Author Archives: Wizzy

Presidency tells CAN: Buhari won’t remove service chiefs despite insecurity

Tribune Online
Presidency tells CAN: Buhari won’t remove service chiefs despite insecurity

CAN

THE presidency has ruled out the possibility of removing heads of the armed forces amidst worsening insecurity in the country.

The presidency made this declaration on Friday against the background of the outburst of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the murder of the chairman of the association’s branch in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram.

The association had addressed a world press conference on Thursday through its president, Dr Samson Ayokunle, where it observed that the country’s security system had failed and therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul it and appoint visionary military officers to head the armed forces and other security agencies.

“As long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch,” CAN said.

It equally rejected President Buhari’s reaction to Andimi’s killing and then accused the Federal Government of complicity in what it called the prevailing attacks on the church.

But the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, took to his Facebook page on Friday and slammed CAN for its critical stance against the government.

“Are you saying under a different leadership of our security forces, insurgency will vanish after they wave their fingers? Why mix the wheat and chaff together?

“If the leadership of the security forces would be changed, it is a sitting president that has the prerogative. It will not happen when CAN begins to make such demand in what should be a sober condolence press statement. Don’t mix bias and sympathy. They don’t mesh,” he said.

Adesina, in his lengthy Facebook post, said CAN got it wrong on its position on the beheaded Adamawa cleric, declaring that “too many things were mixed together, which the apex Christian body in the country should have been mindful of, lest it departs from the mind and essence of Jesus Christ, our perfect example.

“CAN says kidnappings and killings are shameful to a government that boasts that it has conquered insurgency. Boasts. So that is all that matters to CAN, as if it was an opposition political party? Boasts. No. This would not augur for unity and cohesion in a country.

“We are not asking the Christian body to be in bed with government, that would not help anybody, but the organisation has been sounding too long like a political party. We daily learn to walk with Jesus. His spirit is not an unduly critical one. And He left us an example ‘that ye should follow in his steps,’” the presidential aide said.

 

Buhari leading a government of condolence –Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship

Reacting, on Friday, to the presidential spokesman’s statement, the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship asked the presidency if it was not worried that the Buhari government had “become a government of condolence.”

The Christian group’s statement, signed by its national president, Professor Charles Adisa and general secretary, Mr Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, reads in part: “We have just read the reaction of the Federal Government to the press statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria on the killing of CAN Chairman, Michika Local Government, Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi, through the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“We are surprised that Mr Adesina who is supposed to be a Christian could take up the gauntlet to vilify his brothers and fathers in the Lord just to please his master on an issue that should have made him sober over the plight of his brethren.

“For Adesina, what matters is the happiness of his master, not the interest of his brethren. We can’t imagine that people like Adesina cannot play Nehemiah, but continually play Sanballat over the destiny of their brethren.

“On the argument that President Buhari sympathised and sympathises with bereaved families, should it not be a worry to the president’s image maker that theirs have become a government of condolence? Can he count how many of such condolence messages he has released in the last four years over avoidable calamities if the government is serious? CAN said that Reverend Adinmi stayed two weeks with his captors and called on the government to come to his aid. Does it not worry Adesina that rather than take steps to rescue the preacher, the government was quick to send a condolence message to the family? Which is more important, to rescue the victim or to sympathise with the family?

“We are sure that the president is waiting to see the video of the beheading of another Christian so that Adesina would be instructed to issue a condolence statement and condemn the killers. Of course, that is cheaper than paying ransom.

“Come to think of it, why can’t the image makers advise Mr President to look into the national complaints on the need to review his security management policy with a view to changing his team in order to rejig the system? Why is Mr President giving himself out as one who does not listen to public opinion? What is special about his service chiefs that he cannot disengage them if not that they are serving his selfish interest?

“It is unfortunate that the president’s spokesmen do not understand the power of public opinion, but are well schooled in the opposite, which is propaganda. Mr Adesina should know that propaganda does not sustain any system for too long.

