OUR GREATEST LEGACY IS TO GIVE YOU A BETTER COUNTRY, PRESIDENT BUHARI TELLS NIGERIAN CHILDREN
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday celebrated the Children’s Day with a solemn promise to bequeath a better country for the present and future generations.
As part of the activities to commemorate Children’s Day, observed on May 27, the President hosted a group of Nigerian children at the State House.
The short ceremony witnessed the cutting of a ‘national cake’, a guided tour of the President’s office, meeting rooms, banquet hall and the zoo at the Presidential Villa.
Describing children as precious blessings who should be nurtured to carry the burden of the society in the future, President Buhari, after spending a memorable time with his august visitors, bid them farewell, saying:
“Bye-bye, see you next year.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 27, 2021
May 27, 2021
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) greets the Nigerian Children as they join other children across the world to celebrate this year’s International Children’s Day.
The party however laments that in Nigeria, this day of celebration has become a sad epitaph of the harsh conditions which the Nigerian children have been subjected to in the last six years under President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP bemoans that under the APC, the Nigerian children have suffered the worst form of neglect, denied the basic necessities of life, with millions of them rendered homeless and orphaned, without access to education, healthcare and appropriate elements of a happy and productive childhood.
Under President Buhari and the APC, about 10.1 million Nigerian children are reportedly out of school, the highest in sub-Sahara region. This is in addition to over 19 million children languishing in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in various parts of our country, with many more killed or orphaned by terrorists under APC’s watch.
Under President Buhari, violence against children, child trafficking and other acts that infringe on the rights of the child have escalated to a frightening proportion.
Moreover, the Buhari-led APC administration have continued to mortgage the future of the Nigerian children with its humongous corruption and reckless foreign borrowings, which is putting a huge yoke on the feeble shoulders of our innocent children.
Our party urges President Buhari to end his administration’s insensitivity to the children by deploying special incentives to boost access to education, healthcare as well as guarantee the security and safety of children especially in crisis areas.
President Buhari must take steps to end the insecurity in the country so that the children in IDP camps and crisis ridden areas can return to their normal lives.
The PDP also urges the National Assembly as well as state legislatives houses to strengthen all child rights and protection legislations and ensure effective implementation in the interest of the children.
As a party, the PDP believes in the Nigerian child and calls on well-meaning and public-spirited Nigerians to use the day to reach out and intervene in the myriads of challenges facing the Nigerian children.
The PDP urges Nigerians to remain undeterred but continue to rally for the children and remain steadfast in the collective effort to rescue our nation from the misrule of the APC.
Our party salutes the Nigerian children and wishes them happy celebrations.
National Publicity Secretary
May 27, 2021
PDP Alerts of Attack, Killing, Labelling of Its Members in Ebonyi State
The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to the harassment, intimidation and unfounded criminal allegations against our members and stakeholders in the Ebonyi State Chapter of our party.
During a recent courtesy call on the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi in Abakaliki by the Police Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 9, Mr. Okon, the governor openly and without any investigation, criminally accused prominent leaders of our party, including, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Sam Egwu, Chief Ali Odefa, Hon. Linus Okorie among others as sponsors of banditry and violence in the State.
It is already common knowledge that agents of the Governor Umahi-led administration had gathered known cultists and thugs and armed them with dangerous weapons including pump action riffles to be unleashed on innocent citizens, particularly members of the opposition.
These agents of APC government in Ebonyi State have also resorted to using the thugs to disrupt the meetings of our party as well as foist a reign of terror in the state, wherein thugs have taken over the streets and openly extort money from helpless motorists.
Only recently, a member of our Party, Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya, who refused to join Governor Umahi to the APC was abducted and later released with life threatening injuries after much public outcry. He is still in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
Though Ogbonnaya recognized his abductors as state government agents, and reported to the Police and DSS, no arrests have been made to bring the perpetrators to book.
Also, on the 30th of November 2020 one of our members, Mr. Shedrack Nwode, a native of Umuezoka, along with his fiancée were shot dead by thugs suspected to be working for the APC, for refusing to chant ‘APC, Change’ at a traditional wedding ceremony.
Similarly, on Friday, 4th of December 2020, three prominent supporters of PDP from Ugwulangwu in Governor Umahi’s own LGA were arrested on trump-up charges of being cultists.
In the same vein, Chief Henry C. Udeh (Ajim Best), from Okposi in Ohaozara LGA was brutally attacked for daring to hold PDP meeting in his own house, and many valuables, including vehicles were destroyed.
Just now, we received a report that a member of our party, Prince Anyigor Methuselah KS, of Ezza North has been abducted and is reportedly being kept at the Cabinet Office of the old government house in Ebonyi State.
Our party further alerts Nigerians of Governor Umahi’s resort to labelling opposition voices in the state as cultists and terrorist elements as a ploy to victimize members of our party as well as incite federal security agencies against our leaders.
Governor Umahi’s suppressive government is now sealing off homes and businesses of PDP members, all in a bid to cow and silence them.
A hotel belonging to former Governor Sam Egwu has been sealed up while a private school belonging to another member of the PDP, Barr. Friday Agbom, was also sealed on trumped up charges.
As a party, we are worried over the vexatious disposition of Governor Umahi towards the opposition, dissenting voices and other innocent citizens in the state; a development that has heightened security concerns and capable of triggering a huge crisis that can destabilize the state.
