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News headlines for today 11th February 2021

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News headlines for today 11th February 2021

Here are today’s news headlines

today Thursday, 11th February 2021
1. FG Reveals Difference Between Bandits And IPOB
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is a difference between the bandits and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) proscribed by the Federal Government.

He revealed the difference while defending the Federal Government’s refusal to proscribe bandits ravaging states in the country.

Speaking on AIT on Wednesday, Mohammed said IPOB does not believe in the unity of Nigeria, while bandits are just criminals. (News headlines)

2. Fani-Kayode Breaks Silence On Joining APC
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Wednesday, debunked the report that he has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress.

This is coming after the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, noted that the former minister has dumped PDP for the APC.

 

3. Reps To Take Action In Cutting Down Cost Of Governance – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday declared that urgent steps need to be taken in cutting down government expenses.

The Speaker expressed worries that the situation where the government is unable to meet its financial demands but has to constantly rely on borrowings is not healthy. (News headlines)

He made the submissions during his welcome address to members of the house upon resumption from their recess, noting that there is the need to cut down on the cost of governance.

Specifically, he noted that bills seeking to establish more government agencies might have to be treated cautiosly given the rising level of government’s recurrent expenses.

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4. Senate President Lawan Tackles Buhari, Makes Fresh Demand On Nomination Of Ambassadors
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the complaints on the indigenes of Abuja and appoint a non-career ambassador from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lawan made the call in response to a protest by the Senator representing FCT, Philip Aduda who lamented that Buhari has so far failed to appoint an indigene of the area as an ambassador despite various appeals in the past.

Aduda made his view known on Wednesday during plenary when he cited Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, and said, “Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, I did yesterday raise some issues with you, Your Excellency, about the issue of the appointment of ambassadors.

5. Court Asks CBN To Unfreeze Accounts Of #EndSARS Campaigners
The order to freeze the bank accounts linked with some promoters of the #EndSARS protest has been set aside by a Federal High Court in Abuja. (News headlines)

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered all concerned banks to immediately unfreeze the affected accounts.

The presiding judge said the ruling follows the withdrawal of all processes filed in relation to the suit by lawyers to all parties.

6. Troops Engage Boko Haram In Fierce Battle, Kill 19 Terrorists, Destroy Gun Trucks
Troops of the Nigerian Military on Tuesday inflicted heavy casualties on Boko Haram terrorists in Rann local government area of Borno State.

It was gathered that the terrorists had attempted to attack the military base through an ambush attack but met superior tactics and firepower which resulted in the killing of several of them and the destruction of their gun trucks.

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We understand that not fewer than 19 terrorists were killed during the fierce gun battle with the soldiers while gun trucks and other items belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed.

7. ‘Granting Amnesty To Terrorists Is Not A Bad Move’ – Lai Mohammed
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that granting amnesty to bandits, kidnappers or any notorious group is not a new thing in the country.

We understand that the minister stated this while defending critics of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, for granting amnesty to bandits terrorizing the state. (News headlines)

Mohammed who appeared on AIT’s ‘Kakaaki’ show on Wednesday said, the Federal Government would not restrict governors from addressing the security challenges in ways peculiar to their respective states.

According to him, the governors as chief security officers of their various states were in the best position to address security challenges in the way that best suit them.

8. Northern Governors Move Against Open Grazing, Support Ranching
The Northern Governors’ Forum says open grazing is no longer fashionable in modern society and has backed the establishment of ranches in the region.

The forum made this known in a communiqué issued on Tuesday after their virtual meeting on Monday, signed by its Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.

Lalong noted that the way forward for the herders is either by ranching or other acceptable modern methods, adding that it will sensitize the herders on the need to adopt ranching.

He asked the Federal Government to provide funding for the establishment of ranches in order to reduce the farmers-herders clashes in the country.

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9. Senate Takes Action On Screening Of Service Chiefs, Ambassadorial Nominees
The Nigerian Senate has referred the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the screening of new service chiefs to its joint committees on Army, Navy, and Air force for necessary action.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan during plenary on Wednesday, gave the committee two weeks to conclude the assignment and present a report to the lawmakers during plenary.

Similarly, the Senate President also directed the committee on Foreign Affairs to screen the immediate past service chiefs who had been nominated for appointment by Buhari as career ambassadors. They also have two weeks to conclude the assignment and report to the house. (News headlines)

10. Order Arrest Of Yahaya Bello Over COVID-19 Claims, Clark Tells Buhari
Elder Statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the arrest of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi over his claims that Coronavirus is not real.
Clark, who just recovered from COVID-19, made this known to reporters on Wednesday in Kiagbodo, Delta State.

