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UK says Lagos, Onitsha, P’Harcourt should be cosmopolitan cities



  • Cautions against ethnic profiling, slurs

The United Kingdom has cautioned against divisive statements and ethnic slurs in relations to Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, said on Sunday that such ethnic profiling and attacks on people living in major cities like would only impede the growth of the area.

Indeed, he said the strength and beauty of Lagos lie in its blend of culture and religion and should be recognised as a cosmopolitan city.

He spoke in an interview with Nigeria Info FM, a Lagos-based radio station.

A few days to the Lagos governorship election, divisive statements and ethnic slurs were rife on and off social media.

Llewellyn-Jones noted that the growth of Lagos as many mega cities around the world had recorded huge strides because of their diversity of human capital.

He said, “If you live in London, you are a Londoner, a British-Pakistan, is a Londoner. The British Prime Minister lives in London. My boss, the British foreign Secretary is clearly British-Sierra Leone and lives in London, they are Londoners.

“Why is it that people who pay taxes, who work, who provide teachers, who built businesses, who create jobs, who live in Lagos, who happen to be from a different ethnicity to some other people are not Lagosians? Of course, they are. The strength of Lagos is its diversity, and if Lagos can’t be that kind of cosmopolitan melting pot of culture and language and all the things it should be, then really how is Lagos going to succeed?”

He also said, “People chanting anti-Igbo messages and walking on the streets by polling units on elections day is totally unacceptable. Not just in Lagos, but also in Enugu and Rivers were we had our teams as well and many other places.

“It was a very much tougher day for voters which shouldn’t be. But we saw people vote in spite of that, which is truly impressive about the elections.”

“I think the right question to people who have been driving these ethnic kind of languages would be, when you go to cities around the world like London, what do you see when you see the success of those places? Because the success of those places are not built upon division but upon unity.

“I think that people who are still using that kind of language should stop, and the party they represent should be saying to them ‘stop now, this is not in our name and you are wrong’.”



DSS arrests Emefiele



The battle for freedom has begun for the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele. He was arrested by DSS on Friday.

The arrest was reported shortly after President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele.

According to the president, Emefiele was suspended due to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.

Prior to Emefiele’s suspension, the DSS, on December 7, 2022, in an exparte application with reference no: FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, sought an order to arrest the CBN Governor.

The security agency accused Emefiele of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice J.T Tsoho, however, refused to grant the application of the DSS.

The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained.

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2023 Hajj: NAHCON sets June 20 as last day to transport pilgrims



2023 Hajj: NAHCON sets June 20 as last day to transport pilgrims

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has said that all arrangements to transport 2023 prospective pilgrims to Saudi Arabia must be completed latest by June 20.

This is contained in a statement issued by the commission’s Deputy Director of Information and Publication, Mousa Ubandawaki, on Friday.

Mr Ubandawaki said that all states that are scheduled to fly are on course to do so without any disruption related to visa procurement.

“We want to reiterate our commitment to transport every eligible Nigerian pilgrim to the Holy land not only in good time, but also in comfort and best welfare service.

“Our attention has been drawn to a news story that over 45,000 Nigerian pilgrims may miss this year’s Hajj as a result of non-availability of travel visas to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The report is not only misleading, but mischievous and aimed at causing panic and apprehension among intending pilgrims in particular and the public in general.”


Mr Ubandawaki, however, admitted that there was a technical problem relating to visa processing.

“But it has been resolved at the moment, as visa processing is ongoing. In the last two days, visas to state pilgrims have been steady, and no flight has been cancelled due to visa issues.

“Therefore, over 35,000 Nigerian pilgrims are in the Holy Land, while the remaining pilgrims are expected to be transported in the next 10 days.

“It is interesting to note that out of 75,000 slots, more than 58,000 visas are being processed for Nigerian pilgrims. Of these, 20,000 visas were issued between Thursday and Friday while the remainder will be processed by Saturday.

“Despite the hiccup, the commission is committed to concluding the airlift operation to Saudi Arabia before June 20.”

Mr Ubandawaki said the commission had resolved to transport all pilgrims to visit Madina before Arafat, and synchronise the transportation with the available accommodation in the city.

“And not to overcrowd the place, the commission is cautious of pushing more pilgrims out.

“We want to urge our partners in the media that while it is critical for them to push the interest of Nigerian pilgrims, they should also be conscious of the fact that they might be indirectly creating worry and anxiety for the hapless pilgrims.”

2023 Hajj: NAHCON sets June 20 as last day to transport pilgrims


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