The action of the APC-led government has also foisted a reign of terror in the state, crippled economic activities and brought untold hardship to the people.
Since Governor Umahi realized that he is alone in his political voyage in the APC, he has been in distress, having been left in the cold and as such seeks to decimate the opposition and disrupt peaceful coexistence in the state.
Our party counsels Governor Umahi to have only himself to blame for his self-inflicted political woes, instead seeking to drag down and destroy the entire state because of his botched political ambition.
The PDP also cautions Governor Umahi to note that the people of Ebonyi state can never be intimidated or cowed by the APC and its external backers, who are looking for every means to cause mayhem and ruin the state for their political gains.
Our party calls on all our members in Ebonyi to remain calm even as we caution Governor Umahi to note that human history has always shown that there is a limit to which a people can bear in the face of open aggression and intimidation.
It is therefore imperative for the Inspector General of Police as well as the military high command to note the antics of the Umahi-led administration in the state and take urgent steps to protect the innocent citizens so as to save the state from imminent collapse.
National Publicity Secretary
May 26, 2021
N1.5tr Fraud: PDP Demands NIMASA DG’s Suspension…Asks EFCC to Investigate Him
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asks President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the suspension of the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, to enable him face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged looting of N1.5 trillion and $9.5 million dollars belonging to the agency.
The party describes the reported NIMASA fraud as yet another sad episode of the unending tale of stinking rot in the Buhari-led APC administration, where officials, relations, cronies and persons close to Mr. President have engaged in shameless treasury looting under the protective cover of government.
The PDP asserts that in allowing the embattled NIMASA DG to continue to stay in office, in the face of these humongous fraud allegations, the Buhari Presidency has further heightened apprehensions in the public space that it is shielding fraudulent individuals because of their reported closeness to Mr. President.
It is despicable that the Buhari administration that promised zero tolerance for corruption is rather the sanctuary for treasury looters, who as ministers, presidential aides, heads of parastatals, APC leaders and their relatives are daily pillaging the coffers of ministries, department and agencies and stealing trillions of naira belonging to the Nigerian people.
Earlier this month, our nation was jolted by the revelation of a $65 million (N31 billion) fraud in the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), in which President Buhari’s reportedly estranged son in-law, Gimba Yau Kumo, was involved.
This FMBN revelation came on the heels of allegations of looting of over N165 billion in the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) under the ministerial purview of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the suspended Director General, Hadiza Bala Usman.
This is in addition to allegations of involvement of the wife of the transportation minister in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
It is saddening that under President Buhari, ministries and agencies of government, including FIRS, NNPC, NEMA, NPA, NIMASA, NHIS, among others, are now Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) from which avaricious officials and APC leaders have stolen over N17 trillion in the last six years, while our nation wallows in poverty, economic hardship and infrastructural decay.
Now that the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Jamoh, had yielded to the demands of investigation by the EFCC, our party holds that he should immediately step aside so that the anti-graft agency will have unhindered access to vital documents on the matter.
The PDP also charges the EFCC not to succumb to blackmails but move in and commence a rounded investigation on the alleged fraud in NIMASA, including the reported movement of public funds from the Treasury Single Account to private individuals, using the agency as a cover.
National Publicity Secretary
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING
Office of the Special Adviser on Communications
Headquarter, Mabushi P.M.B. 111, Garki – Abuja, Nigeria
FASHOLA SALUTES PIONEERING WORK OF ALHAJI FEMI OKUNNU IN INAUGURATING ARCON 52 YEARS AGO
• Minister advocates synergy, cooperation among Nigerians as he performs groundbreaking, foundation laying ceremony of ARCON House in Abuja
• Commends ARCON for showing example of choosing to build in spite of past disagreement
• ARCON President, past president, Obong Victor Attah, others praise Minister for brokering peace within the profession
Fifty-two years after he served as Federal Commissioner for Works, Elder Statesman, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, was Thursday commended by the current Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, for kick-starting the great journey of building the nation, by inaugurating the first Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) in 1969.
Fashola, who spoke Thursday while performing the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony of the proposed ARCON House in Abuja, saluted the former Federal Commissioner for Works, who happens to be his Uncle, for his foresight, describing as ironic the fact that he is today continuing the journey of nation-building as a distant successor of his Uncle.
“It is indeed very ironic that I happen to be here today to now continue the journey he started. Really, it is interesting how these things happen and ironically none of us is an architect, but very happily we are both lawyers”, the Minister said expressing joy that the challenge is that of building and not of disagreement.
In a short but impactful speech he gave at the ceremony, Fashola called for synergy and cooperation among all Nigerians, especially professionals and other stakeholders, to join hands to rebuild the nation, saying in spite of the challenges and disagreements among the various stakeholders and interest groups, Nigerians could work together to build a nation of peace and harmony.
He told the quality audience consisting of past presidents of ARCON, members of Council and other icons in the Built Industry, “This is time for rebuilding our nation, this is time for rebuilding brotherhood, this is time for building our future”, adding that in a symbolic way, ARCON, by the day’s event, “is building its own future”.
Noting with delight that despite being enmeshed in challenges of disagreement a few years ago, ARCON had decided to set aside those challenges and build for itself a befitting House, Fashola declared, “Therefore, in spite of disagreements, we can still build if we choose to listen, if we choose to work together and if we choose to keep ego aside”.
