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SERAP sues FG, Lai Muhammed over repressive directive to broadcasters to stop using Twitter


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court in Abuja “to stop the Federal Government and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Muhammed from using their patently unlawful directive to all TV and radio stations not to use Twitter, and to delete their accounts as a pretext to harass, intimidate, suspend or impose criminal punishment on journalists and broadcast stations simply for using social media platforms.”

The suit followed the order by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) asking TV and radio stations to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately”, and telling them to delete ‘unpatriotic’ Twitter, after the social media giant was banned in the country for deleting President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/496/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP is seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr Lai Muhammed and any other persons from censoring, regulating, licensing and controlling the social media operations and contents by broadcast stations, and activities of social media service providers in Nigeria.”

In the suit, SERAP is also seeking “an order setting aside the directive by NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed asking broadcast stations to stop using Twitter, as it is unconstitutional, unlawful, inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

SERAP is arguing that “The government of President Buhari, the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed have consistently made policies and given directives to crackdown on media freedom, and the rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression and access to information, and to impose crippling fines and other sanctions on broadcast stations without any legal basis whatsoever.”

According to SERAP: “The court has an important role to play in the protection and preservation of the rule of law to ensure that persons and institutions operate within the defined ambit of constitutional and statutory limitations.”

SERAP is also arguing that “Where agencies of government are allowed to operate at large and at their whims and caprices in the guise of performing their statutory duties, the end result will be anarchy, licentiousness, authoritarianism and brigandage leading to the loss of the much cherished and constitutionally guaranteed freedom and liberty.”

According to SERAP: “By using the National Broadcasting Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to stop broadcast stations from using Twitter without recourse to the court, the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed have contravened the right to access to justice and fair hearing guaranteed under sections 6[1] & [6][b] and 36[1] of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, and articles 1 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare, Kehinde Oyewumi and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “The directive by the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed to broadcasters to delete their Twitter accounts is unlawful, as it amounts to a fundamental breach of the principle of legality, the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom, and incompatible with the country’s international human rights obligations.”

“SERAP and concerned Nigerians are entitled to the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom subject only to lawful restrictions. SERAP and concerned Nigerians frequently rely on the Twitter handles of many broadcast stations as sources of information for our activities in the promotion of transparency and accountability in the country.”

“Nigeria is a state party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which impose legal obligations on the government of President Buhari to ensure that the rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom are respected, promoted, protected, fulfilled, and not unlawfully restricted.”

“The NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed have not shown any law breached by journalists, broadcast stations and media houses in Nigeria, and the government of President Buhari cannot use any disagreement with Twitter as a ploy to violate Nigerians’ rights, and undermine their individual businesses and professional duties.”

“The drafters of the Nigerian Constitution well knew the danger inherent in special executive and legislative acts which take away the life, liberty, or property of particular named persons. They intended to safeguard the people of this country from punishment without trial by duly constituted courts. These principles are so fundamental and must be respected.”

“The directive to broadcast stations has seriously undermined the ability of Nigerians and other people in the country to freely express themselves in a democracy, and undermined the ability of journalists, media houses, broadcast stations, and other people to freely carry out their professional duties.”

“The Twitter accounts by broadcast stations and media houses are their own properties acquired upon privity of terms and conditions formulated by the Twitter Inc. and accepted by the stations and media houses.”

SERAP is also asking the Federal High Court for the following reliefs:

1. A DECLARATION that the directive by the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed to broadcast stations in Nigeria to deactivate their Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source of information gathering is unlawful, and amounts to a breach of the principles of legality and no punishment without law, and violation of the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom guaranteed under sections 39 and 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 [as amended], Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
2. A DECLARATION that the acts of the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed in relying on the National Broadcasting Act and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code to unilaterally direct broadcast stations to delete their Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter without recourse to the court amount to infringement on sections 6[1] & [6][b], 36 and 44[1] of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], Articles 1 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3. A DECLARATION that the provision of section 2[1][r] of the National Broadcasting Act and sections 5.6.3, 5.11.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code being inconsistent and incompatible with sections 36[1], 39 and 22 of the Nigerian Constitution, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are null and void to the extent of their inconsistency and incompatibility.
4. A DECLARATION that the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed lack the power and authority to unlawfully impose penalty such as fines and other sanctions on any journalists and broadcast stations for using Twitter, and refusing/failing to deactivate their Twitter handles.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
20/6/2021
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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The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.

• Abigborodo community warns Seplat over Uton Flow Station, other Oil Facilities under OML 41, set for fresh battle

Fresh storm is currently gathering at the Abigborodo axis of Delta State, as the community appears to be bracing for battle with Seplat Development Company PLC,
The community is accusing the oil company of fanning the embers of disunity and crisis among communities and preempting the report of the judicial panel of enquiry set up by the Delta State Government.
In a letter dated June 17, 2021 to the Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director, Seplat Development Company PLC, Roger Thompson Brown, the community cautioned that there was grave danger in the actions of the oil company.
‘’The Abigborodo Community decided to use through this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to the plight of the Abigborodo Community most especially the likely consequences of the actions of Seplat Development Company PLC., in entering and / or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with Sapele / Okpe Community without recourse to the Abigborodo Community as per her claims and rights’’.
Entitled ‘’The plan of Seplat Development Company PLC to enter into / sign a memorandum of understanding with Sapele / Okpe community under OML 41 without carrying the Abigborodo Community along in the scheme of things: A catalyst to fanning the embers of disunity and crisis among communities and preempting the report of the judicial panel of enquiry set up by the Delta State Government: A call for restraint’’, the community urged Roger Thompson Brown to use his good offices as always, to wade into the matter and direct Seplat to stay action / restraint in respect of signing / entering a Memorandum of Understanding with Sapele / Okpe Community.
Written by Demaki & Demaki, Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community, the community said the letter was necessitated by issues of urgent importance connected with the plans of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC to enter and / or sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY under OML 41 (Uton Flow Station).
‘’We act as Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, and on whose behalf, mandate and firm instructions we write this open letter. The community known as Abigborodo Community is an Oil Producing Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria’’.
Signed by Shedrack M. Demaki ESQ, the community said the Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by Seplat Development Company PLC, belonged to Abigborodo Community
‘’The Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., belongs to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC’’.
According to the community, ‘’the said land is an ancestral heritage of the Abigborodo Community’’.
‘’They have been exercising proprietary and customary rights over the said land without any form of interference and opposition from any person or group of persons until recently when, the Sapele / Okpe Community most notably one Mr. Augustine Arieaja trespassed on the said land which necessitated the Government of Delta State to look into the cause of the said trespass and uprising over the said land’’.
The community frowned at Seplat for refusing to address issues raised in earlier letter.
‘If you can recall that a letter dated 9th July, 2020 addressed to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that, several weeks after the receipt of the said letter, the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised in the said letter by ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY’’.

17th June, 2021
ROGER THOMPSON BROWN,
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.,
16A TEMPLE ROAD, IKOYI,
LAGOS – NIGERIA
Sir,
AN OPEN LETTER:
THE PLAN OF SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., TO ENTER INTO / SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY UNDER OML 41 WITHOUT CARRYING THE ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY ALONG IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS: A CATALYST TO FANNING THE EMBERS OF DISUNITY AND CRISIS AMONG COMMUNITIES AND PREEMPTING THE REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF ENQUIRY SET UP BY THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT: A CALL FOR RESTRAINT.

We act as Solicitors / Legal Advisers to ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY, of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, and on whose behalf, mandate and firm instructions we write this OPEN LETTER.

This open letter is necessitated by issues of urgent importance connected with the plans of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., to enter and / or sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY under OML 41 (UTON FLOW STATION).

Sir, before bringing you to speed with the issues we hope you will expeditiously wade into and address; permit us to introduce the community known as ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is an Oil Producing Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.

Having introduced the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY to you, if you can recall that a letter dated 9th July, 2020 addressed to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that, several weeks after the receipt of the said letter, the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised in the said letter by ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY.

Sir, to apprise you with the issues contained in the letter written to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., and the reason why this letter is being made public; the Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., belongs to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.

The said LAND is an ancestral Heritage of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY and they have been exercising proprietary and customary rights over the said LAND without any form of interference and opposition from any person or group of persons until recently when, the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY most notably one Mr. Augustine Arieaja trespassed on the said land which necessitated the Government of Delta State to look into the cause of the said trespass and uprising over the said land.

Sir, the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY decided to use through this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to the plight of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY most especially the likely consequences of the actions of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., in entering and / or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY without recourse to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY as per her claims and rights.

The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is humbly urging you to use your good office as always, to wade into this matter and direct your company to stay action / restraint in respect of signing / entering a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY, as the action of your company if not nipped in the bud will:

i. Firstly, be a catalyst to breaching the relative peace in the said area; which might even lead to communal crisis if not well managed.

ii. Secondly, the action of your company by going ahead to enter / sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY will also be, pre-empting the report of the Delta State Judicial Panel of Enquiry which is yet to be published by the Government of Delta State.

We trust that recourse to wise counsel will be had in the circumstance, as a stitch in time they say; saves nine!

Please accept the assurances of our highest regard.
Yours faithfully

SHEDRACK M. DEMAKI ESQ.
FOR: DEMAKI & DEMAKI
Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community

Abigborodo community warns Seplat over Uton Flow Station, other Oil Facilities under OML 41, set for fresh battle

Fresh storm is currently gathering at the Abigborodo axis of Delta State, as the community appears to be bracing for battle with Seplat Development Company PLC,
The community is accusing the oil company of fanning the embers of disunity and crisis among communities and preempting the report of the judicial panel of enquiry set up by the Delta State Government.
In a letter dated June 17, 2021 to the Chief Executive Officer / Executive Director, Seplat Development Company PLC, Roger Thompson Brown, the community cautioned that there was grave danger in the actions of the oil company.
‘’The Abigborodo Community decided to use through this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to the plight of the Abigborodo Community most especially the likely consequences of the actions of Seplat Development Company PLC., in entering and / or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with Sapele / Okpe Community without recourse to the Abigborodo Community as per her claims and rights’’.
Entitled ‘’The plan of Seplat Development Company PLC to enter into / sign a memorandum of understanding with Sapele / Okpe community under OML 41 without carrying the Abigborodo Community along in the scheme of things: A catalyst to fanning the embers of disunity and crisis among communities and preempting the report of the judicial panel of enquiry set up by the Delta State Government: A call for restraint’’, the community urged Roger Thompson Brown to use his good offices as always, to wade into the matter and direct Seplat to stay action / restraint in respect of signing / entering a Memorandum of Understanding with Sapele / Okpe Community.
Written by Demaki & Demaki, Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community, the community said the letter was necessitated by issues of urgent importance connected with the plans of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC to enter and / or sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY under OML 41 (Uton Flow Station).
‘’We act as Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, and on whose behalf, mandate and firm instructions we write this open letter. The community known as Abigborodo Community is an Oil Producing Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria’’.
Signed by Shedrack M. Demaki ESQ, the community said the Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by Seplat Development Company PLC, belonged to Abigborodo Community
‘’The Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., belongs to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC’’.
According to the community, ‘’the said land is an ancestral heritage of the Abigborodo Community’’.
‘’They have been exercising proprietary and customary rights over the said land without any form of interference and opposition from any person or group of persons until recently when, the Sapele / Okpe Community most notably one Mr. Augustine Arieaja trespassed on the said land which necessitated the Government of Delta State to look into the cause of the said trespass and uprising over the said land’’.
The community frowned at Seplat for refusing to address issues raised in earlier letter.
‘If you can recall that a letter dated 9th July, 2020 addressed to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that, several weeks after the receipt of the said letter, the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised in the said letter by ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY’’.

17th June, 2021
ROGER THOMPSON BROWN,
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.,
16A TEMPLE ROAD, IKOYI,
LAGOS – NIGERIA
Sir,
AN OPEN LETTER:
THE PLAN OF SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., TO ENTER INTO / SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY UNDER OML 41 WITHOUT CARRYING THE ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY ALONG IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS: A CATALYST TO FANNING THE EMBERS OF DISUNITY AND CRISIS AMONG COMMUNITIES AND PREEMPTING THE REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF ENQUIRY SET UP BY THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT: A CALL FOR RESTRAINT.

We act as Solicitors / Legal Advisers to ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY, of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, and on whose behalf, mandate and firm instructions we write this OPEN LETTER.

This open letter is necessitated by issues of urgent importance connected with the plans of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., to enter and / or sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY under OML 41 (UTON FLOW STATION).

