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Nothing will stop us from impeaching Buhari – Aggrieved Lawmakers

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The opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly have said there is no going back on their resolve to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari if he fails to address the insecurity in the country within six weeks.

The lawmakers in separate interviews dismissed a report that they had backed down on the plan to remove the President after the expiration of the six-week ultimatum handed down on July 27.

The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had come under ferocious assaults by terrorists who launched separate attacks on troops and the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre.

The militant attacked the Presidential Guards Brigade troops at Bwari-Kubwa road, Abuja, killing a captain, lieutenant and six soldiers while others sustained injuries.

They also attacked a checkpoint at Zuma rock, a few kilometers from the nation’s capital.

An attack by the Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists on the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, Abuja, resulted in the release of 69 Boko Haram commanders and hundreds of felons on July 5. This happened 24 hours after suspected terrorists attacked the president’s advance team in Katsina.

Following these developments and the impeachment threat against the President by the opposition lawmakers, the National Assembly leadership expressed fears over the worsening insecurity in the country.

The  President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, thereafter, summoned the security chiefs to a marathon meeting where he described the security situation as frightening.

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The various House Committees on Security similarly met with the security chiefs on the matter.

Speaking to the People’s Democratic Party Senator representing Osun East senatorial district, Francis Fadahunsi, said it was not true that the opposition were retreating on their move to impeach the President.

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According to him, it is a unanimous decision and nothing different has been communicated to them.

When asked if the senators had backtracked on their impeachment plans, he said, “Who said so? Who are the opposition (lawmakers) that met? You did an interview with Senator Gershom Bassey who said that we meant what we said. Those people saying such are not feeling fine.

“Even northern senators are in support of the impeachment; you heard Senator Clifford (Ordia) from Edo, Senator Bulkachuwa (Mohammed) and the rest. So, who are those that told them so?’’

The Osun senator hinted that the lawmakers would remove the Senate President from office in advancement of the moves against Buhari, adding that he had been a victim of the grave insecurity in the country.

Vowing never to back down, Fadahunsi insisted that his voice would not be silenced by anyone.

He added, “Bulkachuwa had earlier moved the motion but the Senate President shot him down because we were not around. Very soon, we will push him out of the place instead of dying one after the other and keeping silent.

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FG blames opposition for food crisis, uncovers 32 smuggling routes

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FG uncovers 32 routes for smuggling food out of Nigeria

The Federal Government has blamed opposition elements for the food crisis currently ravaging the country.

This came as the government disclosed it had uncovered fresh 32 smuggling routes being used to take food items out of the country.

The Federal Government, however, described the current economic challenges as the handiwork of “forces that are hell-bent on…plunging this country into a state of anarchy.”

It blamed those who failed to clinch power in the last election for remaining in “political mode” and are now working against the country’s interest.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja during the inaugural Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, said, “Forces are hell bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy. Those who could not get into power through the ballot box instead of them to wait till 2027, they are so desperate. If this country can fall apart, as far as they’re concerned, so be it. We are going to resist them.”

Since assuming office nine months ago, the Tinubu administration said it had removed long-standing subsidies on petrol to save the government monies for infrastructural expansion.

However, reports by the International Monetary Fund said the government had secretly reintroduced subsidies to stem an uncontrollable rise in cost of living.

He also unified the foreign exchange rates, moves that have sparked collateral instability in the value of the Naira and heaped hardship on Nigerians as food prices continue to soar.

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However, the President insisted that the country was on a recovery path, refuting claims from governors elected on Peoples Democratic Party who likened Nigeria’s situation to Venezuela.

“We are on the path to redemption. Wherever Nigeria goes, it is worth repeating: that’s where Africa goes…We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the phase of governance.

“Sadly, some of our countrymen are still in the political mode. They are the practitioners of violence advocating that they are Nigerian, that our own country, our one and only Nigeria should go to Venezuela way.

