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S’East Govs Meet, Write FG To Form Security Outfit …As Group Threatens To Secede From Nigeria Over Insecurity …Miyetti Allah Explains Fears Against Amotekun

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The South-East Governors’ Forum, yesterday, disclosed that it has written the Federal Government on its plan to establish a regional security network.
This was disclosed after the meeting of the forum at the Enugu State Government House, yesterday.
A communique issued after the meeting was read by Chairman of the forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi.
The meeting was also attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.
Imo State was not represented at the meeting, which also witnessed the presence of the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, National Assembly members and religious leaders.
The forum announced that the name of the network would be unveiled later, adding that it would have its headquarters in Enugu.
Umahi further disclosed that the operation was birthed before ‘Amotekun’ in the South-West, stressing that it would soon get legal backing of the Houses of Assembly in the zone.
Meanwhile, a pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Ko’ya Movement (YKM) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rise above ethnic chauvinism and put a stop to consistent attacks on lives, peace, economy and unity of the nation by Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body of all cattle breeders and herdsmen in the country.
The YKM threatened that the refusal to checkmate the group would give Yoruba people no option than to exit Nigeria.
The group said it was alarming that Miyetti Allah leaders would consistently go on both local and international television stations, including newspapers to harass, threaten, intimidate and insult stakeholders in the Nigerian project such as state governors, elder statesmen and notable religious leaders.
The movement called on President Buhari to exhibit patriotism and courage and put an end to the malady.
In a statement signed by its Convener, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun, Yoruba Ko’ya charged Buhari to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of all the leaders of Miyetti Allah that had claimed responsibility for series of attacks leading to death of over 3, 000 Nigerians in the last four years across the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria.
He said that the President should act well and be conscious of what history would remember him for after his tenure.
Osibogun stated: “While we do not want to dwell in the realm of rumours, however, we are forced to state very expressly that the threat to life and admission to mass murder by identifiable and known leaders of Miyetti Allah without any word of caution or arrest by law enforcement agencies in the country led credence to the fact that Miyetti Allah are carrying out the briefs of some invincible forces at the corridor of power in Abuja or elsewhere.
“A mere trade union from a tribe continues to heat-up the polity while others shiver and shake in their pants for fear of attack; yet no arrest by our security formations. These murderous elements are so courageous that they appeared live on national televisions to attack a whole region comprising of over 50 million people, yet the agencies with the mandate to protect the lives and property of the people are acting like everything is normal. We say without any fear or intimidation that this is an antithesis of a strong and united nation.
“We, Yoruba people, therefore, want to put the Buhari administration on notice that we are not scared of any of these mindless and senseless statements from the hoodlums that the Nigerian government is obviously aiding and abetting. We wish to inform them that we shall protect our land and people with all the resources God has provided and blessed us with.
“In addition to the foregoing, we are putting the Federal Government on notice that if nothing radical and patriotic is done to stop the ongoing mayhem and open threats to our people by Miyetti Allah, we shall mobilize our people to take all democratic steps to ensure our safety and continuous existence as a nation within the Nigerian federation which may include a declaration of our sovereignty or our exit from the nation of Nigeria because we can no longer guarantee our comfort, safety and existence within this den of hell.
“We note also with displeasure that all statements by the leadership of Miyetti Allah are far beyond the bounds of treasonable felony that the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore was charged, connoting that all tribes are no longer equal in Nigeria”, Osibogun added.
However, following reactions that greeted the formation of South-West regional security organization, codenamed Amotekun, a Fulani socio-cultural organization, Miyetti Allah has alleged that the aim of security formation is ‘to cleanse the Fulani tribe from the South-West’.
Leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, in Bauchi State, Alhaji Sadiq Ahmed said the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) also known as Amotekun lacks the legal framework to succeed.
The elder statesman, who admitted at the weekend, that the nation was facing serious security threat, called for the restructuring of the security architecture in the country.
According to him, “I can tell you one thing: Amotekun will not last because it is indigenous, regionalized and lacks constitutional backing. The Constitution has a readymade provision for regular security with the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force, a regional security outfit like Amotekun is a breach of the Constitution that will only breed problems and conflicts.
“Is there a doubt anywhere that the motive behind the establishment of Amotekun is to cleanse our tribe from the South-West? It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide security; any parallel security outfit is illegal and unacceptable.”
The Miyetti Allah leader, however, called for the removal of service chiefs, saying that they have performed below expectation, while also advocating for the reform of the Nigeria Police to enable it perform its duties effectively.
“I suggest that the President remove the service chiefs immediately because they have done nothing, despite trillions of Naira that they have received in recent years. He should also reform the police, the Army and all other security forces in the country.
“I hear people every time trying to compare Amotekun to Hisba, and that irritates me. Hisba security outfit in the North is just an umbrella of an Islamic body only meant for Islamic affairs. It bears no resemblance of Amotekun or the motive behind its formation,” he added.

