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Insecurity: Buhari Fires Back at Obasanjo, Jonathan

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Says his critics are not patriotic

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made a veiled reference to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that those who are criticizing him over isolated security challenges in some parts of the country are not patriotic.

The president who spoke at an audience with the National Executives of the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) in the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Buhari, however, said: “Every country in the world has security challenges. While we have made significant progress in the fight against terrorism, we acknowledged that there are also new and emerging challenges like kidnapping and banditry.

“I assure you and Nigerians that we will not relent in our efforts to secure the country from criminal activities. Those who politicize the isolated cases of insecurity are not patriotic Nigerians.

“I’m confidence that this administration uses all resources at its disposal to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and not just prominent Nigerians or those who make headlines.’’

It is recalled that Obasanjo had on Monday wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, “Nigeria is on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay”.

In the letter released by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi Obasanjo said he intended to use the open letter to address weighty issues. “I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria.”

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Similarly, former Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said insecurity has worsened in Nigeria since he left Aso Rock. He spoke as he paid a condolence visit to Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, whose daughter, Funke, was killed by gunmen on the Benin-Ore road last week.

He said: “The issue of security must be approached from a different dimension. We cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it.

“Every generation face problems and this generation must find ways to solve these problems. Every government faces a problem.

“The first commercial kidnapping, because it involved money, happened in 2006 when I was the governor of Bayelsa state. From that time, it moved to terrorism in the north. Now, it is a major problem in the country.

“The federal government in conjunction with state government must design a different approach to this issue.

“I was there as president and security challenge was there but now, it is getting worse every day and we can’t continue to use the same old method.”

On corruption, President Buhari said his administration would continue to be tough on its ongoing crusade against corrupt practices in the country.

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“We will continue to be tough on the cancer of corruption as you may be aware the African Union in its deliberations last year appointed me as African Corruption Champion for the continent.

“This is because other countries have seen our dedication to fighting corruption and are keen to emulate our approach,’’ he added.

The president also reiterated the determination of All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

He noted that policies and programmes put in place by the government to support farmers and small businesses had started yielding fruitful results.

“We remain committed to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“Policies put in place to support farmers and small businesses are yielding positive results and we are determined to integrate them into the larger economy.”

In a related event, President Buhari on Tuesday said any person or administration that cannot secure a country or an institution, will not be able to manage it. President Buhari President Buhari also said that the successes recorded in degrading terrorists in the North East will be extended to various parts of the country experiencing challenges, assuring Nigerians that security still tops his list of priorities.

 The President, who received executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) led by the President, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said offenders took advantage of the focus on the North East to commit crimes in other parts of the country.

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He said: “If you cannot secure a country or institution, you cannot manage it. ” The President noted that efforts were still ongoing to improve employment level, following the success in getting many into the agricultural sector, stressing that opening up the economy for investments and getting the youths engaged will control crime rate. On health and education, President Buhari urged states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government, especially in getting more children into classrooms.

The President in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina said, “The issues of health and education are constitutional. If there are too many Almajiris in a state, then the government is not following the constitution. “

The states also have elites who are educated enough to remind their governments about their responsibility to Almajiris,.”

In his remarks, President of the NMA congratulated President Buhari for winning a second term in office, attributing his return to efforts made by the government to reposition the country, especially in health sector, like establishment of a cancer centre in University of Lagos Teaching Hospital.

Dr. Faduyile commended the President for always looking towards the NMA to appoint competent members for positions in the health sector, assuring that the medical association will continue to partner with the government to bring good health services to Nigerians.

 He said there was a need to make the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) compulsory for all Nigerians, including those in the informal sector, as some special treatments, like cancer, will require funds that might be beyond the reach of many.

NEWS

Man Slumps, Dies At FCMB Bank In Rivers

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Man has allegedly slumped and died in front of a branch of the First City Monument Bank at Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, Rivers Stateon Tuesday.

The man’s death, according, to a Twitter user, Dokubo, Kenneth Promise #EndSARS, who posted it on his Twitter handle @dokubo_kenneth, was due to frustration resulting from hostile treatment meted out on him by the customer service officials of the bank.

