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Kaduna under 24hrs curfew, government warns residents against disobedience

By NewsDesk,

Kaduna State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna town and environs with immediate effect.

The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan stated this on Sunday in Kaduna.

“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect.

“Residents are advised to comply by this directive.
The decision has been taken in the best interest of the state,” Governor Nasir El-Rufai tweeted.

The curfew is a fallout of the violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area, where a market dispute between porters led to the killing of 55 people and the burning of many homes, between 18 and 19 October.

Aruwan said the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs was a preemptive measure to avert breakdown of law and order.

He said the decision was based on the advice of security chiefs in the state.

A curfew was already in place in Kasuwan Magani.

Simon said that the church officials reported the matter to the police and the man was arrested and taken away by the police.

“However, around 3 pm we heard gun shots around the market area with people running in all directions, houses were being burnt and everyone was running for his life.

“Although military and police officers are all over the place, we heard gun shots all over the place,” she said.

Another resident, Julius John said: “I don’t know what is happening, I am in my house, but all I can hear is gunshots with people shouting and running.”

At Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market, a trader, Ibrahim Ya’u said that it was a spontaneous reaction as people “just started running when they heard there is crises in town.

“Most traders quickly closed their shops to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to steal our goods.”

Some youths who reportedly blocked the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and Ahmadu Bello Way burning tires, were later dispersed by security agents.

“In the pandemonium, a car ran over my brother, a fruit seller at Lagos street. We are trying to get the police to help us take him to the hospital,” a resident, Malam Abubakar Abdullahi, told NAN.

In Janruwa community, a resident informed NAN that the youths there had barricaded the road, stopping and searching vehicles coming from both direction.

Stranded commuters from across the city were seen trekking to their destinations as vehicle owners kept off the roads.

Foreign minister on special envoy mission, to discuss political situation in Mali

By NewsDesk,

President Muhammadu Buhari, as Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, has sent Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, as a Special Envoy to Bamako Mali to discuss the political situation in the county.

Onyeama was accompanied by President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean -Claude Kassi Brou.

Ms Sarah Sanda, the Special Assistant, Media to Foreign Affairs Minister, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

She said the delegation was in Mali ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections.

The elections had initially been slated for Oct. 28, but they were postponed by the government till Nov. 25, followed by a run-off on Dec. 16 in constituencies where no candidate wins outright.

Last week, Mali’s constitutional court reportedly delayed the country’s parliamentary elections until 2019 by extending the mandate of lawmakers for six months.
According to Sanda, the team on arrival in Bamako met with Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Mahamat Saleh Annadit.

The delegation, she said, met with the Representatives of the African Union and European Union, as well as Ambassadors of France and The Netherlands.

She said that the delegation also met with the main opposition leader and Presidential Candidate Soumaila Cisse, who lost to incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in a second-round runoff vote held on August 12.

The delegation also met with Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, and President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita with some Cabinet Ministers in attendance.

She said that Onyeama delivered President Buhari’s message to all the stakeholders in all the meetings.

Onyeama said that Buhari as Chairman of ECOWAS called on Malian authorities to ensure “inclusivity in nation building and politics” as the country prepares for parliamentary elections.

”It has to be all about the country, people, development and good governance.

”We begin to have problems when it starts to be about individuals so he wanted us to communicate this message,” he said.

Onyeama said that Buhari’s message was very well received as the Malians have a lot of respect for him and want him to play a role in shepherding the country forward.

Oshiomole raises alarm over vote-of-no confidence gang-up

By NewsDesk,

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has alleged that conservatives within the party were ganging up to pass a vote of no-confidence on him.

In a long statement by his press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, Oshiomhole said his sin was his refusal to allow continued impunity and circumvention of due process being perpetuated in some states.

He said he was not surprised by the gang up, as he never had the illusion that the process of reforming the party was going to be an easy on one.

The full statement:

“The All Progressives Congress, APC, under the national chairmanship of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is in safe hands as the party marches, sure-footedly, to victory in the 2019 general election. This is the overarching mission of the national working committee, NWC, of the party under his leadership.

“To be clear, Comrade Oshiomhole did not become national chairman of the governing party to bring it down a notch from the pedestal of its 2015 electoral victory let alone to preside over its liquidation.

“Rather, his single-minded goal, from the outset of his declaration of interest in the position, was to deploy his capacity in helping to strengthen and reposition the party as a truly supreme and disciplined political entity.