Sir, before bringing you to speed with the issues we hope you will expeditiously wade into and address; permit us to introduce the community known as ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is an Oil Producing Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.

Having introduced the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY to you, if you can recall that a letter dated 9th July, 2020 addressed to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that, several weeks after the receipt of the said letter, the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised in the said letter by ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY.

Sir, to apprise you with the issues contained in the letter written to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., and the reason why this letter is being made public; the Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., belongs to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.

The said LAND is an ancestral Heritage of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY and they have been exercising proprietary and customary rights over the said LAND without any form of interference and opposition from any person or group of persons until recently when, the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY most notably one Mr. Augustine Arieaja trespassed on the said land which necessitated the Government of Delta State to look into the cause of the said trespass and uprising over the said land.

Sir, the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY decided to use through this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to the plight of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY most especially the likely consequences of the actions of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., in entering and / or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY without recourse to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY as per her claims and rights.

The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is humbly urging you to use your good office as always, to wade into this matter and direct your company to stay action / restraint in respect of signing / entering a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY, as the action of your company if not nipped in the bud will:

i. Firstly, be a catalyst to breaching the relative peace in the said area; which might even lead to communal crisis if not well managed.

ii. Secondly, the action of your company by going ahead to enter / sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY will also be, pre-empting the report of the Delta State Judicial Panel of Enquiry which is yet to be published by the Government of Delta State.

We trust that recourse to wise counsel will be had in the circumstance, as a stitch in time they say; saves nine!

Please accept the assurances of our highest regard.
Yours faithfully

SHEDRACK M. DEMAKI ESQ.
FOR: DEMAKI & DEMAKI
Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community

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 Uncategorized

THE PLAN OF SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., TO ENTER INTO / SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY UNDER OML 41 WITHOUT CARRYING THE ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY ALONG IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS: A CATALYST TO FANNING THE EMBERS OF DISUNITY AND CRISIS AMONG COMMUNITIES AND PRE EMPTING THE REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF ENQUIRY SET UP BY THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT: A CALL FOR RESTRAINT.

17th June, 2021
ROGER THOMPSON BROWN,
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.,
16A TEMPLE ROAD, IKOYI,
LAGOS – NIGERIA
Sir,
AN OPEN LETTER:
THE PLAN OF SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., TO ENTER INTO / SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY UNDER OML 41 WITHOUT CARRYING THE ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY ALONG IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS: A CATALYST TO FANNING THE EMBERS OF DISUNITY AND CRISIS AMONG COMMUNITIES AND PRE EMPTING THE REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF ENQUIRY SET UP BY THE DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT: A CALL FOR RESTRAINT.
We act as Solicitors / Legal Advisers to ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY, of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, and on whose behalf, mandate and firm instructions we write this OPEN LETTER.
This open letter is necessitated by issues of urgent importance connected with the plans of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., to enter and / or sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY under OML 41 (UTON FLOW STATION).
Sir, before bringing you to speed with the issues we hope you will expeditiously wade into and address; permit us to introduce the community known as ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is an Oil Producing Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
Having introduced the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY to you, if you can recall that a letter dated 9th July, 2020 addressed to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., wherein your office was also sent a copy and receipt of same was acknowledged; it might interest you to know that, several weeks after the receipt of the said letter, the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., has still not deemed it necessary or fit to acknowledge same or address the issues raised in the said letter by ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY.
Sir, to apprise you with the issues contained in the letter written to the Managing Director of the SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., and the reason why this letter is being made public; the Land which serves as host to UTON FLOW STATION (Shell Road) and other Oil Facilities under OML 41 being operated by SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., belongs to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY. The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY are the owners of all that large expanse of land which traverses from Utonyatsere through Gbekoko axis which is currently hosting the UTON FLOW STATION at Shell Road, and other Oil Facilities which is currently being operated and serviced by the NIGERIAN PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD., through SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC.
The said LAND is an ancestral Heritage of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY and they have been exercising proprietary and customary rights over the said LAND without any form of interference and opposition from any person or group of persons until recently when, the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY most notably one Mr. Augustine Arieaja trespassed on the said land which necessitated the Government of Delta State to look into the cause of the said trespass and uprising over the said land.
Sir, the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY decided to use through this medium to draw your attention and that of the general public to the plight of the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY most especially the likely consequences of the actions of SEPLAT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC., in entering and / or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY without recourse to the ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY as per her claims and rights.
The ABIGBORODO COMMUNITY is humbly urging you to use your good office as always, to wade into this matter and direct your company to stay action / restraint in respect of signing / entering a Memorandum of Understanding with SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY, as the action of your company if not nipped in the bud will:
i. Firstly, be a catalyst to breaching the relative peace in the said area; which might even lead to communal crisis if not well managed.
ii. Secondly, the action of your company by going ahead to enter / sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the SAPELE / OKPE COMMUNITY will also be, pre-empting the report of the Delta State Judicial Panel of Enquiry which is yet to be published by the Government of Delta State.
We trust that recourse to wise counsel will be had in the circumstance, as a stitch in time they say; saves nine!

Please accept the assurances of our highest regard.
Yours faithfully

SHEDRACK M. DEMAKI ESQ.
FOR: DEMAKI & DEMAKI
Solicitors / Legal Advisers to Abigborodo Community

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

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES SENATOR TINUBU, REITERATES CONTINUOUS SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH IN LAGOS

June 16, 2021
Press Conference
INEC: Return Onochie’s Nomination To Buhari Now, PDP Tells Lawan, Gaya
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges Senate President Ahmed Lawan to respect Nigerians by immediately returning the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie, proposed to the Senate as a National Commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Mr. President.
The PDP asserts that Senator Lawan will have no body but himself to blame for the ridiculing of his tenure in office if he failed to return the nomination as demanded by Nigerians.
Consequently, the PDP has also asked the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, to resist the attempt by Senator Lawan to drag him into public ignominy and odium by engaging him to do an incredulous, irresponsible and dirty job of returning a confirmation of Onochie to the Committee of the Whole Senate.
The PDP charges Senator Gaya to immediately stand down all deliberations that concern Onochie before his committee.
Senator Lawan must know that Nigerians are now holding him directly answerable for gross misconduct and impeachable act of perfidy for sending Onochie’s already rejected nomination to the Gaya’s Committee, in utter violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and total derision for the sensibility of Nigerians.
Our party reminds Senator Lawan that the reasons that forced his hands to stand down Onochie’s faulted nomination eight months ago have neither changed nor abated. The reasons are still sticking and they are not far-fetched.
In case Lawan needs to be reminded, paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC.
Relying on the above in demanding for a litmus of respect for the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution, the PDP holds that Onochie, as a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ward 5 Onicha Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state and who is also public campaigner for the APC and President Buhari, cannot, by any stroke of imagination, be appointed as an INEC official at any level and under any guise whatsoever.
If anything, our party assures Senator Lawan that his desperation to appoint Onochie into INEC through the backdoor is an act of rebelliousness to the 1999 constitution as well as impudence to the sensibilities of Nigerians, which must never be allowed to stand.
Therefore, the PDP directs our members and other democratically minded members of the National Assembly, across party lines, to activate and deploy all legislative instruments at their disposal against Onochie’s confirmation as a National Commissioner of INEC.
The PDP also directs all our members and all lovers of democracy across the country to get ready to use all legitimate means including civic action against Senator Lawan and the APC leadership in the Senate if they do not rescind their attempt to confirm Onochie at all costs.
The intent and purpose of the PDP is to preserve the sanctity and credibility of INEC and our party will never allow Senator Lawan and his APC to smuggle a fox into INEC sheep pen in their bid to corrupt and further desecrate the commission and derail our national effort towards free, fair and credible electoral process in our country.
Our party also cautions Buhari Presidency to end its ignoble attempt to compromise the Senate and our electoral system in its bid to perpetuate its misrule beyond 2023.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary
June 16, 2021
Press Statement
Poverty: World Bank Report Exposes Buhari Presidency, APC’s Lies- PDP…Counsels Buhari to End False Claims and Seek Help
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last one year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is particularly in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserts that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit and perfidious propaganda.
Nigerans can now clearly see why the APC and Persident Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
Otherwise why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that have wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESS RELEASE
WE’LL DELIVER SIX-LANE IBEJU-LEKKI-EPE HIGHWAY PROJECT FIRST QUARTER 2022 – SANWO-OLU
…Governor, Cabinet Members Inspect Construction Work
Barring unanticipated event, the construction of 18.7-kilometre six-lane rigid pavement carriageway from Eleko Junction in Ibeju Lekki to Epe T-Junction in Lagos State will be completed and commissioned. This was the assurance from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he and members of the State Executive Council went on an on-the-spot assessment of the project, on Monday.
Sanwo-Olu was excited by the pace of work on the road, persuading the contractor handling the project to increase its momentum in order to push the progress to an encouraging level before the end of the year.
The Governor flagged off the first phase of the expansion on the Lekki-Epe Expressway last November, kick-starting the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old infrastructure. The second phase of the project, which will start later this year, stretches 26.7Km from Eleko Junction to Abraham Adesanya Junction in Eti-Osa axis.
At the time of the Governor’s inspection, the contractor had completed a stretch of 3km on the lane from Eleko Junction inward Epe, while the right-of-way for the entire project has been fully cleared.
After communicating the work progress to the Governor, representatives of the contractor led Sanwo-Olu and cabinet members on legwork for assessment of features on the completed stretch, including drainage channels, kerb and segregated lane for heavy-duty vehicles.
The Governor was optimistic the project would be delivered on record time, charging the contractor to scale up the pace of work.
He said: “This exercise is an on-the-spot assessment to view the status of the 18.7Km six-lane rigid pavement road construction we are doing from Eleko Junction to Epe. The contractor has been active on site in the last six months, and they have touched every part of the entire stretch. We are currently assessing the project from the 3km lane already completed. On either side are three lanes. Two lanes are for cars, while the last lane is for heavy-duty vehicles. There will be 1.5km pedestrian walkway on both sides.
“We are happy with the progress of the project, because the contractor works day and night. I believe the work is on track. Residents on this corridor are also happy with the level of work done. They are waiting on us to hand over this important infrastructure to them in earnest.
“The beauty of the work is that it has reduced the journey time, even as the road is still being constructed. There is no hindrance on the road; motorists have the right-of-way for free movement. Not until when we finish the entire construction, we would have the full benefit of this investment. We are happy with what we have seen and we believe that the contractor should be rounding off the work by end this year or first quarter next year.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 16, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES SENATOR TINUBU, REITERATES CONTINUOUS SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH IN LAGOS

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said his administration will continue to support initiatives that will empower and provide opportunities for children and youth in the State.

He said his administration is fully committed to championing the cause of the youth and the vulnerable in the society, particularly in Lagos State.

Speaking while receiving the President and Founder of the New Era Foundation and Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Senator Oluremi Tinubu during a courtesy visit at Lagos House in Marina, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the Musical Youth Fiesta Initiative started by Tinubu 10 years ago has provided opportunities for thousands of children and youth in the State.

“It has been a great honour and rare privilege to have impacted through you a lot of children and youth and I am sure the seed that the Musical Youth Fiesta Initiative has thrown up we cannot imagine it because we know that God is doing great things in their individual lives. That becomes a comforting model for us,” he said.

The Governor said the fiesta has become a real testimony as there have been records of blessings and opportunities coming out of the initiative, which created avenue for thousands of children and youth to come together under one roof to praise God on yearly basis since its inception in 2011.

Speaking earlier, Senator Tinubu commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for partnering with her, members of the board of trustees and other stakeholders in the last 10 years to touch the lives and provide opportunities for 5,000 children and youth yearly through a showcase of talent in music, dance and drama.

She said the Board of Trustees decided to dissolve the Musical Youth Fiesta Initiative as a result of the prevalent situation and apparent inability to converge in large numbers.

For the 10th anniversary, Senator Tinubu disclosed the Musical Youth Initiative board gave out N2.5million each to four churches that have been major partners, adding that remaining fund in the account would be transferred to the New Era Foundation for continuous support of youth and children.

She said: “I want to thank you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) for partnering with us on this journey of touching lives. Every year since 2011, we have hosted five thousand children and youth, providing an opportunity to showcase their talent in an atmosphere of music, dance and drama. However the 10th anniversary edition which was scheduled to hold in December 2020 could not go on.

“In spite of this and to commemorate the milestone anniversary, we have procured school supplies consisting of one school bag, two exercise books, one ball pen, and one 100ml hand sanitizer for each child/youth.

