Lekki shooting: South-West ministers seek probe into military role – Newstrends
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Lekki shooting: South-West ministers seek probe into military role



Ministers from the South-West have requested a thorough investigation into the recent shooting incident at Lekki tollgate, Lagos, particularly the role of the military.

This was part of recommendations in their report presented at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday after visiting to the plaza for on-the-spot assessment.

The ministers were directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to relocate to their home states to douse the tension generated by the #EndSARS protests and aftermath crisis.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, spoke on the South-West recommendations in an interview with journalists after the FEC meeting in Abuja.

Apart from Fashola, other South-West ministers in the team are Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Sunday Dare (Oyo), Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun), Olorunnibe Mamora (Lagos) and Tayo Alasodura (Ondo).

Armed soldiers had invaded the protest ground at Lekki tollgate to forcefully disperse the protesters.

The incident sparked outrage within and outside the country.

Fashola said, “We urged that the Federal Government to undertake a thorough investigation into what happened in the Lekki Toll Plaza, particularly the role of the military and ensure that the outcome is made public with a view to achieving closure on the matter.”

They also recommended that the FG should assist in the restoration of Lagos and others affected by the post-#EndSARS protest crisis.

Fashola said, “The highlight of the brief was to make recommendations to the Federal Government to support Lagos State to restore damaged facilities especially those related to the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice such as police, court buildings and forensic laboratory.

“To also consider supporting the Lagos High Court judges either with the provision of some office accommodation as a temporary relocation when that request is made. Of course, it was hinted during the visit. To also urge the Federal Government to consider short to medium-term support to small and medium businesses who were affected by the looting and arson which took place in Lagos and other parts of the country; to see if something can be done through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding or any other related funding mechanism.

“And to also ensure that whatever is approved should also involved the National Economic Council, the platform on which state governors meet, so that other states across the country who were also affected, businesses were damaged can benefit in addition to Lagos residents who may so be supported.”

The ministers urged the government to re-mobilise critical organs and agencies such as National Orientation Agency and formal educational institutions to focus on ethical re-orientation, inculcation of family values into the school curriculum.

They called for a focus on etiquette, local reasoning, critical thinking, solution seeking, empathy, self respect, civic duty and human rights.


Nigerians demand removal of NMDPRA boss over Dangote refinery



Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority, Farouk Ahmed

Nigerians demand removal of NMDPRA boss over Dangote refinery

Nigerians have called out the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority, Farouk Ahmed, for saying the diesel produced by the $20bn Dangote refinery is inferior to the ones imported into the country.

It appears Ahmed incurred the wrath of Nigerians, who accused him of trying to demarket the refinery owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

PUNCH Online reported earlier that Ahmed had told the Dangote refinery that the Federal Government would not stop the importation of petroleum products, saying Nigeria cannot depend on one refinery to feed the nation.

The agency also said the diesel from the Dangote refinery contains a high sulphur content of about 1,000 parts per million.

Reacting to allegations that the NMDPRA was giving licences to some traders to import dirty fuel into Nigeria, Ahmed argued that it was the Dangote fuel that had the larger content of sulphur.

He revealed that the refinery, which has been selling diesel and aviation fuel in Nigeria for months, has not been licensed, stating that it is still at the pre-commissioning stage.

“The claim by some media houses that there were steps to scuttle the Dangote refinery is not so. The Dangote refinery is still in the pre-commissioning stage. It has not been licensed yet; we haven’t licensed them yet. They are still in the pre-commissioning. I think they have about 45 per cent completion,” he declared.

The NMDPRA boss warned that Nigeria cannot rely heavily on the Dangote refinery for its fuel supply.


According to him, the refinery had requested the regulator to stop giving import licences to other marketers so as to be the only fuel supplier in Nigeria.

“We cannot rely heavily on one refinery to feed the nation, because Dangote is requesting that we should suspend or stop importation of all petroleum products, especially AGO and direct all marketers to the refinery, that is not good for the nation in terms of energy security. And that is not good for the market, because of monopoly,” he stressed.

Speaking about quality, he said, “So, in terms of quality, currently the AGO quality in terms of sulphur is the lowest as far as the West African requirement of 50 ppm is concerned.

“Dangote refinery and some modular refineries, like Waltersmith refinery and Aradel refinery, are producing between 650 to 1,200ppm. So, in terms of quality, their product is much more inferior to the imported quality,” he alleged.

While the Dangote Group has yet to react officially to the allegations from the chief executive, Nigerians have taken to social media to demand Ahmed’s removal by President Bola Tinubu.

An X user, Ohiozoje Augustine, said, “He should be immediately relieved of his duties to prevent the damaging impression that his actions were endorsed by those at the top.”

@realist_waley opined: “It’s a very deliberate reckless talk that should warrant a query from the government. This is an obvious economic sabotage and that guy needs to be suspended.”

@Talk2me001, replied the NMDPRA boss: “This is your own selfish agenda. Why do we need to import when we already have Dangote producing legally? Truly, Dangote is right then, that the oil cabals are more dangerous than drug cabals.”

@Dankatsina50 said: “This is a strategy to frustrate Dangote refinery. This has been the game of the oil cabals that has made a whole country not have a single functioning refinery for years. They should allow him to be selling the inferior one to us like that, we will buy it.”

@Gviev commented, “I hope the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and Minister of Finance are listening to this man. We are talking about promoting local production and exports to reduce demand for foreign exchange and strengthen the naira. He and the oil marketers are rather focused on their selfish interest to keep importing and depressing the naira.