“Although, it might appear fortuitous to some persons that he became national chairman at the threshold of the 2019 general election; the truth is that there is no accident in predestination. We must appreciate the fact that it has pleased the Almighty God to place him in the saddle of APC leadership at this time for a purpose.

“The purpose has begun to manifest in its vast flourish and ramifications: instilling discipline, ensuring party supremacy, promoting due process, dealing with impunity and executive arrogance wherever they manifest to undermine intra-party electoral processes in the states.

“From the outset, we never expected that those who cherished and supported the status quo, which Comrade Oshiomhole supplanted, would cave in easily under the magnitude of the current political revival that he spearheads. Indeed, while the progressives are enamoured of change, the conservatives find it difficult to embrace it. That is the current reality in the deliberate effort to rebrand the APC.

“Again, we were not, in the least, deluded that the process of rebranding or rewriting the narrative of the four-year old party would be easy. What we are witnessing in the APC today is Comrade Oshiomhole’s adroit management of the strains and pains that accompany the birth of a resuscitated governing party.

“The leadership provided in the recently-held primary elections and the large-scale integrity of the processes are developments that should hence serve as exemplars in the administration of governing parties.

“Indeed, the message therein is very clear that the party, and not pseudo political empires in the states, has the power to superintend the primary elections for the nomination of the party’s candidates in the general election.

While the party will not surrender its functions, which are constitutionally circumscribed, to any other entities, it will always be ready to moderate the divergent tendencies and mediate the disparate political camps in the interest of party cohesion.

“This is one of the hard-nosed truths that the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC preaches and practises with an apostolic zeal to the chagrin of some influential stakeholders in the states.

“Comrade Oshiomhole envisions an APC that is capacitated to pragmatically build a corpus of leadership and membership that do not only submit to the high ideal of party supremacy, but also the credo of party discipline.

“These-party supremacy and discipline- are two fundamentals that had been eroded even before the emergence of the Oshiomhole leadership. It is sad that while the national chairman is working round the clock, some stakeholders have thrown selfish political agendas into the mix to threaten the building of institutional capacity for the APC.”

“The suggestion in some quarters, especially by one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the party, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, that the APC cannot win with Oshiomhole is therefore unfair, denigrating and baleful of Comrade Oshiomhole’s personal commitment to a rejuvenated winning machine that the APC typifies.

“The totality of Unagha’s claims, without necessarily addressing them one after the other, tallies with cooked-up narratives being sponsored by some influential stakeholders in their respective states that Comrade Oshiomhole is responsible for all the problems in the APC at the moment.

“These influential stakeholders, according to grapevine, have begun to mobilise to pass a no-confidence vote in the leadership of Oshiomhole, having failed to impose their preferred candidates on the party in the nomination process.

“Rather than resort to needless perfidy at the threshold of a general election, we call on them to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship, bolstered by the fact that the Oshiomhole leadership is propelled more by its interest in propriety in which victory for the party could be grounded.

“The crime committed by Comrade Oshhiomhole’s leadership is its disdain for impunity and circumvention of due process perpetrated in some of the states at the pleasure of some influential stakeholders.

“Overall, Comrade Oshiomhole has not, since stepping in the saddle, taken any unilateral decision in the running of the party affairs. All decisions, so far taken, passed through the mills of NWC deliberative sessions and enjoyed unanimous resolutions. The records are there. History will justify Comrade Oshiomhole and posterity will vindicate him.

“Therefore, with eyes firmly fixed on the general election, especially the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the scheduled February 16 poll, Comrade Oshiomhole assures all stakeholders in the APC of his respect for them. He assures them of his readiness to work with them for the good of the party.

“The comrade chairman also proposes a common front in the general election and believes that the APC, as a governing party, will do a commemorative post mortem next year to appraise and reappraise the political developments and decisions that presaged the election, which it would win emphatically.”

Sanwo-Olu assures religious, ethnic groups, others good government, participatory administration

By NewsDesk, 

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Lagos State chapter governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured leaders of various Islamic and christian bodies that he would not leave any stone untouched, should he get elected as governor of the state during forthcoming governorship election.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu also promised non-indigenous groups, including Hausa community, Ijaw group, Igbo, Nupe, Ibera among others who reside in Lagos, that his government would ensure that a participatory administration is put in place, such that would carry all groups along, in policy and program wise,

The Director General, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), Tayo Ayinde, said that the need to recognize contributions of religious bodies, as well as that of other groups, must not be denied and that the governorship candidate has demonstrated strength for participatory government that would have all communities as entity of his administration.

