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Afenifere To Tinubu: Go After Sponsors Of Terrorism

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THE Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Monday, urged President Bola Tinubu to ensure his administration goes after those sponsoring terrorism in the country and stop making excuses, saying it will serve as a deterrent to criminals.

Afenifere, in a statement jointly signed by its Publicity Secretary, Gboyega Adejumo, and Assistant Publicity Secretary, Justice Faloye, warned that Tinubu could not afford to fail in the critical national assignment, like his immediate predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.

In yet another indication of the worsening insecurity in the country, no fewer than seven persons were shot dead on Sunday at an evening market in Zurak, Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, when suspected bandits invaded the market.

Reacting to the state of the nation, Afenifere said now was the time for the president to demonstrate political will and courage to annihilate the monstrous individuals killing and abducting people in their hundreds, particularly innocent school children, and giving Nigerians heartache and sleepless nights.

The group said it would be disastrous and disappointing if Tinubu would, like his predecessor, treat the blood-squealing terrorists with kid gloves, when he ought to deal with them head-on with a view to making the criminals pay for their heinous acts.

Afenifere also called on Tinubu to commence restructuring of the country to operate regional governments under a parliamentary system, while his recent pronouncement on state police should be allowed to have its foothold.

The group bemoaned the unbearable economic hardship Nigerians were currently experiencing under Tinubu, saying the naira has suffered the worst devaluation of 35 percent, the very first massive devastation of the naira in history, in just the first nine months of his administration.

On the recent killings in Plateau State as well as abduction of over 100 school children in Kaduna, Afenifere said the agents of destabilisation, who had dealt severe blows to the past administrations, had just begun to test Tinubu’s willpower.

It said the earlier the president let them know it was not going to be business as usual the better it would be for his government and Nigerians.

The statement said, “The recrudescence of this human tragedy is as clear to the Afenifere as the daylight is distinct from the eventide. Since this democracy took off, this pattern remains constant, ever present; create chaos, destabilise the government, embarrass the president, finally, disgrace the president out of office.

“No president since 1999 has escaped this scourge, coming with the political Sharia against Obasanjo, the Niger Delta violent political agitation of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua and cleverly solved by the duo.

“The Boko Haram religion-later-turned-political instrument to embarrass a sitting southern Christian president as it was with Jonathan, who was told to convert to Islam, followed by the kidnapping extraordinaire of the Chibok girls type, the final shuck that shocked Jonathan out of office.

“This ‘Àbíkús’, coming once a regime and for repeated times from as far back as the Zango Kataf crisis, come with land grabbing, human displacement and subjugation of a people over another, often planned, aided, lauded and prompted by those self-styled as owners of Nigeria.

“President Buhari openly displayed and practised the five “P”s: He prevaricated to them. He pampered them. He protected them. He paid them. He played along with them.

“They were terrorists; Buhari curiously preferred to call them bandits. Their acts as aggressors, killing farmers, destroying their produce, stealing indigenous peoples’ lands, clearly marked them as terrorists.

“Buhari’s government would rather term these acts as farmers/herders clashes. The most disturbing expository, elucidatory, explicative realities about the whole saga is that these terrorists are known to government.

“Kabiru Sokoto, the Christmas Day bomber in a church in Abuja, in 2012, was found hibernating in the guest house of the then former governor of Borno, now the Vice President of Nigeria. Hermeneutic.

“A former Director of the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Hajia Naja’atu Mohammed, fired her former party, alleging that the then vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, now the vice president, is a sponsor of terrorism. The former APC chieftain said this during a television interview on Arise Television.

“Sheikh Gumi openly goes into the dense forests to meet terrorists in the company of those trained to eradicate terror, but rather than arrest them, the Sheikh openly gives the terrorists money.

“For a job well done or for the future jobs yet to be done in the name of terror, for it never takes long after the monies were openly paid that yet another terror act is carried out. It never ever served as a determent. It was always to the country’s detriment.

“Former Governor Ortom of Benue suffered the most. After hundreds of Benue indigenes were killed and their ancestral lands taken away from them, the terrorists had the nerve to drop a note, a promissory note that they will yet be back on New Year’s day to ‘finish the job’.

“The then governor did what a sensible governor would do, took the letter to Buhari. The president, after studying the said letter, told the governor to ‘go and make peace with his neighbours,’ only a complicit does that.

“Mr. President, you have to be brutally reminded of these recrudescence in history, a disease constant, an Àbíkú, real, clear and present.”

Afenifere recalled how the leaders of the Southern and MiddleBelt Leaders Forum, under the leadership of Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had in an open letter after the 2023 Christmas eve massacre in Plateau State, when over 300 people were killed, told the president that he could not afford to be “another Nero who fiddled while Rome burnt.”

The group explained, “On Christmas Eve in 2023, there was a massacre on the Plateau. Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afenifere, led other leaders that make up the four zones from the South-west, South-east, South-south, and the Middle Belt on a condolence visit to the governor and to the Gwom Gwom Jos and to the entire people on the Plateau.

“About 300 humans were slaughtered like rams. An open letter written, jointly signed by the leaders of the SMBLF, (Southern and MiddleBelt Leaders Forum) in which you were tasked, specifically to turn yourself into a Hero and not a Nero, the one who fiddled while Rome burnt.

