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Stop Chasing Igboho, Apologise To him, Soyinka Tells FG

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says it is not criminal or illegal for anyone to express intention to leave any federation.

How can you place the will for separation as a criminal act? That kind of language doesn’t exist in the constitution, it doesn’t exist in law. It does not exist in the catalogue of immoralities because it is not an immoral act or position to say that you want to stop being part of an entity or you want to join an entity,” he said.

Soyinka subsequently gave examples of people who left a federation or a union to form or join another state including the Bakassi people of Southern Nigeria who seceded to Cameroon.

He also condemned as “bizarre”, the midnight raid by the Department of State Services on the Ibadan house of Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, last Thursday.

Soyinka, who spoke during an interview with BBC News Pidgin on Monday monitored by aso Naija, urged the government to apologise to Igboho.

It was reported that the DSS on Thursday paraded 13 of Igboho’s guards and close associates in Abuja. The DSS also said it killed two of his associates in a gun duel.

READ ALSO: Allow Experts To Tackle Economic Challenges, Instructs Buhari

Though Igboho had escaped the raid, his house and cars were riddled with bullets while bloodstains splattered over the floors of the house.

The secret police had since declared Igboho wanted. The activist is being accused of stockpiling weapons to destabilise the country under the guise of agitation for Yoruba nation but he has since denied the allegation, saying he protects himself with charms and not weapons.

Commenting on Monday, Soyinka said, “More important for me is the position of the government, saying that the ‘existence of these weapons’ proved that he (Igboho) was planning war against the state. That position, very loaded statement, was simply deliberate to conflict issues. It was to obscure the fact that Igboho and other people, myself included, have been decrying the loss of lives of law-abiding citizens, farmers especially all over the nation. Not just civilians, (Ex-Minister of Defense, Gen. Theophilus) Danjuma (retd.), told the people, ‘Don’t trust the military anymore, defend yourself’. Some other voices like governors have made similar statements.

“Now, Igboho, even if he had those weapons, he is claiming that his mission is to liberate his people from the tyranny of squatters, who now become violent overlords, and he has a good cause in that sense. Testimonies of farmers who have been brutalised, dehumanised by these squatters, who have acknowledged and identified themselves as Fulani, over decades of this anomalous kind of situation in which the people did not receive the necessary, mandatory and entitled defence and protection by the security forces, in which sometimes, it is the victims who’ve been jailed, the recent case in Ibarapa for instance, is a personal testimony of those who were arrested and detained by the police simply for going to challenge those who were terrorising and raping their women.

“So, now, you have a situation where the government is saying the ‘existence of these weapons’ means that Igboho is planning an armed insurrection against the state. The whole thing from beginning to the end just stinks: the raid, the motivation has become very implausible.”

Soyinka faulted the Federal Government for also not describing AK-47-wielding herdsmen as terrorists waging a violent insurrection against the Nigerian state.

“My advice to the government is that they should stop pursuing Igboho as a criminal because you have begun by acting in a criminal fashion against him,” he stated.

“If and when Igboho comes to trial, I guarantee you the government will be very embarrassed.

“I think they should tell Igboho: ‘We made a mistake, we should not have acted in this way, you are no longer wanted, go back to your home’. In fact, escort him to his home and let him resume his normal life,” the Nobel Laureate added.

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NEWS

Nigeria Customs Service To Distribute Seized Food Items to Aid Nigerians in Hardship

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced its intention to distribute food items seized from smugglers to assist Nigerians in alleviating the current difficulties faced in the country, Aso Naija Reports.

On Tuesday, February 20, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, revealed the service’s plans to distribute the confiscated food items to Nigerians.

He emphasized that the distribution would only take place after all the food items had been certified safe for human consumption.

A statement released by the National Public Relations Officer of the service, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada, explained that the Nigeria Customs Service would facilitate the direct disposal of food items forfeited to the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Former APC Campaign Director Reveals: Tinubu Admitted He Had No Plans on How to Govern Nigeria

These items would undergo certification by relevant agencies to ensure their suitability for consumption.

Subsequently, they would be made available to ordinary Nigerians nationwide through equitable distribution in the service’s Areas of Operations.

The specific details and procedures for the disposal will be communicated through NCS formations across the country.

Additionally, the NCS assures the public of its commitment to transparency, fairness, and public safety throughout this process.

It pledges to manage this exercise diligently to ensure that the benefits reach those who are most in need.

 

 

The Nigeria Customs Service maintains its unwavering dedication to safeguarding the nation’s food security and advancing the economic well-being of all Nigerians.

