President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with Nigerians yet to feel the impact of his government to bear with the administration.
He spoke in Ilorin through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a town hall meeting with traditional rulers, youths, students, organised labour, market women and other stakeholders on the #EndSARS protest and its aftermath.
The forum was attended by the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, and other traditional rulers, representatives of market women, traders and other stakeholders.
In the President’s message delivered by the minister, he said the administration had the interest of the youths and the people in general at heart and was doing a lot to touch their lives.
The President said the government was constrained by dwindling resources occasioned by the impact of COVID-19 which also affected the global economy.
He said, “If we have not done enough or we have not touched everybody, we appeal that you please bear with us.
“In the first instance, what we have is less than 60 per cent of the revenue that was available to other governments that came before us.
“We all know what we suffered during COVID-19, and as we are just trying to recover from this we also faced another crisis.
“We appeal that you should please assist the government and be patient. This government is dedicated to serving the people and we will continue to try our best to do so.
“I thank you all for your perseverance, understanding and patience.”
The President said the administration had many initiatives targeted at creating jobs for the youth and alleviating poverty among women and vulnerable groups.
He said the government initiated a N75bn National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youth.
He said the fund was part of the N2.3tn economic sustainability plan aimed at cushioning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on most vulnerable Micro Small Medium Enterprises across the country.
The President said other initiatives targeted at the youths included N-POWER which had engaged 500,000 beneficiaries with 400,000 more in December.
He said 10,000 youths had been trained and benefitted under N-TECH and N-AGRO respectively.
The President said the federal government FINTECH created enabling environment for growth of businesses that use technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes.
He said over two million farmers, traders, mostly youths, were empowered under FARMERMONI, TRADERMONI and MARKETMONI.
The President said over 500,000 youths had also benefited from the Graduate Internship Scheme which provides short-term employment graduates.
He said 1,000 farmers from each of the 774 LGAs in the country were empowered and guided under the Youth Entrepreneurship Support programme.
Also, Governor Abdulrazaq thanked the President for the initiative of directing ministers to interact with the people at the state level.
He prayed for peace, unity and stability of the country.
Emir of Ilorin said the town-hall meeting was a good forum for the people to express their minds and grievances to government.
Just in: No bail for Nnamdi Kanu, says court
A federal high in Abuja has refused to grant bail to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.
However, on April 8, Binta Nyako, the judge, struck out eight out of the 15-count charge.
While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.
Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, moved an application for bail.
Ozekhome said, “Until a person is tried and convicted, he should be allowed to walk free.”
He reminded the court that a defendant ought to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
He begged the court to consider the deteriorating health condition of the defendant.
Ruling on the bail application on Wednesday, the judge held that “the application is premature and refused with liberty to refile and reapply.”
Fed Govt puts Facebook under watch over IPOB
FACEBOOK and other social media platforms have been cautioned against yielding their platforms to the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to incite violence and instigate ethnic hatred in Nigeria.
The Federal Government gave the instruction through Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed at a meeting with a team from Facebook.
Mohammed was quoted as saying: “I have called this meeting to enable us to discuss the increasing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, especially those of them based outside the country, to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria.
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Ex-EFCC chair Magu promoted to AIG before retirement
The Police Service Commission has confirmed the promotion of a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to the position of assistant inspector-general of police (AIG).
Spokesperson for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, announced this in a statement issued on Monday.
“The eight Commissioners of Police promoted to AIGs were; CP Mustafa Magu Ibrahim who is the most senior in the CP cadre and who missed the last two promotions after returning to the Police; Abraham Egong Ayim; Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen; Andrew Amieengheme; Akeera Mohammed Younous; Celestine Amechi Elumelu; Ngozi Vivian Onadeko and Danladi Bitrus Lalas (Airwing),” the statement reads.
The development comes amid Magu’s expected retirement from the Nigeria Police Force, having clocked the mandatory retirement age of 60 on May 5.
In July 2020, when Magu was still at the helm of affairs in the EFCC, he was arrested, detained, and suspended as the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency — after he appeared before a panel probing allegations of gross misconduct
The panel, led by Justice Ayo Salami, subsequently recommended Magu’s removal as EFCC boss “for failing to properly account for N431,000,000.00 security votes/information fund released to the office of the Executive Chairman of EFCC between November 2015 and May 2020”.
The panel further recommended that Magu should be referred to the inspector-general of police (IGP) for “necessary disciplinary action”, and that he should be prosecuted over the alleged offences.
Despite the recommendation of the panel, Magu resumed duties at the police headquarters as commissioner of police — his rank before he was appointed acting EFCC chairman.
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