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COUNT ON US. WE’LL LEND A HELPING HAND, PRESIDENT BUHARI ASSURES CHADIAN TRANSITIONAL LEADER


Nigeria will assist the Republic of Chad to stabilize, and return to constitutional order, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged.
The President spoke Friday at State House, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad.
Marshal Idris Deby Itno, President of the country had died in battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya. The country set up the transitional council, headed by the son of the deceased, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months.
“We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” President Buhari told his visitor. “Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration.”
The Nigerian President said the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria,” so the country should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary.
President Buhari said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), adding; “We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”
Lt. Gen. Itno thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noting that the main objective of the Transitional Military Council “is the security and cohesion of our country.”
He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling President Buhari: “You were very close to Marshal Itno. I’m here to reaffirm that relationship, and for you to support our transition. We rely on our brother country Nigeria, as we have shared history, culture and geography. We are ready to be guided by you in our journey to constitutional rule.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 14, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS OLOWOSAGO, PUBLISHER OF FOREMOST COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER, AT 70
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with Chief Monzor Olowosago, Publisher of Oriwu Sun Newspaper, on his 70th birthday, May 15, 2021.
The President salutes Olowosago for his resilience, which has seen him publishing Oriwu Sun for 36 years, turning it into the foremost community newspaper in the country.
President Buhari felicitates with the family, friends and professional colleagues of Olowosago, asking the media entrepreneur to use his professional skills in nurturing younger crop of journalists, who would value fidelity to ethics and professionalism.
He says the fact that Oriwu Sun has maintained cordial relationship with successive governments in Lagos State since it was established in 1985, “shows that the newspaper is focused, and development oriented.”
The President wishes Olowosago longer life, and greater wisdom to serve the society, and journalism, the profession he loves so much.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 14, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

IPOB THREAT: OHANAEZE NDIGBO ASKS SANWO-OLU TO IGNORE RUMOURED ATTACKS IN LAGOS
• Says It’s Ploy to Distract LASG
•Ndigbo Are Not Agents of Destruction
•We’ll continue on The Path of Progress, Security – Sanwo-Olu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos, noting that it is a ploy to distract the State Governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the State.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, said the “dangerous rumour or statement is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
Obiozor in his address titled “Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us” said Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, which he described as second home of several Ndigbo.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State, adding that the Governor deserved commendation for controlling and restricting the speed of coronavirus with his quick response.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, and other principal officials in Lagos State on Monday, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state.
But responding to the statement, Prof. Obiazor said Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
“The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” he said.
Prof. Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies’ patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the State and throughout the country.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and properties of all residents in Lagos State.
The Governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo are great people, noting that his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the State.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 13, 2021

PRESS STATEMENT
SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN), LAGOS STATE CHAPTER CONDEMNS REPRESSION OF OKADA RIDERS AND PROFFERS ALTERNATIVE TO AVERTING INSECURITY IN LAGOS STATE
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Lagos State Chapter condemns in strongest terms the recent upsurge of repression of Okada (motorcycle) riders in Lagos State. The party notes in particular the two recent incidents of Ogba and Lekki where frustrated Okada riders clashed with police officers attached to security agencies, the Lagos State Taskforce and the Rapid Response Squad.
We are of the firm view that instead of utilising repressive means to drive out poor and innocent Nigerians who have resorted to Okada driving in the face of unemployment, the Lagos State Government should build industries and create jobs on a massive scale.
However, we are afraid that instead of rethinking its strategies, Lagos State Government is planning a major clampdown on Okada riders. We are seized of the statement credited to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu at the recently held Lagos State Security Summit to the effect that in view of the overwhelming state of insecurity in the country and to avert any such occurrence in Lagos State, it will commence an aggressive clampdown on Okada riders. We are of the view that this is only a crude approach of addressing the problem of insecurity and also counterproductive. We are also seized of the plans to bring in small buses to replace motorcycles on Lagos roads, until this is achieved alongside integrated transport system including basic infrastructure, okada riding will remain with us.
We hold that the same challenges that beleaguer public transportation will continue when the small buses become operational.
We hold that as long as mass unemployment and deep poverty persists, individual citizens will resort to self-created means of survival to get means of livelihood for themselves. We hold the anti-poor policies of the All Progressives Congress-led Government both at the National and State levels as well as past bourgeois governments as being responsible for the sickening state of mass unemployment and economic misery.
We urge the mass of working people in Lagos State and in the country not to invest hopes in any party of the oppressors, be they People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC) and others but work towards building their own independent initiative.
We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) represents a major milestone in this direction. We stand for a public works programme towards providing adequate infrastructure and building of industries that put every employable person to work in order to wipe out mass unemployment. We hold that this is the only way to end insecurity.
As the local government elections in Lagos State nears, we call on all workers, artisans, transporters, students and youth to join us, vote for us (SPN candidates ) in order to build a genuine working people’s political alternative to the current rottenness.

SIGNED

Comrade Rufus Olusesan Shoyombo Monsuru
Chairperson Publicity Secretary

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 $1.5 million for 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.

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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, 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’’

Categories
ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja Authority Abuja Consults Abuja Daily Abuja Independent ABUJA MAIL Abuja MediaGate Abuja MediaGate Consulting Abuja MediaGate Management Abuja Mirror Abuja NewAge Abuja News Abuja Now Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Telegraph Abuja Tide Abuja Times Abuja Today Abuja Trust Abuja Vanguard Achara Africa Daily Africa News Africa Trumpet

IPOB THREAT: OHANAEZE NDIGBO ASKS SANWO-OLU TO IGNORE RUMOURED ATTACKS IN LAGOS

PRESS RELEASE

• Says It’s Ploy to Distract LASG
•Ndigbo Are Not Agents of Destruction
•We’ll continue on The Path of Progress, Security – Sanwo-Olu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos, noting that it is a ploy to distract the State Governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the State.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, said the “dangerous rumour or statement is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
Obiozor in his address titled “Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us” said Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, which he described as second home of several Ndigbo.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State, adding that the Governor deserved commendation for controlling and restricting the speed of coronavirus with his quick response.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, and other principal officials in Lagos State on Monday, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state.
But responding to the statement, Prof. Obiazor said Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
“The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” he said.
Prof. Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies’ patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the State and throughout the country.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and properties of all residents in Lagos State.
The Governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo are great people, noting that his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the State.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 13, 2021

PRESS STATEMENT
SOCIALIST PARTY OF NIGERIA (SPN), LAGOS STATE CHAPTER CONDEMNS REPRESSION OF OKADA RIDERS AND PROFFERS ALTERNATIVE TO AVERTING INSECURITY IN LAGOS STATE
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Lagos State Chapter condemns in strongest terms the recent upsurge of repression of Okada (motorcycle) riders in Lagos State. The party notes in particular the two recent incidents of Ogba and Lekki where frustrated Okada riders clashed with police officers attached to security agencies, the Lagos State Taskforce and the Rapid Response Squad.
We are of the firm view that instead of utilising repressive means to drive out poor and innocent Nigerians who have resorted to Okada driving in the face of unemployment, the Lagos State Government should build industries and create jobs on a massive scale.
However, we are afraid that instead of rethinking its strategies, Lagos State Government is planning a major clampdown on Okada riders. We are seized of the statement credited to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu at the recently held Lagos State Security Summit to the effect that in view of the overwhelming state of insecurity in the country and to avert any such occurrence in Lagos State, it will commence an aggressive clampdown on Okada riders. We are of the view that this is only a crude approach of addressing the problem of insecurity and also counterproductive. We are also seized of the plans to bring in small buses to replace motorcycles on Lagos roads, until this is achieved alongside integrated transport system including basic infrastructure, okada riding will remain with us.
We hold that the same challenges that beleaguer public transportation will continue when the small buses become operational.
We hold that as long as mass unemployment and deep poverty persists, individual citizens will resort to self-created means of survival to get means of livelihood for themselves. We hold the anti-poor policies of the All Progressives Congress-led Government both at the National and State levels as well as past bourgeois governments as being responsible for the sickening state of mass unemployment and economic misery.
We urge the mass of working people in Lagos State and in the country not to invest hopes in any party of the oppressors, be they People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC) and others but work towards building their own independent initiative.
We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) represents a major milestone in this direction. We stand for a public works programme towards providing adequate infrastructure and building of industries that put every employable person to work in order to wipe out mass unemployment. We hold that this is the only way to end insecurity.
As the local government elections in Lagos State nears, we call on all workers, artisans, transporters, students and youth to join us, vote for us (SPN candidates ) in order to build a genuine working people’s political alternative to the current rottenness.