The Minister commended the current ARCON leadership noting that three years ago, when it was inaugurated, the Architecture profession had very many challenges which he described as largely man-made. “But” he added, “I am happy that Engr. Ajayi (President of ARCON) and his team have taken upon themselves to say that if these problems are man-made, it will only take men of goodwill to resolve it and this is a very good example of the microcosm of what ARCON has done as a blessing to all of us”.
Commending ARCON for the decision to build and establish its presence in the Federal Capital Territory as a symbol of the unity of its professionals, Fashola declared, “To all the seen and unseen hands who have helped to restore engagement, who have helped to restore that family, I send my great word of thanks”, adding, “This is a much better place for the Architecture Family than where it was three years ago”.
“I am joyous because you have helped to give invaluable quality to the many generations of those who are aspiring to join the profession. This is a very great challenge worth having; a challenge of building not a challenge of disagreement”, the Minister said.
Fashola, who expressed pleasure in the honour accorded him to perform the ceremony, however called on all the stakeholders to endeavour to contribute their quotas to see to the completion of the House in record time, adding, “The work has just begun, so all of those hands, president and past presidents and all other interest groups must brace up to this challenge, so together we can hand-over a very befitting and very momentous turn to the next generation”.
In his goodwill message earlier, the Governor of Taraba State, Arch. Darius Dickson Isiaku, congratulated ARCON for finally deciding to build for itself, describing as a paradox the fact that the Council has for decades built edifices for others without having a roof over its own head.
Commending the efforts of the Minister of Works and Housing and his FCT counterpart to bring the ARCON decision to reality, the Governor, who was represented at the occasion by one of the State officials, Arc. Dauda, also commended the efforts of the Council to make the project possible at this time.
In his own goodwill, the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who was also represented at the occasion, congratulated ARCON on its efforts to establish its presence in Abuja noting that by its mandate his Ministry considers ARCON a veritable stakeholder in the development of the nation.
Others who gave goodwill messages included a past President of ARCON and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc. Obong Victor Attah, who thanked Fashola for brokering lasting peace within the profession urging him to ensure that Nigeria is being built by Nigerian Architects and where a foreigner is concerned, such foreigner should be registered in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, ARCON President, Arch (Sir) Gabriel Oladipupo Ajayi listed the cardinal objectives of ARCON to include re-engineering the Council, harmonizing positions with all interest groups with the help of the Minister of Works and Housing, who, according to him, “calls us together all the time” and building a befitting home for Architects as well as maintaining a visible presence in Lagos.
Expressing gratitude to the Minister for his peace efforts that have brought the profession and interest groups together, the ARCON President declared, “On his part, he has been a backbone of this Council”, adding that as a result the Council has delivered on all fronts.
TO THE HON. MINISTER
27TH MAY, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
SANWO-OLU RENDERS ACCOUNT OF TWO YEARS STEWARDSHIP
…Promises To Deliver More People-Oriented Projects Within Next 24 Months
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday rendered account of stewardship of his administration in the last two years, saying that his administration has delivered on the THEMES developmental agenda as promised the electorate.
He said the totality of his administration’s efforts are geared towards ensuring a safe and secure society, where youth employment is guaranteed.
Speaking at the “2021 State of the State Address” held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, which was attended by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, members of his cabinet, traditional rulers, political gladiators, captains of industries and media Executives, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the Greater Lagos collectively envisioned by Lagosians is closer now than ever before.
“We are exceedingly happy with the progress we have made in the last two years. Our accomplishments have placed us at a vantage position from where we can now catch a Glimpse of the Greater Lagos we envisioned together.
“As a government, we have consistently matched our word with action and worked tirelessly to transform into reality our shared aspiration of making Lagos one of the most functional and habitable cities in the world. We can do it; we will do it. We have laid a very solid foundation for the transformation of our State through strategic interventions and meaningful executions beyond this period,” he said.
The Governor said his administration is working tirelessly to deliver the Fourth Mainland Bridge, Imota Rice mill, Integrated Mass Transit System, which includes the blue and red line rail projects, water transportation, Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) as well as other infrastructure to Lagosians within next two years.
He said completing the projects within the next 24 months will bring absolute transformation to the livelihoods and the economy of our dear State, noting that his administration spent the last 729 days laying the foundation for all these to happen seamlessly.
Speaking on his Government’s plan for Lagos State, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians should expect to see the first passenger movement on the rail transportation before the end of his administration, adding that the incumbent government will build and complete intermodal bus terminals at Ajah, Abule Egba, Iju, Ojota and Anthony Village before the end of his tenure.
He said: “As a government, we have undertaken several innovative means of ensuring that citizens’ travel experiences are palatable. We, therefore, believe that the construction of the 37km 4th Mainland Bridge will significantly change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos State.
“The ground-breaking for the construction and building of the Bridge will happen before the end of this year. Our PPP concessionaires appear committed as they enter the final stage of the qualification process.
“From this day on, we are certainly heading in the direction that our city will become so connected by an Integrated Mass Transit System that a trip to the farthest part of the state will be reduced by half of the current travel time. We are focused on activating an intermodal transport system that gives Lagosians the options of commuting by Water, Road and Rail.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also assured Lagosians that the Imota Rice mill is scheduled for completion this year. “Upon completion, the production capacity of the Mill will be among the largest in the world and largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, producing 2.5million bags of 50kg rice annually. At full-capacity, the Rice Mills will provide a steady supply of 2.4million bags of 50kg rice to Lagosians and create more than 250,000 jobs,” he said
The Governor also noted that: “The totality of our efforts is geared towards ensuring a safe and secure society, where youth employment is guaranteed. With more than two-thirds of Lagos State population falling below age 30, it is undisputable that the future of our State is the empowerment of our youth and security of their future. Our administration is committed to working with the youth and providing a safe environment for all to thrive.
