Trump Declares State Of Emergency In Washington Ahead Of Biden’s Inauguration |The Republican News

By Olaotan Falade

United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C..

The declaration came on the heels of a revelation by the police of three plots to attack the Capitol Building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, including the “largest armed protest in American history”.

It also came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted its agents to possible uprisings at capitols in 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.

Trump’s declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.

On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as “the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil”.

The protesters plan to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.

They also plan another protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.

The FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and Federal Government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.

The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the general election.

More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.

Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.

Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.

They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.

The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.

One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters “might ultimately save lives”.

But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.

One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’

“You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.

A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.

The member told the HuffPost: “I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.”

The National Park Service said it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.

The Pentagon is also reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.

The hardened-up security plans came after the Department of Defence said it was aware of “further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day”, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.

The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.

“Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,” a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. “Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.”

Federal and local authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.

Hundreds of people might face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.

In the meantime, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20.

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EXCLUSIVE: Imo PCC Commissioner, Willy Amadi In Alleged Threesome Sex Video Scandal |The Republican News

PCC Commissioner, Chief Willy Amadi

By Pascal Arogorn Ibe

… ‘Proudly’ videos self in viral sex tape

The Commissioner for the Imo state office of the Public Complaint Commission, Chief Willy Amadi may have landed himself in sex tape mess following the fast circulating video of his alleged sexual indiscretion.

In the fast spreading video obtained by, the Commissioner was seen videoing himself in the 12-second sex tape which captured his image and those of two girls making out on a bed while he videoed the raunchy scene.

As at the time of processing this report, Chief Willy Amadi could not be reached for comments.

Imo commissioner, Chief Willy Amadi in viral sex video
The position of Commissioner in the Public Complaint Commission (PCC) as occupied by Chief Willy Amadi, is a federal appointment with a fixed tenure. is still following up on the details of the scandal as it unfolds, with ongoing efforts to alternatively secure a comment from the Commissioner’s family while tracking the two girls in the viral sex tape. (

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Afenifere, PANDEF, M-Belt Angered, As Miyetti Allah Seeks Inclusion Of Fulani, Others In Amotekum |RN

Miyetti Allah

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, yesterday, called for the inclusion of its members and other ethnic groups in the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, in Oyo State, to overcome the language barrier, which sometimes causes misunderstanding.

The call by MACBAN, however, elicited angry reactions from other ethnic groups like the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Middle Belt Forum.

The leader of the Fulani herders in Oyo State, Ibrahim Jiji, made the call, while speaking with newsmen at the Ibadan palace of Sarkin Sasa Sardaunan Yamaa, who is also the Chairman, Council of Arewa Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, in the Southern states.

Jiji, who expressed sadness over the killing of his men at Ayete, called on the relevant security agencies and Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite the release of his men, numbering 46, who were mistaken for criminals and erroneously arrested by security agents.

While clarifying the issue, he noted that security agents arrested members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, who are the people fighting banditry, robbery and kidnapping in the area.

His words: “After the commandant of Amotekun called us that we should join in a clearance operation, we agreed that 50 men from us, who are members of Vigilance Group, would go with them.

“When Amotekun operatives wanted to go for the operation, we were in Eruwa. But, Amotekun operatives went for the operation without carrying us along. We were only informed thereafter, that they had gone and killed three of our members.

“We got information that some people were kidnapped at Igangan and our Vigilance Group was directed to go there and rescue the victims. But, on their way to the place, some security men arrested them; they are 46. They were taken later handed over to the Police Area Commander at Eruwa.

“They are not criminals at all. This Vigilance Group had arrested and handed suspected criminals to the police. How would they now be taken as criminals?

“We plead with Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite their release because they are certainly not criminals as being branded.”

Jiji urged the people not to brand any criminal they see as Fulani adding that criminality, robbery and banditry should not have any ethnic colouration.”

“A criminal is a criminal. He may be Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani or any other ethnic group in the country”.

They’re asking for too much —Afenifere

Reacting to Miyetti Allah’s request, Afenifere said MACBAN was asking for too much.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “Why don’t they ask for them to come and mount traditional stools in Yorubaland? These people are climbing over the leaves of the tree in their unbridled ambition.”

Address worsening security problem in North —PANDEF

Also, the Deputy National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Thompson Okorotie flayed the move by the Myetti Allah but urged them to address the worsening security problem in the north.