“Finally, on the general security situation in the country, does it not occur to Adesina that he is deluded to believe that their government is winning the war against insurgency? He is not seeing that whatever seem to be the magic and gains of 2015 has been reversed in 2019. Yes, there are no incessant bomb explosions, but the number of Nigerians killed by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen between 2018 and 2019 is far higher than 2009-2014. Can Adesina check available records both within and outside the country?”

 

Fulanis are not terrorists, CAN should leave us alone –Fulani groups

Also on Friday, two flagship Fulani groups descended heavily on CAN for asking for the labelling of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), as a terrorist organisation and for calling the arrest of its leaders for alleged various killings around the country.

The national secretary of one of the topmost Fulani socio-cultural groups, Gam Allah Fulani Development Association, Ibrahim Abdullahi, declared that Fulanis cannot be branded as terrorists because they are not Boko Haram or killers.

He said Fulani organisations like Miyyetti Allah, Kautal Hore and Gam Allah are registered organisations whose activities are open and do not contravene the laws of the country.

Abdullahi described CAN’s demand as baseless, saying it showed that the leadership of the Christian body did not understand the problem at hand.

“I know that they are reacting to the killing of the CAN chairman in Adamawa. We condemn it, too. No sensible group will be happy over the gruesome killing of the pastor,” he said.

But he wondered where the link between Miyyetti Allah and Boko Haram is, saying apportioning blame to a particular ethnic group “in this critical situation when we all know that the security challenges do not confine themselves to a religion or tribe is also part of the problem.”

Abdullahi, who is a former national secretary of MACBAN, said: “What are the offences of the Fulani groups? Tell us why the Fulani should be branded as terrorists?

“We are not killers. The various claims by Christian bodies against us only promote hatred for our followers.

“We need a complete strategy involving all stakeholders. The country is facing serious challenges, especially security-wise. Let us fight the ugly trend,” he said.

In the same vein, a former coordinator of MACBAN in Benue State, Garus Gololo, accused CAN of “wearing the garment of disunity and creating disharmony” in the country.

According to him, the Miyetti Allah group is a peaceful association which abhors killings and crisis in any form.

He said: “Some of us are disappointed in the utterances of this religious body which ought to be preaching peace and unity of the country but has turned itself into a group fanning the ember of disunity.

“The body should know that not only Christians are being killed but so many Muslims have also been killed and their mosques destroyed.

“Is it because Miyetti Allah and other Fulani associations do not have access to the media? In Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, our people were attacked and two mosques were destroyed.

“Miyetti Alla is a registered organisation and let CAN mind its utterances and leave us alone,” Gololo said.

However, Miyyetti Allah Kautal Hore said it would not join issues with the Christian body.

Speaking with Saturday Tribune in Kaduna on Friday, the national secretary of the organisation, Saleh Alhassan, said: “We are a socio-cultural association established to entrench Fulani culture and beliefs and defend their interests.  We will not join issues with CAN except if we are singled out for attack.”

Presidency tells CAN: Buhari won’t remove service chiefs despite insecurity
Tribune Online

Oko Oloyun: Police link death to office fraud, questions security escorts, workers

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Oko Oloyun: Police link death to office fraud, questions security escorts, workers

Oko Oloyun

THE Oyo State police command has given more insights into the Thursday’s killing of a trado-medical practitioner, Alhaji Fatai Yusuf, popularly known as Oko Oloyun, linking it with a case of fraud in the deceased’s company.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, in a statement made available to Saturday Tribune on Friday, said the command’s Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Igbo-Ora received a report that around Akeroro area on the Abeokuta-Igbo-Ora-Iseyin Road, the two-car convoy of Oko Oloyun was ambushed by yet to be identified assailants after passing through five police stop-and-search teams along the route.

The police spokesman said the assailants fired at the moving vehicles from inside the bush on the route and escaped back into the bush after killing the businessman.

