I thank God for sparing my life - Tinubu - OPID News

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Sunday, 10 October 2021

I thank God for sparing my life - Tinubu

Tinubu thanks God, says I am now hale and hearty  

Tinubu with Sanwo-Olu on his arrival in Nigeria on Friday night: Nigeria Diaspora for Aṣíwájú said its members are waiting for him to declare for 2023 presidency.

National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, thanked God for sparing his life, saying he is now hale and hearty.

Tinubu spoke at the State House, Marina at a welcome party on Sunday.

The governor said he was a little emotional and that he is happy to be back.

The former governor said God is the giver of life and that He is the only one who could take it.

According to him: “I am a little emotional but I am happy. God is the giver of life and he is the only one who can take it.

“If I have granted you life and the privilege and you live this life, I am the only one who can take it from you if you don’t use it in the way and manner that promote humanity in the goodness faith and I can give it to anybody that I want.

“He has spared us till today and has given us the privileged of the the day. I thank him. I cannot praise him better than any of and all of your voices, but I am standing before you hale, hearty and big.

“Thank you very much. It is just the day of joy for me, it is a day and we are here thanking God the Almighty… may God bless all of you, May he grant you your heart desires. I am grateful and I thank God Almighty.”

Speaking at the event, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu thanked Tinubu for returning from London and that Lagosians would have come in large number to welcome him if not that he wanted to manage the crowd and make his return low-key.

At the gathering were Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat; his wife Oluremi; former Lagos Deputy Governor, Mrs. Idiat Adebule; House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila; Lagos Speaker Mudashiru Obasa; Senator Olamilekan Solomon, among others.

NDLEA smashes 110 drug dealers in Lagos, Oyo, Kwara


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have raided drug joints in Lagos, Oyo, Kwara and other places and arrested 110 drug dealers.

NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday disclosed that in Lagos, notorious drug joints in Maza Maza, Alakija, Festac town, Amuwo Odofin, Oluti, Isheri roundabout, and Igando were raided on Thursday 7th October, 2021, when at least 16 suspects were arrested.

They include: Lucky Elibe; Abdullahi Jabir; Amos Kalli; Nweke ThankGod; Tukwosi Arowolu; Odinaka Oramu; Jeremiah Ishaya; Maxwell John; Usman Garba; Christian Okibe; Mba Peter; Sarah Offiri; Wasiu Adeniji; Bode Olaitan; Yetunde Ahmed; and Abdullahi Jibril.

He said seven others were equally arrested in different locations in Lekki area of the state.

They are: Emmanuel Sunday; Buhari Ibrahim; Kudus Taiwa; Samuel Jeremiah; Adebayo Adams; Joshua Madube and Mary Jane Nweke. While one Okoropo Mathew was arrested in Obalende area of the state, four others, Sulaiman Hammadu; Olalekan Abiodun; Lukman Kamarudeen and Toyeeb Isa were nabbed in Agege area of Lagos.

“No fewer than 17 suspects arrested by men of the 149 Battalion (Rear), Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ojo, were also transfered to the Agency for further investigation. Seized from the suspects are different quantities of Cocaine, Heroin, Tramadol, Methamphetamine, Diazepam, Cannabis and other psychoactive substances,” he added.

Babafemi said in Benue, the arrest of a 19-year-old female drug dealer, Mngunengen Achir with 5.5kg Cannabis and 112grams of Diazepam on Wednesday 6th October in Aliade area of the state took a disturbing twist when other members of her cartel abducted a retired NDLEA personnel from that community whom they assumed was still a serving officer, took him to a forest and demanded the release of the suspect in custody before their victim would be freed.

He added that the raid of the house of a drug kingpin in Ruga area of Mararaba, Karu LGA, in Nasarawa led to the recovery of 30 bags of cannabis weighing 362.5kg while in Akwa Ibom state, three male suspects were arrested on Wednesday 6th October during a raid of drug joints in Oron area with over 25 kilograms of drugs seized.

