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EASTER: SANWO-OLU URGES NIGERIANS TO BE PEACEFUL

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•Governor, deputy, NASS members, others hold special prayers for Tinubu, Nigeria

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has rejoiced with Nigerians, particularly Christians and Lagos residents, as they celebrate this year’s Easter.

He urged Nigerians and Christians in particular to reflect on the sacrifice and love that Jesus Christ showed to mankind through His crucifixion and resurrection.

Speaking to journalists on Friday after attending the Combined Special Prayers for Nigeria and President Bola Tinubu in commemoration of the Easter and Ramadan celebrations at Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu urged Lagos residents to be peaceful and keep the peace and tranquility that Lagos is known for.

During the Combined Special Prayers, Christian and Muslim clerics prayed for President Bola Tinubu, who clocked 72 on Friday. They also prayed for Nigeria, Governor Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hazmat; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Head of Service, Mr. Olabode Agoro, executive, legislative, and judiciary arms of government, as well as civil servants and Lagos residents.

Wife of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Oluremi Hazmat; her husband, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu; the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Olanrewaju Layode during the Combined Special Prayers for Nigeria and President Bola Tinubu in commemoration of Easter and Ramadan celebrations at Lagos House, Ikeja, on Friday, 29 March 2024.

Governor Sanwo-Olu appreciated Lagosians for their patience and understanding. “I want to wish all Lagosians happy celebration of Easter, as we have just ended the Christian Lenten season.

“I believe it has been a worthy journey for all our Christian brothers and sisters who have been fasting to ask for the strengthening of our State and country. And coincidentally, we are in the 19th day of Ramadan as well. So, everything around prayers and supplication is working very well.

“My wish is for all of us to enjoy the season. We need to be as peaceful as we have always been, do things in moderation, and ensure that we keep the peace and tranquility that Lagos is known for,” he said.

Speaking on his administration’s commitment to make life better for all Lagos residents, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his government has put in place many intervention programmes in the areas of health, public transportation, food, and food security, to ease the economic hardship.

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Bababjide Sanwo-Olu speaking to journalists, with him from left: Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso; Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Gboyega Akosile; Head of Service, Mr. Olabode Agoro and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Olanrewaju Layode during the Combined Special Prayers for Nigeria and President Bola Tinubu in commemoration of Easter and Ramadan celebrations at Lagos House, Ikeja, on Friday, 29 March 2024.

He said: “This is also a time for us to thank Lagosians for their patience and understanding of all the various verticals of interventions that we have put forward in the areas of health, public transportation, food, and food security.

“We are bringing out solutions that can ease the economic pressure that we see in the country. There is nothing that is difficult that stays forever. At the national level, we can see that the Naira is becoming stronger.

“We can even see from the new policies that the Central Bank is bringing out, Naira savings are now the order of the day. So, you should be happy as Nigerians holding on to the Naira currency, which will improve our exchange of value.

“These are some of the messages we need to take forward, and this needs to reflect in our market. Naira is getting stronger and better. It needs to reflect in the cost of goods. People cannot continue to give reasons while the dollar went up, and now that it is coming down, it also needs to reflect in the cost of rice, beans, and tomatoes, and that is the message for all of us because we want to be our brothers keepers. We want to ensure we put an end to the suffering.

“We want to thank Mr. President for taking up the leadership and working with all the subnationals and for taking the leadership and believing in his government. We have begun to see the benefits of it.”

During the Combined Special Prayers, attended by present and former public office holders, political, traditional, and religious leaders, Christian and Muslim clerics in their respective sermons and prayers, charged Nigerians to be prayerful and serve God faithfully.

 

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Rivers: Tensions Grow As Wike, Fubara’s Supporters Clash, Baby Hurt

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A baby was reportedly tear-gassed and became unconscious on Wednesday as supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, clashed with the loyalists of ex-governor Nyesom Wike in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the clash happened during a government medical outreach in the Eliozu community, Obio/Akpor LGA.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that trouble started when officials of the state Ministry of Health were carrying out a medical outreach for women at the Eliozu Health Centre.

It was gathered that no sooner had the programme started than some supporters allegedly loyal to the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, arrived at the venue to find out the reason for the gathering.

The venue is said to be near the residence of Amaewhule, who is the leader of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike.

But supporters of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, loyal to Fubara, who were at the venue allegedly stopped them from accessing the venue, leading to a heated argument and subsequent clash.

Following the fisticuffs, stones were pelted from several directions, as the medical outreach was disrupted abruptly.

A few minutes later, a team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the scene, firing teargas to disperse the opposing groups and quell the situation from getting out of hand.