SIGNED

Comrade Rufus Olusesan Shoyombo Monsuru
Chairperson Publicity Secretary

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 $1.5 million for 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.

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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, 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’’

Categories
ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja Authority Abuja Consults Abuja Daily Abuja Independent ABUJA MAIL Abuja MediaGate Abuja MediaGate Consulting Abuja MediaGate Management Abuja Mirror Abuja NewAge Abuja News Abuja Now Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Telegraph Abuja Tide Abuja Times Abuja Today Abuja Trust Abuja Vanguard AJAMIKARAWA VOICE AMUKPE ECHO ASABA TIMES ELUME DIGEST EVENING NEWS GHANA PUNCH KANO EXPRESS LAGOS DIARY NIGER DELTA MORNING TELEGRAPH NIGERIA BULLETIN OKPARA-WATERSIDE NEWS SAPELE MAIL SUNRAY UGBIMIDAKA NEWS

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.

Categories
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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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks 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’’

Categories
ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja Authority Abuja Consults Abuja Daily Abuja MediaGate Abuja MediaGate Consulting Abuja MediaGate Management Abuja Mirror Abuja NewAge Abuja News Abuja Now Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Telegraph

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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks 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’’
SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects’

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

SERAP said: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

In the letter dated 8 May 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

SERAP also said: “We are concerned that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs. Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsive to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”

The letter, read in part: “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

“These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

“SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

“Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”

“It would also enable your government to meet Nigeria’s human rights obligations in the way the MDAs under your leadership and supervision allocate, spend and audit the budget.”

“Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack transparent, accountable, effective and credible budgeting processes to prevent and combat corruption. SERAP is concerned that the Federal Government has not complied with Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.”

“SERAP notes that the budget is government’s most important economic policy document. A carefully and transparently developed, implemented and evaluated budget is central to ensuring access of Nigerians to essential public goods and services, and to the effective realization of all human rights.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to dated, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

“The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

“Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

“According to our information, the security sector received N10.02tn between 2015 and 2021 but without details about how the money has been spent. A total of 117 federal agencies received allocations in the 2021 budget for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
9/5/2021
Lagos, Nigeria
Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org
Twitter: @SERAPNigeria
Website: www.serap-nigeria.org
For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202

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Family announces burial plans for Tony Ebireri

A popular chemical engineer, banker and brand manager, Mr. Tony Ebireri, is dead.
The man of many talents was 50.
Ebireri died on Tuesday, January 25, 2021 following a protracted illness.
‘’Mr. Anthony Ebireri will be laid to rest on Friday, May 7, 2021 in Ugbimidaka-Elume, Sapele Local Government’’ a statement by the Head of the Family, Mr. Wilson Ebireri, said
‘’The Christian wake will take place at the family compound, 1 Marford Close, Off Reclamation Road, Sapele on Thursday, May 6, 2021’’.
Tony Ebireri began his career with Nestle Nigeria PLC, one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa, as a brand manager.
He also worked in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC as Brand Manager, Prestige Banking and Chief Operating Officer/ Business Manager, Dekento Limited.
A business man and politician, Ebireri earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Benin and a Master’s Degree from University of Lagos in Business Administration.
April 29, 2021
Communiqué Issued At The End of the Emergency Meeting of The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Today, Thursday, April 29, 2021.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) after its emergency meeting today, Thursday, April 29, 2021, considered crucial issues regarding the programs of the party as well as extensively reviewed the state of the nation, especially the escalated insecurity engulfing all parts of our country and resolved as follow:
NEC lamented the heightened insecurity pervading all parts of our nation due primarily to the misrule of President Muhammed Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as their failure to decisively tackle the menace of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, bloodletting and acts of violence in our country.
NEC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a national state of emergency on security.
NEC also urged President Buhari to, without delay, convoke a national conference on Security so as to galvanize ideas and options to tackle insecurity in our country.
NEC further commended the efforts of governors, senators, House of Representatives members and other officials elected on the platform of the PDP in forcefully seeking solutions to the spate of insecurity in our country.
With regard to the programmes of our party, NEC expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NWC in preparation for the November 6 Governorship election in Anambra state and asserted its readiness to do everything possible, within the confines of the law, to win the election.
NEC also received reports on the e-registration of members as the NWC announced the membership of the committee set up to conduct the exercise.
The Edo State Governor, Chief Godwin Obaseki has been appointed to serve as Chairman, while his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is appointed to serve as Deputy Chairman.
The statutory members of the committee are the National Organizing Secretary, National Treasurer, National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Secretary and the National Publicity Secretary.
Further nominations will be taken from the Board of Trustees, the National Assembly, Forum of State Chairmen as well as the youth and women demography of our Party.
NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus as well as the member of the National Working Committee (NWC).
NEC further cautioned party members at all levels to be wary of agents of distractions and division while praising the effort of the NWC for being focused and purpose driven in piloting the affairs of the party.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI LAUDS SEGUN OGUNSANYA’S APPOINTMENT AS CEO AIRTEL AFRICA

The elevation of the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Networks Limited, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, to MD/CEO of Airtel Africa Plc, has received plaudits from President Muhammadu Buhari, who says the flag of Nigeria has been hoisted proudly across the African skyline once again.
Congratulating Ogunsanya, the President says the appointment has once again proven that Nigeria has a surfeit of quality professionals, who can hold their own in any part of the continent, and even beyond.
President Buhari is sure that, with the cognate experience of the new MD/CEO for Africa, which spans consulting, banking, fast moving consumer goods, and telecommunications, he would acquit himself creditably in his new role, and repeat the strides that made him position Airtel Nigeria as the second largest telecommunications company by revenue, serving over 50 million customers.
He urges younger Nigerians to draw inspiration from Ogunsanya, saying with focus, dint of hard work, and resourcefulness, they would reach the peak of whatever careers they have chosen for themselves.
The new Chief Executive Officer, an electronics engineer and chartered accountant, joins the board of Airtel Africa Plc from October 1, 2021.
“The reward for hard work is more work,” says President Buhari, as he wishes Ogunsanya greater successes ahead.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 29, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI PLEDGES BETTER COLLABORATION WITH ZAMBIA

Nigeria and Zambia will deepen collaboration between the two countries, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.
The President spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving a Special Envoy of His Excellency, Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
He said the two countries would explore further areas of collaboration for the good of their peoples, and benefit of the African continent.
The Special Envoy, Hon Joseph Malanji, who is Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked Nigeria for her “big brother role in ECOWAS and the African continent,” stressing that “equity is when strong ones strengthen the weak ones.”
The Zambian President called for stronger bilateral relations and greater impetus for the Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 29, 2021

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

SANWO-OLU MOVES TO CREATE 6,000 JOBS AS LAGOS ADOPTS WASTE CONVERSION
…Adiyan Waterworks Phase II Reaches 85 per cent completion
…‘We Have Stabilised, Restored Confidence in the Environment’ – Commissioner

Lagos State is transiting from traditional waste management to conversion of waste materials – an innovation that is projected to generate 6,000 jobs. The recycling is also expected to promote a cleaner environment, which will promote good health and boost aesthetics.

Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tunji Bello spoke of the development on Thursday at the on-going inter-ministerial press briefing organised to mark the second anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Waste conversion, the Commissioner said, is necessitated by the limitation of the State to set up new dumpsites. He said the existing dumpsites had overreached their holding capacities, prompting the switch to waste conversion to reduce the volume of waste being taken to the dumpsites.

Already, the pilot scheme for recycling has been rolled out by the Ministry in organised housing estates, employing a mobile application known as PAKAM, which enables users to request for pick up of recyclable materials from their homes by registered aggregators on the mobile application.

Bello said the mobile app’s usage had been growing organically, stressing that there were over 2,000 kilograms of waste transactions being conducted on the app, which registered 41 recyclers and over 120 aggregators.

He said: “Waste sorting and conversion are very crucial in this period, whether we like it or not. We have begun our waste recycling exercise and the process is activated already. But we are currently focusing on plastic waste because of its non-degradable nature. Waste conversion is our top agenda now and one of the strategies being employed is to start from organised residential areas across the State, such as gated estates where we have residents’ associations.

“We want to see how far we can get the conversation process right from these organised residential places before we start replicating the idea in markets where large tons of waste materials are generated daily. The recycling process has commenced in a number of estates and we have distributed plastic separators to sort waste materials at sources in order to make the recycling process easier.”