The NDLEA spokesman said in Ondo, a notorious drug dealer at Ogbani-Oja Okitipupa, Okitipupa LGA, Adedugba Adeyemi, a.k.a Oyinbo, was arrested in his fortified den, where different quantities of Cocaine, Heroin and Skunk were recovered.

“Seven other suspects were arrested in some drug joints in other parts of the state, including Shasha market, Akure North LG; Asolo camp, Usho, Owo LG; Albert Link Street, Finger Licking hotel and Shittu street, all in Akure, the state capital.

“In Kano, one Shamsuddeen Muhammad was arrested with 21.6kg cannabis, well concealed inside empty cartons, while in Oyo state, no fewer than 12 persons were arrested at drug joints raided and dismantled across the state. Some of the destroyed black spots include: Alfa area, Sabo motor park, Idisin Ijeru area, Odo Oba, Gambari in Oyo area; Igboro joint in Saki town, Agberele forest joint in Saki west LG; Ago Are market in Atisbo LG; Eleyele motorpark, Eleyele forest, Apete complex, Sabo garage, Ojoo, all in Ibadan as well as Odo Oba, Ogo Oluwa LGA.

“In Kwara, no fewer than 38 suspects were arrested and 29.585kg assorted drugs including Cocaine, Meth, Tramadol, Diazepam and others recovered from them across seven drug joints in Lafiagi. In Rivers, at least three persons were arrested from drug joints in Oyigbo and Kara oil mill area of the state on Saturday 9th October,” he disclosed.

In his reaction, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the nine state Commands for taking the battle to the doorsteps of the drug cartels within the communities and in the forests.

He said their contributions towards saving the lives of innocent youths; women and adults from the merchants of death would never be forgotten. He charged them and their colleagues in other commands to remain resilient as they continue with the offensive action against the narco-syndicates.

How Lagos police foiled okada riders' attempt to vandalize BRT


Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS have foiled attempt by okada riders to vandalise a BRT at Ile-Zik area, Mangoro, Lagos.

The RRS, in a statement on its Facebook page said the incident occurred around 7.00pm on Saturday.

The statement said an okada rider had run into a BRT and got knocked down, which led to other riders  regrouping to vandalise the bus.

“At about 7:50 p.m, today, along Cement – Ile-Zik, an Okada riders ran into a BRT bus while trying to manoeuver. In the process, the okada rider was knocked down.

”Other riders nearby mobilized to attack the BRT bus. For the swift response of RRS team, the BRT driver was rescued and the bus secured from being vandalized. The area is calm now.

”Meanwhile, our teams in Ketu and Mile 12 are intensifying patrol of the area and monitoring the traffic situation,” it said.

Lai Mohammed says banditry, terrorism in Northwest will be history in days

Lai Mohammed

Displaced terrorists in Nigeria’s north east who have relocated to the northwest, in league with bandits, will soon become history in a few days.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

He claimed the Federal Government is winning the war against terrorism in the North East Zone of the country.

” There is no doubt in our minds that the Federal Government is winning the war, very very much’’ he said.

The minister explained further that the fierce confrontation being faced by the terrorists in the North East had pushed them to the North western region to join forces with bandits.

He, however, gave an assurance that military onslaught would continue until total peace and stability were restored in all parts of the country.

“In some places, the activities of Boko Haram and bandits have dovetailed.

” This is because of the pummelling they are receiving from the military in the North East, they are moving toward parts of North Central.

” And here they are linking up with bandits, so there are some handshakes of some sorts.

“It is just like if you displace water, it will flow somewhere so that’s what is happening.

” But the military is aware of this and I can assure you that in the next few days; that also will be history.

” The military is doing its best and we are not giving up at all,’’ he added.

He recalled how some communities under full control of the insurgents before 2015 had been reclaimed by the Federal Government through what he described as relentless efforts of the military and other security forces.