The statement reads in part: “The Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Police Command, CP Shina T Olukolu, wishes to put the record straight on the most unfortunate death of Alhaji FataiYussuf, a.k.a. Oko Oloyun, on Thursday, 23rd January, 2020.

“A report was received by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Igbo-Ora, that around Akeroro area on the Abeokuta-Igbo-ora-Iseyin Road, the two-car convoy of the deceased was allegedly ambushed shortly after passing through five different police stop-and-search teams along the route by yet to be identified assailants who fired at the moving vehicles on the road from the thick forest.

“The two-man armed escort of policemen protecting the deceased engaged the assailants but they managed to escape back into the forest after a single shot had hit the deceased who died later of his bullet injuries.

“However, an interesting twist to the story was that the deceased probably had earlier detected an alleged book keeping records fraud in his Lagos office which subsequently allegedly led to the burning/destruction of some financial/book keeping records.

“In addition to other possible motives, a plausible nexus is therefore being suspected between the fire incident and the attack on the deceased.

“Meanwhile, some of the staff and his two police escorts are being questioned by a team of crack detectives from the homicide section of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Iyaganku, Ibadan, with a view to finding and apprehending the fleeing suspects who carried out the heinous act.

“The Commissioner of Police, therefore, seizes this opportunity to appeal to any member of the public with credible information not to hesitate in passing same to the Oyo State Police Command to assist in the detection of the crime and apprehension of the offenders, while at the same time, assuring members of the public that the police are on top of the situation and working with other police formations/units to ensure that the directive of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, M. A. Adamu, to crack this case as quickly as possible is complied with to the letter.

“In addition, it is our resolve that no matter how long it takes, the Commissioner of Police promises to bring the culprits to justice within the shortest possible time.”

Meanwhile, the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has promised to take a keen interest in the investigation of Yusuf’s murder, warning against any cover-up in the matter.

In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere described the killing as a testament to the prevailing insecurity in Yorubaland.

The statement reads: “The attention of Afenifere has been called to the brutal murder of Oko Oloyun in the continued sad and long story of insecurity in Yorubaland.

“We pray for the repose of the soul of the gentleman and we promise to take keen interest in the investigations into the dastardly act.

“Smarting from the abandoned investigation into the July 12, 2019 murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, we urge the police not to attempt another cover-up on this murder.

“We say this because we have noted the rushed statement of the police suggesting a desperate attempt to divert attention from the fact that the Eruwa-Igbo Ora route, on which he was killed, is a notorious axis of Fulani bandits.

“The police rushing to the press unprofessionally to say he discovered fraud in his office before the incident without carrying out any investigation may foreclose other possible leads.

“Every human life is precious to us and this is another test of the capacity of the Nigerian police which is seriously challenged at the moment.”

Oko Oloyun: Police link death to office fraud, questions security escorts, workers
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A look at Amotekun security outfit

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A look at Amotekun security outfit

Amotekun, Oyetola, FG

The Western Nigeria Security Network coded as Amotekun, is a formal security outfit put in place by the governors of south-west states of Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos; the development which has generated divergent reactions across the country after  its inauguration in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Everybody is perfectly entitled to his or her own opinion under any genuine democracy but I have no doubt that more and more people are not likely to query the rational behind the gesture in view of the gargantuan nature of the security challenges confronting Nigeria. Necessity is the mother of invention.The need to combat banditry, kidnapping, abduction, human trafficking, recurring herders-farmers clashes, etc cannot be overemphasized as these menaces are dangerously threatening peace, stability and even corporate existence of the country.

Truly, section 214 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, states that “there shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of these section no other police force shall be established for the federation or any other part thereof”. Good, it should be noted that a paramilitary security outfit called Amotekun is not anyway a parallel Police Force but just an equivalent of Hisbah and Civilian Joint Task Force, which already have been functioning freely in the northern part of the country for the protection of lives and  properties. Hence, the establishment of Amotekun has not breached any of the Nigerian laws. This is well established.

