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Rivers Crisis: Why We Are With Tinubu, By PDP Governors

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors yesterday justified their backing of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s intervention in the Rivers State political crisis.

They explained that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was desirous of the quick resolution of the conflict, adding that the president’s mediation became necessary to prevent its spread to other states.

As the NGF intensified its crisis resolution, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nyesom Wike said he had no cause to interfere in the governance of Rivers, having served its people for eight years as governor.

He maintained that his priority was limited to the protection of the political structures built since 2015.

Governor Siminalayi Fubara, who had assured that the rift between him and the minister would be amicably resolved, secured another court injunction that put on hold the impeachment moves against him by the House of Assembly.

Why we supported Tinubu’s mediation, by PDP governors

PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, defended President Tinubu’s intervention in the rift.

He said contrary to criticisms by some PDP chieftains believed to be loyal to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that its commendation of President Tinubu was “too patronising” and capable of leading the PDP into oblivion, the truce brokered by him was consistent with the NGF agenda.

The Forum’s Director General, CID Maduabum, said in a statement that the action of the Bauchi governor was an act of courtesy.

He added that Tinubu’s intervention in Rivers and his non-interference in the proceedings of the election tribunals were commendable.

The Forum’s statement reads: “For the avoidance of doubts and to clarify the sequence of events, it was, in fact, the Chairman of the NGF, Governor Malam Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Razaq of Kwara State, an APC Governor, that took leadership in intimating Mr. President of the situation in Rivers State.

“All the governors of 36 states supported the move. In particular, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Bala Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move.

“It should be noted that Gov. Fubara is a member of the NGF and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum. President Tinubu agreed to intervene as requested.

“It is most disingenuous for certain persons to lampoon the courtesies extended to Mr. President for his intervention.

“It should be noted that the events that played out in Rivers had national security implications; it had the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order.

“Indeed, the Rivers State Police Command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

“Mr. President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and effectively the Chief Security Officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud. “Indeed, Nigeria’s history is replete with instances where a development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country.

“Rivers State is one of the major oil-producing states in Nigeria. A breach of the peace in Rivers State, considering its strategic value and importance, no doubt, could affect other states of the federation.

“Indeed, it is a sign of good leadership and a high sense of duty that Gov. Mohammed summoned and held an emergency meeting of the Forum immediately after the Rivers State matter came up. We think that he deserves credit for this.”

Flaying the attacks on Governor Mohammed, the Forum added: “There is no way Governor Mohammed, being a lover of peace in all parts of the country, could fold his hands and fail to act or appreciate the good efforts of the President in finding a solution to the crisis.

“This further explains the shuttle diplomacy employed by the PDP Governors’ Forum led by Governor Mohammed in visiting and counselling the dramatis personae in the crises.

“Those castigating the Chairman and other members of the PDP Governors’ Forum seem to have forgotten that the unity, peace and tranquillity of the country transcend politics and political leanings.

“The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum has not in any way done anything wrong by thanking the efforts of the President to resolve the crisis in Rivers.

“Senator Mohammed is not trying and will not do anything to hand over the PDP, a leading and formidable opposition party, to the President, who was elected on the platform of another party.

Wike: We will defend party structures

Wike, who received members of the Rivers State Caucus of the National Assembly in Abuja, said the onus was on stakeholders to defend the party structures.

The federal legislators who visited his office in solidarity reiterated their loyalty to the minister.

Wike emphasised that any move aimed at destroying the political structures that were built since 2015 will be resisted.

He said he was not interested in the governance of Rivers, stressing that his hands are full as FCT minister.

He said: “I am not interested in the governance of Rivers. I am here as governor in FCT. I am interested in the political structure we’ve built over the years in Rivers.

“Anybody who tries it will get the resistance of his life; anybody who puts his hands in Rivers political structures, what you see, you see.”

The minister chided those who accused him of demanding 25 per cent from Fubara, saying that they were ignorant.

He said: ‘’I was governor for eight years. I am now FCT minister, not just minister, and some will say that I am asking for 25 per cent; that is madness.”

Wike said in life, people should learn to appreciate those who in one way or another contributed to their lives.

He charged the legislators not to disappoint the state and the country.

Wike stressed: “Those of you that God has given the opportunity, don’t disappoint your state, don’t disappoint Nigerians.

“When you make a mistake, we will call you to order. Take it in good faith; don’t say we are coming for kickbacks.”

The leader of the delegation, Kingsley Chinda, House of Representatives Minority Leader, said: “We thank you for your invaluable support for all of us. You supported us all through the primaries. You are the reason why we are in the National Assembly today.”

Chinda noted that in barely three months, Wike has changed the face of the FCT, reminiscent of his days as governor of Rivers.

He also condemned the political crisis in the state, saying that it was unwarranted.

Members of the Rivers State National Assembly Caucus that visited Wike were all three senators from Rivers State and 11 House of Representatives members.

They are: Senators Barinada Mingi, Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Allwell Onyeso.

The House members apart from Chinda are Honey Felix Nwike, Boniface Emerungwa, Blessing Emezureke, Victor Onozor, Fun Deakor, Solomon Bob, Kelechi Nworgu, Hart Cyril Goodwill and Allison Anderson.

Impeachment: Another court restrains Rivers Assembly, others

A Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, restrained the House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment of the governor.

Justice Phoebe Ayua issued the warning while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed in a suit instituted against the state Assembly and eight others by two members of the PDP in the state – Amadi Madubuochi and Goya Oluka.

The judge gave the ruling after listening to Eric Omare, counsel for the applicants/plaintiffs.

The lawyer argued that the move to impeach Fubara was unlawful because the legislators had not established any wrongdoing against him.

