurance industry when you compare it on the same platform with the international community, you will find out that Nigeria still has a lot to meet up with. We are trying our best to see what we can do.
“There are certain ingredients in the law that finds little hitches for proper implementation.
“Certain infractions are being ignored and some of the stakeholders and operators find it now more or less like a rule or norm without considering the infractions.
“There are loopholes they may rely on trying to give it a different interpretation but as a responsible House, we are trying to make sure that the content of every act is defined appropriately.
“The committee will find it interesting for us to kick-start the process of the amendment of the insurance Act and to give it a quick and accelerated attention and passage.
“We are ready; one thing is sure, there is a common denominator which we must make sure we hold tenaciously and that is making sure that Nigerian economy revolves effectively within the plan of the insurance industry,’’ he explained.
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Maureen Atuonwu
APC in absolute control of Kano state says Doguwa
A member-elect of the House of Representatives, Rep. Ado Doguwa says the All Progressives Congress (APC) is in absolute control and has a firm grip of Kano State.
Doguwa made this known in an interview with journalists in Abuja, after presenting his certificate of return to the Clerk of the National Assembly, following his victory in jan. 25, Kano rerun election.
Doguwa debunked claims that the re-run election was marred by violence and electoral malpractices.
The member-elect said that the election was free and fair, describing the state as a progressive state.
According to him, local and foreign observers including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) certified that the election was credible.
“Kano is a very progressive state, in politics, Kano leads and every other state follows; I want to assure that the APC has an absolute grip and control of Kano.
“Kano is the home of the APC and a key state in the North West; we will not compromise Kano at all cost,” he said.
Doguwa who is returning to the House for the 7th time, said that his constituents and indeed Nigerians in general should anticipate his full commitment to legislative activities.
He was the Majority Leader of the 9th House of Representatives before his election was nullified by the court in 2019.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Missing boy: Akure monarch absolves palace of complicity
Akure, Dec . 20, 2019 The Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, has clarified that his palace was not involved in the case of a one-year old missing child, Gold Kolawole, on Nov. 10 at Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure.
Mr Micheal Adeyeye, the Chief Press Secretary to the monarch, made this clarification in a statement issued to newsmen on Friday in Akure.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that no fewer than two persons were killed while fracas erupted at the worship centre on Wednesday when some irate youths set the church ablaze.
“The mob action, according to reports, was precipitated by a false news story to the effect that the remains of the boy alleged to have been kidnapped in the premises of the chirch has been exhumed from the church.
“Ordinarily, the palace would have refrained from commenting on the incident and allowed the law enforcement agents to do their job but for the rumour that trailed the mob action.
“This has necessitated the issuance of this statement to clear the air on the allegation of complicity by the palace in the unfortunate incident.
“It is on record that the parents of the missing child had protested to the Deji’s palace on Tuesday November 12 seeking the intervention of the monarch.
“The Deji quickly intervened and constantly followed up on the case to ensure that justice is done by inviting the General Overseer of the church, the parents of the child and the teachers at the children’s section,” the statement read.
It added that Oba Aladelusi then urged the security agencies to carry out a thorough and discreet investigation in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the child and bring perpetrators to book.
According to the statement, it was, therefore, unreasonable, illogical and a total falsehood to allege the monarch of any complicity and any attempt to pervert the course of justice.
“This is an attempt to denigrate the revered stool of the Deji.
“It is laughable and barbaric that some faceless individuals also claim that His Majesty received a huge sum of money to push for the release of the cleric and also compromised the investigators.
“This remains a figment of the imagination of whoever is behind the rumour and we challenge anyone with such evidence to provide it,” it stated.
The statement deeply frowned at any attempt to bring the revered institution into disrepute by rumour mongers for any reasons.
It urged the good people of Akure kingdom and the public to disregard such satanic rumour from the faceless individuals.
“The Kabiyesi will not in any way be part of any attempt to prevent the law from taking its due course.
“As a man who believes in justice and equity, he will not be involved in any shady deals under any guise.
“It is, therefore, wrong for anyone to drag the Deji into such matter which is criminal in nature with the intent of disrupting investigation. This is malicious with no iota of truth.
“His Majesty is ever ready to support any move that will help to find the missing child, unravel the mystery and bring any person or group of persons involved to book.
“The palace wishes to enjoin the security agencies to expedite action on their investigation in the search of the child, as our confidence is unshaken in their ability to do justice without fear or favour,” the statement said.
