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Blame Buhari For Lagos Okada Ban – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday blamed the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), for the challenges Nigerians living and working in Lagos State are facing following the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (Keke Marwa) in the state.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement also said Buhari in 1985, terminated the initial Lagos metro rail line project started by the government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande to facilitate mass transportation within Lagos, as Nigeria’s commercial nerve center, and surrounding cities.

While sympathising with Nigerians over the ban, he stated that had Buhari not terminated that laudable project by the Lagos State Government, Lagosians would not be suffering the transportation infrastructure deficit they are faced with currently.

The PDP’s spokesman urged the Federal Government to apologise to Lagos State for terminating the metro rail line and take urgent steps to address the transport situation of the state.

He, however, said without prejudice to the reasons adduced by the Lagos State Government, alternatives ought to have been put in place before the ban.

He said, “By now, Lagos state would have been boasting of state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure and facilities with an associated economic boom like her peers in other parts of the world.

“It is saddening to note that not only did the termination of the initial metro line slowed down and almost crippled development in Lagos, Buhari’s current administration has also continued to fail to take conclusive step to address the transportation challenges in Lagos, despite outcries by Nigerians. Furthermore, leaders of Lagos state have consistently demanded a special status recognition for the state, expectedly, to ease infrastructural quagmire of the state.”

According to him, one would have expected that with the level of support Lagosian reportedly gave to Buhari in 2015 and 2019, he would have addressed the needs of the state as a commercial nerve center of the nation.

He said the All Progressives Congress, as a party, has allegedly failed in calling out the FG to address the infrastructure challenges in Lagos.

He stated that such an attitude toward the development of a city such as Lagos showed that the APC has no interest in the growth of the nation and the welfare of the citizens.

Ologbondiyan said, “However, without prejudice to the reasons adduced by the Lagos State Government, for us in the PDP, as a party, which has the interest and wellbeing of the people at heart; alternatives ought to have been put in place before this ban. Such an attitude to governance is the marked difference between our party and the APC.

“The PDP, therefore, counsels the government of Lagos State to immediately adopt alternatives to ease the suffering of the people as their welfare ought to be its primary focus of governance.

“The FG should also apologize to Lagos state for terminating the metro rail line and take urgent steps to address the transport situation of the state.”

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‘No Going Back On Our Nationwide Protest’, Says NLC Despite FG’s Suspension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal

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…As FG Proposes Extension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal By 18 Months, Seeks To Amend PIA

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to continue with its planned nationwide rally on Thursday, despite the announcement by the Federal Government that it would no longer remove the fuel subsidy for now.

NLC Deputy President, Joe Ajaero, during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, explained that the rally is aimed at sensitising Nigerians.

“NLC is still standing on its position,” he said on Tuesday. “The Federal Government didn’t say they have abolished it, they are postponing the evil day.

“What we are doing is sensitisation of Nigerians on this fuel subsidy removal or so-called increase in the pump price of petroleum products.”

The labour leader further explained the reasons for the sensitisation, claiming that the fuel subsidy removal was about inflicting more suffering on Nigerians.

“The NLC is sensitising Nigerians that this is not sustainable; that the idea of fuel subsidy is a hoax which they are using to inflict pains on Nigerians.

“So, our planned rally stands. On the 27th of January 2022, we rally nationwide, including the FCT,” he added.

Ajaero argued that the rally has become necessary to alert members of the NLC on perennial hike in the pump price of petrol and other refined petroleum products.

“We need to put our foot soldiers at alert on any eventual action on this issue of increase in the pump price of petroleum products from the current price to over N300 per litre,” he stressed.

The Federal Government had earlier announced the suspension of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had on Monday said the government had suspended the plan to remove fuel subsidy.

She explained that the government would make provisions for fuel subsidy beyond its initial June deadline in the 2022 budget.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is proposing to extend the period for the implementation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by 18 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.

He disclosed that the government has concluded plans to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.

“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was therefore expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.

“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.

“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.”

Sylva, who chairs the PIA Implementation Committee, stressed that the decision of the executive arm of government to seek an amendment of the law was not politically motivated.

Rather, he explained that such a move has become necessary to halt the potential suffering of the vulnerable in the society.

The minister believes other measures such as the Dangote refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery, and other modular refineries will have significantly come on stream by the end of the year.

According to him, the new PIA provides for unrestricted market pricing for PMS from the effective date.

Sylva, however, stated that the PIA also envisaged the potential for supply disruption with its resultant effect on the economy.

“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.

“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari, he stated, has assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

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JUST IN: Senate Passes Harmonised Electoral Bill With Direct, Indirect, Consensus Modes Of Primaries

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The Senate has passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The harmonised version is the final agreed version of the amendment on clause 84 between the Senate and House of Representatives.


Details later…

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Ekiti Gov: Don’t Hijack APC Primaries, Group Warns Fayemi

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The Ekiti State chapter of the Grassroots Movement for Change (GMC), has cautioned Governor Kayode Fayemi against using state apparatus to favour his “choice candidate”.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary will be held on Thursday ahead of the June 18 election.

A statement on Monday by the GMC, noted that any attempt to subvert the wish of the people will be resisted.

The Secretary, Ademola Ogunrombi, said Fayemi has enjoyed a relatively peaceful tenure and should not be involved in any act that might cause violence in the state.

The scribe demanded that the people be allowed to vote their choice candidate without any fear of manipulation.

“This election seeks to present a fresh candidate for the first time in a long time in our electoral history.

“For those who seek to enslave us by collecting money to mortgage our future, be warned that Ekiti is not like every other state.”

The group urged stakeholders to rise and ensure that the state does not drift into anarchy “due to the selfish interest of a microscopic few”.

The statement advised the APC national caretaker committee under the leadership of Governor Mai Buni to be fair and transparent during the primary.

Earlier, Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Femi Ojudu, advised the party to ensure a credible exercise in order to produce a formidable flagbearer.

Ojudu said he decided not to endorse any aspirant because he wants to be an unbiased umpire and a rallying point to settle differences that would emerge after the primary.

Meanwhile, a House of Representatives member and aspirant, Femi Bamisile, has warned that the APC will collapse if the party picks its candidate outside Ekiti South Senatorial District.

Bamisile commended the adoption of direct primary, saying it would remove the financial burden on contestants and tame manipulation of process.

The lawmaker stressed that the people of the South can no longer tolerate the “conspiracy” that has ostracised them from the political equation since 1999

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