“On Security, we are currently working with the various state security operatives to determine additional operational and infrastructure needs that the state can support with. In this regard, I shall, in the coming week, be handing over operational vehicles, communication gadgets, ballistic vests and helmets, anti-riot water cannon vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to our various security operatives to further enhance and improve their operations which will ultimately have a positive impact on the security status in the state.
“We will also be recruiting additional men in the coming weeks, into our Neighbourhood Security Watch to complement the efforts of our existing security personnel.”
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 27, 2021
Nigeria in Safe Hands Despite Security Challenges – Minister
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has assured Nigerians that in spite of the current security challenges, the country is in safe hands.
The Minister, who gave the assurance while receiving the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Adeola Adeniyi Ajakaiye, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Thursday, urged Nigerians not to succumb to the apocalyptic or doomsday predictions about the country because such predictions won’t come to pass.
He appealed to leaders at all levels to give the people a message of hope instead of making comments that can only aggravate tension
Alhaji Mohammed stressed the critical role of traditional rulers in the maintenance of peace and security, saying they cannot and must not be ignored, as the nation seeks to restore peace and security across the country.
He appealed to Oba Ajakaiye to work with his fellow traditional rulers, as well as the Government of Ekiti State, to ensure peace and security in the state.
Responding to a request by the traditional ruler to help put the tourist sites in the town on the national and global map, the Minister pledged his readiness to leverage the media and technology to showcase and popularize the historic ‘Esa Cave’ as well as the ‘Okuta Abanijorin’ (the rock that accompanies you on your trip), both foremost tourism sites in Iyin-Ekiti, in the Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti State.
”Putting the tourist sites on the national and global map will attract tourists, which will in turn boost the economy of not just Iyin town but indeed the entire Ekiti State,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed therefore directed the Directors-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) to undertake a working visit to the two tourist sites and report back to him.
In his remarks, Oba Adeola Adeniyi Ajakaiye said Iyin-Ekiti is blessed with numerous tourist attractions that have the potentials to bring the community to national and global limelight and create jobs for its youths.
He stressed the need for the federal government to leverage on the tourism industry in its drive to diversify the economy away from oil.
Oba Ajakaiye used the occasion of his visit to invite the Minister to his forthcoming coronation as well as to visit the tourist sites at Iyin-Ekiti – the two requests that were granted by the Minister..
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of the Minister of Information and Culture
27 May 2021
Flag-off Of Bori-Kono Road:
Rt. Hon. Dum Dekor Welcomes Gov Wike To Bori
As the State Governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike gets on with his blazing tour of the 23 Local Government Areas of the State for the historic commissioning of completed projects and flag-off of new ones to mark two years of his second term in office, the member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor says the good people of his constituency are desirous to receive the Mene Kwalenu I of Ogoni, Friday, May 28, 2021.
Rt. Hon. Dekor said he, and indeed the entire Ogonis are pleased to see His Excellency back to his second home after his coronation few weeks back as a title holder in Ogoniland, moreso, to flag-off the famous Bori-Kono Road, which will add value to the lives of the Ogoni people.
The Federal Lawmaker expressed special joy that the rehabilitation of the Bori-Kono Road is no longer rhetoric but now being executed by His Excellency who does not go back on his promises to the people.
This, according to him has demonstrated to not only the Ogoni people but all Rivers people that all the plans and programmes of the Wike administration will be actualized, as the Governor has always stated that he will not leave any uncompleted projects for his successor.
All that is called for now, Rt. Dum Dekor noted, is the prayers of the Rivers people for the governor and his team and the State will be happier for it at the end of his tenure.
He therefore appealed to all the stakeholders in Ogoni, paramount rulers and chiefs, political and opinion leaders, women and youths to file out en masse to accord the Governor and his entourage a rousing welcome to Bori tomorrow and be part of the making of history with the flag-off of Bori – Kono Road.
Rt. Hon. Dekor who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Host Communities reassured the Governor of the unwavering support of the Ogoni people and prayed that his journey to Ogoniland, his second home be dotted as usual with divine blessings to the glory of God.
SERAP drags FG, Kogi to UN over ‘arbitrary detention of activists Larry and Victor’
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent “an urgent complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of activists Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka simply for peacefully exercising their right to protest in Kogi state.”
SERAP said: “The arrest and continued detention of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka is an egregious violation of their human rights. The Nigerian and Kogi state authorities have violated the following rights under the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended) and international law in continuing to detain Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka: the right to be free from arbitrary detention; the right freedom from torture and ill-treatment, and the right to due process of law.”
In the complaint dated 25 May, 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The detention of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of their liberty because it does not have any legal justification. The detention also does not meet minimum international standards of due process.”
SERAP is calling on the Working Group to “initiate a procedure involving the investigation of the cases of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka, and urgently send an allegation letter to the Nigerian and Kogi state authorities inquiring about the case generally, and specifically about the legal basis for their arrest, detention, and ill-treatment, each of which is in violation of international law.”