Bello explained that circular waste recycling would reduce the amount of waste generated and transported to landfills. He said the Ministry had manufactured a recycling bank in its premises to aid waste conversion, adding that efforts were being made to establish recycling banks in Government-owned estates across the State.

The Commissioner revealed that Lagos had recorded 85 per cent progress towards the completion of 70 Million Gallons per day Adiyan Phase II Waterworks being revived by the Sanwo-Olu administration. The waterworks, Bello said, is expected to serve over three million residents in Lagos communities, including Ikotun, Idimu, Isolo, Agege, Ajegunle, and Amuwo Odofin, amongst others.

He disclosed that the State Government had reached an agreement with its Ogun State counterpart on the right-of-way for reticulation and laying of pipes for the network of Adiyan Phase II Water project. The process, he said, has paved the way for the commencement of laying of pipes for the project.

On efforts put forward by the State Government to address flooding, Bello said: “A total of 42 primary channels were approved and executed under maintenance and dredging of Primary Channels programme; 34 channels were executed by direct implementation while eight channels were executed by contracts. Most of these primary channels span across multiple Local Government Areas and effectively drain several catchment areas simultaneously. We have completed projects of more than 100km in length.”

In the last two years, the Commissioner said, there has been a tremendous progress towards restoring aesthetics and sanity in the environment.

Bello said Sanwo-Olu, after mounting the saddle, quickly moved to tackle the waste management crisis by rejuvenating the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to efficiently remove heaps of filth dotting the State.

Part of the efforts, the Commissioner pointed out, was boosting human capacity in waste collection, which, he said, generated 30,000 jobs. He added that LAWMA had increased the number of trips completed daily at landfill from 357 to 850 on the average; 87 new waste collection vendors were engaged to drive up efficiency in the value chain.

April 26, 2021
Press Conference
Afegbua’s Allegation Spurious, Irresponsible

The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a spurious and irresponsible allegation by one Kassim Afegbua, upon which he claimed to have petitioned the EFCC and ICPC, asking that the leadership of the party account for an alleged sum of N10 billion.
According to this Afegbua, the said sum was allegedly realized from the sale of “forms in 2019”.
While the PDP, our leaders and members are aware that there is no truth in the allegation, however for the benefit of the public and our teeming supporters, the PDP states as follows:
The PDP did not raise Afegbua’s fictitious sum of N10 billion as alleged by him. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP generated the sum of N4.6 billion and raised a budget for its expenditure, in line with all known financial regulations of our party.
This budget passed through the organs of our party and received the approvals from the NWC, the Governors’ Forum, the Board of Trustees as well as other organs of the party.
As a law-abiding political party that respects the doctrine of rule of law and transparency, the budget was presented to the National Executive Committee (NEC) where it also received a final approval.
It is imperative to state that all the sums received and budgeted for passed through the due process of approval by the necessary organs of the party.
Moreover, the PDP has no account under the name or guise of Afegbua’s ghostly Morufu Nigeria Limited.
Having said that, as a political party, under whose administration the EFCC and the ICPC were formulated and established, our party strictly adheres to best practices of transparency, accountability and probity in all issues including our financial administration.
In addition, our party has since submitted the audited account of its financial expenditures to the INEC for 2019, in line with statutory requirements of the law.
The PDP will not in any way be distracted by an inconsequential blackmailer hired to mudsling our party and its leadership, in order to divert attention from the salient issues of insecurity and drooping economy trailing the failures of the APC administration to provide good governance.
For the benefit of unsuspecting members of the public, the activities of a certain Afegbua have always been suspect and we urge Nigerians to be wary of such characters and their backers.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

SECURITY: PRESIDENT BUHARI ASKS U.S TO RELOCATE HEADQUARTERS OF AFRICOM TO AFRICA, WARNS OF LIKELY SPILLOVERS

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday urged the United States to reconsider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation, admonishing the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
President Buhari, in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, said AFRICOM, which partners with countries to counter transnational threats, should be relocated to Africa to strengthen ongoing efforts to check the security situation, with likely effect on other nations.
“The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.
“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes. The support of important and strategic partners like United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.
“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider re-locating AFRICOM Headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation,’’ he said.
The President said Nigeria will enhance collaborations in all forms, with friends and strategic partners, to work together for greater security for all, which remain the most significant condition for overcoming the existential challenges.
President Buhari congratulated Blinken on his appointment by President Joe Biden, and commended the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the “Muslim ban’’, re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. Let me in this connection express appreciation to President Joe Biden for his welcome and reaching decision to repeal the Immigration restriction known as the ‘Muslim ban’ on travel and visas for citizens predominantly from Muslim Nations and African Countries, including Nigeria.
“I also wish to congratulate the United States for re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The leadership of the United States in these two organizations is crucial for international community.
“This action is a demonstration of the United States commitment in championing and supporting international organizations with the aim to build a better world for all,’’ he added.
President Buhari noted that Nigeria remains resolute in her commitment to supporting global efforts as enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the President, the convening of the Climate Change Summit last week by President Biden was a strong indication of the renewed interest of the United States to the Paris Agreement.
“I would like to extend our goodwill message to President Joe Biden and his Administration. May I also thank you for initiating this meeting, which I am confident, given your background and current position, you will use to promote the existing bilateral relations between our two countries,’’ the President said.
The Secretary of State said he was pleased to make Nigeria part of his “first virtual visit to Africa,” noting that Nigeria and the United States of America, share a lot in bilateral issues.
He added that he would be delighted to build on the foundation that was laid between the two countries over 60 years ago, disclosing that areas of discussion with Nigeria would include “how to build our economies back after the COVID-19 pandemic, security for vulnerable communities, and climate issues.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 27, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
PRESS RELEASE

LASG HANDS OVER AMPUTEE SACHET WATER HAWKER TO KINSMEN

…Police, NGO, Others Present

The Lagos State Government has handed over Mary Daniel, the amputee sachet water hawker, to the leader of the Igala (Kogi State) community in Lagos State.

The Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, while handing over Mary to her kinsmen disclosed that the State government will continue to protect all residents in the state, especially the vulnerable.

Recall that Miss Daniel, whose story has attracted widespread attention, particularly in the social media, has been in the safe custody of the State government in the past two weeks.

Princess Adebowale said Government took the step to shield Daniel from possible fraudsters who may target the funds donated to her by well-meaning Nigerians.

According to the Special Adviser, the ultimate desire of the State government is to ensure that Daniel becomes a civically responsible citizen in the State, adding that “she now has the resources to take care of herself and her baby and have a new lease of life”.

Daniel was handed over to a Committee comprising of the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and the Leader of Igala community in Lagos State, Mr. Sanni Yakubu Ejima in the presence of the Divisional Police Officer, Alausa and representative of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command.

Adebowale, while handing over Daniel to the Leader of the Igalas in the State, explained that the police were brought in to demonstrate that the state had taken good care of Daniel while in her custody and to ensure Daniel’s safety thereafter.

Adebowale added that the Committee is to oversee Daniel’s rehabilitation and ensure that the donated funds are judiciously utilized for the improvement of her standard of living and that of her baby.
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS OXYGEN PLANT, BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE OFFICE
…Says Govt Will Continue To Implement Audacious Reforms In Health Sector
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured residents of the State that his administration will continue to ensure that all Lagosians have access to quality healthcare irrespective of their socio-economic status.
He gave the commitment on Wednesday during the commissioning of Blood Transfusion Service Office, Oxygen Plant and Oxygen Triage Centre and ground-breaking of Doctors’ 24-unit staff quarters at Gbagada General Hospital in Lagos.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the three critical health facilities and state-of-the-art equipment are vital projects that will scale up his administration’s most recent achievements in the health sector to further enhance healthcare service delivery to people of Lagos State.
He said provision of quality healthcare that guarantees comfort and longevity is a fundamental pillar of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda, adding that his government will continue to implement audacious reforms in the health sector because the continued wellbeing of Lagosians is non-negotiable.
“As we prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of this Administration, we are more determined than ever before to raise the standard and quality of our healthcare system to meet the healthcare needs of all Lagosians.
“We will continue to ensure that all Lagosians have access to quality healthcare irrespective of their socio-economic status. Although there is still so much to be done, I am proud of the considerable progress we have made in the last two years,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that one of the most outstanding lessons from the coronavirus pandemic is the need to build stronger and more resilient healthcare systems that will stand the test of time and also lead to improved patient care.
He said: “The Gbagada Oxygen and Triage Center being commissioned today (Wednesday) is an essential part of our COVID-19 Management Response Strategy and one of the 10 Permanent Triage and Oxygen Centers we have constructed across the State to provide swift Emergency Oxygen Therapy to those who require it.
“Each of these centers is equipped with beds, oxygen concentrators, thermometers, drugs, and consumables. The centers are managed by qualified medical personnel who have previously worked at the isolation centers across the State.
“The Blood Transfusion Service Office is also a critical facility that will enhance the capacity of our medical personnel to manage emergency situations that require blood transfusion. With this new facility and through voluntary blood donation, we will increase our capacity to meet the estimated 220,000 units of blood required for a population of over 22 million people.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended the leadership and staff of the Lagos State Infrastructure Assets Management Agency (LASIAMA) for successfully coordinating and supervising the construction and installation of the Oxygen Plant donated by the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC/TUPNI and partners.
He also appreciated the management of NNPC and Chevron for donating a two storey-building comprising 24 units of apartments, which will serve as residences for doctors.
Speaking at the event, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said his ministry is working systematically to rehabilitate Gbagada General Hospital and other hospitals in the State and build new hospitals.
He said with the building of the headquarter of the blood transfusion center in Gbagada General Hospital, there won’t be need for the State to invest in any temporary facility for blood transfusion to address the issue of shortage of blood in Lagos, adding that the Staff Quarters is very important to make medical personnel comfortable and retard the brain drain out of Lagos and Nigeria.
Also, the Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mike Sangster, who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Victor Bandele, commended the leadership shown by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in combating and containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the Oxygen Plant is expected to produce an equivalent of 100 bottles of oxygen per day, adding that it is designed to run for 20 hours per day.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 28, 2021
Press Statement

