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Senate Threatens to Shut Down NASS over Continuous Killings

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has said the National Assembly may be shut to help President Muhammadu Buhari administration find an end to the spate of killings by herdsmen and militias across the country.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly  also noted that the campaign by the Federal Government for more foreign direct investments in the country would fail if the spate of insecurity persisted.

Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary on Tuesday, spoke while ruling on a motion moved by Senator Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa-South) over the continued killings in his senatorial district.

Adokwe said, “Throughout the weekend to this moment, herdsmen have unleashed mayhem on the people of my senatorial district, leaving many dead bodies, numerous injured persons and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons.

“The victims are largely the Tiv speaking ethnic nationalities, with a reported dead toll of 32 persons, and we are still counting.”

The senator described the attacks as “a well -coordinated and simultaneous carnage” across Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma Local Government areas of the southern senatorial district.

“The tragedy is that for four days running, this mayhem has continued unhindered, unchecked, unstopped by any arm of the law and security enforcement agencies.

“Indeed, right under the nose of the armed forces and the police, this killing is sustained by sheer negligence or refusal to act by the security agencies. It is very sad that in Nigeria, with all the security forces, a whole senatorial district will go on being punished by militia and no action coming from government,” Adokwe said.

Making reference to the recent call by a former Chief of Army Staff and ex-Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers, the lawmaker said the call was right.

He said, “It is no wonder that very eminent Nigerian citizens have urged Nigerians to defend themselves because their security is in their own hands and no longer in the hands of the Nigerian security forces.

“I am very emotional on this matter and I am not one given to emotion very easily. But what I have gone through this weekend is very horrifying; it is very distressing and sad. It is as if we are in a lawless society where life is brutish; where there is absence of state powers. We call on the Federal Government to stop this carnage.”

Several senators who spoke on the killings decried that Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, had not done enough to end the attacks. Some of them also accused the security agencies of negligence and bias.

After the debate on the motion, which lasted about one hour, Ekweremadu stated that there was the need for the legislature to do more in seeking an end to the killings.

He pointed out that the National Assembly could not exist without the people who the members are representing. He also said there would be no election if the electorate had been killed.

Ekweremadu said, “If we have nobody to represent, nobody will have a job here. So, security is more important than any other thing that we do here.

“If it gets to a level where we have to shut down this National Assembly and sit down with the executive for as long as it lasts to resolve the problem, we will have to do that.”

The Deputy Senate President said the chamber deliberately gave the matter the attention and priority it deserved through the debate.

He said, “As we have pointed out, the primary purpose of government anywhere in the world is the preservation of the lives of citizens.”

The Deputy Senate President pointed out that such trends would not have lasted in a country like South Africa. He said Nigeria should seek help from other countries if it had been overwhelmed by the security challenge.

He said, “I ask myself: assuming this is happening in America, in the United Kingdom or France, will it take all this time to be resolved? Not even in South Africa. But it appears that we are taking too many things for granted. The time has come for us to seek help from other countries. We should not be ashamed to ask for help.”

In his contribution, Senator Barnabas Gemade backed Danjuma on his self-help call, alleging that there was an ongoing cleansing of his ethnic group, Tiv.

He said, “This country is becoming a state without control. It is a state in which we have seen ethnic cleansing.

“It is a shame that a sitting government could watch criminality go to the level that we have seen it today. Rather than rise up and take very decisive steps against it, we embark on denials and shield this evil by just explaining, with flimsy excuses, that these are communal clashes between communities.

“The carnage in Nasarawa-South affects mainly people of my ethnic group, who are in large population in Nasarawa-South. It is the same kind of killing that is going on in the Goma, Logo and Gwer West local government areas of Benue State. And it is the same kind of killing we are witnessing in Wukari and Takum LGAs. It is targeted at a particular ethnic nationality – my own people.

“I don’t understand why responsible people elected to control the government of Nigeria will simply turn away from the reality of this matter.

“Yet, there are people who are armed and are killing people as they like. And the Inspector-General of Police would fly by helicopter to a town, land in the market square and be asking people whether there was any militia in the town or not. And nobody seems to caution anybody. This is very sad. We have done enough of a minute silence for innocent Nigerians being killed.”

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Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Slashes Transport by 25%, Approves 3-Day Work Week

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Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 25 per cent slash in transport fares for government-owned transport schemes.