SERAP is also urging the Working Group to “issue an opinion declaring that Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka’s deprivation of liberty and detention is arbitrary and in violation of Nigeria’s Constitution and obligations under international law. We also urge the Working Group to call for the immediate release of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka.”
According to SERAP, “We urge the Working Group to request the Nigerian and Kogi state authorities to investigate and hold accountable all persons responsible for the unlawful arrest, continued detention, and ill-treatment of Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka in Kogi state.”
SERAP is also calling on the Working Group “to request the Nigerian and Kogi state authorities to award Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka adequate compensation for the violations they have endured as a result of their unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment.”
The complaint addressed to Ms. Elina Steinerte Chairman/Rapporteur of the Working Group, read in part: “As set forth in this Individual Complaint, the Nigerian and Kogi State authorities are arbitrarily depriving Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka of their liberty and continues to arbitrarily detain them. Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka are citizens of Nigeria and have been detained since 5th April, 2021. They continue to be detained without access to the outside world.”
“Pursuant to the mandate of the Working Group, the “Manual of Operations of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council” and the publication “Working with the UN Human Rights Programme, a Handbook for Civil Society”, SERAP, a non-governmental human rights organization, can provide information on a specific human rights case or situation in a particular country, or on a country’s laws and practices with human rights implications.”
“SERAP therefore argues that the case adequately satisfies the requirements by which to submit an individual complaint to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”
“SERAP respectfully requests the Working Group to initiate the procedure involving the investigation of individual cases toward reaching an opinion declaring Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka’s detention to be arbitrary and in violation of international law. To this end, SERAP will pursue the regular communications procedure before the Working Group in order to have the ability to provide comments on any response by the Nigerian and Kogi State authorities.”
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international law to protect the safety and rights of protesters and create an environment conducive to a diverse and pluralistic expression of ideas and peaceful dissent from government policy.”
“The wave of protests against repression by both the Federal and Kogi state authorities illustrate a broken social contract between the authorities and Nigerians. The authorities have been failing to meet the demands of Nigerians to respect human rights, end restrictions on civic space, obey court orders and ensure the rule of law.”
“The failure to hold to account those responsible has continued to increase the vulnerability of protesters and activists in the country.”
“SERAP is seriously concerned that the Nigerian and Kogi state authorities have so far failed and/or neglected to address or redress the attacks on the peaceful protesters, despite growing calls on the authorities to investigate the attacks and bring perpetrators to justice.”
“We urge you to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to take all feasible measures to protect peaceful protesters demanding the release of all prisoners of conscience, and full respect for the rule of law.”
“We urge you to put pressure on the Nigerian and Kogi state authorities to make clear that they will not tolerate violent attacks on protesters. The authorities have a responsibility both to respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to protect protesters from violent attack.”
“Emmanuel Larry and Victor Anen Udoka’s social activism and calls for peaceful protests led to escalating government harassment and their eventual arrest and detention. They are two of several youths who have been protesting against the Federal government.”
“There was no warrant for Emmanuel Larry and Victor Anen Udoka’s arrest and they have been in detention for over forty days without bail, which has become a recurring pattern of the Nigerian authorities’ disdainful, illegal arrest and detention of protesters, journalists and activists”
“According to their lawyer, Benjami Omeiza, he has no access to Emmanuel Larry and Victor Anen Udoka and that while he was negotiating for their release, Kogi State quickly arranged for a Magistrate to order their detention in Prison, ex-parte (without notice). They have been in Prison for over forty days afterwards. They have not been formally charged nor arraigned before any competent court of jurisdiction; neither have they been released.”
“The attacks are coming on the heels of similar violent attacks by the military and the police on the #EndSars protesters demanding proscription of the erstwhile dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and violation of human rights by security agents in October, 2020 and the other protesters in March, 2021.”
SERAP Deputy Director
Emails: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS NEW BUS TERMINAL AT MAFOLUKU TO IMPROVE INTRA-CITY TRANSPORTATION
•Station to Serve Airport Passengers, Commuters in Surrounding Cities
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has delivered a world-class bus terminal for passengers distribution around international gateway.
Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, commissioned the Mafoluku Bus Terminal fully built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) in collaboration with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The terminal is a gateway station that will serve Mafoluku, Oshodi, and Ajao Estate environs, providing bus connections primarily to Oshodi Transport Interchange, Ikeja Bus Terminal, Mile 2 and other parts of Lagos.
The Mafoluku Terminal will also provide a means of connection to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and the domestic wing of the airport.
During formal opening of the transport infrastructure, Sanwo-Olu said the project represented his Government’s objective of providing an integrated intermodal transport system through public and private investments under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
He said the State Government’s partnership with the Federal Government on the project was borne out of the need to ramp up transport infrastructure around international gateway areas, thereby providing a common place for commuters and commercial vehicles to meet.
He said: “The bus terminal we are commissioning today is the outcome of the partnership between Lagos State and the Federal Government, represented by FAAN. The construction of bus terminals and shelters is a crucial aspect of our Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) through which we have delivered and commissioned bus terminal in Oyingbo and launched Oshodi-Abule Bus Rapid Transit stations and corridor.
“Our collaboration with the Federal Government on this project is a solid example of public and public partnership, and reiterates the importance of thinking outside the box to meet the needs of our citizens. I am delighted to officially open this purpose-built structure to serve commuters in the local and international airports community and adjoining communities. Route services will be run from this terminal to make it a hub for local and international travellers.”
