Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Benjamin Kalu, says “statistical data” indicates that the south-east geopolitical zone lost N4 trillion in two years due to the sit-at-home order.
However, the lawmaker did not mention the body that released the data, nor the methodology used in arriving at the figure.
The south-east comprises Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo States.
Speaking on Friday, at an event organised by the Ndigboamaka Progressive Markets Association in Lagos, Kalu said the Monday sit-at-home order has crippled businesses and also stifled the economic growth of the five states.
The lawmaker, who represents Bende Federal Constituency in Abia State, said collective efforts are required to stop the sit-at-home order.
“The existential threat to Igbo entrepreneurship and businesses now is the insecurity and sit-at-home problem in the south-east,” Kalu said.
“The mutation of this problem is largely unfathomable. It is becoming a cankerworm that is eating deep into our collective fortune as a people.
“If I do not tell you the truth as your son, then it will be difficult for anyone in governance from Ala-Igbo to tell you. I am pained by what our dear land has become. We have to be honest and sincere with ourselves. I make a heartfelt plea to every one of you.
“We cannot afford to retreat from our business endeavours. The stay-at-home order on Mondays has resulted in staggering losses of N4 trillion in the last two years in the south-east alone, according to statistical data.”
Kalu said the sit-at-home in the zone affects businesses across the country, especially enterprises in the south-east supply chain.
The lawmaker said stakeholders in the region must find a lasting solution to the security challenges in Igboland by collectively addressing them through innovative strategies.
Sit-at-home order was introduced by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to protest the detention of Kanu, its leader.
Although the separatist group suspended the sit-at-home in September 2021, there are reports of forceful and violent enforcement of the order by suspected thugs in the region.
Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Tallen Felicitates Tinubu’s Wife @ 63
Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, has felicitated First Lady, Sen. Remi Tinubu on the occasion of her 63rd birthday.
Tallen, who congratulated the President’s wife in a statement on Friday in Abuja, eulogised the First Lady, who she described as “a rare gem and rare gift to the nation.”
She prayed for more years of God’s exceeding grace on Mrs Tinubu, describing her as extremely humane, an epitome of humility and an indispensable strong pillar of support to her husband.
Tallen said, “Your Excellency, on this milestone and auspicious occasion of your 63rd birthday, I join millions of your well-wishers across the globe, especially the womenfolk, to celebrate with you, while thanking God for His exceeding grace upon you, while wishing you the best that life can offer in the many decades ahead.
“As a wife, mother, fervent preacher of the gospel, as well as an iconic political leader, who exemplifies the struggle for women in politics, you will remain a veritable source of inspiration and pride for women for generations yet unborn.
“Indeed, we could not have asked God for a better First Lady at this time, considering your rare track record of achievements, as your life has been a gift, not just to Nigerian women after your breaking of many barriers for women and setting a perfect example for young girls over the years.”
The former Deputy Governor of Plateau and one-time Minister of State, Science and Technology, said that the people of Plateau would remain eternally grateful to Mrs Tinubu, particularly for her recent visit to the state and donation of a whooping sum of N500 million to families of crisis victims in the state.
She said that through her Renewed Hope Initiative, as Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Tinubu has demonstrated her empathy, humanity and philanthropic gesture by pursuing the well-being of others with unquantifiable compassion and zeal to help the less privileged, the challenged and those in need.
Tallen, therefore, prayed for long life, good health, increased grace and wisdom for the First Lady and her entire family.
Tani Olorun Not Against Out-Of-Court Settlement, Says Lawyer
The legal team of embattled Isese advocate in Ilorin, Kwara State, Abdulazeez Adegbola, alias Tani Olorun, has said they are open to an out-of-court settlement of the case of criminal defamation brought against him by the police.
Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Ademola Bank, disclosed this in an interview with The Tide source.
Tani Olorun is standing trial on five counts of alleged criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before a Kwara Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin.
In a separate case, he is also standing trial before the Kwara Upper Area Court sitting in Ilorin, alongside the Oluwo Nla of Tede, Chief Ademola Olawoore.
The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to sections 97, 210, 392, and 114 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with our source in Ilorin on Saturday, Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Bank, said, “If an agreement for an out-of-court settlement comes up, why are we not to agree? The court allows it, the law allows it, and wisdom allows it. The law does not frown on it, the court does not frown on it, and wisdom does not frown on it. Parties can agree to an out-of-court settlement at any time. If it comes, so be it, if the situation allows it.”
He was, however, silent on whether the agreement for an out-of-court settlement would come from the defendant, saying, “It is the situation that dictates it. If it comes from the parties, we will not stand against it. The lawyer will not stand against it. No lawyer will oppose any bid for settlement by parties; it is for peace to reign.”
I’m Not Afraid Of Appeal – Gawuna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Kano State, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, has said he is unafraid of the appeal challenging his victory at the tribunal.
The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had, last Wednesday, declared the APC candidate winner of the election and sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
The three-man panel ordered a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna and the withdrawal of a certificate of return presented to Yusuf.
The court noted that ballot papers of 165,663 votes were not stamped or signed and, therefore, were invalid and deducted the 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total.
Speaking with BBC Hausa in an interview while commenting on the tribunal judgment, Gawuna said, “I am grateful to Allah for our victory in the Kano State election, which was affirmed by the court today (Wednesday). I thank Him for His will, which chose us to lead. I also thank our lawyers and the general public for their prayers and support.”
He noted that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was initially declared the winner of the election but believed that Allah had already decided the outcome, saying they had the right to challenge the results in court, and they did so.
Gawuna said that anyone who believes that nothing happens without Allah’s will will never worry or take governance as a do-or-die affair, stressing that whatever happens to them, they believe it is the will of Allah.
According to him, “We are not intimidated or afraid, because we know that whatever happens is for the best. Allah never makes mistakes.”
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