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Leah Sharibu’s Mum Joins Protest In London To Mark Daughter’s Anniversary Abduction

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Rebecca Sharibu, the mother of 16 year-old schoolgirl Leah Sharibu, joined a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission in London, organised by CSW to mark the second anniversary of her daughter’s abduction and calling on the Nigerian government to do everything in its power to secure her release.

Leah Sharibu was the sole Christian among 110 schoolgirls abducted by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) faction of Boko Haram from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state on 19 February 2018. While her surviving classmates returned a month later following government negotiations, she was denied her freedom for refusing to convert as a precondition for release.

Speaking outside the Nigerian High Commission, Rebecca Sharibu said: “Today Leah has spent two years in captivity. We don’t know where Leah is, we don’t know the condition or the situation that Leah is in. I want to thank you once again for the encouragement I receive from all of you, and plead with you to continue praying until Leah is out. I’m pleading with

[the UK]
government and with our Nigerian government, with President Buhari… to fulfil his promises that he has made to me personally, that he is going to rescue Leah and ensure that she is released, and not just Leah, all the others in captivity.”

Mrs Sharibu, accompanied by CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas, subsequently delivered a petition with 12,132 signatures to the High Commission, calling on the Nigerian government to take action to help Leah.

Eritrean gospel singer Helen Berhane, who spent two and a half years imprisoned by Eritrean authorities in a shipping container on account of her faith, sang Days of Elijah, while Pastor Ayo Adedoyin, the Executive Director of the International Organisation for Peace Building and Social Justice (PSJ); and Pastor Fred Williams of Spirit Life Missions prayed for Leah’s release.

Pastor Fred Williams, also speaking outside the High Commission, highlighted the wider situation in northern Nigeria: “The number of kidnappings in northern Nigeria is not reducing, it is increasing and they are targeting Christians… Every part of northern Nigeria now is being covered by this trend. This is not going away… What is happening in Nigeria is going to spread, its not going to stop in northern Nigeria, it has already spread to other parts. We need to respond to this global issue, we need to be proactive.”

In October 2018 ISWAP declared that Ms Sharibu and Christian nurse Alice Loksha Ngaddah, who was abducted on 1 March 2018 during an attack on Rann, would be enslaved for life, and that it was now “lawful” for the terrorists to “do whatever we want with them.” Most recently in January 2020 one of five aid workers released by ISWAP reported that Leah was alive and well.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW has been outside this High Commission many times in the last two years. We’ve spent days and days out here. We’ve celebrated Leah’s birthday out here on two occasions, and we will continue until we see Leah released. We will stand with [Rebecca] until we see Leah released. We believe that the Nigerian Government and President Buhari is not doing enough, in fact we don’t believe they’re doing anything, even though President Buhari personally promised Rebecca that he would get Leah released. That was eighteen months ago, and nothing has happened. So that’s why we’re here today, we’re here to protest and say to the Nigerian government we want to see Leah released. We stand in solidarity with Rebecca… and we will continue to do that.”

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Just In: Shelve Planned Protest -Tinubu Begs Nigerians

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President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

JomogNews reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

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Tinubu Transmits New Minimum Wage Bill To National Assembly

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday sent the Minimum Wage bill to the House of Representatives for consideration and passage into law.

Tinubu’s letter was read on the floor of the House, provides for a new national minimum wage as well as the legal framework for the implementation of the agreed wage.

In the letter, the president urged lawmakers to expedite the passage of the minimum wage bill to ensure immediate implementation for the benefit of Nigerian workers

Tinubu also sought the amendment to the Nigeria Police Act in accordance with section 58 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

This is coming when Tinubu approved N70,000 as the new national minimum wage for workers.

This followed series of meetings between representatives of the Nigerian government and the organized labour.

However, lawmakers are expected to legalise the N70, 000 minimum wage.

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Dangote Should Not Be Blamed For Buying Dollars At Lower Rates When He Was Building Refinery – Emir Sanusi

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The 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that Alhaji Aliko Dangote should not be blamed for buying dollars at lower rates at the time he was building his refinery because that was the actual rate the apex bank was selling to everybody at that time.

Sanusi, who commented on the issue through SOP Chat Group, initially said: “I honestly do not think it is a good idea for me to make comments on these issues, but some comments surprise me, and I just have to say something.”

The emir then went on to remark: “Aliko Dangote did not fix the price at which the CBN sold dollars. Everyone who got dollars from the CBN got dollars at the same rate if they bought on the same day. So we cannot blame him for buying dollars at a rate the CBN itself decided to sell to its customers.

“So the question for me is this. Let us forget the man Dangote. If the Central Bank were to prioritize a single enterprise for forex allocation, how many enterprises can we think of that are worthier than a refinery like this one?

“Consider the drain on our forex from importing petroleum products; the tens of billions of dollars of forex spent abroad; the huge losses due to theft in the name of subsidy.

“By the way, how much forex did Dangote buy from the CBN at this subsidized rate? How much forex did NNPC take from the federation account in the same year in the name of running and turning around its dead refineries? What are we benchmarking against?

“If any Nigerian came to me as a Central Bank Governor with a project like this refinery, I would recognize immediately its potential impact on the economy and give it all the support needed.

“Let our views on forex policies not becloud our sense of priorities. Once the CBN decided to sell dollars at the below market, it would be forced to ration the limited dollars available.”

“To my mind, giving dollars for the construction of a refinery is better than rice importers and, indeed, almost every other enterprise apart from education and health, given the impact on the macro.”

On the argument by NNPC that relying on one refinery is bad for our energy security, Muhammadu Sanusi II said: “This is most laughable. On the contrary, relying on a local refinery is far more secure than these imports.

“It is a very rich argument from an entity that had taken billions of dollars in the name of turnaround maintenance and not produced a drop of product from four refineries because it is more profitable to continue extracting rent in the name of subsidy. If NNPC activated its refineries, there would be no monopoly. Then, we can see the sulphur content of its products and compare them to Dangote’s.”

He said further: “Until then, keeping quiet is the honourable option for it, NNPC and its spinoffs have lost any right to talk until they fix the mess they have thrown us into.

“In any case, if the Dangote refinery is unable to meet local demand, the gap can be filled by imports, these people in NNPC do not want to end their lucrative subsidy scam, and I don’t think they will end it.
” But as a nation, if we do not thank Dangote for what he has done as an African to deal a hammer blow to multinationals and the rentier system and for structural change in this economy through value added in various sectors, we should not condemn him.

“Also, we tend to repeat stories without evidence. We hear about Dangote getting favourable taxation but no one has said what this tax is, if he got it alone or if it was offered to a sector or to pioneers, and if such a practice is in fact normal to encourage investment.”

The emir concluded thus: “Instead of killing Dangote, we should try and make more like him. Nigeria always kills its heroes and its best because of envy and pettiness.”

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