The Coalition of Concerned Northern Youths (CCNY) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to honourably resign as President, adding that he has failed woefully.
In a statement signed by its National Convener, Muhammed Ishaq and made available to newsmen, yesterday, the coalition cited the President’s lack of the will power to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
This call by the youths’ coalition followed a similar call by the Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders Forum (NEF), which had last weekend declared the administration of President Buhari a total failure.
The group said it had warned Nigerians that Buhari has nothing to offer to them, adding that the President has failed to tackle insecurity and improve the economy.
NEF said Buhari-led government appeared helpless in finding solutions to the numerous challenges the country is faced with
The Northern youths added, “The above named coalition wishes to make its position clear regarding the insecurity problem that has been ravaging Nigeria, particularly the Northern part for long.
“We, as a coalition that represents millions of youths from various nooks and crannies of Northern Nigeria, are pained by the insecurity problem that threatens to consume our region, the North.
“It is a glaring fact that security situation of Nigeria is seriously deteriorating and our agony as victims is aggravating. This lingering insecurity problem is one of the major reasons that made us to clamour for change and voted Goodluck Jonathan out in 2015.
“But instead of getting panacea for the problem, we just got respite, and now, the problem has been resurfacing with escalating dimension under the watch of someone that vowed to be our saviour.”
The group noted that is almost five years now and the country under the watch of Buhari is either worse than the Jonathan administration or it is no different from the previous government despite the fact that in his first term, “Buhari pledged that his government would bring an end to the national suffering inflicted by insecurity.
“Our stance as youths and backbone of our nation is that we grow tired of excuses while our lives are being taken on hourly basis.
“We cannot continue watching while our region is being turned to ashes and cemetery.
“We cannot keep mute while our future is being punctured and fractured due to the carelessness and negligence of those that are entrusted with our protection.
“Our investigation revealed that about 80 per cent of the victims of this insecurity are Nigerian youths, particularly Northerners considering the fact that the kidnapped and the kidnappers are mostly youths, the killed and the killers are mostly youths, the soldiers on warfront and the terrorists are mostly youths also.
“It is on reliable and available records that not less than 245 persons were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria in January, 2020 only.
“The Expat Insider Survey of 2019 by Inter Nations has revealed that Nigeria is the third most dangerous country in the world due to widespread insecurity and corruption.
“The aforementioned facts have irrefutably shown that Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria has woefully failed to secure the lives of Nigerians due to probably lack of will, commitment or competence.
“If we did not forget, when Nigeria was boiling under Jonathan with Boko Haram massacring thousands and over-running military barracks, almost all Nigerians believed Jonathan was not fit to rescue Nigeria and was voted out.
“Now that the same insecurity problem is replaying itself under President Muhammadu Buhari, we are left with no option than to respectfully but vehemently call on President Muhammadu Buhari to honourably resign to give room for someone who has what it takes to address the security problem that constantly turns our nation to another version of Somalia.
“The above call is made in the best interest of the nation having considered the fact that insecurity problem is caused and maintained by nothing but the failure of leadership.”
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond his sympathy visit to Borno State and take decisive steps to end the killings across the country.
This is even as the party described the alleged booing of President Buhari in Borno State, yesterday, as a clear message to him that Nigerians hold him responsible for the escalated insecurity in the country.
A statement signed by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan read: “The PDP demands that Mr. President should not limit his visit to Borno State but also visit other parts of the country, including Kaduna, Kano, Benue, Plateau, Yobe, Adamawa, Zamfara, Kogi, Niger, Taraba and other states to face the feelings of Nigerians as well as view the national devastation his poor handling of security and infrastructure has caused our nation.
“The party hopes that the visit to Borno State, which came only after the PDP and Nigerians criticized Mr. President for his aloofness, particularly over the Auno killing on Sunday, is not part of the usual presidential media stunts that will not be followed with a corresponding action to track down killers and end terrorism.