Sanwo-Olu, who made this announcement during a live media chat tagged: ‘Sanwo Speaks,’ on Thursday, said that civil servants from levels 1–14 will begin to work three days a week as part of measures to ease the economic challenges.

He explained that the forum was meant to intimate residents of measures adopted to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

The governor noted that workers in the teaching sector will, however, maintain the five-day-a-week work schedule, while the government will ensure additional transportation support for them.

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Hardship Caused by APC under Buhari, Reason Tinubu’s Unable to Speak Out, Says Gbenga Daniel

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The Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has expressed his wish that President Bola Tinubu should speak on the already failed economy he inherited from former President Muhammadu Buhari, detailing the efforts he has put in to strengthen the economy since assuming office.

Senator Daniel added that Tinubu has refrained from speaking because the same party he is standing for, was largely responsible for the misdeeds in the past.

The former Governor of Ogun State noted that Tinubu could not talk about the realities at the moment, pleading with Nigerians to persevere and show understanding and cooperation with the present administration as it remains committed to a more prosperous nation.

He further appealed to Nigerians to encourage the president, emphasising that he has done a lot in salvaging the country.

Daniel, who admitted hardship in the country, hinted that the menace was caused by the past government but hoped for better days.

“Our President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has done a lot. I wish he could talk now but he can’t talk because this is the same party he stood for, so he can’t; but from what I know we just have to praise his courage. We know things are very difficult but we need to encourage Mr. President, we urge our people to be patient, by the special grace of God everything will be alright.”

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Atiku’s Aide Accuses Tinubu’s Govt of Diverting Funds Through Fake Petrol Subsidy

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Phrank Shaibu, a Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has alleged that the refusal of the Federal government to react to recent reports on the return of petrol subsidy shows that public funds have started going into private pockets.

Shaibu made the allegation through a statement while reacting to reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Nigerian government has begun paying petrol subsidy again.

According to media reports, monthly subsidy payment is nearly N1 trillion, far in excess of exceeds the amount paid monthly by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Reacting to the allegation, Shaibu said it has become clear that one of the reasons the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has not been paying the required amount of money into the government’s account is because monies are being diverted under an opaque and secret subsidy regime.

He alleged: “Tinubu has been boasting at every economic forum that he deserves to be in the Guinness Book of records for removing petrol subsidy.

“He even said before ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York last September that the ‘corrupt subsidy’ regime and FX issues had been resolved.

“But as every other thing relating to Tinubu, this has turned out to be another lie from the pit of hell. Currently, the exchange rate based on what the Central Bank of Nigeria recommended to the Nigeria Customs Service is N1515/$1.

“Hence diesel price is now over N1,200 but petrol is still selling for between N600 and N700.

“Nigeria is the only country in the world where such disparity between diesel and petrol exists. It has become obvious that petrol subsidy has returned through the backdoor.

“With the return of petrol subsidy, oil marketers have opted out and that is why the NNPC has returned to being the sole importer of petrol once more and has the temerity to be announcing that it will not increase petrol cost regardless of the international price of crude oil and the exchange rate.

“To be clear, petrol subsidy in itself is not a bad thing when it is done transparently.”

Shaibu added: “Former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, expressed shock last month that NNPC was still not remitting FX into government’s accounts.

“It is now obvious why this has been happening. Subsidy has returned but it is now being done in a corrupt and secret manner as funds are now being diverted into private pockets even worse than under Buhari. This is the Tinubu Lagos legacy from Lagos State.”

Shaibu said it was disappointing that the Finance Minister, Wale Edun; and CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, who both claimed to have gotten their appointments based on their expertise had failed to speak up but had continued to cover up the petrol subsidy.

He also alleged that the Tinubu government had continued to frustrate the takeoff of the Dangote refinery which would have at least reduced Nigeria’s FX demands.

“The media reported last week that lingering regulatory approvals have stalled Dangote Petrochemical Refinery’s plan to release aviation fuel (Jet A1) and diesel for sale in the Nigerian market.

“At the same time, Dangote refinery has been struggling to get the needed crude oil and has decided to import from the United States while the NNPC which has no business with monetary policy, committed Nigeria’s crude oil for a $3.3 billion Afreximbank loan ostensibly to stabilise the naira.

“It is obvious that Tinubu and his so-called economic team are quacks, charlatans who put their personal interest ahead of that of the country. With such Lilliputians at the helm of affairs, Nigeria’s economic woes are about to go from bad to worse,” Shaibu added.

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