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Adebanjo, Fayose, Others Blast Buhari For Praising Abacha |The Republican News

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Friday Olokor,  Olaleye Aluko and Oladimeji Ramon

A coterie of political enthusiasts on Wednesday berated President Muhammadu Buhari for commending the late military dictator, Gen. Sani  Abacha.

The coterie, during separate interviews with The PUNCH on Wednesday, described Buhari’s statement as a distraction.

The President had on Tuesday said, “I don’t care the opinion you have about Abacha, but I agreed to work with him and we constructed roads from Abuja to Port Harcourt, Benin to Onitsha and so on.”

Commenting on the statement,  the Chairperson of the Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola. Akiyode-Afolabi, asked, “How can anyone laud Abacha for anything? A looter, a dictator, a killer? The President missed it! Whatever the context, that statement is unwarranted. It’s a distraction, Mr President should respect Nigerians. We all know what Abacha did. Buhari cannot rewrite history.”

He benefited from Abacha’s dictatorship –Afenifere chieftain

Also, a chieftain of the Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo,  said  Buhari spoke well of Abacha because he was his appointee and benefited from the deceased’s dictatorial regime.

Adebanjo said President Buhari had lost his credibility and should not be taken seriously.

He stated, “Buhari worked under Abacha and why are you surprised by his support for Abacha?

“Here is a President who has lost his credibility and some Nigerians are still taking him seriously. I have always spoken about the anti-democratic ideals of Buhari but his supporters at that time told me that Buhari had changed to a democrat.

“From the beginning, President Buhari has always insisted that Abacha did not steal. He said these things repeatedly during his campaigns, but his government has been recovering money looted by Abacha so I am not surprised with Buhari’s comments.”

However, the  President of the National Council of Tiv Youths, Dr. John Akperashi, said the statement had exposed Buhari’s unstable posturing and further confirmed the notion that his purported fight against corruption was selective and self-serving.

He stated, “Abacha’s corruption is legendary. Till today, the nation is recovering his looted funds stashed away in various banks overseas in hard currencies.”

Obasanjo made a mistake for not jailing Buhari –Fani-Kayode

Also, a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, on his twitter handle said that Obasanjo should have jailed Buhari for allegedly looting the Petroleum Trust Fund.

He stated, “The greatest mistake that OBJ made was not to prosecute and jail @MBuhari for (the alleged) looting of the PTF funds. I saw the report and it was shocking. Billions of dollars had vanished. OBJ summoned him and showed him the damning report. Buhari (allegedly) begged like a baby. Sadly OBJ let him off the hook.”

On his part, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan,  Reno Omokri,  berated Buhari.

He asked, “What type of anti-corruption crusader chooses Abacha, a proven thief, who was also a blood-thirsty buffoon, as his mentor? When I schooled in England, my university had a module on Abacha’s thievery. This is the man Buhari aspires to be; the man who exiled Tinubu and NADECO (the National Democratic Coalition)?”

Fayose mocks Buhari, Obasanjo

But the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has mocked President Buhari and Obasanjo over their latest disagreement on the $16bn allegedly spent on power during the tenure of the former President.

Fayose on his twitter handle said that he was enjoying the public display of “brickbats” between the two leaders.

The governor said that he had been vindicated by his earlier warning that those who brought Buhari would regret it.

He said, “I am enjoying these latest brickbats between President Buhari and ex-President Obasanjo. They should keep exposing themselves for Nigerians to know what they have been hiding.

“Nigerians should remember I warned that those who brought Buhari will regret entrusting him with power.”

Obasanjo recently criticised Buhari and asked him not to seek re-election in 2019.

Buhari on Tuesday said that Obasanjo had questions to answer regarding the $16bn he spent on power project.

Obasanjo in his reply said that the president was ignorant and urged him to read his book “My Watch” to understand the matter.

But the President of the Middle Belt Youths Council,  Emman Zopmal, said Abacha managed the country far better than Buhari.