“We have seen the fruits of what we really want to achieve among the youth. And we thought the fire is there. The dream is to bring children back into their churches to begin to train in the line of music. This has been a very fulfilling dream and it is not going to stop me from working with the children. We have the New Era Foundation and we have to keep working there.”

Senator Tinubu was accompanied by gospel artist and renowned saxophonist, Pastor Kunle Ajayi, who served as the Coordinator of the Musical Youth Fiesta Initiative.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 16, 2021

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PRESIDENT BUHARI BREAKS GROUND FOR NIGERIA LNG TRAIN 7, CHARGES ON TIMELY COMPLETION OF PROJECT


PRESIDENT BUHARI BREAKS GROUND FOR NIGERIA LNG TRAIN 7, CHARGES ON TIMELY COMPLETION OF PROJECT
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday charged that the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 be delivered on time so that the Train 8 project can commence.
The President gave the charge at the virtual groundbreaking ceremony of the project in Bonny Island, Rivers State,
He urged the Board of Directors, management and staff of NLNG, the host communities, the Rivers State Government and other Agencies of the Federal Government to continue to collaborate to ensure completion and eventual commissioning of the Train 7 project “safely and on time.”
”As we flag off the Train 7 project today, I look forward to the development and execution of more gas projects by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous operators, and more Trains from Nigeria LNG to harness the over 600 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves we are endowed with.
”Let me use this opportunity to commend the shareholders of NLNG, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and the NCDMB and other stakeholders for very exemplary collaboration which has culminated in this great opportunity for Train 7.
”I want to thank the foreign investors for the confidence reposed in Nigeria, and assure all Nigerians and potential investors in the Oil and Gas sector that the Federal Government will continue to create the enabling environment in order to develop the sector and bring the full benefits of Gas closer to our people,” he said.
Going down memory lane, President Buhari recounted that the story of Nigeria LNG was one he had been ”passionately associated with during the formative years of the project.”
He said: ”As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I kicked off our first foray in LNG Business in 1978. At the time it was already apparent that Nigeria was mainly a gas-rich country with a little oil!
”It therefore gives me great joy to see the organization transform from just a project in the early 90s to a very successful company with over 20 years of responsible operations and steady supply of Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Natural Gas Liquids into the global market.
”This is proof that Nigeria has great capacity to deliver value to the world by harnessing our natural resources”.
The President, therefore, congratulated NLNG and its shareholders – NNPC, Shell, Total and Eni for proving that a Nigerian company can operate a world class business safely, profitably and responsibly.
Praising the consortium for clearly setting the stage upon which Nigeria’s vast gas resources will continue to grow well into the future, the President added that the focus of his administration is to boost the development of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources, strengthen the gas value chain, develop the much-needed infrastructure and enhance safe operations in the sector as outlined in the National Gas Policy of 2017.
”Through the Decade of Gas initiative, which I recently launched, we will transform Nigeria into a major gas and industrialised nation with gas playing the key role as revenue earner, fuel for industries and necessary feed for petrochemicals and fertiliser plants,” he said.
The President also expressed delight that the NLNG as the pioneer LNG company in Nigeria, has conscientiously proven the viability of the gas sector over the years, currently contributing about one percent to Nigeria’s GDP.
”NLNG has generated $114 billion in revenues over the years, paid $9 billion in taxes; $18 billion in dividends to the Federal Government and $15 billion in feed gas purchase.
”These are commendable accomplishments by the company’s 100 percent Nigerian Management Team.
”With this level of performance, I can only hope that the company continues to grow starting with this Train 7 project but also positioning Nigeria to thrive through the energy transition,” he said.
In his address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva described NLNG as a ”blessing to the nation”, noting that it has positively complemented crude oil exploration by monetising flared gas and yielding huge revenue to the nation and investors.
Sylva added that since NLNG became operational in 1999, the nation has recorded a drastic reduction in operational flare status from 65 per cent to 12 per cent.
”I boldly say that the ground breaking of Train 7 is a guarantee to every stakeholder of more dividends in terms of further reduction in gas flaring, more revenue to the nation and shareholders, more job opportunities especially at the construction phase and more social investments for the society, ” he said.
Also speaking, Anthony Attah, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, said the Train 7 will increase NLNG’s overall capacity to 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the current 22 million mtpa, while further adding immense value to the nation and the people.
Attah noted that the project would stimulate inflow of about 10 billion dollars FDI into Nigeria, create 12,000 direct jobs in Bonny Island and additional 40,000 indirect construction jobs.
He said the project would also further the development of local capacity and businesses through the 100 per cent in-country execution of construction works, fabrications and major procurement.
‘‘Nigeria has ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years, but with this Train 7 project Nigeria is now set and I believe it is now time to fly on the wings of gas,’’ he said.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 15, 2021

WE MUST TEAM UP TO FIGHT INSTABILITY IN THE SUB-REGION AND THE SAHEL, PRESIDENT BUHARI TELLS UNOWAS SPECIAL REP
President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasized the need for countries in the West African sub-region and those in the Sahel, rocked by security challenges, to team up to confront the menace.
The President spoke Tuesday at State House, Abuja, while receiving the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif, a Chadian.
Said the President: “You are our neighbour. You have vast experience on matters affecting the Sahel, having served for five years in Mali. I hope you will get the countries to work together to confront the issues affecting them.”
Describing the problems as “enormous,” President Buhari noted that Boko Haram has exacted heavy toll in terms of lives and resources in Nigeria and some neighbouring countries, while Mali equally has a large swathe of the country occupied by militants.
He submitted: ‘I hope under the auspices of UNOWAS, you will help get the problems sorted out. Most of them have to do with the instability in Libya, and it affects all of us.”
President Buhari pledged the assistance of Nigeria to the Special Representative, so that he could succeed in his assignment.
Mr Annadif said he was visiting shortly after his appointment, because he recognized the crucial role of Nigeria in West Africa.
He said he was quite familiar with the problems of the Sahel region, and would depend on the help of Nigeria to succeed.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 15, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES SAM OMATSEYE AT 60
President Muhammadu Buhari extends his
best wishes
to the Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers, Sam Omatseye, on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
President Buhari joins members of the Fourth Estate of Realm and the literati in celebrating one of their own who has distinguished himself in his career and gained recognition nationally and internationally for diligence, excellence and professionalism.
As an advocate of good governance, free and independent press, the President commends Omatseye for contributing his quota to advancing the role of the media as a vital part of democracy in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria.
The President, like many other lovers of good journalistic works, looks forward to reading more inspiring stories, ideas, perspectives and reliable information by Omatseye.
President Buhari prays God Almighty to grant the celebrant more years of good health and fruitfulness.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 14, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS GEN. ABDULSALAMI ABUBAKAR AT 79
President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 79th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the iconic leader, whose legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy and good governance, and passionate pursuit of peace continues to yield results.
President Buhari congratulates Gen. Abubakar for another age, appreciating his patriotism and visionary leadership style of always advocating unity, projecting maturity and wisdom on national discourse, and providing a rallying point for the future of the country.
The President notes the goodwill that the former Head of State continues to attract to the country, both at national and international levels, particularly sacrificing his time and resources to reach out to individuals and institutions on the need to work for the growth of Nigeria.
As Gen. Abubakar turns 79, President Buhari prays that the almighty God will increase his wisdom, strength and give him longer life to keep serving the country.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 13, 2021

SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF COMMEMORATION AND CELEBRATION OF DEMOCRACY DAY ON 12TH JUNE, 2021
Fellow Nigerians,
I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day. It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.
2. As with all democracies we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.
3. In the last two years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.
4. The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.
5. Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.
6. Once again, I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.
7. I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.
8. I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.
9. Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
Fellow Nigerians,
10. When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with.
11. We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.
12. Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.
13. We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.
14. We are, at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.
15. Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.
16. In the Agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23billion in 2014 to US$0.59billion by the end of 2018.
17. Rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually.
18. This initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava. Government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.
19. Several other initiatives, namely AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.
20. In the manufacturing sector the CBN – BOI N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs.
21. The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.
22. The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90% to the GDP growth in Q1 2021.
23. Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government.
24. My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part. We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.
25. Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.
26. I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.
27. As at the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions. I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.
28. We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Fellow Nigerians,
29. Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.
30. I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.
31. The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations.
32. We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian. Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.
33. My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public-Private-Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy. These four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.
34. We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years. Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.
35. As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector.
Dear Nigerians,
36. I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.
37. In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.
38. I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.
39. In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.
40. Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns. You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro-active measures put in place. Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed.
41. We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods.
42. During the pandemic, we disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID.
43. At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation.
44. In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.
Fellow Nigerians,
45. When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.
46. As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.
47. However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.
48. My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.
49. In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.
50. While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.
51. This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.
52. Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.
53. As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.
54. Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger. The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.
55. As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s Corporate existence.
56. In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.
57. I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.
58. My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.
59. I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.
Happy Democracy Day! God Bless us All, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

I REMAIN AN UNAPOLOGETIC BELIEVER IN DEVOLVING POWER TO THE PEOPLE, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja says the contentious issue of restructuring, true federalism or devolution of powers remains a constitutional matter, with which only the National Assembly can deal, reiterating his position on devolving more power to the people.
President Buhari received members of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by Co-Chairmen, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, at the State House.
At the meeting, the President said:
“On the contentious issue of restructuring or true federalism or devolution of powers, like you all know, this is a constitutional matter with which only the National Assembly can deal.
“I remain an unapologetic believer in devolving power to the people and that is why I signed the Executive Order granting autonomy to State Legislature and Judiciary. Unfortunately, this was met with some resistance at the state level and led to a more than two months strike action that has cost the country a lot of pain.
“Luckily the National Assembly has nearly completed the constitutional review process, which I hope would address some of the burning issues agitating the minds of our people.’’
President Buhari assured that efforts were already on to create a more conducive environment to address both direct and indirect causes of challenges including areas of job creation and employment generation, while appreciating religious leaders for their significant roles in national development, particularly in shaping perspectives.
“Your role is critical in putting the correct perspective out to Nigerians,’’ he said.
On security, the President told the religious leaders that the government was already going after financiers of criminal elements, who also supply them with arms, but were constrained by the strike by Judiciary workers.
“Fortunately, this strike has been called off and prosecution of some of these people would soon commence, while our security agencies expand their network in closing in on the others,’’ he added.
President Buhari assured that the administration remains committed to “quickly pushing this dark side of our history behind us and we are currently making sure that funding would not hamper our efforts.’’
According to the President, the last Federal Executive Council meeting approved some funds for the security agencies, which would be put to judicious use.
“As I mentioned yesterday, in Lagos, we would not relent in our efforts at clearing these criminals from all parts of our land including the forests,’’ he said.
President Buhari said the government had the major part to play in providing security, adding: “but besides the imperative to abide by democratic processes is the important aspect of support of the citizenry to the security agencies by providing relevant and timely information.’’
“I must confess that I am more pained than anyone can imagine with the on-going security challenges because, like you noted during your meeting, they have increased the hunger, pain and anger in the land,’’ he noted.
The President thanked the religious leaders for their patriotism and commitment to ensuring peace and understanding.
“I have listened to you and I am particularly happy that your meeting clearly identified specific and major roles for both the Government and the people of Nigeria. This is what has been lacking for some time in the national discourse on addressing our current security challenges.’’
In their comments, NIREC, led by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, thanked the President for the onerous assignment of leading the country, advising government to fund the armed forces better to confront myriad of security challenges facing the country, block sources of illegal arms, publish names of those funding terrorism and try them.
They also canvassed the recruitment of more policemen, strengthening of the judiciary, tackle unemployment by creating jobs for youths particularly, and on separatist agitations in the country, NIREC said: “It is in our togetherness that we are stronger.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 11, 2021

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Timipre Sylva commended for the successful hosting of 2021 Nigeria International Energy Summit


Prominent Niger Delta leaders on Monday called for greater understanding among stakeholders in the country’s oil and gas sector.
They also endorsed the current drive by the Federal Government to transit into a gas economy.
The notable Niger Delta leaders spoke in Port Harcourt.
The leaders extolled the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for providing the necessary driving force for the region’s economic development.
The prominent Niger Delta leaders are currently touring Federal Government projects in the Niger Delta region to evaluate and monitor their progress.
The leaders noted that the success of the regeneration of the country’s economy in which the present government is committed would depend to a great extent on the transition into a gas economy.
Nigeria is looking at gas as a transition fuel to renewables.
The leaders emphasized the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), strategies to further harness the vast hydrocarbon deposit in the country, cheapness of renewable energy, products availability in all nooks and crannies of the region and strong collaboration among industry players.
They praised the Federal Government for discharging its responsibilities, establishing the 50 million litre Petroleum Product Terminal in Brass, putting its feet on research and development and issuing new marginal field awards.
Spokesperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua in a statement Monday morning praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva for his commitment to developing the oil and gas sector, moving the country’s economy to gas economy and making Nigeria relevant in the global industrial drive.
The leaders spoke on strong capacities of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and the investment opportunities.
They listed the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company, Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and the Oil and Gas Park in Ogbia as key projects of the current administration in the Niger Delta region.
The leaders commended Sylva for the successful hosting of the 2021 Nigeria International Energy Summit, increasing indigenous participation in the oil sector, curbing illegal refining, closing infrastructure gap in the distribution of petroleum products and stabilizing products pricing in the country.

