RUGA: Count Buhari Out of Islamization Agenda-Osinbajo
…..VP Urges Resistance to ‘Divisive Agenda’
From Mark Maya, Lagos
Against the backdrop of war drums over the Federal Government plans to establish RUGA settlement for headsmen in the country, the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has advised Nigerians to resist divisive agenda exacerbated by opposition parties and anti-government agents .
Speaking yesterday in Lagos at the launch of a book entitled: “Battlelines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics”, to mark the 80thth birthday of a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the vice-president said there was no disputing the facts that Nigerians had strong belief in the unity of the country and were often ready to live peacefully with one another.
The Vice-President said unity was an essential ingredient of nation-building and greatness of the country, but expressed displeasure with the predilection of some unpatriotic citizens to use all sorts of tactics to undermine the unity of the country.
Osinbajo said said some members of the political class had always played ethnic and religious cards to pit people against one another, thereby causing disaffection.
He urged citizens to resist all divisive antics and tactics, adding that Nigerians should not fall for any agenda that could undermine unity.
The Vice President dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari was pursuing an agenda to Islamise the country adding such claims were false and divisive.
Osinbajo said that the narrative in some quarters that the president was protecting killer – herdsmen and Boko Haram members was a desperate ploy to promote ethnic and religious suspicion.
The Vice-President said Boko Haram once made attempts on the president’s life, and the incident, which occurred during one of his campaign visits, had betrayed the fact that the claims that he was protecting them were just to cause disunity.
He said the government was committed to the well-being of all Nigerians, and urged citizens to unite against all evils, including religious extremism.
Osinbajo said that Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others were enemies of the nation, urging all citizens to join hands with the government to root them out.
”The likes of Boko Haram, ISIS, Islamic State West Africa Province and many Salafist-Jihadist ideologies are expansionist ideologies that feed purely on hate, hatred of any person or group that does not belong to their particular sect.
”They have no grievances, so there are no terms of reference for peace. Fanatics committed to a twisted creed.
”They exploit the ignorance of the tenets of Islam, poverty and exclusion, recruit men and women and use children to perpetrate the most heinous atrocities.
“They are motivated by a satanic desire to control communities by murder and terror.
”Whether it is in Iraq, Borno or Syria their victims are men, women and children, Muslim or Christians so long as they do not share their sick ideology, they target churches, mosques, markets and motor parks where people gather, using children as human bombs to kill randomly, regardless of tribe or faith.
”The challenge for us is to recognize this extremism for what it is. To form alliances across faiths and ethnicities to destroy an evil that confronts us all,” he said.
According to him, herders and farmers conflicts, random killings, banditry and kidnapping in different parts of the country were extant challenges that the army has had to intervene in on several occasions.
”I want to reassure all Nigerians that these issues are being seriously tackled by the Federal Government, working with the States, through a multi-pronged approach. Nobody will be allowed to maim, kill or commit other crimes and escape.
”It is our duty to apprehend and punish these criminals and we are doing and will continue to do so,” he said.
The Vice-President described Osoba as a patriotic Nigerian, saying he had made great impacts in journalism and politics.
Osinbajo said that one of the remarkable attributes of the former governor was his ”Pan-Nigerianism”, as he had been able to build bridges and make friends across all parts of the country.
The Vice-President congratulated him on his 80th birthday, saying he had no doubt that the former governor was still full of energy to contribute more to nation-building.
A former Head of State and Chairman of the occasion, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, also called for unity and peaceful coexistence of all citizens.
He described insecurity as a major issue in the country and urged the government to do its best to address the problem.
The former Head of State commended Osoba for writing the book, saying the piece would help shed light on his contributions to nation-building.
Abubakar said that he had known Osoba since the 60s and the former governor had always exhibited traits of greatness and love for the country.
”Osoba is a detribalised Nigerian who has done well both in politics and journalism,” he added.
The reviewer of the book, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, said the book aptly captured the exploits and achievements of Osoba both as a journalist and a former governor .
