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SERAP To FG: Stop Intimidating, Harassing Amnesty International Workers In Nigeria

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Federal Government to put an end to the harassment and intimidation against Amnesty International Office in Nigeria and its staff.

The advocacy group, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, said, “We condemn purported ‘ultimatum’ and threats of violence against Amnesty International in Nigeria by apparently pro-government groups and call on Nigerian authorities to act swiftly to end the harassment and intimidation against the group and ensure the safety and security of its staff.”

SERAP called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “speak out strongly against intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International Office in Nigeria and its staff.”

“We will hold authorities to account including through international legal action, if they fail to rein in these groups and stop increasing and apparently sponsored attacks, intimidation, harassment and threats against Amnesty International Office in Nigeria and its staff.

“Any failure to hold to account those who may be responsible for the threats will invariably increase the vulnerability of civil society in the country, and strengthen the perception that threats against NGOs and human rights workers can happen with impunity.”

SERAP called for an investigation to uncover those behind the harassment of AI and its staff.

It said, “Naming and shaming the sponsors and bringing them to justice will send a powerful message of protection and support to civil society groups who stand up to speak truth to power.”

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2023: Tinubu Visits Minna, Says IBB ‘Gave Me His Prayers’

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A presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu has visited Minna, the Niger State capital.

Addressing journalists on Thursday, Tinubu said he met with former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida who prayed for success for his presidential ambition.

The APC chieftain and former Lagos State Governor said his mission to the North-Central state was part of his consultations to brighten his chances of succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure will expire next year.

According to him, consultations were still ongoing and he wouldn’t stop seeking extensive consultations before the 2023 general elections.

“Generally, I came to Niger State to commiserate with the Governor and the people of Niger State. I can’t stop by without paying a courtesy call to the enigma General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Retired,” Tinubu said.

“So, he gave me his prayers. You want to know the outcome of the consultation? We are running a democracy, I took my decision voluntarily and I am running for the Presidency of the country, we are running a democracy, thank you very much and God bless you.

“When I made the declaration, I told you that I am still consulting and I will consult as widely as possible.”

Before visiting the former Head of State, he was at the Niger State Government House where he donated the sum of N50 million to families of victims of the recent killings by bandits on communities in Niger State this month alone.

Speaking with Governor Bello Abubakar, he decried the security situation in the country and said it can be fixed with prayers and self-belief.

He equally asked Nigerians not to see the nation’s security challenges as a hopeless situation.

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No Decision Yet On Petrol Subsidy, Says Obaseki

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The National Economic Council in Nigeria says deliberations on the issue of subsidy on premium motor spirit are ongoing and that no decision has been taken on it.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Southern Nigeria, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on Thursday after the meeting of the Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Obaseki says the NEC ad-hoc committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, has been working on the issue, but insisted that the Council has not taken a decision yet.

“The issue of subsidy has been one matter that NEC has deliberated on for more than a year now.

“There was an ad-hoc committee which was set up by NEC, headed by Gov. El-Rufai that included members of the executive arm of government that worked on recommendations as to what we should do about the cost of PMS locally because as has been told us the cost of pms in Nigeria today is about N162 for a litre whereas every other country surrounding Nigeria is selling the product at more than 100% of the cost in Nigeria.”

According to Obaseki, the huge amount Nigeria spends on subsidy could have been put on the provision of amenities in the country.

“The country as at last year spent in excess of—we must have the exact figures—but we must have spent almost N2trillion subsidizing petroleum products.

“That is money that could have gone into building roads; money that could have gone into healthcare and education.

“So, for NEC, the argument has been put out: should we continue this regime of spending money that we do not have to subsidize the living standard of mostly those who have vehicles.

“When NEC looked at some of the analysis last year, we then realized that less than 1/3 of the states in this country consume 2/3 of the subsidy.

“So the issue of equity also came up. All of these findings were presented to the NEC and NEC has had deliberations on still ongoing.

“So, NEC has not come up with any decision yet and I think has also been made to the president.”

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How I Narrowly Escaped Being Killed In Bomb Blast On Kawo Bridge, Buhari Narrates Ordeal

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he narrowly escaped being killed by a bomb near the Kawo bridge, while travelling to Katsina State in July 2014.

The president dropped the hint while he was commissioning the multi-billion naira project in Kaduna on Thursday.
Recall, the Kawo bridge had attracted many tourists to Kaduna since its completion.

The president had said, “they wanted to blow me. But my escort somehow stopped them. Before we came to this bridge they became so desperate and there was a small market or something like this here.

“They detonated the device. God protected us and here I am again. Thank you very much your Excellency and remarkably you became my governor. I don’t think I have any input. Zainab became my minister of finance. I didn’t know you’re from the gentleman I respect and go to his house. This is a fabulous coincidence and I thank God for it. Therefore I have taken your loyalty for granted.”

As part of the visit to Kaduna, President Buhari also commissioned the ultra-modern sports and shopping complex at Murtala Square Kaduna, where he reiterated the likelihood of staying in Kaduna after he leaves office.

Earlier, President Buhari who arrived in Kaduna on Wednesday was in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna where he appreciated the numerous projects he commissioned and thanked the governor for building good roads and other infrastructural projects in rural parts of the state.
Buhari and his entourage led by Governor El-Rufai are expected to be in Zaria in continuation of the project commissioning.

The president’s visit to Kaduna is expected to end on Friday.

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