Connect with us

News

We’re addressing poverty, youth unemployment to tackle insecurity – Buhari

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has begun to address the twin problem of poverty and youth unemployment fuelling insecurity in the country.

He also said the daunting security challenges had not consumed the nation due to the Nigerians’ can-do spirit.

These are part of his address to the nation this morning to mark the 2021 Democracy Day, which his administration shifted from May 29 to June 12 in memory of Chief MKO Abiola, who won the 1993 presidential election but was annulled by the ruling government then and he eventually died in detention.

The President said, “In the last two years, we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.

“The indefatigable can-do spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

“Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.”

He expressed worry of the persistent attacks, abduction and killing of innocent people by terrorists and hoodlums, adding that his administration would move against the perpetrators and their sponsors.

He said, “Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor, gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

“ When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with. We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

“Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.”

The President said the FG was already addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity – poverty and youth unemployment.

“Interventions led by government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past six years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.

“In the agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23 billion in 2014 to $0.59 billion by the end of 2018,” he said.

Specifically, the President said his administration had assisted many farmers, artisans and small-scale business owners, with a total of 10.5 million Nigerians saved from poverty in the last two years.

Buhari said, “In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.”

The President said his administration remained strongly committed to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

“I am very convinced that the 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.”

Buhari disclosed that his administration disbursed N5,000 to one million Nigerians using a rapid response register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector-led organisation established to assist the government in combating COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Buhari said his administration was not opposed to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, noting that everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the national assembly.

“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.”

News

Court grants 12 Igboho’s associates bail

Published

on

An Abuja Federal High Court has granted bail to detained 12 associates of Yoruba nation advocate Sunday Igboho.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling a moment ago, granted eight of them, whose bail application was not challenged by the Department of State Services (DSS) bail at N5 million each.
Justice Egwuatu granted bail at N10 million each for the other four, whose application was challenged by the DSS.
The judge also ordered each of the detainees to produce two sureties and asked them to remain in the custody of the DSS until they were able to meet the bail conditions.

Continue Reading

News

Igboho supporters granted bail after one month in detention

Published

on

A federal high court in Abuja has granted bail to 12 supporters of Sunday Igboho who were arrested in Oyo state.

 

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had on July 1 raided Igboho’s residence in Oyo and arrested 12 of his supporters.

 

The arrested persons were subsequently moved to the federal capital territory (FCT) where they have been in detention.

 

Subsequently, the suspects through their lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, filed an application asking the court to “inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention since July 2, 2021, and where it deems fit admit applicants on bail”.

 

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Olajengbesi, counsel to the applicants, asked the court to admit his clients to bail.

 

“There is no need to continue to keep them with the respondents,” he said.

 

Commenting on the bail application, David Awo, DSS counsel, had said he was not opposed to bail for the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 11th applicants.

 

He told the court that the remaining four applicants (2nd, 12th, 5th, and 6th) were still being investigated.

 

Ruling on the bail application, Obiora Egwatu, the presiding judge, said it is clear that no charge has been preferred against the applicants and that they have been in detention since they were arrested.

 

He said the applicants have a right to liberty and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

 

He admitted the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10 and 11th applicants to bail in the sum of N5 million and two sureties each.

 

The judge said the sureties must be residents of Abuja with an acceptable means of identification and passport photographs. They must also provide evidence of tax payment of two years and swear to an affidavit of means. The residence of the sureties shall also be verified by the court.

 

“For the 2nd, 5th, 6th and 12 applicants, since no charge has been preferred against them, bail is equally granted to them in the sum of N10 million and two sureties in like sum,” the judge ruled.

 

“The sureties shall be resident in Abuja, provide means of identification, passport photograph, evidence of tax payment within 2 years and depose to an affidavit of means.

 

“One of the surety must be a civil servant in the employ of the federal government or any of its agencies on level 12 and above. He shall provide the original of his employment letter and promotion letter. The residence of the sureties shall be verified.

 

“Each of the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th applicants, shall report at the office of the respondents every first Monday the month, commencing from the first Monday in September 2021.”

 

At the initial court session which was held on Monday, officials of the DSS had barred journalists from covering the trial.

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) subsequently described the action as a threat to the rule of law and democracy.

 

Emmanuel Ogbeche, chairman of the FCT NUJ, had called on “relevant authorities” to take “necessary measures to protect and ensure journalists’ safety on duty”.

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Anxiety in NYSC camps as COVID-19 cases hit 109

Published

on

There are fears among young graduates currently at the various camps of the National Youth Service Corps across the country, as at least 109 prospective corps members are said to have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The NYSC orientation camps were opened at the weekend for Batch B, Stream 1 of this year’s season of the national youth service.

The cases were detected following mandatory COVID-19 tests conducted on reporting corps members. The identified cases, our reporters gathered, have been moved to isolation centres in the respective states.

The NYSC officials at the states level have constituted COVID-19 Vanguard, a team to aid enforce compliance to health protocols on the camps.

The Federal Government on Monday raised the alarm over the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the virus to more states, as authorities mull fresh lockdown for the worst-hit states.

Data obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control shows a sharp spike in incidences with 851 cases recorded in the first two days of August.

The agency’s statistics indicate that 11 persons died from COVID-19 complications on the second day of the month.

In Edo State, for instance, 17 corps members tested positive for the virus at the point of registration.

It was gathered that all the corps members were tested for the virus before being admitted into the camp.

The state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Abiodun Olubukola, had during the swearing-in ceremony inaugurated COVID-19 Vanguard as part of efforts to ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol.

The Chief Medical Director, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Edo State, Dr Osagie Ebomwonyi disclosed that 17 corps members in the state were currently receiving COVID-19 treatment at the hospital’s isolation centre.

The personal assistant to the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr Ozeto Waheed, confirmed the development.

An employee of NYSC at the orientation camp in the Mangu Local Government Area said the camp had recorded 26 cases since the commencement of the orientation exercise.

In Gombe State, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has called on corps members posted to the state to avail themselves at the testing centre to know their COVID-19 status.

The NYSC DG was in Amada Temporary Orientation Camp following the recently reported COVID-19 cases, where 25 corps members posted to the state tested positive for the disease.

He said that it is mandatory for every corps member to get tested and adhere to the rules, adding that they must comply with the non-pharmaceutical rules to stay safe and return to their parents healthy.

 

Continue Reading

Trending