“It (booing) shows a loss of confidence in the Buhari Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The PDP further charges Mr. President to endeavour to go on subsequent visits by road in order to see and feel the agony Nigerians are being subjected to with the parlous state of our road infrastructure and security network under the incompetent and unresponsive Buhari Presidency and APC.
“Our party holds that Nigerians do not deserve a distant President, who sits in the comfort of the Presidential villa and luxury jets, remaining indifferent to the pains, anguish and torments that compatriots suffer on daily basis.
“The PDP hereby calls on Mr. President to quickly embark on these visits and monitor, on first hand basis, the damage which his administration has caused and for which Nigerians are demanding that he resigns and allow more competent hands to manage the affairs of our nation. It is only after these visits that the Buhari Presidency will appreciate that those calling on him to rejig the nation’s security architecture mean well for our dear country.”
However, the songs of welcome have changed in Maiduguri for President Muhammadu Buhari, from being friendly and warm to being openly hostile.
According to video published online, yesterday, as the President’s convoy blitzed through the streets of the Boko Haram threatened city, the crowd that lined the streets shouted “Bama so”, “Bama so”, which means “We don’t want you”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the people of Borno to cooperate with the military and other security agencies to facilitate successful implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign.
The President made the call when he paid a condolence visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, yesterday, in Maiduguri.
Recall that the president is in Borno to sympathise with government and people of the state over the Boko Haram insurgents’ attack which claimed many lives at Auno in Konduga Local Government Area.
The insurgents had, last Sunday, attacked Auno community, killing dozens of stranded passengers, destroyed houses, vehicles and properties worth millions of Naira.
Buhari noted that the fight against insurgency could not be executed without good intelligence and support of the people.
“Boko Haram, or whatever they are, cannot come up to Maiduguri or its environs without the local leadership knowing; traditionally, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.
“With my understanding of our culture, I wonder how Boko Haram survives up to this end.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I campaigned in 2015 and last year on three fundamental issues which include security – you cannot preside over an institution or a country if it is not secured.
“This is just common sense, everybody knows this, even those that have not gone to school knows this.
“On the issue of economy, the Nigerian youths are over 60 per cent of our population with many of them below 30-years. We have to remind them that they must help us to stabilise the country so that they can have a better future.
“If they do not cooperate with government; they are endangering their future; I am already 77 now, how many years do I expect under normal circumstances?”
Buhari reiterated his commitment to work with the security agencies to enhance security, protect lives and property in the country.
“We are working for you in this country; as Commander-in-Chief, I am dealing with the security institutions, and I believe there is improvement in security.
“I urge the people of the state to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies; let us deny Boko Haram access to our loyal citizens and encourage displaced people to go back to their land,” he said.
The President noted that his visit to the state was to sympathise and show his respect to the governor and the people of the state.
Speaking on the economy of the nation, Buhari said that government had saved millions of dollars through agriculture which enhances livelihood of farmers and food security, and also improved the social and economic state of the people.
Buhari said that the Federal Government had adopted proactive measures to check smuggling through the land borders in the country.
According to him, government has created an enabling environment for educated Nigerians to venture into legitimate and sustainable agriculture to enable them become self-reliant and employers of labour.
The President, however, commended the state Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum for providing quality leadership in the state.
Also speaking, Zulum called on the military to take the fight to the insurgents in the fringes of the Sambisa Forest, Lake Chad Basin and other identified hideouts of the terrorists.
Zulum urged the military authorities to foster greater unity between them and the civil authorities with a view to closing the existing discrepancies in their relations.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the killing of over 30 people in Auno near Maiduguri by Boko Haram has again proven that the security architecture in Nigeria has collapsed.
CAN wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari was dragging foot on the need to overhaul the security hierarchy.
In a statement yesterday, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, spokesman to CAN president, Rev Samson Ayokunle, commiserated with families of the bereaved, Muslims in Nigeria, the people and Borno State Government.