The minister attributed the successes recorded to the various morale boosting efforts of the Federal Government in addition to acquisition of new military hardware.

The Federal Government has taken delivery of 10 Super Tucano fighter jets, with additional two expected by the end of October.

“There is no doubt about the fact that government is winning the war against the terrorists.

” A few years ago, when we came in in 2015; of the 20 local government areas in Borno, about 13 were under effective control of Boko Haram.

“On Dec. 5, 2015, we travelled to Bama, Konduga, Kaure and Maiduguri.

” The distance from Maiduguri to Bama is about 78 kilometres, but no single vehicle on the way. It was like a suicide mission.

” The week after we left, a commander was killed on the same route.

“When we got to Bama, of the over 6,000 houses in Bama; not one was standing. They have all been bombed by Boko Haram.

“Today, go to Bama and see for yourselves. And when we went in 2015, you couldn’t travel more than a few kilometres outside Maiduguri metropolis.

“So, there is no doubt in my mind that we are winning. And if is further evidence; thousands of insurgents that are surrendering speak volumes.

“We were in Maiduguri two weeks ago for another very successful town hall meeting where all stakeholders were in attendance like the traditional rulers, the military, police and CSOs.

” The governor confirmed that the heightened assaults and attacks by the military in the theatre had led to the surrender of many insurgents.

“And again, the military has recently acquired more platforms and these are making life difficult for the terrorists.

” That’s why any time they make attempt to come in, they are being repelled fiercely.

APC clears Plateau LG poll, PDP describes it as rape of democracy

The All Progressive Congress (APC) has cleared the Plateau local government councils poll, winning all the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

But, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described Saturday local government electoral exercise as appointments and rape of democracy.

Mr Fabian Ntung, Chairman, Plateau Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), who announced the result on Sunday in Jos, explained that APC won the entire 325 councillorship seats in the 17 LGAs.

The chairman stated that the commission was satisfied with how the election was conducted.

Ntung commended the electorate who ensured free and peaceful conduct of the poll.

The commission had barred the opposition PDP from the poll, following some internal crises.

The party challenged its exclusion at the High Court and Appeal Court, but lost at both levels.

Mr John Akans, Plateau PDP Publicity Secretary made the declaration on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen.

He said that what was done were not elections but selections and appointments of APC members.

Akans, also said that the party’s next line of action would be made known on Monday.


Jega not interested in 2023 presidency contest

Attahiru Jega

Professor Atahiru Jega, the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said he is not interested in contesting for the Nigerian presidency in 2023.

Jega said this on Saturday while speaking at a lecture organised by Kwara Visioners Network for Rural Development in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

There have been speculations that Jega may contest for the presidency at next general election after he joined in  the floating of Rescue Nigeria Project, a political movement which has some of Nigeria’s leading technocrats and politicians as members.

Jega is also a registered member of one of the 18 political parties recognized by INEC, Peoples Redemption Party, PRP.

But while speaking at the lecture with the topic ‘Politics, Governance and Leadership Recruitment In 21st Century Democracy,’ in Ilorin, Jega said he had not told anyone he wants to run for presidency in 2023.

“I have not told anybody that I have presidential ambition. These are speculations in the newspapers. It is true that I have registered as a member of a political party because I have decided no longer to do ‘siddon look’, and I have decided to contribute in any way possible to help develop a strong, political party that can be impactful, whether in the local level or in the state level, or at the national level,” Jega said.

“And I am devoting my life and my energy to be able to do that. When we are trying to build a party, first things first. We have to have the structure first. If people start with building a party today and deciding to become a candidate tomorrow, actually, you’re trying to destroy the basis of building the party, because everybody will have ambition.

“So there are times for everything. And I have no ambition. I know I’m a Muslim and I practise my religion and I have faith in God. I know that there is nothing that God cannot do. So, I leave what God can do to God. But I have no ambition, and I have never told anyone that I want to be president. But I want to contribute to bring positive changes to our politics and I can do it from my own little corner.