“Some are agitating that we should go the Lebanon way. But Nigeria is greater than any one of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm,” Tinubu said.

SEE ALSO:  ‘There is hunger in the land’: Atiku knocks Tinubu over policies

The President cited the recent interception of 45 trucks of maize bound for a neighbouring country, urging Nigerians to unite against forces bent on undermining the nation.

Tinubu said, “Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to a neighboring country. In that Ilella axis, they’re 32 illegal smuggling routes and the moment those goods were intercepted, the price of maize fell by N10,000.

“It came down from N60,000 to N50,000 as the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security is here.

“So there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation. But this is a time for us to coalesce into a single force and rally around our President, our government and each other. We have the resources. We have the intellect. We have the capacity to turn the corner.”

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At the conference themed Championing Nigeria’s Economic Prosperity, Tinubu hinted at plans to create millions of jobs by unlocking the value of Nigeria’s vast public assets with a view to optimising and doubling the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

According to him, with economic revitalisation as its top priority, the Federal Government has a target of raising at least $10bn in order to increase foreign exchange liquidity that will, in turn, stabilise the naira.

“After coming on board, our revenue for sharing in FAAC was N1.9tn. In order not to overheat the polity and economy, we had warehouse N1tn and shared N900bn. We are not altogether in a very terrible bad shape.

“Yes. There is an FX challenge, in which all hands are on deck to see that we weather the storm. As I said, we know the consequences of unveiling the masquerade,” he added.

Tinubu highlighted a low-hanging fruit of identifying, consolidating and maximising returns on government-owned assets worth trillions of naira.

He explained, “The Federal Government set a goal to raise at least $10bn in order to increase foreign exchange liquidity, a key ingredient to stabilise the Naira and grow the economy.

“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential.

“This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next eight years.”

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However, he noted that decades of mismanagement and underutilisation have plagued the country’s assets spread across Nigeria and outside the borders, leading to revenue losses that have hindered economic growth.

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He assured Nigerians that the newly restructured Ministry of Finance Incorporated, which is to act as custodian and active manager of these assets, will now take the centre stage.

Emphasising transparency and accountability as fundamental principles for attracting alternative investment capital, he noted that these improved returns would be directed towards “crucial funding for education, healthcare, housing, power, roads and other areas vital to lifting millions out of poverty” and stimulating sustainable economic development and job creation for the youths.

Tinubu stressed that this initiative transcends revenue generation to create inclusive and sustainable growth. By efficiently managing public resources, the government aims to build a more equitable society and unlock the full potential of its citizens, he added.

Therefore, he called on all stakeholders, including Ministries, Development Financial Institutions, and both public and private sector players, to partner with MOFI in optimising these strategic assets, expressing hope that the collaborative effort will unlock Nigeria’s full potential and create a brighter future for all citizens.

Earlier, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, said President Tinubu was mindful of the pains of his administration’s reform programmes and is deploying appropriate mechanisms to address the challenges.

He affirmed that while 42,000 metric tons of assorted grains are being released with 60,000 metric tons to follow shortly, as part of measures to arrest food inflation, food prices would drop in the coming months as a result of government actions and policies.

On his part, Chairman of the MOFI Board, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, guaranteed that MOFI will, going forward, play a more active role in the management of assets under its purview, even as he urged operators of the assets to see MOFI as partners rather than competitors or regulators.

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In a similar vein, the Chief Executive Officer of MOFI, Dr Armstrong Takang, announced the launch of a N100bn Project Preparation Fund by MOFI as part of its renewed mandate of ensuring professionalism in the management of public assets.

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He said the overall objective is to deliver commercial value for the common good of the people, assuring that the company will transform the fortunes of public assets under its purview and restore investor confidence in both the operations and management of the assets.

Also, present at the meeting were the Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Bassey Otu; Senate Committee Chairman on Finance, Sen. Sani Musa; Ministers of Agriculture, Sen. Abubakar Kyari; Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu; Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, and the CEO of Heirs Holding, Mr Tony Elumelu, among others.