Particularly, the leaders hailed the minister for reducing youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region, liberalizing the market and creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The leaders said that Nigeria as a country has no choice but to transform into an industrialized nation with gas playing a major role.

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INAUGURATION OF LAGOS-IBADAN COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS ANOTHER MILESTONE IN NIGERIA’S RAILWAY REVIVAL, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI

PRESIDENT BUHARI: MY DIRECTIVE ON CRIMINALS WITH AK-47 REMAINS IN PLACE, VOWS DECISIVE ACTION ON THOSE ATTACKING SECURITY PERSONNEL

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Lagos reiterated that his directive to security agencies, to shoot any person or persons found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons, remains in place.
The President also vowed that his administration will act firmly and decisively ‘‘against any and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks on our Police Force and other security personnel.’’
The President spoke at the handing over of security equipment by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the Lagos State Police Command during his one-day official visit to the State.
President Buhari warned that ‘‘a nation that turns its Police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.’’
‘‘As Commander-in-chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to rest assured that we will secure this country.
‘‘We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people,’’ he said.
The President told members of the Nigeria Police that as the government strives to improve their welfare and capacity, the citizens equally had expectations from them.
‘‘First let me commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire Force for the recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country.
‘‘I have charged the Inspector-General to leave no stone unturned in rebuilding the morale of his officers and men, especially in the aftermath of the mindless violence associated with the EndSARS protests, as well as the recent spate of attacks on Police Stations in some parts of the country,” he said.
Commending the Lagos Governor on the newly-acquired security equipment and assets, the President noted that it would go a long way in boosting the morale of the Police, and further enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.
‘‘This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wake of the ENDSARS protests last October, which saw the security architecture in Lagos State being severely damaged,’’ he said.
The President added that it was commendable that Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, has shown a truly resilient spirit, in the face of the massive destruction it suffered last October.
‘‘You did not allow yourselves to be deterred by the severe setback; instead you have bounced back and are now boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.
‘‘I acknowledge the initiative taken to kick-start the rebuilding process, through the establishment of the Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, and through this very laudable effort by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. I enjoin other State Governments to emulate your bold, proactive and resourceful initiative,’’ he said.
The President also used the occasion to reiterate that the ‘‘Federal Government takes very seriously our constitutional oath to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people, adding that his administration was conscious of the fact that lasting security is a necessary foundation for business, investment and true prosperity.
President Buhari declared that no Federal government since 1999 has been as committed as his administration in reforming and repositioning the Nigeria Police Force and national policing architecture.
‘‘In 2019, I signed into law the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, the first in the history of the Force, to provide guaranteed funding to support Police welfare, logistics and equipment.
‘‘In September 2020, I assented to the Bill amending the Nigeria Police Act, which was originally enacted in 1943.
‘‘This new Act, a vast improvement over the old one, among other things spells out the modalities for the implementation of a National Community Policing Scheme in Nigeria.
‘‘This new scheme will build confidence within our local communities and make them active stakeholders in the safety and security of their environs.
‘‘We are currently recruiting 10,000 new Police officers to reinforce our personnel capacity across the country. In addition to this, I have directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to carry out an upward review of Police salaries and benefits,’’ he said.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021
Press Conference
Arise Interview: Buhari Evasive, Dodgy, Claimed Our Projects, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is appalled by President Muhammadu Buhari’s deplorable performance at the exclusive interview on Arise Television this morning.
Our party is dismayed that while millions of Nigerians eagerly expected President Buhari to use the interview to address salient issues confronting our nation, Mr. President bungled the opportunity by being evasive and dodgy while attempting to lay claims to projects done by PDP administrations.
Instead of addressing issues and providing direction for our nation, President Buhari exposed his cluelessness, paucity of ideas for development while making very provocative comments that could embolden terrorists as well as serve as recipe for further division and violence in the country.
On Infrastructure, it is ludicrous to us in the PDP that Mr. President can disingenuously seek to subtract the deliverables achieved by past PDP administration from his so-called achievement on infrastructure.
The PDP places it on record and we know that Nigerians are also aware that President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was elected on the platform of the PDP, introduced a 25 years national development plan upon assumption of office in 1999.
This included the massive construction and expansion of road network, power plants, railways projects, inland and coastal waterways, airports, housing, agricultural and health projects as well as establishment of new universities and other legacy projects in various parts of our country.
We want to inform President Buhari, since he is not always aware, that successive governments elected on the platform of the PDP built on these development plans leading to the expansion of major trunk roads across our country, railways and other legacy projects which, probably, his handlers are making him to believe are his.
It is on record that President Goodluck Jonathan also took on a massive expansion of our international and domestic airports, across the country, built and commissioned railway stations.
It is instructive to state that where projects were yet to be completed, it is only a natural occurrence for any Nigerian elected as President to proceed, in the national interest, to complete such projects.
The PDP therefore considers it tacky for Mr. President to seek to claim any credit for projects he never conceptualized, commenced or built to near completion, just because he found himself in office at the point of completion.
Should Mr. President be reminded that even the expansion of the Presidential Villa including the Banquet Hall, which his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) uses today as its National Secretariat was conceptualized and built by the PDP government, though leaders of the APC stood stoutly against the project while it was on-going?
President Buhari also needs to accept the bitter fact that the current draw back in infrastructural development in our country started with his administration. Like a relay race, successive PDP administrations furthered infrastructural development only for him to run the opposite direction when the baton was passed to him.
It is important to state that only the on-going refurbishing of Akwanga-Maiduguri road that President Buhari can lay claim to as the singular and only project in which he has demonstrated capacity.
The expectation of Nigerians is that in an interview like this, Mr. President should give honour to those who conceptualized and built these projects to near completion and, in most cases, only for him to perform the commissioning ceremony.
Mr. President must also be reminded that all institutions of good governance under the contemporary dispensation including the EFCC, ICPC, the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and Debt Management Office (DMO) among others were PDP’s creation.
Even the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which has become the referral point for his administration, was created by the PDP with stiff opposition from leaders of the APC, like former Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole.
On issue of devolution of power, state police and restructuring, it is disappointing and heartrending that Mr. President was evasive, dodgy and had no direct response to these burning issues even in the face of a national consensus for the amendment of the1999 Constitution to address these pertinent issues.
It is also alarming that Mr. President, in his own words, dismissed two governors who ran to him for solution to issues of national security, with escalated killings, kidnapping and violence in their states.
That action as revealed by Mr. President is very disturbing because, as the commander-in-chief, on whose shoulder rests the responsibility of securing our nation, and who also promised to lead from the front, his reaction ought not to have been dismissive of the said governors.
This action as narrated by Mr. President clearly showed how he abdicated his responsibility and yet was audacious to come to the public arena and made open his personal flaws and failures that have affected the foundation of our national security and emboldened terrorists, kidnappers and bandits to attack and kill our compatriots.
On the issue of fuel subsidy, it is a known fact that cross boarder crimes like smuggling have their negative effect on prices of petroleum products. While this constitutes a challenge to our economy, the fundamental issue which Mr. President dodged in the interview is the sleazy nature of subsidy policy under his administration.
Mr. President failed to tell Nigerians how the volume of PMS used in our country progressed exponentially from 35 million liters per day to the current fictitious 100 million liters per day, upon which his administration’s subsidy payout is calculated.
In an interview in which for the first time in the history of his government, President Buhari flamboyantly faced the camera, the opaque nature of the subsidy regime under his administration ought to have been topical. The expectation of Nigerians was for Mr. President to address the demand for openness in his administration’s subsidy regime as well as why Nigerians are paying humongous sums on subsidy.
On corruption, we invite Nigerians to note that President Buhari admitted in the interview, that corruption was endemic in his administration; that there are corrupt persons in his administration and his party, but that he devised a way of easing them out and thus giving them official covers instead of exposing such persons and allowing them to face the law. This validates our position that the Buhari Administration is a sanctuary of corruption.
It is also distressing that President Buhari used the interview to issue threats to Nigerians as well as justify the nepotism that has characterized appointment of key officials of his administration to the chagrin of our national sensibilities.
Such disposition to our national sensibilities is a recipe for further divisions and violence in our country.
Most disheartening is that in the face of grave security concerns across the federation, President Buhari proffered no solutions, even when he admitted that insecurity has almost overwhelmed his administration.
Also, though he lamented the invasion of our national territory by Sahelians, Mr. President did not introduce any concrete measure that can vanquish these set of criminals.
The interview session was therefore a Presidential demonstration of the challenges confronting our nation without a modicum of solution either now or in the future. It was all about buck-passing, grandstanding and a holier-than-thou disposition of the Buhari Presidency.
From the interview, it is clear that President Buhari has no legacy project to point to except infrastructural backwardness, false performance claims, covering corruption, destroying of our national institutions, wrecking of our economy, dividing Nigerians as well as reckless borrowings with nothing to show.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU HANDS OVER CRIME-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT TO POLICE, ASKS SECURITY AGENCIES TO CRUSH CRIMINALS
• Buhari: ‘Lagos Has Shown True Resilient Spirit’
• Lagos Equips Police with Anti-Riot Water Cannons, Troop Carriers, Patrol Vehicles, APCs, Communication Gadgets
• Governor, Again, Makes Case for ‘Special Status’

Lagos State Government has tightened the noose on criminal elements, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu fortifies the armoury of the State Police Command with new hardware and gadgets.

One hundred and fifty units of double cabin vehicles, 30 patrol saloon cars, four high-capacity troop carriers and two anti-riot water cannon vehicles are part of the crime-fighting equipment donated to the police, on Thursday, by the Lagos Government to strengthen security responses across the State.

President Muhammadu Buhari personally took inventory and commissioned the security equipment before Governor Sanwo-Olu handed over the equipment to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, for the use of Lagos Police Command.

The gadgets were procured through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) – an autonomous agency that partners with the private sector and individuals to provide vital support to security agencies.

Buhari said the equipment would go a long way in boosting the morale of the police, and enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.

Sanwo-Olu said the investment in the security gadgets was timely, given the setback recorded in security operations occasioned by the coordinated violence that followed the EndSARS protests, last October. The State’s Police Command, the Governor said, suffered losses in infrastructure and logistics, while the morale of the personnel dropped as a result of the impact.

Since then, the Governor pointed out that Lagos had felt the negative effects of the loophole in security architecture, accounting for a rising wave of criminal activities by hoodlums seeking to take advantage of vulnerability.

He said: “No society can survive without a motivated and well-equipped Police Force. Hoodlums and criminals know this; hence, the relentless attacks on police installations nationwide. It is our responsibility as Government to ensure that criminals’ nefarious aims are not achieved. They seek to demoralise and destabilise the police and other law enforcement agents, but we will continue to boldly proclaim, ‘Not on our watch’!

“Today, Lagos State Government is handing over brand new crime-fighting equipment to the State Police Command as our own way of assisting the Police Force to rebuild after the violence and massive destruction that followed the EndSARS protests last October. We are determined to stabilise the security situation in Lagos State, as our own contribution towards lasting national security.”

In addition to the supply of hardware to the police and other security agencies, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos Government had been building capability in cutting-edge security technology in line with his administration’s Security and Governance pillar, which seeks to transform the State into a 21st century economy.

The Governor said the State Government had started the phased rollout of security cameras across the metropolis, stating that the objective was to install the 2,000 surveillance cameras connected to fibre optic network.

The Governor vowed to make Lagos inhospitable for criminals and traffic robbers, charging the police not to spare anyone found wanting for armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and banditry.

He said: “State Government, in conjunction with the Local Government, has expended enormous resources on the crime fighting equipment and other apparatus being handed over today. I urge the police to do everything in their power to ensure that these assets are handled with care and a sense of true ownership and responsibility, so that the gears can last long and maximally deliver the intended outcome, which is sustained security in Lagos.”

Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to, again, make a request for a “Special Economic Status” for Lagos in order to bolster the State’s capacity and efficiency in managing critical infrastructure servicing the national economy. The Governor thanked the President for infrastructure projects sited in Lagos, saying the Lagos-Ibadan Railway line commissioned by the President remained the most momentous any Federal Government has made in the State.

President Buhari praised Sanwo-Olu for the investment, saying the Governor had shown a true resilient spirit in the face of the massive destruction Lagos suffered last October.

Buhari said the Governor did not allow himself to be deterred by the severe setback, instead had started to boldly rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the State.

He also acknowledged the ‘Rebuild Lagos’ initiative kick-started to replace assets torched by arsonists in the wake of violence, describing the move as “very laudable”. He enjoined other State Governments to emulate Lagos “bold and proactive actions”.

The President said: “Let me commend Lagos State for what it is doing in the areas of reinforcement and support for the security agencies in the State. I also commend all the private sector partners who have risen up to the challenge and partnered with the State Government in its ongoing battle to quell the upsurge of crime and insecurity. It is my hope that this public-private sector partnership will be an example to others to demonstrate similar acts of generosity and responsibility.”

The IGP commended Lagos State Government for the gesture, describing Sanwo-Olu as “a security conscious” Governor. The police boss said the donation was a game changer in strengthening security in the Southwest region.

Other gadgets donated by the Sanwo-Olu Government to the police include two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 200 security patrol bikes, 1,000 units of ballistic vests, 1,000 ballistic helmets, 1,000 handheld walkie-talkies, office furniture, and other ancillary resources.

While in Lagos, President Buhari, joined by Governor Sanwo-Olu also commissioned the 156Km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail, and Deep Blue Security Assets Project to secure the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Gulf of Guinea.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 10, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI FELICITATES WITH 9TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON 2ND ANNIVERSARY
On behalf of Nigerians, and the Federal Executive Council, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to the leadership and members of the 9th National Assembly on their second anniversary, extolling the sense of duty and diligence in handling issues related to the development of the country.
President Buhari salutes the vision, courage and patriotism of the Assembly, noting, with appreciation, the understanding and maturity of the lawmakers in speedily processing bills that directly impact the welfare of Nigerians, courageously finding common grounds to move the country forward, and passionately carrying out their oversight functions with justice and fairness.
The President presents his goodwill to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, congratulating them for using their wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to ensure a peaceful working relationship among lawmakers, between both chambers, the Judiciary and the Executive, by always focusing on the larger picture of nation building.
As the 9th National Assembly commemorates the landmark, President Buhari believes the legislature has brought dignity and honour to the country, and looks forward to more years of harmonious working relationship, with focus on improving the livelihood of citizens, and creating an enabling environment for a prosperous nation where both the young and old can fully realize their dreams.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021

INAUGURATION OF LAGOS-IBADAN COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS ANOTHER MILESTONE IN NIGERIA’S RAILWAY REVIVAL, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Buhari Thursday inaugurated the commercial operations of Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos, describing the feat ‘‘as another milestone in the drive of this Administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight.’’
The President pledged that his administration would continue to prioritise the railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.
On the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, President Buhari said:
‘‘This vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.
‘‘In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have in the rail sector, further to other ongoing railway infrastructure projects, embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.
‘‘The Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.
‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.
‘‘This would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.’’
The President expressed delight that his directive to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance on reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway was yielding results.
He noted that Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
‘‘From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.
Commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the President praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the Ministry’’ for a job well done.
Shortly after he inaugurated the project, President Buhari took a ride from Ebute Metta Station to Energy Nature Light (ENL), Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos.
He was joined by the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and the Deputy Governor of Ondo, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of State Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, other Ministers as well as some government officials.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 10, 2021

CELEBRATING DEMOCRACY DAY, 2021
In commemoration of DEMOCRACY Day, June 12, 2021, a one hour documentary titled “NIGERIA: Consolidating Democracy and National Unity,” will debut simultaneously on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Channels TV networks this Saturday at 8:00-9:00pm. TVC will be showing at 4:30-5:30pm the following day, Sunday June 13th.
The film features President Muhammadu Buhari and dignitaries who were central to the annulled June 12 election and the events that followed, including General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Kola Abiola, Hafsat Abiola-Costello and Mohammed Fawehinmi, son of legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi who along with Amb. Babagana Kingibe, was also recognized with a Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) national honor.
With sections dedicated to the annulled election, recognition process and evolution of Nigeria’s democracy and continuing quest for its consolidation and national unity from Independence in 1960, the documentary was filmed exclusively in Nigeria and directed by the award winning, Nigerian-American, Hollywood-based filmmaker Ose Oyamendan.
Also featured are President Goodluck Jonathan, children of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the country’s first and only Prime Minister, those of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first republic opposition leader and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first President as well as Amb. Shehu Malami, nephew of Sir Ahmadu Bello and son of Sultan Abubakar III, as they capture the spirit of Nigeria’s Independence Day in 1960.
The documentary will be shown at 8:00pm on Saturday, June 12, on both the NTA and Channels TV. TVC will be showing at 4:30-5:30pm on Sunday June 13th.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 9, 2021

Itsekiri Nation backs FG, honours Godswill Akpabio
• Makes case for NDDC Plum Job
• Wants East West Road project extended to Warri-Benin Road

Youths in Warri Kingdom on Friday night commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his commitment to the cause of the region.
‘’We should all take a cue from this outstanding statesman and driving force behind the reinvention of the Niger Delta region’’
They also said that Akpabio had come to work, serve and make the Niger Delta region great.
‘’The Niger Delta region is progressing steadily’’
At a ceremony organised to honour Akpabio in Warri, the youths critically assessed Akpabio’s performance and scored it excellent.
Speaker after speaker hailed Akpabio for the multiple dividends of democracy, his efforts to revolutionize the Niger Delta region and uplift the lot of his people.
The youths expressed satisfaction with the level of performance of the development agency and the on-going NDDC forensic audit.
The event drew who-is-who in Warri Kingdom and many youths and elders from other parts of Delta State.
Chairman of All Itsekiri Youth Associations (AIYA), Dr. Omatshola Sagay, praised Akpabio for making the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is a pragmatic and visionary leader who thinks ahead of his people. He is the best thing happening in the Niger Delta region’’.
The Itsekiri youths and elders who spoke in one voice urged youths in other parts of the region to give peace a chance, which they said was necessary for development of the oil and non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
‘’Everybody in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of his/her status or political leaning should join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio in the onerous task of moving the Niger Delta region forward’’
They described the seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a major breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta by certain people as ridiculous.
The youths suggested that current moves to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should include the consideration of someone from Itsekiri nation.
Warri Kingdom is the highest oil producing area in Delta State.
They also urged Buhari to extend the construction of the East West Road to Warri -Benin Road.

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Itsekiri Nation backs FG, honours Godswill Akpabio

• Makes case for NDDC Plum Job
• Wants East West Road project extended to Warri-Benin Road

Youths in Warri Kingdom on Friday night commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his commitment to the cause of the region.
‘’We should all take a cue from this outstanding statesman and driving force behind the reinvention of the Niger Delta region’’
They also said that Akpabio had come to work, serve and make the Niger Delta region great.
‘’The Niger Delta region is progressing steadily’’
At a ceremony organised to honour Akpabio in Warri, the youths critically assessed Akpabio’s performance and scored it excellent.
Speaker after speaker hailed Akpabio for the multiple dividends of democracy, his efforts to revolutionize the Niger Delta region and uplift the lot of his people.
The youths expressed satisfaction with the level of performance of the development agency and the on-going NDDC forensic audit.
The event drew who-is-who in Warri Kingdom and many youths and elders from other parts of Delta State.
Chairman of All Itsekiri Youth Associations (AIYA), Dr. Omatshola Sagay, praised Akpabio for making the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is a pragmatic and visionary leader who thinks ahead of his people. He is the best thing happening in the Niger Delta region’’.
The Itsekiri youths and elders who spoke in one voice urged youths in other parts of the region to give peace a chance, which they said was necessary for development of the oil and non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
‘’Everybody in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of his/her status or political leaning should join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio in the onerous task of moving the Niger Delta region forward’’
They described the seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a major breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta by certain people as ridiculous.
The youths suggested that current moves to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should include the consideration of someone from Itsekiri nation.
Warri Kingdom is the highest oil producing area in Delta State.
They also urged Buhari to extend the construction of the East West Road to Warri -Benin Road.

Asking TV, radio stations to deactivate Twitter accounts unlawful, SERAP tells NBC

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned “the patently unlawful and unconstitutional directive by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to all broadcast stations in the country to suspend the patronage of Twitter with immediate effect.”

The NBC had reportedly stated that the decision followed the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over purported use of the platform for “activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

But SERAP in a statement today by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare stated: “This directive by the NBC is itself unlawful because it is based on another unlawful decision by the Federal Government to suspend Twitter in Nigeria. The NBC’s directive has political interference written all over it. It is a blow to Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, media freedom, media independence and diversity. The directive must be immediately withdrawn.”

The statement, read in part: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. This action by the NBC is yet another nail in the coffin for human rights, media freedom and independent journalism under this government.”

“The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should publicly and vigorously express concerns over the Nigerian government’s increasingly brutal crackdown on media freedom, and use all possible means to urge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to protect and respect freedom of expression.”

“The international community should stand with the broadcast stations and journalists and make clear to the Nigerian government that freedom of expression, media freedom, transparency and accountability, as well as respect for the rule of law are essential to democracy.”

“The UN and donors should continue to take every opportunity to call on the Nigerian government to rescind the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, respect freedom of expression, and media freedom, and hold to account anyone targeting broadcast stations and journalists simply for carrying out their professional duty.”

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
7/6/2021
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
• 07 June 2021

• Multiple award-winning architect Olajumoke Adenowo discusses feminism, living a life of impact and biggest life lessons #Withchude
• This week’s episode of #WithChude unveiled the professional and personal life of multiple award-winning architect and philanthropist Olajumoke Adenowo. Described as Africa’s Starchitect by CNN, Olajumoke’s experience spans over 30years with the design and execution of over 70 buildings. In this exclusive interview with host and co-founder Joy Inc. Chude Jideonwo, Olajumoke discusses feminism in a male-dominated industry like Architecture, people constantly putting her in a box, and the most significant lessons life has taught her.
• Living a multi-faceted life where she functions in many roles as speaker, teacher, author, radio host, preacher, amongst others, Jumoke talked about how stifling it could be when people put her in a box, side-lining an integral part of her life which is architecture and design.
• “I find it totally and completely frustrating, I wish there were stronger terms to use”, she said.
• “It is the bane of my existence that people will insist on putting me in a box. It shouldn’t be a shock to the system that someone in the apostolic and prophetic can also have a day job. I’ve had to comfort myself with the fact that everybody defines you by what they draw from you. I am not holding it against them anymore because the vast majority encounter me as a speaker, teacher or preacher, but that does not change the fact that architecture is my passion. You don’t get a first distinction in architecture from the University of Ife and throw it away. God is not a waster of talents or resources. It would be a waste for God to say to me, do not practice architecture after the years I’ve spent honing and perfecting my craft,” she continued.
• Olajumoke spoke extensively on her love for architecture and her recent appointment as Visiting Professor at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in Germany, where she was honoured as a Laureate and Guest Scientist at the Chair of Theory, History of Architecture, Art & Design.
• Despite this remarkable feat, Olajumoke revealed that she and many other women in male-dominated industries continue to face roadblocks in their careers. She explained this in a powerful elucidation of the bible verse; it is not good for man to be alone. “When God said it is not good for man to be alone, he wasn’t talking about marriage. He was saying it is not good for man to be alone anywhere. It is not good for the male gender to be alone in the board room, in governance, commerce, and every other sector. Why? Well, first because the world population is 51.8% women. How can you side-line half of the world population, especially in important sectors like architecture? We have so much to give. There is so much energy put into blocking us and reminding us constantly that we are women as though it is some sort of disability. We are not asking for help; we just want men to step out of the way and let us be us.”
• Living up to her life philosophy of impactful living, Olajumoke continues to inspire women in Africa and globally, to push against narratives and shatter glass ceilings, especially where many say women can’t.
• #WithChude is a special series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart, and spirit.
• New episodes of #WithChude show every Saturday at 9 pm on Vimeo by subscribing to watch.withchude.com, with reruns every Sunday on Wazobia TV Channel 98 at 5 pm, every Wednesday on Pop Central Station on DSTV Channel 189 at 8.00 pm,
• and every Thursday on EbonyLife TV at 7:30 pm.
• An extended play podcast is up on Spotify, iTunes, among other podcast platforms, every Wednesday at 10:00 am.
• Everyone can join the conversations.
• An extended play podcast is up on Spotify, iTunes, among other podcast platforms, every Wednesday at 10:00 am. Everyone can join the conversations.