“You should be talking about competition for local producers instead of trying to manipulate Nigerians to focus on your propaganda that Dangote wants a monopoly. Well, it’s Nigeria that will suffer it because Dangote Refinery will just focus on exports.”

Johnson Ayodeji asked, “Oga, is it Dangote that made the government-owned refineries moribund for decades? or has Dangote stopped any other person from building a refinery? We know the enemies of our country.”

Sola Solarin claimed, “This statement is self-indicting. If Dangote has not been licensed, why is he being allowed to sell diesel? If Dangote can meet our local needs, why do we need to import? We can restrict import without compromising energy security.”

Nigerians demand removal of NMDPRA boss over Dangote refinery


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Why I won’t go back to Peter Obi – Okupe



Doyin Okupe

Why I won’t go back to Peter Obi – Okupe

Director-General of the Labour Party’s presidential campaign in the 2023 election, Dr Doyin Okupe, has denied betraying the candidate of the party, Peter Obi.

Rather, he said it was Obi who betrayed the Peoples Democracy Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to contest the election.

According to Okupe, Obi’s presidential interest forced him to go against Atiku, who brought him into national politics.

Okupe maintained that he decided to withdraw his support for the LP presidential candidate because he was no longer interested in working with him.

The politician spoke in a viral video circulated on social media on Friday.

He said, “They said I betrayed Obi. No. How can I betray him? I started politics in 1978. Obi was nowhere else. My life and political destiny cannot be tied to Obi’s ambition. I wish Obi well, but I am done with him. We wanted to achieve something, but we couldn’t achieve it.

“Obi was the vice-presidential candidate of Atiku Abubakar in 2019. He brought him to the national limelight. Because of his own ambition, which was correct and due, Obi left the party and contested against Atiku. If people said I betrayed Obi, what did Obi do to Atiku? It is not fair.

“It is Obi’s interest in 2023 that made him go on a collision course against his former master. Obi was not my master; I was his supporter. If I supported him up to a point and decided to go back and be myself, how can that be an offence?”

Okupe disclosed that Pa Ayo Adebanjo, a leader of pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, persuaded him to support Obi.

According to him, he (Adebanjo) objected to the idea of a northerner succeeding former president Muhammadu Buhari, adding that he supported the move for the South to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023.


Okupe further stated that the collective decision to support Obi from the South-East was based on fairness.

The politician said, “Baba Adebanjo called me and said he heard that I wanted to contest for the presidential election, and I said yes. Baba said I was a troublemaker. I told Baba that he didn’t know what was happening in our party.

“PDP wanted a northerner to replace Buhari; that didn’t make sense to me. It made a mockery of our federalism and unity as a nation. It undermined my essence as a human being.

“Baba asked which section of the South should be considered if the presidency was zoned to the region. I told Baba that it was only the South-East that has not produced a president.

“Baba said we should support the South-East for the presidency and I agreed. We reviewed the presidential candidates from that region and we concluded on supporting Obi. That was what happened.”

Speaking further, Okupe said, “I went to the Press Centre in Abeokuta to declare that I was withdrawing from the race, and that I would support Peter Obi. By that time, I hadn’t met Obi. I haven’t discussed or seen him. I only knew he wanted to be president.

“Five days later, Obi called me on the phone and requested to see me. We met and discussed and he made me the Director-General of his campaign. That was how the journey with Obi started. When it was clear to us that we couldn’t get the ticket from PDP, we decided to leave the party.”

On why Obi lost the election, Okupe disclosed that the party was grossly and inadequately arranged to cover a national election, saying LP didn’t have what it took to win the presidential poll.

He said, “We ran a fantastic campaign; we did a lot of mobilisation, but we had our flaws and shortcomings. The party was grossly and inadequately arranged to cover a national election. We didn’t have what it took. The structure that covered the entire country wasn’t there.”

Reacting to Okupe’s statement, the Chairman of the Labour Party in Osun State, Bello Adebayo, said, “Obi didn’t betray anybody; it is not correct to say he betrayed Atiku because he didn’t contest the PDP presidential ticket with him in PDP.”

Why I won’t go back to Peter Obi – Okupe

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Police didn’t stop NASU, SSANU Abuja protest – CP



Police didn’t stop NASU, SSANU Abuja protest – CP

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police (CP), Benneth Igweh, yesterday night refuted claims by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that the police prevented union members from protesting.

Reacting to the development, Igweh dismissed allegations  by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that the operatives of the FCT police command restricted members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, from leaving the protest ground and also deployed armoured vehicles, assault dogs, and police personnel to break up the peaceful protest using excessive force at Unity Fountain in Abuja on Thursday.

A statement issued by the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh said: “The command wishes to state that it clearly recognises and understands the rights of the citizens to freedom of association and expression and wouldn’t prevent citizens from exercising such rights. Hence, it didn’t deploy armoured vehicles, assault dogs, or personnel to use excessive force to prevent protesters from exercising their rights.


“The command wishes to state that there was an understanding and agreement between the associations and itself that the protest should be held within the unity fountain, where representatives of each association will address the press and subsequently take their complaints on behalf of others to the appropriate authorities without entering the streets. The agreement was reached to prevent potential hijacking of the protest by some unscrupulous elements, hence the restriction.

“The commissioner of police FCT, CP Benneth C. Igweh, psc, mni, wishes to reaffirm that the command is committed to upholding the right to peaceful assembly while prioritising the safety of the general public. He also noted that the command appreciates the cooperation of the community and will continue to work diligently to maintain a safe environment for all.”

Police didn’t stop NASU, SSANU Abuja protest – CP

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