Buhari given 14-day deadline to reduce N26bn budget for travels, meals


President Muhammadu Buhari has been given 14 days ultimatum “to cut the N26 billion presidency budget for the construction of the presidential wing at the statehouse medical center, local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, ‘sitting allowance’, and ‘welfare package.’

The ultimatum was issued by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

SERAP urged the president to use some of the savings to address the growing level of deficit, as well as improve public healthcare facilities across the country.”

SERAP also urged him “to send to the National Assembly a fresh supplementary appropriation bill, which reflects the reduced proposed spending on the construction of the statehouse medical center, local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, and ‘welfare package’, for its approval.”

In the letter dated 9 October 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said:

“Many Nigerians will find it quite odd, unfair and unjust that the government is spending so much money on many of these items in the middle of a public borrowing crisis. The proposed spending could be better allocated to improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services.

“The government would continue to borrow to fund the country’s budget until there is a substantial cut to the cost of governance. The government should stop spending so much money on these items. Persistent borrowing is neither sustainable nor fair to the Nigerian people.”

According to SERAP: “Your government has a responsibility to ensure the interest of the well-being and prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens. The growing budget deficit and debt problems threaten Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services, and will hurt future generations if not urgently addressed.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP also urges you to publish details of spending on construction and repairs of the presidential wing at the medical center and office furniture and fittings since May 29, 2015.”

“The proposed spending figures highlight the lack of political will to cut the cost of governance, starting from the presidency. This spending is unsustainable, and would take away critical funding to provide access to quality healthcare and education.”

“This would leave the poorest and most vulnerable people without access to these essential public goods and services, and burden the next generation.”

“According to our information, for the Office of the President, you recently proposed in the 2022 appropriation bill to spend N24,835,805,231 for the construction of the presidential wing at the statehouse medical center, local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments.

“The construction of the presidential wing will cost N21,974,763,310. N2,309,066,788 is proposed to be spent on general travel and transport while N301,138,860 will be spent on foodstuff and catering materials supplies. N250,836,273 is proposed to be spent on refreshments, meals, honorarium, sitting allowance, publicity and advertisements.”

“For the Office of the Vice-President, N1,136,717,757 is proposed for local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, purchase of office furniture and fittings, and other expenses. The details are: N778,261,411 is proposed to be spent on general travel and transport.

“N168,210,826 is proposed for office stationeries/computer, consumables, printing of documents, uniforms and other clothing, food stuff and catering materials supplies. N2,350,626 is proposed for cooking gas and fuel cost.

“N99,795,229 is proposed to be spent on refreshments, meals, honorarium, sitting allowance, publicity and advertisements. N31,909,380 is proposed for computer software acquisition while N30,817,085 is proposed for the purchase of motor vehicles. N25,373,200 is proposed for the purchase of office furniture and fittings.

“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our requests.”

“SERAP is concerned that the huge spending is neither necessary nor in the public interest, especially in the face of the country’s dire economic position, the scant allocations to education and health, and the growing level of borrowing by your government to fund the 2022 budget.”

“Spending limited public funds on the construction of the presidential wing at the statehouse medical center, local and foreign travels, meals and refreshments, honorarium and sitting allowance, and welfare packages at a time the government is borrowing to fund the budget would undermine your government’s constitutional and fiduciary duties to ensure a responsible budget spending.

“The country’s fiscal situation must be changed – and changed quickly – through some combination of cuts in the areas highlighted above. Cutting waste and apparently unnecessary spending would go a long way in addressing the budget deficit and debt problems.”

“The recommended measures would also ensure that your government is spending the country’s maximum available resources to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights to basic needs of the poor and marginalized groups.”