He stated, “Conversely, Buhari for mere political hypocrisy, has been changing his position on whether Gen. Sani Abacha depleted the national treasure or not. He has of recent, talked about using the $360m Abacha looted funds for some projects but suddenly he is now applauding him.”

Probe Obasanjo, Jonathan over $16bn power projects, SERAP tells Buhari

Meanwhile, a human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to refer the alleged mismanagement of $16bn power projects fund to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission.

The advice came on the heels of lamentation by Buhari on Tuesday that a former President (Olusegun Obasanjo) claimed to have spent $16bn on power projects without any electricity to show for it.

But SERAP, in a statement on  Wednesday by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said apart from the $16bn, Buhari should also cause the alleged squandering of a total of N11tn in the power sector between 1999 and 2015 to be investigated.

According to the group, the said N11tn was squandered under ex-Presidents Obasanjo, the late Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan under the guise that the money was being spent to provide regular supply of electricity in the country.

SERAP said Buhari should be determined to ensure that anyone found culpable in the alleged fraud was prosecuted after an investigation by the anti-graft agencies.

It said, “We welcome the focus by President Buhari on the massive allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the power sector and urge him to expand his searchlight beyond the Obasanjo government by ensuring accountability and full recovery of the over N11tn squandered by the three administrations.

“It is only by pursuing all the allegations and taking the evidence before the court that the truth will be revealed and justice best served. This is the only way to conclusively address the systemic corruption in the power sector and an entrenched culture of impunity of perpetrators.

“Addressing impunity in the power sector should be total. This would help to improve the integrity of government and public confidence and trust in their government.

“It would also serve as a vehicle to further the public perception of fairness and thoroughness, and to avert any appearance of political considerations in the whole exercise.”

SERAP noted that lack of regular electricity supply in the country had occasioned many other problems, including lack of access to potable water.

It added, “The failure by successive governments to tell Nigerians the truth about allegations of corruption in the spending of not just the $16bn but also the over N11tn spent by three governments on electricity supply amounts to a failure to ensure that energy services/electricity services are progressively made available, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, to the whole population, including those most disadvantaged, such as the fringe dwellers and the rural poor.”

The statement further read, “The total estimated financial loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector starting from the return to democracy in 1999 to date is over N11trn. This represents public funds, private equity and social investment (or divestments) in the power sector.

“It is estimated that this may reach over N20tn in the next decade, given the rate of government investment and funding in the power sector amidst dwindling fortune and recurrent revenue shortfalls.

“SERAP in 2016 sent a petition to the then acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Water Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen. Last year, SERAP published a report, ‘From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are Paying the Price for Corruption in the Electricity Sector.’ The report shows how the country has lost more megawatts in the post-privatisation era due to corruption, impunity, among other social challenges.

“The report accuses Dr. Ransom Owan-led board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission of settling officials with millions of naira as severance packages and for embarrassing them with an alleged N3bn fraud.

“The authorities must undertake a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation as to the reasons why corruption charges were withdrawn, and recover any corrupt funds.

“The report also called for the reopening and effective prosecution of corruption allegations, including the alleged looting of the benefits of families of the deceased employees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria levelled against a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali.

“The report shows how the Obasanjo administration spent $10bn on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation. $13.278,937,409.94 was expended on the power sector in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12bn. The Federal Government then budgeted a whopping N16bn for the various reforms under Liyel Imoke (2003 to 2007) which went down the drains as it failed to generate the needed amount of electricity or meet the set goals.

It alleged that the government handed over the transmission company to a Canadian company, Manitoba, to manage and under a management service contract of over $200m.

