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Osinbajo blames Nigerian elites over Biafran agitation, ultimatum by Northern youths

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Osinbajo blames Nigerian elites over Biafran agitation, ultimatum by Northern youths

Urges Military To Defend Nation’s Sovereignty

Acting President Yemi Osibanjo has blamed the nation’s elite of whipping up ethnic, religious and tribal sentiments to threaten the unity of Nigeria, saying that the Federal Government will use every resource available to defend the sovereignty of the country.

Osinbajo who was at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Course 39 of the Armed Forces and Command Staff College (AFCSC), said that the agitation for Biafra by Igbos and the counter quit notice by Northern youths were all rooted on the primordial ethnic and religious sentiment stirred up by the elites destabilizing the country. Besides, he urged the military to continue to live up to its responsibility by defending the sovereignty of the nation and democratic growth.

Frowning against the agitation for Biafra and the ultimatum against the Igbos in the north, he remarked,”The rumblings of secession, the dangerous quit ultimatums to ethnic groups, the radio stations and blogs that spew divisive speech and exploit our fault lines; all of these are now to be found online”.

“The last two decades in Nigeria have witnessed the quickened retreat of the Nigerian elite to their ethnic and religious camps. I would like to emphasize the fact that this was essentially an elite phenomenon, unity and disunity are promoted by the elite to which the vast majority of the Nigerian people were only later conscripted.
“A major drawback of ethnic chauvinism is the way that it is used to mask wrongdoing and promote impunity. Notice that when people are charged with looting public funds they quickly find a counter narrative. It is because I am Yoruba, Fulani or Igbo. Or the Muslims
are after me. Appointments in the public service are no longer even judged on merit. The question is how many are from my own ethnic group.

“In the past few weeks we have witnessed the escalation of agitations. Usually couched in deliberately intemperate, and provocative language, the reckless deployment of hate speech, and the loud expressions of prejudice and hate, name calling of those of other ethnicities and faiths is a new and destructive evil in our public discourse. But even more divisive words, expressions, and actions calculated to create fear and uncertainty have also been freely used.

“The problem with hate and divisive speech is that they tap into some of the basest human instincts, bringing up irrational suspicions, fear, anger, and hatred and ultimately mindless violence. People who have lived together as neighbours and friends suddenly begin to see each other as mortal enemies.”

He reminded Nigerians that, “while we must remain irrevocably committed to freedom of expression and the tenets of a free press, we must draw the line between freedom that conduces to healthy democracy and that which threatens and endangers the entire democratic enterprise.

“One of those lessons is that today’s wars never really end. This should be a sobering lesson to us all in Nigeria, as we contend with the forces that seek to stoke violence and bloodshed in our country. Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and closer home, the Central African Republic, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo; these wars have raged for years. Some of them have in fact gone on so long that they have been tagged as ‘forgotten wars’.”
Culled from the Guardian

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Jedy-Agba has disclosed that the country is set for a ‘bounce back’ programme in its green recovery initiative that will provide solar home systems to 5 million households

He spoke at a UK hosted Climate Change Conference Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on 11 January during a virtual visit to the UK on 10–12 January by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres which he attended. 

The Minister added that off-grid power sources have become more competitive since the removal of fuel subsidies.

He stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and energy transition plan. 
He acknowledged that the largest population without electricity globally resides within its borders, and identified financing as a major constraint to Nigeria’s clean and renewable energy transition plans. 
According to him, 

“With the help of the international community, we can improve the decentralized renewable energy market to create jobs, provide energy more quickly to those without access, and ensure that we maintain and eventually reduce our emission levels to achieve our net-zero objectives.

“As the COP26 Presidency, the UK Government is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to develop ambitious evidence-based plans to deliver on Nigeria’s own commitments ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021. 
“The UK supported the solar sector in Nigeria with a £66m programme between 2014 and 2020 which  helped provide energy access to   5.5 million Nigerians since 2015.
He said the UK is delivering ongoing programmes to develop quality standards, financing and manufacturing arrangements for solar home systems.
“Many UK companies are also active in the solar home system market in Nigeria.
“The UK considers the licensing of mobile money to facilitate Pay As You Go arrangements for solar home systems a positive development.”

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the event challenged developed nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion annually for developing countries’ clean energy transition.
During the roundtable, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth programme, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to clean energy while growing their economies.
“The UK is already moving to clean power faster than any major economy, and last year committed to protect at least 30 per cent of its land and ocean by 2030.
“Together these announcements address the two leading sources of global emissions – electricity generation and land use – and demonstrate the UK’s leadership in fighting climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.”

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

 
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied paying $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja on Sunday by his chief press secretary Anietie Ekong
He described the claim as a piece of fake news.
The statement reads in part,
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers.
“It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
 
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous. 
According to him, in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
 
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained.
He said the Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
 
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
 
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. “
He therefore advised the general public to discountenance the piece of trash.
 
He said, “It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. 
“Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC.
“Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.”
 
However, he restated the resolve of Senator Akpabio to continue to do the right thing as mandated by President Buhari adding that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter him from achieving his mandate. “The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years.”
 
 

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked Nigerians to watch and guard their statements so as to prevent any form of religious war in the country.
This was coming against the backdrop of inflammatory and inciting statements after the Christmas day sermon by fiery Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese leading to the issuance of a quit notice on the revered Bishop to leave Sokoto State.

NEF in a statement on Wednesday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed warned that Nigeria should not be subjected to further difficult circumstances capable of imposing fear in the mind of citizens.

Baba-Ahmed who expressed worries about certain disturbing comments in the polity, therefore, warned those spreading explosive and inciting statements to check their ways and desist from such acts.

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