Okorotie said: “What do they really want to achieve? Though we do not have a direct link, as far as we know, Amotekun is purely a South West arrangement to help the region. It is a self-help arrangement borne out of the rising insecurity in the land. The security situation has so worsened that everybody is to himself.

“What is the role of Myetti Allah? Do they have any structure that is related to Amotekun? Amotekun, as far as I know from outside, is well structured and it covers the South West, the Yoruba states.

“So, I do not understand what they want to do. I think they have more jobs in the North. Although we have security challenges all over the country, there is a bigger problem in the North. But if they want to solve the security challenge, let them concentrate on Yobe, Borno and others where fellow Nigerians are dying in their droves in the North. So, I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t even believe that the Amotekun structure will accommodate then.”

It doesn’t make sense —Middle Belt Forum

On its part, the Middle Belt Forum described MACBAN’s request as “irrational because it does not make any bit of sense.”

National President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus in Makurdi said: “What is their business with Amotekun? Is the South-West not predominantly Yoruba? So, the suggestion is just like saying that we should go and have traditional rulers like Emirs of other ethnic groups in the north. It simply doesn’t make sense, it is irrational and there is no justification for that.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba outfit to save the Yoruba people from aggression. Aggression from which people? From Fulani herdsmen.

“So, it is only proper that Amotekun should be a Yoruba affair. We are not saying that Nigeria should not be plural in all spheres. But what we are saying is that when a particular ethnic group takes it upon themselves to attack others unprovoked, for whatever reason, those people have the right to defend themselves. And that is what brought about Amotekun.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba answer to the aggression by the Fulani herdsmen and of course other insurgent groups on their people.

“If they are not happy with it, they should go to their own states and have their own outfit. The truth remains that even in the north, different ethnic nationalities have vigilante groups of their ethnic nationalities to defend their people.

“So there is nothing wrong for the Yoruba to defend themselves. It is up to the Fulanis to ask their people to stop killing others, to stop attacking farmers, to stop carrying out unprovoked attacks on communities so that Amotekun will not be necessary.” (Vanguard)

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Despite Criticism, FG Signs Nigeria-Niger Republic Rail Project MoU |The Republican News

In what looks like ignoring critics, the Federal Government on Monday announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of the $1.959bn Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail project.

EyewitnessMedia gathered that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director, Mota-Engil, Antonio Gvoea, signed on behalf of the contracting firm.

The $1.96bn Kano-Maradi rail line connects Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, said in a statement issued in Abuja that the new railway corridor, located in Northern Nigeria and Maradi in Niger Republic would run through three states.

He outlined the states as include Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, adding that it would go through the territory Niger Republic as far as Maradi.

“Other cities that will be affected by the rail line in Nigeria are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya,” the FMT said.

It added, “The 283.75km rail line, besides developing freight and passenger transport as it will be integrated with road transport, will make great contribution to the local economy.”

The ministry said the project would also contribute in developing the social sector.

It said the project duration was for 36 months and the contract type was engineering, procurement and construction.

The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Magdalene Ajani; Director, Legal Services, Pius Oteh; Head of Legal, Mota-Engil Group, Cameron Beverley; and Magajin Garin Kano, Muhammad Wada; among others.

However, pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, kicked against the move, saying that with so much deficit in the country’s transport infrastructure, the government was headed the wrong direction with the rail project.

The Publicity Secretary of, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, told newsmen that many Nigerians were against the move by government to construct the rail line, adding that President Buhari was more interested in constructing a project outside Nigeria than in developing roads within Nigeria.

Odumakin said, “It is an unfortunate development. We know the state of Nigerian roads. We know that our roads are in a very bad shape, for instance, look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the roads to the East, to Port Harcourt and the rest of them.

“They are not Buhari’s priority; rather his priority now is the line to Maradi in Niger Republic. They are more interested in their kith and kin who are Fulanis outside Nigeria than in Nigeria itself.”

He added, “It is unfortunate. So the Afenifere and many other Nigerians out there are not in support of this initiative. In fact, how can we support it?”

A Public Affairs analyst, Bala Zakka, argued that it was more economical to decongest Apapa ports than to construct a rail line to its Niger counterpart.

He said, “It would make more sense if you construct a rail line out of Apapa to the hinterland so that trucks can be cleared from Apapa. It is better you take cargoes to Edo State or Osun State than everybody comes into Apapa.