It stated, “ Findings also show that the Transmission Company of Nigeria could not execute most of its approved 44 projects after having 50 percent of its N30bn 2016 budget released to it. Funds were released from Eurobond. $23.6m allegedly paid to Manitoba Hydro International  of Canada to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria would appear to be without due process.”  (Punch)

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Buhari: I Won’t Tolerate Mediocrity |The Republican News

By Correspondents

 

Buhari-new-pix4

 

honours Oyo-Ita, 14 Nigerians with a national merit award

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government would not tolerate any form of mediocrity from both public and civil servants. The President stated this yesterday in Abuja while conferring on the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Winifred Oyo-Ita and 14 other Nigerians with the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM).

The National merit award was also conferred on corporate organizations including First Bank Plc which have contributed positively to the growth of the nation’s economy. Among the individuals who received the award are Mrs Mary Joshua Gadi, Engineer Umar Bindir, Allamin Lawan, Dr, Abdul Hussen, David James Lalu, Dr Jones Stow, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Clement Nwogbo. Others are David Iheanyi Onyemata, Dr Tina Aduke Olayemata, Mr Victor Olajorin, Dr Somade Taofeek Osuolale and Engineer Dozie Mbanefo.

The President, who said his administration was committed to the ideals of rewarding excellence, explained that while the government would also not tolerate any acts of mediocrity, it has become necessary for all Nigerians to develop a strong attitude of productivity in order for the country to achieve meaningful growth and development.

According to the President, he was delighted with the theme of the 2018 award ceremony “productivity for economic recovery and sustainable growth” which relevant to the present economic realities. He explained that the desire of his administration was to change the narrative of Nigeria remaining a monolithic economy into a productive one that translates to better living condition for the ordinary masses.

President Buhari, however, reeled out some of his achievement in office in the last three years, saying under a recessed economy, he built Nigeria’s foreign reserve of about $29.6bn in 2015 to $47.5billion as at May 18, 2018.

According to him, the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in Nigeria stood at 1.95per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2018, a feat his predecessors could hardly boast of even while the economy was buoyant with huge capital inflow from oil resources. He noted that with the Treasury Single Account policy there is greater accountability in his government, noting that the policy has saved the country N200billion, an amount that would have been fretted away paying ghost workers. (New Telegraph)

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I’ll Help Suck Your Breast To Make It Bigger, Raped Daughter Recounts Her Father’s Words

By John Chikezie

 

 

An 18-year old girl, who is a victim of sexual abuse, yesterday told an Ikeja Special Offence and Domestic violence Court, Lagos that her 52 -year -old father, Folorunso Oluwaseun had sexual intercourse with her for four years in order to enhance her private parts.

Testifying before Justice Sybil Nwaka, the victim (name withheld) said that the sexual abuse began when she was 12-years old while she was living with him at their Ikorodu residence in Lagos.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Babajide Boye, she said, “I was staying with my father with my four other siblings, (two boys and two girls) in a room apartment”.

“My father called me and said that my breast is not as big as that of my mates and that he would help me suck it with his mouth so that it can get bigger.

“I was in JSS 3 when he started. He asked me to sleep with him on the bed and he began to suck my breasts.

“The following day, I told my younger sister about the incident and she condemned it.

“The following week, he told me that I am not as fat as my mates and that he help pour sperm inside me so that I can be as fat as my peers.

“I allowed him have sex with me and thereafter, he gave me salt water to drink,” she said.

The victim further told the court that her mother left her father’s house in the year 2012 as the duo were always having marital issues.

“My father continued to abuse me sexually and when I told my younger sister about it, she said it is a curse and that the bible condemns it.

“I said same to my dad but he said it is not a curse because God knows that he does not have a wife.

“I attempted to stop him but he denied me and my siblings food for days until I gave in again.

“He said the more he continues to have sex with me, the more it will help him make more money to take care of us.

“My mum came but left again after about a month. He stopped when she was around and started again when she left.

“I didn’t tell my mum because he said I should not tell her. We usually go to the Apostolic church camp every year and he told me that his sister reported him to his mum and rather than rebuking him, she told him not to get me pregnant. I told my sister and she said my dad family don’t like us at all”

“In 2016, my mother came back to stay with us, she caught us one night when my father was trying to have sex with me. She screamed and my father threatened to kill her.