Olorunyomi, Publisher of Premium Times, said the 341-page book employed the use of lucid expressions which were expected from an outstanding reporter like Osoba.
”The book showcases the great media manager that he was at Daily Times, The Daily Sketch and Herald and all he has done in politics,” he said.
Speaking, Osoba, flanked by wife, Derinsola, and children, said he decided to write the book to document his experiences both as a politician and journalist.
He said that he wrote the book to reveal what some people might not know about him.
The former governor thanked dignitaries who attended the book launch, saying he felt honoured by their presence.
”I particularly thank God to be alive after attempts to kill me by the military failed. I thank my friends for being part of my story and my family for the support,” he said.
Those present at the book launch included Gov. Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Gov.Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Gov.Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); Gov. Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Gov. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) were some of the dignitaries at the book launch.
Former governors, Donald Duke, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Obong Victor Attah and a former Rivers governor and minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi were also present.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; a national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and a renowned economist, Prof.Pat Utomi were some of the others present.
FEC Approves N24.2bn for Free Internet in 20 Airports, Varsities, Markets
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Government has approved two contracts worth N24.20 billion for the provision of broadband for free internet in 75 public places, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions and markets across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed that an aggregate sum of N209.
Giving a breakdown of his own approvals, Professor Pantami said his two memoranda were related since they both were focused on providing free internet connectivity services, explaining further that the second one was complementary to a similar approval last year.
“So both memos, you will discover that they will provide broadband to these institutions at the price of approximately N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
“The duration for the project is four months minimum and a maximum of five months and there is a budgetary provision for that. Also, the fund to sponsor the implementation has been secured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
“For universities, it’s because we have learned bitter and better lessons during the COVID-19, so we don’t want to go back to that, we want to ensure that students and staff benefit from unlimited internet. For airports, we know the difficulty when you land without any connectivity. So it will even at least make our airports more lively if there is at least internet connectivity that is for free.
“Thirdly for the market, it’s to support innovation-driven enterprises that are being championed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small, and medium enterprises, so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities”, he explained.
The council also approved two major contracts for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration Wiiyaakara in the Kana council area of Rivers State and a 100-bed specialist hospital in Ogoni.
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said these projects are aimed at facilitating efficient and cost-effective approaches to contamination management and environmental restoration while supporting the well-being and welfare of the people who have been impacted by the negative effects of contamination in those areas.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Environment, HYPREP Project Office, I presented two memos one for the award of contract for the construction of Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration at Wiiyaakara, Bori in, in Khana local government area of River State, in favour of CCECC Nigeria Limited, in the sum of N41,472,263,848.60, with a completion period of 24 months.
“The second memo, which is equally approved, and is also in line with the UNEP Report on the level components, is the contract for the construction of Ogoni 100-bed specialist hospital in favour of Messrs Tannit Medical Engineering Limited, in the sum of N18,308,463,225.37, plus 7.5% of VAT, with a delivery period of 24 months”, Abdullahi said.
Moreso, the Ministry of Works and Housing received what seemed to be the biggest approval at the Council meeting as the Minister of State for the ministry, Umar El-Yakub, disclosed that for his two memoranda, FEC approved the sum of N95.98 billion.
He said the first memorandum was “for the award of contract for the dualization of the Akure/Ita Ogbolu –Iju/Ado Ekiti state border, on the Ondo Stateside, in favour of Messrs Samchez Nigeria Limited and Messrs Horizon Construction Company Limited, in the sum of N46,684,481,745.44, with a completion period of 24 months
“Section two of that road was awarded to Messrs Kopek Construction Limited at the cost of N49,295,088,593.98, with a completion period of 30 months. So, one is doing it from the Ekiti State border and the other one is on the Ondo Stateside. That’s the two sections of the contract was awarded”, he said.
Again, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, who also spoke at the briefing, said his two memoranda; the first being for the renewal of a management contract for the management ports facilities and the second for procurement of two tugboats for operations at the Lekki Deep Seaport, pooled an aggregate of N26.77 billion.
