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Youths Defy Wike’s Directive Continue #EndSARS Protests In Port Harcourt

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Lagos Secures Release Of At Least 107 Arrested #EndSARS Protesters

..Barricade Iwo Road In Ibadan

Youths on Tuesday continued their protest against police brutality and extortion in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

This is despite the ban on protests throughout the state by Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Monday.

But the protesters lamented that youths cannot continue to be killed without them protesting.

Our correspondent learnt that they converged opposite Pleasure Park Port Harcourt around 08.45am to resume the protest.

While some of the protesters were seen with placards, others chanted “EndSARS”, “We are tired of dying”, and “Protest is our right” among others.

“We are protesting against people that are killing us and you are asking to stay at home, how come? We are harassed and treated like criminals every day,” one of the protesters said.

A policeman at the scene of the protest appealed to the youths to be peaceful.

Meanwhile, EndSARS protesters shutdown the Iwo road in Ibadan on Tuesday morning.

There is now massive gridlock around the area as the protesters hit the road to resume demonstrations against police brutality despite the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday afternoon, announced the disbandment of the police unit after days of online and offline protests.

But the protesters want the authorities to carry out psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they are redeployed.

They want police officers to stand down and let people carry out their constitutional rights during protest.

They also demanded justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

The protesters also called for increased salaries for police officers and the establishment of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct within few days.

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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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