“my mother later took my siblings and me to Ibadan where she was formerly residing.

“I was teaching in a small school in Ibadan and we used to call him to send us money but he will say until we come back to Ikorodu. I didn’t want to go back so I went to the proprietress of the school to request for a salary increment.

“she asked of my dad after I complained that the pay was too small for my family upkeep and I told her everything I went through in the hands of my father.

“She said she knows someone who can help me at justice development peace commission at Basorun Ibadan. I told them all that happened and they said they will help me but I have to come to Lagos and they gave us a number to call at Alausa, Ikeja”

“we were directed to Justice Development Peace Commission in Ibadan but we were referred to Alausa Ikeja and I was asked to report at the police station.

“I was referred to Miracle centre to run a test. After the test, we went back to the police station and we later went to arrest my father in Ikorodu.

While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Worker Oduagbaka, the victim maintained that she was living in a room apartment but a room was later added to it, making a room and parlour.

However, Oluwaseun was arraigned on a 2 count charge bordering on sexual assault and defilement of a minor.

Justice Nwaka adjourned the matter till June 21, 2018, for the continuation of trial.      (New Telegraph)

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Customs Boss To Buhari: I Won’t Seek Election At 70, If I Were You |RN

By Anule Emmanuel Abuja

CGColAli

…says only lazy Nigerians now complain of hunger

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) yesterday stressed that but for the love of country; President Muhammadu Buhari has no reason to remain in Aso Rock, in his current age of over 70 years.

The Customs boss, who stated this when he led the Buhari Support Organization to meet with the President, said Buhari has made a great sacrifice by choosing to abandon his comfort zone in order to serve Nigeria and improve the lives of the citizens.

“I have said it and I will repeat it here, Mr President, with all due respect, at 70 plus, with a good retirement benefit and with your house in Daura, if I were you, I will see no reason to be in this arena.

“But why are you here? It is because you love this great country. You left your comfort to serve Nigeria and that is why for those of us who love you for who you are, said we must follow you and ensure that your second term in this country becomes a reality,” he said.
Buhari had told a gathering of Nigerian citizens resident in South Africa in June 2015, a month after he was sworn in, that there was a limit to what he could do given that age was no longer on his side.

“I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do,” Buhari told his audience on the sidelines of the 25th assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa.
While speaking yesterday, Ali explained that the three years of the Buhari-led government has changed Nigeria for the better.

He said: “Today is 2018. Way back in 2014, for those who did not know when you talked about your integrity, your achievements as a governor, as a minister, those that have gone are the ones who will understand what we are talking. Those of us who have experienced these past years know exactly what it was.

“But today, 2018, those of us here know that your being president has changed this country. Three years into your tenure, the tremendous achievements that have been made, we have laid the foundation, we have started building roads, but Mr President, we must complete the building.

“What do we need to do? We must, as your loyalists and people who believe in this country, tell you that we are with you shoulder to shoulder and ensure that you are re-elected. And then the building will be completed so that never again will there because to destroy Nigeria,” he added.

Ali continued that: “For me, you have been my mentor in service and out of service and I have been fortunate enough to have worked very closely with you. And so when I say some of these things I am saying, it from the bottom of my heart because I know you, I know your commitment and your respect to this great nation.

“Mr President, it is always politics, and when politicians speak, they speak with two sides of the mouth. Some of us from the North-East were not praying in the mosques, some of us from the North-East had moved from our places of abode to settle somewhere else. And Mr President, here in the city, the seat of government, there were booms going off every day.

“Today, we can sleep with eyes closed, today I drive at midnight, today we can breathe the air and most importantly, those of us who are Muslims can pray in the mosques during Ramadan. That would never have happened. I remember as far as Kaduna is from the North-East, we could hardly sleep at night because of insecurity. Today, we have that security. What else are we looking for?

