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Buhari urges urgent actions by ECOWAS leaders to stamp out terrorism

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Terrorism

Abuja, Sept. 14, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, urged ECOWAS leaders not to allow terrorist groups destabilise the region.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said the Nigerian leader made the call at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism in Ouagadougou.

President Buhari said: ”Our region has made commendable progress in the realization of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilize our Community and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment.

”It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region.”

The President, who joined other ECOWAS leaders for the special one-day Summit, which was also attended by leaders of Chad and Mauritania decried that terrorism had become a major security threat across the globe.

He warned that the activities of terrorist groups had constituted a grave danger to peace and security in West Africa, the wider Sahel and the global community.

”The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a Community.

”Equally worrisome, is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organized crime.

”This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.

”And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods,” he said.

While sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the President said, ”as a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations.

”Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.

”In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region.”

The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to apprise the regional leaders on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin and the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

He described the situation in Lake Chad Basin, historically a bastion of rich culture, civilization and abundant natural resources providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people, as tragic.

He noted that the area had become an abode for terrorist groups and extremists whose primitive intent was wanton destruction of lives of innocent citizens and properties as well as public infrastructure.

On MNJTF, the President reported that the achievements recorded so far in the operations remain an exemplary model of regional collaboration.

”MNJTF has largely succeeded in degrading the Boko Haram terrorist group.

”This could not have been accomplished without the recognition by the affected Lake Chad Basin Countries and Benin Republic, of the need to harness our efforts and resources to confront our common enemy which has now been substantially weakened.

”While much still remains to be done, I encourage MNJTF to stay steadfast in their mission, as I urge the political leadership of the LCBC countries to continue to preserve our solidarity and commitment towards achieving durable peace and sustainable development in these areas.

”In this regard, it is imperative that we continuously strive to provide the necessary resources and tools to the MNJTF, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Accra Initiative and similar initiatives, to lead the war on terrorism, violent extremism and trans-border crimes across the region, ” he said.

President Buhari expressed the hope that the adoption of the road map, priority areas and other recommendations of the Ouagadougou Summit, if properly implemented, would go a long way in addressing the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the sub region.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed

General news

Appoint Dongban-Mensem substantive Appeal Court President-Plateau House of Assembly begs Buhari

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Members of the Plateau House of Assembly have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Acting President, Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, in a substantive capacity.

 Dongan-Mensem was appointed in the Acting capacity by the president on March 5, to serve for three months.

Buhari on May 29, extended her acting appointment for another three months.

The Plateau lawmakers during plenary on Tuesday,  appealed to the President to appoint her in substantive capacity stating that she eminently qualified to be  so appointed.

The House presided over by its Speaker, Mr Abok Ayuba, appreciated the President for giving her the opportunity to serve the nation.

Mr Philip Dasun (APC, Pankshin North) who moved the motion of urgent public importance, said,”Mr Speaker, it is expected that she would be appointed in substantive capacity after three months in acting capacity.

“We are calling on other authorised bodies to lend their voice to this call,” he said.


Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Education

Group petitions Buhari over lopsidedness in siting of educational institutions in Ebonyi 

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The Ebonyi North Elders Consultative Assembly has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari against the siting of the newly approved Federal College of Education in Isu community in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.

In the petition, the group stated that the decision by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) to site the college in the area defeated the principle of fairness, equity and justice.

It argued that two of the three federal tertiary educational institutions in the state had already been sited in Ebonyi south, hence the district did not deserve to have more.

A copy of the petition dated May 29, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abakaliki on Wednesday.

It was captioned, “An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria: Petition against the siting of the Federal College of Education (allocated to Ebonyi) at Isu, Onitcha LGA in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.”

The group appealed to Buhari to prevail on federal ministry of education to rescind its decision and revoke the approval for the siting of the college at Isu.

It demanded that the institution be sited in any area in Ebonyi North Senatorial Distric, comprising Izzi, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi and Abakaliki LGAs, in line with the nation’s Federal Character principle.

The assembly, which comprises leaders of thought from the district, commended the president and the National Assembly for approving the establishment of the college in the state.

It said: “We believe that the selection of Ebonyi, alongside four others, was meant to ensure that states that hitherto had no federal tertiary educational institutions were accommodated in line with federal character principle.

“We are, however, disconcerted to note that FME approved that the college be sited at Isu in Onitcha LGA in Ebonyi South.

“This is in contradiction to the principle of fairness, equity and justice, considering the indisputable fact that the district has two of the three federal tertiary institutions in the state, namely Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic and Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.