It said that the Nigerian Army and Buhari Government had severally claimed that terrorists had been decimated, technically defeated and chased away from the country.
CAN lamented that the insurgents have actually become more daring in their deadly operations, consistently attacking communities, killing, maiming, abducting and burning property with minimal or without any resistance from the frontline troops.
Condemning the claim, CAN has insisted that that the security arrangement in the country, especially in the North-east has been compromised.
“Except the security system is completely overhauled, Nigerians will remain helpless and Federal Government may never be able to contain the current nightmarish security situation”, it warned.
“There is no doubt that sabotage and compromise are largely responsible for the prolonged terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and herdsmen killings in the country, an allegation that has been confirmed by authoritative voices in the country’s security circle at the highest level.
“It is, however, sad that Federal Government nay the Commander-in-Chief is still turning a deaf ear to the desperate calls for the rejigging of the security architecture by Nigerians.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the killing of over 30 people in Auno near Maiduguri by Boko Haram has again proven that the security architecture in Nigeria has collapsed.
COVID-19: NCDC Confirms Second Death, Search For 6,000 Contacts
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is trying to identify 6,000 people who have had close contact with Coronavirus cases.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this, yesterday, when he appeared on Channels Television.
Nigeria, world’s most populous black nation, currently has over 111 cases.
Ihekweazu said the numbers are expected to keep rising, but assured that the NCDC was on top of the situation.
“We expect cases of COVID19 to rise as we improve the capacity to detect and test. Our laboratories are activated to function 24/7.
“We appeal to Nigerians to work with us in compliance with the measures instituted by the President,” he said.
Ihekweazu noted that Nigeria has been lucky not to have had too many severe cases.
He disclosed that the NCDC has currently tested well over 2,000 people and has also increased the number of laboratories in its network.
The NCDC boss lamented that the agency was being bogged down by people who do not require the test.
“So, we have to manage demand. We have to focus on those who need it the most.”
He confirmed that the duration between testing and results depends on several factors.
“But it is between 24 to 48 hours. Our target is to get results out in 12 hours,” the NCDC boss added.
However, the Federal Government has confirmed the second death from Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced this, yesterday, during the Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He said, “Till date, three persons have been discharged after successful treatment. But sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had severe underlying illnesses.
“We have intensified contact tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them, and follow up with their contacts and also isolate and treat, in order to reduce the spread of the infection.
“As of today, the 30th of March, 2020, we have recorded 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria of which 68 are in Lagos, 21 in the FCT, seven in Oyo, three in Ogun, two in Bauchi, two in Edo, two in Osun, two in Enugu, and one each in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna and Rivers states,” Ehanire added.
He stressed that Nigeria has 111 confirmed cases of COVID-19, saying a majority of them were persons who came in from overseas.
According to the health minister, the highest number of confirmed cases is in Lagos and Abuja because they serve as the major gateways to the country.
He also informed the gathering that all retired but able-bodied staff of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Health were being recalled.
Ehanire warned Nigerians to protect the elderly among them, as well as those having underlying health issues as they were the most vulnerable.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, informed the audience that the briefing would be a daily event.
He explained that the purpose was to give an update and minimise the incidence of fake news in the country.
Mustapha stressed that the briefing would be the only approved briefing of the task force, although appearances on TV by relevant members would be allowed.
He announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a committee headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to care for the economic challenges that the situation may bring for the time being.
The SGF also clarified the controversy triggered by the restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He allayed the fear of Nigerians, saying workers in the financial institutions were not included in the stay-at-home order declared by the President in his Sunday broadcast to the nation.
Meanwhile, the government, yesterday, discharged five Coronavirus patients at the Infectious Disease Centre, Yaba Mainland Hospital, Lagos, under the supervision of Lagos State Government and Lagos State Ministry of Health.
This brings to eight the total number of discharged patients from the centre.
The patients are said to have fully recovered from the virus and tested negative after being quarantined for weeks.
Although the discharged patients preferred anonymity, they expressed joy and satisfaction over the treatments they received.