Speaking during a meeting with Islamic and christian leaders of various groups in Lagos, yesterday, Ayinde explained that Sanwo-Olu’s administration, should he get elected, would recognize and give all bodies sense of belonging, and as well pay adequate attentions to needs of every members of non-indigenous groups who reside in Lagos.

He disclosed that the governorship candidate and BOSCO, under his leadership, had met with various groups including those considered as grassroot managers and that the motive behind the move was to ensure that all stakeholders were carried along on policy and program of Sanwo-Olu.

According to him, the governorship candidate’s priority has remain on how Lagos residents, religious bodies, other various groups will be well informed and carried along on policy of incoming administration and BOSCO has continued spreading the gospel.

“Sanwo-Olu’s aim is to inculcate needs of every communities into his policy and programs and that is why he has been meeting with groups since after he was announced winner of Lagos chapter of APC recently conducted governorship primary election”.

“The incoming governor has been communicating his readiness to run a participatory government because he has understanding on needs of people particularly that of religious bodies and indigene of other states who are residing in Lagos”.

The campaign group’s head stated that BOSCO would continue its recognition of groups and individuals who have been exhibiting interests and pledging supports for Sanwo-Olu’ candidacy, and that the office was opened to others communities who were yet to show up.

However, in a separate development, Ayinde informed leaders of students’ unions of various tertiary institutions in Lagos, who had also pledged support for Sanwo-Olu, that the campaign office would not hesitate to work with unions, should they extend supportive hands to the organization.

At an interactive session, the DG assured the leaders that the governorship candidate would recognize all Lagos tertiary institutions’ student unions and ensure they participate in his administration’s police and programs after 2019 governorship election.

South Africa planning incentives to revive ailing economy

By News Desk,

Embattled South Africa is planning to introduce new incentives in key industrial sectors and reduced red-tape in order to revive the country’s moribund economy.

The economy which got into technical recession recently, is getting messier because of the increasingly hostile international trade environment.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the government would target industries such as auto and agro-processing and continental trade relations as part of a package to draw investors back to South Africa.

He said the state had also reviewed its bureaucratic red tape to make it easier for investors to start new businesses in the country.

“Some of them (incentives) are sectoral, we have the motor programme, the clothing and textile programme, we also have a business processing services programme as well as the agro-processing programme,” Davies said.

“There are also tax incentives. There are specific incentives that apply to the special economic zones (SEZ).

“In addition the Department of Trade and Industry provides infrastructure and support for the institution of the SEZ.

“In addition to that, there is a tax incentive for companies that invest in the SEZ. There is a suite of incentives which we communicate to investors domestic and foreign which are crucial for making investment decisions.”

In a frank and wide-ranging interview ahead of the Investment Summit next week, Davies painted a bleak future for the South African economy, saying yesterday that next week’s presidential summit and the medium-term Budget policy statement would help kick-start the economy.

Davies conceded that some of South Africa’s economic problems were self-inflicted, pointing to rampant corruption and state capture that had turned investors away.

He said key government institutions were also performing below their capacity and that this had undermined investor confidence in the country.

“Our abilities to influence the economy have been weakened,” he said. “Some of those include, for example, tenders that have been problematic and were given to consortiums involved in imports rather than manufacturing locally.”

Davies said the government was worried about the continuing trade spat between the US and China and its impact on South Africa’s exports to the US.

He said there were plans to increase the local content of assembled cars to 60 percent by 2035 from the current 38 percent.

South Africa fell into a technical recession after recording negative growth in the second quarter, and unemployment rising above 27 percent as output in the manufacturing and mining sectors stagnated.

The country also had to grapple with policy uncertainties and inconsistencies, onerous regulations which curtailed growth.

Davies said – without mentioning the SA Revenue Service by name – that the outlook in the immediate and medium term would remain bleak as revenue collection was expected to come under pressure.

He said the government was moving with speed to address investor concerns and had already taken steps to return create certainty in renewable energy and gazetting the revised mining charter.

“All of these have resulted in an improvement in the investment pipeline,” Davies said.

“The (investment) summit will showcase important investment announcements, and it will also be an opportunity to engage investors.

There is an appreciation for a new dawn and a willingness to realise opportunities that were put on hold in the recent past rather than being pushed forward.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a bold plan to attract $100 billion (R1.42 trillion) of investment for the country in the next five years in April.