“What would be beneficial to me as a Nigerian is to decongest Apapa via rail than going to Maradi. It is 10 times economical for you have railway out of Apapa to places out of Lagos. This will lead to development in other states.”

The analyst said that the government has continued to ignore the advice of technocrats, and the best time to have dealt with this issue was when it was still itemised for consideration. Zakka said what was left was to wait and see the effects of the policy.

Similarly, a professor of economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, advised the government to focus on cargo now that the deal had been signed.

He said, “Rail project is very important as part of the transport infrastructure. My only worry is that the government is more concerned about passengers than goods. Whereas it is better to have the rail constructed so it can move goods because moving goods via rail is very important.

“It is more important to consider trains that will move cargo which will decongest our roads.

“What the government has been doing has been light rail. Light rail cannot carry cargo and the government is doing light rail. The government must also make sure that whatever is spent on the project is recovered.”

The university don said the best way it can be recovered was via cargo operations. He asked that the government should do a rail for cargo which can be utilised for human beings and goods.

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APC Hails Emergency Of Prof. Obiozor As New President General Of Ohanaeze |The Republican News

Prof.George Obiozor siting during Ohanaeze general election

The All Progressives Congress congratulated Nigeria’s former ambassador to the United States of America, Prof. George Obiozor, on his election as President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.

The party’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement titled, ‘APC congratulates Obiozor on emergence as Ohanaeze Ndígbo President-General, by the National Secretary of the party, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, in Abuja, on Sunday.

While congratulating the incoming President-General, the party also congratulated the outgoing leader of the group, Chief John Nwodo, and the executive committee he headed for its “mature and patriotic leadership.”

The statement read in part, “The APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee under the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni is determined to consolidate the ongoing efforts to further mainstream the South-East geo-political zone in the workings of the governing APC and place the zone in its deserved political standing in the country.”

However, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, which claims to be the only recognised Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has warned the newly elected Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, Prof. George Obiozor, to confine himself to Imo State or risk arrest and prosecution.

The President-General of the group, Basil Onyeacholam, stated this in his reaction to Obiozor’s election in Owerri, Imo State on Sunday.

Describing Obiozor as president-general of Ohanaeze Ndi Imo, Onyeacholam said, “Whatever happened in Imo State today (Sunday) remained null and void.”

He said he (Onyeacholam) remained the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo recognised by law, the Federal Government and the international community.

Onyeacholam said, “Obiozor cannot function. Obiozor has been elected under an illegitimate platform and they were duly served of court processes before they embarked on the said kangaroo election.

“He should make sure he confines himself to Imo State and should not mention anywhere that he is the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. I still remain the President-General. I’m in charge. There is no vacancy in Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership.”

Culled from Punch

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Buhari Felicitates Obiozor, The New President General Of Ohanaeze |The Republican News

New Ohanaeze President General, Prof. George Obiozor

The President, Muhammadu Buhari has congratulates the new President-General of Ohanaeze, Professor George Obiozor.

Obiozor, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus, became leader of the Igbo socio-cultural group after an election which held at Dan Anyim Stadium in Owerri, the Imo state capital, on Sunday.

Reacting to the news, Buhari urged the eminent diplomat and scholar to deploy his immense experience within and outside government to forge greater unity of the country.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Buhari said, “Given Prof. Obiozor’s rich background, especially, in international affairs and pan-Nigerian commitment, I have little doubt that his election is well-deserved and will serve not only the interest of Ndigbo, but also that of his fatherland.”

“We need all hands to be on deck for this country to move forward in peace and unity,” he added.

Wishing Obiozor a successful tenure, Buhari enjoined him to be a “unifying force beyond his immediate constituency.”

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Akpabio Pays Malami N25bn Over NDDC Sole Administrator, Buhari’s Aide, First Lady’s Brother Got $5m Each |The Republican News

The last may not have been heard about the curious appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa as Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as just uncovered some dark deals that made such possible.

According to our investigations, the players behind this deal are Niger Delta Affairs minister, Godswill Akpabio, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the powerful Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Sabiu ‘Tunde’ Yusuf and First Lady Aisha Buhari’s brother, Mahmud Halilu Ahmad.

Despite the Tsunami of opposition to the appointment by stakeholders including the Senate, they pulled the appointment through, granting Akpabio an unfettered hold on the NDDC.

