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Niger Delta youths pacify colleagues, praise Buhari, Akpabio, others


Youths in the Niger Delta region on Thursday said the posture of the Federal Government towards the Niger Delta should not be misconstrued to mean that President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio are against Substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The youths also said that decisions on ongoing forensic audit and appointment of a sole administrator for the Commission are in line with transparency, accountability and new standards.

‘’The appointment of Effiong Akwa as the head of the agency and the decision to delay the substantive board until the completion of the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari should be seen in the same light’’.

Speaking to journalists shortly after a closed-door meeting of prominent Niger Delta youth groups in Port Harcourt, Chairman of Niger Delta Youths Forum (NDYF), Dr. Amos Idahosa, said the NDDC forensic audit was being blown out of proportion by the same people who had done much damage to the region.

‘’We agree with the rights to pressure the system but we do not agree with the method of some of our associates’’

They described some youths in the region as political jobbers who have lost their relevance under the new dispensation and are ready to do anything to rubbish President Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We need to salvage them from the thralldom of intolerance, which stems from ignorance. They should sheathe their swords’’

The leaders of youth organizations in the region noted that the region’s development is being hindered by the activities of some youths.

‘’Anybody who harbours the belief that some youths in the region are interested in the development of the region is dead from the neck up. The recent action of some youths is not good for business. It is capable of discouraging foreign investments’’

The Niger Delta youths also condemned the arrogant posture of some politicians.

‘’The Niger Delta youths are aware of the value of the forensic audit and the influence of the sole administrator in improving the general standards of the region. Some youths in the region are opposing Buhari, Akpabio and Akwa in order that we might continue to remain underdeveloped’’

They hailed President Buhari for strategizing on how to get bad eggs out of the system, strengthening the Commission, establishing new framework and enthroning good and focused leadership.

They also commended Akpabio for moving the region from a state of doldrums, stepping up development and managing the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs honestly and effectively for the benefit of the public.

The Niger Delta youths scolded some young boys in the region for creating unhealthy atmosphere for the activities of local and foreign investors

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in January 2019, ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019.

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There “was a foolish attempt” to burgle my residence – Ibrahim Gambari The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful. Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident. The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa. May 10, 2021 Press Statement APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP …Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy. The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act. Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act. That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government. Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries. In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”. It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation. It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government. This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots. It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians. Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut. Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration. Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis. To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am. Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic. President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people. The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country. The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence. “If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?” Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 May 10, 2021 Press Statement NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution …Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency. The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed. This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision. The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview. The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer. Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution. Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption. The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area. It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable. President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity. The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much. Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 May 9, 2021 Press Statement PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country. The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years. The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians. Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads. Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance. It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities. The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration. Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation. It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production. Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers. Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured. According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat. President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence. He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES • Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others • Renewed Demand for Special Status Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend. Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults. It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges. In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council. Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold. The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes. Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State. The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations. He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies. “Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.” Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants. He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals. The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level. The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos. He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.” Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State. Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered. In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos. He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada. “The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.” “The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.” There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country. The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates. Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities. Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country. He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters. “We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said. At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest. The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons. “Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others. “Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.” SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT …‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU). The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC. Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school. The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution. He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment. “This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process. “I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015. The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment. Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university. Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC. “Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.” Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary. SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders. The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people. In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world. They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa. At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values. They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region. ‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’ The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator. Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space. They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy. ‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’ Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region. ‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said. They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress. The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management. The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region. They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region. “Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’ Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region. ‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy. The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project. “We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua. ‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said. The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely. Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out. Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.


The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful.
Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident.
The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa.

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP
…Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy.
The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act.
Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act.
That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government.
Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries.
In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”.
It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation.
It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government.
This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots.
It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians.
Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut.
Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration.
Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME

As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am.
Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic.
President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people.
The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country.
The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence.
“If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?”
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution
…Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency.
The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.
Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision.
The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.
The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer.
Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution.
Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption.
The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area.
It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY

On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable.
President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity.
The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

May 9, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.
The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years.
The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.
Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.
Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads.
Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance.
It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.
The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.
Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation.
It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production.
Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers.
Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT
President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured.
According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat.
President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence.
He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES
• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others
• Renewed Demand for Special Status

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend.

Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults.

It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges.

In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT
…‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU).

The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC.

Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school.

The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution.

He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment.

“This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process.

“I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment.

Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC.

“Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.”

Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR

President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders.
The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people.
In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others

South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world.
They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa.
At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values.
They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’
The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator.
Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space.
They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy.
‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’
Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress.
The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management.
The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region.
They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’
Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation
The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region.
‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy.
The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project.
“We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua.

‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said.
The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely.
Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out.
Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.