Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Friday, 23rd April 2021
President Muhammadu Buhari has said he won’t sack the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his past comments in support of terrorist groups like Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Naija News reports that Buhari made this known in a statement on Thursday titled ‘Statement by the Presidency on recent campaign against the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,” released by his Special Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He said Pantami’s ordeal in the hands of those calling for his sack was not about his past utterances but about his current job as a minister.
Buhari backed Pantami’s explanation that he was young when he made those statements and that his position had since changed.
The National Economic Council (NEC) dismissed claims by Governor Godwin Obaseki that the federal government printed N60 billion to support allocation to states in March.
Naija News reports that Obaseki had claimed that the federal government had to print money to give states as of March 2021 disbursements of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The governor had insisted that Nigeria is in deep financial trouble, despite rebuttals from the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In a statement on Thursday, spokesman to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said the council countered the claims by the governor at its meeting on Thursday.
According to the statement, NEC received presentations from Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, and Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), during the meeting.
Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd) has accused selfish Nigerian elites of causing the country to bleed.
Speaking to State House correspondents on Thursday, the former military general lamented the negative effects ethno-religious agitators have had on national security in recent times.
According to Magashi, while incidents of domestic terrorism have reduced due to measures put in place by the government, other problems arising from intolerance have heightened.
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, on Thursday said some criminals are using the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network’s name to commit crime in the South-East.
Umahi stated this while speaking on Channels TV, on Thursday.
IPOB and ESN have been blamed for recent attacks on prisons and police stations in the south-east.
The group, however, denied attacking the police facilities.
Umahi in his statement said some criminals not affiliated with IPOB are using the group’s name to commit crime in the south-east.
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari to review Nigeria’s relationship with the UK over its decision to grant asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
National President of the AYCF, Yerima Shettima said if the UK goes ahead to give asylum to IPOB members whose organization has been proscribed and labelled a threat to Nigeria’s security, the UK government is also part of Nigeria’s problems.
He, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take a definite stand on the matter and not allow Nigeria’s sovereignty and security to be undermined.
Furthermore, he wondered if IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu are more important to the UK government than Nigeria as a country.
The Lagos State government has clarified that the recent approval given by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the partial operation of event centers doesn’t cover the activities of night clubs.
To this end, the government noted that nightclub operators are to keep their venues shut until further notice.
The State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile reiterated the order according to information obtained by Naija News from the official Twitter page of the Lagos State government on Thursday.
It will be recalled that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government about two weeks ago, eased restrictions placed on social gatherings and event centres to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to the statement, the Lagos government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres at 500 while social events can now have up to 200 people at a time.
Akinbile stated that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limit.
But the Commissioner clarified in Thursday’s statement that night clubs are not included in the eased restrictions.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday condemned the attack on a community in Zamfara State that saw residents of the community killed.
Buhari in his statement noted that lack of respect for human life will be brought to an end sooner than later.
The President who reacted to the attack said, “this insane and persistent violence against innocent people must stop”.
He added that “these criminals should stop pushing their luck too far by believing that the government lacks the capacity to crush them.”
Buhari called on security agencies in the country to work on all loose ends in their operations being exploited by criminals to wreak havoc.
He expressed hope the Special Operation launched by the military at 3:00am on Thursday from Maru Local Government area will prove decisive in ridding the state of the “frequent and horrifying “bandit activities.
Unknown gunmen have reportedly kidnapped at least 18 passengers in the Igbo-Ora area of Ibarapa, Oyo State.
The victims, who were passengers of an 18-seater bus from Abeokuta, were said to have been kidnapped between Igbo-Ora and Eruwa on Wednesday.
It was learned that the gunmen forcefully flagged down the bus at gunpoint and led all the 18 passengers in the bus into a standby vehicle, then to an unknown destination.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of 18 new justices recommended for the Court of Appeal.
Recall that the National Judicial Council (NJC) chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, had in March recommended the justices to the president for elevation.
In a letter addressed to NJC, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, disclosed that Buhari has given his approval.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has revealed why he dismissed a motion on the sack of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
During plenary on Thursday, Gbajabiamila said he denied the motion raised by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, for not following due process when he raised the matter.
He also said the matters of privilege under which the issue was raised are not subject to debate.
Earlier, Ahmed Jaha (APC – Borno state) drew the attention of his colleagues to reports claiming that the house blocked a motion on Pantami.