Oil Spills: Reps Will Ensure Environmental Justice, Welfare Of Host Communities

The House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities has assured that the legislature will not spare any effort to ensure environmental justice and restoration of livelihoods for communities that have suffered oil spills and other forms of negative environmental impact from petroleum exploration and production activities.

The Committee makes this assurance against the background of recent reported oil spills in parts of the Niger Delta Region, including Nembe in Bayelsa State and Gbaramatu in Delta State, among others.

The Committee is dismayed by the grave distortions and desecration of the environment as well as the grievous discomfort, dislocation and despair the spills have effected in the lives and living conditions of citizens and residents of the affected communities.

Being fully aware of its mandate seized upon it by the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, which includes to cater to the “welfare and protection of rights of oil mineral producing communities,” the Committee on Host Communities has activated measures to intervene on the issue of oil spills to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to have been done.

In this regard, the Committee is not only concerned about the urgent imperative for adequate compensation and environmental remediation but importantly about ameliorating the longer term effects of the spills on local inhabitants, including the unborn while guaranteeing livelihoods for those affected at the instant moment.

The Committee is deeply concerned about reports of denials and counter-denials by companies, communities and regulatory agencies of government and the consequent import of lack of accountability and transparency in the management of oil spills which invariably leave communities short-changed if not completely denied of compensation, remediation and assurance of continued economic livelihoods.

The Committee however appeals to affected communities to keep calm and identify with all legal and meaningful interventions by relevant stakeholders to address the clearly unacceptable situation occasioned by the spills; and that it will certainly do all within its powers to cause positive and sustainable change in the narrative.

Rt. Hon. Dumnamene R. Dekor

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities

27 April, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU TASKS HEADS OF PARASTATALS ON QUALITY PERFORMANCE
•Urges Them to Deliver Dividends of Democracy to Lagosians

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has tasked heads of parastatals in the State on quality performance, urging them to work tirelessly as a team to make Lagos better than the way they met it.

Sanwo-Olu implored the State’s personnel to work as a team to deliver good governance and dividends of democracy to citizens of Lagos State, who they are appointed to serve in different capacities as heads of government agencies.

Speaking during a meeting with Chief Executive Officers of parastatals at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said they have crucial roles to play in Lagos project and therefore urged them not to rest on their oars until the greater Lagos is achieved.

“You must work as a team because you all have a role to play in good governance in Lagos State. The citizens are looking at us. There is a trophy to be earned. There is a medal to take away. There are people that truly believe that we can make their lives a lot better. Let us make Lagos better than how you met it. We must go out to do it and not disappoint them. If we work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve as a state,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the vision in Lagos is to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city, a global economy and financial hub that is safe and secure.

He therefore advised heads of parastatals in the State to relate with one another in order to succeed, adding that they must all scale up their activities in their respective agencies by springing up to their responsibilities.

In a paper titled “Private sector management strategies for government parastatals” presented by Publisher of Complete Football and Complete Sports, Dr. Mumini Alao, likened government parastatals to a football team where every individual has a role to play in delivering good governance and dividends of democracy to the people.

The Guest Speaker encouraged the state government to create more avenues to improve sports activities in the State by establishing Lagos Sports Special School and Lagos State Hall of Fame.

He said the Lagos Sports Special School will help in producing more talents in the sports industry while the Lagos Hall of Fame will encourage younger generations to go into sports owing largely to the State Government recognition of those who have made positive impact through Sports in Lagos.

In his welcome address, the Special Adviser, Parastatals Monitoring Office (PMO), Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo, said the office is to promote good governance and therefore urged heads of the parastatals to work toward a better Lagos in line with the THEMES developmental agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 27, 2021

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

SANWO-OLU FLAGS OFF UPGRADING OF 107-YEAR MASSEY CHILDREN HOSPITAL, RELOCATES HEALTH FACILITY TO NEW SITE

•New Hospital to be in 7-Storey, Operates on IPP

•Governor Kicks off Massive Rehabilitation of Adeniji Adele Road, Two Other Streets

Massey Street Children Hospital – the century old secondary health facility on the Lagos Island and a birthplace of prominent Lagosians – is now to be upgraded and relocated to a convenient site.

The single-storey 85-bed paediatrics facility, established in 1914, is currently overstretched to meet the care demands of children because of the increasing number of patients it receives daily; the inadequacy prompted the State Government’s move to upgrade the hospital in order to meet the needs of the residents.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, performed the ceremonial ground-breaking for the reconstruction of the hospital on a new location in Adeniji Adele area, where the hospital can conveniently discharge services being rendered. At the event, the Governor also flagged-off the rehabilitation of a network of three roads within Adeniji Adele axis.

At the ceremony was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, members of the State’s cabinet, and residents of Lagos Island led by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.

The new Massey Street Children Hospital will operate in a seven-storey edifice with 150-bed spaces, Independent Power Plant (IPP), emergency section and multi-level car park. The facility will be completed in 24 months.

Sanwo-Olu said the construction of the New Massey Street Children Hospital reflected his administration’s determination to close access and capacity gaps in the health sector, adding that the repair work on three roads on Lagos Island was to enable an inclusive development on the part of the Lagos State Government.

He said: “The construction of the New Massey Children Hospital reflects our unwavering determination to bridge all gaps in the health sector while the reconstruction of three major roads on Lagos Island demonstrates this administration’s commitment to an inclusive and non-discriminatory developmental agenda for Lagos State. As a responsive government, we identified the inadequacy of Massey Children Hospital to continue to meet the needs of a megacity, particularly the children in need of care.

“As a result of increasing number of patients, who daily throng the hospital to access quality medical services, the capacity has been overstretched and the hospital must be urgently upgraded to meet the patients’ needs. Guided by the second pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which encompasses Health and the Environment, we are rebuilding, remodelling and repositioning the Massey Children Hospital into a seven-storey, 150-bed, ultra-modern and fit-for-purpose Paediatrics and Emergency General Hospital.”

On its completion, the Governor said the hospital would provide secondary integrated care services and acute care to both in-patients and out-patients in line with international best practices.

Sanwo-Olu said a new and well-equipped Massey Children Hospital would help the State to significantly reduce infant and maternal mortality rate.

The Governor said the upgrade of Adeniji Adele Road – a 2.234 kilometre two-lane single carriageway – and the rehabilitation of Okepopo and Tapa Streets would eliminate the perennial flooding often experienced in the area, while also improving road connectivity and traffic flow for commuters.

He said: “We have engaged Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, a company with a great wealth of experience working in this terrain, and which incidentally, undertook the initial construction of Adeniji Adele Road. I urge commuters and residents of Lagos Island to bear with the temporary inconveniences that usually characterise road construction works of this magnitude. The contractor is under strict instructions to minimise the pains and has been charged to ensure timely completion of the project.”