It expresses gratitude for the support and cooperation of the public and remains confident in overcoming these challenges to pave the way for a more prosperous future for the nation.

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Former APC Campaign Director Reveals: Tinubu Admitted He Had No Plans on How to Govern Nigeria

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Key Notes

  1.  Hajiya Naja’atu Muhammad, a former campaign director of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, disclosed that President Bola Tinubu admitted to her that he had no plans or blueprints on how to govern Nigeria before the 2023 General Elections.
  2. The conversation took place during a meeting in London prior to the polls, where President Tinubu mentioned that the plans for his governance would be developed after winning the elections.
  3.  Mrs. Muhammad expressed her concern about President Tinubu’s competence and questioned how he could rule without a blueprint in place.
  4. Despite her efforts to address critical issues such as the Almajiri system, agriculture, and security, Mrs. Muhammad has not been granted an opportunity to present her blueprint to President Tinubu.
  5. The revelation raises doubts and concerns about President Tinubu’s suitability for leadership and his preparedness to govern Nigeria effectively.

 

In a recent interview on AIT News, Hajiya Naja’atu Muhammad, a former campaign director of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, disclosed that President Bola Tinubu admitted to her that he did not have any blueprints on how to govern Nigeria before the 2023 General Elections.

Mrs. Muhammad’s revelation sheds light on her decision to resign from the ruling party prior to the election.

During a meeting in London before the polls, President Tinubu informed her that the plans for his governance would be developed after the election.

READ ALSO: President Tinubu’s Daughter Begs Nigerians To Be Patience Amid Economic Hardship

The former Campaign Director recounted the conversation, stating,

“Then I saw a message saying that Asiwaju wants to talk to you. Around 11:00 PM, so I gave them a reply. I’m waiting.

Immediately they saw my text, so they called me back, and Asiwaju called me. He said, ‘I respect your stance on not accepting the appointment.’ I said, ‘Yes, Sir, because I can’t be a zombie.

I just can’t follow you because you said I should follow you. Let me know what you have for us up north. Because if I made a mistake on Buhari with you, the truth is written on the horizon.

So I have to know what you have for us.’ He said he was in London and asked if I could go over. He offered to buy me a ticket. I said no, Sir, I can afford a ticket.

And then he said, ‘Can I get a hotel for you?’ I said yes, that I would appreciate it. I took the next Lufthansa flight to London. I saw him that same night. And we sat.

READ ALSO: Breaking News: Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Soars to 5% in Q3’23

And I said, ‘Sir, the reason why I’m not accepting your appointment is because I don’t know what you have for us up north.

Because in the North, every single person is either waiting to be killed or kidnapped.

We can’t go on like this. What is your blueprint for us?’ He told me that he doesn’t have anything for us.”

Mrs. Muhammad further explained, “I said, ‘You mean, Sir, you don’t have a blueprint?’ He said, ‘I can’t have a blueprint because if I have a blueprint, I’ll be stepping on too many toes and they might even kill me.’ This was what he said.

I said, ‘But sir, how can you rule without a blueprint?’ He said, ‘I’ll only make a blueprint after winning the elections.’ I said, ‘There will be a lot of distractions after winning the elections. You have to keep your eyes on the ball.’ He said, ‘Well, you know what? If you have anything you want me to put in my manifesto, then please bring it.’

I told him that I have elders. We have a network for national salvation. I have our elder. I’ll go meet him in Paris the next day. The next day, I left for Paris.”

Mrs. Muhammad expressed her disappointment at not being able to meet with Tinubu again to present the blueprint.

Despite her efforts to address important issues such as the Almajiri system, agriculture, and security, she has not been granted an audience with him.

This revelation by Mrs. Muhammad highlights the lack of concrete plans presented by President Tinubu for his potential governance of Nigeria, raising concerns about his suitability for the role.

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EDUCATION

ASUU Abuja Zone: 46 Members Lost due to Economic Hardship

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KEY NOTES 

  • ASUU Abuja Zone has experienced the tragic loss of 46 members.

  • The losses can be attributed to economic hardship and poor remuneration
  • Strenuous working conditions, psychological stress, and diseases related to poor working conditions have also contributed to the members’ demise.
  • The recent passing of Professor Johnson Oyero highlights the inability to afford quality medical care.
  • The affected academics were affiliated with institutions such as the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology Minna, and others.
  •  Nigerian academics leaving the country in search of better opportunities abroad has exacerbated the strain on those who remain.
  • Improved support and recognition for academics in the Abuja Zone are urgently needed.

