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Nigerian newspapers headlines Wednesday morning



PMB Orders Resuscitation Of Abandoned Farm Estates [LEADERSHIP]

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered that all abandoned farm estates be reactivated to allow for youth participation in farming.

He told agencies overseeing the agricultural sector to further streamline their priorities with the inclusion of youths in driving modern methods of farming.

Speaking at the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme designed by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to spur more youth interest in farming, the president assured all those interested that an enabling environment will be created for their full participation

He noted that agriculture remained the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, being the largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

A statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari saying, “We will do more to expand, modernise and revolutionize our agriculture, which is our most important asset.

“I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming. This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanisation through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange”.

President Buhari noted that the resuscitation of NALDA will make Nigeria food sufficient and in a few years begin to earn more revenue from export of agricultural commodities.

He stated: “By virtue of my passion and desire for agriculture and also as a farmer myself, I am directly supervising NALDA as an authority under the Presidency.

“I am asking the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and State Governments to give full cooperation to NALDA in its activities. With the success of Anchor Borrowers programme spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and new programmes to revive cotton, palm products and cocoa,

the next few years will see a vast difference in our agricultural performance”.

The president added that all the necessary approvals that NALDA requires for effective take-off, beginning with areas of adequate land preparation for crop farming and livestock rearing, had been given, charging the Executive Secretary/CEO of NALDA and his team to continue to live up to expectations and increase their activities in local communities.

“I am told that so far, 4,333 families have benefited from this scheme and it is expected that many more individuals and families will benefit as the programme is rolled out.

“I now flag off the National Young Farmers’ Scheme.  It is my expectation that the Scheme will take in young Nigerians, graduates and non-graduates alike, and be part of this government’s effort to reduce unemployment and contribute to the regeneration of agriculture and our economy.”

For his part, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, told State House correspondents that the scheme has been in the works for nine months, a development that shows President Buhari always has the youth in mind.

He said, “This young farmers scheme has been in the works for the past 9 months. So it is further evidence that the president has always had the youths of Nigeria at heart, he is busy thinking what programmes can solve their access to lands as indeed he has solved their access to capital.

“Today there are so many financing schemes that anyone who is willing and able can access credit. Yet again, we are taking steps to solve access to lands which is a major issues, particularly for young people in agriculture weather farmers, those in livestock or aquaculture.”


We Have 2.9bn Litres Of Petrol In Stock To Avert Scarcity – NNPC [LEADERSHIP]

Barely 24 hours after the members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) declared a nationwide strike, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday dismissed mounting insinuation of possible scarcity of petroleum products as a result of the strike.

Group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr Kennie Obateru, quoted Mallam Mele Kyari as saying, in a release, that the industrial action embarked upon by PENGASSAN would not lead to scarcity of petroleum products as all fuel stations and petrol depots in the country have enough stock of products to service consumers and are open for business.

While expressing hope that the industrial dispute would be settled amicably, Kyari assured that the Corporation has thus far emplaced a stock of over 2.9 billion litres of petrol to guarantee seamless movement of people, goods and services across the country in the forthcoming Christmas season and beyond.

The NNPC GMD reiterated that the Corporation is determined to make the 2020 end-of-year festivities a zero fuel queue period just like the preceding year, noting that critical stockholders in the petroleum products supply and distribution chain such as tanker drivers, depot owners and road transport owners have been mobilized to ensure hitch-free season.


Sanwo-Olu Presents N1.155trn Budget, Moves To Abolish Pension For Ex-govs [LEADERSHIP]

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday presented a budget of N1.155 trillion to the state House of Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.

The 2021 budget estimates titled: “Budget of Rekindled Hope,” is higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced to N920.5 billion due to challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

This is as Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the state government planned to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies to reduce cost of governance in the state.

The budget represents N234.5 billion higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced. But it is lesser than the initial 2020 budget of N1.68 trillion by N53.5 billion.

Sanwo-Olu said the 2021 budget has a total revenue of N962.528 billion and a total Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of N795,744 billion.

He explained that the budget has a Capital Expenditure of 703.272 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N451.750 billion, assuring that the 2021 budget would focus on youth employment, security, youth engagement and social work, among others.

