The Early Edition: Glancing The Major Headlines For 29th May, 2015

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VANGUARD

Unilorin Undergraduate Dies, As Teaching Hospital Workers’ Strike Persists

The ongoing strike in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, Ilorin, Kwara State, has led to the untimely death of a female student of the university, who was rushed there on emergency.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, recalled the sad incident at a meeting with journalists.

He explained that the female student was admitted in the university clinic for three days until there was the need to rush her to the teaching hospital, when her condition became critical.

Ambali said: “Unfortunately, when she was taken to the teaching hospital, there was no one to attend to her because they are on strike and by the time she was taken to another private hospital, which was not also in full operations, the lady had passed on.”

 

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VANGUARD

Foreign Reserves Rise To N29.6bn – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the nation’s foreign exchange reserves stood at to 29.61 billion dollars as at May 27.

This is contained in a posting on the bank’s website on Thursday.

The CBN said the figure was an increase of 0.3 per cent from 29.52 billion dollars recorded on April 27.

It said the 29.61 billion represented the ‘gross’ amount while 28.74 billion was ‘liquid’ while 875 million as ‘blocked’.

NAN reports that the CBN had in 2014 relied heavily on external reserves to support the Naira which came under pressure following a fall in the price of crude oil.

According to the CBN, the continuous pressure on the foreign exchange market is due to the rise in the internal demand for the dollar.

The price of crude at the international market now hovers between 62.39 and 65 dollar per barrel.

 

PUNCH

Power: Our Last Few Days Disastrous – Nebo

The immediate past Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has described as disastrous the power situation across the country, particularly toward the end of his tenure.

Nebo, who profusely lamented the spate of vandalism of gas pipelines and its impact on the power sector, stated that the recent industrial action by oil and gas workers worsened the situation.

Speaking at a send-off organised for him and the immediate Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, by the ministry in Abuja on Wednesday night, Nebo stressed that the situation was so bad that it almost crumbled the nation’s economy.

He stated that while the Federal Government was striving to address the issue of incessant vandalism of gas pipelines, little did it know that the sector would be thrown off-balance as a result of the strike by workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and its sister body, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Employees.

 

PUNCH

Audit Power Sector Privatization, NLC Advices Buhari

The Nigeria Labour Congress has urged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct a full audit of the privatisation process in the power sector.

The union observed that the privatisation of the sector, which was expected to improve electricity generation and distribution in the short-term, had achieved the exact opposite.

According to the NLC, the audit will reveal the problems causing incessant power failure and help tackle the challenges.

While highlighting the economic issues that required urgent attention by the new government, the President, NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, called for the development of an industrial policy that would revive sectors with high job creation potential such as iron and steel, textile and petrochemicals.

“The economy continues to grow without jobs, bringing benefits to only a few. We demand an economy that provides jobs and other benefits. Similarly, we demand a halt to the de-industrialisation process and the free fall of the naira,” Wabba stated.

 

PUNCH

I Didn’t Mismanage ECA, Okonjo-Iweala Replies Oshiomhole

The immediate past Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday said that contrary to allegations made by the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, that she mismanaged the Excess Crude Account, the economy had been well managed under her watch.

The governor had in an article on the nation’s economy in the last four years, alleged that Okonjo-Iweala ran the ECA as if she was running a one-man show.

Oshiomhole had noted that the minister’s recent outcry that oil marketers were falsifying subsidy claims might have been done out of fear of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “As the country transits from one democratic dispensation to another, there is no gainsaying that the state of the nation’s economy is the focal point, especially with the unending fuel scarcity, which is gradually grinding the nation to a halt.

“No doubt, the best person to explain the state of the economy today is Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, whose management of the nation’s resources in these past four years has elicited different reactions from Nigerians.

“Recently, Okonjo-Iweala has been all over the place pointing at the wrong directions and blaming everybody but herself for the parlous state of the Nigerian economy.”

 

PUNCH

Finally, NDLEA Ends Siege, Vacates Kashamu’s Residence

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has finally vacated the Lekki, Lagos residence of the Senator-elect for Ogun East Senatorial District, Mr. Buruji Kashamu.

The operatives left the area shortly before 8pm on Thursday.

The anti-narcotic agency had laid siege to the Ijebu-born politician’s house since Saturday in an attempt to facilitate his extradition to the United States over drug-trafficking offences.

