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2023: Jonathan congratulates Atiku, TInubu, Obi, others

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2023: Jonathan congratulates Atiku, TInubu, Obi, others

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress for emerging as 2023 presidential candidates of their parties.

Jonathan, in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Ikechukwu Eze, on Thursday in Abuja, also congratulated all other presidential flagbearers of other parties that emerged from the just concluded primaries elections of various parties.

These according to Jonathan include Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Malik Ado-Ibrahim of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

Chief Dan Nwanyanwu of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC) as well as Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

He, however, urged the candidates to run a campaign devoid of rancor and divisiveness by ensuring that issues confronting Nigeria and credible solutions take the centre stage in their electioneering campaigns.

He urged them to eschew violence and acts that would encourage any form of bloodletting.

Jonathan said that their emergence as the flagbearers of their parties after submitting themselves to rigorous selection and election processes demonstrated their beliefs and interests in the progress of the nation.

“I consider you are all aspiring to be elected as the leader of the country because you are democrats who believe, like the rest of us, that Nigeria is our common heritage which we should all strive to protect, prosper and preserve for the future generation.

“As you progress towards the electioneering campaigns, it is important that the issues confronting the country and credible solutions take centre stage.

“I urge you to conduct your campaigns in a manner devoid of acrimony, divisiveness and treachery so that at the end of the day Nigeria will win, democracy will triumph and humanity will be better for it.

“As I have always said, no ambition is worth the life of another. As candidates, you must eschew violence and acts that will encourage any form of bloodletting or exacerbate the national fault lines.

“We live in a season of unprecedented violence and all political leaders have a responsibility to de-escalate the tension in the country. The candidates by conduct and language must prioritise non-violence and peaceful coexistence,” Jonathan said.

The ex-president lauded the sportsmanship exhibited by other aspirants who have continued to lend their weight to the democratic process, in spite of the fact that they did not emerge victorious in their various party primaries.

Jonathan also urged all stakeholders to place national interest above personal interest.

He said that everyone must be committed to upholding virtues that would sustain Nigeria’s democracy and advance the cause of good governance, peace and sustainable development.

“Nigeria is at a critical junction in its march to nationhood as it grapples with security and economic challenges.

“The 2023 elections present an opportunity to renew our union, rebuild the dreams of our founding fathers and revitalise our economy.”

Jonathan also urged all leaders, especially politicians, to prioritize the peace and stability of the nation as they commenced the activities for the 2023 elections.

He charged all citizens to make honest and patriotic choices that would guarantee the hope that Nigerians desire for themselves and the nation.

He advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to continue to deepen the reforms of the country’s electoral system.

“A transparent election will go a long way to increase the confidence of Nigerians in our democracy and restore trust in our public institutions.

We can attain our national aspirations of unity, peace, and progress through the instrumentality of a functional and effective democracy,” Jonathan said.

 

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Onslaught: Troops Eliminate 105 Terrorists, Arrest 140 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Exercise Enduring Peace recording successes in FCT – Army

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in different theatres of operation eliminated 105 terrorists and apprehended 140 others in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages in the South-South region.

He added that the troops recovered 208 assorted weapons and 5,332 assorted ammunition comprising 95 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, 39 locally fabricated guns, 34 Dane guns, 14 pump action guns, among others.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised seven terrorists and arrested four terrorists as well as recovered 20 AK47 rifles, two fabricated guns and 12 dane guns.

He added that 353 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 209 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 34 live cartridges, 62 mobile phones and the sum of N100,000, among others, were also recovered.

According to him, 224 ISWAP/JAS terrorists fighters and their families comprising 23 adult males, 126 adult females and 87 children surrendered to troops in the Bama and Konduga areas of Borno within the week.

Army raid kidnappers, rescue C/River commissioner; Police neutralise 3 suspected gunmen, recover 50 arms

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 35 insurgents, arrested 65 violent extremists and 15 rescued kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops also recovered various caches of arms and ammunition within different theatres of operation.

In the North Central, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 57 insurgents, arrested five and rescued 66 kidnapped hostages during the week.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed 18 illegal refining sites and recovered 657,300 litres of stolen crude oil, 23,750 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,050 litres of DPK.

He added that the troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 19 boats and 21 storage tanks, 35 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, nine mobile phones, and three pump machines.

According to him, troops rescued three kidnapped hostages and apprehended 50 people suspected of oil theft and other violent extremists/insurgents as well as recovered 20 weapons and 243 ammunition, amongst other items.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised six insurgents, arrested five and recovered various types of arms and ammunition.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action,” he said.

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Food Prices: Tinubu Directs Immediate Release Of Grains, To Foreclose Crisis

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A little respite in the nation’s food crisis is expected as President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet, and garri. The gesture is to douse hunger and prevent looming protests.

Some Nigerians however told the Maritime First that the directive was a lot coming late; and the metric tonnes being expected, too little, for over a hundred million people. Some cynics bluntly blame the President for his inability to tame insurgency and terrorism, which apriori, prevented the farmers from going to work.

ALSO READ:… Nigerians Now Eat Junks as High Food Prices Put Balanced Diet Out Of Reach- Survey

Some states have begun dress rehearsal for the real crisis protests, over galloping food prices. A bag of rice which sold for N62,000 Tuesday, last week in Bodija Market in Ibadan, emerged N69,000 Wednesday morning. less than 24 hours later, throwing calculation to the winds.

The Maritime First can freely indicate that widows, single mothers, and those from polygamous-induced large families are presently, not finding it too easy to cope.

In the meantime,, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public. The body however failed to indicate why they waited till the Presidential directive, before making their commitment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister also failed to indicate measures to be adopted, to ensure that middlemen do not hijack and mess up Tinubu’s honest effort.

He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.

“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.

“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential is fully exploited.

He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.

“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.

“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.

“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, the government will not fold its arms.

“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”

The Minister said that the government would also take measures to ensure that food continues to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.

“This is an emergency. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face these challenges.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.

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President Tinubu Returns After Private Visit To France

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President Bola Tinubu has returned to the country after a two-week private visit to France.

The President arrived in Abuja aboard the presidential flight at about 9:0 pm on Tuesday.

He was received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume.

The president left Abuja on Jan. 24 for his first break since assumption of office on May 29, 2023

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