On youth empowerment, Sanwo-Olu said it has become expedient to leverage the state’s developmental efforts by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like Agriculture, Construction, Technology and Security.

“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth and all hardworking Lagosians to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered.

In his address, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon  Mudashiru Obasa said the #EndSARS protests across the country has devastated the economy of the state hence the 2021 budget will focus on challenges of these events.

Obasa stated that the devastating effects of the disruptions that  followed the #EndSARS protests, in the state particularly were beyond imaginations.

“The anarchy, burning, and looting of businesses have hit the economy and that it was evident that the role of the social media played in all of these could not be overlooked,’’ he said.

Meanwhile,  Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said plans were afoot to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies to reduce cost of governance in the state.

The governor stated this while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly.

He said, “Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the House, in light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.”

The abolishment of Pension Law 2007 will stop payment of pension to Bola former governors likeAsiwaju Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode and other individuals that served as governors and deputy governors in Lagos State.

According to the governor, the abolishment of pension for former governors and deputies will reduce the cost of governance in the state.

“It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and the appurtenant inflationary growth rates, that we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service,” Sanwo-Olu said.


Obong of Calabar Declares Support For Gov Ayade [LEADERSHIP]

The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V has declared his full support for Governor Ben Ayade and his administration.

The Obong made the declaration on Tuesday when the governor paid him a courtesy call at his private residence in Adiabo, Odukpani Local Government Area.

The first class monarch used kinds words on the governor, describing him as “my brother, my friend, the great Governor of this state.”

The royal father recalled the role he played during the governor’s re- election bid in 2019.

“I was at the forefront of your re-election, and spoke strongly that no one can remove Ayade, he has to complete his tenure.

“You are our own son, you are with us and we will all work with you to make sure that this state, no matter what happens, is rebuilt,” he said.

“I want you know that we all love you, we all want you, no matter how people were trying to bring problem in between us.”

Speaking earlier, governor Ayade thanked the Obong for his numerous fatherly advice and support for his administration, saying he would continue to hold the monarch in very high esteem.

Going down the memory lane, the governor recalled how the Obong stood by him in his bid for second term and how he has continued to stand by him after securing the second term, including accompanying him to his hometown for thanksgiving.

“I want to put it on record that the Obong of Calabar was personally in my hometown for my thanksgiving ceremony in 2015 after my election as governor.


CBN accuses #EndSARS campaigners of terrorism [PUNCH]

The Federal Government was able to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.

This is according to a written address in support of a motion ex parte filed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN had in the second week of October frozen 20 accounts and thereafter approached the court to seek an ex parte order to freeze the accounts.

In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, the CBN, however, made no mention of the fact that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but told the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities.

The written address read in part, “My lord, the nature of the transactions undertaken through the defendants’ accounts are of suspected terrorism financing in contravention of Section 13(1)(a)and(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act, 2013 and Regulation 31(2)(a)and (3)(b) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2013.”

In a supporting affidavit deposed to by one Aondowase Jacob on behalf of the CBN, it was stated that the Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Governor’s Department, CBN, Joseph Omayuku, had conducted an investigation on the accounts of the defendants and other individuals and entities held with certain banks in Nigeria.

According to the affidavit, the investigation showed that the owners of the accounts may have been involved in terrorist activities.

It added, “There is a grave allegation that the defendants are involved in suspected terrorism financing via their bank accounts in contravention of the provisions of extant laws and regulations. The aforesaid transactions undertaken by the defendants, using their bank accounts, can cause significant economic and security harm to the public and the Federal Republic of Nigeria if left unchecked.

“The applicant (CBN governor) is thus desirous to have the court empower him to direct the freezing of the 20 accounts listed on the annexure to this application and all other bank accounts held by the defendants.

“A freezing order of this honourable court in respect of the defendants’ accounts would also enable the investigation of the activities of the defendants to a logical conclusion with a view to reporting same to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.”

The apex bank said unless the order was granted, it would not be able to ensure that the money remained intact, while investigations were ongoing.

The 20 accounts frozen by the CBN are domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank.

The accounts were said to have been flagged after they received money with the narration #EndSARS.

One of the frozen accounts, marked 0056412470 and domiciled in Access Bank, belongs to Bolatito Olorunrinu Oduala, an #EndSARS campaigner, who was appointed into the Lagos State judicial panel set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.


