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Nigerian newspapers headlines Friday morning



Labour Set For Showdown Over Fuel Price Hike [Leadership]

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the increase in the price of petrol from N121 to N143 per litre, vowing to resist its implementation.

This is even as the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has insisted that the hike was done in line with prevailing market realities.

The congress, in a statement issued by its president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said Nigerians have groaned to pay these unjust costs of petrol hike for years, adding that this latest increase might just be the last straw that would break the camel’s back.

The NLC therefore urged the federal government to revert to the old price of fuel, especially given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous price before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago.

Wabba said: “When the statement by the PPPRA is juxtaposed with the recent killer electricity charges unveiled by DisCos, Nigerians cannot help but feel the heat of a potent threat to run millions of Nigerians under. It is even worse that this is coming at a time when our people are living on the precipice of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


It’s Not Our Duty To Uncover Sponsors Of Terrorists, Bandits – Military [Leadership]

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that the military is not aware of the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists and bandits in the country because it is not its responsibility to unmask them.

The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj- Gen. John Enenche, stated this yesterday during the weekly briefing on Armed Forces of Nigeria operations across the country.

He, however, said that the military had arrested several collaborators and handed them over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.

He said: “For the sponsorship of terrorists’ activities in Nigeria, we don’t know their sponsors.

“Once we get information on collaborators, we move in with military actions; for sponsors, that one is at the high level, we have not seen them, we have not seen that people are sponsoring them. The evidence is that people (terrorists) are getting provisions and equipment that ordinarily should not be, even if they loot and sell the rustled cattle.

“A common assessment will now justify how much would they steal and sell to get gun trucks and other equipment. All these point to the fact that they are being sponsored, funded, but that is beyond the military,” Enenche pointed out.


COVID-19: FG Goes Tough On Hospitals Over Neglect Of Routine Health Services [Leadership]

Tough times await health facilities that have developed the habit of rejecting or abandoning sick persons for fear of COVID-19 as the federal government has warned that they will pay dearly for the outcomes from such hospitals.

The government’s decision came on the heels of disturbing reports of very sick persons being rejected and abandoned by hospitals due to fear of Coronavirus.

The federal government is worried that in recent times many Nigerians have died having been denied attention in hospitals or told there was no bed space, after making marathon journeys from one hospital to the other in search of medical help.

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed the government’s position yesterday at the joint meeting of ministers of Health and medical directors of government hospitals in FCT catchment area in Abuja.

He warned that the act was unacceptable as the country cannot afford to continue to lose so many of its  citizens who have found their way to a health facility only to lose their lives to health conditions, some of which could have been cured.

“I appeal to all medical directors, who we have specifically invited here today for this message, that we shall hold each personally accountable for the outcomes emanating from your hospitals. No emergency should be denied attention, even if it means admitting on a stretcher or examination couch to give lifesaving oxygen,” the minister warned.


Dubai police extradite Hushpuppi to U.S. [Nation]

THE police in Dubai have extradited Raymond Igbalode Abbas alias Hushpuppi from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States.

The security outfit broke the news on its social media page on Thursday.

In a statement, the Dubai police said the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) extended its gratitude to the UAE crime unit for its role in apprehending and extraditing the suspect.

“The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray has praised the exceptional efforts exerted by the United Arab Emirates, represented by the Dubai Police General HQ, in combating transnational organised cybercrime including the recent arrest of Raymond Igbalode Abbas, known as “Hushpuppi” and Olalekan Jacob Ponle aka “Woodberry” who were taken down in operation Fox Hunt 2,” the statement read.

“Mr Wray also extended his appreciations to Dubai Police for their cooperation in extraditing the wanted criminals, who committed money-laundering and multiple cybercrimes, to the United States.”

The Cable Lifestyle had last month reported how Hushpuppi was arrested alongside his associates of 11 other Nigerians, including Olalekan Ponle, better known as Woodbery.

The suspects were apprehended on June 10, for alleged crimes committed outside the UAE, including money laundering, cyber fraud, hacking, impersonation, scamming individuals, banking fraud and identity theft worth Dh1.6 billion (an estimated N168 billion).

It is also understood that about 1,926,400 victims were targeted by the syndicate.

Their arrest followed an intense tracking by a special operation dubbed “Fox Hunt 2”, in an investigation that took less than four months and prompted a series of synchronised raids by the police on the suspects’ different residences while they were asleep.