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Wike Unveils N2bn Fund For Farmers, Fishermen … Inaugurates C’ttee To Distribute Foodstuffs To Rivers People

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In a move to ensure that Rivers people don’t suffer during this trying period, the Rivers State Government has set aside N2billion for the launch of the State Farmer/Fisherman Empowerment Programme to purchase and distribute foodstuffs to Rivers people.
In a press conference, yesterday, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, said that the committee would purchase all agricultural products produced in the state for distribution to the less privileged.
Wike said: “We are going a step further to ensure that no one complains of hunger in our state during this trying period.
“The state government has therefore set aside the sum of N2billion to buy off all agricultural products produced in the state from farmers and fishermen.
“Our goal is to ensure that no agricultural product like yam, garri, plantain, palm oil and fish leaves our state during this period.
“While the farmers and fishermen will make their profits, the less privileged will have enough food supply for their families.”
Wike said that the committee set up by his administration is to ensure effective implementation of the new policy.
He said: “To ensure that the appropriate logistics for effective implementation of this policy is carried out to the letter, government will set up a 33-man committee.
Members of the committee include, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, as chairman; Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Fred Kpakol, as secretary; while members are Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim; Mrs Victoria Allison; Mrs Tina Woluchor; Mrs Meg Onumbu; Mrs Gloria Akor; Mr Erastus Awortu; Mrs Christiana Lawrence Amadioha; Mrs Kate Mbanah and chairmen of the 23 local government areas.
“This committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 12 noon at Government House, Port Harcourt.”
He said that the state government will always take measures to protect Rivers people.
“As a responsive government, we did not wait to record any index case before we set out proactive measures that helped us to contain the virus in our state.
“The diligence exhibited by our health professionals and security agencies have made us to record one index case.
“Our strategies of shutting down markets and our borders have, no doubt, brought hardship to our citizens,” he said.
While lamenting the politicisation of the fight against Coronavirus by the Federal Government, Wike said that all states of the federation deserve grants from the Federal Government.
He said the release of grants to states should not be tied to the number of confirmed cases, since states like Rivers are working to prevent the spread of the disease.
Wike said that funds for the state government’s intervention in COVID-19 are captured in the 2020 budget under contingency funds.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had charged the Committee on Palliatives to cushion the hardship caused by strategies to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the state to ensure that the foodstuffs from the state government get to less privileged persons.
Inaugurating the committee, yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said that the committee must not consider party affiliations.
Wike said: “The distribution of these foodstuffs has nothing to do with party membership. It should get to all less privileged people.
“That is why we have clerics, security personnel and other people in the committee. There should be no application of sentiment in the sharing.”
The governor said that the committee will reach out to the 23 local government areas of the state, adding that all local government areas must exercise patience till it gets to them.
“We will reach out to the 23 local government areas of the state. No local government area will be exempted.
“But Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas where we have the concentration of Rivers people will get the first attention,” he said.
The governor directed the committee to ensure orphanages; security agencies and other groups get the palliatives.
He described the situation as a war, where the entire world is being decimated by the virus, stressing that the fight to defeat Coronavirus must be sustained.
Wike reiterated his condemnation of the Federal Government for politicizing the fight against Coronavirus.
He said the exclusion of 35 states in the Federal Government’s intervention is unnecessary.

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No More Petrol Subsidy, Says NNPC Govs Back FG’s Action

