The Presidency on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari did not suffer any form of contraints in arriving at decisions leading to the smooth conduct of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s primary.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu emerged winner of the party’s primary conducted between June 8 and 9.
Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rivals, former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi who scored 316 votes and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who garnered 235 votes.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s media aide, who was reacting to mixed comments on the just concluded APC primaries in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the president had refused to impose a consensus candidate or act as an elected autocrat.
According to him, by this president’s stance, people’s faith and that of the international community in nation’s democracy had received a major boost since the completion of the APC nomination.
Shehu said: ”Luckily for Nigeria, President Buhari does not suffer from such constraints. He refuses to act as the elected autocrat.
”The President had a clear purpose leading up to the primary: to ensure a transparent, free and fair process that will bring back people’s faith in democracy by taking good governance up to the grassroots level.
”By this alone, people’s faith and that of the international community in our democracy has received a major boost since the completion of the APC nomination.
The presidential aide, who stated that the APC presidential flagbearer would be enjoying Buhari’s unwavering support, dismissed the speculative media reports arising from the conduct of the primary.
He said: ”When it is election season we all expect speculation to reach fever-pitch.
”The press pores over every word spoken, scours every photo taken, and reports every indication suggested, seeking signs of who is supporting who like private investigators – or fiction writers.
”There’s no greater intrigue for this kind of speculation-journalism than a party flagbearer primary.
”But it only comes around once every four years – or every eight following President Buhari’s second term. Therefore, the media must make the most of it.
”So, what a disappointment the All Progressives Congress (APC) party flagbearer primary must have been for those who assembled to witness a catastrophe?
”No intrigue, no division, no disagreement, no defeated candidates rejecting the result, no splits, no third-party runs.
”Only determination to rally around the chosen flagbearer to deliver victory and an APC third term in February 2023.”
Mr Jean-Claude Brou, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, has said that the community has resumed convergence to launch of the ECOWAS single currency “ECO” in 2027.
Brou made this known on Tuesday while delivering reports of the ECOWAS Commission before the ECOWAS Parliament during the ongoing 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Abuja.
Brou said that the process of launching the single currency was stalled following the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic from 2020, as countries needed to focus on handling the pandemic.
He explained that the convergence criteria had to be thorough so that the currency once implemented will serve the citizens effectively.
“We had to suspend that in 2022, 2021. We are looking at 2022 to 2026 to be able to create conditions that will enable us to stabilise the economies.
“And so, 2027 we go back to the currency. The process of the performance criteria is always prioritised if we want to be in a very favorable condition to introduce the single currency.
“Because you can introduce the currency but what is required is that it should be of quality.
“In other words, it should serve the needs of the population and also should inspire confidence and trust in in the population.
“So that is the main objective, to ensure that the convergence criteria is been followed,” Brou said.
Rep. Awaji Abiante, Member of the ECOWAS Parliament and Nigerian lawmaker representing Andoni- Federal Constituency of Rivers, said that the delay in the launch of the currency is to avoid any form of crisis.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of the session, Abiante said that the single currency is work in progress and there is hope that sometimes it will work.
“Every good thing comes with its challenges so getting the economies of the 15 member states to agree on that transaction and how it can be moved forward.
“If it is hurried, definitely it could run into crisis so it is good to have every aspect of it discussed, agreement reached, such that it will be implementable,” Abiante said.
On the sustainability and benefits of the currency, Abiante said that until it is implemented, one cannot say how viable it would be.
“Whatever anybody says, it is just going to be mere projections, it is only when it is implemented that you will see the benefits.
“But simply put, it will ease transactions, it will open up the economies, it will make it freeer for people to engage in both commercial and industrial activities,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in June 2019, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States and Government committed to having a single currency and adopted the name “ECO” during its Extraordinary Session in Abuja.
The currency was expected to be launched in 2020. (
Gov. Douye Diri, of Bayelsa, on Tuesday, tasked all stakeholders to play their roles to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the state.
The governor gave the charge at the inauguration of members of the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring at the State Judiciary Multi-Door Court Complex, in Yenagoa.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor was represented at the event by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Diri emphasised that there was a compelling and urgent need to do what he called ‘critical self-examination’ to get it right with the administration of the criminal justice system.
According to him, equity holds the key to a peaceful and virtually crime-free society, where no one is denied their rightful benefits and entitlements as law-abiding citizens.
The governor said that the lack of equity in the Nigerian society had over the years provided the breeding ground for the emergence of criminals and criminality in every part of the country.
“Let us talk more about equity because I believe most of the crimes being committed in our society is as a result of lack of equity.
“A man who is into oil bunkering feels that his country is producing the crude oil from his backyard and he is not getting a fair reward from it.
“And so, he feels that the only way for him to get the `national cake’ is to go for illegal refining. We arrest and criminalise them, but the question is, if there is equity, will he still go and break the pipelines?
“I’m not trying to be a lawyer or solicitor on their behalf, but I also think there is the need for equity.
“More often than not what we have done in our society is to put justice first instead of equity.
‘Equity is the bedrock of every system. Justice is a remedy for injury. But when we talk about equity, it means you are giving to me what is rightly due me,” he said.
Diri noted that the country had not fully attained its goals in the dispensation of justice because the justice system had been compromised.
He enjoined that the Police, the Correctional centres and the Judiciary should effectively play their constitutional roles to achieve seamless delivery of justice.
The governor, who made a case for mobile courts in the rural areas to handle criminal cases, further suggested that magistrates should make unscheduled visits to police stations in local government areas to examine files of detainees, some of whom are being illegally detained.
