The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, yesterday, in Kaduna, appealed to aggrieved party members over the choice of Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as the party’s vice-presidential candidate ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Jibrin advised that members should allow the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku, and its National Chairman, Dr Iyorcha Ayu, to return to the country.
In a statement in Kaduna, yesterday, he maintained that as soon as the party chairman and its presidential candidate returned, the process of reconciling all aggrieved members shall commence with Atiku Abubakar to head the committee.
He listed the members of the committee as; PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; PDP Vice Presidential Candidate and Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyochia Ayu; and his NWC, PDP BOT Chairman, governors, former PDP ministers and some PDP elders from the six zones and states.
According to him, “this was in view of great concern and great sense of feeling on the various recent comments coming from some of our PDP members and some prominent Nigerians on the choice of Okowa, the governor of Delta State as the Vice Presidential Candidate by the Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of our party, PDP, the biggest party not only in Nigeria but the whole of Africa.”
He said all the comments and various submissions are very normal in any political set-up in Nigeria today with PDP being the strongest and most prominent party that has all potential to form government in 2023.
According to him, “We must come back to our senses by all our members and all most responsible and respectful Nigerians by giving total support to the party to enable it to form government by holding all political positions in Nigeria in 2023.”
He said it’s very necessary that when Atiku and Ayu return to Nigeria from abroad, a very important visit must be paid to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
He said it’s very important to note that Wike was a very responsible and very obedient member of the PDP who assisted tremendously toward building the party into what it is today.
He said they must encourage Wike never to leave the party, adding that “in light of the above, I want to appeal to all PDP members and leaders to shun unorthodox comments aimed at reducing and running down the party. We must come together and unite ourselves as earlier established by our founding fathers.”
He urged party supporters to shun any bad comment aimed at dividing them and be ready to forget and forgive ourselves by encouraging Nigerians to continue supporting us and our party.
He further appealed to all current and former governors, and former presidents of Nigeria not to add more fuel to the fire but to always try to quench the fire from spreading.
Emirates Suspends Flights To Nigeria From Sept
Emirates Airlines, yesterday, announced the suspension of its flight operations in Nigeria from September 1, 2022.
It said the suspension became necessary following its inability to repatriate its funds from Nigeria.
International carriers operating in Nigeria have repeatedly complained about their inability to repatriate funds to their home countries.
They have raised this concern on many occasions with officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, as well as those at the finance ministry.
Blocked funds belonging to these airlines have risen to about $600million, as this is due to the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make the United States dollar available for the carriers to repatriate.
In its statement, yesterday, Emirates Airlines stated that it “has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.”
It added, “Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective September 1, 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.”
It, however, noted that should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, the airline would, of course, re-evaluate its decision.
“We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travellers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations,” the global carrier stated.
RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics
The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.
By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun
FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.
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