“The first memo was the renewal of the management contract for the management of Tugs, Pilot Cutters, or Mooring Launches within the limits of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports complex.
“This management contract was signed between Nigerian Ports Authority and Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, initially in April 2007, for 15 years, which therefore meant the agreement had expired in March last year.
“The purpose of the memorandum is to seek Council’s approval to renew the management contract, as provided in the management agreement and endorsed by the Bureau of Public Procurement, in favour of Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, for the sum of $29,871,615.22, which is an equivalent of N12,440,332,875.44, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, at an exchange rate of one US dollar to N416.46
“The second memorandum that was considered by Council and approved is in respect of a contract for the design, construction, and supply of two 80 tons … marine tugboats to support the operations of the newly commissioned Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos.
“The contract was awarded to Messrs the De Pasa Marine International Nigeria Limited for €30,183,540.20, which is an equivalent of N14,330,329,389.75 at the CBN prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, inclusive of seven and 7.5% VAT and with a completion period of 15 months,” he said.
Also, the Ministry of Aviation got approval for the construction of 150 room capacity hostel for over N2 billion, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of the Minister, Hadi Sirika.
“On behalf of the Minister of Aviation, who presented a memo to Council today, seeking Council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the construction of a 150-room capacity female hostel, at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria in favour of Messrs Best Homes Construction Limited, in the sum of N2,244,713,424.56, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 12 months.
The Federal Minister of Information and Culture also presented a memo to the Council, which was approved today, for the procurement of 13 operational vehicles for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the sum of N383,968,500, in favour of Kaura Motors, with a completion period of three weeks.
“The operational vehicles will be used for the day-to-day operations of the FRCN and in particular, they will be used to report, and gather news, concerning the various tribunal cases and also for the National Population Commission Census coming up sometime in May. Thank you very much,” Mohammed said.
DSS Confirms ‘Entrenched Interests’ Plot to Install Interim Government
By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday said it has confirmed a plot “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.
The plot includes embarking on violent protests nationwide to engineer the declaration of a state of emergency as well as securing frivolous court injunctions to stall the inauguration, the DSS said.
In a statement yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.
“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.
“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”
There have been agitations for Tinubu, the president-elect, not to be inaugurated on May 29, 2023 based on complaints by his opponents on the presidential election.
Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), specifically called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), not to inaugurate Tinubu, tagging it an “illegality”.
Some demonstrators also went to the defence headquarters building in Abuja on Tuesday to protest the outcome of the presidential election in what might be understood as an invitation for military intervention.
Afunanya alleged that some protests are being sponsored.
“The planners, in their many meetings, have weighed various options, which include, among others, to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of State of Emergency. Another is to obtain frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive administrations and legislative houses at the Federal and State levels,” he said.
“The DSS supports the President and Commander-in-Chief in his avowed commitment to a hitch-free handover and will assiduously work in this direction. It also supports the Presidential Transition Council and such other related bodies in the States. It will collaborate with them and sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless inaugurations come 29th May, 2023.
“Consequently, the Service strongly warns those organising to thwart democracy in the country to retract from their devious schemes and orchestrations.
“Stakeholders, notably judicial authorities, media and the Civil Society, are enjoined to be watchful and cautious to avoid being used as instruments to subvert peace and stability of the nation. While its monitoring continues, the DSS will not hesitate to take decisive and necessary legal steps against these misguided elements to frustrate their obnoxious intentions.”
IPOB Denies Plan to Print Biafra Currency, Form Govt
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Wednesday said it has no plans to print Biafra currency and operate a government in exile.
IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned those he described as autopilot to desist from such a move.
In a statement he signed, Powerful distanced IPOB from the autopilot group, stressing that the group has no faction.
Powerful, who distanced IPOB from those operating Radio Biafra in the United States, noted that those operating under the guise of the Directorate of State are not members of IPOB.
“We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of the great liberator Nnamdi Kanu once again reiterate that IPOB is not part of the formation of Biafra government in exile anywhere.
