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FG Orders Deportation Of 10 Egyptians, 7 Sri-Lankans [LEADERSHIP]

The Federal Government has approved the deportation of 10 Egyptians and 7 Sri-Lankans with immediate effect.

 Mr Sunday James, Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

 James said that the minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbeshola, had signed the deportation order in pursuant to section 45, subsection 2, section 46, subsection 1 and Section 47, subsection 1 of the Nigeria Immigration Act 2015.

 He said that the 10 Egyptians had violated the conditions for their entry and the minister had ordered their deportation with immediate effect.

 “Seven Sri-Lankans that were jailed for petroleum product related offences after serving their jail terms were ordered by the court to be deported to their country as well.

 “The minister also signed the deportation order of one Ali Mahamat Taher to France and one Kasinathan Ramasamy to India who were found to be involved in activities violating the conditions of their entry into Nigeria.

 “Taher was found to be engaged in activities capable of undermining the security of a friendly neighbouring country to Nigeria in Maiduguri, Borno State.

 “While Ramasamy was found working as a shop attendant in Kano,” he said.

NAN reports that the Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, had directed that all migrants in Nigeria should comply with the laws guiding their residence and entry following the resumption of international flight.

 “The public are hereby advised to note that all special exemptions granted to migrants due to COVID-19 has elapsed,” he had said. (NAN)

24 Hours To Go: Govs Mount Pressure On Labour To Shelve Strike [LEADERSHIP]

Barely 24 hours to deadline, governors of the 36 states of the federation yesterday mounted pressure on organised labour to resolve the impasse occasioned by the threat to embark on strike tomorrow, if the federal government refuses to rescind the recent decision to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, and electricity tariff.

This was the outcome of an early morning dialogue between representatives of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as well as Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the residence of the chairman of the NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, in Abuja yesterday.

Fayemi spoke for the forum, while the NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who was accompanied by the TUC president, Quadri Olaleye and the NLC general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, to the meeting, spoke for the organised labour.

Also at the meeting was the director general of the NGF, Asishana Okauru.

The chairman explained that governors decided to wade into the on-going negotiations with a view to broadening consultations and assisting to bring the impasse to an end, thus averting the impending strike action.

He pleaded with the NLC that the timing of the action was inauspicious and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.

Fayemi emphasised that the plight of workers in the country was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by the union at this time would further worsen their situation as contained in the communiqué issued by the governors after their first emergency meeting on Thursday since the outbreak of the pandemic and eventual lockdown of the country in March.

The NGF chairman who said no one that was conversant with the prevailing situation in the country would disagree with labour and its demands as it were pleaded that governors be given time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, the vice president and the president.

This, he said, would be top priority for the NGF, just as he promised to head straight to the presidency once the meeting was over.

The governors’ forum chairman expressed hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put on hold their planned action.

On his part, the president of the NLC said the federal government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue.

Borno Attack An Orchestrated Sabotage – PMB [LEADERHIP]

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described as orchestrated sabotage, the ambush on entourage of Borno State governor, Umar Babagana Zulum, which led to the death of security men and some operatives of Civilian-JTF.

Zulum’s convoy was attacked and 11 security men killed in an ambush in Kukawa area of the state on Friday, while on his way to Baga town to inspect structures being put in place toward resettling communities displaced by Boko Haram.

The attackers opened fire on the convoy, and among the 11 fallen security personnel were eight Policemen and three members of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).

In statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president said the attack on Maiduguri-Baga route was an orchestrated sabotage against long planned return of displaced persons to their local communities.

President Buhari noted with deep sympathy the loss of lives of security men on the convoy ahead of the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), even as he commiserated with their families and loved ones.

The president urged the government of Borno State, working with security and intelligence agencies, to remain firm in their determination to restore normalcy to all communities liberated from Boko Haram terrorists.

President Buhari urged security and intelligence agencies to intensify efforts to check sabotage, sanitize the roads, venues and locations well in advance of returning IDPs, while working closely with local communities.