The Director of Kashamu’s campaign organisation, Mr. Lekan Adekoya, confirmed the development to our correspondent on the telephone.

He said, “Yes. They have finally left. They left at 7.45pm.”

 

PUNCH

Fight Corruption, Don’t Sack Workers, NLC Tells Buhari

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to deal decisively with the problem of corruption in the country.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement on the agenda of the NLC for the President-elect on Thursday that decisive steps should be taken against the scourge of corruption for the sake of the survival of the country.

Wabba also called for a review of the nation’s foreign policy to refocus it more on the country and her relationship with her neighbours.

He also urged the incoming President to emphasise the place of reciprocity in the projection of the country and the protection of her citizens.

The NLC President also canvassed a drastic reduction of the cost of governance in the country which he said was unacceptable.

 

PUNCH

Blatter Defies Calls To Quit As FIFA President

Defying calls to quit, Sepp Blatter has confirmed his decision to seek a fifth term as the president of global football’s governing FIFA in Friday’s election.

Speaking at the opening of the FIFA Congress in Zurich on Thursday, Blatter called the scandal “unprecedented and difficult” but refused to step down despite being asked to do so by Michel Platini, President of European football’s governing body UEFA.

Blatter’s remarks were the first since the arrests of high-ranking FIFA officials for corruption and bribery on Wednesday in Zurich, with separate investigations launched in the US and Switzerland.

“The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this week’s congress,” Blatter said.

 

PUNCH

Plateau Police Deploy Special Forces For Inauguration

Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau on Wednesday held his administration’s last executive council meeting preparatory to handing over power to his successor, Mr. Simon Lalong.

The executive council meeting was held inside the chambers of the multi-billion naira new Government House at Little Rayfield.

Though what was discussed at the meeting was not made public, our correspondent gathered that finishing touches were being put the inauguration ceremony of the incoming administration.

Meanwhile, details have emerged as to why Jang might not be attending the inauguration of his successor.

Though his aides have said that it is not compulsory for him to attend since he has no constitutional role to play at the event, our correspondent gathered that the decision to stay away from the event was a fallout of an incident at the inaugural lecture organised by some friends of the governor-elect.

 

PUNCH

My Defeat, An Act Of God – Jonathan

Barely 24 hours to handing over power President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan has described his defeat at the 2015 general election as an act of God.

Jonathan also said he has accepted his defeat in the election in good faith.

Explaining that people might adduce different reasons for the loss, Jonathan maintained that he was more inclined to take the electoral loss as an act of God.

He spoke at a reception held in his honour by the Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, in Abuja, on Wednesday night.

The outgoing President said, “By this time, people are supposed to be running away from someone who has lost an election, but I am being celebrated by Daar Communications PLc.

He said, “For me, I have accepted in good faith whatever happened in the election. Even though some have argued that those I entrusted with my campaign disappointed me, I have no regrets for losing because in any political processes, there are all kinds of stories and conspiracies.

 

PUNCH

Investigate Ekiti Violence, Group Tells Buhari

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has been advised to probe the spate of violence and kidnappings in Ekiti State.

A statement by a group in Ekiti, Restoration Nigeria, on Thursday, said there was a need for a thorough investigation into the growing violence and kidnappings in the state.

The statement signed by the coordinator of the group, Raph Alabi, said it was unfortunate that Ekiti has “turned into the hotbed of impunity and violence in the South-West.”

Specifically, the statement condemned the political attacks by Governor Ayodele Fayose on the incoming President, calling on Buhari to sue the governor in order to get justice for the wrong impressions created by the attacks.

It said, “We implore the incoming President to sue Governor Fayose in order to set the records straight on the allegations of certificate and the source of funds for the anti-Buhari adverts placed in newspapers because Fayose has said he did not collect campaign money from President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Expressing concerns over the rampant incidence of violence and kidnappings in Ekiti, the group said the situation should be nipped in the bud before it degenerates.

The statement added, “We also implore the incoming President to beam light on the political and ethnic clashes in Ekiti. Ekiti has been traumatised lately. The state deserves to be freed from the shackles of bondage and brigandage.

“Ekiti had known peace and tranquility but today these virtues have become strangers in our state. We want our state to be governed along the path of honour, commitment, peace and integrity.”