“That letter will always be constantly ringing in your ear, never to go away. A hero makes history, is not afraid, does not turn a blind eye. Mr. President, arrest these perpetrators now! No more excuses Mr President.”

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Plateau Govt Confirms 22 Dead, 132 hospitalised In Jos School Building Collapse

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The Plateau State Government has confirmed 22 dead and 132 persons injured in the Jos collapsed school building.

Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition.

Ashoms said that those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, while the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

NAN reports that a two-storey building of Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school located in Busa-Buji community of Jos North Local Area, had collapsed, trapping students, teachers and others.

The incident occurred at about 8:30 am on Friday when the students were writing their third term examination.

Meanwhile, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has described the incident as a tragic and monumental loss to the state.

Mutfwang stated this in a statement issued by Mr Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, on Friday in Jos.

The governor, who sympathised with the families of the affected victims, further described the incident as heartbreaking and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation. We appreciate the timely intervention of the search-and-rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff,” he said.

 

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Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Theatre in Lagos after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

JomogNews reports that President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

This online news platform learnt that Tinubu announced this in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

The tribute dated “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” was personally signed by the President and made available to journalists on Friday.

Tinubu expressed his delight to join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka, adding that July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.

Tinubu wrote, “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

“Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” he averred.

According to the President, Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world, explaining that since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

 

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FG Reaches New Agreement With IOCs On Crude Supply To Dangote, Local Refineries

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JomogNews Nigeria reports that the Federal Government and crude oil producers in Nigeria have committed to working towards a sustainable supply of crude oil to local refineries under a market-determined pricing system.

This Nigeria news platform understands that both parties said the commitment aimed to ensure that while the operators (crude oil producers) do business optimally, the refineries are not starved of feedstock.

Accordingly, the industry regulator, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has directed oil refiners in the country to provide monthly price quote on crude supply.

This came as the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery is reportedly ramping up the importation of crude from the United States, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Nigeria’s upstream regulator stated that oil producers under the umbrella of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a meeting called by NUPRC, agreed to concede to a framework that would be mutually beneficial with the aim of ensuring that local refineries are not strangulated due to off-the-curve prices.

“The focus of the meeting held at the instance of the Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, was on the status review of the Framework for Seamless Operationalisation of Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Template.

“It was part of efforts to effectively implement key sections of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, especially the issue of pricing and crude supply to the domestic refineries,” the commission stated.

In the statement, Komolafe said President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to providing a level playing ground for producers and refiners to do business in the industry.

He expressed the need for a rule of engagement to ensure that the pricing model from the oil producers does not hinder the domestic refineries.

He directed producers and refiners to provide the NUPRC with cargo price quotes on crude supply and delivery for effective monitoring and regulation of transactions among parties. “We need to have the price quotes monthly,” he directed.

The NUPRC boss pointed out a convergence between the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation and the nation’s energy security, indicating that his team is re-engineering its regulatory processes to address the challenges.

“We allow all our processes to be transparent. While the Federal Government targets the implementation of the regulation, all parties must submit to the rules of engagement as a guide for operation,” Komolafe stated.

He said NUPRC is committed to driving the willing buyer/willing seller provision.

“We have to discuss pricing, especially as parties have committed to respecting their domestic crude oil obligation. As the regulator, we don’t want the upstream sector to be operated sub-optimally through cost under-recovery.

“So, the regulator is very alive to that. In crude pricing we will never allow price strangulation to disincentivise our domestic refining capacity optimisation. The regulator does not support cost under-recovery in the upstream sector, and we will continue to work to ensure that crude supply profiteering as a negative factor that can strangulate our domestic refining capacity optimisation is disallowed,” Komolafe declared.

Dangote raises alarm

Last month, the Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had accused International Oil Companies in Nigeria of plans to frustrate the survival of the new Dangote Petroleum Refinery.

Edwin had said the IOCs were deliberately and willfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by hiking the cost above the market price, thereby forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

“Recall that the NUPRC recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries’ owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act. It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our petroleum refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for a ridiculous/humongous premium or they simply state that crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production. It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports crude oil and imports refined petroleum products.

“They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their Gross Domestic Product, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on imported products. It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense,” Edwin had stated.

But on Thursday NUPRC emphasised the imperative for appropriate pricing to drive willing buyer willing seller referencing guided Fiscal Oil Price published by the commission in line with the provisions of the PIA.

“NUPRC is committed to attracting the needed investments to boost upstream development and optimisation of our hydrocarbon resources just as we want sustainability of domestic energy supply in the midstream and downstream sector.”

Crude importation

Also on Thursday Bloomberg reported that Nigeria’s Dangote mega-refinery was ramping up the importation of crude oil from the United States, stating that the Lagos-based refinery had created a new flow of long-haul crude from the US, as inflows of American feedstock could be about to rise further.

The report stated that the Dangote mega-refinery was lapping up ever more US crude, bringing the barrels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

It stated that Dangote bought more than 16 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude oil so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In August and September, the proportion it will take from the US — as opposed to Nigerian barrels — may be set to rise, based on tenders for new supply seen by Bloomberg.

 

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