It urged the people to refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations that could jeopardize the ongoing investigation but would only lead to unnecessary incitement.
“We are confident that evil cannot triumph over the good and our heartfelt sympathy and prayer remain with the family of the missing child,” the statement said.
Edited by: Razak Owolabi/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
INEC absolves self from electoral violence, flaws in Kogi elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it lived up to its constitutional mandate in the conduct of the November Governorship and Supplementary Elections in Kogi against widespread disaffections.
Alhaji Ahmed-Bagudu Biambo, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) in Kogi office of the commission, disclosed this at a Post-Election Dialogue on Kogi State Governorship Election on Thursday in Lokoja.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the dialogue was organised by an International Non-Governmenal Organisation, Search For Common Ground (SEARCH), for electoral stakeholders to address unresolved issues arising from the elections.
Biambo who absolved INEC of any wrongdoing, said the commission had properly organised, supervised and conducted the elections including the supplementary elections in line with its constitutional mandate.
The commission, he said, provided all the electoral materials, the logistics and ensured that they were deployed on time to the various polling units, and that accreditation and voting commenced at the right time.
He said for the violence, thuggery and other malpractices that erupted in the later part of the exercise, what went wrong and why, INEC could not be held responsible as it would not have answers to the questions.
Abdullahi Mohammed, the state Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), said there was a missing link in the nation’s electoral system and that possibly explained the widespread violence during the election.
He said that the Agency was conducting an independent review of the election to identify what transpired, adding that though there were issues, he believed the issues were surmountable.
Kabir Gwarzo, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), who represented Mr Hakeem Busari, the Commissioner of Police in the state, said the Nov. 16 election presented an opportunity for the police to learn some lessons.
He said the force was looking forward to a time when the electoral system would have so improved to the extent that elections would be conducted without the involvement of security agencies.
Mrs Gift Omoniwa, Kogi state Coordinator of Search for Common Ground, said the dialogue was incident-based and not issue based.
Owonipa said the Organisation was committed to promoting Electoral Democracy and Peaceful Elections with the aim of strengthening community-based conflict early warning systems and conflict prevention.
NAN reports that the programme attended by stakeholders including security agencies, CSOs and the Media, among others, is being implemented by Search in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with funding from USAID and UKAID.
Edited & Vetted By: Abdullahi Yusuf
Belarusian president dispels reports his country could be absorbed by Russia
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko affirmed on Thursday that his country would not become a part of Russia.
Lukashenko said this in a speech, excerpts of which were carried by state news agency BelTA.
“We have never and will never seek to become a part of any country, even brotherly Russia,” he stated.
Media reports have suggested that Belarus could unite with neighbouring Russia to form a new country that would enable Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue as leader after his constitutional term limit expires in 2024.
Last week, the Belarusian Ambassador to Russia, Vladimir Semashko, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Belarusian news site Tut.by that the two countries intended to form a common governing structure.
Belarus and Russia already have a relatively open border and common trade zone.
The Belarusian president had said on Feb. 15, 2019 that the country was ready to unite with long-time ally Russia, The Moscow Times reported.
Lukashenko’s comments, made on the third and final day of bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the prospect of Moscow absorbing the eastern European dictatorship which is on the borders of Poland and Lithuania.
Lukashenko has ruled the former Soviet state since the presidential post was created in 1994.
Suggestions have long abounded that Belarus could be absorbed into Russia under Putin’s watch, deepening the “union state” arrangement that has existed between them since the late 1990s.
“The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem but are you – Russians and Belarusians – ready for it?” Lukashenko had asked.
The president added, according to Interfax, a privately-held independent major news agency and information services company in Russia: “We’re ready to unite and consolidate our efforts, states, and peoples as far as we’re ready.”
Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim
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- Interview: Chinese consumers will benefit domestic, global economic recovery after COVID-19, says renowned UK economist
- Urgent: Explosion rocks downtown Kabul
- New CP assumes office in Gombe
- Morocco announces 37 mln USD aid package for drought-hit farmers
- Tech entrepreneur urges MSMEs to sell people’s needs to stay in business
- Yemeni photojournalist killed by masked gunmen in Aden
- China completes first Mount Qomolangma airborne gravity survey
- Over 600 civilians killed across South Sudan in Q1: UN
- Iran-Russia ties essential to regional stability: Iranian adviser
- Myanmar reports 4 more COVID-19 cases, 232 in total
- 5 police officers shot, wounded in United States protests
- S. Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 35,000