Opposition kicks

Reacting, Chief Spokesman for Labour Party Campaign Organisation, Yunusa Tanko, described the statement from the presidency as ‘very hypocritical.’

Tanko stated that it was shameful of the current administration to be seeking for people to blame for the manner they allegedly mismanaged the economy.

He said, “Is it not shameful for them to be looking for people to blame? This government said they have the solution to all the problems including how to make the economy work. How can critics and opposition like us mastermind inflation or cause economic hardship in the country? After all, we are not controlling any government’s apparatus. Isn’t it laughable? We don’t even have all the indices to control this economy. They used their hands to destroy the economy because they were not prepared.

“During Buhari era, the petrol price was N145 per litre. But the day President Bola Tinubu took over the office, he immediately announced the removal of fuel subsidy and that was what skyrocketed the prices of commodities in the market. Was he not the one who also said he wanted a single line of foreign exchange?

“They should blame themselves and quit the office if they know they are incapable of performing. Why should they still be telling Nigerians to be patient after eight months in office? We are talking about a government that promised the people palliative of N25,000, increase in salary of civil servants, invest in agricultural produce and youth empowerment. They have failed to fulfill any of their promises. So why should Nigerians believe and be patient with them again?”

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FG seeks $10bn to stabilise exchange rate as naira tumbles

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The Nigerian Federal Government is planning to raise $10bn to improve liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

On Tuesday, the naira fell to an all-time low of 1,850 per dollar at the parallel market.
President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, disclosed this at the inaugural Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Finance Incorporated organised the event with the theme “Championing Nigeria’s Economic Prosperity”.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Communications, Stanley Nkwocha explained, “The Federal Government set a goal to raise at least $10bn in order to increase foreign exchange liquidity, a key ingredient to stabilise the naira and grow the economy.

“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential. This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next 8 years.”

The President further emphasised transparency and accountability as key principles, believing that improved corporate governance, innovative partnerships, and attracting alternative investment capital would significantly increase returns.

He noted that these improved returns will then be directed towards “crucial funding for education, healthcare, housing, power, roads and other areas vital to lifting millions out of poverty and stimulating sustainable economic development and job creation for the youth”.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that exchange rate volatility continued across the country on Tuesday despite the heavy presence of security personnel at the Wuse Zone 4 currency market in Abuja.

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Currency traders in Abuja quoted the buying price of the dollar at 1,820/$ and the selling price at 1,850/$, leaving a profit margin of 30.

SEE ALSO:  Police nab wanted FCT kidnap kingpin

A bureau de change operator, Ibrahim Taura, predicted that the rates might reach an all-time low of 2,000/$ if proper measures were not put in place.

“The police filled everywhere in the market today but that still didn’t change everything. Today’s rate finished at 1,850/$ and I will buy it at that rate right now because there is demand,” he stated.

Another operator said he could only buy at the rate of 1,700/$, adding that the market was not suitable for good business.

However, the naira appreciated by 1.48 per cent to 1,551/$ at the official market, following an improved forex turnover of $117.32m.

This came after the local weakened for three consecutive days at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange.

The country has been battling with a lingering forex shortage due to a decline in oil production and foreign inflows.

According to data from FMDQ Securities, a platform that oversees foreign exchange trading in Nigeria, the local currency hit an intra-day trading high of 1,701/$ and a low of N1,100 before closing at N1,551/$ on Tuesday.

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In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria floated the naira after unifying all segments of the forex market, which has resulted in significant devaluation of the local currency

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Land tussle: Ideani PG accused of sending armed men against family, forces workers out of construction site

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Ideani President General, Chief Paul Okoye.

…keeps blind eye on 43 years unpaid N215m accumulated debt

By Chuks Collins, Awka,

The fragile peace in Ideani community, Idemili North Council area of Anambra State is now under serious threat by the actions of the President General, Chief Paul Okoye.

