Sahara Reporters Latest News Tuesday 17th September 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Tuesday 17th September 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 17/09/19

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Nigeria: Restructure Or Rupture By Austin Emaduku

 
Nigeria is standing on the edge of a dangerous cliff. It is just a matter of time before it tips over. Rather than the current emotional and politically driven call for a “revolution”, we all really need to calmly analyse and situate the cause(s) of our problems. In any case, a revolution without a vanguard is a recipe for anarchy. Besides, we are too fatally fractured as a people to achieve a broad-based revolution acceptable to all. The best we can achieve in such a situation will be strife, anarchy and uncontrolled fragmentation. With the perennial mutual mistrust and prevalent hatred spread on social media, the resultant crises will take forever to settle. Libya will be a child’s play.
We can shout as much as we can. We can argue from here till eternity. We can blame; we can abuse and accuse. We can change leaders all we want but the truth is that we cannot build something on nothing. Apart from its name, Nigeria has no foundation to stand on. There is no generally accepted totem to inspire unity. The words of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, are abiding to describe Nigeria. Nigeria is not a nation but a “mere geographical expression”, an amalgamation of different and mutually antagonistic people forced to live together as a “nation”.
Nigeria stands on a faulty structure and it is the structure that is holding it down. Address it and many other things will fall into place, gradually but progressively. The current federal structure that is defined by the concept of sharing does not only breed indolence but is also the major cause of our divisiveness. Most of the bitterness you see expressed comes from “them never share reach me”. Everybody wants a share of the free oil money euphemistically called national cake without contributing to it. Nigeria belongs to all but belongs to nobody. It is just there to be raped by any group of our parasitic elite that manages to manipulate itself into power.
We are a deeply different people with different worldviews. We are not necessarily antagonistic. However, those benefitting from these differences for personal gains have turned these differences to enmity by appealing to our emotions and playing the people against one another instead of instituting a system that will harness the strength and advantages of our differences.
Until Nigeria restructures and frees itself from the burden of the military imposed unitary system called federalism, it will never develop. We must recognise and acknowledge our differences and make provision for their expression for the nation to grow.
What the nation needs is a return to a true federal structure with minimum federal might. That’s the only way to convert the fundamental differences which, over the years, have been built into bitter rivalry between regions, states and ethnic groups into competition.
When this happens, we will realise soon enough, that we actually need each other more than we have thought. Hate will turn to strategic alliance in the competition for comparative advantage and bitterness converted into positive energy. 
The South-East with the industriousness and ingenuity of its indigenes, for example, if allowed a degree of autonomy to develop its own system of self-governance under a loose federal system, can transform into a Dubai in less than two decades. So are the other regions, who will be challenged to look inwards for their area of comparative advantage. Some will survive on tourism, some in commerce, others in manufacturing and industry, oil, agriculture or a combination of a few. We have become too fused together to be able to survive without one another.
The Nigerian problem needs deeper strategic analysis than all the pro and against propaganda that we bandy about on social media as superior knowledge or understanding of the situation.
Nigeria needs a different type of revolution and not this idea of brats guiling rational men into “revolution”. The world has grown past these type of rabble rousing. It is disturbing that despite our education, we are still bent on using outdated methods to solve our problems.
Yes! We need a revolution but not a revolution for a mere change of government. Not to replace a set of leaders with another. Not even a generational change in leadership. The problem of Nigeria is not caused by the incompetence of our rulers. It is caused by the faulty structure of the nation. We must therefore begin now to channel our displeasure towards correcting this structure instead of spreading hatred and division between fellow suffering citizens. 
When we occupy, therefore, let’s occupy for the most fundamental of reasons: to force government to commence the process of restructuring. Let’s begin to pressure and hold our representatives at the national and state assemblies accountable for this. This is the type of revolution we need. But most importantly, we must eschew hate and bitterness in the struggle to free Nigeria.
No ethnic group or region has held Nigeria hostage but a few greedy elite from all regions and ethnic groups, who have played on our differences to perpetuate themselves in power. We need the masses of every ethnic group to drive this type of revolution. That is why education and talking with rather than talking down on any region is crucial to the revolution. The revolution to be meaningful cannot be exclusionary. The masses from every part of this country are victims of the current structure.
To use the titles of Chido Onumah’s books as a metaphor, Nigeria is Negotiable and the Time to Reclaim Nigeria is now before it is too late.
Nigeria will descend into anarchy soon unless reason prevails. And the situation will be worse than whatever we have ever experienced.  Let those baying for blood note this.
Emaduku, a public affairs analyst, writes from Warri, Delta State. He can be reached through: canoways@gmail.com 

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Buhari Condemns Attack On Saudi Arabia Oil Facilities

 
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned drone attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
The pre-dawn strikes, which happened on Saturday, knocked out more than half of crude output from the world’s top exporter – five per cent of the global oil supply – and cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day.
Reacting to the development, President Buhari said Nigeria stands in solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Buhari’s reaction was contained in a statement on Monday in Abuja by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He said, “We in Nigeria once experienced attacks on our own oil facilities.
“Those who sought by doing so to undermine governments of the day did not succeed then – nor at any time.
“The identities of those who sent the drones to attack the Saudi refineries and from where may not yet be known.
“Still, these attacks similarly represent economic warfare aimed at damaging a government but in reality, always and only damaging innocent citizens’ livelihoods: those with no place, nor cause to be harmed.
“The attackers of Saudi Arabia will win no friends in the international community for their actions – whoever they may be and however certain they may be in their cause.” 
 