Ali said that with the achievement recorded by the government, only lazy people who chose not to work, are presently lazy.

“What more can we say in terms of growth of wealth? People say we are hungry; of course, the lazy must be hungry because if you do not work hard, Manna doesn’t fall from heaven.

“So when people say we are hungry, there was never a time in Nigeria that food is dropped in the mouth of the people and they can never be. I can go on and on and enumerate what you have done in just three years of your administration,” Ali said.    (New Telegraph)

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Flying Eagle Snatches Fox Holding Rabbit In Its Mouth In Dramatic Video |RN

Katherine Lam

Videos and photos captured a bald eagle attempting to snatch a rabbit from a young red fox as they battled it out 20 feet in the air in what a photographer called a “dramatic act of thievery.”

The dramatic sight at San Juan Island National Historic Park, in Washington state, was caught by photographers Kevin Ebi, of LivingWilderness.com, and Zachary Hartje. Ebi wrote in a blog post on Monday he was at the park a few days ago watching the young red foxes, called kits, hunt just before sunset.

One of the kits caught a rabbit and held it in its mouth.

“I panned my camera with it to capture the action. Then behind me, I heard the cry of a bald eagle. I turned around and saw it approaching fast,” Ebi said.

a bird flying over a body of water            © Provided by Fox News

The photographer said he knew the bald eagle was eyeing the rabbit in the fox’s mouth. He followed the action with his camera and waited for the bird’s talons to swoop down.

“To my surprise, the scene was even more dramatic than I expected. I thought the fox would drop the rabbit, giving the eagle an easy dinner,” Ebi said. “Instead, the fox, with its jaw still clenched on the rabbit, inadvertently got snagged by the bald eagle. The eagle lifted the young fox and rabbit into the sky triggering an even more dramatic struggle.”

The struggle ensued for about eight seconds 20 feet in the air, with both sides refusing to give up. The eagle was eventually able to snatch the rabbit out of the fox’s mouth and into its talon. The bird let the fox go, dropping him on the ground.

Ebi continued, “Don’t worry: the fox was fine. It shook off the encounter and resumed playing with its fellow kits. I took several pictures of it after the ordeal and couldn’t find a single scratch.”

Ebi said foxes don’t usually hunt rabbits and generally eat berries, insects and voles. (FoxNews)

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Biafra Day: Five Killed, About 500 Arrested |The Republican News

By  Steve Uzoechi, Emmanuel Masha, Uchenna Inya, Kenneth Ofoma, Emmanuel Ifeanyi and Okegwo Kenechukwu

 

At least five people were feared killed yesterday while the police arrested more than 500 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) in the South-East and South-South regions. Several others were injured in clashes with police during rallies in support of planned declaration of the Biafra Republic and hoisting of the Biafran flag.

The rallies were held in major cities of Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Rivers and Delta states. Five people were said to have been killed while four others were injured in Anambra State during the 18th anniversary of the “independence of the New Biafra” by the members of MASSOB. The Director of MASSOB Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, said in a statement that the celebration was in continuation of the desire of the group to achieve a sovereignty state of Biafra.

He said: “While we were gathered at the Onitsha-Owerri Road, by Obosi junction, a joint military task force, including the Army, Navy, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in over 45 Hilux vehicles shot five of our members dead. “About 206 members were arrested.

The arrested members included Chief Christian Ifejika, Declan Okafor, Gloria Umejesi, Rose Oforbike, Fidelis Oduenyi, and 173 others.” Mocha said that four persons – Chief Vincent Iloh, Ebuka Emmanuel, Innocent Okolie and Mrs Virginia Ubazuonu – received machete cuts on their heads from the Joint Task Force (JTF) members in their desperate attempt to disperse the crowd. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, said he was not aware of any arrest or killing. In Imo State, about 84 members of Chief Ralph Uwazuruike-led MASSOB and BIM were arrested by the police in Owerri.