It was gathered that a child was tear-gassed during the mayhem and became unconscious.

The situation led to the relocation of the medical outreach to a state-owned medical facility at the Waterlines axis of Port Harcourt where the programme was launched.

Reacting to the incident, the Obio/Akpor CTC Chairman, Chijioke Ihunwo, accused Amaewhule, of leading policemen to disrupt the outreach.

Ihunwo stated, “This morning there was an incident at the Eliozu Health Centre where the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, led some security men to disrupt a programme by the Ministry of Health.

“A few minutes later, some policemen came and started beating up our women, shooting tear gas at pregnant women who were at the Health Centre.

“We want to say that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will not be under siege. We want to call on the President, Bola Tinubu that the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of the FCT are tarnishing the image of your government.

“We are calling on you to rein them in so that Rivers State can have peace. Let the FCT Minister concentrate on his job in Abuja and leave our dear governor alone.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

Iringe-Koko, in a short message to our correspondent, said the police responded to a distress call over the scenario, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

She stated, “A distress call was received from the health centre in the Eliozu community today, 24th July 2024, where supporters of two separate political factions were engaged in a fight.

“The police responded by sending operatives to the scene to restore law and order.

“The police deployed anti-riot tactics, including the use of canisters, to disperse the crowds. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.”

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Protest: Nnamdi Kanu, Diaspora Voting Make List As Organizers Unveil 15 Demands

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Organizers of the planned nationwide protest, scheduled for August 1 to August 10, have unveiled their key demands from President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The nation’s economic situation has propelled citizens, particularly the youths, to plan a mass protest nationwide.

Despite efforts by the government to quell the move, the youths are insisting on embarking on the protest in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who is one of the organizers of the movement, forwarded the demands to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The looming protest titled, “Days of Rage”, “EndBadGovernance” is aimed at drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the economic situation of the country.

Among other things, the intending protesters want the FG to return the fuel subsidy, address issues in the power sector, release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, and allow for diaspora voting during general elections

According to Sowore, Nigerians are asking the FG to “Scrap the 1999 constitution and replace it with a people-made Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a sovereign National Conference followed by a National Referendum.

“Toss the Senate arm of the Nigerian legislative system. Keep the House of Representatives and make lawmaking a part-time endeavour.

“Pay Nigerian workers a minimum wage of nothing less than N250,000 monthly.

“Invest heavily in education and give Nigerian students grants not loans. Aggressively pursue free and compulsory education for children across Nigeria.

“Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and demilitarize the South East. All ENDSARS and political detainees must also be released and compensated.

“Rationalize public owned enterprises sold to government officials and cronies.

“Reinstate a corruption-free subsidy regime to reduce hunger, starvation and multidimensional poverty.

“Probe past and present Nigerian leaders, who have looted the treasury, recover their loot and deposit it in a special account to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure.

They are also demanding the “Restructuring of Nigeria to accommodate Nigeria’s diversity, resources control, decentralization and regional development.

“End banditry, terrorism and violent crimes. Reform security agencies to stop continuous human rights violations.

“Establishment of a special energy immediately to drive massive corruption-free power sector development.

“Immediate reconstitution of the electoral body, INEC to remove corrupt individuals and partisan hacks appointed to manipulate elections.

“Massive investment in public works and industrialization will help employ Nigeria’s teaming youths.

“Massive shake-ups in the Nigerian judiciary to remove cabals of corrupt generations of judges and judicial officers that continue denying citizens access to real justice.

“Diaspora voting”.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday appealed to Nigerians to shelve the planned protest, urging youths to keep faith and believe in the ability of his administration to transform Nigeria.

 

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Stop Demarketing Dangote Refinery, Indigenous Companies – MAN Cautions FG

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has cautioned the Federal Government from demarketing local industries.

The Association also called for caution from major actors, government agencies, and regulators in the oil and gas sector of the economy regarding the Federal Government-Dangote Refinery saga.

MAN Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said government agencies that provide regulatory oversight functions should promote an enabling business environment for local investments to thrive.

He said no regulatory agency should cast a shadow over a homegrown investment like the Dangote Refinery.

According to him, the allegations of poor quality, and monopolistic tendencies levelled against Dangote Refinery by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) were unsubstantiated.

Ajayi-Kadir stressed that local investors in Nigeria, particularly the Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) play a vital role in driving economic growth, paying taxes, creating jobs and fostering development within the country. As such, these investors must be protected and given the necessary support to thrive in this business environment.

He said a business colossus like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with investments in diverse sectors of the economy and across the Continent of Africa, should be accorded all needed support to grow and invest in more sectors and positively impact the well-being of the people.

 

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