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APC Governors Meet, Keep Mum on Akeredolu’s Death

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By Jude Opara, Abuja

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), a meeting of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has held its first meeting two weeks after the death of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state who died on Dec. 27, 2023 after a protracted ailment.

However, the PGF failed to even honour or pay a condolence visit to the family of their late colleague who was also the Chairman of the South West Governors Forum (SWGF) and the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF).

While the SWGF had paid a condolence visit to the family, his PGF has not done it.

It was also gathered during the Wednesday meeting that the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led PGF failed to even issue a condolence message or press statement in honour of their late colleague.

A source close to the PGF expressed disappointment that the forum is yet to visit Ondo State or send a condolence letter to the family the late Akeredolu.

The source added: “The development is not a surprise because Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and the late Ondo Governor did not enjoy the best of relationship while he was alive.

 “Don’t also forgot that Hope Uzodimma did not hide his opposition to Akeredolu’s wife, Betty Akeredolu’s Senatorial ambition when she moved to contest in Imo state.

“Although some governors who are members of the PGF have been visiting the family individually but as a Forum under Governor Hope Uzodimma, no such move has been made,” the source said.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting Wednesday night, Uzodimma said: “This is our first meeting since the beginning of this year and the meeting gave us the opportunity to review what is going on in the country and also agree on how best to continue to support our government and our party with a view to maximizing the benefits of current policies of our administration.

 “The progressive governors forum are united in supporting the APC administration ably led by our able President, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.

 “We will continue to support him, we will take his policies to the grassroots and as sub-national leaders of our great party, ensure that our people come on the same page with the thinking of the government whose primary objective is to secure the country and provide adequate welfare to the good people of our dear country.”

Speaking on the allegation of missing money rocking Federal Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management, the Imo governor said: “The only perfect being we have observed and noticed is the Almighty God. The functions of government includes encouraging good things and good appointees and discouraging bad things and bad appointees.

 “What you just said, it’s just an allegation and in the wisdom of the president, it is being investigated, it is after the investigation is completed and the report made available to the government, that the government will now take final decision. So don’t be in a hurry and don’t allow any sickness like anxiety crisis,” he concluded.

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1 Dead, 15 Rescued as Lagos Boat Hits Submerged Shoreline Concrete

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The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has confirmed that one person died  on Wednesday when a passenger ferry  collided with a submerged shoreline concrete.

Mrs Wuraola Alake of the Public Affairs Unit of LASWA, made the disclosure  in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

Alake said that the accident occurred around Power Line Corridor on the Lekki- Ikoyi Link Bridge.

She said that the mishap took place at 6.

50 p.m. when an Ibeshe-bound passenger ferry named T-Ben, which departed Addax Jetty,  had a collusion with the submerged shoreline concrete.

“Fifteen out of the 17 passengers said to be on board this boat have been rescued, with one casualty confirmed.

“Rescue effort is ongoing as at the time of issuing this statement.

“Officers from the Search and Rescue Unit of the Lagos State Waterways Authority and other volunteers are still at the location carrying out further rescue operations,” she said.

She said that officers from the Marine Unit of the Nigeria Police Force and  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency  were at  LASWA office to hand over the recovered female corpse to Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit.(NAN)

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Gowon Urges ECOWAS Leaders to Lift Sanctions on Mali, B’Faso, Others

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Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has called on ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic.

Gowon, who is one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, made the call in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states in Abuja on Wednesday evening.

The three countries, which were slammed with sanctions by the sub-regional politico-economic bloc following military takeovers in their respective countries, recently declared their decision to withdraw from the bloc.

Addressing a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters, Gowon, expressed concern that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic to exit ECOWAS threatened the unity of the bloc with far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.

He said: “It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – three important Member States, of their intention to leave the Community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for the ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.

“The ECOWAS authorities should immediately consider the implementation of the lifting of all sanctions that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.”

Gen. Gowon also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three exiting countries, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

“Therefore, on behalf of all the founding fathers of the Community and myself, I urge the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, to put aside their differences and reunite for the peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region,” he added.

Reports says that the former Nigerian leader also presented the open letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray. (NAN)

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Senate to Investigate Cement Coys on Hike in Price

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The Senate has resolved to investigate the sudden hike in the price of cement by its producers in Nigeria.
The followed the adoption of a point of order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Lola Ashiru on the “Need to Urgently Address the Increase in Cement Price and other Building Materials in Nigeria,” at plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the order, Ashiru urged the Senate to mandate its Committee on Industries to conduct an investigation into the activities of cement manufacturing industries operating in Nigeria.

This, he said was with a view to ascertain the reasons behind the price hike.

He also urged the Senate to mandate the Committee on Industries to ensure that cement manufacturing companies adhered strictly to fair market practice and desist from anti-competitive practice.

Ashiru said that the construction industry was vital to infrastructure development adding that the building industry heavily depended on cement and other building materials for its sustenance.

He said that the trend of a daily increase in the price of the product had hampered progress in various developmental endeavours across the country.

”This is because key building materials particularly cement and iron rod prices are now sold at prohibitive rates with cement and iron rod recently rising from N5, 500 per bag in Jan. 2024 to about N14, 000 and N8,500 to N17, 000 respectively,” he said.

He also said that the sudden price increase has had a detrimental impact on critical infrastructure, and housing in the country.
Ashiru said that the raw materials for cement were being sourced 100 per cent locally and not imported making the sudden surge in price suspicious and perplexing.

“Cognisant that affordable cement and other building materials are indispensable to national development, addressing the issue in time will be advantageous to the construction industry.

“This is because it will ensure the progress of constituency projects and strengthen national security by providing jobs and stability and improve the livelihood of Nigerians generally,” he said. (NAN)

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