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News headlines for the 24th of February 2021

News headlines for the 24th of February 2021

  • There were strong indications on Tuesday that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum might opt for dialogue with bandits and people affected by their atrocities  to address insecurity in the country.
  • The Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, gave this indication when he led some members of the forum on a  solidarity visit to the Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, in Minna, the state capital.
  • Fayemi called for proper coordination among the security outfits, adding that the synergy was required for optimal result in ending the security challenges bedeviling the country.
  • He added that the time had come for the Federal Government to do the needful in addressing the security challenges.

Na’aba, Falana, Agbakoba, others set December date for people’s constitution

  • PROMINENT Nigerian civil rights activists working as members of the Constitution Drafting/Coordinating Committee of the People’s Constitutional Dialogue, initiated by the National Consultative Front, on Tuesday, said, a draft of the proposed people’s constitution would be ready by December 2021.
  • Members of the NCFront, who are driving the process include a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’aba, a prof. of Economics, Pat Utomi; prominent Nigerian lawyers and civil rights activists, Femi Falana (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba, and Mike Ozekhome Awolowo Dosumu and Hakeem Baba-Ahmed among others.
  • The NC Front said it inaugurated the initiative to save and rescue Nigeria from the precipice, nationwide insecurity and ethnic/civil anarchy.

Senate defies protest, confirms ex-service chiefs as envoys

  • The Senate, yesterday, confirmed the appointment of the immediate past service chiefs as ambassadors.
  • The appointees are former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique.
  • A petition urging the Senate to throw the nominations out because of Senate’s past votes of no confidence in the ex service chiefs over their failure to contain terrorism, banditry and kidnapping was ignored by the Upper Chamber.
  • Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that, having established thrice in the past that these former service chiefs were grossly incompetent in performance of their last assignments, the Senate would do a great disservice to its integrity if it cleared the nominees.
  •  Without waiting for Bulkachuwa’s response, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, interrupted proceedings and provided detailed explanations on why the Senate must confirm the nominees.

Gunmen kill three, kidnap nine women in Katsina

  • Gunmen have killed three persons, abducted nine women and injured many others in Sabuwa Council of Katsina State.
  • The bandits, who operated late Monday night into the early hours of yesterday, ransacked three communities of Mai Bakko, Kawarawa and Unguwar Bako.
  • The gunmen attacked Matazu Council in the wee hours of Tuesday and abducted Rabi Musawa, the mother-in-law of renowned business mogul, Dahiru Mangal.
  • In an operation that looked coordinated, a third group of gunmen on the same day, abducted Rabi’s son-in-law, Buhari Muntari, in Katsina town.
  • Both incidents came less than a week after gunmen abducted a 91-year-old traditional ruler along with about 20 women in two separate operations in the state.
  • Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Katsina command, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to confirm the incident.

FG passes new N10 trillion debt to unborn Nigerians

  • The Federal Government has disregarded the Central Bank of Nigeria Act (2007) as it moves to restructure its estimated $25.6 billion (an equivalent of N9.7 trillion) overdrafts with the monetary authority into a 30-year debt.
  • The amount, which sources said is unverifiable and could have been discounted following the high level of secrecy around the processes leading to the loans, consists of the existing short-term advances granted by the apex bank.
  • The increasing reliance on the Central Bank of Nigeria overdrafts has come with untoward macroeconomic instability, the IMF and Fitch said via separate reports issued recently.
  • But experts are also worried that the bigger devil is even several contingent liabilities of the Federal Government. For instance, the government is indebted to teachers, university lecturers and other public servants to the tune of several billions of naira.
  • So far, the converted CBN’s advances will expand the existing public debt liability by a staggering 30 per cent. Added to the existing debt, which stood at N32.2 trillion as of last June, the total public debt estimate would be N42 trillion.
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