CBN Recovers Over N400bn From Agric Loans [LEADERSHIP]

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it has recovered N400 billion out of the N600 billion, which it had given out to private sector, and state governments to enhance large scale farming in Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS)

The CBN’s director, Development Finance Department, Mr Philip Yila Yusuf made this known during a one-day virtual seminar with financial journalists and editors.

According to him, the intervention scheme had been successful in loan recovery, noting that the initiative was apt and timely in ensuring food sufficiency in Nigeria, as borders and international trade came to a hold during the peak of COVID-19.

Yusuf said  “the CACS, is really to fast track food processing across the entire value chain and this has been our successful intervention. We’ve disbursed over N600billion and over N400billion has been paid back. It was given at nine per cent interest rate, but reduced to five per cent and it has been given to private sector players and also state governments have accessed it for either rice processing mills, cassava processing mills or to do large scale farming.”

Stressing that it was important for Nigeria to be food self-sufficient, he said because of the protectionist mode that a lot of countries are going into, “There’s an opportunity for us to properly diversify into agriculture. So, we need to produce more, especially grains. We need to achieve national food security and we need to be able to start looking at how we can even begin to export for us to be able to earn forex, because there’s already a decline in the major forex inflow we get from oil.

“We really need to start looking at how we can ensure we have food self-sufficiency and also begin to export to earn more foreign exchange.

“Another is across the entire value chain for agriculture, we have significant land that has been unlocked and so we need to ensure we are doing a lot of processing in-country.”

Death toll in Boko Haram attack on Zulu’s convoy hits 30 [THE NATION]

THE death toll in Friday’s attack by terror sect, Boko Haram, on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State was on Saturday put at 30.

Sources in Maiduguri said the casualties from the attack on Zulum on a highway had doubled, following the recovery of more bodies.

The victims included policemen and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

The police and the governor, however, said 11 people died in the attack.

The police gave the breakdown as eight policemen and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

A sad Zulum consoled the bereaved families and described the victims as priceless heroes.

President Muhammadu Buhari sympathised with the governor and charged security agencies to intensify efforts in the Northeast to rid security in the area of sabotage.

Chief spokesman to Governor Zulum, Isa Gusau, said in a statement yesterday that his principal was “saddened by this unfortunate carnage.”

He added: “He shares the grief of families of these 11 priceless heroes to whom Borno shall remain grateful.

“The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to ongoing peace building efforts.

“Zulum is of the opinion that we must continue to keep hope alive even in the face of tribulations, and believe that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno will eventually regain peace.

“The situation facing us is a tough one but we must choose between doing something which gives us some hope and doing nothing which will leave us more vulnerable to Boko Haram’s ultimate wish to take over Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration.”

Tinubu hails Fasoranti on true federalism [THE NATION]

 NATIONAL Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the Afenifere leader, Chief Adebayo Fasoranti, as a formidable voice in the clamour for true federalism, fiscal federalism and the separation of powers in Nigeria.

Fasoranti, according to him, has “effectively contributed to and enriched the discourse on regional integration, nation-building and good governance, and with a benefit of hindsight, advocated for a pure federal principle as the basis for peaceful co-existence in an indivisible and united Nigeria.”

Tinubu paid the tribute in a message to the launch of the autobiography and pet project of the Afenifere leader in Akure.

He said Fasoranti’s leadership role had inspired many others on the issue of true federalism.

He said: “Indeed, some of us have been and remain die-hard advocates of true federalism. We have striven in and out of public office for its implementation as a sine-qua-non for a peaceful, progressive and united Nigeria.

“On this score, I remain unshakable in my commitment to the idea and ideals of true federalism without which our nation’s unity would constantly be shaken.

“Papa and his life lessons have continued to serve as a moral guide to many of us and to the political class. Accomplished educationist, astute progressive politician, elder-statesman and die-hard Awoist, Papa has devoted his life to public service. We continue to celebrate him and his exemplary life.

“Indeed, what we celebrate about Papa is the success story of leadership by example, political consistency, total loyalty to the progressive cause, devotion to principle, integrity, courage of conviction and uncommon contentment.”