 

According to Salihu Muhammed Lawal, the Abuja Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the union has experienced a tragic loss of 46 members in the Abuja zone, Aso Naija Reports.

These losses are attributed to the current economic hardships in the country and the inadequate compensation provided to academics and universities in the zone.

READ ALSO: President Tinubu’s Daughter Begs Nigerians To Be Patience Amid Economic Hardship

During a press briefing held on Monday, February 19, 2024, in Abuja, Lawal revealed that the union members succumbed to various challenges, including strenuous working conditions, psychological and emotional stress, and illnesses resulting from poor working environments.

Lawal emphasized the severity of the situation by mentioning the recent passing of Professor Johnson Oyero, a distinguished expert in Fisheries at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, who was unable to access quality medical care due to financial constraints.

The 46 academics who have tragically passed away were affiliated with institutions such as the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State University, and Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State.

Lawal further highlighted a disconcerting trend that has emerged in the past decade, with many Nigerian academics opting to leave the country in pursuit of better opportunities abroad.

This brain drain phenomenon has placed a heavier workload on the remaining academics who possess a dwindling sense of patriotism due to inadequate remuneration and unfavorable working conditions.

Overall, these distressing circumstances have contributed to the loss of numerous valuable members of ASUU and have created a pressing need for improved support and recognition for academics and universities in the Abuja zone.

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President Tinubu’s Daughter Begs Nigerians To Be Patience Amid Economic Hardship

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Alhaja Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, the Iyaloja General of Lagos State and daughter of President Bola Tinubu, has issued a heartfelt appeal to Nigerians, urging them to remain patient in the face of prevailing economic challenges, Aso Naija Reports.

Speaking to journalists during the 2024 Mawlid Nabiyy of the Lagos State chapter of Aljamahatul Qadiriyyah Islamic Movement, Tinubu-Ojo emphasized the need to maintain hope, highlighting that the economic downturn is not exclusive to Nigeria but a global phenomenon.

The event also included prayers for national well-being, with recitations from the Glorious Qur’an seeking guidance for Nigerian leaders and prosperity for the country.

READ ALSO: Breaking News: Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Soars to 5% in Q3’23

Having been turbaned as the Iya Adinni of Qadiriyyah in Nigeria and Africa, in recognition of her contributions to the development of Islam, the Iyaloja General assured Nigerians that her father is actively working to address the prevailing hardships.

In her message to the Nigerian people, Tinubu-Ojo kindly requested a little more patience, assuring them that everything will eventually fall into place with the passage of time.

She emphasized the importance of nurturing hope, acknowledging the global economic challenges faced by many nations, not just Nigeria.

 

Additionally, she expressing her prayers that Allah will guide the nation through these difficult times.

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Put More Effort Into Ending Widespread Insecurity, Don’t Wait For State Police – Obi Tells Tinubu, Governors

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Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, calls on President Bola Tinubu and state governors to intensify efforts in combating the surging insecurity plaguing the nation. Obi expressed deep concern over the escalating insecurity, urging Tinubu and governors to take urgent steps to address the growing threat and prepare for the implementation of state policing. He cautioned that the worsening insecurity, coupled with widespread hunger and poverty, poses a significant risk of a national crisis.

Obi’s statement read, “While the idea of State Policing as discussed recently by the President and the 36 States Governors, is a welcome development, and while looking forward to its implementation, which may still take a while, all efforts, at the moment, should be geared towards ending the ugly trend of insecurity in the nation. We should not just wait for the proposed state Police to do the magic while we become lackadaisical and allow criminals to run riot like the recent reports in Zamfara and Kaduna states.

“Waking up every day to the sad news of terror attacks around the country remains very worrisome. Recently, gunmen were reported to have attacked a mosque in Katsina, killing worshippers, and abducting several villagers.

“A terrorist attack was also reported in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State where six persons were reportedly killed and about 50 abducted. What is more worrisome is that these terrorists now boldly target security agents.

“Just yesterday, bandits were said to have attacked a police station in Zamfara killing the Divisional Crime Officer, DCO. These and many other violent attacks and kidnapping-for-ransom in the country should keep the government and security agencies on their toes.

“Such a high level of insecurity when combined with the high level of hunger and poverty in the country, forms a perfect recipe for disaster in our nation. We must therefore take all possible measures to ensure the security of lives and property in our dear nation.

“I urge the government and our security agencies to expedite action on ending these terror attacks on the Nigerian people and ensure that every Nigerian is free to live securely in every part of the nation. I commiserate with the families who have lost dear ones to these violent attacks in the nation while praying for the safe rescue of those in captivity.”

 

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