Reliable sources within the presidency told that in the desperation to get the Sole Administrator for the NDDC approved, Akpabio promised to support Attorney General with N25billion from the N453billion 2020 budget of the NDDC towards his governorship ambition.

Malami, a notoriously corrupt Attorney General, is desperately mobilizing resources to run for the Governorship of Kebbi State in 2023

According to our sources, Akpabio also allegedly paid $5million to Malami to secure legal note backing the appointment of a Sole Administrator NDDC and another $5million to Sabiu “Tunde” Yusuf to push the file and have Buhari sign off on the appointment of Akwa, even though a Board had been constituted.

Some stakeholders have consistently contended that the decision to appoint Akwa as Sole Administrator to ‘oversee the ongoing forensic audit of the Commission to its completion’ is alien, illegal, void and seriously offends the fine provisions of Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the NDDC (Establishment) Act, 2000.

One of the stakeholders, Timi Frank had queried “Why is Akpabio and his cohorts in the presidency refusing to appoint a substantive Board for the NDDC, but instead, they have moved from an Interim Management Committee to a Sole Administrator that is not known by the Act establishing the NDDC?
“If Akpabio is honest, transparent and has no skeleton or ulterior notions, why appoint a Sole Administrator from Akwa Ibom state that is against the extant Act which clearly states that the Managing Director of the NDDC must come from either Delta or Bayelsa states?”

Sources at the Presidency and Akpabio’s office hinted further that, Part of the loot Tunde collected, was used to purchase a property in Palm Spring Estate for over N1billion. Ambassador Lawan kazaure, the State Chief of protocol also owns a property in the same estate. The estate is regarded as one of the most expensive in Abuja.

Tunde is said to be the defacto president. Sources said “anyone within the government who wants approval for anything from the president, pays Tunde. Without paying, memos are killed, appointments withheld”

Sources told that Akpabio also paid an undisclosed sum to Mahmud Halilu Ahmad, a brother to First lady Aisha Buhari to help to lobby the first lady to ensure the idea of a Sole Administrator for NDDC scaled through.

According to our source “Malami argued that he was misled into approving the Sole Administrator for NDDC, but he has not withdrawn the approval or advised the President to sack the Sole Administrator. The money he collected to do the dirty job is reason he cannot go back to the President to ask for the removal of the NDDC Sole Administrator”.

Sources also said Akpabio’s payments to the trio is to ensure he gets complete control of the NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry.

Frank, a Political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, had instituted a case against Akpabio led cartel in the NDDC following its refusal to rescind its appointment of a Sole Administrator to pilot the affairs of the Commission.
A former Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, had also condemned the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the NDDC describing it as an illegality which should be corrected immediately. Dickson also suggested that the capital budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission shouldn’t be implemented by the sole administrator who is unknown to the law.
As a fallout of his observation, the Senate rejected the appointment of a sole administrator for the commission and resolved to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure immediate constitution of the board of the NDDC.The Senate agreed that the appointment of a sole administrator for the NDDC was illegal and indeed an aberration and should be corrected immediately.

The National Coordinator of People’s Democratic Party Coalition, Chief Dr Emeka Kalu, had described as worrisome, the total silence of all the Governors from the NDDC States over the plot by Akpabio and the Presidency to sabotage the role of NDDC Agency to the oil producing region by appointing a sole Administrator that will make it expressly possible to embezzle the N453.2B 2020 budget of the Agency without recourse to the suffering masses of the area. (

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Buhari’s Finance Act 2020 Will Kill Indigenous Automobile Industry |The Republican News

By Moses Akaigwe,

The news of the coming into effect of the Finance Act 2020 following its passage by the National Assembly and speedy Presidential assent only six days later has been received with a mixed reaction of anger, disappointment and frustration in the Nigerian auto industry.

Against the provisions on the 2014 National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) {auto policy} documents, the controversial Act reduces duty on imported buses from 35 percent to 10; slashes levy on fully built cars from 35 percent to 5 percent; and trucks from 35 percent to 10 percent.

This is contained in Part VI of the Finance Act 2020 under Customs And Excise Tariff {Consolidation}, etc, section 38, sub-sections A to D.

But, reacting to the act which came into effect just last week, industry stakeholders say the incentive to importers of fully built up {FBU} vehicles represents a policy summersault, which has been the bane of development in many sectors, especially the auto industry.

