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Climate Change: We Are Happy U.S. Is Fully Back On Board, Says Osinbajo

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Nigeria is glad that the United States of America is fully back on board the climate change global agenda, in a commendable restoration of the U.S. government’s support for the Paris Agreement.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this when he received a U.S. government delegation led by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr Jonathan Finer, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“We are happy that the U.S. is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on this issue,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by his media aide, Laolu Akande.

“I think one has to commend the drive that this U.S. administration has put behind climate change.”

Four years ago, the Trump administration announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation issues.

But on assumption to power earlier this year, the Joe Biden administration announced the restoration of America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.

Reiterating Nigeria’s position regarding a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy ahead of the Net-zero Emissions 2050 target, Osinbajo expressed Nigeria’s concerns on some issues.

“Among other things, (is) first about some of what has been going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries are insisting that gas projects should be defunded,” he said at the meeting held on Monday.

“This is a principal concern to us; it is one that we have made central to our advocacy and it is one of the issues that we intend to promote at the COP26.”

“We have done the costing for it and all of what is required to be able to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, what the implications would be, given the constraints there, and how realistic it would be to get to net-zero by 2050 or not,” he added.

According to Osinbajo, Nigeria is looking forward to participating in the democracy summit to be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden later this year.

He noted that “one of the things we have always spoken about is how to ensure that illicit financial flows are discouraged,” stressing that the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.

“Looking at what happened in the last few years, we have received quite a bit of support from the U.S. government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and we hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US.”

The Vice President further spoke about the security concerns in relation to the activities of ISWAP and ISIS.

He acknowledged the role of the global coalition to Defeat ISIS (D-ISIS) as a “very important initiative” sending the “right signals, especially in Iraq and Syria.”

“If you look at what is going on today in certain regions like the Lake Chad and the Sahel, it is very apparent that we need that kind of resolve in order to be able to deal with ISWAP and Boko Haram in Nigeria.”

On behalf of the Federal Government, Osinbajo thanked the U.S. government for donating over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.

Earlier in his address, Finer informed the Vice President of a potential partnership with Nigeria on a G-7 Infrastructure Programme – Build Back Better World, which the U.S. President has made a priority.

“It involves bringing together a range of funding sources, development finance, and private sector to work with key partner-countries to develop their infrastructure and fill the gap between infrastructure needs and the current state of infrastructure,” he explained.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the National Security Advisor, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard; and other senior government officials in Nigeria and U.S..

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ASUP Calls Off Warning Strike, Asks Members To Resume Monday

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has called off its two-week warning strike and asked members of the union to resume duties next month.

This was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the National Publicity Secretary of the union Abdullahi Yalwa.

“The two weeks definite strike of the Union will be rounding off on the 29th of May, 2022 as agreed by the emergency meeting of NEC.

“Consequently, the Union is requesting members to resume duties effective 30th of May, 2022 while hoping that government will take advantage of the window to address the 5 outstanding items,” he said in the statement.

“Further directives/ updates shall be released after the 103rd meeting of NEC which is scheduled to hold in the month of June 2022 during which the situation shall be reviewed.”

The union said the move followed “the significant inroads were made in four (4) of the items in our list of demands” which include payment of areas of the new minimum wage among others.

However, ASUP said there are four more outstanding issues yet to be addressed by the government. This includes the release of the approved N15Bn revitalization fund for the sector.

“This issue is still stuck in the Federal Ministry of Finance with a promise of follow-up action by the Education Ministry,” the statement added.

Others, the union’s statement noted, are the release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre; the release of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service; continued delay in the appointment of substantive Rectors for Federal Polytechnics in Mubi, Offa, and Kaduna, and the resolution of issues with members in Colleges of Agriculture.

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Buhari To African Leaders: We Must Allow People To Freely Choose Their Leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has advised African political leaders to respect the right of citizens to make their choices in elections.

President Buhari said that the right of people to vote and determine who leads them should not be treated lightly.

Speaking at a bilateral meeting with Lazarus Chakwera, the President of Malawi at the sideline of the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Friday, the President said to strengthen the democratic fabric and ensure smooth conduct of elections, “we must convince the people that we respect them, and this is by allowing them to choose whoever they want.”

He acknowledged that the path to democracy in African countries had not been a smooth one, recalling that he had been to the Supreme Court three times before he got to be President, adding “I had to openly disabuse the minds of our colleagues. We are a developing country, that we should not be demoralized.

“We have to go through these processes. We must trust these institutions to do what is right. Present the evidence. Don’t give up. Keep on pushing.”

The President explained that the merit of one’s case, not religion, or ethnicity or section will determine success in political endeavors, saying that his meritorious cases in court were thrown out by judges who more or less shared the same sentimental backgrounds with him.

He said, “So, I say go for merit. Don’t stand on ethnicity or such other divisive factors.”

Speaking on the relationship between Nigeria and Malawi, and that of the Southern African Sub-region in general, President Buhari said his predecessors in office, especially the late General Murtala Mohammed laid out the continental rule of engagement placing Southern African countries on Nigeria’s priority list.

According to him, “We are acutely aware of the problems of Southern African countries, more than most others,” said the President.

“Murtala virtually left the country to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, then, and faced up to Europe and America on the problems (of apartheid). He was very energetic and patriotic. We will continue on that path.”

President Buhari said he greatly valued his meeting with President Chakwera, giving assurances that he will pay attention to the issues brought to the meeting.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two countries were directed to take the matters forward.

President Chekwara described President Buhari as a statesman and a role model, saying that his country was willing to learn from Nigeria’s experience in agriculture, infrastructure development and in managing security and violent extremism, which, he said, were creeping into the South African sub-region.

He said while both countries were together in the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, his country’s wish was for a speedy trade relationship with Nigeria.

President Chekwara asked for convening of a meeting of technical experts to discuss trading pacts, Memoranda of Understanding and agreements.

“There is no way we won’t relate to the biggest economy in Africa. Our older brother should hold our hands and we walk together,” said the President.

Later, Carlos Vila Novo, the President of São Tomé and his spouse met President Buhari and the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

The Sao Tomean President got assurances that Nigeria will continue to play a brotherly role in the affairs of sister African countries.

The President also received in audience the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who came to thank him for honoring the invitation for the Extraordinary African Union Summit in his country.

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Dark Saturday As Police Confirm 31 Dead In Rivers Church Stampede

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The Rivers State Police Command has said a total of 31 persons died during a stampede at the venue of an outreach programme put together by a new generation church in Port Harcourt on Saturday morning.

The church, known as Kings Assembly, was said to have invited members of the public to partake in the event where gift items and food were promised to be shared to congregants.

The church is located in the GRA area of Port Harcourt, but the event was held at the Port Harcourt Polo Club, a bigger facility to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

The acting spokesperson for the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the 31 deaths, saying the church had organised the outreach to give out palliatives to the underprivileged in society before the unexpected occurred.

“It is 31 persons that died. It was a stampede because a church was trying to give out palliatives.

“They were about to start the event by 9am or so. But some persons went there and broke into the place and went inside.


“So people started rushing in and there was a stampede.

“From the information we have, the church was trying to gift items and food to assist the underprivileged.

“Meanwhile, investigation has commenced to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the incident,” Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, stated.

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