I’m leaving PDP for APC, Umahi tells Secondus, others [LEADERSHIP]

The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, told the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Tuesday that he was leaving the party.

He said he would join the ruling All Progressives Congress which he claimed would protect the interest of the South-East in the 2023 elections.

Our correspondent gathered that Umahi told the members of the National Working Committee of the PDP that his decision to join  the APC was irrevocable.

The members of the PDP NWC, who were led to the meeting by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, were said to have tried in vain to convince the governor not to abandon the party.

Apart from Secondus, among those that were at the meeting at the Ebonyi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja were Deputy National Secretary, Agbo Emmanuel; National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobondu; Financial Secretary, Abdullahi  Maibasira;  National Women Leader, Mariya Waziri  and Senator Sulieman Nazif.

The governor was said to be friendly when he received the PDP delegation, but stuck to his decision to leave the PDP when the issue came up.

It was gathered that the PDP delegation impressed it upon the governor that there was no need leaving the PDP for the APC, which they argued had become unpopular.

Sources at the meeting, however, said the governor was not convinced, insisting that  the APC was planning to zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East.

He was said to have promised to stay in the PDP if the party could make a pronouncement that it would zone the Presidency to the same zone.


NIDCOM plans list of Nigerians wrongfully jailed abroad [PUNCH]

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that efforts are underway to compile a detailed list of Nigerians wrongfully arrested and incarcerated abroad.

This is coming against the backdrop of the jailing of six Nigerians convicted for financing Boko Haram insurgency by the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking with members of a non-governmental organisation, the Counselling and Rehabilitation of Prisoners Initiative in Abuja, Dabiri-Erewa said that the commission had been to several countries including Brazil, South-Africa, Togo and Benin Republic to facilitate the release of Nigerians who were wrongfully jailed.

According to a statement on Tuesday by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit, NIDCOM, the chairman highlighted a situation in Brazil where a 74-year old woman wrongfully arrested was rescued by the commission.

The woman was said to have died afterwards.

The statement reads partly, “The NIDCOM boss stated that as Nigerians travel out of their home country, they should avoid committing crimes or participating in criminality. She welcomed the CAROPI team and assured them  of collaborative partnerships with NIDCOM.”


US election: Pompeo promises ‘smooth transition to Trump’s second term’ [PUNCH]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday promised the world a “smooth transition” after US elections but refused to recognize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, saying Donald Trump will remain in power.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said in an at times testy news conference when asked about contacts with the Biden team.

“The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today… with the president who is in office on January 20 a minute after noon will be successful,” he said, referring to the date of the presidential inauguration.

World leaders including almost all US allies have congratulated Biden, who has achieved unassailable leads in key states as well as a commanding edge in the nationwide popular vote.

But Trump has refused to concede the November 3 election and has alleged massive fraud, calling for recounts and legal action.

Asked if the United States can still issue statements calling for free elections around the world, Pompeo said the question was “ridiculous.”


Lagos ends pension for ex-governors, deputies [THE NATION]

LAGOS State on Tuesday unfolded plans to repeal the public officials’ pension law which grants certain benefits to former elected governors and deputy governors.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave the hint during his 2021 budget presentation to the House of Assembly, said he would send an Executive Bill to scrap the law because the entitlements were not sustainable due to financial constraints.

The N1.155 trillion budget was christened: “Budget of Rekindling Hope.”

The governor said the repeal of the law would reduce the cost of governance and foster the spirit of selfless service.

He said: “In the light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft Executive Bill to the House immediately for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law, 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies.

“It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and the apparent inflationary rates, we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the cost of governance at a minimum while engineering a spirit of selflessness in public service.”

The pension law was passed by the House of Assembly in 2007. Other states, including Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, have also copied the law, which rights groups have criticised.

Former governors who are entitled to the benefits under the law are Alhaji Lateef Jakande (1979-1983), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (1999-2007), Mr. Babatunde Fashola (2007-2015), and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2015-2019).

The ex-deputy governors are Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu (1991-1993), Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele (1999-2002), Mr. Olufemi Pedro (2002-2007), Prince Abiodun Ogunleye (2007), Princess Sarah Sosan (2007-2011), Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (2011-2015), and Dr. Idiat Adebule (2015-2019).