According to the Owerri Zonal Leader of MASSOB/BIM, Mr Samuel Njoku, some members of the group were arrested while conducting a press briefing at the old Timber market (Ogbo Osisi) on Wetheral Road, Owerri, while others were arrested on their way to the rally from Orlu, Mgbidi, Ngor Okpala, Mbaise and Okigwe.

On the reason for their rally, Njoku explained that “since the end of the Civil War in 1970, no Igbo was courageous enough to mention Biafra until Chief Uwazuruike launched MASSOB on September 13, 1999, and on May 22, 2000, declared and hoisted the flag for the new Biafra.”

According to him, the uniqueness of May 22 anchored on its historic importance makes the day a big event for the struggle for the emancipation of Biafran people.

The state PPRO, Andrew Enwerem, said arrested members of BIM/MASSOB were separatists who were nabbed by security operatives of the command from various parts of the state. He said the arrests were based on intelligence information that MASSOB/BIM members were about to conduct themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace. As early as 7:30a.m., security men were stationed at various entry points of Owerri, to stop MASSOB members from joining the rally while others were also stationed at various local government areas.

Despite the heavy security presence, the demonstrators were able to arrive in buses from nearby council areas of the state with Biafra flags and placards bearing various inscriptions depicting commitment to the Biafran state, wearing Biafran military uniforms and chanting Biafran songs and solidarity slogans.

At least 10 members of MASSOB and BIM were arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Hundreds of Biafra supporters outside Rivers had stormed Port Harcourt to mark the event, starting a procession at Mile Market and were heading towards Eleme Junction before they were intercepted around Garrison Junction by security operatives.

The security men thereafter released tear gas into the air and arrested 10 of the protesters, mostly those wearing military and NSCDC camouflage. Those that were arrested, according to some of the Biafra supporters, were subsequently taken to the Olu-Obasanjo Police Station in Port Harcourt. Meanwhile, the state PPRO, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said he was not aware of the arrest. The leader of MASSOB in the state, Solomon Chukwu, lamented that the arrest was unnecessary, noting that they only embarked on a procession and did not engage in any violent behaviour.

Police, soldiers and other security agents arrested scores of members for MASSOB and BIM in Abakaliki in Ebonyi State. Security agencies in the state accosted them on Nkaliki Road as they started the peaceful march, fired tear gas at them and arrested some of them. Army, Department of State Security (DSS) and the police carried out the joint operation. Commander of the Nigerian Military Cantonment in Nkwegu, Col. S. O. Sadiq, confirmed the participation of the Army in the arrest of the Biafra agitators.

He said all the arrested persons were handed over to the police. Sadiq said that MASSOB did not notify security agencies in the state of the event in writing which he said necessitated the arrest. The state PPRO, Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident but could not give the actual number of persons arrested.

“I don’t have the details of the actual number of persons arrested right now when I get the full details I will let you know,” she said. Ebonyi Central MASSOB/BIM leader, Gideon Iloke, said: “Today, we are celebrating Biafra Independence.

We are happy that the world authorities have recognised Biafra as an independent state and that is why throughout the federation, South-South and South-East are celebrating Biafra independence. We also agreed that all the states under Biafra must gather to celebrate the greatness of Biafra because we are grateful for what God has done to us.”

In Aba, Abia State, the police arrested 115 members of MASSOB. The Zonal Leader of the group, for Abia South, Mr Fredrick Onyenucheya, disclosed that the police, aside from arresting 115 members of his group, injured many others.

Onyenucheya, flanked by Chief Obi Anyaogu (leader Abia Central) and Pastor Evans Okoronkwo (Abia North MASSOB/BIM leader), claimed that they were holding peaceful rally to mark this year’s anniversary at Umuorieoma on the Osisioma axis of the Enugu-Aba- Port Harcourt Expressway when policemen in over 20 Hilux vans arrived at the location.