The recent declaration of Amotekun as illegal is also illegal and criminal, as such lacks the backing of the Nigeria Constitution. Neither the Attorney General Malami who made the declaration nor any other adversaries of the safety programme were ignorant of the thorough processes that eventually produced it without complaining. The after thought reaction of Malami to abort the already born baby would be difficult to divulge from the superb   and uncommon level of preparation and organization displayed on January 9, 2020, during the inauguration of Amotekun  in Ibadan. The likes of Malami and some criminal elements were obviously jittery and  threatened by the practical display of large number of patrol automobiles, knowing full well they wouldn’t have any hidden place with Amotekun on the ground. I could equally buttress this observation by the unpretentious uncomfortableness so far displayed by the Fulani Herders and the Miyeti Allah Association over the official take off of the outfit. Off course, the solid preparation has already threatened  and balanced the incessant terror usually unleashed on the people of the south west. No law abiding citizens would deem it imperative lobbying the Attorney General and the Presidency against a live saving programme like Amotekun.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is under policing. The citizen-police ratio in Nigeria is still far below international standard.  Going by the UN requirement of 400 citizens of a country to a police officer, Nigeria with about 200 million people supposed to have about 500,000 police personnel instead of about 370,000 we are parading. Again, a certain high percentage of  Nigeria Police personnel is attached to individuals and corporate institutions. Not only this, the present Nigeria Police is under funded, shortfall in power and training and ill equipped.

The innovation is such that would complement the efforts of the available police personnel in the southwest. Securing the citizenry remains one of the primary duties of the government (at all levels) in concurrence with section 14 (2b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Therefore, the establishment of Amotekun in southwest is within the purview of the law. After all, those who can afford special security outfits for personal protection are not constitutionally barred. There are private guards and bouncers securing their principals and institutions, including the churches and the mosques across the country. Little wonder, the number of private security companies has been mushrooming on a daily basis.

The operations of Amotekun would not only benefit the descendants of Oduduwa  but everyone in the southwest and beyond. Those who do not reside in the region might visit their relations, friends or loving ones there, or might even need to travel via the region to another in which they could be affected by any inherent danger in the zone. Security in any parts of Nigeria is security everywhere in the country.

Amotekun as a proactive and pragmatic  approach would alleviate   security challenges in the southwest and Nigeria in general. This is timely and welcomed. Healthy imitation and  competition is key to development. Sooner than later, other geo political zones would borrow a leave from the southwest, I believe. Though, this may depend on functionality and effectiveness of the programme in the  southwest. ACF, PANDEF, Ohanaeze, MASSOB and  Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum, have already shown interest in the move.

Another good thing is the fact that there would be a great synergy between the police and Amotekun. The Nigeria Police have been saddled with supervisory roles over the outfit as pronounced by the  IGP, who has already deployed an AIG to take charge.

By the provision of the Criminal Code, section 272-275,  every individual Nigerian had the power of arrest. Then, a formal security outfit cannot lack such power but any arrested persons must be promptly handed over to the police for prosecution without taking laws into their hands. The men of the outfit would serve more in the area of intelligence gathering, using the advantage of their experience and closeness to the grassroot to collect information for the trained officers who could decode, process such and act promptly

This indigenous security outfit would also operate in  partnership with the community. This is a method of policing  which  has the capacity of combating crimes at the grassroot. It is not new at all. The practice is very similar to the age long arrangement in some states where the services of different vigilante groups are usually employed to enhance security. States like Kogi, Katstina, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, etc have been practicing it.

The outfit would recruit thousands of able-bodied men across the six states in the southwest, the local militiamen and hunters would benefit from this type of arrangement, which would obviously reduce unemployment, poverty  and hunger as root causes of criminality,  crises and insurrection in many instances. But the welfare of the recruitees should be considered paramount as one of the ways of enhancing their commitment.

