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THE STATES

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Victims of flood disaster and insurgency in Bauchi State
presently have cause to smile and temporarily forget their pains and distress. The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation recently came to their aid after it flagged off the distribution of relief materials to victims of flood, insurgency and communal clashes in the state.
The beneficiaries who hail from 10 Northern states of Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, Nasarawa, Plateau and Yobe profusely expressed appreciation to the committee for the timely intervention in cushioning their hardship through the donation of relief materials such as rice, soaps, wrappers, blankets, noodles, salts, palm oil amongst other items.
Shortly after the flag off of the ceremony, the Chairman of the committee, Dr Sani Abubakar Lugga, led a delegation of the committee members on a courtesy visit to Governor Isa Yuguda, at the Government House in Bauchi.
He said the committee decided to extend its humanitarian gesture not only to victims of flood disaster, but also those of insurgency, communal clashes and cattle rustlers adding that the committee went beyond the scope of its mandate to purchase food and non-food items worth N750m to cushion the losses of victims of insurgency and communal clashes in the 10 states.
Jigawa

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State last Monday as
sured non-indigenes living in the state that their rights as Nigerian citizens would be protected.
Lamido  who gave the assurance when he received the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi, who paid him Sallah homage in Dutse  explained that all non- indigenes living in the state were there as a matter of ‘right’ not ‘privilege,’ hence would not be discriminated against.
The governor said that Nigerians were free to live wherever they chose without any undue harassment by any individual or government, stating that those asking Nigerians to register in their own country were sending a wrong signal that was not healthy for the unity of the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the Emir of Dutse, Sunusi, had thanked the governor for transforming the state in the past seven years of his administration. He said that both indigenes and non-indigenes had been living peacefully in the state, promising that efforts would be made to sustain the status-quo.

Kano

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji  Sanusi  Lamido, has urged Mus
lims in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and sacrifice.
The emir who made the call last Sunday while addressing Muslims after the Eid-El-Fitr prayer at the Kofar Mata ground in Kano, appealed to them to emulate Prophet Muhammed’s life, stressing that the one month fasting should be seen as a period of cleansing and atonement.
“After the Ramadan, we should be more determined to live in the path of Allah as true believers. We should also continue to emulate the exemplary attributes of Islam which are love, tolerance and peaceful co-existence”, he said.
The monarch also called on the people to continue to pray for peace, unity and progress of the state and the country.
Earlier in his sermon, Sanusi, who led the prayer, stressed the need for Muslims to fear God and continue to use all the lessons of the Ramadan to foster unity in the state and country.
Kwara

Former Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, urged
Nigerians yesterday to pray for the peace and stability of the country ahead of next year’s general elections. Dr Saraki made the call in his Eid-el-Fitri message to Nigerians.
Saraki, the senator representing Kwara Central, said: “Ahead of 2015, I want to use this annual occasion to implore Nigerians not to give up in the quest for a better nation. Let’s not give in for a leadership based on sympathy and the monetary value we stand to gain but on the ground of competence and a strong will to take Nigeria to a greater height.
“Let’s ensure we stay very united and indivisible by religious, ethnic, moral or political lines, because unity is a strong weapon for a better nation. Even as I urge Islamic leaders – from the Emirs to Sheiks and Imams – to further emphasise the core themes of Islam to their followers after Ramadan. I also urge us to let our fervent prayers for Nigeria exceed Ramadan season. Let’s continue to pray for peace, restoration and stability in Nigeria, particularly as 2015 is approaching.
“The holy month of Ramadan affords us the golden opportunity of renewal in thoughts and deeds towards our creator and humanity by prioritising core themes of Islam, which include peace, boundless love for one another, sincerity, holiness and respect for humanity.
“Importantly, the aforementioned themes should not end with the month of Ramadan. They should be effortlessly demonstrated after Ramadan to ameliorate Nigeria’s plight and make her into a better society where her current challenges of insecurity, disrespect for rule of law, corruption among others will become things of the past.”
Lagos