Before completion of the projects, Sanwo-Olu assured residents of Lagos Island of complete regeneration of Pelewura Market, Jankara, Idumagbo Avenue, Ojo Giwa Street, Swamp Street, and Anikantanmo Street, noting that the project was the next phase of work on Lagos Island. He also promised to meet with residents of Adeniji Adele Estate on the Government’s move to regenerate the residential neighbourhood.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the upgrade of Massey Children Hospital was the first to be implemented in the master plan approved by the Governor for the transformation of medical infrastructure in Lagos.

The new hospital, the Commissioner said, is being built on 4,000 square metres to create a comfortable environment for medical workers and patients. Abayomi said the new hospital will have fully equipped Accident and Emergency Department and radiology section, in addition to general and private wards among others.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, said the rehabilitation work on Adeniji Adele Road, Okepopo and Tapa Streets was long overdue, as the roads form a strategic bypass traversing the administrative boundary of Lagos Island Local Government Area and Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA).

The conditions of the roads, she pointed out, degenerated over time because of poor drainage and blockage of the water outlet channels.

Adeyoye said the repair effort was a deliberate move by the Governor to activate the complete regeneration of Lagos Island, with an estimated size of 100.42 hectares.

She said: “The roads will be reconstructed and upgraded to semi rigid pavement with reinforced concrete drains, culverts and median barrier, transverse and longitudinal service ducts and installation of Low Emission Diode (LED) powered street lighting. Alternative routes will also be provided for public use in the course of construction, just as relocation of utilities and services will be done before the project takes off.”

Oba Akiolu conveyed the residents’ appreciation to the Governor on the Massey Children Hospital’s expansion and road repair projects, saying Lagos Island remained the heartbeat of the State.

He, however, pleaded with Sanwo-Olu to extend the road rehabilitation to the stretch on Adeniji Adele Health Centre. The monarch also urged residents to accord full cooperation to the contractors handling the projects.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 28, 2021

ELEGUSHI OF IKATE KINGDOM, ELEVEN YEARS IN RETROSPECT

By Temitope Oyefeso

When Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi was crowned as the King of Ikate Kingdom on this day 11years ago, at the age of 34years, not much was given to chance. As it appeared to naysayers, his choice as the new king and subsequent coronation seems like a mere transfer of power from father to son. If truly that was the case, it was a fulfilment of the dreams of the new king’s father. But there was more to his enthronement.

A few people opined that the new king was too young to rule and was not likely to achieve much given the attendant responsibilities of traditional rulership. At the time, the then prince was just a budding public servant trying to carve a niche for himself in the world of politics under the tutelage of the generalissimo of party politics in Nigeria, the former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Those who expressed doubts were not aware that even the Prince’s ‘godfather’ had seen the allure and halo of royalty in him and believed that he would serve his people diligently and graciously as the occupier of the revered Elegushi throne.

What some cynics and sceptics lost sight of was the God-factor and the fact that Oba Saheed Elegushi was divinely enrobed and equipped for the throne, notwithstanding his youthful age.

Today, 11years on, those who saw through his youthfulness and trusted the process have been vindicated. Oba Saheed Elegushi has not only elevated his kingdom to an enviable standard but the panache and productivity he brought to the throne are also now the reference point for many blue bloods who, hitherto, did not reckon with the traditional institution. Not a few are now angling to occupy traditional stools, which have become more attractive by the carriage and conduct of the likes of the Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom.

In the last 11years, the Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom in the Eti-Osa area of Lagos State has become the premium destination to live and do business. Daily, new constructions are springing up and those in the business of real estate are smiling to the bank. This king means business. He brings his experience and closeness to power to bear, which is why infrastructural development in this area is developing at a quick pace just as the royal family also contributes in no small measure to improving the standard of living of the people within their domain.

In prioritising the wellbeing of his people, Oba Elegushi is currently making efforts to upgrade the primary health centre in the community into a secondary health facility with the provision of modern laboratory and testing facilities. The first step in that direction is that the health centre currently enjoys 24hours uninterrupted power, courtesy of the palace.

While making plans for the aged and sick through this health care facility, Oba Saheed Elegushi recently donated 10,000sqm of land in Ikate to the federal government for the construction of a skill and vocational training centre and a junior and secondary school for the development of the youth and children of the kingdom. This, he said, is the only way we can have a secured future.

At the recently held Elegushi peace cup, a novelty football match between ex-Super Eagles stars and entertainers, Oba Elegushi mooted the idea of a modern sports facility in Eti-Osa, stressing that the message of turning youths away from crime and criminality should be matched with the provision of alternatives for them, not only in areas of education but sports development.

The purposeful leadership of Oba Saheed Elegushi shouldn’t surprise close watchers; it is steeped in the rich pedigree of service and selflessness that he inherited from his late father, Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi, the architect of modern Eti-Osa.

Also, learning from the masters of the game of leadership and public administration – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) – both of whom he served at different times, prepared him for the throne and, today, the people of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom are the best for it.

As the people of Ikate Kingdom and Lagosians celebrate a dynamic and committed king, it is evident that the best years are still ahead. As he often reminds everyone, the people remain the core of his reign and he will stop at nothing to continually improve their standard of living.

May your purposeful and peaceful reign continue for eons.

Temitope Oyefeso is the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Oba Elegushi.


‘Tope Oyefeso (Mr.)
Special Assistant, Public Affairs
Office of The Elegushi of Ikateland
08023839100

April 28, 2021
Killings: Buhari Presidency, APC Insensitive… Accuses APC Of Gagging Members

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the silence by the Buhari Presidency in the face of terrorist occupation, mass killings, kidnapping, acts of banditry and escalated insecurity enveloping all parts of our nation is ominous and further confirms President Muhammadu Buhari as a lame duck President.
The party laments that the decision by President Buhari to recede into the comfort and safety of Aso Presidential Villa and kept silent while the nation burns, had worsened the situation and emboldened terrorist elements to unleash more violence on our nation.
Due to the incompetence, divisiveness and insensitivity of the Buhari Presidency, violence, killings, bloodletting and a gripping reign of terror have seized all parts of our nation and there is no hope in sight.
It is a mark of failure that the Buhari Presidency and the APC appears unconcerned as terrorists and bandits take control of various parts of our country and even hoisted their flags in Shiroro, Niger state, a distance of about 200 kilometres to our Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The Buhari Presidency and the APC appear unperturbed and are only interested in their 2023 power grabbing plot while terrorists are having a field day plundering and murdering our compatriots on daily basis.
Our party has already been made aware of how the APC has been gaging its members from speaking out against the failure of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to tackle insecurity in our country.
Nigerians are invited to note how APC Senator Smart Adeyemi, who dared to speak out against the failure of the Buhari Presidency on the floor of the Senate, was reminded by Senator Remi Tinubu that he, Senator Adeyemi, is not a member of the PDP and as such should not show concern to the ugly situation in our country.
From the comment of Senator Tinubu, it is instructive to note that the APC and their leaders had turned their backs on Nigerians and that it is only the senators, members and other leaders elected on the platform of the PDP that are concerned about the plight of citizens at this critical time.
It is indeed unfortunate that our nation has found herself in this quagmire and misfortune of having a President such as President Buhari as well as a party like the APC whose divisiveness, incompetence and body language has wrecked our nation and brought us so much anguish and pain in the last six years.
Our party urges Nigerians not to resign to fear and despondency but brace up and work together as a people in the defence of our nation as the Buhari Presidency and the APC have shown that they are not committed to the security and wellbeing of our nation.
Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI DENOUNCES THE KILLING OF KADUNA STUDENTS AS BARBARIC TERROR ATTACK
-Directs the deployment of “fiercest show of legitimate force against perpetrators.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday strongly condemned the killing of three of the students kidnapped at Greenfield University, Kaduna State.
The President described the students as bright youngsters who were cut down by evil people in their prime.
“My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace,” said the President. He extended his condolences and that of the Federal Government to the relatives, associates of the murdered students and the Kaduna State government.
On the recurring incidents of kidnappings and killings in Kaduna State in particular, the President condemned them as “barbaric terror attacks,” and described as “unfortunate the tenor of some political and religious leaders that seem to further incite and stoke the pain and anguish of mourning families who are forced to confront these tragedies. Addressing this scourge, requires great show of empathy and coming together as a society to squarely confront these elements and the danger it poses to our democracy and peaceful life in the country.”
He gave strong assurances that those who think that profits can be made, either from money paid as ransom or in politics, “will suffer with equal measure of recompense under the full weight of the law for their wickedness and brutality.”
“Banditry, kidnapping and the politics of murders will be fought with all the resources available to our country,” declared the President.
Garba Shehu.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 24, 2021