“The people behind the shambolic Radio Biafra government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they should stop linking themselves to us.
“Those piloting government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they don’t mean well for Biafra freedom and restoration.
“IPOB has no plan to print Biafra currency, stamps, and other important state documents because we are not yet a sovereign nation. If we print currencies now, where can they be used as legal tender,” the statement read in parts.
Oando Grows 2021 Revenue to N722bn
Oando Plc has announced an increase of more than a half in turnover for 2021, according to its unaudited earnings report issued yesterday.
The increase helped the oil driller halt its two-year run of losses that began in 2019, the report showed.
Shares in the company had gained nearly 10 per cent, the upper daily limit allowed by the Nigerian Exchange, as of 10:14 WAT in Lagos after the news hit the market.
A messy shareholder dispute involving an indirect shareholder, Ansbury Investment Inc, had prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to bar the firm from holding annual general meetings, making it impossible to release its financials for three years until last June.
At the heart of the conflict were loans granted to the shareholder, which forced Oando to make a huge impairment allowance that tipped the company into a loss after tax of N207.1 billion in 2019 and N140.7 billion in 2020.
Revenue for 2021 grew to N722.4 billion from N477.1 billion, while other operating income slowed to N36.7 billion from N43.6 billion as the company recorded a loss on fair value on commodity options in contrast to a gain one year earlier.
Oando earned N112.1 billion from reversal of impairment of financial assets, where a loss in the sum of N62.9 billion was posted a year ago, boosting operating profit.
Finance income expanded by almost fivefold to N44.1 billion, helping cushion the hit of net finance cost on profit.
Pre-tax profit stood at N48.4 billion compared to a loss before tax of N134.3 billion in 2020, while profit for the period came to N34.7 billion relative to a loss after tax of N140.7 billion one year prior.
Earnings-per-share was N3.04 compared to a loss per share of N9.05 in 2020.
“Bullish oil prices throughout the year saw us record a 105% increase in average realized oil sale price whilst a surge in militancy and sabotage across the Niger Delta resulted in a 40% decline in average hydrocarbon production compared to 2020,” said CEO Wale Tinubu.
“Despite the challenges, a strong revenue performance, coupled with the refund of a longstanding receivable contributed to a Net Profit of N34.7 billion,” he added.
Read Our ePaper
Regular Demolitions ‘ll End Insecurity – FCTA
Share Post Views: 18 By Laide Akinboade, Abuja The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Thursday, said its commitment to ensuring...
FCTA Vows to Demolish Structures on Waterways
Share Post Views: 40 By Laide Akinboade, Abuja As part of the proactive measures to mitigate flooding in Abuja, the...
Kick-off and Final Match Dates Confirmed for 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire
Share Post Views: 67 Dates for the kick-off and final matches at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled...
Woman, 33, Arraigned for Impersonating Police Officer
Share Post Views: 65 A 33-year-old woman, Damilola Odutola, who allegedly impersonated a police officer in an attempt to invade...
Experts Canvass Better Attention to Taxes, Untapped Minerals, others
Share Post Views: 67 By Gom Mirian, Abuja Experts in the research and development sectors have called on the incoming...
Army to Review Troops’ Conduct During Elections, other Operations
Share Post Views: 65 The Nigerian Army is set to review the conduct of troops in Operation Safe Conduct during...
Agba Leads Govt Delegation to South Korea on Bilateral Cooperation
Share Post Views: 69 By Tony Obiechina, Abuja Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba,...
Buhari Pleased with Troops` Performance in North East – Gen. Irabor
Share Post Views: 66 The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, says that President Muhammadu Buhari is happy...
Court Remands 9 Persons for Allegedly Robbing, killing a Police Inspector
Share Post Views: 78 A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court in Benue on Thursday, ordered the remand of nIne persons in...
Dangote Lists N300bn Bonds, Largest Ever on NGX, FMDQ
Share Post Views: 68 Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has formally listed its N300 billion Series 1 and 2 bonds issued...