He said: “The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, should be ashamed of himself. He should be sanctioned.

“This is a man parading self that he wants to be President of Nigeria. It’s all nonsense. Some of them feel because they are very close to Mr. President, they can do anything.”

Recounting his ordeal with COVID-19, Clark said he recovered from COVID-19 two weeks after testing positive for the virus..

The Ijaw leader said he was treated for 14 days before subsequent tests by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) returned negative.

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Insecurity: Reps Ask Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency

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WORRIED by the worsening security situation in the country, the House of Representatives on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity to effectively curb the ugly development.

The Speaker, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this while reading the resolutions approved after a fourhour executive session held on the floor of the Green Chamber, during which lawmakers condemned attacks on security agents and formations across the country.

To this end, the House resolved to invite the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Mongunu; the service chiefs and other heads of various paramilitary agencies to appear before it and brief the members on the security situation in the country.

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The House also mandated all its security committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in the Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.

Gbajabiamila, who read the resolution, said: “The House reiterates its commitment to the security and corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would, therefore, accelerate its engagement with stakeholders on a special security summit to be organised by the House of Representatives.

“The House should urgently invite the NSA, service chiefs, and paramilitary chiefs, Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT to brief the House on the security situation in the country.

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“Considering the security situation, the President should immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity so as to fast track all measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the country.

“Call on the judiciary to accelerate the prosecution of those awaiting trial due to banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.

“Provide emergency relief to all communities that have been adversely affected by recent attacks across the country.

“The President should as a matter of urgency, ensure financial autonomy to Local Government Councils to guarantee their functionality to serve the local populace.

“The Federal Government should ensure the protection of National Infrastructure assets, particularly the  Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State. 

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“The House mandated all its Security Committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in our Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.

“That the number of personnel in the Police and Military falls far short of the required number to effectively secure the country and calls for immediate recruitment to this effect,” the resolution read.

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Buhari Is Helping Fulanis Take Over, There Is No Govt in Nigeria – Governor Ortom

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of working for Fulanis. He said the country has no government following incessant killings by bandits and Fulani herdsmen in his state.

He lamented that over 70 people have been murdered in two weeks in Makurdi Local Government Area. Ortom spoke to protesters on Tuesday at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abagena village. Suspected herdsmen, Monday night, killed citizens and wounded many others. “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country.”

He said Buhari’s body language is what is being played out and that the action and inaction of Mr President “shows that he is only the President of Fulani people”. Ortom decried that attackers regularly send indigenes away from their homes, yet go to kill them where they take refuge.

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Ortom called them “Fulani herdsmen”, stressing that They are not bandits. They are Fulanis. We saw and heard them speak the language.” The Benue helmsman stated that the federal authorities have been dragging foot on the matter.

“If the federal government had taken a proactive step, we will not be where we are. In the last two weeks, over 70 persons have been killed just in Makurdi Local Government Area alone.”

Noting that the situation is not acceptable, Ortom said similar killings were going on in Guma and Gwer-West. Ortom recalled he alerted Nigerians when Fulanis from 14 countries met in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

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He said they declared that except the prohibition of open grazing law was reviewed, “Benue will not know peace.” The governor wondered why the federal government was yet to arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah that hosted the meeting. “It means we don’t have a government”, he declared.

“Mr President must do the needful and I want to suggest that immediately, let there be a security summit. I am aware that the situation is prevalent in other parts of the country.”
On Monday, the police command in Benue State also confirmed the kidnap of three students of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi.

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Freeze Pantami’s Accounts – Rinu Oduala Urges CBN

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An #EndSARS campaigner, Rinu Oduala, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the bank accounts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his past controversial comments supporting the activities of terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Pantami had since renounced his radical pro-terrorists comments, saying he now knows better but Nigerians have been unsparing and relentless in the call for the resignation or sacking of the minister.

Oduala, who tweeted via @SavvyRinu on Thursday, urged the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to freeze Pantami’s accounts just as the apex bank swiftly froze the accounts of at least 20 #EndSARS promoters last year over terrorism-related allegations.

“Godwin Emefiele, when are you going to freeze the bank accounts of Isa Pantami?”

The PUNCH had reported that the apex bank through an ex parte order froze the accounts of Oduala and 19 other persons who played a role in the October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

The CBN had said the accounts were frozen because of the nature of the investigation which was terrorism-related but after about three months, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the apex bank to unfreeze the accounts of the 20 #EndSARS protesters.

Oduala, a leading voice during the #EndSARS protests last year, had pulled out of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing alleged killing of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate. She had faulted the decision of the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel to reopen the toll gate when justice hasn’t been served to the victims of the October 20, 2020 Lekki shootings.

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