The player of the piper usually dictates the tune, the militiamen would not hesitate to execute the interest and order of their  employers and ‘commandants’ to the letter, including the nefarious and deadly ones. Well, we could nurse the courage that the supervisory roles of Nigeria Police Command would curb this particular problem envisaged by many leaders and analysts. But, some might again argue against the unprofessional attitude of the police personnel themselves.

Also, there is a fear in some quarters that promotion of  regional security outfits coupled with the incessant agitation for restructuring might  eventually propel ethnic conflicts that could affect the  corporate existence of Nigeria. But, I believe that a fight against insecurity is a fight for the unity of Nigeria.

Every innovation has pros and cons. Hence, both the advantages and disadvantages of Amotekun security outfit as adumbrated above could be weighed. It is obvious nevertheless, we still need a security outfit that can primarily complement the efforts of the police, fight criminality  and insecurity at the grassroot.

The joint efforts and initiatives of southwest governors, who were elected on the platforms of different political parties is highly commendable and appreciated. Of course, they have demonstrated their genuine sense of innovation and concerns for the security of all and sundry by shunning their political differences to pursue the peace agenda.

Omotoso Okeya wrote from Ado Ekiti

A look at Amotekun security outfit
Tribune Online

Kingstart the day with waffles!

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Kingstart the day with waffles!

waffles

It’s said that the most important meal in a day is your breakfast. And if we are being truthful, making something fast in the morning could be a bit demanding as one is trying to catch the bus, meet up with an appointment, or get the kids to school, so they don’t miss the bus or assembly. Realistically, the largest percentage of people eat their first serious meals in the day. So how do you sort your stomach before that recess or lunch hour?

Xquisite Food brings you a whole baggage of waffle recipe that can make mornings easier for you and your family.  Preparation time for waffles is about 15 minutes, so you don’t have to be scared of getting late to work or have your tummy rumble so loudly in the morning. Waffles can be saved in the fridge and heated the next time, spiced with chocolate creams or fruits.

 

Ingredients

2 cups of flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

A pinch of salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavor choice

1/2 cup butter (melted before use)

Preservatives are optional.

 

Instructions

Preheat the waffle maker.

Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a big bowl.

Pour in buttermilk, eggs, flavored extract and melted butter.

Stir all till all get combined.

Cook in the preheated waffle maker using butter (The butter amount is based on the waffle iron)

When it’s brown, it is ready to be removed. It takes about 3-5 minutes.

Serve hot with syrup, berries, chocolate, milk or whipped cream.

There! You have your morning sorted!

Kingstart the day with waffles!
Tribune Online

Bauchi State Records Three Lassa Fever Cases

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo of a rat being injected used to illustrate the story.

 

 

The Bauchi State government has confirmed three new cases of Lassa fever in the state.

The Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, confirmed the cases during a press briefing in Bauchi on Friday.

According to him, the state is on high surveillance and medical personnel are frightened due to the recent development in Kano that claimed the lives of some health workers.

Mohammed said, “This year, we have 15 suspected cases of Lassa fever – three confirmed cases out of the suspected … One thing that is giving us concern is no vaccine for it, we have only treatment of the contact and prophylaxis for the contact and then treatment of cases.

“So, doctors are afraid, and the nurses are also afraid but there is what we call universal safety precaution.

“Unless you touch this patient, unless you touch the secretion; so you have to wear your gloves, you have to make sure that you protect yourself from contact with the secretion,” he added.

The agency boss explained that the secretion was infectious and urged health workers to be careful when treating infected patients.

He disclosed that the disease was prevalent in three local government areas of Bauchi, Toro, and Tafawa Balewa.

“So far, no death has been recorded this year,” Mohammed stated.

26-year-old Nigerian, 11 others emerge global SDGs Ambassador

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26-year-old Nigerian, 11 others emerge global SDGs Ambassador

Olasupo

Abideen Olasupo, executive director, Brain Builders International (BBI), a non-governmental organisation, is the only Nigerian among the 12 global ambassadors for Youth Power Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) campaign initiative.