Hushpuppi’s extradition also comes at about the same time when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) described him as “Nigeria’s most-wanted hacker,” adding that “he has a case to answer”.


Brace for rise in virus cases, minister alerts Nigerians [Nation]

NIGERIANS were on Thursday told to brace for a rise COVID-19 cases as consequences of the ease of lockdown.

Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who flashed the yellow card at a briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Control in Abuja, said more cases of the virus should be expected, following the lifting of the ban on interstate travels.

He cautioned Nigerians not to assume it has become safe to move about yet.

According to him, stakeholders should take advantage of the four-week extension of the second phase of easing the lockdown as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to review the strategy and assess the effectiveness of measures in place.


APC consultations begin as leaders meet Tinubu, Akande [Nation]

Party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee visits Southwest

THE ruling party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee yesterday kicked off its consultations with visits to pioneer chairman Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

It was the committee’s first step since its inauguration following dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC).

The NWC-led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole served for two years and two days – but in-fighting and multiple law suits-bogged it down, leading to its dissolution.

Speaking last night after the meeting at his Ikoyi, Lagos home, Tinubu, the party’s national leader, said: “We have no differences to be sorted out. We just had consultations and those consultations are about how our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) , will continue to be a progressive party.

“Politics without seeming ‘media crisis’ will be less interesting, depending on your (reporters’) persistent questioning.

“But the question is: are we committed to building this party and Nigeria? That is what we are all about. We’re steering the ship of our party and our nation in the right direction.”

He added: “We lost one of our brothers, Isiaka Ajimobi. We discussed him, sent a very sincere condolences to the family and looked at our party, the APC, which is the cure for aches and pains.

“We’ll apply the ingredients of APC to what appears to be pains in our party so we can heal.

”Sincerely, we have trust and respect for the character of the chairman of the caretaker committee.

“We’re willing to support him to succeed for the party to continue its crusade of progressive governance in the country.”

Asked if it was a reconciliatory visit, he said: “Who was fighting who?  The caretaker committee is on consultation. We have never been divided.

“In politics, there can be disagreements. There are instances where you disagree but it doesn’t mean that you cannot discuss it, and be a good example in leadership and politics.”

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said: “I am a good host, I am happy to have my colleagues here, it has been a very fruitful discussion we had here this evening.”

The Caretaker Committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State Governor-led the delegation to Tinubu’s home.

Other members of his entourage are: Secretary Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu and Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello.

Governor Buni said the meetings were part of the consultations “we are making. You know the task before us is daunting and we need guidance, experience and prayers from our leaders.”

Buni had earlier led a five-man delegation to Akande’s Ila-Orangun home in Osun State, for a one and half hour parley.

Members of the delegation and caretaker committee are Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Niger State Governor Sani Bello, Senator Akpan Udoedehe and Governor Bagudu.

Speaking on the meeting with Akande, who is the chairman of the party’s Reconciliation Committee, a source said: “The shuttle to Osun was part of the ongoing consultations with stakeholders to seek their input.

“The session is all about how to reconcile and reshape the party in the overall interest of all. It was on the future of the party and how to make it stronger.

“Akande is very important because he is the founding chairman of APC. He also heads the reconciliation committee which has received over 170 petitions. The committee went to consult  Akande in order to know where the shoes pinch.

Director of Press to Governor Buni, in a statement, said: “Akande urged the committee to differentiate true party men from platform seekers for the party to grow.

“There is great hope in what l have seen in this committee, the party will certainly bounce back stronger.

“I will continue to leave myself open with a call on other stakeholders to cooperate and support the committee to succeed”.

Buni described the meeting as successful and very fruitful.

He added: “This meeting further gave the committee a lot of confidence towards a very successful exercise.

“With such support and encouragement from founding fathers like Chief Akande, we are strengthened and confident that all other stakeholders will extend the required support for the party to emerge stronger.”


FG warns medical directors over rising deaths in hospitals [Punch]

  • Treat emergency cases on stretchers if there are no bed spaces, minister tells CMDs
  • Coronavirus spreading faster than system can handle, FG warns Nigerians

The Federal Government, on Thursday, stated that  it was disturbed by increasing rejection of patients by hospitals, saying medical directors would be held  responsible  for the laxity.

The Minister of Health, Dr  Osagie Ehanire, who stated this during a meeting involving the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Capital Territory Administration and medical directors in the FCT, also lamented that hospitals were delaying testing of  COVID-19 patients, leading to increasing coronavirus deaths.