Ondo 2020: New game plans for APC, PDP, others [THE NATION]

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the governorship election in Edo State and the emergence of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner, political parties and their gubernatorial candidates have redirected their efforts towards the governorship election taking place in Ondo State next month. Consequently, political activities are expected to further heat up in the coming days and weeks across the nooks and crannies of the sunshine state.

Not a few pundits are of the opinion that many of the parties, especially the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition PDP will seriously consider the processes and outcomes of the Edo gubernatorial contest as they continue with their electioneering campaigns ahead of the October election. “The two parties will have to return to the drawing board and see how lessons from Edo election will help them next month,” a source said.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a total of 17 of the 18 registered political parties are participating in the Ondo governorship election fixed for 10th October, 2020. Only the Boot Party is not taking part in the election as it neither gave the commission any notification of its intention to conduct primaries for the Ondo governorship election, nor submitted names of candidates to INEC before the closure of nomination of gubernatorial candidates.

The list of parties and candidates on the INEC website has Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the APC, the State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, as the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) with Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP candidate. And in spite of the presence of 14 other parties in the race, most pundits and observers insist the guber election is a three horse race among the three aforementioned candidates and parties.

While Akeredolu of the APC is the incumbent governor and is expected to benefit immensely from the incumbency factor as well as the popularity of his political party in the state, his supporters are insisting that his performance in the last four years will garner the votes for him come October 10. The Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, who is also the Chairman, Yoruba Obas Conflict Resolution Committee, once said Akeredolu deserves the support because of his achievements.

“He is setting a good foundation for a solid economic development of the state by providing a good environment for private businesses to thrive. I was happy that his party, APC, has endorsed him for the second term and I have no reservations to support him because he is doing his best to provide good governance in Ondo State and particularly the welfare of the workers. I also plead with all and sundry to join hands with him in his quest to develop the state,” the monarch said.

Govt unveils palliatives as Labour insists on strike [THE NATION]

ORGANISED labour is pressing ahead with its planned anti-fuel price hike strike across the country tomorrow despite spirited efforts by the federal government and the 36 state governors to stave off the strike.

Not even a list of palliatives offered by the federal government to the workers seems to be making any impression on them.

A peace meeting convened on Saturday in Abuja by the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) with labour representatives yielded no fruit.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), which is organising the strike with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said yesterday that there was no stopping the action.

Civil servants at federal and state levels declared their readiness for the strike despite the Friday warning by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan, to workers on the payroll of the federal government not to join the planned strike.

Mrs. Esan cited the National Industrial Arbitration Court’s interim injunctions restraining the strike’s organisers from proceeding with their plan.

The President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Innocent Bola-Audu, responding to the warning yesterday, said that federal workers “are joining the strike. It is as simple as that.”

Strike: We’ll enforce the law, police warn NLC, TUC [PUNCH]

Ahead of the planned strike action and protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress from Monday over the recent hike in electricity tariff and fuel price, the Nigeria Police Force has said it will enforce the law on the matter.

Despite two court injunctions restraining the unions and their affiliates from proceeding with the strike, the labour unions told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that they would go ahead with the strike and protest from Monday as they had yet to be served the court orders. The labour unions had said they would only shelve the planned strike if the Federal Government reversed the recent hikes.

The National Industrial Court in Abuja had on Thursday granted an order of interim injunction restraining the unions from disrupting, restraining, picketing or preventing the workers or ordinary Nigerians from accessing their offices to carry out their legitimate duties on September 28, 2020, or any other date.

Justice Ibrahim Galadima, who also issued an interim order restraining the labour unions from embarking on the strike action, gave the ruling following an ex parte application filed by a group, Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association, through their counsel, Sunusi Musa.

The court also granted an order compelling the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General, Department of State Services, to provide protection for workers engaged in their legitimate duties from any form of harassment, intimidation and bullying by the officers, agents or privies of the unions pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after the ruling, the judge on Friday issued another order restraining the unions from going ahead with the strike, following an ex parte application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Federal Government of Nigeria and the AGF are the plaintiffs in the second suit marked NICN/ABJ/257/2020. The ex parte application was signed by the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

In their reaction on Saturday, however, the police said they would be guided by the position of the law on the matter.