In her remarks, Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, explained that the need for the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law justified the inauguration of the committee in the state.
Abiri assured that the state’s judiciary as critical institution in the administration of criminal justice sector would continue to play its role to complement the work of the State Implementation Committee.
She noted that when the committee was operational, it would speed up criminal trials in the courts by cutting out most of the delays currently being experienced.
The Chairman of the Bayelsa State Administration of Criminal Justice Interim Monitoring Committee is the Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, while Senior Magistrate Mariam Pere and Mr. Charlie Ebinyon are to serve as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
Other members of the committee are the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN), the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, CP Ben Okolo and the state Comptroller of the Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr Seth Edoughotu are members.
Also in the committee are the Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yenagoa Branch, Mr Ukunbiriowei Saiyou; the State Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, Mr Eddy Inemo; representative of civil society, Mr Jim Dorgu; and the state Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Mr Eugene Baidom.
The Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), on Tuesday attributed the current scarcity of fuel on high cost of diesel for transporting fuel .Mr Benneth Okorie, the National President of NOGASA said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja.Okorie called for a slight increase in fuel price to tackle the challenges of scarcity, especially in AbujaAccording to him, the reason the nation is having scarcity of petroleum products in Abuja particularly is a result of the high cost of diesel.He explained that diesel as at today, was N850 per litre in the market, adding that the money being paid to transporters was not enough.“If you look at it at N850 ,and you are giving your driver N1,200 litres from Abuja to Lagos,if you plus and minis it ,you will find out that it is about N40 per litre .“So, if you add it to PMS, buying the deport price and selling here is too high if you bring it at N40 and you buy at N155 plus N40 which is 195, you now sell at N165, who will do that business? it is at a loss.“Even with the PEF, you will not get the product to Abuja, so the answer to your questions is the price of diesel is too high at N850 as at today in the market.“As far as I know, nothing for now to address this situation, the only way out, if you want to know is that they should increase the price of fuel a little to reduce the money spent on PMS subsidy.”Okorie said that the hike in diesel price was responsible for most activities because you use diesel to transport fuel to filling stations, it is used for businesses in Nigeria because of lack of light.He said that if the fuel price could be increased a little, although it would hurt Nigerians the challenge would be resolved because that was the only solution.“Increase the fuel price a little so that the savings will be enough for the Central Bank Bank (CBN) to have enough forex.“You and I know that everything now imports, the diesel is import and it is a full deregulation business.” So the importers are not getting dollars to import this diesel at the official rate of CBN.“So everybody is going to the black market to get dollars to import their diesel, so you expect the diesel to be high .”According to Okorie, if the rate of the user on that foreign exchange can be brought down, it will help other businessmen importing diesel to bring it at a low price.He said that other places like Lagos and Port Harcourt were not experiencing queues because of the presence of ports in those states.“You are talking about Lagos to Abuja and you are talking about Port Harcourt to Abuja and you are talking about Warri to Abuja so the cost of diesel for transporting the product is high.“Not just that, the roads are bad, the maintenance is too high, So you can not make any profit if you go round now you see 75 percent of filling stations in Nigeria are going out of business. “Okorie said that the government needed to do something fast otherwise desel would be sold between N1000 to N1500 in the next two weeks.He said that another way forward was to ensure that the refineries were working, adding ” I heard in the news that Dangote needs 1.1 billion dollars to complete the refinery before the end of the year.“I will advise that if all the banks can come together and assist him to get it done quickly ,this is the only remedy we have for now.” . Okorie called for urgent steps to address the situation before it affected salaries and businesses in Nigeria.He said that the landing cost of fuel is high and so the only solution remained fixing the refineries which was in the long term ,while the short term plan remained increase in fuel price .Source: NAN
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday announced that the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will meet on June 23 to determine if Monkeypox should be declared ‘Emergency of International Concern’.
The WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, that the Committee had been convened due to the spread of the Monkeypox virus to 32 non-endemic countries.
The experts will meet on June 23 to assess whether the continuing outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the highest level of global alert, which currently applies only to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
So far this year, more than 1,600 confirmed cases and almost 1,500 suspected cases of Monkeypox have been reported to WHO, across 39 countries – including seven countries where monkeypox has been detected for years, and 32 newly-affected nations.
At least 72 deaths have been reported from previously affected countries.
No deaths have been registered so far from the newly affected countries, but the agency is seeking to verify news reports of a related death in Brazil.
“The global outbreak of Monkeypox is clearly unusual and concerning,” Ghebreyesus said, calling to step up the response and international coordination.
Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO Deputy Director for Emergency Response, explained that the risk of spread in Europe is considered “high”, w hile in the rest of the world “moderate” and that there are still knowledge gaps regarding how the virus is being transmitted.
“We don’t want to wait until the situation is out of control,” he said.
WHO has published recommendations for governments regarding case detection and control.
WHO Smallpox expert, Dr Rosamund Lewis, said it was crucial to raise awareness in the population about the level of risk and explain the recommendations to avoid infecting close contacts and family members.
Lewis explained that, although the disease sometimes only produces mild symptoms, such as skin lesions, it can be contagious for two to four weeks.
“We know that it is very difficult for people to isolate themselves for so long, but it is very important to protect others. In most cases, people can self-isolate at home and there is no need to be in the hospital,” she added.
Monkeypox is transmitted through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms.
The rash, fluids and scabs are especially infectious. Clothing, bedding, towels, or objects such as eating utensils or dishes that have been contaminated with the virus can also infect others.
However, it is not clear whether people who do not have symptoms can spread the disease, the expert reiterated. (