In a copy of the enrolled order, Justice Ayua said: “An order is made directing that all parties on record respect the court and should not take any step concerning the subject matter in this matter, since the matter is already before this court (sub judice), pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

Justice Ayua also ordered that the respondents be notified about the pending suit, marked: FHC/PH/CS/234/2023 and motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.

He adjourned till November 9 for a hearing of the motion on notice.

Respondents/defendants in the suit are the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, the Chief Judge, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Department of State Services (DSS), the Governor, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State and the Inspector General of the (IGP).

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NSIB Receives U.S. Preliminary Report On Wigwe’s Death

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it has received the preliminary report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the crashed helicopter that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe and five others.

Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Feb. 9, Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, his wife, son and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as some others were onboard the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4.

Oladeji said that following the accident, the NSIB offered its full cooperation to the NTSB, the lead agency investigating the accident which claimed the lives of six individuals.

The crash occured at the Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, U.S.A.

According to Oladeji, initial findings suggest that the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage upon impact, resulting in fragmentation of major components.

She said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter embarked on a journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterised by rain and a mix of snow, were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

“Analysis of the accident site revealed a scattered debris pattern about 300 ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an initial impact point which was a 1.5 ft deep, 12 ft long and 10 ft wide ground crater.

“Containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle at the extreme eastern edge of the ground crater.

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site. The helicopter’s fuselage was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

“Some debris and vegetation displayed thermal damage, indicative of the extent of the collision’s force. The flight control tubes and linkages leading up to the flight control servos were fragmented and continuity could not be verified.

“All three pitch control links were attached at the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The main rotor blades were fragmented and broomstrawed, and the blade sleeves and tips were present.

“Data analysis utilised sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident.”

Oladeji said that the NSIB, in accordance with the prerogative granted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO’s) Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, had the right to access investigation information.

“On aviation accidents and incidents involving Nigerian-registered aircraft or Nigerian citizens in 193 countries that are member states of the ICAO.

“The NSIB has been actively engaging with the NTSB since the beginning of the investigation.

She said that as the investigation progresses, NSIB will be committed to engaging the NTSB to receive the public docket of the investigation, which will comprise the compendium of information gathered throughout the investigation.

“This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data that will give a clearer picture of the factors that led to the accident.”

Also, the Director-General of the NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh, expressed gratitude for the cooperation extended by the NTSB, which has facilitated the sharing of vital information.

“We will continue to work closely with relevant authorities leading the investigation, including the NTSB, to gather additional evidence and information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that led to this tragic event,” Badeh.

(NAN)

 

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BDC: CBN Mandates Sellers Above $10,000 To Declare Sources

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,”

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated foreign exchange sellers to Bureau De Change (BDC) of the equivalent of 10,000 dollars and above to declare their forex sources.

Haruna Mustapha, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN, said this in a revised regulatory framework to curtail excesses of BDCs and check uncertainty in the foreign exchange market.

Mustapha said that such sellers would also be required to comply with all Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism ( AML/CFT) regulations.

He said that the guidelines would significantly enhance the regulatory framework for the operations of BDCs as part of ongoing reforms of the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

According to him, the guidelines revises the permissible activities, licensing requirements, corporate governance and AML/CFT provisions for BDCs.

“It also sets out new record-keeping and reporting requirements, among others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the guidelines also specifies that no person shall carry on the business of BDC in Nigeria except with the prior authorisation of the CBN.

It described BDC as a company licensed by the CBN to carry on only retail foreign exchange business in Nigeria.

It banned commercial, merchant, non-interest and payment service banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), including holding companies and payment service providers from promoting BDCs.

It also precluded serving staff of financial services regulatory and supervisory agencies, serving staff of regulated financial services providers, governments at all levels, among others, from promoting BDCs.

The guidelines permitted BDCs to acquire foreign currency from authorised sources like tourists, returnees from the diaspora and expatriates with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts.

Other permissible sources are International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), embassies, hotels that are authorised buyers of foreign currencies, the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NFEM) and any other source that the CBN may specify.

It warned the BDCs not to engage in street-trading, maintaining any type of account for any member of the public, or accepting any asset for safe keeping/custody.

It said that the BDCs were also not permitted to take deposits from or grant loans to members of the public in any currency and in any form.

“Retail sale of foreign currencies to non-individuals, except for BTA, international outward transfers, engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondent relationship with any foreign establishment are also not permissible,” it said

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Economic Hardship: Blame Buhari, Not Tinubu – Northern Group Tells Nigerians

What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

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A Northern group, Civil Society For Credible Election has stated that erstwhile president, Muhammadu Buhari should be blamed for the economic crisis plaguing the nation.

The group lamented that President Bola Tinubu inherited the challenges from his predecessor.

They shared their reservations while addressing newsmen in Kano.

Umar argued that Tinubu had since hit the ground working to reverse the situation through various steps and policies put in place.

He subsequently called on Nigerians to exercise patience with the President as things will be better in no distant time in the country.

According to him, “We recognize the fact that Nigerians are passing through hardship at the moment. It is a result of a global economic meltdown, but only further compounded by some shortcomings of the last administration under former president Muhammadu Buhari.

“What people need to know about Nigeria’s present challenges is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inherited them from the past administration of former president Buhari but as a determined leader, Tinubu is pulling all strings together to overcome them head-on.

“Nigerians are all living witness to the phantom steps and policies of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the country’s sociocultural, economic and political indices.

“What President Tinubu need from all Nigerians now is patience, cooperation and understanding of the administration reforms policies. These reforms are strategic and competent enough to in no distant time make all Nigerians proud of their beloved country.”

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