While thanking the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his support and proactive response, they pleaded that the workers at the centre should be given life insurance.
Speaking to the press, one of the patients said, “I came in here on the 15th and after the test showed positive, I was asked to come back the next day. So, I was admitted here.
“Initially, there were hitches but it later turned out fine. The health workers did fine; all our challenges were attended to. I’m a living witness together with my other colleagues.”
He gave an impressive hope, saying people should not panic as the virus could be defeated.
“We can beat it; I want to assure others that this is not their resting place. Encourage yourselves, take your medications, and in no distant time, you will get out of here.
“I want to appeal to the Federal Government and Lagos State Government that, they should remunerate all those workers who have volunteered to work accordingly, so as to serve as an encouragement to others”, adding that, “If they are not here as first responders, many would have died.”
Another patient said, “I was admitted last Sunday. Initially, there were challenges, the following day, they brought bed, mask and some equipment.
“Apart from what my colleague said, the workers should be insured. Proper insurance will let people do what they have to do”.
He narrated a scenario where the workers could not attend to him because he tested positive, saying “they went back and I slept off, I woke up around 3 a.m. So, they deserve life insurance to encourage them to do their job.”
Buhari Signs COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 …As Nigeria’s Confirmed Cases Rise To 131
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, signed the Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared Covid-19 a dangerous infectious disease.
This was In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, last night in Abuja explained that “The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.
“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, the exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday confirmed 20 new cases of coronavirus in the country.
This was disclosed via a tweet on their verifiedTwitter page.
Nigeria now has 131 new confirmed cases of the virus.
“Twenty new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 13 in Lagos, 4 in FCT, 2 in Kaduna and 1 in Oyo State
“As at 09:00 pm 30th March there are 131 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria with 2 deaths.
“As at 09:00 pm 30th March, there are 131 confirmed cases 2 deaths,” it tweeted.
NUPENG Dismisses Shut Down Rumours
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has said it has no plan of shutting down, as the union assured Nigerians of a continuous distribution of petroleum products by its members for commercial, industrial and domestic uses in spite of Coronavirus pandemic.
The union has also commissioned hand sanitisers to all its petroleum loading depots across the country.
Speaking during the commission and presentation of the sanitisers to leaders of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), Lagos Zone at the NUPENG office in Jibowu Yaba, yesterday, the union’s National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, said: “We came to the conclusion that the nation needed our essential services in the same manner the nation requires the services of all those in the front line of the fight to curtail the spread of the virus.
“It was, therefore, unanimously resolved that all our members, on the value chain of distribution of petroleum products for commercial, industrial and domestic uses shall continue to work.
On the threat issue by the union last week to shut down if government refused to protect their member against the Coronavirus, he said everything has been resolved.
In addition to government support in protecting their members, he said the union have decided to provide hand sanitizers to it member across the country.
“We have decided to provide, within our meagre resources, hand sanitizers to all our members across the country.
“We commissioned a pharmaceutical company to produce specifically for our members across the country.
“These hand sanitizers come in 10 litres jerry cans to serve as refill for dispensers that we are going to distribute as well with other kits such as hand gloves and masks,” he said.
The General Secretary of the union, Comrade Afolabi Olawale, said the union will be sending about 1,000 of these items (sanitizers) to it members at the depot every week until the siege is over.
He said:” We have 154 petroleum loading depot across the country, but as we are talking we have 120 of these numbers in active operation.
“Besides that petroleum tanker drivers have about 300 places across the country that serve as their stop over points for resting and recreation, we will be distributing these items to all these places”.
He urged all petroleum depots owners, operators, petrol station owners and industrial set-ups to provide necessary mechanisms and tool.
Olawale also urged members of the union to strictly ensure hygiene at work, home, on the streets and with everyone they would interface within their daily activities.
He said that adherence to the safety measures would go a long way to check Coronavirus spread and keep socio-economic activities of the country alive.
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