According to the report, the man (whose name was withheld) had been trying to withdraw money but could not, as the bank asked him to do an affidavit in order to have access to his money.

Dokubo further said the victim went with his next of kin to the bank as judicial workers had been on strike, jeopardising any process of swearing an affidavit.

Man dies at @MyFCMB in Port Harcourt due to frustration and unfriendly treatment by the customer service attendants of a bank,” Dokubo tweeted.

 

The man was said to have been vomiting and begging having been in the queue for five hours before he collapsed and died.

“An eyewitness at the scene of the incident disclosed that a man who hails from Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, a customer of (First City Monument Bank) FCMB died in front of the bank.

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“He was refused access to his own money since Friday even when he came with his next of kin. He was asked to go to the court to get an affidavit knowing the court is not in session.

“Narrating the event, she added, ‘The man was vomiting and at the same time begging for him to have access to his own money yet he was denied. After he was left unattended to for more than 5 hours, he just died now a few minutes ago at FCMB, Education Bus Stop, Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, she said,’” Dokubo reported on Twitter.

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JUDICIARY

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Appellate Court 600 Pre-election Appeals so far, says President

The President of the Court of Appeal,  Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem on Friday said the court has so far received 600 pre election matters from its 20 Divisions.

Dongbam-Mensem made this known when Amb. Samuela Isopi, Ambassador, EU Delegation paid her a visit in her office.

“The court received over 600 Pre-Election appeals in the 20 Divisions of the Court from November to date and more appeals are still being filed

” .Over 60 Panels were setup in the various Divisions to hear and determine all Pre-Election appeals filed.

” Mindful of the pressures under which the Hon Justices are working, some experienced Registrars of the Court were empanelled to summarize the decisions so far made and distribute to the various divisions to avoid conflicting decisions,” she said.

The president expressed joy at their  presence which she said  provided  an opportunity to exchange views, share experiences and learn from their respective experiences in  their countries.

No doubt, she said there are challenges being experienced, what is imperative is how those challenges were surmounted to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the Country.

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According to her, transparency in the electoral process is one of the core values of democratic stability in a nation.

She stated that  the active involvement of Election Observation Missions in Nigeria to ensure free, fair and credible elections  is appreciated.

“Pertinent to state that the role of these Observer Organizations have greatly impacted the resolve to review the Electoral Act, 2010.

“The Electoral Act, 2022 has introduced laudable innovations to strengthen our democracy and ensure credible elections.

“The Court of Appeal has reviewed, developed and expanded the scope of working materials for Judges she said.

According to her there is now a Judicial Electoral Manual which incorporate decisions of the Supreme Court and those of this Court and the “critical” fundamental sections of the Electoral Act, 2022

This , she said, to ensure that appeals with similar facts and issues are categorized together to maintain the doctrine of stare decisis.

” In preparation of delivering its Constitutional mandate, the Court is faced with numerous challenges which includes but not limited to paucity of funds

” To effectively manage the tribunals, deployment of ICT equipment and the need for continuous training of support staff with a view to enhancing their capacities and powers to effectively drive the electoral adjudication process.

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” Permit me to state that the Court is in a dilemma, we have just 21 days to the General Election and the special intervention fund to conduct the Election Petition Tribunal is yet to be released she said.

She added  that this will impact negatively on the activities of the Court and Tribunals to effectively discharge its Constitutional duties.

” It is expected that by now, provisions would have been made for the procurement of necessary materials and equipment needed for the smooth running of the various Tribunals.

” Also we ought to have organised further trainings for Hon. Justices, Members of the Tribunals and Secretariat Staff but we cannot due to paucity of funds.

“We are hopeful that these challenges will be soon addressed before the conduct of the General Election.

” I thank your Excellences for the visit and look forward to a fruitful interactive session” she said.

Speaking , Amb.l Isopi , expressed delight in the effort noticed in the improvement in election  matters.

” One of the points you made was to support the judiciary on building capacity of judges on election related matters .