He said that the group members numbering over 200 gathered at Umuorieoma junction by 9a.m. and were peacefully dancing and marching towards No 175, Faulks to hoist the Biafran flag which will mark the 18th-anniversary re-restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra in the year 2000.” The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ogbizi, confirmed the arrest of 47 members of MASSOB and BIM in Aba. Ogbizi said those arrested included men and women and were being held in detention in Aba.

He said that although they were peaceful during their march, they were arrested because they wore Army camouflage uniforms and had Biafra flags and insignia in their hands. He said: “We are profiling them and when we finish they would be charged accordingly. “The legal department is there.

They will advise us before we know what else to do.” Also, police in Enugu arrested an undisclosed number of members of MASSOB and BIM for allegedly breaching public peace. The state PPRO, SP Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the arrest in a statement, advised residents to go about their lawful businesses.

Amaraizu said the state Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, had “warned against any act or omission by any individual or group of persons under any guise capable of disrupting the existing peace in the state.” Meanwhile, the Imo State correspondent of the Punch newspaper, Emeka Ihiegbulem, was brutally assaulted by policemen for attending a press briefing by the MASSOB.

While the policemen dealt him blows, soldiers and personnel of the NSCDC also shoved him around. Ihiegbulam was in the midst of the MASSOB members, trying to clarify an issue raised when policemen, who were later followed by soldiers, stormed the area; cordoned off the rally and forced everyone including journalists to sit on the ground.

Ihiegbulam said: “I sat down on the ground with all the MASSOB members. I brought out my identity card and my recorder telling the officers that I am a journalist on an assignment and that I was not a MASSOB member.

They ignored my explanations, arrested me alongside the MASSOB members and marched us all into a lorry to the police headquarters.” Ihiegbulam’s beating started when a soldier and policemen tried to force him to hang a Biafran flag around his neck to give the impression he was arrested with the flag.

The man firmly refused while brandishing his identity card and work tools. His refusal infuriated the policemen; while one snatched his identity card, recorder and jotter from him, another slapped him from the back of his head. He was trying to see who slapped him when a heavy wooden club landed on his head. At the State Police Command Headquarters, Ihiegbulam was forced to sit on the ground. But Commander, MOPOL 18, who identified Ihiegbulam among the ‘suspects,’ ordered him out of the ground.        (New Telegraph)

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Nigeria Cannot Repay Loans – IMF |The Republican News

IMF

International Monetary Fund

Isaac Anumihe

Apparently worried by the Federal Government’s refusal to heed its advice on loan sustainability, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), yesterday doubted Nigeria’s capacity to repay its rising debt stock.

The Fund’s anxiety over Nigeria’s loan repayment ability may have been triggered by President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent approvals to his ministers to go all out to borrow from international lenders to fix rail and road infrastructure.
It was against this backdrop that the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, opened negotiations with India and Russian Exim Bank to borrow $46 billion for the projects.

But speaking at the public presentation of Spring 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, IMF said the country has to increase domestic revenue. “The number of countries in debt distress has increased. From six countries in 2014 to eight in 2015; to 10 in 2016, and today 15 countries. These are low-income economies,” IMF senior resident representative and mission chief to Nigeria, Amine Mati, said.

“Now, I know the question that is going to come from here is: Where is Nigeria? Nigeria is not considered a low-income economy. Nigeria’s debt stock figure, which is 20 to 23 percent of the gross domestic product, is still quite low by any standard. The issue is capacity to repay the debts. So, interest payment to revenue is an issue. “There is a lot that can be done to increase revenue very quickly. If you look at all the various forms of taxation, you can take another look at property tax, then you can have tax administration and improving compliance. You know, in Nigeria, complying with many of the taxes is still very low.

“We think that for the region, there needs to be three to five percent Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth is needed. How do you get there? In Nigeria, you can remove a lot of exemptions and expand income taxes.
“Those are the types of measures that, as part of a comprehensive package, can make the difference in increasing revenue mobilisation,” she said.  (The Sun)

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