Ramaphosa also appointed envoys including Afropulse chairperson Phumzile Langeni, Standard Bank group chief executive Jaco Maree, former finance minister Trevor Manuel and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas to champion the investments drive.

Davies said the government had targeted industries such as mining, agriculture and mining to kick-start the economy.

He said the government also planned to seize the opportunities presented by regional integration and the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area to produce more goods for other African markets.

Former Chief Justice Idris Kutigi dies

By News Desk,

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi is dead. He was 78 years old.

Niger state commissioner for Information, Danjuma Sallau said Kutigi died in a London Hospital.

Idris Legho Kutigi was the chief justice of Nigeria between 2007 and 2009 and after retirement, he was made the chairman of the Constitutional Conference set up by the Jonathan administration in 2014.

Kutigi was born on 31 December 1939 in Kutigi, Lavun local government of Niger State.

He began his early education in the town and later had his secondary education in Bida and Barewa College in Zaria.

He also graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, after which he left for England, where he studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Gibson and Weldon, before returning to attend the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.

Justice Kutigi served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State until 1976, when he was appointed high court judge.

He was on the bench in Niger for more than 10 years before his appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court in 1992.

He became the chief justice in 2007, succeeding Justice Alfa Belgore.

He retired on 30 December 2009 and did the unusual by swearing in his successor, Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, who died in July. He did so because President Umaru Yar’Adua was not in the country at the time, due to ill-health.

Labor unions may shutdown economy over minimum wage

By NewsDesk,

Three major unions in Nigeria said they will call out workers on nationwide strike on November 6, if the Federal Government fails to meet its demand on the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 agreed upon.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) made this known on Sunday in a statement jointly signed with Mr Bobbio Kaigama, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Mr Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC).

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) recalls that the unions had said that the Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage had concluded its negotiations and agreed on N30, 000 following an appeal made by Organised Private Sector (OPS).

Wabba said since the government appears unwilling to cave in to their demands, the unions have resolved to organise a one-day of National outrage and mourning, which would be used to sensitise Nigerians on the workers’ plight and on the issues at stake.

“This shall take place in all states of the federation including Abuja on Tuesday, the 30th day of October, 2018 and a meeting of various organs of the Unions will hold as appropriate.

“On Friday, Nov. 2, a Joint Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of all the Labour Centres in Nigeria shall hold to receive reports and make final preparations for our ultimate engagement with the Federal Government on this matter.

“ This is the first time in the history of this nation in recent times that such meeting will take place and this goes a long way to show the seriousness with which Nigerian workers and its leadership hold this matter.

“If nothing is responsibly done by the Federal Government to meet our demands, on Monday, Nov.6 we shall embark on a nationwide strike,’’ he said.

He added that this would compel government to show more sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and the suffering that is decimating our people on daily basis.

Wabba also called on Nigerians and workers not to be discouraged in the struggle for the new National Minimum Wage.

He explained that it was not true that organised labour had proposed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

“It is also not true that the committee did not agree on a figure during its last sitting. We accepted N30,000 as a compromise to demonstrate the willingness of Nigerian workers to make sacrifices towards nation building.

“ Anything to the contrary no matter the quantum and character of the din or how well couched it may appear cannot be true.

“ Resorting to Goebbelsianism at this time of national emergency, which requires men and women of integrity is rather unfortunate and cannot suddenly make the brazen falsehoods truths.

“’We believe that it has become necessary for the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as represented in the Tripartite Committee to speak up on this matter.

“ Keeping silent in the face of this apparent mischief does our nation no good. It can only help mischief, dishonesty and impunity to grow,” Wabba said.

The NLC president, however, said it was time for the OPS to rise to the occasion by telling Nigerians what transpired in that meeting.

Wabba added that they should tell Nigerians whether there was a consensus on a final figure.

“ If there was a document signalling this agreement that had already been signed by some parties?

“ If also the N30,000 figure was ours or a compromised figure based on proposed scenarios,”’ he said.

Canada running out of marijuana two days after it became legal

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

Canadians were so excited about getting their hands on some legal, recreational marijuana the country is reportedly experiencing a shortage.

Police were called to help shops struggling to handle long queues and with frustrated people unable to buy cannabis.

Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief who has led the government’s legalisation programme, told public broadcaster CBC the country was unable to supply enough to meet demand.