” I am happy to say  we were able to support in training 300 judges.

” We also trained secretaries and support staff because, for us ,this is something that is seen as being crucial .

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” This is because, we know that it really can contribute in improving and promoting election disputes resolutions she said. (NAN)

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NEWS

Nigerians Take Mats, Mattresses To Banks’ ATM Galleries Over Long Queues As Naira Notes Scarcity Bites Hard

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Anger and frustration have become the lots of Nigerians as they now sleep in various Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATM) locations in order to make withdrawal of new notes from the bank ATMs.

SaharaReporters gathered that while some bank customers, in Enugu State for example, stayed till 2am until the funds loaded were finished, others came in as early as 3 am to stay till morning so that they could be among the first to make withdrawals when the banks started work by 8am.

It was observed that virtually in all the banks, only one or two ATM machine(s) were dispensing cash, while so many other ATM machines were not loaded, forcing hundreds of people to queue up to five hours to make withdrawals, which could not exceed N20,000 daily.

A bank customer who gave his name as Oforbuike Moses told SaharaReporters that for three days, he had been returning to bank ATMs to make withdrawals but had not been successful because of a huge crowd that besiege bank ATMs.

Moses said, “Today will make it fourth time I will be going to bank. I left my house by 4am so that I can make withdrawal. Unfortunately, by the time I got to First Bank ATM at Ọkpara Avenue, behold over 100 people were already there. The people that came before me had already started issuing number according to the time they came. At 4am, I am 115 in number which means 114 people had come before me and when the bank starts work by 8am, they will first make withdrawals before me.”

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He added, “I was even told that some people slept in the ATM because the only machine dispensing money stopped working by 2am and they had to sleep there.”
Lamenting the situation, Moses described this CBN new monetary Policy as demonic and evil.

“There’s no reason whatsoever to justify this unmitigated suffering that they have thrown Nigerians into. People now leave their businesses and spend the whole day in other to get N20,000 only. Yet terrorists and bandits in the Northern Nigeria are already parading the new banknotes in millions while the poor Nigerians are being subjected to unimaginable suffering to make simple N20,000 withdrawal here.”

Another bank customer, Kingsley Obi, also lamented the suffering Nigerians were going through to get cash.

“I went to bank around 1:30am yesterday (Thursday) only to withdraw N20,000 around 11am, after how many hours. So, people have left their businesses to stay in ATM machines. This is the worse policy of this administration.

“Why is Buhari a curse to Nigeria? When he came as a military Head of State in 1983, because of his inept administration Nigerians were pepped. Now he is at it again. People are suffering in everything while the government is not providing solution. It is unfortunate. Nigerians will also make another mistake and choose another Buhari or looters who use different decoy to loot public treasure,” he lamented.

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Meanwhile in Sokoto State, one of the core northern states, the situation is any better.

Bank customers in Sokoto State queued for hours, sometimes days due to shortage of new naira notes, SaharaReporters gathered.

The bank customers who wish to access the new naira notes have now resolved to sleep at an ATM gallery due to the long qeues.

A bank customer from Wamakko, in the Wamakko Local Government Area, Aliyu Muntari, said he decided to bring his beddings to a Zenith bank ATM gallery because he queued for over 14 hours to withdraw N10,000.

“I came all the way from Wamakko town, today is my third day in Sokoto city. I had to bring my mat to sleep at the ATM gallery because I want to be able to get N10,000 cash.

“Surprisingly, I’m not alone, as you can see other people here, we’ll be passing the night so that by the time the machines are loaded in the morning, we’ll be among the people to make withdrawals,” Muntari said.

Another customer, Saminu Kurfi, said, “Imagine how this people have subjected the poor people to hardship. Often you need just N1000 to buy foodstuff but you can’t get it.

“Now in virtually all markets, particularly in rural areas, most vendors no longer accept the old naira notes, making almost impossible to transact any business.

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“This is a very dangerous trend, and I can almost predict that if things continue this way going forward, people may be forced to revolt,” Kurfi said.

(SR)

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