The initiative, organised by Restless Development, UK, seeks to bring youth activists together to call for support in achieving the SDGs.

Other ambassadors of the initiative are from the US, Mexico, Philippines, UK, Lebanon, Kenya, Ghana, France, India, Cameroon and Barbados.

In a statement, organisers of the initiative said the campaign was borne out of the need to accelerate the achievement of the global goals or SDGs, adopted by the United Nations in 2015.

“We have made progress but nowhere near enough. We are running out of time. Young people stand ready, and united, to take the lead in making the Global Goals a reality,” the statement read.

“As the youth-led climate strikes have shown, collective action from young people is already changing things for the better. Young people are fighting FOR fairness, justice, and the environment. They are fighting AGAINST inequality, persecution and climate change.

ALSO READ: Alleged N2bn pension fraud: Court slates Jan 27 to rule on Maina’s bail variation application

“They (the advocates) will be instrumental in organising the biggest youth generation in history to make the world a better place. They will provide technical advocacy and campaigning support, establish systems of learning and collaboration as well as funding, resourcing and amplifying grassroots youth-led campaigns all over the world.”

Olasupo, a local and international multiple award-winning advocate, is known for his engagement in youth advocacy, holding government accountable, climate action and social research.

With over eight years of experience advocating for social change, the entrepreneur has influenced policy-making and good governance through the works of his organisation.

He is also one of the ten goalkeeper steering committee members working worth CIVICUS and Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation to give over $870,000 grant to start up with SDGs target.

BBI has also translated the SDGs into major local languages in Nigeria and Arabic, for which it won “Digital Leaders Award for Not-for-profit Organization of the Year” in 2019.

Olasupo’s organisation also has a community of volunteers and ambassadors across tertiary institutions.

26-year-old Nigerian, 11 others emerge global SDGs Ambassador
Tribune Online

Re-Run Elections: Police Will Be Professional, Apolitical – IGP

Police To Establish National Crime Analysis Centre, Warn Personnel Against Misconduct
A file photo of the IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

 

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has given an assurance that police personnel deployed for the re-run elections would carry out their duties without prejudice.

He gave the assurance in a statement on Friday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, ahead of the elections scheduled to hold on Saturday in 11 states.

“The Inspector-General of Police has reiterated that police personnel deployed for the elections will be professional and apolitical in the discharge of their responsibilities,” Mba said.

He added, “He (the IGP), therefore, enjoins politicians and candidates standing in for the elections as well as the electorates, to ensure strict conformity to the rule of law.”

The exercise will take place in 28 Federal and State Constituencies – covering one senatorial district, 12 House of Representatives, and 15 State Houses of Assembly.

The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Ogun, and Sokoto.

In view of this, the police boss ordered a comprehensive security arrangement for all offices and facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the affected states.

He also ordered the Commissioners of Police in the state to put in place adequate security arrangements towards ensuring hitch-free elections and a level playing ground for all the candidates and parties in the elections.

Adamu also warned police personnel deployed to abide strictly by the laws guiding the conduct of officers on election duty.

Insurgency: It May Take Long But We Are Capable Of Handling It – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari in a meeting with the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, at the State House in Abuja in January 24, 2020.

 

The President believes the nation will surely put the issues associated with the troubles in the Northeast in order and move ahead, although it might take a bit longer.

President Muhammadu Buhari stated this while receiving the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, on Friday at the State House in Abuja.

“We have the experience of the civil war. I could recall the role of the military, the army each commander had in his pocket; how to behave himself and how to allow international bodies like yourself to go round and see for themselves that people are treated in the most humane way,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.

The President added, “We have this experience and I assure you that we also have this confidence in your organisation. That is why I feel that Nigeria is capable of handling this crisis; it may take long, but we are capable of handling it.

“If we were capable to fight a 30-month civil war and reorganised our country, I wonder why people are thinking that Nigeria cannot do it. I assure you of Nigeria’s commitment to enhance and deepen cooperation with the EU in all areas.