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Niger Delta leaders laud Timipre Sylva


Niger Delta leaders on Saturday praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for liberating the country’s petroleum sector from its quagmire.
They also praised the minister for playing a crucial role in the development of Nigeria.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is committed to the development of Nigeria. He will always support the Niger Delta region through thick and thin”
In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders praised Sylva for the zero-fuel queues situation in the country and the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
They commended the minister for defending the interests of the Niger Delta people, changing the image of Nigeria for the better and attracting International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the petroleum sector.
The leaders also hailed Sylva for creating jobs for the people, placing greater emphasis on the distribution chain, indigenous capacities for the oil and gas industry as well as choosing courses which tend at least to a better and more desirable development of the country’s petroleum sector.
Signed by the chairperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders applauded the former Bayelsa State governor for his honest leadership, dogged commitment to principles in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness and justice.
“Chief Timipre Sylva should be applauded in his quest to bring about economic and social development in the country.
The leaders who met in Yenagoa for three hours commended the astute politician for opening up local manufacturing in the country, improving the environmental condition of the oil producing areas and making the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Bayelsa State proud by his achievements in politics.
“Chief Timipre Sylva and other ministers have done South-South proud. The zone has never had it so good in terms of provision of amenities and infrastructure” they said.
The statement emphasized sound business policy, creative power of the petroleum economy and operations of the petroleum industry.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is travelling on the road that leads to success”
The leaders called on critics to emulate the virtues of Sylva by pursuing peace, progress and development.
“In spite of the current financial crunch, the Federal Government is up to date in its obligations to the Niger Delta region”.
The leaders also advised critics of Buhari’s appointees from the South-South geo-political zone to join Nigerians, home and abroad, in celebrating the achievements of the petroleum resources minister.
“Chief Timipre Sylva will continue to seek what is best for the good people of the Niger Delta region” the statement said.
Chief Timipre Sylva is one of the most ardent promoters of the unity and development of the Niger Delta region.

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South-South leaders move against Akpabio’s critics


South-South leaders on Saturday gave a pass mark to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, praising him for going the extra mile and using his good offices to root out all impurity and indiscipline from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
They also advised Nigerians not to allow themselves to be held captive by men with unprecedented capacity for lies, mischief and treachery.
The leaders in a statement in Yenagoa described as malicious and devilish the campaign of calumny against Akpabio.
“Sensationalism is not an admirable feature of excellent journalism.
We find the purport of the news story entitled;” Exclusive: How EFCC detained Godswill Akpabio for two hours after attempting to bribe agency chairman with $350,000” as misleading”

The leaders condemned critics of Akpabio for degenerating into abuses, lies and wild allegations.
They alleged that some individuals are spreading untrue tales against Akpabio and NDDC.
“Some individuals are stepping up their covert and overt moves to cause confusion in the country. Miscreants have been recruited to insult and blackmail the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs”
The comments by Comrade Damian Nwikinaka of the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition on the forensic audit in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) also drew fierce criticism from the South-South leaders.
The leaders described the utterances of Nwikinaka as reckless, ridiculous, unbelievable, disgusting, inaccurate and insulting.
“Nwikinaka has consciously and definitely shown disdain for the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio”
The statement signed by the Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry refuted some of the distractions spewing from unguarded quarters in the country, saying those behind them do not wish the Niger Delta region well.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is against forms of behaviors that are alien to or subversive of the rule of law” the leaders said.
The leaders apart from drawing attention to the orchestrated campaign of hate, slander and witch-hunting being undertaken by some individuals and their sponsors commended Akpabio for enhancing the prestige of peoples of the Niger Delta region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio should not be a subject of undue attack. He should be celebrated for changing the face of the region” they said.
The leaders condemned other misleading stories sponsored by the enemies of the region to push their selfish agenda and justify unrealistic conclusions about Akpabio.
They praised President Muhammadu Buhari for developing the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a politician with a conscience. He will continue to incur envy, malice and hatred from those who see perfidy as a virtue in politics” they said”
They also urged Nigerians to ignore the shenanigans of these individuals.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio shall not be distracted in his God assigned role of developing the Niger Delta region through sound policies” they said.

Niger Delta leaders laud Timipre Sylva

Niger Delta leaders on Saturday praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for liberating the country’s petroleum sector from its quagmire.
They also praised the minister for playing a crucial role in the development of Nigeria.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is committed to the development of Nigeria. He will always support the Niger Delta region through thick and thin”
In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders praised Sylva for the zero-fuel queues situation in the country and the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
They commended the minister for defending the interests of the Niger Delta people, changing the image of Nigeria for the better and attracting International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the petroleum sector.
The leaders also hailed Sylva for creating jobs for the people, placing greater emphasis on the distribution chain, indigenous capacities for the oil and gas industry as well as choosing courses which tend at least to a better and more desirable development of the country’s petroleum sector.
Signed by the chairperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders applauded the former Bayelsa State governor for his honest leadership, dogged commitment to principles in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness and justice.
“Chief Timipre Sylva should be applauded in his quest to bring about economic and social development in the country.
The leaders who met in Yenagoa for three hours commended the astute politician for opening up local manufacturing in the country, improving the environmental condition of the oil producing areas and making the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Bayelsa State proud by his achievements in politics.
“Chief Timipre Sylva and other ministers have done South-South proud. The zone has never had it so good in terms of provision of amenities and infrastructure” they said.
The statement emphasized sound business policy, creative power of the petroleum economy and operations of the petroleum industry.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is travelling on the road that leads to success”
The leaders called on critics to emulate the virtues of Sylva by pursuing peace, progress and development.
“In spite of the current financial crunch, the Federal Government is up to date in its obligations to the Niger Delta region”.
The leaders also advised critics of Buhari’s appointees from the South-South geo-political zone to join Nigerians, home and abroad, in celebrating the achievements of the petroleum resources minister.
“Chief Timipre Sylva will continue to seek what is best for the good people of the Niger Delta region” the statement said.
Chief Timipre Sylva is one of the most ardent promoters of the unity and development of the Niger Delta region.

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The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami, says President Buhari

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENCY ON RECENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY

Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.
This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is, currently, subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal. They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to “cancel” him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.
The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.
In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.
But all discerning Nigerians know this manufactured dispute is nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words, but solely concern his actions in the present.
This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.
The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing; he has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money; he has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs; he has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected. In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.
In putting people first, the Minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means. And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections. The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.
The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 22, 2021

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

UPHOLD YINKA ODUMAKIN’S LEGACY, SANWO-OLU CHARGES NIGERIANS
•93-Year-Old Adebanjo Weeps, As Gbajabiamila, Ex-Governors, Others Pay Tributes To Late Afenifere Spokesman

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged politicians and members of the Civil Society Organisations, to uphold the legacy and struggle of the late Yinka Odumakin, former National Publicity Secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere.

Speaking at the lying-in-state, day of tributes and service of songs held on Thursday at Police College, Ikeja as parts of the funeral rites for the late human rights activist, Governor Sanwo-Olu urged ‘comrades of like minds’ not to abruptly end what Yinka Odumakin believed, stood and worked for during his life time.

The Governor also charged them to keep working hard for a Nigeria that will be land of justice, fairness and where equity would become the watchword and reflect true federalism.

He said: “Yinka was one-half of the most formidable couple that we have seen in our history and the other half is his beloved wife, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who now sadly has to continue this struggle without her husband, fellow comrade and big friend that I know he is to her. My sister, you will continue to push on strongly in the trenches.

“We are passionate about what he believed in and what he stood for. He wanted the best for Nigeria. He wanted the best for his Yoruba nation but he was completely detribalised and he used his voice to advance the cause and the needs of the voiceless. Until the very end, he kept going.

“He kept speaking up, he kept working hard for a Nigeria that we all can be truly proud of. A
Nigeria that will be land of justice, a Nigeria that will be fair, a Nigeria where equity would become the watchword and a Nigeria that will truly reflect true modern federalism.
But the Almighty God who we cannot query did not allow Yinka to finish. As some people have said, he was a fighter who fell in his prime.

“At a time like this, we are all short of words but we will continue to hold on to the legacy and what he believed and lived for. All comrades of like minds should ensure that they don’t abruptly end what Yinka Odumakin stood for, what he believed in and what he had worked for. That is a charge for each and every one of us.”

Speaking at the event, Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who shed tears uncontrollably while paying tributes to his organisation’s spokesman said ĺOdumakin is an irreplaceable material.

