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Political Cabal Working Against Joint Counter-Insurgency Efforts – Gov Shettima

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 President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) signing the 2014 Pension Reform Bill into Law at the State House in Abuja, yesterday . With him are Vice-President Namadi Sambo (2nd left), Director-General, National Pension Commission, Ms Chinelo Anohu-Amazu (left), Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (2nd right) and Pdp National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu. Photo: NAN

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) signing the 2014 Pension Reform Bill into Law at the State House in Abuja, yesterday . With him are Vice-President Namadi Sambo (2nd left), Director-General, National Pension Commission, Ms Chinelo Anohu-Amazu (left), Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (2nd right) and Pdp National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu. Photo: NAN

The office of the Special Adviser to Governor Kashim Shettima on Communications, respectfully alerts members of the Nigerian public and relevant establishments on the activities of a political cabal, working very hard to ensure there is complete disunity between the Presidency, the military and the Borno State Governor; a plot that clearly undermines a joint effort that is critical in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the troubled Borno State.
The office would have ordinarily ignored the activities of the political group for their shoddiness but for the fact that keeping silent could affect existing coordination between the Presidency, the military and the Borno State Government and which when overlooked, would not be in the interest of Borno citizens, the Presidency, the Military and indeed other Nigerians, especially if one takes into account, the fact that disintegration between the three groups would cause cracks in a joint counter insurgency effort that had been in place since 2011 which had succeeded in relatively freeing some major towns in the State that were hitherto, under the full control of the Boko Haram insurgents, even though so much work still needs to done in the light of recent attacks across the State.
The cabal, made up of some discontented politicians, some serving and former leaders, has a single agenda which is to create problems between the Presidency, Military and the Borno Government in order to dubiously secure the political blessings of the Presidency and top ranks of the military with a view to seizing control of the Military, the police force and State Security Service, divert the security’s attention away from counter insurgency, drag them into politics, destabilize the polity and use security agencies in furthering their political ambitions ahead of the 2015 elections.
The cabal have been deploying all possible means including publishing falsehoods and spreading same on the social media to accuse the Government of so many wrong doings that include unimaginable financial misappropriation that is beyond the income of the Government, making efforts for personal contacts with a section of the military and other security agencies in Abuja and to feed them with falsehoods aimed at creating an impression that the Borno State Governor and his administration was funding insurgents, making efforts for personal contacts with close associates of the Presidency and other Presidential aides to induce and talk them into misinforming and misleading the Presidency on false roles of Borno State Government as well as creating an impression through the same channel that Governor Shettima had vowed to ensure the President was not re-elected, all in a bid to sever any kind of relationship between the Presidency, Military and the Borno State Governor and his administration, mainly for their selfish political interest at the expense of the stability of Borno State and the northeast as well as the success of the ongoing counter insurgency operation which, when achieved, would be of credit to the Presidency.
The office has noted that in the early hours of Sunday, June 29, 2014, the cabal created a sham facebook page, bearing the name and picture of Governor Kashim Shettima and started posting mischief; on Monday morning, the cabal published a complete falsehood raising all manner of allegations in line with their agenda, on a Newspaper associated with them, while on Tuesday morning, the same cabal planted a fictitious and evil minded interview on a website site it created to pursue its agenda, claiming in the interview that a certain arrested and detained member of the Boko Haram (that is none existent) had admitted to being sponsored by Governor Shettima and some officials close to him, all in a vicious and inhuman attempt to set the Presidency and the Military against the Governor and the administration with only 2015 elections at the back of their minds.
The Governor believes that power squarely lies in the hands of God; for it is God that gives power or keep anyone in it.
It is for that reason that he respects the institution of power which is why he has the highest respect for the Presidency and has shown that in his regular interfaces with the Presidency in the last three years, in his prompt acceptance and delivery of tasks assigned to him by the Presidency and in the manner in which he ensured that the President was well received, respected and accorded his due courtesies during his Presidential visit to Borno State in 2013 and also in the fact that the Governor had never at any time, disparaged the person of the President in all his speeches and public commentaries.
Those who have come in direct contact with the Governor have always parted with feelings about his unconscious humility, realness, openness, friendliness, his farthest passion and commitment towards ending the insurgency and his assiduous works on the solid foundation he has since laid, for the regeneration of Borno State.