History will be made in Lagos State next month when
Justice Funmilayo Atilade succeeds her sister Justice Ayotunde Pillips as the new Chief Judge. Justice Phillips bowed out last Saturday on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 65. Justice Phillips and Justice Atilade are daughters of the late Justice James Williams, who was a judge in Lagos.
It was learnt that Justice Atilade may be sworn in before the new legal year 2014, which begins on September 2, to mark her first major official assignment and outing. Justice Atilade will become the 15th Chief Judge of Lagos State and the fifth woman to occupy the post.
Justice Atilade was born in London on September 24, 1952. She attended Ladi-Lak Institute in Yaba, Lagos Mainland; Anglican Girls Grammar School, Surulere, 1965 and 1969 and Queens College, 1970 and 1971. She proceeded to the University of Lagos in 1972 and graduated in 1975 with a Law degree. She passed out of the Nigerian Law School in 1976.
Justice Atilade was State Counsel, Federal Ministry of Justice between 1977 and 1979; Principal Legal Officer, Nigerian Ports Authority 1979 to 1981; and a Senior Magistrate Grade 1,  1981 to 1996. She was appointed a judge on July 19, 1996.
She became the Head Judge in June 2012, also occupied by her sister, Justice Phillips before her elevation as the chief judge. She is a member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), International Bar Association (IBA) and Ikoyi Club 1938.
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Nasarawa

Associates of Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa
State, have, said  the governor has  put together a seven-man team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to defend him at the investigative panel set up by the state’s Chief Judge, Umaru Dikko, to probe allegations of fraud and gross misconduct against him.
Speaking with newsmen on the development, Professor Gyewadu noted that Al-Makura’s travails are as a result of bad leadership, even as he insisted that the impeachment process was a right step in the right direction. “The law makers are the true representatives of the people and whatever they do is in the collective interest of all and sundry,” he said.
Before the panel on Al-Makura was set up last Friday, the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Affairs, Abdulhamid Kwara, who addressed a press conference in Lafia last Tuesday, said the governor was putting everything together to appear before the panel at the appropriate time to exonerate himself. The panel is scheduled to commence sitting on Wednesday after the Eid-e-Fitri celebrations.
In the wake of the impeachment process against his friend, a former deputy governor of the state and professor of Law, Onje Gyewadu, had asked the governor to toe the path of resignation, which he said would be more honourable.
Niger

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
in Niger State, has announced that political parties, civil societies organisations and security agencies in the state have agreed that the commission should conduct the  bye-election for Niger East senatorial district  on Saturday, August 16, 2014.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Emmanuel Onucheyo, stated this last  Friday, during a stakeholders meeting, where the commission proposed the date.
Onucheyo further explained that by law,  notice of the election would be made public not later than 14 days to the election, adding that the National Assembly informed the commission of  Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta’s death on July 17, 2014.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner said the tenure of the current Assembly expires in June, 2015, saying that “Section 76 of 1999 constitution mandates the commission to conduct bye election to fill this vacant seat, within one month, from date of formal notification”

Ogun

Five persons suspected to be robbers were killed in a
shoot-out by the Police Anti Crime Team attached to Agbado  Division of Ogun State, on Saturday.
The police were said to have responded to a distress call from residents of Oluke, Okegbolu and Onireke areas, when the robbers, numbering 12, unleashed terror on them.
One of the suspected robbers was arrested with weapons, while other members of the gang escaped with bullet wounds.
Items recovered from the robbers included five locally made guns, 30 live cartridges, 12 expended cartridges, three laptops, a cash sum of N85,000, jewelries, five unregistered motorcycles, cutlasses and charms.
The arrested suspect, 26-year-old Oladeinde Rasheed, is a resident of Ijoko Ota area of the state.

Oyo

Former Oyo State Governor Senator Rashidi Ladoja has
dissociated Accord Party from the purported plan by the state House of Assembly to impeach Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The former governor, who was fielding questions from journalists shortly after observing the Eid-el-Fitri prayer at the University of Ibadan Central Mosque, said the party had instructed its members in the Assembly to distance themselves from any attempt at plunging the state into crisis and chaos.
He noted that there was no reason for the House to wake up suddenly with accusation against the governor over any misconduct towards the end of his administration and challenged the House to publish whatever was the misconduct of the governor for people to see.
The former governor said he had suffered impeachment as a person before and got justice from the Supreme Court and would never support any such plan.
He said, “I cannot understand the basis of anybody in the House of Assembly suddenly waking up to nurse any impeachment ambition against Governor Ajimobi. In any case, Accord is not a party to it. I cannot understand why they will wake up and say there is misconduct. Let them publish it for people to see. But as far as I am concerned, our party is not part of any purported plan to impeach Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