One of them, Dr. David V. C. Obi, declared that the Federal Government has finally killed the industry which has been struggling to survive over the years due to government’s tepid implementation of the NAIDP introduced by the previous administration.

Obi, a highly respected stakeholder who until recently was the Chairman of the Auto Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria {MAN}, said, “This is the clearest signal from the government that they do not care about the development of the local automotive industry. The levies and duties were enshrined in the auto policy, in some cases bringing the total payments on imported fully built vehicles to 70 percent.

“This was with the view to making locally assembled vehicles competitive and preferable in terms of prices {against the imported options}. But, tell me, with this generous incentive to the importers of FUB, how can the local vehicle plants compete? This means goodbye to the local plants, because they can’t compete. They will definitely close shop, unless something is done.”

To Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Group, owners of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited {IVM}, Nnewi, it is shocking that the Federal Executive Council did not realise the enormous harm the inclusion of the reduction of import duties and levies in the Act, would do to the domestic auto plants.

“I was among the people in the industry who raised their voices against the planned reduction of duties and levies on imported vehicles. I warned that it was going to kill the auto plants, because it is a huge incentive to the importers who have little or no contribution to the economy. What this reduction will do is to further empower importers to kill the local auto industry by driving them out of the market.”

Also reacting, the Managing Director of Lafbart Innovations and Consulting Ltd, Olufemi Olafunmiloye, described the reduction as being “very, very unfortunate,” and capable of taking the domestic auto industry many years back, adding that it will harm the industry in many ways, if not reversed.

“The development is very, very unfortunate. As far as the auto industry is concerned, what the government has been doing is take one step forward and take 10 steps backward. This favour to importers of FBU vehicles is an indication that the development of the industry is not considered a priority by our leaders,”  Olafunmiloye whose Lafbart produces tricycles and other vehicles in Akure, lamented yesterday.

The auto makers argued that slashing import duty and levy on buses and passenger cars as contained in the recent 2020 Finance Bill is not only a disincentive to their own investments, but would discourage those who would have been encouraged by the auto policy provisions to make fresh investments.

The Federal Executive Council {FEC} had on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, approved the reduction in duties and levies as part of the bill which was later passed by the National Assembly.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo explained later that a situation where the local auto plants contribute only about 14, 000 units out of a total of 720, 000 the country needs annually, was one of the reasons for the adjustment in import charges, assuring that government would introduce a policy to ensure that official vehicles are sourced from the local plants only.

But, the Lafbart Managing Director said the argument was faulty, because the auto makers in Nigeria have much higher combined installed capacities {for sundry vehicle types} than the figure the Vice President quoted, adding that the plants produce according to demands.

“Moreover,” he stated, “even as the auto plants have the capacity, how can they go on producing when government policies favour importation?”

Dr. Chukwuma echoed the point that auto makers only produce according to demands, and do not lack the capacities to meet the nation’s vehicle needs. He disclosed that Innoson alone is capable of meeting huge demands of various IVM vehicle models, whether sedans, buses, pick-ups or SUVs, “if we are challenged with patronage.”

He further stated, “Recently, we {Innoson} invested heavily in designing and producing hundreds of units of two new affordable vehicle models  –  IVM Connect with a price tag of N4.5 million; and seven-seater IVM mini bus going for N5 million. And they are there for immediate delivery. So, how can the government say we don’t produce enough?”

He recalled that last year, his company launched an empowerment {ride-hailing} scheme in Enugu with 500 units of the IVM Connect for about 500 youths who are expected to make daily returns of N6, 000 for about 30 months, after which they take full ownership of the vehicles.

The scheme, it was learnt, will gradually be made available to other parts of the country.

He stated that he and other vehicle manufacturers invested billions of naira in their plants, fearing that the investments would be lost to government’s policy inconsistency

“What we are going to witness from now is a situation where fully built vehicles will flood the Nigerian market and result in the shut-down of local plants that are currently going through very difficult times.”

Also commenting on policy summersault by government, the Chairman of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, said, “We have seen this happen several times. In our previous interview, didn’t I share our experience in the automobile industry with you  –  how we invested billions of naira in building a Ford plant in Lagos that is producing very few units due to poor auto policy implementation by government?

“If President Goodluck Jonathan had remained in office, what is happening now in the auto industry wouldn’t be happening, because his government had a clear goal. The government made it clear that they would not buy any vehicle that was not produced in Nigeria, and they actually matched their words with action by patronising vehicles made in Nigeria, in order to help the industry.