Also, at its press briefing on Thursday, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19   urged state governments  to prepare for the worst  because of the rise in the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

The PUNCH had, last month,  reported that there had been a surge in COVID-19 cases following the delay by hospitals in releasing test results.

An Ibadan-based businessman, Mr. Omololu Akinyosoye, who  lost a friend to COVID-19,   told The PUNCH that he was tested at the Jericho Specialist Hospital, Ibadan, on June 17 and told to come back for the result in two  weeks.

Also, many hospitals have been abandoning patients. For example,  On May 7, The PUNCH reported that a man, Wisdom Akpan, accused the health workers of a primary health centre in the Joju area of Sango in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, of denying his sister, Rose, treatment till she collapsed and died in front of the hospital.

Attend to emergency cases on stretchers, if there are no bed spaces, minister tells hospitals

Warning heads of hospitals on Thursday, the ministers said, “No emergency should be denied attention, even if it means admitting on a stretcher or an examination couch to give lifesaving oxygen. I appeal to all medical directors, who we have specifically invited here today for this message, that we shall hold each personally accountable for the outcomes emanating from your hospitals.

“You are to kindly ensure that patients are attended to with dignity and dispatch, in the spirit in which the Honourable Minister of the FCT and I have spoken.

“I understand that health workers are rightfully concerned about their safety in COVID-19 pandemic. So, we have provided the PPE (personal protective equipment), training and an infection prevention and control protocols for doctors and nurses to discharge their duties safely, without risks to themselves.”

He also lamented that many COVID-19 patients had died while awaiting the results of their tests for the virus.

The minister stated, “I have  also been informed that many patients are left unattended to after admission, or even  die, while waiting for the result of their COVID-19 or other tests, which sometimes take as long as three to six- days to be released.

“We, in the healthcare sector cannot, afford negative impact on our sector and must be mindful of the collateral damage that can befall us, wipe out disease control gains we have made in the past decades and threaten our not so strong health system.

“Efforts to control COVID-19 must not be at the expense of allowing other diseases that are equally life-threatening to begin to thrive and increase mortalities. It would be a serious setback, if medical services, especially emergency medical service, begin to deteriorate in the wake of fighting COVID-19.

“There are places today, where we suspect that needless mortalities from other diseases have overtaken the threat of COVID – 19. We are beginning to see that fear of or focus on coronavirus is making some health institutions lose sight of other health hazards in our communities.”

While stressing that the government was deeply worried that health practitioners were neglecting their patients mainly for fear of contracting coronavirus, Ehanire said he had also directed that basic diagnostic  laboratories  be set up at the emergency centres of major hospitals.

He said, “I have directed that  side labs for GeneXpert COVID – 19 diagnostic machines, which deliver results within one hour, should be deployed and activated at the National Hospital Abuja and the UATH (University of Abuja Teaching Hospital) in Gwagwalada. I also directed that basic diagnostic side labs be set up at the emergency centres of major hospitals.

“I am talking of the frequency of reports of very sick persons being rejected and abandoned by our hospitals. Many have died having been denied attention in hospitals, or told there is no bed, often after they have made marathon journeys from one hospital to the other in search of help.

“This is not acceptable, we cannot afford to continue to lose so many of our people, who have in fact found their way to a hospital, only to lose their lives to health conditions, some of which could have been cured.”

At the PTF briefing,  Ehanire said states must beef up their battles against COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, Nigeria had recorded 26,484 cases and 603 deaths caused  by the virus, while 10,152 patients had been successfully treated and discharged.

Ehanire called on state governments to continue to prepare more bed spaces, adding the cases would  rise with  increased testing.

He said, “We are urging state governments to prepare for the worst. This rising trend requires that each state of the federation to continue to prepare more bed spaces and increase sample collection sites, as well as improve logistics to deliver to designated laboratories promptly.

“It is also important to protect the vulnerable by putting in place measures which take care of their social needs and reduce their exposure to risks of infection.”

According to him, the rising number of cases is “a sign that COVID-19 is actually expanding faster than our systems are handing it.”

Ehanire also said COVID-19 positive persons, who did not show symptoms of the virus, would be admitted in hospitals, if they had conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, among others.

He stated, “The Federal Ministry of Health’s plan will be to focus more on minimising fatalities by prioritising pre-emptive admission to hospital for medical observation, for all persons who test positive for COVID-19 and meet our definition of vulnerability, even if they do not yet have classical symptoms.”