L-R: Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi,  Governor  Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his SSG, Alhaji Ismael Olalekan-Alli, at the Agodi Eid prayer ground  during the Eid-el-Fitr prayers in Ibadan last Monday. Photo: NAN

L-R: Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his SSG, Alhaji Ismael Olalekan-Alli, at the Agodi Eid prayer ground during the Eid-el-Fitr prayers in Ibadan last Monday. Photo: NAN

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Release Kanu, Igboho To Southern Govs, Group Tells Buhari

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The National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance (CAGG), Olusegun Bamgbose, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to release self-determination campaigners, Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, to the southern governors.

Nnamdi Kanu is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), after he was a few weeks ago rearrested in Kenya and bundled back to Nigeria while Sunday Igboho was arrested in neighbouring Benin Republic on Monday night and is currently in detention in Cotonou.

Kanu is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), while Sunday Igboho is a leading advocate for Oduduwa Republic.

Speaking, yesterday, Bamgbose noted that the nation was undoubtedly passing through a very critical moment in its political history and that the future seems to be unpredictable, warning that stakeholders must take extreme caution to avoid disintegration as the unity of Nigeria has never been this weak.

“The truth remains that in any part of the world, where there is unfair treatment, injustice, and inequality, agitation becomes inevitable and legitimate. You can’t push someone and tell him or her where to fall,” the senior lawyer and 2023 presidential hopeful noted.

“We can’t claim to be one nation when there is obvious discrimination in terms of clan or tribe. Agitation is a natural reflection of what goes on in society.

“The Igbos have always complained that they are heavily marginalized in the scheme of things, while the Yorubas are aggrieved that Fulani herders are kidnapping their people, raping their women, destroying their farms, killing them, the one million naira question begging for answers is, how has President Buhari addressed these critical issues?

“President Buhari can’t claim to be the father of the nation when he will treat some as sacred cows and others as sacrificial lambs.

“Clamping down on agitators may not yield a positive result in the long run. The issues must be addressed. Even though I will never be in support of any form of armed struggle, one expects President Buhari to proactively address issues raised by the agitators.

“Jailing the agitators will never put an end to agitation, but escalate it. I will, however, expect the southern governors to rise to the occasion and secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo as soon as possible.

“This matter can be resolved in eight weeks. President Buhari should equally be prepared to release them to the southern governors. Our nation needs healing not victimization.

“Buhari’s government will be worse off and will be in the black book of the international community if he so decides to mishandle this matter.

“President Buhari should dialogue with the southern governors and release the two agitators to them. I believe this will prove to all Nigerians and the international community that he is indeed a leader to reckon with.

“He should also look into their grievances and address them dispassionately. It won’t be a bad idea if President Buhari will meet with Kanu, Igboho, and the southern governors at the Presidential Villa to resolve this matter once and for all. I wish our President the best.”

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Catholic Bishops Accuse Buhari Of Nepotism; NASS Of Sabotage

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Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, have accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of nepotistic tendencies.

The bishops, after their meeting held at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba in Akure, also accused members of the National Assembly (NASS), of sabotaging their constituents.

They argued that the spike in insecurity across the country is occasioned by government’s inability to serve on the principles of equity and fairness.

According to the communique signed by the Province’s Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, and Rev. Akin Oyejola, respectively, the country is plagued by “inept, uncaring leadership which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice”.

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‘Without Alternative Energy, Petrol Price’ll Rise on Subsidy Removal’

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has warned that the pump price of petrol in the country may rise up to as much as N1,000 per litre when petrol subsidy regime comes to an end without an alternative energy source.

The DPR stated this just as some oil and gas experts have advocated for a measure from the government that will ensure that Nigeria gets commensurate value from its abundant oil and gas resources like its fellow oil producing nations.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, said this while responding to questions and comments generated by a paper he delivered in Lagos, recently, at the Second Quarter, 2021 Business Dinner of Petroleum Club, Lagos.

The topic of the paper was, “A Discussion on the Future of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.”