 

LEADERSHIP

4 Students Gang-rape Female Colleague In Ondo

Ondo State Police Command has arrested four students of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, for allegedly gang-raping a female student of the institution.

The students (name withheld) who are from the Department of Business Education in the institution, allegedly had sexual intercourse forcefully with the victim one after the other, until the lady became unconscious.

LEADERSHIP gathered yesterday from police source that the suspects were arrested shortly after the crime was committed at Oka area of the town after a report had been made at the police station on the matter.

It was also gathered from the source that the victim, who resides outside the campus of the institution, was a girlfriend of one of the suspects.

The source explained further that, she was said to have followed her boyfriend to visit another friend of his, where four of them forcefully had canal knowledge of her.

 

LEADERSHIP

N360m Debt: Protesters, Policemen Clash At PDP Secretariat

Wadata House, which is the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, was yesterday thrown into confusion as angry police officers led by one Sergeant Reuben Onu and a staff of the party secretariat physically assaulted workers of Twinkles World Ltd. who were protesting against unpaid debts estimated at N360million.

The company disclosed that it handled the contract for the decoration of PDP presidential campaigns in all states of the federation in the last general elections.

During the protest, the managing director of the company, Mr. Tunde Agarawu and project coordinator, Mr. Awonaiya Olayemi, were physically assaulted and the MD was slapped by Sergeant Onu and an unidentified staff of PDP. Olayemi was also pelted with sands on his head by the same officer.

The police team later reinforced and came with many other police officers to scare away the protesting workers numbering over 30.

 

LEADERSHIP

3 Bomb Makers Nabbed In Gombe

The military yesterday disclosed that the cordon and search operation conducted by troops in Gombe has led to the arrest of three bomb-making experts.

The arrested persons are suspected to be members of the terrorist Boko Haram group in search of soft targets for attack after being dislodged from their strongholds in Sambisa Forest and other enclaves.

A statement issued and signed by its spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, said, “Items recovered from those apprehended include a tricycle and materials for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation.

“Cordon and search is continuing in certain localities and will be intensified along with mopping up operations in locations where offensive operations are being conducted.

The essence is to apprehend the terrorists who have been dislodged from their sanctuaries and are in search of escape routes or resorting to attacking soft targets.”

The statement advised members of the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious movement around them.

 

LEADERSHIP

College Expels 36 Students Over Falsified WAEC Results, Matriculates 1,500 In Asaba

The federal college of education (Technical) Asaba, Delta State, has expelled 36 students over alleged falsification of WAEC results, including other related acts and matriculated 1,500 others.

Provost of the college, Dr. Nwanze Ignatius Ezaem, said that out of 1,500 students that were matriculated, a total of 1,200 were NCE full time students, 160 part-time students while 110 were PDE full-time students, adding that 30 were part time students.

Dr. Ezoem disclosed that the 36 students expelled were found to have forged the WAEC school certificates to gain admission into the college, pointing out that the students were shown the way out instead of handing them over to the police while urging the matriculants to pursue their academic programmes with diligence. Dr. Ezoem said that if they desire to excel and graduate in flying colours, they must be prepared to burn the midnight candles.

He stressed the need for them to familiarize themselves with the students’ handbook of information which prescribes the extant rules and regulations of the college, maintaining that the college was widely acknowledged for zero tolerance for academic misconduct.

 

LEADERSHIP

Fuel Scarcity: Seal Stations Hoarding Fuel, Senate Tells DPR

As Nigerians continue to purchase petroleum products at high rates, the chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources investigating the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, Senator Magnus Abe, has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to seal any filling station hoarding the products.

This is just as he also assured that the long queues at filling stations across the country would soon disappear.

Speaking in Abuja in a chat with newsmen, the chairman said the committee has approached the Lagos State Government and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to allow tanker drivers lift petroleum products in compliance with the resolutions agreed with the Senate Joint Committee and stakeholders in the oil industry.

“I’m very confident that normalcy will soon be restored and I urge Nigerians to give the system a chance to correct itself. Those who have fuel do not necessarily need to go back to the filling stations to refill because there will be no more scarcity to be afraid of. People who do not need to should not buy fuel for their cars or in jerry cans to go and store at home because when you do that, you are contributing to the scarcity.

 

Henry Igwe

Henry Igwe

Copywriter. Sanguine. God understands me.

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