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‘Military’s Failure To Deploy Tucano Jets, Sign Of Sympathy For Terrorists’

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria,(HURIWA), yesterday, carpeted the Nigerian military over its failure to deploy the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets against terrorists turning the North-West zone into another killing field like the North-East zone.
HURIWA also reminded the Federal Government that these daredevil terrorists are fast approaching the Federal Capital Territory and have struck many times very close to the political capital of Nigeria.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the Nigerian military has shown its tolerance for the terrorists by failing to bomb the hideout of the insurgents five months after a Federal High Court designated bandits as terrorists, paving the way for the Nigerian Air Force to bomb the location of the terrorists with the Tucano fighter jets acquired in 2021 from the United States of America.
The group’s comment followed the series of attacks launched by terrorists in Kaduna State in the last one week including the killing of over 50 people in the Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna on Friday, the invasion of the Kaduna International Airport on Saturday by over 200 terrorists, the bombing of an Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday with over 398 passengers onboard, many killed, hospitalised and several others still unaccounted for and the follow-up attack on Tuesday.
HURIWA also noted that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, last Wednesday, indicted the military over its reluctance to deploy the fighter jets when he said the military knew the location of the bandits wreaking havoc in the state but was refusing to bomb their lair.
It said the military had given a series of excuses for its failure to deploy the fighter jets but the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on November 25, 2021, obtained a judgement designating all gunmen in the North-West as terrorists.
This was said to be a condition by the United States Government for the deployment of the aircraft outside of the North-East.
The order was later gazetted paving the way for the deployment of the fighter jets in the North-West.
The United States Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, Jonathan Finer, had also said the Nigerian Government was expected to deploy the Super Tucano aircraft only in the northern part of the country where Boko Haram insurgents have for over a decade killed thousands and displaced millions.
But the military has, for over five months, refused to deploy the fighter jets while the terrorists shot down a NAF jet, attack the Nigerian Defence Academy, killed over 2,100 innocent lives in Kaduna and kidnapped over 5,000 others within two years.
Onwubiko said the tardiness of the military was not surprising because of the Fulani ethnic extraction of the terrorists involved in the ruins in the North-West states of Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Jigawa.
He said, “The cocktails of terrorist attacks including those of Kaduna since Friday and those of Minna and in Suleja near Abuja in which soldiers were killed showed that Nigeria is indeed in a war situation as confessed by el-Rufai.
“Nigerians deserve to know where the Tucano military bombers bought to fight terrorists are and why the government is sparing the terrorists while thousands of so-called repentant terrorists are released regularly by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, and the Federal Government.
“If it were to be in the South-East, the military would have killed everyone as it is already doing with the pockets of attacks experienced in the zone which is nothing to be compared to the terrorism experienced on daily basis in the North-West
“The worsening insecurity also matches HURIWA’s earlier prediction that forces within the Federal Government do not want the 2023 election to hold but to activate a state of national emergency for tenure elongation for some months with the hope of scuttling any power transfer of the President of Nigeria to Southern Nigeria.”
The leadership of the Unified Nigerian Youth Forum (UNYF) has noted that Monday’s attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train by terrorists has further exposed the inability of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to keep to its campaign promises with the increased spate of insecurity and other challenges bedevilling the country.
The forum, therefore, condemned in strong terms the tragic attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train leading to the loss of lives, injuries and abduction of many.
The President of the forum, Comrade Abdulsalam Moh’d Kazeem, in a statement said, “The series of attacks has further exposed the inability of the current administration to keep to her campaign promises, the spate of insecurity in our nation is terrible and we lack appropriate words to describe it.
“It’s no news again that the current administration has failed us, but we the citizens should not allow this to consume us and the leadership, because available information at our disposal shows the nation has recently imported super Tucanos and many helicopter fighting jets, but to our greatest surprise the said Tucanos and fighter jets are nowhere to be found, rather some of them are diverted to be used against citizens during a peaceful and lawful protest against bad governance, to us indeed it’s a misplaced priority and wrong placement.”
It noted that it is not surprised at the current happenings in the country, after over six years of the current administration; the government is still blaming the past government over everything, saying that this alone has further proven that nothing good can be achieved by President Muhammadu Buhari and his co-travellers.
According to the statement, the present administration rather would continue to feed Nigerians with their usual propaganda and conspiracy theories of blaming others for their shortcomings.
It urged the Federal Government to immediately declare a state of emergency on security, stressing that the government should secure the release of all those kidnapped without asking their relatives to pay the ransom.
It also urged the government to pay all the medical bills of all those that sustain injuries and are currently in the hospital and equally compensate them for loss of valuables.

