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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Nigerian newspapers headlines Wednesday evening

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Buhari orders Operation Accord as protests rock Katsina, Niger [Nation]

TOUGH time awaits bandits in the Northwest as President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a joint military and police operation to root them out.

Tagged “Operation Accord”, it is targeted at ridding Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states of armed marauders.

There were protests in Katsina and Niger over rising killings by the bandits.

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday said 160 people have been killed since May 28.

President Buhari called for calm, saying security agencies were working to bring the current wave of killings to a halt.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying that security forces were on top of the situation.

Fed Govt lists six conditions to reopen varsities, others [Nation]

There was a ray of hope yesterday that varsities and other schools may reopen after some precautionary measures have been put in place against Coronavirus Disease.

The Federal Government however,  listed six conditions for each school to fulfill before to protect pupils and students against Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19).

It also asked all heads of schools to start working on how to put the measures in place ahead of resumption of classes..

Among other conditions, the government is demanding decontamination of all schools and  new class sizes, which will accommodate social and physical distancing.

Besides, the government assured anxious parents of final year secondary school students that it was discussing with the National Examinations Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) and West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) on ways of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic challenge.

The 6 conditions: “All Institutions must have (1) Hand-washing facilities, (2) Body temperature checks (3) Body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities including the gates, hostels, classes, offices, etc. (4) The whole premises of each institution must be decontaminated and (5) All efforts must be geared toward maintenance of the highest level of hygiene (6) Ensure Social] Physical Distancing in class sizes and meeting spaces.”

Edo Governor Obaseki, Shaibu resign from APC [Nation]

Appeal Court upholds Oshiomhole’s suspension as NWC picks Ajimobi as acting chairman

EDO State Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu yesterday resigned their membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

While Obaseki spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Shaibu made the announcement in Benin, the state capital and went ahead to remove the ruling party’s flag from the Government House.

Last week, the APC screening panel disqualified the governor from participating in the primary election slated for Monday.

Obaseki, who until yesterday, was the only APC governor in the Southsouth, did not announce his new party.

But he met with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) at the weekend ostensibly to lobby for admission into the opposition party and to be given the ticket to contest the election.

Obaseki said: “You remember in my last tweet, after my disqualification was announced by the APC, that I’ll make a decision after I’ve consulted with the leadership and my supporters in Edo State and also having informed the President.

“Just here today (yesterday) to inform you that I have now decided, formally, to resign my membership of the APC. Having done that, I will now announce in the next few days my specific line of action and what platform I will be contesting the gubernatorial election.

”Someone who hasn’t gone to school, who doesn’t have certificate himself, will not know and understand what inconsistencies in certificates are, that’s the starting point.

“What is the inconsistency? There’s no inconsistency in my certificates. The issue was in 2016, when I contested in gubernatorial election, I could not find the originals of my certificates because I didn’t require them for more than two decades. So, I deposed to an affidavit that I couldn’t find the originals.

“Subsequently, I found all the original copies of all my certificates and they are with me. So, I don’t understand what’s inconsistent about that.

“Maybe the inconsistency in the National Youths Corps certificate where he said my surname was missing an ‘i’ at the end, but if you look at that it was like a cursive, it was written in a cursive manner. If that’s inconsistency for him, then it’s really sad that people of that quality are leading Nigeria’s ruling party.

“For him, it was just to look for an excuse to take whatever decision he wanted to take and it’s really sad that the party structure today gives him that sort of authority without checks; that is dangerous for any system or any institution.

He also accused   Oshiomhole, of using the party machinery to intimidate those he considered educated and had more substance, adding that his disqualification was driven by fear.

The governor added that the APC national chairman is   ”afraid of people who have something to offer because all he knows are brigandage and  crisis.”

Shaibu, gave no reason for his resignation in a  letter to the Ward Chairman, APC Ward 11, Etsako West Local Government Area. The terse letter reads:    ”I write pursuant to Article 9.5 (i) of the constitution of the APC to formally resign my membership and to inform you of my formal withdrawal from all or any of its proceedings and processes whatsoever.

“Please note that this resignation takes immediate effect.”

Lagos suspends re-opening of worship centres, event centres [Nation]

THE Lagos State Government has rolled back its earlier decision to partially re-open churches, mosques, viewing and relaxation centres in the Centre of Excellence.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the indefinite suspension of his earlier order to worship centres to resume services during the 15th news conference at the State House, Marina, where he gave an update on Lagos Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu said the government will soon conclude on the protocols to re-open basic and secondary schools in the state, noting that meetings were ongoing with stakeholders.

He said online learning already adopted by the state-owned tertiary institutions and secondary schools will continue until stakeholders agree on the protocols for schools’ resumption.

APC crisis: Appeal Court upholds Oshiomhole’s suspension, Obaseki heads for PDP [Punch]

The crisis in the All Progressives Congress worsened on Tuesday when the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the APC national chairman.

But earlier on the same day, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, announced his resignation from the APC, citing the party’s decision to disqualify him from participating in the June 22 governorship primary as his reason.

In a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel led by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the Court of Appeal affirmed the earlier March 4, 2020 order of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, suspending Oshiomhole and barring him from continuing to parade himself as the national chairman of the party.

Recall that Justice Danlami Senchi of the FCT High Court had on March 4, 2020 suspended Oshiomhole as APC’s national chairman on the grounds that the party wrongfully continued to retain him in office while he was under suspension as a member of the party.

The suit was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants.

Together with the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, and the Department of State Services, the six applicants were the respondents to appeal jointly filed by Oshiomhole and the APC.

The main suit leading to the order earlier suspending Oshiomhole was instituted before the FCT High Court by six applicants, including the Vice-Chairman of the party, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, and the Chairman of the party in Edo State, Anslem Ojezua.