“We expected, you know, certain strains might run out and there would be a bit of a run on supply,” he said.

“But, you know, they’ve got a pretty good infrastructure in place and I’m confident it will work.”

On Wednesday Canada became the first industrialised nation and only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalise recreational cannabis as part of a controversial experiment in drug policy.

Under the new law, citizens will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis in public and each household will be able to grow up to four marijuana plants.

Buhari tasks traditional rulers on nation’s unity

By News Desk,

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on traditional rulers across the country to continue to build bridges of unity to ensure the development of the country.

Buhari made the disclosure at the official launch of a book “the Benin Monarchy an Anthology of Benin history” held in Benin on Saturday in commemoration of the 2nd coronation anniversary of the Oba of Benin Oba Ewuare 11.

The president  was  represented by the Secretary to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha.

He commended the good relationship that exist between the Sultanate and the Benin Kingdom saying it should cut across the country.

He said traditional institutions must continue to stay abreast with the digital changes in the world and should not allow the changes to affect the preservation of customs, languages and tradition of the people.

Buhari congratulated Oba Ewuare 11 and the council of chiefs for preserving the Benin culture, saying that the kingdom is a role model for others to copy.

He further called on traditional rulers across the country to join hand with the Federal Government in preaching against hate speech and money politics as the 2019 elections draws nearer.

The Chairman of the occasion, Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon commending the outstanding features of the Benin Monarchy describing the book a masterpiece that tells African history written by Africans.

“One of the tragedies of Africa is that our story has always being told by others from their own perspective and from their own purpose.

“The result is that much of the narratives of our continent have been a distorted picture against this background, we appreciate the impact of this singular effort of telling the history of the Benin Kingdom,’’ he said.

Also speaking, former President Good luck Jonathan said the Benin Kingdom had always made the country proud via its rich history and well structured governance system.

Jonathan commended the Oba of Benin for his resourcefulness and protection of his people.

In his remarks, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo assured that the construction of Benin Royal Museum would be completed before Oct. 20, 2021.

He said he took the decision to complete the project at the recent meeting of the Benin Dialogue Group which was made up of all prominent museums in Europe.

“We also got the commitment of the group to return many of the works that were taken from the palace during the expedition in 1987”, the governor said.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Sultan of Sokoto, former governors of Edo, Chief John Oyegun and Adams Oshiomhole, Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense among others.

LASG votes N25bn for empowerment programmes – Commissioner

By News Desk,

The Lagos State Government has earmarked N25 billion to facilitate multifarious vocational training programmes under Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s leadership.

The Commissioner, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Lola Akande, made the disclosure at the 2018 National Insurance Brokers Conference on Saturday in Lagos.

The commissioner spoke on the sub-theme: “Grassroots Development and Poverty Alleviation: The Insurance Alternative’’.

Over 500 insurance practitioners participated in the conference with the theme: “Insurance industry, thrive and survive’’.

Akande said that the major challenge confronting most developing countries, including Nigeria, was poverty.

“Poverty as a disease can engender several other problems including social vices, criminality and emotional challenges.

“It is often said that poverty leads to criminality because an hungry man is not only an angry man but a dangerous fellow,’’ she said.

The commissioner urged private and public sectors to develop ingenious strategies to alleviate poverty.

She noted that the state government had already put in place some measures to tackle such future challenges.

Akande said that empowerment had been a front burner issue for the past and present leaderships because poverty could only be surmounted through empowerment projects and programmes.

“Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, has not withheld his resources from providing veritable platforms upon which multifarious vocational training programmes can be obtained on tuition-free basis,’’ she said.

She said that over 18,000 students had passed through the centres in the past one year and many of them were empowered at the end of their training.

“This informed the creation of 17 functional skills acquisition centres across the five divisions of the state, where beneficiaries are empowered after completing their training.

“The state government, also, through the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment set up the Employment Trust Fund to promote entrepreneurial activities to assist women in their businesses, ‘’ the commissioner said.

According to her, the main objective of the fund is to encourage the spirit of enterprise among our young people.

She commended the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) for sustaining the tempo of regulation of insurance brokers, in spite of the industry’s challenges of poor image and poor acceptability of insurance.

Akande urged industry players to evolve cheaper insurance policies that could stabilise the micro-traders.

She said that once insurance industry can step up its mitigating services to entrepreneurs, “Grassroots Development and Poverty Alleviation’’ will be enhanced.