PRESS STATEMENT
CDWR CONDEMNS THE BAN ON TWITTER BY THE BUHARI-LED REGIME
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS MUST BE RESPECTED
Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns in strong terms the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by Muhammadu Buhari-led regime. We also condemn the government’s order to arrest and prosecute Nigerians who use Twitter after the ban. The action undermines free speech and democratic rights in Nigeria. The ban will also negatively affect small businesses and jobs that depend on Twitter to transact business and for jobs.
We observe the dangerous degeneration of the Buhari-led government into a full-blown Police State reminiscent of a dictatorial military regime. The Buhari-led government has repeatedly harassed and attacked activists, journalists, media houses etc. Most Nigerians are under economic, social and political siege! Activists have been arrested, detained and attacked for protesting unfair and anti-people policies. We witnessed how the Buhari regime and the military brutally attacked and suppressed the ENDSARS protest leaving deaths, sorrows and blood.
These attacks are the typical Buhari regime’s responses to agitation against its anti-people policies and obvious failure to resolve any of the problems bedevilling the country including insecurity, the rising cost of living, ailing economy, factory closures amid rise in exchange rate, mass job losses, lack of basic infrastructure and nationality question. Buhari regime’s agenda is to hold the working people down in subjugation and slavery to allow a few privileged self-serving bourgeois elite to continue the loot and exploitation unchallenged.
CDWR demands the reinstatement of Twitter and respect for freedom of speech and democratic rights. We also demand an end to all forms of attacks currently going on including the release of all detained activists and protesters and compensation to all victims of brutality of the Police/Military.
In the same vein, we are also critical of big media including the big tech which are in the hands of tiny oligarchy, business moguls and the capitalist state across the world. They are as well used to undermine the interest of the working masses and the poor. So, CDWR calls for democratic control of the big media by the working people. This will make it possible for the media to serve the interest of all.
We call on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to end their strategic alliance with the self-serving capitalist ruling elite and government and mobilize the working people and the poor against all anti-poor policies, attacks on democratic rights and failure over the insecurity by the Buhari government.
SIGNED
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Publicity Secretary
PRESIDENT BUHARI APPOINTS NEW AIDES FOR FIRST LADY
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Rukayyatu Abdulkareem Gurin as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs in the Office of the First Lady.
She is a Doctorate degree holder in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Maiduguri.
She was at various times a Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri; a Deputy Director at the National Universities Commission (NUC); and a Director at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
Dr. Gurin who was a Senior Lecturer at Baze University in Abuja before her appointment, replaces Dr. Hajo Sani who was recently appointed as Nigeria’s Delegate to the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) in France.
The President also approved the appointment of Dr. Mohammed Kamal Abdurrahman as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Health and Development Partners in the Office of the First Lady.
He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from University of Maiduguri. He worked at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Yola Specialist Hospital, Sithobela Health Centre in Swaziland, and at the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) before his appointment as the Personal Physician to the First Lady in 2015 and reappointed in 2019.
Dr Abdurrahman will combine his new role with his position as the Personal Physician to the First Lady.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 7, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS PASTOR TB JOSHUA
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the family and members of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on the passing of their father and founder, Pastor Temitope Balogun, popularly known as TB Joshua.
The President notes that the renowned televangelist will be missed by his followers all over the world not only for his spiritual contributions, but for touching many lives through philanthropic gestures.
President Buhari urges Pastor Joshua’s followers to take solace in the knowledge that life is not measured and defined by chronological longevity but by enduring legacies and lives touched positively.
He also condoles with the government and people of Ondo State and prays that God Almighty will accept the soul of the departed pastor.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI EULOGIZES DR. JOSEPH NWODO AT BURIAL IN ENUGU STATE
President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday described the late Dr Joseph Nwodo as “one of the leading lights of the legal profession” at burial ceremony of the deceased held in Ukehe Nsukka, Enugu State.
The President was represented at the ceremony by a Presidential delegation led by Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment accompanied by Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Environment, Senator Ita Enang, and Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
The funeral service, held at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Ukehe, was graced by distinguished personalities like Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, former governors Jim Nwobodo, Sam Egwu, Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, members of the National Assembly, the Bar and Bench, top government officials, and people from different walks of life.
The eulogy by President Buhari, addressed to the Nwodo family, goes thus:
“I write to condole with you on the death of your Patriarch and brother Dr. Joe Nwodo – the Agadagbachiruzo of Ukehe, Ochendo Umu Ogbenye.
“The late Joe was an epitome of humility and good manners and radiated utmost friendliness in his relationship with people of all ethnic groups and calling. He was also an intellectual who despite having bagged his LLB; BL (Cantab) at the prestigious University of Cambridge went further to acquire a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in International Law and Jurisprudence from the London School of Economics (LSE). The legal family in Nigeria will always remember him as one of the leading lights of the profession, because of his erudite contributions to the nation’s jurisprudence.
“In the political arena, the Ochendo was a great grassroots mobiliser and will forever be remembered for his philosophy of Equity and Justice to all. He was a strong Governorship contender that emerged in Old Anambra State in 1990 – 1991 and later the National Republican Convention (NRC) Presidential aspirant that emerged from Enugu State under the Party’s Option A4 Presidential Election in 1992.
“With his towering stature, as a great giver and philanthropist and servant of the people, I have no doubt that God will grant him eternal rest in his Kingdom.”
Dr Nwodo passed away recently, aged 77.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 5, 2021

PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON TWITTER SUSPENSION IN NIGERIA
The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post. There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences. All the while, the company has escaped accountability.
Nevertheless, the removal of President Buhari’s tweet was disappointing. The censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today.
The President in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA in 2019 said “the world was shocked and startled by the massacre in New Zealand by a lone gunman taking the lives of 50 worshippers.”
This and similar crimes which have been fueled by social media networks risk seeping into the fabric of an emerging digital culture.
Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.
President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media’s disruptive and divisive influences and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.
The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact.
A terrorist organisation (IPOB) poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.
When the President said that they will be treated “in a language they understand,” he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.
This is not promotion of hate, but a pledge to uphold citizens’ right to freedom from harm. The government cannot be expected to capitulate to terrorists.
IPOB is proscribed under Nigerian law. Its members murder innocent Nigerians. They kill policemen and set government property on fire. Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country.
Twitter does not seem to appreciate the national trauma of our country’s civil war. This government shall not allow a recurrence of that tragedy.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 5, 2021

June 7, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter Ban: PDP Cautions APC, FG Against Harassing Foreign Envoys
Considers Court Action, Civil Protests
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautions the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government against harassing foreign envoys and other members of the international community for speaking out against the infringement on the rights of Nigerians by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP’s position is predicated on the summoning of the envoys of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada among others by the Federal Government, for standing on the side of Nigerians in criticizing the unwarranted suspension of Twitter in our country.
The PDP is alarmed by the development which smacks of intolerance towards the international community as obtained in Idi Amin’s dictatorial Uganda of 1971 to 1979.
Our party notes that there is no law or statute that prohibits foreign envoys from speaking out against clear violation of internationally enshrined freedom of expression and right to social interactions as provided by Twitter and other social media platforms.
In fact, the defence of such rights is a fundamental duty which envoys owe their host nations and the international community.
The PDP therefore cautions that any harassment or assault on foreign envoys place them at great risk as well as pitch our nation against other members of the international community.
It is instructive for the APC and the Buhari administration to note that given the current downturn of our national life under their misrule, Nigeria cannot afford being declared a pariah nation.
The PDP is worried that the APC administration has been overheating our polity leading to escalation of insecurity, killings, bloodletting and violence in the country.
Nigerians would recall that ahead of the 2019 general elections, one of the leaders of the APC, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, had threatened that some of the foreign election monitors would be returned to their countries in body bags.
Our party therefore demands that the Federal Government should listen to the voice of reason, end its misrule and desist from infringing on the rights of Nigerians as being witnessed in the illegal and vexatious ban on Twitter.
Already, the PDP is perfecting processes for a legal action against the APC-led Federal Government’s suspension of Twitter and the directive to broadcasting stations to pull out of Twitter.
In the same vein, our party is considering a directive to all our wards, local governments and state structure to commence peaceful civil protests against suspension of Twitter, the spate of insecurity and the failures of the Buhari administration.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 6, 2021
Press Statement
APC Behind Twitter Ban and Moves to Suppress Nigerians
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accuses the National Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The PDP says revelations available to it show how APC leaders at one of their party’s national caucus meeting recommended the regulation of social media in Nigeria and how they have been plotting to obliterate internet-based interaction platforms such as Twitter.
The PDP recalls how the APC Caucus has been pushing bills in the National Assembly, particularly in November 2020, seeking to enforce a draconian regulation of social media so as to gag Nigerians from exposing its atrocities, including human right abuses, treasury looting, nepotism and sectional marginalization by the APC administration.
Nigerians can also recall how the APC administration in carrying out the agenda of its party have been using the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to suffocate the media space with humongous fines and threats of suspension of operating license on broadcast stations.
The PDP wants the APC to know that their plot against Nigerians have been exposed and cannot stand.
Our nation is known for her resilient citizenry and no leader or political party has been able to suppress the wishes of Nigerians.
The APC, in spite of its machinations, cannot vanquish Nigerians in their determination for a free and democratic nation where sovereignty belongs to the people.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 5, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter Suspension: Malami’s Prosecution Order is Illegal, Null and Void -PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declares that the directive by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to arrest and prosecute any Nigerian using Twitter, is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal, null and completely of no moment.
The PDP asserts that the directive by the APC through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is not only downright ludicrous, but shows the frenzied desperation by the Buhari Presidency to muzzle, victimize, clamp down on innocent Nigerians and foist a totalitarian system on our country.
The PDP states that nothing in our extant laws, not even the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, constitutionally criminalized the use of Twitter by Nigerians or empowers the Federal Governments to arrest and prosecute any Nigerians for using Twitter.
For Malami’s information, section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law, and in this subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a law of a state, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of the law”.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC are informed that there is no extant law that defined the use of Twitter as a criminal offence and there is no penalty prescribed in a written law for the use of Twitter by any Nigerians.
Moreover, they should also realize that the suspension of Twitter by the APC Federal Government, in addition to its unconstitutionality, only suspended Twitter operations and not the use of Twitter by Nigerians.
The directive by the Attorney General to arrest and prosecute any Nigerians found using Twitter, does not have the backing of any law enacted by the National Assembly or any state legislative house, and as such, Malami’s declaration is completely of no legal consequence.
Malami’s directive to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter is therefore an attempt to suspend the 1999 Constitution (as amended), a development which bears the imprints of the leaked memo in which Mr. President was reportedly advised to suspend the constitution and strip Nigerians of their rights and freedom.
The PDP again cautions the Buhari Presidency and the APC to end their acts of suppression against Nigerians as such amounts to pushing the people to the wall.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

June 4, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Rejects Suspension of Twitter By FG…Cautions That Buhari Is Pushing Nigerians to the Wall
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vehemently rejects the unwarranted suspension of the social media platform, Twitter, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, describing it as a draconian action and a slide towards a fascist regime in our country.
The party asserts that the suspension of twitter, is a vexatious, condemnable and barbaric move to muzzle Nigerians, particularly the youths, ostensibly to prevent them from holding the overtly corrupt, vindictive and divisive Buhari administration accountable for its atrocities, including human right violations, patronizing of terrorists and outright suppressive acts against innocent Nigerians.
Our party is appalled that the Federal Government could exhibit such primitive intolerance and power intoxication because the social media giant demonstrated international best practices in not allowing the Buhari presidency to use Twitter as a platform to propagate and spread the Buhari administration’s hatred towards Nigerians.
The PDP insists that rather than being a platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, as claimed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigerians, particularly the youths, have been using the social media platform, largely, for activities that promote unity, as well as social, economic and commercial interaction in our country.
Our party notes that Mr. Lai Mohammed, in his statement, failed to cite an example of where Nigerians used Twitter as a platform to promote acts that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as he claimed.
Of course, the failure to give any such instance, confirms that the Federal Government is only out to victimize Nigerians.
The Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration are only afraid of Nigerians on Twitter because of their evil machinations for which they dread the Nigerian youths.
Moreover, freedom of speech is firmly guaranteed in our constitution and the Buhari administration should be ready to face Nigerians over its misrule.
In the case of any infringement, our nation has adequate extant laws to deal with such and not this move to gag the people.
The PDP therefore charges President Buhari to end this assault against Nigerians by immediately and unconditionally rescinding its decision to ban Twitter, as such amounts to pushing our citizens to the wall.
Afterall, it was the same Twitter that provided President Buhari and the APC the platform to campaign in 2015 and 2019.
It is also on record that President Buhari would not be the first President in the world whose tweet would be deleted.
When it happened to former US President Donald Trump, he was not known to have deployed any act coercion against Twitter.
Our party invites President Buhari to halt this international shame by rescinding this ugly decision.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

NO GOING BACK ON FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF IRU-V.I, LAGOS MASTER PLAN, SAYS SANWO-OLU
…Glamour, Glitz as Clerics, Others Task Oniru on Service, Humility, Transparency

Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated his administration’s commitment to the full implementation of Iru-Victoria Island Lagos Master Plan, saying that the axis is too critical to the economic posterity of the state to be ignored.