“The Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, is located in Ikwo LGA in Ebonyi Central, leaving Ebonyi North without any federal educational tertiary institution.

“Despite far-reaching representations made by various groups, the FME went ahead to approve the siting of the college at Isu community in Ebonyi South, thereby making the district to have three federal educational institutions.”

The group stated that the development could worsen the already skewed distribution of federal tertiary institutions in the state, if not reversed.

According to the group, Ebonyi North may be the only senatorial district in Nigeria without a federal tertiary educational institution.

The petition was signed by 15 members of the assembly, including Prof. Richard Idike, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Sen. Chris Nwankwo, Sen. Sylvester Ngele, Rt. Rev Monday Nkwoegu, the Bishop of Abakaliki Anglican Communion.

Others were Rev. Emmanuel Nshii, State Overseer, Assemblies of God Church; Chief Austin Edeze, Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti; and Eze Fidelis Nwaonumara, Chairman, Izzi/Nnodo Traditional Rulers Council, among others. 


Edited By: Sam Oditah/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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General news

Buhari greets Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with renowned industrialist, investor and philanthropist, Otunba Matthew Oyin Jolayemi, on his 80th birthday.

The President, in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, congratulated the elder statesman for ”investments that have transformed the economy of the country, and greatly impacted on the citizenry.”

President Buhari affirmed that Otunba Jolayemi’s entrepreneurial spirit, which spurred investments in banking, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, deserved commendation, especially the growing profile of his companies and training of many to start their own businesses.

He acknowledged the visionary role Jolayemi had played as an industrialist for more than 40 years in the financial sector of the country, particularly raising infrastructure that served his businesses and community, and building confidence in the economy through international exhibition of his products.

The President believed the ”industrialist can joyfully look back, with three of his scions already involved in the family business, and be thankful to God for the grace of a good lineage.”

President Buhari joined family, friends and business associates of the philanthropist in celebrating the milestone, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life and more strength.


Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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General news

Ministry of Defence, others make presentations as Buhari presides over virtual FEC

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the third virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ministries of Defence, Environment, Works and Housing as well as Finance, Budget and National Planning are expected to make presentations during the meeting.

Others Ministers present along side with the President at the chamber, and are expected to make presentations include those of Water Resources, Justice, and Aviation while the remaining ministers would be participating in the meeting from their respective offices.

Those in attendance of the meeting included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

NAN gathered that a special documentary programme on the efforts being made by the military in tackling security challenges would be presented by the Ministry of Defence during the meeting.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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General news

Buhari condemns killing of UNIBEN student, Omozuwa

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the murder of an undergraduate of the University of Benin, Miss Uwaila Omozuwa, by rapists at a place of worship in Benin.

The president on his verified twitter page: @MBuhari on Tuesday directed the police to speedily and diligently investigate the case and ”ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice.

”I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Uwaila Omozuwa.

”I expect the Nigeria Police Force to speedily and diligently investigate this case and ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice,” the president stated.

Omozuwa, a 22-year-old microbiology student, believed to be a virgin, was raped and killed in a church where she went to conduct academic activities.

The killing of the university student has horrified many people across the country with human rights groups, public figures and government officials demanding justice for the deceased.

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had on her twitter handle: @abikedabiri disclosed that one person had been apprehended in connection with the killing of Omozuwa.

She said the arrest was facilitated through the thumbprint of the suspect on the fire extinguisher used in attacking the victim.


Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

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Environment

Buhari commiserates with Delta fire victims

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commiserated with victims of the Ogbogonogo fire disaster in Delta, assuring them that they would not bear the burden of the incident alone.

The president spoke through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, who led a team to visit Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba.

The team, accompanied by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, conveyed the feelings of Buhari to the governor.

Buhari commended the measures taken by Okowa to curb the spread of the fire and also reducing its effects on traders.

“We are here in Delta State to commiserate with traders, who lost their products worth millions of naira to the unfortunate fire incident at the Ogbogonogo Market here in Asaba.

“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is with the State Emergency Management Agency to assist these hard working Nigerians, whose sources of livelihood were affected by fire.

“We need to let them know that once there is life, there is hope.

“We are also commending you and your team for the quick response which gave hope to the people.

“Immediately, we got wind of the incident, we sent relief materials to the state to cushion the effect of the fire on the people,” the president said.

Okowa expressed delight that Buhari was quick to respond to the fire incident.

He noted that only the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development could have made that prompt response possible.

“We want to express our gratitude to you and through you (minister) to our president.

“This visit is a thoughtful visit concerning the fire at Ogbogonogo Market.

“We have a warm relationship with NEMA and we are supporting the activities of your Ministry as it concerns assisting the needy in society.