The questions and comments came from a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Funsho Kupolokun; political economist and Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi; Production Geologist at Shell Nigeria, Mr. Adedoyin Orekoya; and Chairman of AA Holdings, Mr. Austin Avuru; amongst others.

Responding to the subsidy concerns and the disparity in the petrol consumption figures given by NNPC and the DPR, as raised by Orekoya, Auwalu, acknowledged that Nigeria was spending so much on petrol subsidy.

He said eliminating it would require making alternative fuel available to Nigerians and that failure to do that will plunge Nigerians into paying higher petrol prices when subsidy is removed.

He stated that Nigerians may be paying as high as N1, 000 to buy one litre of petrol in the country when subsidy on petrol is removed and when the alternative energy or autogas gas policy becomes fully operational.

He, however, said the alternative fuel regime comes with initial cost as it will lead to spending $400 to convert one vehicle from running on petrol or diesel to running on either Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Auwalu maintained that converting eight million public vehicles currently present in Nigeria to gas-powered will cumulatively cost $3.2billion to achieve.

He said, “So, to eliminate subsidy, they don’t call it subsidy anymore now, it’s under-recovery of purchase. So, to eliminate under-recovery, what you need is alternative fuel. Without alternative, you will subject people to higher prices and that is why we go for price freedom.

“As at today, there are 22 million cars in Nigeria. Eight million are for public use. Imagine if you want to convert every car into gas, the average cost of conversion is $400. Converting eight million cars requires $3.2billion. To do that, there are a lot of environmental investors which can invest and recover from the sale of gas and we are encouraging that.

“Once that is achieved, you will see that PMS can be sold at N1,000. After all, the average distance covered by one gallon equivalent when you compare it with LNG or CNG with respect to energy for mobility, is 2.7 against one; one for PMS, 2.7 for LNG or CNG.

”So, with that advantage, you will see that it creates opportunity for this industry again. The issue of subsidy, volume will all vanish and that is what we are working towards.”

He, however, warned that the rise in Nigeria’s local refining capacity as seen in the coming on stream of a number of refineries in the country without a corresponding increase in the country’s oil production volume may threaten the country’s membership of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The director lamented that out of Nigeria’s over 7,100 reservoirs and its mature basins, the country was recovering just as low as about 1,000, a situation he said, needed the collaboration of all industry players to find a solution to before Nigeria gets evicted from OPEC due to low contribution.

“How do we now get the national production capacity so that we export more, we consume more? Today, we have huge additional capacity in domestic refining. If we don’t increase the production, we have to get out of OPEC, because you can’t be a net consumer to stay in exporting countries.

“So, the challenge is for all of us. As the refining capacity is increasing, we have to now get production capacity to increase so that we remain the net exporter. We believe this will guarantee and fortify the future,” he said.

Responding to Kupolokun’s question on the need to address the low contribution of the oil and gas sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is less than 10 per cent, Auwalu attributed the abysmal contribution to lack of deep investment into the value chain of the sector as well as the export mentality of the players.

According to him, only few players, mostly indigenous companies, have the mentality of ensuring that more output, especially with respect to gas, was given to the domestic market to power the country’s economic growth.

He said there was need to focus on domestic market in order to grow the sector’s contribution to GDP.

He explained what the department and the Federal Government were doing to address the two-pronged challenge of energy transition and the transition from the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria, who are divesting out of the country, leaving the indigenous oil companies to take over from them.

Auwalu said the department had foreseen such situation and had planned ahead by setting up the Oil and Gas Excellence Centre to equip local companies to be able to fill the gap created by such transition.

“Now, we are saddled with two transitions: energy transition and transition from IOCs to NOCs. Why did we establish Nigerian Oil and Gas Excellence Centre? It’s because of this. We’ve seen this coming; we thought it twice before now.

“It is our duty to make those companies functional, and to do that, we need to establish a centre of excellence that will help in the migration from IOCs,” he explained.

Also reacting to the need for scenario planning and the possibility of galvanising the private and public sector to work together to increase the value of oil and gas to the economy, as proposed by Utomi, the DPR henchman noted that the agency had transformed from mere regulator to business enabler and opportunity provider and was working to maximise the value of the sector to the economy.

Auwalu maintained that as a business enabler, DPR was after creating an enabling environment for operators to work, produce, make returns on their investments and pay taxes and royalties to the government as while providing employment to Nigerians.

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