Buhari to Nigerian youths: Engage us constructively – Newstrends
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Buhari to Nigerian youths: Engage us constructively

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… ‘We’re paying staff salaries of 100,000 MSMEs’

President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian youths to engage his administration constructively in providing solutions to myriad problems confronting the nation.

He said he had accepted the five-point demand presented to him by the youths during their protests against police brutality, adding that after promptly granting the first request – disbanding the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, measures had been put in place to address the remaining four.

The President made these pronouncements in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday night.

He said, “As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive police reforms.”

Buhari added, “I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.”

He said the administration was doing everything possible to advance the progress of the youths and enumerated some of the programmes targeted at improving their lots.

For instance, he said the government was currently “paying three months salaries of the staff of 100,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission; giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and guaranteeing market for the products of traders.”

Buhari said, “Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund.”

The President, however, said that while the government was willing to accede to the demands of Nigerians, it should not be considered to be weak.

He said, “In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.”

He said it was thus worrisome that after the demands were met, the protesters failed to back down.

He said: “I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).”

He also said, “The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.

“As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

“On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

“Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

“The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a Peace Maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.”

Even as he acknowledged the concerns of Nigeria’s neighbours and the international community, he urged them to always “seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements.”

“This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation,” he added.

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Nigerian pilgrim returns €1,750 found in Makkah

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Nigerian pilgrim returns €1,750 found in Makkah

A Nigerian pilgrim, Muhammad Na’Allah from Gumi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, has returned the sum of €1,750 (one thousand seven hundred and fifty euros) which he found at the Haram in Makkah.

The returned money was handed over to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for onward delivery to its rightful owner.

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Na’Allah was accompanied to the NAHCON office in Ummuljud, Makkah by officials of the Zamfara State Pilgrims Welfare Board. The Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, praised the pilgrim for his honesty and integrity.

He highlighted that Na’Allah’s gesture symbolizes the meaning of his name, which reflects closeness to Allah.

“This shows his pilgrimage has positively impacted his personal character, behavior, and attitude,” Arabi remarked, commending the pilgrim’s honorable action.

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BREAKING: NELFUND postpones student loan application for state varsities

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BREAKING: NELFUND postpones student loan application for state varsities

The Management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) announced on Tuesday a 14-day postponement of the student loan application process for state institutions due to “low data submissions.”

The delay is caused by several state-owned institutions not uploading the required student data and fee information to the NELFUND Student Verification System.

According to a statement by NELFUND in Abuja, only a limited number of state-owned institutions have completed the data submission process: 20 out of 48 state universities, 12 out of 54 state colleges, and 2 out of 49 state polytechnics.

This insufficient data submission poses significant challenges to ensuring a seamless and accurate verification process for student loan applicants.

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The application window, originally set to open on June 25, 2024, will now commence on July 10, 2024. The extension is intended to provide additional time for state institutions to comply with the data submission requirements, ensuring that their students can benefit from the Federal Government’s student loan scheme.

To facilitate an efficient and error-free application process, it is crucial that all state institutions provide complete and accurate information. This includes JAMB numbers, matriculation numbers, admission numbers, full names, level, faculties, departments, program duration, fees, and the gender of all eligible students.

Incomplete or incorrect data submissions will result in application delays and potential disqualification for affected students.

The fund urged all state institutions to expedite their data submission processes and ensure the accuracy of the information provided. Institutions that fail to meet the revised deadline risk disadvantaging their students, who depend on these loans to support their education.

BREAKING: NELFUND postpones student loan application for state varsities

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Sultan: Check your facts well, Sokoto govt replies Shettima

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President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III

Sultan: Check your facts well, Sokoto govt replies Shettima

The Sokoto state government has asked Vice President Kashim Shettima to always cross check facts before commenting on sensitive national matters.

Responding to the warning publicly made by the Vice President at the Northwest Security summit in Katsina on Monday, the state government said the Vice President should have contacted Governor Ahmed Aliyu to verify the news which made rounds on the purported plan to depose Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar before going public.

In a statement signed by the spokesman of Governor Aliyu, Abubakar Bawa, the government urged the Vice President to always have full knowledge of issues of national concern before commenting on them.

“We sincerely expected the Vice President to have consulted the Governor before going public.

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“As an elder statesman and a father to all he should have facts and figures before judging on issues raised by mischief makers and the mushroom social media handlers known for negative propaganda.

“The fact of the matter is that there was never any attempt to sack the Sultan nor have we sent him any threat regarding that.

“Sultan enjoys all the powers he is entitled to. We never denied him any of his freedom or rights .

“We therefore do not need to be told to guard, protect, and promote the Sultan. It is our sole responsibility.

“The government and People of Sokoto cherish and adore the sultanate council and would do everything possible to protect the dignity of the revered institution. The Government to this end reassures all Nigerians that, it will continue to protect the sultanate council and its dignity at all times,” the statement read.

Sultan: Check your facts well, Sokoto govt replies Shettima

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