Ehanire said with the lifting of the ban on interstate travels, the assumption should not be that the COVID-19 danger was over.

The risks of being infected, he said, were higher during travels, advising Nigerians to avoid non-essential travels.

The chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, also said with the easing of restrictions, it was expected that there would be rise in cases.

He said, “One significant observation the PTF wishes to make is that new rise in cases are to be expected as nations start to ease restrictions.”

FG says those responsible for attack on FMC, Lokoja will be apprehended

Mustapha expressed regret over the Wednesday attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja and promised that the Federal Government would ensure that the culprits were brought to book.

He added, “The PTF has received, with great concern, reports about the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State by some hoodlums.

“The PTF is particularly distressed and regrets the trauma to which medical workers, patients and others who went for their legitimate duties were subjected.

“I wish to assure you that security agencies have been tasked with the responsibility for fishing out the criminal elements behind it and they will be brought to justice. We thank law- abiding Nigerians for reporting the occurrence promptly.”

FG releases  interim report on Madagascar’s drug, says plant grown in Nigeria

While answering a question, Ehanire said initial findings on the Madagascar’s drink touted as possible cure showed that the plant, which is the primary ingredient of the organic drink, is grown in Nigeria.

The minister said, “The preliminary result or analysis of  Madagascar’s  herb  done by the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development shows that it is the same plant called artemisia annua which is grown in farms in Abuja.

“Further research on its efficacy will be conducted when the grant for the research is approved.”

The task force’s National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, justified the government’s decision to retain the 10pm to 4am curfew despite the lifting of the ban on interstate travels.

Responding to a question, Aliyu said the strategy adopted by the PTF was to reduce social interactions as much as possible in a manner that had the least adverse effect on the economy.

He said, “When it comes to respiratory tract infection, what we are trying to do is to reduce the frequency of contact between people. So, anything you do that reduces that frequency will help towards reducing the risk of transmission.”

On when the railway would be opened, Aliyu said the sector must put in place the COVID-19 safety measures as was done in the aviation sector for reopening.

FG to involve NUT in  guidelines for reopening of schools

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the Federal Government was engaging teachers in   the guidelines for  resumption of schools.

The General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mike Ene, had, in reaction to the guidelines by the PTF, told THE PUNCH that teachers would not resume because the government was not serious with what it was  doing.

But Nwajiuba said, “We are engaging them (the NUT). We as a people review the information that is available to government and juxtapose that with the needs of children who are in the exit classes so that they may obtain the minimum certificates that they need in order to progress in future.”


Law school paid cleaner N32m/year –Auditor General [Punch]

The Office of Auditor-General of the Federation on Thursday said it uncovered several anomalies in the financial records of the Nigerian Law School.

The Audit report presented to the Senate, indicted the apex legal academic institution for misappropriation and spending without approvals.

The 2015 Financial Report of the office is currently being scrutinised by the Senate Public Accounts Committee for investigation.

The report said the management of the Nigerian Law School illegally paid N32m to the account of an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months.

The Auditor-General report also queried the payment of N36m as dressing allowance of 52 workers to the account of a single member of staff in violation of Nigeria’s Financial Act.

It read in part, “The examination of payment records revealed that the Nigerian Law School several times paid N36m to staff as dressing allowance in 2013 alone.

“The Management could not substantiate these payments with any approval from Salaries and Wages Commission to enable the audit team to determine the genuineness of these payments to staff. No appropriation in this request.”


Chinese couple lock up eight Nigerian employees for four months [Punch]

The police have arrested a Chinese couple in Abuja for allegedly locking up their Nigerians employees in their apartment for the past four months.

Eight domestic workers were rescued by the personnel of the Utako Divisional Police Station on Tuesday following a tip-off by a resident, who reported the incident to the Human Rights radio station.

The police raided the residence of the Chinese in the Jabi area of Abuja and took the unidentified couple and their domestic employees to the station.

In footage provided by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, the victims said they had been locked up in the apartment since February.

A lady, who did not give her name, said the domestic workers were not allowed to move out of the building and that the couple refused to allow her to go for treatment when she took ill.

She stated, “When I was seriously sick, I asked these people (Chinese employers) to open the gate for me, but they refused until I became very angry before they opened the door. I know my life may be at risk but I don’t mind, let the world know what is happening.

“They told us that if someone was going out, he could help buy something for us, but when this man (referring to a colleague) went out to buy sachet water, they deducted his salary. What do they want us to do?