“Our priorities in the next level is to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are rehabilitated  so that livelihood should be established and the children should not lose the opportunity to go back to school, which is very important for the future of that area and Nigeria generally.”

READ ALSO: Insurgency: UN, EU Ask Nigerian Govt To Explore Political Solution

President Buhari also appreciated the recent meeting in Germany which deliberated on the happenings in Libya.

He was worried about the weapons reaching the Sahel and the instability they cause, stressing that Libya has a direct impact on the stability of the Sahel.

“Look at the casualties in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali; as for Boko Haram, we try to disabuse the mind of the people and I think our people now understand the basic dishonesty in it. With my experience personally in the civil war, I am sure we will get over it,” the President said.

He was also confident that the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, would do a splendid job in managing the various humanitarian issues evolving from the North-East.

President Buhari said, “I assure you that we are aware of these problems and we will continue to do our best. The newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs is coordinating NEMA and others, to make sure that whatever resources we get are well utilised.

“The ministry will be accountable to the government instead of having too many bodies doing the same thing. We are also reaching out to foreign countries explaining to them our position, and we are confident we will get over it.”

On his part, the EU commissioner stressed that Nigeria plays a big role in the African continent and globally in economic, social and other spheres.

He, therefore, asked for the development of a plan between the EU and Nigeria concerning the issues in the North-East.

Lenarcic said he had visited Borno State and appreciates government’s efforts to end the conflict there.

“We would like to support your efforts,” he told the President, adding, “We believe all relevant actors; military, civilian as well as humanitarian should come together.”

“In situations such as what we have in the North-East, international law and international humanitarian law should apply.

“We believe in your efforts to end the conflict; military effort alone probably will not be sufficient without identifying and addressing the socio-economic factors causing it,“ the EU commissioner added.

Update 2: With eyes on inflation, CBN raises CRR to 27.5%

With eyes on inflation, CBN raises CRR to 27.5%

With eyes on rising inflation and surging liquidity, the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) on Friday moved against wide projections by analysts and raised the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 500 basis points to 27.5%.

But it retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5%, citing comfort with its policies so far and the need to yet again, allow time to understand growth trend for the year.

The CBN also left the Liquidity Ratio  (LR) steady at 30% as well as the Assymetric corridor around the MPR at +200/-500 basis points.

Nine members of the all eleven present voted to alter the CRR while leaving all other policy parameters constant. Two members voted to leave all parameters constant.

Governor Godwin Emefiele who briefing on the outcomes of the two days Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting told reporters in Abuja that there were concerns at the meeting that inflation was fast rising beyound tolerable threshold, pushed by both monetary and structural factors.

“Inflation above the 12% will be inimical to output growth,” Emefiele stated.

Inflation moved up to 11.98 percent (year-on-year) in December 2019, the highest rate within that year and also since May 2018.  Authorities blame heightening inflation which have come through largely food and also core – on the current border closure policy.

Inflation remains above the apex bank’s 6 percent to 9 percent target band with fears that price risks could elevate following the take-off of the approved N30,000 minimum wage, the over two trillion naira liquidity pumped into the economy by commercial lenders on the back of the CBN 65% Loan to Deposit Ratio policy and also an expected early commencement of 2020 budget implementation.

Emefiele explained MPC position that because inflation was already getting to a disturbing threshold beyond which it becomes growth retarding, there is need to deploy urgent action to reverse the trend.

There is also the committee fears on huge liquidity in the market, particularly coming from not only the fiscal spending but also the re-jigged OMO policy which saw the exclusion of some actors from the market.

Emefiele said this also exacerbates fears of a possible liquidity surge in the market in near future.

 

Read Also: Updated: CBN raises CRR to 27.5%

 

“We felt there is therefore the need to mop the excess liquidity to a level that is considered optimal to run the economy to avoid a possible harm on the economy,” Emefiele explained.