Sanwo-Olu said both LAMATA and FAAN would be operating transportation franchises in and out of the Mafoluku terminal. While LAMATA will operate passenger bus services to Mile 2 and Oshodi, FAAN will run the local and international airports passenger services.
The Governor disclosed that more bus terminals would be delivered in the coming months in Agege, Ojota and Ajah under the first phase of the implementation of BRI, stressing that transport infrastructure was being complemented by Blue and Red metro lines to achieve integrated transport system in line with the strategic master plan of the State.
The Government, he said, will soon complete the BRT corridor of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, while working to scale up infrastructure for bus corridors and two interchanges in Marina and Mile 2.
Sanwo-Olu said the recently launched First and Last Mile (FLM) Buses was the last layer of the BRI and designed to give private individuals an opportunity to invest in public transportation. This, he said, would solidify the State Government’s plan aimed at ensuring public transportation is moved from an unregulated framework to a regulated model.
He said: “In order to achieve a world-class transportation system in Lagos State, we have intensified efforts to deliver the first two of the six rail lines and one monorail captured in our Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), which are the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red and Blue Lines. The journey to an integrated intermodal transport system is challenging but we are steadily moving towards our goal.”
Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, represented by Director of Finance, Mrs. Nike Aboderin, described the project commissioning as “a significant milestone” in partnership, noting that the terminal would provide organised distribution of passengers to and from international carriageways.
Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, said the bus terminal was built on a land of 7,952 square metres, which was provided by FAAN. The edifice, she said, has a tarmac that can accommodate 27 high occupancy vehicles and drop off zone.
The terminal has facilities, including ticketing and sitting area, control room, cafeteria, public conveniences, commercial areas staff offices, ATM gallery and IT department.
Akinajo said the terminal also has repair workshop area where buses would be maintained, in addition to fire equipment and traffic safety equipment.
She said: “The vision is to build functional and comfortable bus terminals that will provide the passengers an excellent travel experience as they either board or alight from buses. Commuters in these environs who used to go to the Ikeja Bus Terminal and the Oshodi Transport Interchange now have access to reliable and best-in-class transport services available at their doorsteps.”
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 26, 2021
Ondo State First Lady,Ondo First Lady hosts virtual program on Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28
Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu through her foundation ‘BAAF’ will on Friday engage her plethora of social media audience on the need for menstrual hygiene among the women folk, particularly teenagers who have just arrived the threshold of indulging the monthly menstrual cycle .
Every 28th of May has been globally set aside as World Menstrual Hygiene Day and the awareness was initiated by the German based NGO WASH United in 2014. The essence of the day is to create massive awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management and the need to draw the awareness of females to this all important aspect of their feminine growth.
Mrs. Akeredolu who will be hosting a Facebook live program on Friday, May, 28, 2021 by 11. am on the theme ” Stepping up Action For Menstrual Hygiene and Health,” will have the following experts, Pamela Elekwachi, ACIP , SPHRI, and Marvelous Jegede , BEMORE Alumna 2018, as guest speakers.
It will be recalled that Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) has been involved in women growth and development advocacy across Ondo State and beyond in the past five years of the administration of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW: SANWO-OLU DEMANDS SPECIAL ECONOMIC STATUS FOR LAGOS, FISCAL FEDERALISM, STATE POLICE
…Urges South-West To Embrace Zonal Public Hearing Opportunities
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday demanded a special economic status for Lagos, saying the progress and prosperity of Nigeria is inextricably linked to the progress and prosperity of Lagos State.
The Governor also demanded for a State Police and entrenchment of true fiscal federalism in Nigeria.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the demands at the opening of the two-day Senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution under the leadership of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, held at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos State.
The Governor also commended the leadership and members of the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect current realities.
“For us in Lagos State, the issues of State Police and fiscal federalism are at the top of the priority list for us, in this ongoing review process. Equally fundamental, particularly for us in Lagos State, is the issue of a Special Economic Status for Lagos, considering our place in the national economy and the special burdens we bear by virtue of our large population and limited land mass.
“I believe the need for this Special Status has been sufficiently articulated and justified. It suffices for me at this point to restate that this request is by no means a selfish one, but one that is actually in the interest of every Nigerian and of Nigeria as a nation.
“The progress and prosperity of Nigeria is inextricably linked to the progress and prosperity of Lagos State. A Special Status for Lagos State therefore must be a concern not only for the people of Lagos State alone, but for all Nigerians.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also called on all Nigerians within the zone being covered by the Senate Committee on Constitutional amendment to embrace the opportunity of the zonal hearing so that their voices and opinions will count in the amended constitution that will emerge.
He said: “This constitutional amendment process will provide Nigerians the opportunity to express their minds on the issues they want to see reflected in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, either by way of amendments to existing provisions, or entirely new provisions.
“This is another opportunity to build on the work that has been done so far. I should note that many of the issues that have been agitating the minds of the various stakeholders in the Nigerian project are already in the public domain. However, this Zonal meeting provides an opportunity to articulate and express them again, in the hope that this particular process will produce favorable outcomes.