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Rivers LG To Give Grants To 80 Post-Graduate Candidates

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The Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has concluded process of giving grants to 80 indigenes of the area to pursue Masters and Doctorate degree programmes in universities in the state.
The council Chairman, Barrister George Ariolu, disclosed this, yesterday, when the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) visited him in his office at Rumuodomaya, near Port Harcourt.
Ariolu stated that grants will be given to 50 candidates to pursue Masters degree programme and another 30 to those pursuing Doctorate degree programmes in University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
He said: “Our main focus as we promised our people is the area of human capacity development. Not that we don’t have interest in infrastructures, we do.
“As it stands today, we are giving grants to our people, those who are interested in advancing their academic qualifications by taking up Ph.D and Masters degree programmes.
“For Masters degree, we have grants for 50 while Ph.D is 30 for now. But because of pressure, we will likely take it up to 50. We set up a committee made up three professors, an academic doctor, who is a senior lecturer and a lawyer. Today, they are conducting interviews for the applicants at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
“Our catchment areas are University of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. Those are universities in Rivers State so that little money we will give will be of immense benefit to them.”
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, Amaechi Okonkwo, assured the Council Chairman of the support of journalists throughout duration of his tenure in office.
Okonkwo said: “We have had a relationship with you before now and we are happy with that relationship because we were getting quality service and advise from you.
“So, we deemed it fit and necessary to come to say congratulations to you and to assure you of our support through your stay as Chairman of Council.”

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Insecurity: Address Nigeria’s Descent Into Chaos, Nigerians Tell UN Assembly

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The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance (NINAS), yesterday, urged the United Nations General Assembly to take urgent steps to address the country’s alleged descent into chaos, saying that Nigeria has failed as a state.
This was contained in a letter addressed to United Nations Security Council, the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly by NINAS at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The letter was signed by Chairman of NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye; Prof Yusuf Turaki of Middle-Belt Movement; and Secretary-General, NINAS and Lower Niger Congress, Tony Nnadi.
The letter reads, “We, the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York to alert the United Nations, and the rest of the global community that the union of Nigeria has failed irredeemably; and is now at the verge of a violent disintegration with catastrophic consequences for global peace, and security as our population of over 200million would become an instant global refugee nightmare.
“Amidst the extraordinary difficulties inflicted by the imposition and enforcement of Sharia by a section of Nigeria in a supposedly secular union, the immediate reason for this looming catastrophe is the cocktail of mass killing, kidnapping and general banditry being orchestrated against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria by an invading Fulani militia masquerading as herdsmen in an undisguised ethnic cleansing campaign that progressively demonstrate the complicity of the Federal Government of Nigeria headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, who as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is also the Life Grand Patron of the notorious Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), that proudly takes responsibility for the murderous exploits of the Fulani herdsmen militia designated the fourth most deadly terror group.
“Compounding their impunity, the same Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association at a recent press conference organised to mock the planned NINAS million-man freedom march to the UN boasted to be in control of the UN through their daughter, the Deputy Secretary-General at the UN, Amina Mohammed.
“An indication that (Amina Mohammed) nominated to that exalted UN position by President of Buhari, is in some way a part of the grand protection design for the Fulani herdsmen in their bloody, onslaught against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria.
“It will be recalled that following widespread extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, the UN in August of 2019, dispatched a Special Rapporteur Mission to Nigeria led by Agnes Callamard. The damning verdict of that Rapporteur Mission was that the widespread extrajudicial killings were flowing from the unitary constitutional arrangements of Nigeria, which operates as a pressure-cooker for injustice and that Nigeria under that Constitution is a danger to global peace and security.
“The report warned that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria would snap, plunging its 200million population into turmoil that will trigger a large-scale refugee crisis of unprecedented magnitude at a time the global terror networks, ISIS, ISWAP and AL-Qaeda are already converging in Nigeria.
“That Nigeria has failed as a State is no longer a subject for debate, having emerged the global poverty capital, and playing host to two of the world’s top four most deadly terrorists’ organisation, with three-quarters of the constituent components (South and Middle-Belt), seeking urgent extrication by way of referendums from what has become a union of death.
“Looking back at the recent turn of events in Afghanistan, this freedom march to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is to alert the global community of the rapidly degenerating situation of Nigeria, and to invite United Nations, particularly the Security Council, and Trusteeship Council, to initiate urgent steps to arrest Nigeria’s descent into chaos, as besieged communities drift dangerously to self-help.”