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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.11% In Q1 2022, NBS Affirms

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11per cent in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS made this known via its Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report Q1 2022 released, last Monday.
According to the report, Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS noted that the development showed a sustained positive growth for six consecutive quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarter two and three of 2020.
It added that the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance.
The NBS stated: “The observed trend since Q4 of 2020 is an indication of a gradual economic stability.
“The Q1 of 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 of 2021 by 2.60per cent points and lower than 3.98per cent recorded in Q4 of 2021 by 0.88per cent points.
“Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66per cent in Q1 of 2022, compared to Q4 of 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.
“In the period under review, aggregate GDP stood at about N45.317million in nominal terms.
“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of about N40.014million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25per cent.
“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25per cent growth recorded in Q1 2021, and higher compared to the 13.11per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter,” the report read.

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RSG Launches RIV-CARES Programme …World Bank Rates Rivers High

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The Rivers State Government has launched the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike performed the launching at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said the programme was to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable households and support micro and small-scale enterprises as a means of stimulating economic growth post-COVID.
According to the State Chief Executive, “the state government had signed in for the programme, made provisions in the 2022 Budget for Result Areas and signed Funds Release Policy, which is an assurance to the World Bank that funds shall be released for the implementation of the programme”.
Wike said the launching of the RIV-CARES Programme would create awareness for the people of the state and engender expression of interest by beneficiary households, communities and operators of micro and small businesses (SMEs).
The governor, who encouraged the Rivers people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by RIV-CARES to enhance their means of livelihood and reduce the spate of poverty in the communities, commended the World Bank and the Federal CARES for their support to the state.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, said in a bid to check the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, food security and micro and small businesses, the World Bank in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state governments, introduced the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
She said the state scaled through rigorous preparatory stages and qualified to participate in the programme whose objective was “to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms”.
According to her, the stages include, signing of subsidiary loan agreement and fund release policy by the government.
Others include the establishment of the RIV-CARES Steering Committee, establishment of State- CARES Coordination Unit domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and preparation of work plan.
“The NG-CARES, after domestication of programme implementation manual now known as RIV-CARES programme has the State Coordination Unit (SCU) saddled with coordinating implementation of RIV-CARES programme in the state and reporting to Federal-CARES supporting unit and the World Bank in Abuja.
“It is also a bridge between the delivery platforms and the State-CARES Steering Committee and for delivery platform under three Results Areas (RA1-3).
Cline listed the three areas to include cash transfer unit, labour intensive public works and community-driven development social (CDD-S) Plus.
The rest are, FADAMA and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said the programme must succeed in order to kick out poverty from the state in view of the fact that failure to kick out poverty would make life difficult for the entire citizenry.
He, therefore, thanked the governor for making it possible for Rivers State to participate in the programme.
Similarly, the World Bank and the Federal Government have rated Rivers State high in the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus scheme by the state government.
Representative of the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr.Aso Vakporaye said this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt at the official flag offand implementation of the Rivers State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme in the state.
Vakporaye, who is also the chairman of the Federal Government’sFederal-CARES Technician Committee,confirmed that Rivers State has met the requirements for the implementation of the programme.
He said alot still remains to be done,adding that the state needs to release more money for the implementation of the programme.
Also speaking, theTechnical Head of State CARESCoordinating Unitand Secretary,RIV-CARESSteering Committee,Mrs Imaonyeni Ephraim, said the programme would improve the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people in the state.
She said the programme, which runs for two years,was open to many beneficiaries.
The flag off was performed by the state Deputy Governor,Dr.Ipalibo Harry Banigo, onbehalf of Governor Nyesom Wike.

By: John Bibor

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PDP Elects Senatorial Candidates For 2023 Elections

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers State, last Monday, held its primary election to elect candidates who will fly its flags for the Senatorial election in 2023.
The election, which took place at the three senatorial headquarters of the state, saw the emergence of the state Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, as the candidate for Rivers West Senatorial District, Chief Allwell Onyesoh won the primaries for Rivers East Senatorial District while Senator Barinaada Mpigi secured a return ticket to represent Rivers South East Senatorial District.
Speaking before the deployment of electoral officers and materials for the election, the state PDP Chairman, Amb Desmond Akawor, welcomed members of the electoral committee from the PDP National Headquarters, and briefed them on the successes so far recorded in the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives primaries.
Akawor said though some form of consensus had been reached concerning the senatorial aspirants, the party would still observe due diligence by ensuring that proper primary election was conducted at the three senatorial district headquarters, urging the electoral officers to be discrete in handling their assignment.
Chairman of the PDP Electoral Committee for the Senatorial Primary, Hon Donatus Etim, commended Governor Nyesom Wike for the enormous work done in strengthening the electoral process in the state, thereby making it possible for successful primaries to be held in the state.

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