New electricity tariffs effective July, says minister [Punch]

The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has insisted that the new increment on electricity tariff would take off in July.

He stated this on Tuesday at the Investigative Public Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Senate Committee on Power.

Mamman said COVID-19 pandemic had affected the laid out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme.

According to him, the regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, has initially planned to conduct a tariff review in April 2020.

However, he said due to the COVID-19 outbreak and customer apathy, the proposed tariff review was delayed by three months.

Resident doctors’ strike: FG orders attendance registers, meeting deadlocked [Punch]

The Federal Government has directed all medical directors in the country to open attendant registers for striking resident doctors.

The government gave the directive as the meeting between its representatives and the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated that the Federal Ministry of Health would issue a directive to all medical directors in the country to open a register by 7am and record those who come to work and those who fail to come.

Why NYSC camps should be closed for two years –Osinbajo [Punch]

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says all camps where the National Youth Service Corps orientation exercises are usually undertaken should be closed for two years because of the Covid-19 protocol which demands social distancing.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said this in a series of tweets on Tuesday while reacting to the controversy generated by the Economic Sustainability Committee report.

The tweets read in part, “Contrary to reports circulating in the mainstream media, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo did not call for the suspension of the National Youth Service Corps…..”

PDP NWC meets to consider waiver as Edo gov, deputy dump APC [Sun]

Governor Godwin Obaseki has formally announced his resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he claimed was sparked by his refusal to subvert the will of the people for the interest of a “predatory group of godfathers and political thugs.”

Speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja after meeting with  the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, Obaseki confirmed that he would pursue his ambition for a second term on another platform.

Asked what his chances would be vying for office on another platform, he replied: “I’m sure if you’ve scanned the environment, you’ve scanned the media, you’ve scanned social media, the reaction from people across the world, particularly Edo, at home and in the Diaspora, for me, has been unbelievable. They’ve said to me, ‘wherever you go, we go’.”

On June 14, the governor had said he would disclose his next step after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, following his disqualification from the June 22 governorhip primary, over what chairman of the APC screening committee, Jonathan Ayuba, described as a “defective” certificate.

His deputy, Philip Shaibu, has also resigned from the APC, through a resignation letter addressed to the ward chairman, APC Ward 11, Etsako West Local Government.

On why he chose the State House to announce his resignation, the governor said: “I’ve said that before I make a decision, I have to show respect to my president, who I adore, who, for me, is an epitome of incorruptibility, epitome of order, an epitome of lawfulness. I think I owe him that respect to come and tell him what I have done and why I decided to take the decision I took.”

He, however,  refused to disclose what President Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction was about his decision to quit the ruling party, saying: “You’ll get that from Mr. President.”

Financial crisis pushing Nigeria to the precipice, says Atiku [Sun]

Former vice president,  Atiku Abubakar, has said the staggering sum spent servicing debts in the country when matched  with the revenue is an indication that the country is facing serious financial crisis.

Atiku, in a statement, yesterday,  expressed concerns that if revenues  did not increase quickly, the country could become insolvent and creditors may “foreclose on us” as has happened in Sri Lanka  and the Maldives.

He said the country is facing a crisis and cannot continue to keep up appearances by taking out more loans to prop up our economy, adding that that will amount not just robbing Peter to pay Paul but robbing our children to pay for our own greed.

He claimed that nothing has shocked him in his entire life in public service as the revelation from Nigeria’s first Quarter 2020 financial reports in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, which showed “alarmingly, that whereas Nigeria spent a total sum of 943.12 billion in debt servicing, the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the same period were only 950.56 billion. This means that Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is now 99 per cent.

“No one should be deceived. This is a crisis! Debt servicing does not equate to debt repayment. The reality is that Nigeria is paying only the minimum payment to cover our interest charges. The principal remains untouched and is possibly growing….”

JAMB releases cut-off marks, begins 2020 admission exercise [Sun]

Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has commenced admission exercise for 2020/2021 academic year for tertiary institutions with the announcement of cut off points for universities 160 and above, polytechnic 120 and above, colleges of education and innovative institutions 100 and above.

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who announced the development at the end of 2020 policy meeting, warned institutions against charging candidates more than N2,000 for screening exercise

He disclosed that 510,957 admission spaces were unused in 2019 admission year while 612, 557 were offered admission out of 1,157,977 candidates that sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

He asked tertiary institutions to proceed with the conduct of 2020/2021 admissions following the approved guidelines.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, urged JAMB and tertiary institutions to consider candidates with previous year’s Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and other qualifying results to proceed with the admission process.

Lagos makes U-turn on reopening of mosques, churches [Sun]

  • Worship centres to remain shut, says gov

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu has rescinded his earlier decision to reopen churches and mosques until further notice.

The governor, who spoke during his 15th update on the Coronavirus pandemic, yesterday, said the decision was as a result of  the rising cases in the state.

As at midnight yesterday, June 15, the state has recorded 7,319 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 1,137 have fully recovered and discharged while 82 died, leaving 6,100 active cases.

According to him, “Our dear State, therefore, continues to be the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, with about 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide. Let me again say that the steady increase in number of confirmed cases is by no means unexpected. Considering that the infection is now very much in our midst, the more we test, the more the number of positive cases that will emerge.

“The uplifting news is that, based on the statistics emerging from Lagos State, more than 90 percent of the people who test positive will go on to fully recover under supervision and be discharged. Dear Lagosians, in the most recent guidelines which we issued on the gradual easing of the lockdown, based on the advice of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, I noted that we would shortly be permitting the restricted opening of religious houses, on the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation since then and have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of re-opening for places of worship in Lagos state, until further notice. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts. So, let me say this again: we are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice.”


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