Speaking during the first Anniversary of coronation of Oba Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II) as the 15th Oniru of Iruland, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that he was proud of the achievement of the monarch in the last one year that he ascended the throne his forebears. He added that more infrastructural and economic development had taken place in his kingdom within the first year of his ascendancy.

The governor, who also said that more roads and other infrastructure would be executed in the axis, urged the monarch to partner with the state government in the urban and regional regeneration of the Iruland in order to realise the full potential of the Greater Lagos agenda.

He said the members of the state executive council were excited with the innovation the monarch introduced in less than a year he was enthroned.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, said that the people of Iru kingdom were lucky to have the caliber of the Oniru, who is internationally acknowledged as a cerebral scholar as their king. He said that with Oba Lawal, the kingdom would witness more transformation and developments.

He said: “I know very well that his wealth of experience will bring about positive economic development into Iruland. How I wish that they had more land, how I wish they could extend into the Atlantic so that they can create a bigger kingdom for his people.

“Even within what he has, I know that he will transform this place into an enviable location that all of us in Lagos and Nigeria will truly be proud of.

“The waterfront, the economic activities that is happening there, the commercial hub that is happening also on the waterways, we have discussed this and we said as a state government, we will continue to help because it is only when you bring development to local communities like this, that people can see better growth.”

The governor urged the people of Iru kingdom to support the Oniru with prayers in order for him to excel and bring progress to the people. He also charged them embrace local and foreign investors to bring about positive development to the kingdom.

“Today is about our Kabiyesi, it’s about our traditional institution in the Yoruba land, it’s about development for our people and about ensuring that there’s a space and there is a responsibility for our traditional institution. His royal majesty, Omogbolahan Lawal is an example of that institution, is an example of the capability that can happen in that sector.

“I want to commend you , I want to thank God for your life, I pray that as you celebrate the first anniversary, we will celebrate your fifth, 10th, 20th, and 50th and if God wishes, we will celebrate much more with you and you will do it with grace.”

On their part, the National Missioner Ansar-UD-Deen Society, Sheikh Abdul Rahaman Ahmad and Pastor of Trinity House church, Ituah Ighodalo, urged Oba Lawal to always make himself accessible to his subjects in order to endear himself to them. They said that the monarch would be able to make more impact on the lives of the people of the kingdom, if they have access to him.

Dignitaries at the event were: Deputy Governor of Lagos, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; former Defence Minister (State), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; former deputy governor of Lagos, Otunba Femi Pedro; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla; Pastor in Charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Idowu Iluyomade; traditional rulers; captains of industries chairmen of various local government in the state.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 7, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS PASTOR W.F KUMUYI AT 80
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, as he turns 80 June 6, 2021.
The President felicitates with the family of the renowned preacher, members of the Deeper Life Bible Church, and Christendom in general, wishing the “spiritual General” greater service to God and humanity, “in good health and sound mind.”
President Buhari recalls his 2018 meeting with Pastor Kumuyi and wife, Esther, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the warmth they radiated, and their love and prayers for country, urging younger preachers to take a cue, and intercede for Nigeria and people in positions of authority, as God’s word enjoins.
As Pastor Kumuyi reaches the milestone, the President prays that his vision for the country will be realized, and the works of his hands will continue to prosper.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 5, 2021

PINNICKS’S POSITION IN FIFA COUNCIL BENEFICIAL FOR FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI
President Muhamamdu Buhari Friday in Abuja expressed optimism that the membership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick into the FIFA Council ‘‘will provide benefits that will lead to the advancement of football in Africa and Nigeria.’’
In an audience with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare and Pinnick, the President, once again, congratulated the NFF boss on his election victory into the strategic body that sets the vision for global football, assuring him of Nigeria’s support in his new position.
‘‘The position on the Council of the world’s football governing body, FIFA, comes at a time when Nigeria is determined to turn the fortunes of her sports development around through better infrastructure, more investment both public and private government incentives.
‘Without prejudice to the continental nature of your assignment at the Council, I urge you to use your position to ensure Nigeria’s sporting image receives a boost.
‘‘I know this position will assist Nigeria get technical and financial support from FIFA; and your position should create a platform for other Nigerians to enter into the FIFA family and other international Sports Federations,’’ he said.
Emphasising his belief in the potential of sports to promote peace, unity, enhance good health and stimulate the economy, President Buhari said ‘‘one of the greatest sports is football and Nigeria is a great football nation. I am myself a keen follower of football.’’
On his vision for Nigerian football, the President told the Minister and the NFF President:
‘‘I want to see Nigeria’s football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory from football administration to youth and grassroots football, talent hunt and use of Nigeria’s home based talents.
‘‘Nigeria also needs a more privatized and better organised football regime that can rival others in Europe and America.’’
The President, therefore, urged the NFF to work with the Sport ministry and football stakeholders to provide Nigeria with a 10-year Football Master Plan that will ensure youth football development, in line with FIFA’s commitment.
Urging corporate organisations to invest in sports development, the President pledged his administration’s commitment to turn sports into business, adding that the expected reviewed Sport Industry Policy ‘‘will be the catalyst that turns football activities associated with it into key contributors to the national economy.’’
In his remarks, Dare thanked the President for his support for sports development in the country, and for approving the reclassification of sports as business, instead of mere recreation.
He promised that a new draft policy on the sports industry was almost ready, as well as a 10-year master plan for football at all levels.
The new FIFA Council member, Pinnick, equally lauded President Buhari for his support for football, saying: ‘‘Without you, I couldn’t have won election into FIFA Council. Your name is highly respected across the continent.’’
Pinnick pledged to be a worthy Ambassador of the country, adding ‘‘I will use the office to build Nigerian football, in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.’’
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 4, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI EXTOLS GENERAL DOGONYARO’S VIRTUES
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Lantang, Plateau State extolled the military qualities of Lt-General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro, a one-time Chief of Defence Staff, days after describing him as one of the finest soldiers the Nigerian Army has ever produced.
In a funeral oration read on his behalf by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (rtd) at the burial ceremony of the late Dogonyaro, President Buhari said General Dogonyaro was “an icon of professionalism, bravery and discipline as amply demonstrated in the attributes he displayed in his national and international military assignments.”
The President added that “the late general was a reference point for us and will remain a source of inspiration for several officers, serving and retired. He was a great son of Nigeria, widely known for his uncommon loyalty to his country, a virtue which at this critical period of nationhood, Nigeria needs from all of us.”
In a letter of condolence delivered by the Presidential delegation to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, President Buhari said:
“Laying down one’s life for the country is one of the greatest sacrifices any citizen can make to his country. His (Dogonyaro’s) many contributions will be remembered for years to come. I pray that Almighty God will grant his family and the entire people of Plateau State the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, one of the late General’s children, Ibrahim thanked the President “for his love and care for the Dogonyaro family.”
Accompanying the Minister of Defence in the President’s delegation to the event were the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 4, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

SECURITY: SANWO-OLU GETS LIST OF ABANDONED BUILDINGS, SET TO TAKE ACTION
•Lagos Procures Machine to Detect COVID-19 Variants – Governor
Criminals will find no space in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
The Governor, on Monday, said a long list of abandoned buildings across Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), which may serve as safe haven for criminals, had been compiled.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be taking proactive action towards ensuring that the buildings do not become security threats in communities where they have been found.
The popular thinking is that such buildings are occupied by criminals who use them to plan attacks. The government plans to take control of such buildings.
Sanwo- Olu spoke of the development during a live interview on Arise TV, where he shared details of his administration’s achievements in the last two years. Sanwo-Olu was 731 days in office on May 29.
At a consultative meeting on security held last month, participants requested the Government to take control of uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles to boost security.
The Governor, who spoke against the background of rising spate of kidnapping and criminalities in some States across the nation, said the State Government remained at alert to prevent the spillover of criminalities from neighbouring States into Lagos. To this, he said his administration was on the verge of recruiting additional 1,500 men into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) to boost intelligence gathering in local communities and aid security agencies to quickly respond to crimes.
He said Lagos, in the last six months, had collaborated with the police to strengthen community policing in addressing localised crimes and checking activities of cultists. The State gave the police 1,250 men from the state’s Neighborhood Watch.
He stressed that the strategy would be effective if residents remained vigilant and offered information on strange activities in their neighbourhoods.
He said: “Two days ago, I receive report of abandoned buildings across the State from Neighbourhood Watch. The list is about 250 pages with addresses and pictures of the buildings. These are some of the places where the criminals and miscreants hide to launch their activities. We are passing this list to the security for immediate response and actions. This surveillance speaks to the necessity of state police. All the preventable criminalities happening are because we have not agreed as a nation that there should be state police.
“We have been an advocate of state police and it is one of the submissions I made at the recent public hearing on constitutional amendment in Lagos. State police is a force whose time has come. Whether it is Amotekun or Neighbourhood Watch, these are all pointers to the necessity of States to have police to make them stronger. All the kidnapping and killings we have been witnessing can be nipped in the bud. Our challenge in Lagos is not having forests where kidnappers hide; it is more about cultism. I need to think global but localise my response to these challenges.”
On whether the State would ban commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, Sanwo-Olu said the Government was providing an alternative to the motorcycles with the First and Last-Mile minibuses; thousands of them will be pushed into the system.
The Governor, however, disclosed that transport unions had reached out to the State Government on regularisation of informal transport services, including Okada. He said efforts were underway to leverage biometric data for approval of commercial motorcycle operation in areas where it had not been proscribed.
On the recent progress recorded by the State in its response to infectious diseases, Sanwo-Olu revealed that Lagos now has the capacity to detect new variants of Coronavirus (COVID-19), given procurement of latest PCR machine. This, he said, came ahead of the move by the State to build a world-class Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba to support research for diagnosis and treatment of contagious diseases in future.
Sharing his opinion on the suspension micro-blogging site, Twitter, by the Federal Government, Sanwo-Olu said: “Mr. President, who is the Commander-in-Chief, may have some security information, which I do not have as a sitting Governor. I won’t say what the Federal Government or Twitter has done is right or wrong. What I see is that, on both sides, there are issues that can be resolved.
“So, in this period of suspension, let us sit and have a conversation. Had it been Twitter has an office in Nigeria, issues would have been resolved a lot quicker. In other climes, Twitter signs agreements on the rule of engagement. I don’t think that has happened here. The Federal Government, I believe, can handle the issue a lot better, because of the number of e-commerce firms and youths that are engaging in digital stuff.
“I believe there should be a lot of restraint and better management from both sides. I’ll plead that both sides come together in next one or two days and resolve this. We should not politicise this issue. People are losing money and economies are being destroyed, but there are also security issues. I am ready to give quality advice on what needs to be done if I’m called upon.”
The Governor said the repeal of Pension Act for former Lagos Governors and military administrators was a popular action taken by his administration to cut spending and improve good governance.
“There is no need for any pension for ex-Governors in Lagos. I won’t be earning any pension after my tenure,” he said.

BLACK GIRL MAGIC: RISING AFRICAN SUPERSTARS TEMS (NIGERIA) AND ELAINE (SOUTH AFRICA) ARE NOMINATED FOR BET AWARDS 2021 ‘BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL ACT VIEWER’S CHOICE’ CATEGORY

BET International announced the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ nominees today, with Nigeria’s Tems and South Africa’s Elaine clinching two spots on the nominees list. These African vocal powerhouses join an array of talented black women who are dominating the music industry on the BET Awards 2021 nominees list.