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Ondo PDP, APC Clash Over Akeredolu’s N50bn Bond

 
The Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress in Ondo have disagreed over the N50bn bond recently initiated by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to fund infrastructural development.
Akeredolu, who observers claim is eyeing a second term in office, said that he requested the approval for the N50bn bond from the Ondo State House of Assembly to complete projects already initiated by his administration.
But disagreeing with the governor’s reason for seeking the fund, top members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo described the development as an attempt to plunge the state further into debt.
According to the PDP, the state doesn’t need to borrow funds to complete any significant infrastructural projects going by the monthly allocation it gets from the federal account.
Ayo Fadaka, a stalwart of the PDP in Ondo and its Publicity Secretary in the Southwest, accused the government of Akeredolu of wasting the state’s resources.
He said, “It is unfortunate that this man is trying to add debt burden on our state.
“What does he need N50bn bond for, what infrastructure is he pursuing? What we do know of his intention is that he is already looking for funds to buy votes during the next election.
“But we want to assure him that, that will not save him.
“When you talk about infrastructural development, you must have a budget before you go and borrow money.
“As far as we are all concerned, the APC government of Akeredolu has no business borrowing N50bn, the state does not even need it.”
Also, PDP spokesperson in the state, Zadok Akintoye, said Governor Akeredolu’s plan to raise N50bn through bond is a sign and indictment of bad leadership especially considering the N52bn debt profile of the state as at 2018.
He said, “The recent approval by the Ondo State House of Assembly for Rotimi Akeredolu to access a loan of 50bn calls for deep concern.
“While we are well aware that states may access loans from the capital market to finance projects that may not be covered by available resources, our concern is that Ondo State is doing so at a time when its financial inflow from Federal allocation, internally generated revenue and other earnings from past investments of the state, are at a fairly steady level.
“Considering our present domestic debt profile of about N52bn as at 2018 and an external debt profile of about $50m, it is worrisome to see that the Akeredolu is resorting to further borrowing rather than reducing the debt burden of the state.”
Reacting to the allegation by the PDP, a chieftain of the APC in the state, Ayoola Bamidele, said Akeredolu had the right to seek a bond in the capital market.
He said, “All the projects lying low in Ondo are due to lack of funds, they would have been completed if money was available.
“So, rather than waiting for federal allocation, Governor Akeredolu decided that there was need to get the N50bn bond.
“The fund is to help him embark on and complete developmental projects in the state.
“I totally disagree that it was meant to fund his second term election bid.”
Also reacting to the allegation by the PDP, spokesperson for the state government, Donald Ojogo, said that Akeredolu will not dwell on baseless issues.
He said, “Rotimi Akeredolu was elected into power not to complain but to provide infrastructure in the state even though there is no money.
“So, the man (governor) decided to think outside the box and one of the noble things he did was to pay regular salaries of workers including the backlog he met on the ground.
“This administration has not received up to N6bn from the federation account since coming on board.
“Rather than going to the bank to obtain a loan, the government decided to go through the bond process.
“This N50b that was approved by the House of Assembly, is only to help sustain and enhance further development in Ondo.
“Let me also make it clear that the bond or money is not coming into the government’s purse, it is between the capital market and the banks where the fund will be domiciled.
“This bond is tied to specific projects.”
 

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PDP Hails Tribunal For Affirming Seyi Makinde As Oyo Governor

 
The Peoples Democratic Party has commended the Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for affirming Seyi Makinde as the rightful winner of the March 9 gubernatorial election in the state.
The tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by Dayo Adelabu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, challenging the result of the election.
Reacting to the tribunal’s ruling, the PDP also said that the tribunal displayed “courage in delivering justice in spite of the shenanigans and manipulations of the APC”.
The party said, “The jubilant atmosphere across the state over the verdict is a clear testimony that the judgment fulfilled the desires and expectations of the people of Oyo State.
“The people of Oyo are particularly overjoyed with the judgment because of Governor Makinde’s capacity and commitment to deliver good governance in all sectors of life in the state.”
 