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Power Sector Revenue Declines By 4.54% In Q2’21

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Gross revenue of Nigeria’s electricity market declined by 4.45per cent in the second quarter of 2021, Q2’21, to N176.27billion against N184.27billion generated in the first quarter, Q1’21, latest data from the sector has shown.
The data from the Power Sector Working Group, however, showed that the N360.54billion generated in the first half of this year was 24.57per cent higher than the N271.96billion generated in the last six months of 2020.
A monthly analysis of the power sector financials in the first six months of 2021 showed that revenue has been fluctuating month-on-month.
A total of N64.98billion was generated in January, but revenue, however, fell by 13.30per cent in February to N57.35billion.
Further analysis showed that revenue in March rose by 7.41 per cent to N61.94billion but declined again in April by 8.76 per cent to N56.955billion.
In May, revenue rose by 8.24 per cent to N62.07billion.
It, however fell in June to N57.25billion, a drop of 8.42 per cent.
The Power Sector Working Group blamed poor power supply as well as glitches for the fall in revenue in the second quarter, especially in the month of June.
“June is a bit short due to glitches in the sweep mechanism and a low energy supply (there were gas payment challenges we have been working on).
“Through the collection discipline via CBN there is full visibility to DisCos collections. Collections over the past six months have stabilized at between N57billion to N65billion.
“The regulator and policymakers are focusing in the second half of the year on boosting electricity and rolling out phase 1 of Mass Metering to boost supply to reduce tariff and increase collections.
“Procurement is being completed for most of the CAPEX interventions that will help boost supply”, the group added.
Earlier, the group disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded arrangements for the commencement of the second phase of its metering program tagged National Mass Metering Program which it expects to drastically reduce estimated billing by DisCos, that will ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in household and business premises that are currently unmetered.
The Federal Government provided funding for the program through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to DisCos.
“Meters are provided to customers free of charge. This is indeed unprecedented and has so far led to the tremendous success recorded so far”.
Speaking on how to grow the electricity market, a leading power sector expert and Managing Director of Target Energy Ltd, Abdullahi Umar, harped on the need to review some of the policies that may be hampering growth and development in the power sector.
Umar said at the weekend that the new Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, needs to conduct a thorough review of the sector.
“I am part of those stakeholders who are of the view that the declaration of the transitional electricity market (TEM) in February 2015 was too ambitious and premature.
“What should have been was a phased transition into TEM or at the minimum a testing of the market before the full declaration of TEM.
“The errors of such declaration have continued to plague the power sector with a heightened liquidity crisis in 2016 and 2017, that saw a drastic decline of the revenue flows in the power sector, DisCos remittance went from 70 per cent to a sharp decline averaging about 28 per cent – 30 per cent for that period,” he said.
He pointed out that July, 2021, saw the end of Eligible Customer Regulation in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), adding that the decision by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to rescind the ECR, has sent mixed signals across the board.
Umar further stated that “we have seen the accusations and counter-accusations between the generating companies (GenCos) and distribution companies on the issue. The action by NERC has signalled the lack of preparedness of the market to accommodate direct sale between market players.
“It is a case of willing seller, willing buyer and an unwilling infrastructure; the market cannot accommodate any distortion at this time especially as the grid still operates at average capacity.”
The ECR allows GenCos and Independent Power Producers to bypass the Bulk Trader for excess un-contracted capacity within their portfolio and sell directly to eligible customers who can take a minimum of 2MW of power monthly.
“The ECR was issued on the 6th of November, 2017 by the then Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Barrister Babatunde Fashola”, Umar also averred that the “recent repeal of the ECR further demonstrates the weakness in the NESI and the need for more effective and consistent regulation.”
He further advised, “With a new Minister of Power in the saddle, I suggest that a cue is borrowed from the former Minister of Power, Work, and Housing; who commenced his tenure with sector-wide stakeholder consultation and monthly review meetings, it is important that new Minister of Power gets a proper briefing with all market participants in the same room to curtail self-serving suggestions and recommendations.”
“The frequent policy conflict is fast eroding the little gains of the NESI since the declaration of TEM and plunging the sector deeper into uncertainty.
“The new Minister of Power must pursue sector-wide collaboration and effective corporate governance to move the sector forward.
“It is time to go back to the drawing board,” he concluded.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has, however, denied that it has ended or suspended the Eligible Customer Regulations which allowed power generation companies, GenCos, to supply electricity directly to large demand customers.
NERC, in a statement by its General Manager, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, stated that the Eligible Customer Regulations has not been suspended and at no time has the commission issued a directive for discontinuation of service to any customer.
The commission explained that what it suspended was the unauthorized direct supply by GenCos to big consumers.

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