JUST IN: Petroleum tanker drivers shelve tomorrow's strike

The National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Sunday said that the planned strike by its affiliate members, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), has been suspended.

The strike, which would have kicked off on Monday, disrupting fuel supply, was shelved because of the intervention by the Federal Government.

Mr Tayo Aboyeji, the South-West Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

According to Aboyeji, the suspension is to allow union’s representatives and that of government to address the knotty issues at stake.

“The leadership of the union after a brief meeting with representatives of government decided to suspend the strike in the interest of the nation.

“The meeting with the government continues during the week with the assurance that the union grievances will be positively addressed,” he said.

NUPENG said on Saturday that the tanker drivers would commence strike on Monday over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.

Aboyeji said the union has lost many lives and property due to bad roads.

“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied,” he said.

But today, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday appealed to the drivers to immediately shelve their planned strike in order not to further hurt the economy and Nigerians in general.

Mr Garba Deen, the NNPC spokesman, made the appeal in a statement in Abuja.

“While it is not the responsibility of the NNPC to build or rehabilitate roads, the national oil company reckons that any disruption in the distribution of petroleum products to different parts of Nigeria will adversely affect the business of the NNPC.

“It will also endanger energy security, which the country has enjoyed in recent times.

“In recognition of this, the NNPC wishes to assure the petroleum tanker drivers that in addition to the ongoing efforts by other agencies of government, the NNPC has initiated a process that will provide a quick and effective solution to the road network challenges as expressed by the PTD,’ he stated.

“We urge PTD to immediately call off the (planned) strike and give the current efforts by the government and its agencies a chance to solve the challenges in the interest of all.

“We also wish to strongly advise Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petroleum products as the NNPC has sufficient stock to last through this festive season and beyond,’ he said.

Gunmen storm Adamawa police station, kidnap two

A file photo of two armed men.

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have attacked Ngurore Police Station in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa, police authorities say.

They also attacked a house in the area, abducting a woman identified as Hauwa Umaru and her daughter in the early hours of Sunday.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Sulaiman Ngurore, confirmed the attack to Channels Television via a statement.

He said the gunmen stormed the station at about 2 a.m. on Sunday, but no casualty was recorded.

“The criminals separated into two groups; one attacked the police station to divert the attention of security operatives, while the other group attacked Alhaji Umaru’s house and kidnapped his wife, Hauwa Umaru, and her daughter,” he said.

“The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mohammed Barde, has ordered the deployment of the operational assets including Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Crack Squad and Anti-Kidnapping units to Ngurore.”

According to the police spokesman, the operational units were expected to carry out confidence-boosting patrols within the hotspots in coordinated operations to rescue the kidnapped victims and apprehend the culprits.

The commissioner assured that the command was committed to working with other patriotic stakeholders towards restoring public order in Ngurore and other parts of the state, he added. 

This is even as the Head of the Police Intervention Team, Babagana Abubakar, was already on the ground to coordinate police investigative operations and rescue responses.

The police authorities also asked residents of the state to go about their businesses in the most peaceful and law-abiding manner and report any suspicious person(s) around their neighborhoods to security agencies.

2023 Elections: APC, PDP have misled Nigeria for 21 years – Jega

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have led Nigeria astray for the past 21 years.

Speaking during a lecture organised by Kwara Visioners Network for Rural Development in Kwara State, Jega said the two dominant parties are becoming incapable of directing the country in the right way.

“The current two dominant parties – APC and the PDP – with their quality recruitment and leadership selection processes who have shared power and have tended to lead Nigeria astray in the past 21 years are becoming incapable of directing Nigerian political and governance processes in the right direction,” he said on Saturday.

“The dominant elites in these parties are self-centered, preventing the few good ones among them to be impactful. They are also fractious and quarrelsome and lacking even enlightened self-interest.”

According to the professor of Political Science, there is a need to create a special vehicle that can go into alliance and work together to free the country from the stranglehold of parochial and reckless politicians.

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