“We had to stay in the room and talk to people through the windows. They didn’t give us food; apart from the salary, they didn’t give us anything; they even cut our salaries.”

The driver of the Chinese, who simply identified himself as Alex, said he and the seven others had been working against their will for the couple since the outbreak of COVID-19 in February.

Alex stated, “They never allowed us to go out since February; if any of us went out and they know, a certain percentage of the person’s salary would be deducted.

“Even on Monday when this man (pointing at one of his co-workers) sent someone to buy water, N500 was deducted from his salary that has yet to be paid.”

Another worker said the couple deducted N3,000 from his salary, because he went out to fill his pension form.

But sources told PUNCH Metro on Thursday that the workers were refusing to cooperate with the police, adding that when they got to the station, they claimed that they were not forcefully detained by their employers.

“We were surprised by the refusal of the Nigerians to narrate the details of their ordeal to the police. All of them claimed that they chose to stay with the Chinese couple without coercion, but that was not the information that prompted our visit to the apartment. From the look of things, there may be more to what they are telling us,” a police source said.

The spokesman, Federal Capital Territory Police Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed the incident, noting that investigation had commenced.

He said the Chinese couple had been released on bail.


PDP, Labour, others reject new fuel price as marketers sell at N143.80 per litre [Sun]

  • Urge FG to revert to old price

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday,  joined the nation’s Labour movement and other stakeholders to slam the Federal Government over Wednesday’s increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit, ( aka petrol).

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary,  Kola Ologbondiyan,  described the increment as punishment on the citizens given the prevailing economic situation in the country.

The opposition party noted that the increase despite the decline price of crude oil in the international market, was unjustifiable and  exposes the insincerity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) APC and the Federal Government,  which  it controls.

It further stated that by increasing the price of fuel at a time Nigerians are confronted  with economic and social trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has shown a total lack of human feelings to the plights of our citizens.

“Our party challenges the APC-led Federal Government to present to Nigerians, the indices and parameters it used to determine the price increase, which obviously cannot be in tandem with the prevalent situation in the global industry.

“The actions of the APC administration have continued to confirm that the party has never been pro-poor but only relishes in imposing hardship and heavy taxes on already impoverished Nigerians, while running an over-bloated government through which resources meant for the welfare of Nigerians are frittered by corrupt officials and the cabal in the Presidency.

“Under the APC, Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardship, which is worsened by excruciating taxes, including a 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential commodities and services, increased electricity tariff, obnoxious Stamp Duty and other levies on bank transactions.

“It is shocking that the APC government has continued to impose more burdens that have made life unbearable to our citizens, many of whom have lost their means of livelihood due to the misrule of the APC.

“Only yesterday, President Buhari told the world that the number of poor people will triple following the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic; yet his administration, which has turned our nation into the poverty capital of the world, instead of seeking ways to stimulate the economy, is worsening the situation with an increase in fuel price.

What Nigerians expect of the Buhari Presidency at this critical time is to save resources by immediately cutting the size of its over-bloated government, recover the over N14 trillion oil money stolen under its watch and channel the funds towards the wellbeing of Nigerians.

“Our party therefore charges the APC and its administration to immediately reverse the pump price of fuel to a price not exceeding N90 per liter, given the prevailing templates in the price of crude oil in the international market,” the PDP stated.

The PDP reaction came as organized Labour rejected against the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirit raised from N121 to N143.80 per litre by the Federal Government, calling for its  reversal with immediate effect.

At separate events to protest the hike both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said they received news of the increase with rude shock and vowed to resist a policy they said was inhuman.

Their reaction came as marketers began implementation of the new pump price less than 24-hours after the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced a new price regime of N140.80-N143.80 for the month of July in line with its monthly price band. A survey of filling stations across the Lagos metropolis showed that most marketers have already adjusted their pumps in compliance with the PPPRA directive.

Findings by Daily Sun across filling stations run by independent and major marketers revealed a swift reversal to the highest bank of N143.80 price per litre, with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owned retail outlets selling at the lowest price of N140.80.

Motorists who spoke to Daily Sun expressed surprise at the swiftness with which filling stations quickly complied with the order, saying were it to be a downward review; the implementation could have taken longer than a week to reflect the new price.

But the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, said it was not out of place for marketers to be swift in adjusting their pump prices.

Oyebanji said the more marketers delay, the more risk business risk they face because after selling their stock which they bought at the old rate, they would need more resources to buy at the new price which is much higher.

