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FEC okays N895bn supplementary budget for military, COVID-19 vaccines

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The Federal Executive Council has approved the draft 2021 supplementary budget of N895,842,462,917 for the purchase of military equipment and COVID-19 vaccines.

This was disclosed to reporters on Wednesday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, after the week’s FEC meeting in Abuja.

According to her, the draft contains N770.60bn to further enhance the capacity of the defence and the security agencies to address current and emerging security challenges in Nigeria; while N83.56bn has been set aside for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 million vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and the logistics costs related to the deployment of the vaccines.

She said, “It also contains the sum of N1.69bn for the Nigeria Comprehensive AIDS Programme that is currently operating in the states and an additional contingency provision of N40bn under the public service-wide adjustments to take care of the needs for allowances to the health sector, to the education sector and other wage related issues. This is an incremental provision over N100bn already provided in the 2021 budget.

“In line with this approval, we’ve also been given approval to draw down on some existing World Bank loans totaling about N39.58bn as part of the financing source for this supplementary budget.

“We’ll be working with the World Bank to restructure some of the existing facilities to realise this N39.58bn. We’ve also been given approval to withdraw N135bn from some special reserve levy accounts to part-fund this supplementary budget, but specifically related to COVID-19 vaccine, salaries and other health-related expenditure as well as the recurrent component of the Defense and Security expenditures.

“Finally, this approval also contains an approval to borrow the sum of N722.53bn for security expenditures and these are the capital components of the security expenditure in the absence of any other additional supplementary sources of borrowing. This borrowing would be done from the domestic international capital market.”

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Buhari to travel to London for ‘medical follow-up’

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President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to London, the United Kingdom, on Friday for a scheduled medical follow-up, his media office has announced.

Femi Adesina, his spokesman, said in a brief statement on Thursday that the president is due back in the country “during the second week of July 2021”.

Recall that the President in March left for the UK for a “routine” medical checkup, which saw him remain abroad until April 15, 2021. This was shortly after the Nigerian Association Of Resident Doctors (NARD) had declared a strike.

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BREAKING: Why I stabbed Super TV CEO to death- Unilag student

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The 21-year-old 300 level student of the University of Lagos, Chidinma Adaora Ojukwu, who was earlier arrested by the Lagos State Police Command has confessed to stabbing her lover, Super TV CEO, Mr Usifo Ataga to death.

She revealed that she stabbed the deceased, after he had sexual intercourse with her.

The undergraduate student of Unilag said she attacked and stabbed Mr Ataga to death during their stay in a short-let apartment in Lagos.

According to Chidinma Adaora, “I stabbed him on his neck twice and later on his stomach after he had forcefully had sex with me initially.”

“I was tired and exhausted and wanted to sleep but Mr Michael won’t have any of that.

“He became very violent and tried choking me to death.”

Frank Talk Now had reported that the suspect was paraded at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja on Thursday.

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Igbo youths call for arrest of Gumi over support for banditry

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The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL) has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Islamic cleric Sheik Abubakak Gumi for openly supporting and encouraging banditry and kidnapping in the country.

Gumi was reported to have said that “Murderous Fulani herdsmen only kidnap children for money and that they are better than Indigenous People of Biafrà (IPOB).”

He urged the Federal Government to offer amnesty to criminal herdsmen engaged in banditry and kidnapping, saying the bandits do not kidnap to kill but to make money.

The Igbo youth leaders said such a statement has simply unmasked and exposed the true identity of the Islamic cleric as “a hardened promoter of terrorism in the country,” describing it as wicked and barbaric.

Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Thursday, the President-General of the organisation, Goodluck Ibem noted that kidnapping school children is the most heinous crime anyone can commit.

“No sane country will tolerate such heinous crime against humanity. Kidnapping school children is the wicked and barbaric crime anyone can commit.”

He said: Fulani herdsmen, according to the Global Terror Index (GTI), are the world’s fourth most deadly terrorists. The GTI lists thousands of individual attacks that occurred in Nigeria where herdsmen deliberately kill or maim, or rape Nigerians.

The youth leader said “Sheikh Gumi is not a peace negotiator as he claims, he is rather a facilitator of terror.

It is very unfortunate that our country Nigeria has been reduced to a level where kidnappers who kidnap school children, kill security agents who try to stop them in their bid to kidnap the children are good people because they are Fulanis committing crime to make money.

Though we do not speak for IPOB, no sane person will compare the activities of murderous Fulani herdsmen kidnappers with IPOB. Nigeria is rated as a fail state and a country on watch list because of the terrorists activities of the people who Gumi and his likes support. If Nigeria must move forward, terrorists and kidnapping activities must be brought to a halt.”

According to him, Gumi’s statement has confirmed to all that he is the godfather of murderous Fulani herdsmen kidnappers and bandits who have been terrorising the country.

“We demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of Sheik Abubakak Gumi for supporting and encouraging violent crimes and kidnapping in the country. The law is no respecter of persons and Kidnapping is a capital offence.

“If the Federal Government fails to arrest Gumi and his partners in crime, it will be confirmed to all that they are working in synergy with the kidnappers, bandits and terrorists to cause insecurity so that elections will not hold and they will remain in power beyond 2023.

“We therefore put the United Nations and the international community on notice that they do not need to look far for the sponsors of banditry and terrorism in Nigeria. We now know those behind the killing spree, kidnapping of infant school children, Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda to exterminate Indigenous ethic population across Nigeria.”

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