Force spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba, in his response to questions from one of our correspondents on Saturday, simply said, “What does the law say in this circumstance? We would enforce the law. That is the only thing I can say.”

The meeting between the labour unions and the Federal Government had been adjourned till Monday following the failure of the two parties to reach a compromise on the matter.

Boko Haram attack: How Borno governor escaped death [PUNCH]

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Saturday said the situation facing the state was a tough one and that Boko Haram terrorists had an “ultimate wish to take over the state and bring it under a sovereign brutal administration.”

Zulum, whose convoy came under Boko Haram terrorists’ attack in the Baga area on Thursday, for a second time, escaped because he travelled in a military aircraft, although the death toll has now risen to 30 persons from an initial 15 reported.

This is just as the pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, lambasted the Federal Government and the military over the Boko Haram terrorists’ attack on the governor’s convoy, saying they had “a lot of questions to answer.”

Also, a former Vice President and 2019 Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, called on the Federal Government to “adopt new strategies to deal with the menace of insurgency decisively.”

Security sources on Saturday confirmed to the Agence France Presse that the death toll had risen to 30 persons, giving the breakdown as 12 policemen, five soldiers, four members of a government-backed militia and nine civilians.

Sunday PUNCH learnt that it was now a custom for Zulum to travel to northern Borno by air because of the ravaging Boko Haram insurgency and since he was attacked by the terrorists in July 2020.

A close source said, “This (the Thursday’s visit) was not his first time travelling by a military chopper. It has become a custom after his convoy was attacked in the same Baga a few months ago. All his journeys since then to the dangerous terrain of northern Borno have always been by air and he uses military choppers.”

The Borno State Police Command on Saturday confirmed the Boko Haram terrorists’ attack on the governor’s convoy, saying 11 persons were killed while 13 others were injured. The police noted that the deceased were eight policemen and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

The police also confirmed that the governor travelled by air, but had state officials and federal and state lawmakers in the convoy attacked by the insurgents.

The officials included the senator representing northern Borno, Abubakar Kyari; House of Representatives members, Mohammed Monguno and Bukar Kareto, who represent Marte, Monguno, Nganzai, and Mobbar Kukuwa, Guzamala, Abadam federal constituencies respectively.

The Commissioner of Police, Bello Makwashi, in a release on Saturday, said that the police “would not relent in providing the needed security for the people of the state at all times.”

The CP said, “On September 25, 2020, at about 12 pm, the security convoy, which was heading for Baga in respect of the government’s effort to relocate indigenes of Baga to their ancestral home came under heavy gun attack by armed men suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists a few kilometres from Cross Kauwa. The security convoy returned fire and successfully repelled the attack.

“In the ensuing gunfight, however, casualties were recorded on both sides. Unfortunately, eight policemen and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force paid the ultimate price. Thirteen other persons sustained injuries and were rushed to a hospital for treatment.”

2023 Presidency: We’ll field Goodluck Jonathan if… [SUN]

National Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), Comrade Joseph Evah, is a reporter’s delight any day as he will not dodge any question despite how sensitive or who is involved.

In this no-holds-barred interview with Sunday Sun, he dissected the scandal rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and what President Mohammadu Buhari should do, Ogoni clean-up, thoughts on Ondo election and why the Igbo should tackle traitors working against their 2023 presidential goal, among other critical issues. Excerpt:

The scandal rocking the NDDC is no longer speculation…?