“But, it is not same with this administration, because they didn’t continue with that philosophy, and the industry is dying.” (Sun news)

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BREAKING NEWS: Prof. George A. Obiozor Elected New Ohanaeze President General | The Republican News

Prof. George Achilike Obiozor

By Ike A. Offor

The former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus, Prof. George Obiozor has been today elected the new President General of Ohanaeze.

He is a man many would describe as a colossus and a man who has done marvellously well as an academia and an eminent diplomat. Obiozor hails from Awo-Omamma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo state

Ohanaeze is the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo and seen as the most formidable force that binds the Igbo of South East and South South together.

Though some have recently challenged the relevance of Ohanaeze to the Igbo people in the face of attacks on the people from Fulani herdsmen. The organisation still remains the only umbrella that holds the Igbo and a very potent force when they choose a direction and a line of action on any issue.

The election which took place today at Dan Anyiam stadium in Owerri was not without controversy because some opponents have accused the Imo state governor and South East governors of hijacking the electoral process and shifting the election venue from the usual place in Enugu to Owerri.

There have also been rumours of breakaway faction, which earlier yesterday touted one Chief Ibeh as the new President General of Ohanaeze, when the main election has not even taken place.

Professor George Achilike Obiozor from Awo-Omamma in Oru East LGA in Imo state has been today elected as the new President General of Ohanaeze

Three main candidates that participated in the election got the following number of votes while others stepped down for Prof. Obiozor.
Dr.S Uju Okoro….3 votes
Dr Val Oparaocha…15 votes
Amb Prof G.A. Obiozor …304 votes

Amb Prof George Achilike Obiozor was therefore declared the elected President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo gburugburu for the next 4 years.

This is a developing story.

Details later……..

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I Was Infected With COVID-19 By Rudeboy, Passed It On To My Wife —Jude Okoye |The Republican News

By Ademola Olonilua

Earlier today, music executive, Jude Okoye’s wife, Ify, shared a video on her Instagram account showing that she has been placed on oxygen after contracting Coronavirus.

The former beauty queen captioned the video, “Surviving COVID”.

In an exclusive chat with The PUNCH via the telephone, her husband, Jude, revealed that she contracted the virus from him despite all the preventive measures he put in place.

He further allayed the fears of his friends and fans as he stated that his wife was faring well.

“My wife is responding to treatment but I will not really say treatment because COVID does not have a cure. She is responding to the symptom she is getting. We got it about the same time; I got it and she got it from me. It was just a day gap before she got it from me.

“She is self-isolating at home. Everybody is fine including the kids; it is just that for my wife, she has recovered but she is having this post-recovery symptom. That is what is going on. Everybody is fine even though everybody in my family got it. Me, my wife, kids, nanny, everybody contracted the virus.”

Jude said that he believed that he caught the virus from his popular singing brother, Paul Okoye, fondly referred to as Rudeboy.

He further emphasized that he tried his best not to contract the virus but ‘it takes only one person to infect the whole family.”

“There is nothing I did not do in order not to contract the virus; I did social distancing, I stopped going out, I had hand sanitisers everywhere and I was wearing a face mask. But the fact that you have a cook that would go to the market and return, it takes just one person to bring it and pass it to the whole family. Just do your best because at the end of the day what will happen will happen.

“I believe I got the virus from Rudeboy because we normally sit together most times and he is the one that goes out for promotions. Somehow, I believe that I got it from him because I do not go out.”

Stating how the symptoms began, the music executive stated that he began feeling aches all over his body about the same time his brother also fell ill.

Jude said, “One weekend, I woke up feeling bad with aches and pains everywhere. I thought it was my AC that was too much but my wife got a call from Rudeboy. He asked if our doctor could come around to his place because he was having malaria. He was advised to have a COVID test because both of us could not fall ill at the same time. The doctor came and did a test and it was positive.

He continued, “I isolated myself for about two days and after that, my wife started complaining. I called the same doctor to test everybody in the house and everyone was confirmed positive. The funny part of the whole thing is that apart from me, my wife and one of the nannies, everyone was feeling fine. Nobody was complaining, especially the kids because they were very active. They did not show any symptoms; they were active and agile.”

Now he has been certified negative by his doctors. “The doctor has certified me negative but I will take all my family for another test next week to be sure that we are all COVID-19 negative,” he said. (Punch)

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