“According to the National Assembly, the primary issues on the table for this Public Hearing include: Increased Participation of Women and Vulnerable groups in governance, Local Government Administration and Autonomy, State Police, Fiscal Federalism and Revenue Allocation, Judicial Reforms, Electoral Reforms, Residency and Indigene-ship, Constitutional Roles for Traditional Rulers, and many more.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu who commended the leadership and members of the National Assembly for responding to the concerns of Nigerians on the need to carry out a review of the 1999 Constitution to reflect current realities, assured them of the Lagos State Government support in any way necessary to make the assignment easier and highly rewarding for all Nigerians.
Speaking at the events representatives of several states, town, communities, associations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) spoke passionately on several issues that have to do with States creation, gender equality and special status, among others.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 26, 2021
DAVE UMAHI’S THESIS
*EBONYI GOV ON IPOB, SECURITY CHALLENGES IN S’EAST, 2023 PRESIDENCY, OTHERS
By FEMI ADESINA
Engineer Dave Umahi again! Yes, the Governor of Ebonyi State pulls no punches whenever he decides to speak. No tongue-in-cheek, he just fires from all cylinders.
That was what he did when he was special guest at the State House Press Briefing in Abuja last week. There were many issues of concern in his part of the country, and the Governor did not shy away from any.
In recent times, police stations, offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other Federal assets have come under attack in the South East. They have been incinerated, and scores of policemen killed. Whodunnit? Leaders of the region have opted for ‘unknown gunmen,’ perhaps out of fear of being objects of attack themselves. But Umahi was deadpan:
“We are the ones killing ourselves, not foreigners. We have to tell ourselves the truth, if we want the problem solved.”
The Governor said he may not agree with the formation of the militant wing of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), known as ESN (Eastern Security Network), “but we know why it was formed.”
He said it was a direct reaction to the invasion of the region by both local and foreign herdsmen, who attack farmers particularly, destroy their crops, rape their wives, and kill people.
“We don’t want herders killed, but neither should they violate our cultural values. That was why we formed Ebube Agu, which is a kind of regional security group. It has been signed into law to protect our people. If you cause problems in any part of the South East, Ebube Agu will deal with you, no matter who you are.”
Ask Umahi what the South East really wants. A country of their own, as is being championed from some quarters? He demurs:
“We are Nigerians. We want to belong to a fair, just, equitable Nigeria. We want a country of fairness, equity, justice, and freedom. I want a Biafra of equity and justice, not one of killing policemen and burning of INEC offices. There’s no region that does not have issues in the country, but grievances should be looked at through dialogue, and not by taking the laws into your hands. Killing is not the character and culture of our people. It is sheer criminality.”
The Governor laments that 99% of security agents killed so far in the region “are from the South East. They are our brothers and sisters. It is not good for us. We shed tears. Our people should be wise, and deploy wisdom at this critical time.”
He said the agitators should give leadership of the region their demands, “ and we will address them within six months. But we are not with them in insulting the President of the country. It is foolishness.”
One way to combat poverty, insecurity and restiveness is through development. Gov Umahi spoke on giant strides in Ebonyi, a State he said he met in massive poverty, but which he is trying strenuously to turn around.
“We inherited poverty, and have demolished it, though there are still some traces. Even Jesus says the poor will always be around. But we do our best, and wish we can do more.”
Talking further on development as means of combating poverty, Gov Umahi spoke of keeping the people gainfully busy through agriculture, industry, rice mills, cassava flour processing, ultramodern shopping malls with over 50,000 stalls, road networks, a medical university being constructed, colleges of nursing, of technology, and human development generally.
“About 95% of our projects are done through direct labour. This ensures that there’s no capital flight from the State.
“We are doing everything to increase value for education. When you are educated, you won’t carry guns at the instigation of juju men, who promise invincibility. It doesn’t happen. You can’t be brainwashed into believing in a shrine that gets destroyed, and the shrine can’t respond.”
Gov Umahi loves President Buhari, and had always done so before he moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC). And the President returns the gesture duly. I recall that it was Ebonyi that the President first visited in his first term, and stayed the night. He was even invested with two chieftaincy titles by the royal fathers.
“President Buhari is doing a lot for the country,“ Gov Umahi says. “He started early on agriculture, otherwise, there would have been severe hunger in the country today. Lots of opportunities have been provided by the Federal Government, but our people don’t want to work again. Government has come with great empowerment opportunities, and they need to embrace and utilize these things.”
Now, to perhaps the biggest issue in the country. Presidency in 2023. Which region should get it? Was that the reason Umahi decamped to the APC? And would he stay, if he didn’t get the party’s ticket? The man is as frank as ever:
“I’m in APC, but it’s not conditional. It is not predicated on the party zoning its presidential ticket to the South East. If we are talking of justice, it is the turn of the South East. No good person from the region will preach seceding. We’re better off in South East under a fair Federal Government. We used to be houseboys and house girls before Ebonyi State was created. But not anymore. All we are asking for is a fair Nigeria. But I’m not in APC just because of presidential ticket.”
A parting shot from the Governor?
“We can do with more patriotism in Nigeria. Fake news is a big problem fueling insecurity. We need patriotism to fight both insecurity and poverty.”
Very well said.
*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity
May 27, 2021
PDP Congratulates Edwin Clark at 94
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congratulates elder statesman and former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark as he marks his 94th birthday.
The PDP describes Chief Edwin Clark as an unrelenting patriot who has remained unshaken in his commitment towards the unity, stability and development of our dear nation.
Our party salutes Chief Edwin Clark for his steadfastness and outspokenness towards the entrenchment of democratic tenets of rule of law, justice, fairness, and equity in the context of true federalism in our country.
