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Buhari Seeks Senate’s Approval For Fresh $4bn, €710m Loans

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Despite public outcry over incessant borrowing by the current administration, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, asked the Senate to approve $4 billion and €710 million external loans.

The development was captured in a letter addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary.

According to the president, the proposed loan would be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD.

Buhari noted that the loan, if approved, would enable the Federal Government to fund critical infrastructural projects in different sectors across the country.

The letter reads: “I write on the above subject and submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2020 external rolling borrowing plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for the same to become effective.

“The distinguished Senate President may recall that we submitted a request on 2018-2020 borrowing plan for the approval of the Senate in May 2021.

“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as of June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed borrowing plan.

“The projects listed in the external borrowing plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD in the total sum of $4,054,476,863 and €710 million and grant components of $125 million.”

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Declare Bandits Terrorists, El-Rufai Tells FG

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has called on the Federal Government to proscribe bandits as terrorists.

El-Eufai said declaring bandits terrorists would help the Nigerian military “kill” them within the confines of international laws.

He made the call at the presentation of the Kaduna State Security Incidents Report for the Third Quarter of 2021 in Kaduna on Wednesday.

According to the governor, “We in the Kaduna State Government, have always aligned with the declaration of bandits as insurgents and terrorists.

“We have written letters to the Federal Government since 2017, asking for this declaration because it is the declaration that will allow the Nigerian military to attack and kill these bandits without any major consequences in international law.

“So, we support the resolution by the National Assembly and we are going to follow up with a letter of support, for the Federal Government to declare these bandits and insurgents as terrorists so that they will be fair game for our military. This is the view of the Kaduna State Government.”

Kaduna State has been one of those affected by the activities of banditry.

Students, religious leaders have been abducted and killed by bandits in the state.

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Ortom Asks Fulanis To Speak Out Against Foreign Invasion

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has asked Fulanis, indigenous in Nigeria to speak out against the invasion of communities in Nigeria by their kinsmen from foreign countries.

Governor Ortom spoke on Wednesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi when he received a delegation of Nasarawa State Traditional Rulers on behalf of the State Government on a condolence visit.

The delegation was led by the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Chindo.

The Nasarawa State Traditional council visited the state to condole Governor Ortom and the Benue State traditional council over the yet-to-be announced death of the Ochi’Doma, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa.

Governor Ortom explained that the Tiv people, Fulanis and other Nigerians had lived together peacefully until foreign Fulanis were allowed to move into the country unchecked to cause the current violence being witnessed in the country.

On the ranching law, Governor Ortom explained that the law is a win-win for herders and farmers as it prohibits open grazing and cattle rustling, stressing that the law does not spare any offender from prosecution, including natives.

The Governor expressed appreciation for the visit, stressing that as brothers, it was incumbent on them to sympathize or rejoice with one another when the time permits, the reason he attended the coronation of the Emir of Keffi, Dr Chindo.

Governor Ortom acknowledged his Nasarawa State counterpart, Engineer Abdullahi Sule for his efforts to ensure peace between people of the two states, saying the traditional institution also have a great role to play in that regard.

Leader of the delegation and Emir of Keffi, Dr Chindo, who also recalled his early days in Makurdi where he attended his primary education, presented a condolence letter to Governor Ortom from the Governor of Nasarawa State, saying the news of Och’Idoma was an unfortunate incident for Benue, Nasarawa and the entire country.

He expressed hope that the “conflict entrepreneurs who are benefitting from the farmer-herder crises will one day regret,” stressing that the Tiv and Fulanis were made by God and cannot separate.

The Emir also expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for personally attending his coronation and the support he gave for the occasion, even as he prayed God to guide him through his administration.

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EndSARS Anniversary: Release Arrested Protesters, Journalists Now, NBA Warns Police

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on security agencies to ensure the unconditional release of peaceful protesters and journalists arrested on Wednesday during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

NBA’s President, Olumide Akpata, in a statement, noted that the arrest of peaceful protesters and journalists on lawful duty showed that the country and its security agencies have not learnt from last years’ experience.

Akpata, who directed the NBA Human Rights Committee to immediately spring into action to ensure the protection of the rights of those arrested, frowned at the failure of the various governments to compensate victims of police brutality, whose petitions have been upheld by the various #EndSARS panels.
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Part of the statement reads: “It is regrettable that on the occasion of the anniversary of such a symbolic moment in our nation’s history, we do not appear to have learnt our lessons as symbolised by the arrest and detention of peaceful protesters exercising their fundamental human rights, and journalists going about their lawful duties at the Lekki Toll Plaza this morning.

“The NBA unequivocally calls for unconditional release of all peaceful protesters and journalists arrested today and hereby mandates the NBA Human Rights Committee to immediately spring into action to ensure the protection of their rights.

“I am, however, not under any illusion that the issues associated with police-citizen relations can be addressed by mere recommendations of quasi-judicial panels.

“A sustainable improvement in the quality of that relationship must consist of robust legislative intervention that addresses the structural problems of the Police Force itself as an institution, with particular concern to the welfare and discipline of the rank and file.

“It was in furtherance of this realisation, that the Nigerian Bar Association, is collaborating with the House of Representatives in its legislative response to the underlying issues.

“That intervention crystallised into a Bill repealing and re-enacting the Police Service Commission Act, which is due, now for Third Reading at the National Assembly.

“I am confident that the propositions in the draft Bill, when passed into Law, would achieve a significant landmark in the relationship between the citizens and the police.

“I want to conclude by honouring the memories of all those who have died due to police/SARS related brutality. In this regard, particular mention must be made of those who fell at the Lekki Toll Plaza on that fateful day.

“We are consoled by the fact that their ultimate sacrifice was not in vain. If anything, it has elicited a new national consciousness amongst the youths of Nigeria; one that would continue to be consolidated in the struggle for justice, equity, and fairness.

“They are the heroes of this hour. May their soul continue to rest in peace, and may their memory be a blessing to us.”

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