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Leveraging on the low price of crude oil and petroleum products, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, yesterday, announced that the era of subsidizing the pump price of petrol was over.
He made the disclosure on the official Twitter handle of the NNPC after he appeared in a television interview.
Kyari said: “As at today, subsidy/under-recovery is zero. Going forward, there’ll be no resort to either subsidy or under-recovery of any nature. NNPC will just be another player in the market space. But we’ll be there for the country to sustain security of supply, at the cost of the market”.
As crude oil price slumped in the international market due to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government responded by reducing the pump price of petrol from N145/litre to N125/litre in March.
It further reduced the price to N123.50/litre on April 1, after monitoring developments in the international oil market.
On the possibility of suffering another round of petrol scarcity, he said; “Today, we have a very robust products supply and distribution mechanism; from the loading depots up to fuel stations nationwide.
“We also have very good understanding with our strategic partners: the governors, marketers, depot owners, PTD, etc. There are no issues whatsoever.”
On the current developments in the international market, the NNPC GMD said: “The key issue in crude oil business is market fundamentals of demand/supply. I believe COVID-19 will subside and countries will come back to life. I don’t see oil price going below the $20 we saw last week. I’m certain, all things being equal, oil price will bounce back”.
He pointed out that the desire of the national oil company was to grow Nigeria’s production to 3 million barrels per day.
“As at yesterday, our production has, for the first time in many years, risen to 2.3mbpd. We believe this will grow and the contribution of local companies in this regard will be meaningful.”
On gas, the NNPC boss said there were ongoing plans to aggressively expand the domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II to double capacity from 1.1billion standard cubic feet of gas (BSCF) to 2.2BSCF and the OB3 gas pipeline to connect East and the West.
The NNPC, he revealed, would commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline in the second quarter of 2020 to serve as an enabler to further boost the economic activities of the country.
Reacting to the news, governors of the 36 states in Nigeria have backed the Federal Government’s implementation of the petrol price modulation mechanism to eliminate petrol subsidy “permanently” in the country.
This decision was contained in a communique released in the early hours of yesterday by members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) after a meeting last Sunday to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The communiqe, signed by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who is also the NGF chairman, also supported the unification of exchange rates into a single, market-determined window and the use of the market-determined exchange rate to calculate all revenues due to the federation.
The implementation of the new petrol price modulation mechanism means Nigerians will pay for petrol in line with the product’s prevailing price in the global market.
The Federal Government had announced a further reduction in petrol’s pump price to N123.50 per litre on April 1, 2020.
That was the second time it would be reducing the pump price of petrol in two weeks.
It had announced a reduction in the pump price on 18th March, 2020 from N145 to N125 following the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market.
At that time, the price of Nigeria’s Brent Crude was below $25 but it is now up to 33.24 as at today.
A statement by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA)’s Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu in Abuja had said: “PPPRA, in line with the government approval for a monthly review of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump price, hereby announces Guiding PMS pump price of N123.50 per Litre.
“The Guiding price which becomes effective 1st April, 2020, shall apply at all retail outlets nationwide for the month of April, 2020.
“PPPRA and other relevant regulatory Agencies shall continue to monitor compliance to extant regulations for a sustainable downstream petroleum sector. Members of the Public and all Oil Marketing Companies are to be guided accordingly.”
Fayemi also briefed State governors on ongoing coordination with the World Bank to mobilise support for states to mitigate the economic and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the ongoing plans include accelerated disbursement of existing and new financing for states under the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, and mitigation and recovery support for expenditures to protect livelihoods, support local economic activity and recovery over the next 18 months to two years.
The forum thanked the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for their pledge to support states increase their capacity to mitigate the spread of the virus and care for confirmed cases through the construction of isolation centres and the distribution of personal protective equipment to states.
Members underscored the need for CACOVID to work directly with the States in the distribution of palliatives.
The forum lauded the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and his team for the commitment in leading a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic after a briefing from him on the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which he chairs.
Members also stressed the need for stronger collaboration with states because they are best positioned to administer palliatives to mitigate the impact of the crisis, including the distribution of food and essential materials to households to help them cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods.
The governors renewed the importance of cancelling all deductions and deferring or restructuring all commercial debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts.

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Boko Haram: Surrender Or Die, Chad’s President Dares Shekau

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As the onslaught against Boko Haram terrorists continue, Chad’s President Idriss Deby has warned the sect’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, to surrender or risk being killed inside his Dikoa hideout.
Deby issued the warning in a state address to his countrymen shortly after leading his Army in an offensive against the terrorists that left about 100 killed.
According to the President, who spoke in French, Shekau has the chance to surrender now or risk being smoked out of his hideout in Dikoa and he would be killed the same say some of his commanders were killed.
Following a seven-hour ambush on Chadian troops by the terrorists that left 92 soldiers dead recently, Deby who said he would not accept defeat launched Operation Wrath of Bomo to avenge the death of his men.
Named after the town where the Chadian soldiers were killed, the operation, which commenced, last Thursday, saw the president leading his armed forces to battle at Kelkoua bank and Magumeri where they fired rockets and 12.5mm rounds of ammunition on the criminals.
The troops were said to have also destroyed several BHTs bunkers, recovered cache of arms and arrested a top BHT commander.
At Magumeri, a local government in the northern Borno State, the Chadian troops were alleged to have set free some Nigerian soldiers held captive by terrorists.

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