The BET AWARDS 2021 will air Live, Monday, June 28 on BET Africa, DStv channel 122, at 1am WAT/2am CAT. You can also catch the repeat at 7pm WAT/8pm CAT on the same day.

“The ‘Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ category was created to award breakthrough talent and emerging voices in music from around the world,” said Monde Twala, SVP of BET International. “We’re thrilled to honor this year’s exceptional nominees on the global ‘BET Awards’ platform.”

Now in its twenty-first year, the BET AWARDS continues its reign as the ultimate platform to showcase the most beautiful aspects of the global black experience – celebrating black music’s present and future, elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change.

Voting for the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ will run from 3pm WAT/4pm CAT June 7 to 3pm WAT/4pm CAT June 11. For the latest BET AWARDS2021 news and updates, please visit BET.com/Awards.

The nominees for the ‘BET AWARDS 2021 Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act’ category are:

TEMS (NIGERIA)
ELAINE (SOUTH AFRICA)
ARLO PARKS (UK)
BRAMSITO (FRANCE)
BREE RUNWAY (UK)
MC DRICKA (BRAZIL)
RONISIA (FRANCE)

Previously announced nominees according to category for theBET AWARDS 2021 are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
WIZKID (NIGERIA)
BURNA BOY (NIGERIA)
AYA NAKAMURA (FRANCE)
DIAMOND PLATNUMZ (TANZANIA)
EMICIDA (BRAZIL)
HEADIE ONE (UK)
YOUNG T & BUGSEY (UK)
YOUSSOUPHA (FRANCE)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
AFTER HOURS – THE WEEKND
BLAME IT ON BABY – DABABY
GOOD NEWS – MEGAN THEE STALLION
HEAUX TALES – JAZMINE SULLIVAN
KING’S DISEASE – NAS
UNGODLY HOUR – CHLOE X HALLE

BEST COLLABORATION
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
DABABY FT. RODDY RICCH – ROCKSTAR
DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE – POPSTAR
JACK HARLOW FT. DABABY, TORY LANEZ & LIL WAYNE – WHATS POPPIN (REMIX)
MEGAN THEE STALLION FT. DABABY – CRY BABY
POP SMOKE FT. LIL BABY & DABABY – FOR THE NIGHT

BEST FEMALE R&B / POP ARTIST
BEYONCÉ
H.E.R.
JAZMINE SULLIVAN
JHENÉ AIKO
SUMMER WALKER
SZA

BEST MALE R&B / POP ARTIST
6LACK
ANDERSON. PAAK
CHRIS BROWN
GIVEON
TANK
THE WEEKND

BEST NEW ARTIST
COI LERAY
FLO MILLI
GIVEON
JACK HARLOW
LATTO
POOH SHIESTY

BEST GROUP
21 SAVAGE & METRO BOOMIN
CHLOE X HALLE
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG
CITY GIRLS
MIGOS
SILK SONIC

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST
CARDI B
COI LERAY
DOJA CAT
MEGAN THEE STALLION
LATTO
SAWEETIE

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST
DABABY
DRAKE
J. COLE
JACK HARLOW
LIL BABY
POP SMOKE

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD
BEBE WINANS – IN JESUS NAME
CECE WINANS – NEVER LOST
H.E.R. – HOLD US TOGETHER
KIRK FRANKLIN – STRONG GOD
MARVIN SAPP – THANK YOU FOR IT ALL
TAMELA MANN – TOUCH FROM YOU

BET HER AWARD
ALICIA KEYS FT. KHALID – SO DONE
BRANDY FT. CHANCE THE RAPPER – BABY MAMA
BRI STEVES – ANTI QUEEN
CHLOE X HALLE – BABY GIRL
CIARA FT. ESTER DEAN – ROOTED
SZA – GOOD DAYS

VIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG – GO CRAZY
DABABY FT. RODDY RICCH – ROCKSTAR
DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE – POPSTAR
DRAKE FT. LIL DURK – LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
LIL BABY – THE BIGGER PICTURE
MEGAN THEE STALLION FT. BEYONCÉ – SAVAGE (REMIX)
SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
CARDI B – UP
CARDI B FT. MEGAN THEE STALLION – WAP
CHLOE X HALLE – DO IT
CHRIS BROWN & YOUNG THUG – GO CRAZY
DRAKE FT. LIL DURK – LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
BENNY BOOM
BRUNO MARS AND FLORENT DÉCHARD
COLE BENNETT
COLIN TILLEY
DAVE MEYERS
HYPE WILLIAMS

BEST MOVIE
COMING 2 AMERICA
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…
SOUL
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

BEST ACTRESS
ANDRA DAY
ANGELA BASSETT
ISSA RAE
JURNEE SMOLLETT
VIOLA DAVIS
ZENDAYA

BEST ACTOR
ALDIS HODGE
CHADWICK BOSEMAN
DAMSON IDRIS
DANIEL KALUUYA
EDDIE MURPHY
LAKEITH STANFIELD

YOUNGSTARS AWARD
ALEX R. HIBBERT
ETHAN HUTCHISON
LONNIE CHAVIS
MARSAI MARTIN
MICHAEL EPPS
STORM REID

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
A’JA WILSON
CANDACE PARKER
CLARESSA SHIELDS
NAOMI OSAKA
SERENA WILLIAMS
SKYLAR DIGGINS-SMITH

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
KYRIE IRVING
LEBRON JAMES
PATRICK MAHOMES
RUSSELL WESTBROOK
RUSSELL WILSON
STEPHEN CURRY

About BET
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in 125 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET+, the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience; BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

ABOUT “BET AWARDS”
The “BET Awards” is one of the most-watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.

SMW Fashion Sets Record, Hit 25,000 Sales in First Month
* How We Recorded 25,000 Sales in First Month -SMW Fashion
*SMW Fashion Beats Record, Hit Massive Sales in First Month

The management of SMW Fashion has announced that the fashion label has received over twenty-five thousand (25,000) orders of its various merchandise in its first month of business commencement in Nigeria.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the brand, Mr. Philip Ikezahu, the requests for their products have been overwhelming and it’s still of great surprise that such sales can be pulled in the first month of business.

Recall that the Fashion brand which is a sister company to Soso Music Worldwide- a music production & recording company, earlier last month disclosed that the fashion outfit will be kicked-off with about 50,000 pilot merchandises ranging from luxury wears to shoes, jewelries, as well as other fashion accessories.

“Our target is the Nigerian Pop Culture. And fashion as you know it evolves every day; we promise to continue giving our esteemed customers top notch designs. The accelerated sales we have experienced in the last one month is an indication that we need to do more and with our team of creative innovators and designers, our customers are rest assured they will get only the best.” Ikezahu said.

While the Dubai-Based jeweler also spoke on Soso Music Worldwide, he disclosed that the music company is ready to unveil its two newly signed artiste by the end of June 2021. He said that the artistes are fired-up already and that the Nigerian music scene should be ready to witness talents like never before.

“Also, our talent management outfit is in the pipeline and will commence operation before the end of 2021, the actual goal is to fuse together Music, Fashion, and Talent management which will eventually showcase Nigeria to the world.” He added.

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SERAP asks Commonwealth to sanction Nigeria over #TwitterBan, repression


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an Urgent Appeal to Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, urging her to “apply the Commonwealth Charter to hold the Nigerian government to account over the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and the resulting repression of human rights particularly the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom, as well as flagrant disregard for the rule of law.”

The organization asked Ms Scotland to “urgently consider recommending the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth to the Heads of Government, the Commonwealth Chair-in-office, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth to push the government to take concrete measures to respect and promote the Commonwealth’s values of human rights, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.”

In the Urgent Appeal dated 5 June, 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The Nigerian government has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not committed to protecting human rights. The Commonwealth should take a clear stand to ensure accountability of institutions, freedom of expression and access to information in Nigeria.”

SERAP said: “Nigerians can only freely participate in the democratic processes and shape the society in which they live if these fundamental human rights are fully and effectively respected, protected and promoted.”

According to SERAP, “The suspension has the character of collective punishment and is antithetical to the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international obligations. Nigerian authorities would seem to be suppressing people’s access to Twitter to exploit the shutdown to cover up allegations of corruption, abuses, and restrict freedom of expression and other fundamental rights.”

The Urgent Appeal, copied to Mr António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Ms Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, read in part: “The Nigerian government has also called for the prosecution of those who violate its order suspending Twitter operations in Nigeria. This order for prosecution of Twitter users violates the legal rule that there should be no punishment without law.”

“The principle that only the law can define a crime and prescribe a penalty (nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege) is a fundamental part of Nigerian constitutional jurisprudence.”

“The Commonwealth Charter recognises the right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression and access to information, which apply both offline and online.”

“Respect for Commonwealth values is essential for citizens to trust Commonwealth institutions. The Commonwealth ought to take a strong stand for protection of human rights, transparency and the rule of law in Nigeria, principles which are fundamental to the Commonwealth’s integrity, functioning and effectiveness of its institutions.”

“Allowing citizens to freely exercise their human rights including freedom of expression and access to information without threat of reprisal or prosecution would enable them to contribute to society on issues of transparency, accountability, good governance, integrity and human rights.”

“Nigerian government has a legal responsibility under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and international human rights treaties including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to respect, protect and promote freedom of expression, access to information, and to ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to enjoy these rights.”

“The suspension of Twitter in Nigeria demonstrates the authorities’ determination to suppress all forms of peaceful dissent by the Nigerian people. There are well-founded fears that the human rights situation in Nigeria will deteriorate even further if urgent action is not taken to address it.”

“According to our information, the Nigerian government on Friday 4 June, 2021 unlawfully ordered all internet service providers to suspend Twitter in Nigeria. The suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria followed the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets, which according to Twitter ‘violated the Twitter Rules.’”

“The suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is taking place against the background of repression of the civic space and harassment of media houses, and journalists who are targeted simply for performing their professional duty.”

“The suspension of Twitter has seriously undermined transparency and accountability in government. The lack of transparency undermines the rule of law and Nigerians’ ability to participate in their own government.”

“Lack of transparency and accountability, and the absence of the rule of law in Nigeria have contributed hugely to denying Nigerians their fundamental human rights. People have been targeted simply for using Twitter and peacefully exercising their fundamental human rights.”

SERAP therefore urged the Commonwealth to:

1. Publicly condemn the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and put pressure on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the unlawful suspension;
2. Urge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to respect freedom of expression, access to information, and media freedom, as well as promote transparency and accountability, and the rule of law;
3. Urge the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the threat to prosecute Nigerians simply for peacefully exercising their rights through Twitter
4. Establish a mechanism to visit Nigeria to monitor and report on violations of Nigerians’ right to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom, absence of transparency and accountability, and persistent disregard for the rule of law, and to get to the root of the facts and circumstances of such abuses, with a view to ensuring full accountability. Such mechanism would be the right response from the Commonwealth to protect the integrity of the institutions and ensure compliance by members to the Commonwealth values as enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and declarations

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
6/6/2021
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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Itsekiri Nation Makes case for NDDC Plum Job


• Wants East West Road project extended to Warri-Benin Road

Youths in Warri Kingdom on Friday night commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his commitment to the cause of the region.
‘’We should all take a cue from this outstanding statesman and driving force behind the reinvention of the Niger Delta region’’
They also said that Akpabio had come to work, serve and make the Niger Delta region great.
‘’The Niger Delta region is progressing steadily’’
At a ceremony organised to honour Akpabio in Warri, the youths critically assessed Akpabio’s performance and scored it excellent.
Speaker after speaker hailed Akpabio for the multiple dividends of democracy, his efforts to revolutionize the Niger Delta region and uplift the lot of his people.
The youths expressed satisfaction with the level of performance of the development agency and the on-going NDDC forensic audit.
The event drew who-is-who in Warri Kingdom and many youths and elders from other parts of Delta State.
Chairman of All Itsekiri Youth Associations (AIYA), Dr. Omatshola Sagay, praised Akpabio for making the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is a pragmatic and visionary leader who thinks ahead of his people. He is the best thing happening in the Niger Delta region’’.
The Itsekiri youths and elders who spoke in one voice urged youths in other parts of the region to give peace a chance, which they said was necessary for development of the oil and non-oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
‘’Everybody in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of his/her status or political leaning should join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio in the onerous task of moving the Niger Delta region forward’’
They described the seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a major breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta by certain people as ridiculous.
The youths suggested that current moves to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should include the consideration of someone from Itsekiri nation.
Warri Kingdom is the highest oil producing area in Delta State.
They also urged Buhari to extend the construction of the East West Road to Warri -Benin Road.