As a State Government, our youths are participating in different skill acquisition and wealth creation programmes.

“We have different programmes to support widows. We also have programmes for the less-privileged and the vulnerable.

“We appreciate this visit,” the governor said.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

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General news

Buhari condoles with Dan Suleiman over wife’s death

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President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with elder statesman and former military Governor of Plateau, retired Air Commodore Dan Suleiman over the death of his wife, Marie.

The president’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Buhari condoled with all family members and associates of the matriarch, whose investment of love in her family and community will always be remembered,” he said.

The president prayed that the almighty God will receive the soul of the deceased, who would be laid to rest at the weekend.

He also prayed that God would comfort the family she left behind.

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Politics

Reps approve Buhari’s loan request

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management,  had presented its report through the Chairman, Rep. Ahmed Safana (APC-Katsina) at the House Committee on Supply.

Safana observed that out of the total borrowing of $22,898,446,773 as contained in the October 2019 re-forwarded request of President Muhammadu Buhari, a sum of $17,065,496,773 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from China Eximbank Bank.

He said out of the $22.799 billion loan, China Eximbank is to provide larger chunk of the fund worth $17.066 billion at 20 years maturity, 7 years moratorium, 0.5 per cent management fee, 2.75 per cent interest rate, 0.3 per cent commitment fee and 3-7 years duration.

The lawmaker said that the World Bank is to provide $2.854 billion at average repayment maturity of between 20 – 25 years, 1.25 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment charge, 0.25 per cent front-end fee and five years duration.

He said that the African Development Bank (AfDB), is to provide $1.889 billion at average repayment maturity of 20 years, 0.75 per cent service charge, 0.5 per cent commitment charge, 5 years grace period, 1.127 per cent interest rate and 5-8 years duration.

According to him, Agencie Francaise de Development (AFD) is to provide $480 million at 15-20 years maturity, 4-7 years grace period, 2.6 – 2.9 per cent rate in USD based on Libor floating market rates (1.3 per cent in Euros in Euribomarket rates) depending on loan maturity, 0.5 per cent commitment fee, 0.5 per cent appraisal fee and five years duration.

The Rep said that JICA is to provide $200 million at 30 years maturity, 10 years grace period and 1.4 per cent interest rate.

He said German Development Bank is to provide $200 million at 15 years maturity, 5 years grace period, 3.99 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment fee of the undisturbed amount and 0.4 per cent management fee of the loan.

He also said that the Islamic Development Bank is to provide $110 million at average repayment maturity of between 25 years, Service Charge not exceeding 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent interest rate and four years duration.

The breakdown of the approved loans include, $350 million World Bank Development Policy Operation loan for Kaduna and $110 million Islamic Development Bank Health Systems Projects Loan for Katsina State.

Reacting to the adopted report, the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu said that the approval does not meet the expectations of the people down south.

“First and foremost, there are certain strategic projects that ought to be there, one is the Western Corridor Rail line, which goes from Lagos to Kano and the Eastern Corridor Rail line that goes from Port Harcourt through Enugu to Makurdi, Plateau down to Maiduguri.

“They were established the same day, they commenced the same day, and they were completed the same day they were operating.

“So to take one in exclusion of the other is not appropriate,” he said.

According to him, it is an infrastructural sufficiency to give impetus to the eastern corridor passing through South South, South East, North Central and North East.

“If you check all these areas, what you will see is that we have trouble from Boko Haram to agitations to militancy; we have challenges in these areas and when you don’t undertake economic activities that will improve it, you are not helping.

“So it is our considered opinion that they should have been a priority; we appreciate the effort of Mr. Speaker in terms of trying by all means for the past 4 months to accommodate these Lines but of course there was no initiation for it.

“This is where you find out that the budget or loan approval is as good, but we need to think globally,” he said.

Okechukwu, however, appreciated the provision that says that the South East should be prioritised in the next borrowing plan.

He said that loan approval should have waited until the feasibility study is completed so that the South East and North East are sufficiently accommodated.

The Rep said that the North East and South East in the budgetary appropriation always come last, saying that the house should have considered the region.

 


Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Felix Ajide (NAN)
 

 

 

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I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The President made his position known at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, when he hosted Adesina, who was on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, quoted the President saying:

In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.

“I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support.

“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.’’

The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.

Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

He added that the Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.

“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.

“The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations.

“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched.

“I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,’’ Adesina said.

While stressing that the motive was to soil his name, and that of the bank, the AfDB President said he was proud to be Nigerian, and thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support.

“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he declared.

He commiserated with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.

Adesina also described the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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