(Cut’s in)The entire mess is now on the public domain, all that they have been hiding, and all that we have been complaining about on the setting up of Interim Management Committee (IMC) has now become clear before our very eyes. The major issue for us now is on the way forward and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is like the engine room apart from the activities of the governors, to help our situation. So, the way forward is that President Buhari should reverse himself. There is nobody above mistakes, the president has made the mistake by setting up the IMC, which is unknown to law, unknown to any law as far as the NDDC is concerned. It is clear for all to know that this setting up of the IMC is what is causing this problem, so it is better for the President to reverse himself. Before now, I warned on the danger ahead when Buhari wanted to set up the IMC, like the prophet that I am, I warned against it. I appeared in many television stations as well as interviews from most newspapers condemning the attempt to set up the IMC, but my admonition was ignored.  I knew it will lead to another disaster in the history of NDDC and now it has come to pass. I have a copy of the opinion poll I conducted through the Ijaw Monitoring Group, we conducted an opinion poll in 2007, part of the opinion poll, the views of the Niger Delta people was that we don’t want the NDDC to be under any so-called special adviser, special assistant to the president, minister of Niger Delta or anything. We want the NDDC to be under the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.  This is because if there is any problem, if the NDDC is not working we hold the Secretary to the Federal Government responsible. If the NDDC is given to any special adviser or assistant they want us to kill ourselves. If the NDDC is handed over to the minister of Niger Delta to supervise, they want us to kill ourselves because it will lead to crisis. This is because those offices are political appointments within the children of that region that want to play politics with it. In 2000 the opinion poll was published and I distributed over 100, 000 copies of the opinion poll that we still have today in which we rejected any attempt to say NDDC is under special adviser or assistant to Mr. President or minister of Niger Delta. Our demand then was that we want it to be under the Secretary to the Federal Government so that we can hold the presidency responsible if the mandate was not being delivered. We learned from what happened to the late Ken Saro-Wiwa when some of our youths were against some of our leaders for betraying the region, the next thing was to come and hang Ken Saro Wiwa and the other patriots. The person/people that advised the president to set up IMC mislead him. The president has seen it with what is happening there now. The new IMC people said they used N1.8 billion to take care of themselves. The argument is that if they don’t take care of themselves and Coronavirus kills them who will now be in-charge? Can you imagine? We are saying that if there is any problem you find out in the NDDC, give it to EFCC, that has been probing, investigating, and placing people on trial as in other structures. So, why are you saying that IMC should come and coordinate forensic?  The immediate past acting managing Director of NDDC, Joi Nunieh told us that there is nothing like forensic, she was there to conduct forensic she said uptil now there is nothing like forensic and we know that that is the truth because you cannot tell politicians to come and investigate themselves.  We all know what this country looks like when it comes to such issues. So, to cut the long story short, let the IMC be dissolved, let NDDC be under the office or control of the Secretary to the Federal Government, let those found guilty be made to face the music. Let there be a genuine forensic test, not the one that you will tell politicians to do the investigation.

But are you worried that aside from the present revelations coming out from the present NDDC scandal the institution is believed not to have done much since its inception given the financial resources expended by present and past leadership?

 Well, everybody knows that and that was why we expected the president to put special mandate to EFCC to deal with some of them so that others will learn from their experience. Look at what happened to NYSC. When Buhari came as military president the NYSC was a disaster, but he set up probe in so many things, including the NYSC, today is NYSC not working? We all know what happened in the 80s with the NYSC programme. It was not politicians that probed NYSC.

Yoruba in Kwara, Kogi seek merger with Southwest [SUN]

Yoruba ethnic group in Kwara and Kogi states have expressed desire to be merged with their kith and kin in the South West region through boundary adjustment.

The group, which occupies seven local government areas in Kwara South senatorial zone and five LGAs in Kogi State, in a statement yesterday, said it had forwarded a memorandum to the National Assembly on the platform of Kwara South Consultative Forum.

According to the National President of the forum, Sir Joseph Aderibigbe, who was the first Secretary to Kwara State Government when it was created in 1967, the group submitted a memorandum to the 9th National Assembly’s Committee on Review of the Nigerian Constitution, with a demand for the merging of the Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi with their kinsmen in the South-West through boundary adjustment.

The group added that the Yoruba in the group should have their own administrative units like others within the proposed region.

It further demanded that the rest of the Yoruba in the remaining five LGAs of the state should be part of Kwara Yoruba to be merged with the proposed Western Region through a referendum.

The KSCF, in its memorandum, said: “The Yoruba of Kwara South occupying seven out of the 16 LGAs in the state and their counterparts in Kogi state were not given any say to determine where they wanted to be and who they wanted to live with before lumping them in with the Northern Protectorate, contrary to their right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.



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