According to the pension law, an ex-governor is entitled to N30 million pension annually, a house in Lagos and Abuja, six brand new cars every three years, medical allowances and treatment in hospital of choice in any part of the world, and other allowances.

The implementation of the law did not take off immediately. Two years after it was passed, Alhaji Jakande said he was yet to be paid the retirement benefits.

He clarified that the provisions of the pension law was not a priority to him, adding that he received a semblance of pension almost on daily basis from admirers, particularly the beneficiaries of his free education programme between 1979 and 1983.

Second Republic Deputy Governor the late Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, wrote a letter of complaint to former Governor Fashola over the non-implementation of the law at the time.


Export waiver for Dangote, BUA sparks controversy [THE NATION]

A TWEET by an investment banker and economist Atedo Peterside sparked a debate on Tuesday on the export waiver granted manufacturing giants, Dangote Industries and BUA Group.

The issue trended for hours on social media, with users criticising the Federal Government for favouring big companies.

In the tweet via his handle @AtedoPeterside, the Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc founder said: “Allowing legitimate exporters and importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer.

“Why refuse everybody else and allow only one company (Dangote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons.”

In another tweet hours later, Peterside said Dangote was not the only company granted such a waiver.

He insisted that smaller businesses should be granted the advantage.

He said: “I have since learnt that Bua Group was also allowed to export goods through Nigeria’s ‘closed’ land borders.

“Federal Government should please accept that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

“When will the Federal Government consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected?”

Bloomberg on Monday reported that Nigeria had allowed Dangote Cement to resume exports across land borders, raising hopes that trade with neighbours may resume after a year-long blockade.

It quoted Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer of Africa’s biggest cement producer, as saying that the company was permitted to export to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in 10 months.


PDP moves to block Umahi’s defection to APC [THE NATION]

BARRING any last-minute change of mind, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi may be set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP National Working Committee (NWC) moved to stop the governor from leaving the party.

The NWC met with the governor in Abuja yesterday, apparently to persuade him from leaving the party.

The party spokesman, Kola Ologbondiya, released pictures from the meeting and wrote: “State of the nation: @OfficialPDPNig just held a crucial meeting with Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, to deliberate on national issues.”

The governor was seen in the pictures smiling and holding hands with the National Chairman Uche Secondus and other NWC members.

Sources in the state maintained that the defection is on course.

It was gathered that two very close aides of the governor met with the 64 development centre coordinators in the state where modalities for the defection were discussed.

Sources at the meeting told The Nation that no date was fixed for the defection but that it is imminent.

The sources said the two aides, who are members of the governor’s kitchen cabinet as well as the State Executive Council, told the coordinators that there was no going back on the defection.

The coordinators also pledged their support and that of their supporters in their domains to the governor in whatever step he takes.

Also, the 13 local government chairmen who were present at the meeting reiterated their support and readiness to defect with the governor.

“Wherever the governor and our leader goes, we will go with him. We are very loyal and committed to the project,” one of those at the meeting said.

One of the coordinators posted an APC flag on his social media handle after the meeting and wrote: “APC, here I come, and I come in peace.”

The source said the governor’s recent engagements as the Southeast Governors Forum chairman, especially on issues around #EndSARS, may have delayed the yet-to-be-announced defection decision.

Our correspondent learnt that 16 of the 24 members of the Ebonyi House of Assembly have so far agreed to jump ship with the governor.

The APC in the state at the weekend said the governor’s defection was a done deal and only a matter of time.


N18.4b 2021 police vote inadequate, say IG, Reps [THE NATION]

THE 18.4 billion earmarked for the Police in the N13-89 trillion 2021 budget estimate is grossly inadequate, Inspector-General IG Mohammed Adamu told House of Representatives members yesterday.

IG Adamu urged the Green Chamber to raise the annual budget of the Force to enable the security agency tackle crimes and criminality in the country.

He made the request while defending the Police vote in the budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs at the National Assembly.

According to him, adequate funding is required for the force to carry out its constitutional mandate, adding that the enormous security challenges facing the nation require more than N18.4 billion appropriated for it in the budget.

He explained that the police under his watch are determined to provide the desired security for the nation.

“The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the primary security agency in charge of national security is being challenged by the enormous financial challenges”, the police boss said.

