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NEWS REVIEW FOR MAY 1st & 2nd 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald Trump
No fewer than 60 worshippers were killed and 68 others injured as twin-bomb explosions which bore the unmistaken signature of the Boko Haram terror sect on Tuesday rocked a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State; North-east of Nigeria while the worshippers were holding the Zuhr (afternoon) prayer. According to the accounts of two local residents who attended funerals of the victims as reported by the AFP, the deaths toll is likely to rise as more bodies could be recovered from the twin bomb blast scene. One of them, Muhammad Hamidu, confirmed that: “I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims.” Another resident, Abdullahi Labaran, said: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recruitment of 6,000 additional policemen as part of fresh measures to address the nation’s security challenges including the farmers/herdsmen clashes across the country. The president dropped the hint in a special interview session with Voice of America, in Washington, United States on Tuesday morning. On his purported comment on youth while in London, President Buhari dismissed the report, saying that the media only preferred to interpret and report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.

ORGANISED Labour yesterday warned that Nigeria workers would in 2019 general elections vote against any government that refused to pay the new minimum wage currently being negotiated in the country. President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who gave the warning while addressing workers and government officials, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the 2018 National May Day celebrations, also raised alarm that the heightened insecurity in country was drifting to Nigeria to the precipice. Wabba who equally warned against any attempt to renegotiate the minimum wage once it was agreed on, said: “The recent nation-wide minimum wage public hearings have unmasked the enemies of Nigerian workers. We insist that once the Minimum Wage Act is signed into law, all employers in public and private sectors must pay at once. We shall stand with those willing to pay more than the minimum. We shall resist any move to renegotiate the minimum wage at any level.
This came as the National Assembly said it would expeditiously pass the minimum wage into law as soon as it was sent to the National Assembly, saying the welfare of workers remained one of its priorities.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, is expected to appear before the Senate on Wednesday (today). He will be grilled by the lawmakers on the arrest, detention and hospitalization of Senator Dino Melaye. The Senate had last Wednesday summoned the police boss to brief senators the next day on Melaye’s case and the killings by armed herdsmen and militias across the country. Idris however shunned the invitation, choosing to accompany President Muhammadu Buhari who was on a two-day visit to Bauchi State. The lawmakers had declined to engage his representative, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Mr. Joshak Habila. Miffed by his non-appearance, the Senate had resolved to reschedule the IG’s address to today. Also, the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters is expected to present its report today on President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the payment of $496m out of the Excess Crude Account for the purchase of military aircraft. The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States will be delivered in 2020.
The Senate had on Thursday resolved to refer the matter to the committee for legal advice, when lawmakers became divided on it. The panel was given the mandate to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arms deal and whether the President violated the constitution or not. Most of the lawmakers who spoke on the withdrawal and spending pointed out that the President had breached Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution, while a few disagreed. Senator Mathew Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, had specifically urged the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to allow the chamber to invoke Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution against the President. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his call on youths in Nigeria to seize opportunities in agriculture, a sector of the economy he said is already proving to be the bedrock of the nation’s new economy. Speaking at Blair House, Washington DC after his White House engagements with President Donald Trump, the President, at a meeting with the chief executive officers of six American agricultural companies and their Nigerian counterparts including Aliko Dangote and John Coumantaros, again lamented the challenges of the country’s youth bulge, with “sixty per cent of the population below 30 years.” President Buhari also promised the support of his administration in the promotion of skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship among the young population.
The media may not appreciate the work we are doing but we will shock them by the success we are recording.” President Buhari welcomed the several investment proposals being put in place by the Americans and their Nigerian counterparts.

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald Trump of the United States of America have approved for the Attorney Generals of both countries to draw out a clear road map on how to repatriate $500 million looted funds to Nigeria. Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke in Washington on the sideline of Presidents Buhari and Trump’s meeting, said the road map would be drawn up at the end of yesterday’s meeting. Trump consolidated on the general overview of what transpired between the two presidents. According to him, Trump’s acknowledgement of Buhari as a real leader, his acknowledgment that the administration has, indeed, succeeded in cutting down corruption and the payment of N135 million compensation to victims of the Apo Six killed in 2013, were indication that the meeting was a fruitful one. Malami also said Trump’s commitment towards assets recovery and reparation of looted funds was also demonstrated during the meeting.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in the United States spoke on former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s January 23 “Special Statement”, which asked him not to seek reelection in 2019. The statement, the President said, was “abusive”. The statement generated heat across the country, with some analysts backing Obasanjo and others condemning him. Buhari said despite perceiving the letter as abusive, he refrained from replying in kind. Rather, he said, he authorized that the government’s reaction should be to tell the country what it has achieved. The President said: “Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, I told him not to. I later allowed him but only to highlight the achievements of our administration.
In his statement titled: The way out: A clarion call for Coalition of Nigeria Movement, Obasanjo accused the President of nepotism, having a poor understanding of politics and engaging in blame games rather than accepting responsibility for his failure. The statement read: “Whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say. President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders, whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed in the sideline for the good of the country”.


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