In announcing the latest hike, the PPPRA said “Please recall the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations, based on the existing price regime.

“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80 – N143.80/litre for the month of July 2020.”

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the latest increase might just be the last straw that would break the camel’s back. “There is no way Nigerians would accept a situation where we are charged international rates for a product Nigeria is ranked sixth largest producer in the world. “We demand that the Federal Government revert to the old price of petroleum especially given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous price before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago,” he said.


NUPENG gives FG 2 weeks to fix highways [Sun]

There are strong indications that the nation’s oil workers may embark on industrial action any moment from now should the Federal Government fails to fix all dilapidated nation’s roads.

This is as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) threatened to embark on industrial action without notice if the 10 oil workers kidnapped at sea in Port Harcourt, yesterday, were not released.

President of the union, Williams Akporeha, at a media briefing after the virtual National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, said NUPENG had given the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to commence total rehabilitation of the roads to save lives and properties and can no longer tolerate the current situation of things.

“We are shocked at the lackadaisical attitude of Local, States and Federal Governments to the issues of addressing the degenerating state of Nigeria roads before the coming of the current raining season, despite all our warnings for them to make necessary construction, repairs and maintenance of all our roads, which are now in parlous state and becoming practically impassable,” he said.


Edo guber: APC drafts Oshiomhole, Ganduje, Oyegun, Kalu into 49-man campaign council [Sun]

  • Court dismisses suit against ex-national chair

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has drafted sacked national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, pioneer national chairman and former Edo governor, Chief  John Odigie-Oyegun; governors Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Hope Uzodinma, Imo; Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe; Yahaya Bello, Kogi; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos; Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president; Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip of the senate, Pius Odubu and others into its National Campaign Council to propel the party to victory in the Edo gubernatorial election.

APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will square up against Governor Godwin Obaseki,  candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on September 19.

A statement by APC’s deputy spokesman, Yekini Nabena, said Mai Mala Buni, chairman of the caretaker committee, named Ganduje as chairman and Uzodinma as deputy chairman of the 49-man campaign council.

Meanwhile, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Jabi, Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit filed against Oshiomhole and three others.

The decision followed the withdrawal of the suit by the plaintiffs, Mustapha Salihu and five others.

It was the suit that led to Oshiomhole’s suspension as national chairman.

Justice Danlami Senchi had on May 4,  granted an interim order on suspending Oshiomhole from further acting as APC’s National Chairman.

When the matter came up for hearing as the parties were to return to the High Court of the FCT for determination of the substantive suit yesterday, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Oluwola Afolabi moved a motion to withdraw the case.

Afolabi said the withdrawal was informed by the directive by leaders of the APC that all court cases be discontinued in the interest of peace.

Lawyer to Oshiomhole and one other, Ginika Ezeoke, said she was not opposed to the plaintiffs’ desire to withdraw the case.

Ezeoke then urged the court to dismiss the suit.

Akande hails Buni committee

Chief Bisi Akande has said his faith in a strong APC has been renewed with the caliber of members on the party’s reconciliatory committee chaired by Governor Mala Buni.

Chief Akande disclosed this in an interview after a meeting with Governor Buni and three other governors and the party national secretary who visited him at his Ila Orangun country home in Osun State.

He urged the committee to differentiate true party men from platform seekers for the party to grow.

“There is a great hope in what l have seen in this committee, the party will certainly bounce back stronger. I will continue to leave myself open with a call on other stakeholders to cooperate and support the committee to succeed,” he said.

Buni described the meeting as successful and fruitful.

PDP urges people to join movement for better Edo

The Edo chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed optimism over the future of the party with Governor Godwin Obaseki as its candidate.

The party in a statement  expressed appreciation to the leadership at the national and state levels  and to all governorship aspirants for the civilised, decent and reasonable conducts of the primary that saw the emergence of Obaseki.

Edo PDP Publicity Secretary, Chris Osa Nehikhare, said the conduct of the PDP primary election showed discipline, sense of professionalism and purpose by party members and leaders.

“As we reset Edo State, we will reset the way we look, feel and think. And we need to reset the way we behave. In today’s PDP government, it won’t be enough just to talk about tackling problems, but we need to have the right ideas to turn those problems around. The name calling, backbiting, point scoring and finger pointing are beneath our government, as we won’t play politics with the long-term future of Edo State. We will work to get it right,” he said.