Adebanjo, who broke the barrier of culture to attend the funeral rites, urged human rights activists to continue in the spirit Yinka Odumakin, by being courageous and fearless if they truly love the deceased.

“I am not God, I am a human being. There is nothing impossible for God to do but as a human being, I will say it will be difficult to replace Yinka. Where can we find a young man of his age, not materialistic pursuing a cause he believes in selflessly, courageously, relentlessly and consistently? Yinka, God knows you are a blessing to Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking in tears, Adebanjo said: “It is not easy to talk about Yinka. Yinka is an irreplaceable material. Why should I be here? You can’t question him, leaving a man of 93 to take a man of 55-years. God, you are omnipotent, please replace him quickly for us.”

Also speaking, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said he left the Green chamber where he was presiding to pay last respect to the late Odumakin, who he described as “a man of courage, integrity, true democrat and a man who stood for truth and nothing else”

The Speaker therefore charged Nigerians to make positive impact during their lifetime by rendering service to humanity so that they can be remembered after their demise.

The widow of the late Afenifere spokesman, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who described her husband as “encyclopedia of positive activism” said the tributes by Nigerians will continue to embolden her to do more by continuing what her husband fought and stood for.

“One thing that will never make me break down are that his ideals will live forever; his legacy will remain. All that he has lived for remain. Yinka, you are not dead; you are alive, you will continue to live in our unconsciousness. And to live in the unconsciousness of the people, is to live forever. Yinka Odumakin, my comrade lives on,” she said.

The lying-in-state, day of tributes and service of songs was attended by Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to Governor Sanwo-Olu; former governors –Mr. Peter Obi (Anambra), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), ex-Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; Pastor Ituah Ighadalo of Trinity House Church, Afenifere chieftains, politicians and human rights activists among others.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 22, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI SALUTES EMIR OF GWANDU AT 80
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with the Emir of Gwandu, His Highness Muhammadu Ilyasu Bashir, as he turns 80.
The President pays tribute to the retired Major General of the Nigerian Army, in a personal letter to mark the milestone. Details below:
“It is my great pleasure to greet my friend and colleague, General of the Nigerian Army, Emir of Gwandu, His Highness Muhamamdu Ilyasu Bashar on reaching the grand age of 80 years.
“Emir Bashar grew up in a privileged but disciplined environment. He was well grounded in basic Islamic education prior to primary and secondary schooling, thence recruited into the Nigerian Army. Behind his quiet and unassuming outward appearance was a fierce determination to succeed.
“Jega, as we knew him, had a distinguished military career, was one of the leaders of the famous Bonny Landings on which he wrote a pamphlet which has become a reference manual in the country’s military schools.
“He was severely injured. Only about 3 years ago was the last shrapnel in his body removed.
“In peace time whether as Army Commander, Military Governor of old Gongola State, or coordinator of Nigeria’s peace-keeping efforts in Lebanon and Chad he performed his duties without blemish.
“After retiring as a result of the change of Government in 1985, Jega proved his versatility by leading or joining several successful commercial ventures and at the same time helping to guide the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
“None of his friends was surprised he kept appointment with destiny when in July, 2005 he was named the Emir of Gwandu and assumed the Royal office with the name of Muhammadu Ilyasu Bashar, a position first held by Abdullahi Gwandu, brother of the Great Reformer Shehu Usman Dan Fodio.
“I am happy to count Emir Bashar as my friend. We went through good times and difficult times but he has always retained his composure, his sense of humour and belief in God and the Last Day.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 22, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS EMIR OF ILORIN, ALHAJI IBRAHIM SULU-GAMBARI AT 81
President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with Emir of Ilorin and Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, on his 81st birthday, joining family and friends to celebrate with the retired eminent justice, whose leadership antecedents continue to inspire.
President Buhari congratulates the royal father on the auspicious occasion of another anniversary, appreciating the noble and highly commendable roles he plays as a former Justice of the Appeal Court, Judge of the High Court, administrator, community developer and foremost nationalist.
The President extols the humility and modernising vision of Emir of Ilorin for his domain, and the country, consistently urging both the young and old to pursue dreams of acquiring good education, and working for the betterment of society.
President Buhari prays for longer life and good health for the royal father, who has contributed greatly to the development of sports in Nigeria.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 22, 2021

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

SANWO-OLU UNVEILS FIVE-YEAR FOOD SUFFICIENCY ROAD MAP FOR LAGOS
…State Set To Double Food Security, Reduce Inequality Gap Via Market-Centric Plan
…Governor Urges S’West States To Collaborate With Lagos
An audacious agricultural growth plan that will enhance food sufficiency in Lagos State has been unveiled by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The five-year food security road map will see a sustained public and private sectors’ investment in agricultural value chains to give Lagos comparative advantages in the sector and enhance the State’s self-sufficiency in food production from the current 18 per cent up to 40 per cent over the next 60 months.
Sanwo-Olu on Thursday at a ceremony organised by the Ministry of Agriculture at the Intercontinental Hotels, Victoria Island, rolled out the agric road map which will be achieved through a three-pronged approach.
The adverse impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on food security in Lagos, the Governor said, necessitated an immediate action towards ensuring food security for residents of the State.
Lagos, the smallest State in Nigeria in terms of land size, relies on massive food importation and mutual collaboration on production with other States to ensure food sustenance for its 22 million population.
Sanwo-Olu said the State could no longer rely exclusively on production alliances with other States, stressing that it was time for Lagos to unlock its agricultural potential by implementing the five-year road map.
The plan, he said, will set players in agricultural sector on the path of wealth generation and value creation, thereby improving food security and industrialisation of agricultural sector, while also entrenching inclusive socio-economic growth.
He said: “At the inception of this administration, we identified food security as a major policy thrust and a key component of our T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda. The five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map has been designed in line with our agenda to reform, transform and maximise the potential of Lagos’ agricultural sector.
“The focus of the road map is the development of agricultural value chains where Lagos has competitive and comparative advantages to enhance self-sufficiency in food production from 18 per cent to 40 per cent over the next five years, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To successfully implement the road map, we will take a cue from other economies that have achieved self-sufficiency in food production. We will also aim to put the private sector at the heart of our vision for food security in Lagos State, with government as enabler and catalyst.”
The strategies to achieve the plan, Sanwo-Olu said, will focus on leveraging technology to grow agric’s upstream sector through interventions capable of lowering the cost of production in identified value chains, including fisheries, poultry, piggery, rice, vegetables and coconut.
The Governor said there would be deliberate actions to grow the mid-stream and downstream sectors to enhance value chain in processing, handling, storage, cold chain, packaging, utilisation and commercialisation.
He said the State Government would link willing private sector players to business-friendly credit facilities and give incentives to improve private participation, while also formulating enabling policies to encourage return on investment.
Sanwo-Olu said: “The projection is that the total investment in the agricultural sector from the Government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10 billion in the next five years. While we expect most of the investment to be private sector-driven, government will continue to provide the needed infrastructure while the private sector will be encouraged to lead the key projects.
“We are revamping the Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to drive investment into agriculture. We will strengthen the coconut belt with increased private sector involvement. The next five years will be productive, competitive and transformational as Lagos implements this road map, which will make the State to become the nation’s agricultural powerhouse. I invite you to join us to make history.”
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos had entered into a partnership agreement with two key States in the North Central for land availability, urging States in the Southwest to key into the objectives due to their proximity.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said the development of the road map started with stakeholder’s engagements and workshops around addressing the needs of the agric ecosystem in the State, pointing out that the blueprint provided a market-centric context pertaining to each value chain in Lagos food ecosystem.
She said: “There is a great wealth to be mined from the oldest profession on earth (agriculture) if data-driven principles are applied and the right information is made available to the investors.
“I dream of a Lagos where wholesome food is available, where healthy people thrive, where re-organised food system reduces freight congestion, post-harvest losses and increases profits for value chain actors. A Lagos where agriculture will empower millions of people and drive up productivity.”
Chairman of Chapel Hill Denham Group, Mr. Wale Edun, who analysed the agricultural road map, described the initiative as “laudable”, saying the State Government deserved to be supported on the vision.
He said the rollout of the initiative was timely, given the festering insecurity in the some part of the country, which, he said, posed great risk to Lagos food market because of the attendant disruption in the supply chain.
Edun, a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos, however, urged the Government to limit the scope of its investment to infrastructure and environment. Private sector, he said, must be allowed to play a frontline role in implementation of the road map.
Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said the programme would increase the contribution of agriculture to Lagos GDP from two to five per cent, adding the roadmap would close the gap of wealth inequality.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 22, 2021
Press Statement
RIWAMA Cancels Sanitation Exercise Billed For Saturday, April 24, 2021
…As Sole Administrator, Bro. Felix Obuah Urges Residents To Keep Their Environs Clean
The monthly sanitation exercise earlier billed to hold across the state on Saturday, April 24, 2021 has been cancelled.
The Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah in a statement said in spite of the cancellation of the statewide sanitation exercise for this month, residents and those doing business in the state should sustain the healthy habit of keeping their surroundings clean.
Bro. Obuah further urged them to observe the dumping hours of 6pm to 12 mid night daily, and also ensure all wastes are dumped at RIWAMA approved receptacles only.
He said it would be wrong for residents and people doing business in Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs to dump their wastes indiscriminately and flout sanitation laws, warning that Sanitation Marshals are still on duty and would arrest anyone seen to be flouting the sanitation rules.
While giving kudos to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for his continued support and encouragement to RIWAMA, Bro. Obuah also urged residents and those doing business in the state to reciprocate the good gestures of the governor by ensuring that sanitation laws are obeyed and their homes and business places kept clean at all times.
He reemphasized that any landlord or shop owner who allows the frontage of his house or shop to be littered with wastes, would be arrested and prosecuted.
Signed:

Jerry Needam
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to
Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,
Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

Thursday, April 22, 2021.

HOUNDING THE PRESIDENT. WILL THEY EVER LEARN?
From Sunday afternoon till evening, I was harried and harassed with phone calls by some people in the media. Can you please confirm the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari? He came into the country on Thursday, and he hasn’t been seen since then. Information at our disposal says his health has taken a turn for the worse.
I wondered where the falsity was coming from. But patiently, I tried to respond to the enquiries, reasoning with the callers that the President came back to the country early Thursday evening, in the full glare of Nigerians. He even granted an interview at the airport, saying his routine medical checks went well. On Friday, he was in the office, and equally attended the Jumat service. Saturday was for rest and time with the family.
So from where did the pernicious rumour start on Sunday? From evil-hearted people, who never love to see or hear any form of good. They are people who spend their days expecting the storm, and so they never enjoy the rainfall. From day one in office, they have hounded and hectored the President, but God simply laughs them to scorn. Who is man that says anything and it comes to pass, when God has not said so?
When President Buhari took ill in 2017, they said all sorts of things. They hired prophets, who uttered lies from between their teeth. They said Buhari would not return as President, that his time was already up. But man will always be man. Finite. Limited. No matter the title he parades, man will never have the final say. That is the exclusive preserve of God. After many months, the President came back to assume duties, very well mended. It was a great medical comeback, wrought by God and God alone, in His mercy.
You would think they would learn their lessons, hide their faces in shame, and throw up their hands in surrender. But they love beatings, so they continue to speak and wish evil. But each time, it falls right in their faces. Will they never learn that God has the ultimate say?
All through last year, after a trip to a conference in London in January, and COVID-19 broke out in full force, the President never went out for any form of medical attention. Na God o.. But when he announced on March 29 this year that he would travel next day, and return within the second week of April, they began to beat the drums of malediction again. They had learnt nothing, and forgot nothing.
Why hasn’t he built world class hospitals in Nigeria?How much is the trip going to cost the tax payers? Are we sure he would come back as indicated within the second week?
That second week was not to lapse till Saturday last week. Right from Monday, they had begun to bully and badger us. When is he coming back? We are in the second week now. Are you sure he’s coming? For me, I simply told them: our press statement was written in English, go and check it again. Read it all over. He would return within the second week in April. Was the second week over?
Some Nigerians have made it a pastime to pester and attempt to browbeat the President. I laugh. They don’t know the person they are dealing with. A cool customer. Never flustered,harried or disconcerted. He simply focuses on what he is doing, ignoring the noise of the market. Kick like a dying horse, shout yourselves hoarse, curse, murmur like a ghost, hiss like a snake, President Buhari keeps his eyes on the ball. It’s a big lesson to learn from him. When you are in the market, ignore the din, and concentrate on the person you are transacting business with.
To some of those who bothered me endlessly about the health of the President on Sunday, I just responded: wait till tomorrow, you would see him receiving the new President of Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.
And on Monday, the President stood ramrod straight at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, to welcome his guest. The naysayers ate the humble pie. Like a beaten dog, they slunk away with their tails between their legs.
Each time they come, they get beaten. Why don’t they learn their lessons, and admit that the life and times of this President, like that of every man, is in the hands of God? Why do the heathens rage, and the people imagine vain things?
For those who think they make life difficult for President Buhari when they hound him, let them know that no leaf falls from the tree without the permission of God. And even the very hairs on our heads are numbered, and no strand will drop without the knowledge of the Almighty. In vain do they chivvy, hound and harass. God has the final say, and is with this President. They should just calm down.
*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity.

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SANWO-OLU LAUNCHES $20 MILLION ‘LAGOS CARES’ PROGRAMME FOR YOUTHS, WOMEN

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE
•MSMEs, Farmers among Top Beneficiaries of Economic Stimulus Programme
•Project Funded Through World Bank Facility
Lagos State Government has rolled out a $20 million Coronavirus (COVID-19) Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (Lagos CARES) Programme to support livelihood for poor and vulnerable households and to expand food security services in the State.
At the State House, Alausa, on Wednesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu launched the social intervention project that is focused on offering safety net to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of COVID-19 and also to building resilience of the State.
The programme, which will be implemented for 24 months, is being funded through $750 million facility secured from the World Bank by the Federal Government for Nigeria-CARES project. Other states also benefited from the stimulus programme.
Lagos CARES will directly support 20,843 households and indirectly support 125,058 individuals within the State.
The programme encompasses three key result areas, including increasing cash transfers and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households; increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chains for poor households, and facilitating the recovery of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSMEs), while strengthening institutional support for coordination and delivery.
Sanwo-Olu said the programme was designed to be inclusive and packaged to specifically impact women and the youth. Its implementation, the Governor said, cuts across relevant ministries, including Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (SDG&I), Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Finance, Wealth Creation, and Agriculture.
He said: “Today marks another milestone in our effort to combat the negative impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on our households, livelihood, food security and businesses. The CARES project is an integral part of the national approach, adopted to alleviate the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, and enhance the wellbeing of our people.
“The Lagos CARES Programme will be implemented between 2021 and 2023, and will provide economic relief and recovery support to identified vulnerable persons. During the 24 months, the programme will directly support vulnerable households and indirectly support 125,058 individuals. There will also be interventions in 69 markets, while a minimum of 2,512 MSMEs will be supported.”
To effectively implement the programme, Sanwo-Olu set up the State’s CARES Steering Committee (SCSC), co-headed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, and Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond.
Other members of the steering committee comprises cabinet members and policy heads, who will oversee the programme and provide policy guidance.
The Governor also inaugurated the State’s CARES Coordinating Unit (SCCU) that will work directly with the delivery platforms of the three result areas for result monitoring and coordination.
Sanwo-Olu expressed his confidence in the ability of the members committees, who, he said, had been part of the main drivers of the Government’s agenda for a Greater Lagos.
He said: “I would like to remind the committee members not to lose sight of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the State Government as they work on the three result areas. This administration will continue to collaborate with people of goodwill in the public and private sectors, multilateral and donor partners as we deliver good governance to our people.”
Egube said the project would address loss of jobs and threat to food supply chain occasioned by the spread of the pandemic. He said the programme would leverage existing World Bank’s operations anchored on community-based approach and multi-sector interventions.
On her part, Mrs. Hammond said the State would be implementing 10 Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLIs) out of 11 across three results areas for impact.
The programme, she said, will benefit 4,652 farmers towards driving up agricultural inputs and services, adding that 5,460 farmers would be engaged in agricultural assets for production and mitigation of food loss and waste.
The Special Adviser said there would be provision of well-targeted conditional grants to co-finance loans for eligible 1,132 MSMEs.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 21, 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS FOREMOST INDUSTRIALIST, DR UDEALO AGHAZU
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the Udealo Aghazu family, the Anambra State government, the community of industrialists in Nnewi, Anambra State, friends and associates of Dr Benson Udealo Chizoba Aghazu, who passed away recently, aged 75.
As final rites of passage begin for the renowned industrialist, the President says the man popularly known as ‘Kpakpando Nnewi’ would be sorely missed, but his footprints on the industrial and farming sectors would remain indelible.
President Buhari prays for repose of the soul of the departed, and urges those who survive him to keep his good works alive, and his memory evergreen.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 21, 2021