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Sanwo-Olu, Oyetola, Lagos First Lady appeal to #EndSARS protesters

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Osun State counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola, and the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has urged Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality, to remain calm and allow their elected representatives to take up the challenge from where they left off.

They at the 20th National Women virtual conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos on Wednesday. Governors Sanwo-Olu and Oyetola said government was ready to do things differently and positively.

Governor Sanwo-Olu appealed to the youths to allow the effects of the protests to go down and allow government to play its role in meeting their demands.

He said, “I want to humbly request and appeal to our youths that their voices have been heard; their grievances have been well taken; their cause is a just and important cause. We have listened to them and listened to them very well. Government more than ever before will do things differently and positively. We can all see the efforts we have started since yesterday and today going forward.

“I want to appeal once again that because of the global pandemic that we have witnessed over last six to seven months, the youths should let the effects of the protest go down. And they should know that their voice has been heard, let government play their roles and play it well.”

Stressing the need for the protesters to slow down the protests, which has led to traffic gridlocks and close of business activities in different parts of Lagos State and other parts of Nigeria, Governor Sanwo-Olu said, “Businesses have suffered; people are just coming back to business. It would be unfair for those businesses not to be able to get back on their feet again because we have a larger social economic effect.

“I know and I appreciate the challenges that all of you are going through. I appreciate the unfortunate incident that has happened to some of our youths. But like I said, we have heard you and we heard you very well.

“Please let those changes that you asked for, let them begin to happen. We have made commitments in Lagos State and other states too have made commitments. Let us see the effects of those changes and commitments we have given.”

He also said the agitation by the youths is a clarion call for parents, leaders and opinion moulders for a new agenda.

“I acknowledge and thank our teeming youths out there on the End Police brutality and End SARS that we all witnessed in the last almost a week now. It is a clarion call for we parents. It is a clarion call for we leaders. It is clarion call for we opinion moulders that our children have issued us a new agenda, a new position for us to look at,” he said.

In his address, Governor Oyetola said the leaders were ready to join the voice of reason, to make Nigeria a better place.

“Let me appeal to our youths protesting against police brutality to remain calm and allow their elected representatives to take up the challenge from where they left off.

“We are convinced as leaders and we are ready to join the voice of reason to make Nigeria a better place,” the governor said.

In her speech, Dr (Mrs) Sanwo-Olu, who is the Chairman of COWLSO, assured the youths that their demands with regards to police reforms would be implemented by government.

She said, “As mothers, we observe things before we speak but we are aware of the situation in the country. We thank God for Lagos State and the cabinet for listening to the plight of the youth.

“As members of COWLSO, we support ending police brutality. I know Mr President is aware of the demands of the youths with regards to police reforms which they have said would be implemented. I believe, we shall overcome.”

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Buhari presents 2023 budget proposal of N20.5tn to National Assembly

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday presented 2023 appropriation bill of N20.5tn to the National Assembly, the last budget to be put together by his administration before bowing out of office in May 29 next year.

He made the budget presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly at the temporary chamber of the House of Representatives.

The National Assembly had earlier approved the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) — parameters on which the 2023 budget will be framed.

Buhari said the 2023 transition budget was designed to address critical issues and lay a solid foundation for the incoming administration.

Christened ‘Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition’, the President said the revenue generation should reach about N16.87tn.

A breakdown of the budget shows that N744.11bn was earmarked for statutory transfers; N8.27tn for non-debt recurrent costs; N1.1tn for overhead costs, and N5.35 trillion for capital expenditure.

Buhari said, “We expect the total fiscal operations of the federal government to result in a deficit of N10.78tn.”

“This represents 4.78 per cent of estimated GDP, slightly above the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

“As envisaged by the law, we need to exceed this threshold considering the need to continue to tackle the existential security challenges facing the country.”

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Eid-el-Maulud: FG declares Monday public holiday

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Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola

The Federal Government has declared Monday public holiday to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Mawlud celebration in commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made this declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Muslims both at home and in the Diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion.

Aregbesola, in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Belgore, on Thursday, admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience, tolerance and perseverance which are deep spiritual virtues and which Prophet Muhammad exemplified, adding that doing so would guarantee peace, security and harmony in the country.

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The statement read in part: “Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoins Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality.

“As the indisputable leader of our race, we must demonstrate responsible leadership in Africa.”

He urged Nigerians to be security conscious, asking them to report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency and through the N-Alert application on Android and IOS, saying “when you see something do N-Alert, as this would elicit prompt response from security agents.”

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Bombs were going off frequently in cities when I came in – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he inherited a country with bombs detonating frequently in cities of Nigeria.

He disclosed this during the passing-out parade and inauguration of cadets of regular Course 69 of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in Kaduna on Thursday.

He, however, said his administration had been able to manage the country’s security crisis since assuming office in 2015.

“When this government came in 2015, we inherited a country at a crossroads with bombs going off with frightening frequency even in our cities, and we came in to manage the crisis,” he said.

Buhari called on the cadets to replicate the spirit of social cohesion they learned at the NDA and be incorruptible models to society.

He stressed that the cadets emerged in the era of expanding global security threats.

A total of 239 cadets, including those from sister African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger Republic, Chad, and Uganda are passing out from the Academy as junior military officers.

Among the dignitaries present are service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; the governors of Niger and Kaduna States, as well as National Assembly members.

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