Adamu told the committee that a major target of the budget is the training and retraining of personnel of the force and logistics.

Giving the lawmakers a rundown of the N18.4 billion budget, Adamu told the committee that the N11 billion capital component of the budget is insufficient inadequate for the required logistics.

Bello Kumo, Chairman of the House Committee and other lawmakers were of the opinion that a paltry N11 billion budget for capital cannot not be enough for twelve calendar months

The committee, Kumo said, will ensure that there is proper funding of the Nigeria Police Force, he told the IGP.

The lawmaker also asked the IG to submit the names of slain personnel of the Force to the Office of the Speaker of the House for adequate compensation.


Lagos bars Tinubu, Fashola, others from pension [SUN]

Applause has trailed the decision of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to submit a bill to the House of Assembly to abolish pension payments to former governors and deputies of the state.

The executive bill would repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies. He said the move would reduce the costs of governance, as well as signal selflessness in public service.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made the promise during a budget estimate presentation to lawmakers in Lagos yesterday.

“We will be sending an executive bill in a couple of weeks to this honourable House to repeal the pension law.

“This pension law is for pension paid to former public officers such as the former governors and former deputy governors. The repeal of the act is due to the dwindling revenue to the state government’s account,” he said.

According to the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law, former governors  and deputies are entitled to jumbo pensions including houses in any location of their choice in Lagos and Abuja, cars, medical treatments and vacation travels

A former governor is entitled to six new cars every three years, 100 per cent of the basic salary of the serving governor (N7.7m per annum), free health care for himself and members of his family as well as furniture allowance, which is 300 per cent of their annual basic salary (N23.3m).

The law was signed into law by former governor Bola Tinubu in 2007.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said the repeal bill would soon be sent to the House for approval.

In their separate reactions, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos chapter,  the Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR), the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere and the Centre for Anti Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) lauded the move.

Spokes of the APC in Lagos, Seye Oladejo, said there was need to review economic policies to reflect the current realities.

“We all know that right now, the government would want to mobilise whatever revenue available for rebuilding the state; so for us, it is a welcome development. It is advisable that other state governments may want to look at it, depending on the peculiarity of their respective states,” Oladejo said.

His counterpart in Oyo State, Abdul-Azeez Olatunde, said: “It is a matter of Lagos State and not Oyo State. But I don’t have a personal interest. It is dangerous for me to comment on the bill because no other party has ever governed Lagos State, except our party. It is not like Oyo State, where we have had the APC and PDP ruling the state. If I make comment, it may be misinterpreted that I did so because our two progressives governors in the state (Alhaji Lam Adesina 2009-2003 and Senator Abiola Ajimobi  (2011 -2019) are dead. So, I don’t want to make any comment.”


Buni denies rumour of tenure extension as APC begins registration of new members [SUN]

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the registration of new members for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He gave the approval when the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, led by the Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and the Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mai Mala Buni, submitted timetable for party registration to him.

Buni, disclosed this to State House Correspondents while briefing the media after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the approval was in accordance with section 9.4 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (October 2014 as Amended).

He said: “We had a meeting with Mr President. It was purely consultative and in line with the assignment given to us by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party under the able leadership of Mr President.

“It’s to consult with him on the process of the membership registration. As from today, we are commencing with sensitization. Thereafter, it will culminate into membership registration across over 119,000 polling units in the country. It is part of our mandate as bestowed on us by National Executive Committee to rebuild this party bottom up.

Governor Buni has debunked  rumours of the committee elongating its tenure, saying there are false. According to him, the committee is at the mercy of the party’s national executive committee and only they have the power to end or elongate their tenure.

He expressed optimism that the national executive committee will meet before the end of the  year to work out a proper timetable for the party.  He, however,  was not definitive on when a party convention is likely to hold, but said “it will happen soon.”


2 policemen feared dead as conflicting accounts trail attack on Police Station [SUN]

Two conflicting accounts, yesterday, trailed attacked on Igueben Police Station, where two policemen, an Inspector and Constable were allegedly killed.

Unspecified other policemen were said to have been injured in the attack which reportedly occurred at about 8 pm Monday night.

The attackers were said to have thrown dynamite into‎ the station before gaining access into the amoury, where they allegedly carted away arms and ammunition.