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#EndSARS: PDP faults Sanwo-Olu’s projection of N1trn to restore destroyed properties, businesses

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Court joins PDP, others in Emefiele’s suit, fixes May 23 for final written adoption

…As Igbo leaders condemn violence, destruction of assets in Lagos***

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, on Monday faulted Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s alleged claim that it will take N1 trillion to restore all properties and facilities destroyed by hoodlums during the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests in the state.

The PDP disagreed with Sanwo-Olu and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in a statement in Lagos by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani.

Gani accused the Sanwo-Olu-led APC government of “dishonesty and extortionate tendency”.

According to him, the act of inflating and over costing governance in the state has now become spread in the Lagos State Government’s commitment to service delivery.

“Our accusation is coming on the heels of the declaration by the state governor that the state will need N1 trillion to repair the destruction arising from the #EndSars attacks.

“The governor had recently told governors from the South West and ministers that the amount is projected for reconstruction purposes.

“The Lagos PDP believes that such a bogus and hasty amount can only be claimed by persons in government who are likely to benefit from such proceeds.

“The party particularly raises the alarm that the money as projected is targeted at restituting known infrastructure and businesses of APC leaders and not honestly for all genuine victims per se,” he said.

The PDP spokesman, therefore, challenged Sanwo-Olu and the ruling party to make public every kobo and the beneficiaries as envisaged by the governor.

He added: “The trillion naira is bogus and extortionate. We specifically want to know whether the Lekki toll plaza is involved. This plaza should rather be demolished.

“The people will resist any form of approval for levy, over-taxation or loan to spend the trillion naira. We put the House of Assembly on the alert to reject any bogus request.”

The #EndSARS protests in Lagos took a violent dimension on Oct. 20 when men in military uniform allegedly shot protesters who defied the curfew at Lekki Toll Gate.

The development sparked violence in Lagos and other states when suspected hoodlums hijacked the protest and began to kill, loot, vandalise and raze public and private buildings and vehicles.

Among the places attacked was the Palace of Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.

In another development, some Igbo leaders in Lagos on Monday condemned the widespread violence and destruction of public and private assets in the state following the hijacking of the ENDSARS protest.

The leaders expressed the condemnation while speaking with newsmen in Lagos .

The newsmen report that the leaders include Mr Joe Igbokwe, Special Adviser to Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage Services; Eze Uche Dimgba, state co-ordinator, Ndigbo in Lagos APC; Pastor Okey Anorie, Babaloja Tejuosho Market, and Eze Tony Anosike, Eze Ndigbo, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area.

Speaking on behalf of the Igbo leaders, Igbokwe described the violence that characterised the hijacked ENDSARS protest in the state as barbaric.

He said it is unfortunate that what started as a peaceful protest later went out of control, resulting in killings, maiming and a looting spree by hoodlums.

Igbokwe said Igbo leaders were sad that a state that accommodates people from all parts of the country witnessed massive destruction of its assets during the protest, describing the perpetrators as enemies of peace.

“Also, we find the narrative that the destruction was perpetrated by Igbos as funny.

“We need to put it straight that Igbos are builders and not destroyers. What the Igbos have in Lagos in terms of assets, they do not have a quarter in the whole of the South East.

“So the Igbos are important stakeholders and will not be part of the destruction of a state that has accommodated them,” he said.

Also read:   Okei-Odumakin urges govt. to address citizens’ grievances

The governor’s aide, however, said it was possible that some criminal elements of South East extraction participated in the mayhem.

He said such elements partook in the violence on their own accord and did not represent the South East.

Igbokwe called for the prosecution of anybody found culpable, saying a criminal is a criminal irrespective of his ethnic background.

Igbokwe also said Igbo leaders condemned the inciting statements of Mr Adeyinka Grandson, a self-professed Yoruba supremacist, and Mr Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to cause discord between Yorubas and Igbos.

He described the two as agents of destabilisation, saying their agenda is to promote hatred among the various ethnic groups in the country.

Igbokwe urged Nigerians to ignore the divisive rhetorics of the two characters.

The governor’s aide pledged the support of Igbos to the state government in efforts to rebuild destroyed assets and further develop the state.

He also said the leaders stand solidly with Gov. Babajide Sanwa-Olu and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in this low moment in the state.

 

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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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