Emefiele further assured of CBN confidence the raised CRR will not in anyway impede lending but will rather help strengthen growth which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects will come through at 2.5% in 2020.

He also expressed the MPC concerns on rising debt and called government to rather raise revenues and depend less on oil receipts.

According to the Governor, “The MPC, cautioned that public debt was rising faster than both domestic and external revenue, noting the need to tread cautiously in interpreting the debt to GDP ratio.

“The Committee also noted the rising burden of debt services and urged the Fiscal Authorities to strongly consider building buffers by not sharing all the proceeds from the Federation Account at the monthly FAAC meetings to avert a macroeconomic downturn, in the event of an oil price shock.

“It urged Government to gradually reduce reliance on oil receipts and focus on revenue diversification through reforms of the tax system. The Committee also called on Government to rationalize fiscal expenditure towards reducing the current excessively high cost of governance.”

On concerns of depleting foreign reserves, Emefiele assured that the CBN was comfortable with the present $38bn level, reiterating the apex bank’s commitment to continue to sustain stability in the FX market. He particularly ruled out a possible devaluation of the naira on whatever account.

“It is important for us to know that reserve is there to meet the country’s obligation, so from time to time reserves goes up and comes down. Yes, the drop has become so noticeable that people are beginning to say it may result in an adjustment in the naira.

“But let me say that at a reserve level of about $38bn today, and crude price at above $57, $60 and sometimes $70, we believe that we are comfortable and we will continue to sustain the current foreign exchange management policies with the results that we have seen in the market.

According to him, “there is no need for anybody to think that an adjustment will happen.

“The CBN is able to meet all its obligations, the reserve level is high and strong enough to meet obligations in the economy and so there is no need for anybody to contemplate that.

“We believe crude price at above $60 is a strong level that can be used to support the economy and also continue to sustain the stability that we see in the foreign exchange market today.”

 

Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja 

Leading US health experts predicted coronavirus could kill 65million people in a year

Tribune Online
Leading US health experts predicted coronavirus could kill 65million people in a year

China, CDC, US, coronavirus

Leading US health experts predicted a coronavirus could kill tens of millions of people in a chilling warning three months before the deadly outbreak in China.

Scientists at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security modeled a hypothetical pandemic on a computer as part of research last October.

The simulation predicted 65million people from every corner of the world would be wiped out in just 18 months.

So far the highly contagious disease currently ravaging China has killed 26 people and infected more than 900 – but experts predict the true number to be thousands.

Dr Eric Toner, a senior researcher at Johns Hopkins, said he wasn’t shocked when news of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in late December.

pandemic would be a coronavirus,’ he told Business Insider.

‘We don’t yet know how contagious it is. We know that it is being spread person to person, but we don’t know to what extent.

‘An initial first impression is that this is significantly milder than SARS. So that’s reassuring. On the other hand, it may be more transmissible than SARS, at least in the community setting.’

Coronaviruses are infections of the respiratory tract that can lead to illnesses like pneumonia or the common cold.

One was also responsible for the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China, which affected 8,000 people and killed 774 in the early 2000s.

Dr Toner’s computer simulation suggested that after six months, nearly every country in the world would have cases of coronavirus.

Within 18 months, 65million people could die. The outbreak in Wuhan isn’t considered a pandemic, but the virus has been reported in 10 different nations.

The US, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Nepal have all confirmed cases.

Dr Toner’s simulation imagined a fictional virus called CAPS – a pandemic that originated in Brazil’s pig farms in the hypothetical scenario.

The virus in Toner’s simulation would be resistant to any modern vaccine. It would be deadlier than SARS, but about as easy to catch as the flu.

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His computer modelled outbreak started small, with farmers coming down with fevers or pneumonia-like symptoms.

It then spread to crowded and poverty-riddled communities in South America.

Flights were grounded and travel bookings were slashed in half.  After six months, the virus had spread around the globe and a year later it had killed 65 million people.

 

Leading US health experts predicted coronavirus could kill 65million people in a year
Tribune Online