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US Rescue Operation Confirms Buhari’s Incompetence, PDP, CSOs Allege

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, said the swift operation by the United States to rescue her citizen held hostage by bandits on Nigerian soil has further confirmed that the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency can neither secure the territorial integrity of the nation nor arrest the wave of insecurity ravaging the country under its watch.
The party described the situation where the United States, “had to come on our soil to pull a rescue, as an international embarrassment and shows how low the Buhari Presidency had fallen in its failure to guarantee the safety of lives and property in our country.”
The US citizen, Philipe Nathan Walton was kidnapped in the Niger Republic/Nigerian border a few weeks ago after his offer of $40 failed to persuade his abductors.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said, “the fact that under President Muhammadu Buhari, bandits and abductors from neighbouring countries now freely cross into our nation to use our soil as detention camps further shows the failure of his administration to secure our national borders and territorial integrity.
“It also shows that contrary to claims by the Buhari administration, parts of our country are still under the control of bandits and insurgents.
“It is indeed grossly disconcerting that under our Commander-in-Chief, a general, who had consistently promised to lead from the front, it took a foreign country to come on our soil to rescue their citizen, while hordes of our citizens are reportedly being held, tortured and killed in various kidnappers’ and insurgents’ dens in various parts of our nation.”
The PDP added, “The fact that other countries with competent and determined leadership have successfully dislodged and vanquished bandits on our soil highlights the incompetence, lack of honesty and want of will power on the part of the Buhari administration to effectively secure our nation.
“Our party believes that the latest experience will compel President Buhari to accede to widespread demand by Nigerians to rejig his security architecture as well as replace his service chiefs with more competent hands to effectively tackle insecurity challenge facing our country.
“Nevertheless, our party commends and immensely values the courage and sacrifices of our gallant troops who are daily risking their lives in the front to safeguard our nation against the insurgents despite the challenges they face.
“The PDP also charges all Nigerians to remain vigilant and continue to pray for our nation at this trying time.”
Similarly, a Coalition of 102 Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance (COSOGOG), has claimed that the successful rescue of a United States citizen, Philip Nathan Watson, has exposed the Federal Government’s weakness in tackling insurgency ravaging the country.
Aside commending the US government for the operation, it expressed shocked how the American Navy Seal carried out successful rescue operation in the country without the involvement and knowledge of Nigerian security services.
To this end, COSOGOG National Coordinator, Ibrahim Gadzama; and National Secretary, Gboyega Fayemi; in a statement, yesterday, called on President Mohammadu Buhari, to sack the service chiefs, for failing to curb banditry despite huge budgetary allocation.
Gadzama said: “We, the entire management and members of this group wish to commend the American government and their Navy Seal Team 6 for rescuing one of its citizens who was kidnapped in Niger Republic, and later moved to Nigeria by bandits. This show of patriotism and commitment by the US Government is phenomenal.
“However, this action by the US Seal is not only a very big breach of our sovereignty as a nation but also indicates that there is a big gap in our country’s security architecture.
“We call for an immediate action against those entrusted with the security of our nation. All the service chiefs must be sacked and replaced with committed younger generals before it is too late.
“We know that in a matter of days, we may begin to get some cosmetic responses from our security forces justifying the raid or giving excuses for their failure, but the obvious fact is that this raid by American Navy Seal has further confirmed our position that our security chiefs are not on top of their game and need to go home.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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