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Xenophobia: South Africa Does Not Deserve To Be One Of Africa’s Leaders, Says Obasanjo

 
Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has condemned the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa, saying that the country does not deserve to be one of the continent’s leaders if it can’t accommodate others.
Obasanjo, who spoke at a public event, asked President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa to make an example of top officials hailing the killings in the country.
He said, “If I were President Ramaphosa, the issue would not have arisen, now that it has arisen, I would condemn it in a very stern language.
“Secondly, those who have made comments glorifying that bad act no matter how close they are to me, I would publicly castigate them. I will make an example of a few of them and I mean that.
“It doesn’t matter what we may say, South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa and is the leader or one of the leaders in Africa.
“Then, if any country who is the leader or one of the leaders cannot accommodate others, then they don’t deserve to be a leader.”
Obasanjo had also sent a letter to Ramaphosa and President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, condemning the killings of foreign nationals in South Africa.
He said, “There is need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia in South Africa.”
 

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Buhari Sets Up Economic Advisory Council

 
President Muhammadu Buhari has set up an Economic Advisory Council following the dissolution of the Economic Management Team.
The advisory council would advise the President on economic policy matters and would report directly to his office.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the Economic Advisory Council will be expected to also advise Buhari on fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies.
The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. 
The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises.
Members of the committee include Prof Doyin Salami (Chairman); Dr Mohammed Sagagi (Vice-Chairman); and Dr Mohammed Salisu (Secretary).

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Four Arrested Over Alleged Murder Of Woman, Daughter And Grandson

 
Four persons have been reportedly arrested over the murder of a woman, her daughter and grandson.
The names of the victims were given as Mrs Alice Omorogbe, 52; Blessing Efe, 25, and her six-month-old baby boy.
According to The Nation, they were killed last Thursday at their home in Iguadolor Community under Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
It was gathered that the killers left the two-year-old daughter of late Efe identified as Gift.
Among those arrested is Pa Iguma Amasowomwan, the assistant village head of the community.
Spokesperson for the police in the state, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments.
 

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Man In Court Over Alleged N14m ‘Spiritual’ Scam

 
A 32-year-old businessman, Chinedu Okoye, was on Monday arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly obtained N14m from a man to solve his “spiritual problems”.
Okoye is facing three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences and perverting the cause of justice.
The 32-year-old however, pleaded not guilty.
Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the defendant committed the offence between March 1 and April 24 at Plot 3508, Dominic Obiajiku Street, Devine Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Emby claimed that the defendant fraudulently obtained N14m from Mr Obiora Elefobiri under the pretext that he would provide spiritual solution for him.
He said, “He did not provide the spiritual solution but converted the money to his personal use.”
Emby added that the defendant also conducted himself in a manner likely to pervert the cause of justice by aiding the escape of his elder brother, Arinze Okoye, a suspect under investigation in a case of conspiracy and fraud.
Magistrate M.O. Ope-Agbe admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N17m with two sureties in like sum.
The case was adjourned until October 16 for further hearing. 

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Piracy: Nigeria’s Creative Sector Under Threat, Says NCC

John Asein, Director General, NCC

John Asein, Director General, NCC

 
The Nigerian Copyright Commission has said that Nigeria’s creative sector was under threat from piracy and content counterfeiters.
This was made known by the Director-General, John Asein, at the ongoing intellectual property symposium organised by the United States Embassy in collaboration with other federal and private institutions.
The two-day symposium had in attendance top executives drawn from the pharmaceutical, banking and creative industries.
Speaking with journalists during the event, Asein said that officials of the commission had been deployed to various schools to monitor and check that books sold to students were not pirated versions.
He said, “Our men are going to schools to ensure that pirates don’t make use of schools as outlets.
“It had become an easy outlet for them as nobody ever checks that. We are looking at how best to address pirated books being sold on the street.
“If you know how many people have died under the weight of piracy, if you know how people take loans and never recover because of piracy, you know that it is beyond the monetary terms.
“This kills investment, it kills the system, it kills the industry. So, it’s not just money, it’s the fact that the creative sector is under threat.
“We can use the law as it is today to still tackle piracy. The law is presently been revised we are likely going to have a better law that will enable us fight piracy.”

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Xenophobia: Evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa To Continue Tuesday

 
The management of Air Peace has confirmed that it would continue with the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa following latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants in that country.
The airline had last Wednesday commenced the exercise with the evacuation of 178 Nigerians in the first batch.
The second batch of the exercise was delayed due to the inability of the Nigerian High Commission to process travel documents for Nigerians willing to return home.
The airline said the flight is expected to arrive Lagos from Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, by 7:00 pm Tuesday.
This was confirmed by Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who said that the flight would leave Nigeria after midnight on Tuesday to arrive South Africa in the morning.
Onyema also disclosed that out of over 600 Nigerians willing to return home, 360 of them had been cleared for the evacuation, adding that the airline would airlift 320 in the second batch, which is the maximum capacity of the aircraft.
There are also indications that despite the diplomatic efforts started by South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to reach out to other African countries including Nigeria, many Nigerians still want to leave the country because of uncertainty and lack of assurance that the hostility may not be stopped by the South African Government.
The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa said that it has been collaborating with immigration officials in the former apartheid nation to clear all Nigerians willing to return home.

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