Indeed, Chief Clark’s contributions to nation building form a strong pedestal upon which our nation is striving to find solutions to the myriads of problems facing us today.
The PDP celebrates Chief Edwin Clark on this auspicious occasion and prays to God to continue to keep him and grant him many more years in good health.
National Publicity Secretary
PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS ALHAJI ASHAFA EROGBOGBO AT 95
President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with Alhaji Ashafa Ajibola Erogbogbo as he turns 95 May 28, 2021, giving thanks to Almighty God for the gift of longevity, in sound mind and body.
The President commends the cosmopolitan exposure of the native of Ikorodu, Lagos State, which saw him working in different regions of the country as a young man, before retiring and going into private business.
Also commendable, according to the President, is Alhaji Erogbogbo’s almost 70 years marriage to Alhaja Abeke, which terminated only on February 1, this year, when the latter passed on. The union produced illustrious children, among whom is Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
President Buhari rejoices with the entire Erogbogbo family, friends and well-wishers on the auspicious milestone, wishing the nonagenarian greater service to God and humanity.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 27, 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI REJOICES WITH THE SOUN OF OGBOMOSOLAND AT 95
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with Oba (Dr) Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, Soun of Ogbomosoland as he clocks 95 on May 27.
President Buhari congratulates sons and daughters of Ogbomosoland as well as the government of Oyo State as they celebrate a long, purposeful, beneficial and peaceful reign dotted with development, rapid transformation, purposeful leadership and peace.
He affirms that Oba Ajagungbade III, the longest reigning Soun, has continued to deploy his God-given wisdom and longevity to steadily steer the ship of the town, proffering sound advice to governments at all levels and creating an atmosphere for peace.
The President prays that Almighty God will bless His Royal Highness with more years in good health, as he continues to serve Ogbomosoland and the country.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 26, 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS FORMER MINISTER OF SPECIAL DUTIES, PROF TAOHEED ADEDOJA ON 70TH BIRTHDAY
President Muhammadu Buhari joins members of All Progressives Congress (APC), the academia, and Oyo State indigenes in felicitating with Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, former Minister of Special Duties, on his 70th birthday, May 27, 2021, congratulating him for many years of lofty achievements in public service.
The President sends greetings to family and friends of the scholar, researcher, educationist and public speaker, who also served the nation as Minister of Sports, after holding reputable positions in academia, Oyo State Government Executive Council and development institutions, with positive results that continue to attract recognitions and awards.
President Buhari extols Prof. Adedoja’s sense of patriotism and passion to serve the country from early age as a student leader who travelled many countries advocating for peace and development, and later always honouring invitations by governments to share his wisdom, experience and foresight, most times using his visionary leadership skills, gift of intuitiveness and sharp wit to make a difference.
As the renowned scholar turns a septuagenarian, the President believes the nation needs his services, particularly in education where he left his footprints, and remains an inspiration to many.
While appreciating Prof Adedoja’s contribution to the growth and stability of the APC, President Buhari prays for longer life, good health and strength for the former minister.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 26, 2021
WHY STABILITY OF LIBYA MATTERS TO US, BY PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday hosted His Excellency Mohammed Younis Menfi, Chairman, Presidential Council of Libya, stressing that a stable or unstable Libya has implications for countries in the Lake Chad Basin area, including Nigeria.
“Republics of Chad, and Niger, have extensive borders with Libya, and they are our immediate neighbours. Whatever affects them affects us. The stability or instability of Libya will directly affect us,” President Buhari said.
He stressed that security of Nigeria was number one priority to him, noting that “unless a country or institution is secured, there’s no way you can efficiently manage it.”
President Buhari said he was happy that the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya could personally attend the Summit of Lake Chad Basin Commission held in Abuja on Tuesday, to discuss the situation in Chad, and the implications for security in neighbouring countries.
Mohammed Younis Menfi said Libya was fast evolving, “and we now have one government, active on the ground. We are expelling the mercenaries, and unifying the instructions.”
He said democratic elections would be held in due course, adding that the historical relationship between his country and Nigeria in the areas of oil and agriculture meant that one country could not ignore the other.
“We aspire for joint cooperation, and reactivation of previous agreements,” Chairman Menfi said.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 26, 2021
May 26, 2021
PDP NWC Visits, Condoles Attahiru’s Widow
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid a condolence visit to the widow and family of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in the tragic military air crash last week Friday.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who led other members of NWC to visit Gen. Attahiru’s family in their home in Abuja on Wednesday, described the late COAS as a brave and patriotic soldier, adding that the PDP is still grief-stricken over the national tragedy.
“We are here to commiserate with you over the departure of your husband. We received with sadness, the news of the death of your brave and patriotic husband. Nigerians are in great pains because his appointment was a relief to our nation as we believed that he had come to make a difference.
“With Gen. Attahiru’s life and record of performance in serving our fatherland, it was clear that he had come with the commitment and zeal to confront and vanquish the security challenges facing our nation. His life was an eloquent testimony of his excellent service to our nation.
“On behalf of the leadership of PDP, we are here to condole with you. We assure you of our prayers at this moment of grief and we believe that God will grant you and your family the fortitude to carry this pain”, he said.
The PDP leadership also offered prayers for the families of the other officers who died in the crash.
The party further prayed for the safety of our gallant men and women risking their lives, in battle, to secure our dear nation.
National Publicity Secretary