Okoye, according to eye witnesses had sent thugs and armed vigilantes to chase away and stop the land owners from access to the land known as Ana Ezi Orji(aka offia Iyiogu)located at Nsokwe village, overlooking the Abatete-Ideani Highway, which they are currently fencing before Okoye’s men struck.

The visibly angry land owners in their reaction vide a press statement backed by series of letters between them and the Ideani Development Union (IDU)/Eze-in-Council that traversed forty-three(43) years period in an attempt to get a valid formal agreement between the two parties expressed their dismay at Okoye.

According to the statement, the Nwankwo Okpala/Nwolisa family of Nsokwe village noted that “regarding the open, unnecessary challenge by some hired thugs and village urchins who claimed to have been sent the PG over our Family land (Ana Ezi Orji) situate at Nsokwe village, Ideani overlooking the Ideani-Abatete Highway, we have been pressed to the wall. This has given rise to huge misinformation, youthful exuberance and intimidation of our family by the President General of Ideani Community, Chief Paul Okoye, his sponsors/godfathers and other faceless individuals.

“With due respect, we need to raise some very germaine issues staring Ideani in the face that have apparently not caught the attention of the PG and his puppeteers.

It’s on record that he has never made any conscious attempt to reach us(the family, our consultants and or representatives)in relation to the Ana Ezi Orji where a failed attempt by the Ideani community was made in the past to lease to build a Post Office more than four decades ago. The project, we believe failed due to lack of funds, and political will on the part of the Community. So after so many years of inaction we foreclosed any further foot dragging, discussion or negotiation on the matter. We communicated all these in writing years ago to them. It’s our view that what could not happen in the past forty-three years would not likely happen now.

Consequently, Ideani community which held unto our land since 1981(43 years) having displayed clear lack of interest/will, as well as the financial muscle to see the project through, cannot in any stretched of imagination suddenly wake up from her prolonged slumber to lay claim to the land where no contract ever existed.

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We are in good conscience making this matter public to enable all real and imagined interested persons, real or imagined friends and foes to come out open, or forever keep quiet in the interest of peace and good neighborliness.

“We will no longer tolerate any further interference, trespass or distractions by anyone or group of persons on the said land, as we have chosen to develop same, beginning with erecting walls round it.

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We hereby alert all citizens to stay away from the land and to stop disturbing, threatening or harassing our workers in any way. Also, those currently sent to plant charms, fetish objects, omu, signposts, etc by anyone should in their own interest stop such forthwith and keep off.

“We caution that Security agencies have been duly briefed accordingly as we have resolved to proceed with the development of the entire land area. And any unauthorized person/s seen in or loitering around that parcel of land will surely be arrested forthwith.

“The President General and his puppeteers should note that the aborted post office project was conceived to be sited in only a marked portion of about 10% area of the land. So, assuming without conceding that there was a claim, was that enough reason to prevent us access to the entire land area? Right from when we moved back into the land and started farming on it why hasn’t the PG and or his goons said anything, until we begin to effect its walling.

“Again has the community leadership under the headship of the PG approached the Nwankwo Okpala/Nwolisa family over the land formally or informally other than these intimidation antics?

“Was the PG properly briefed on the land/project?
Is the PG operating on mere hearsays and or beer palour gossips?

Is he acting on impulse, or out to achieve a lasting peace, show the world his bulging muscles and chest or to satisfy his godfathers.

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“It’s wise and advisably so to disabuse the minds of those seeing our dear PG as a mere puppet.

“In conclusion, the Nwankwo Okpala/Nwolisa family is very peaceful and is ready to cooperate with you and the Ideani Community to bring development, progress to Ideani, especially whenever you are on the right track.

“That was the reason we considered about four decades ago to give out a portion of one of our choicest property for the public cause so far the agreement was beneficial, in the first place.

“It is true that most of those flexing muscles today were just toddlers or we’re not born when we started delving into issues of public good. It is therefore early in the day; let’s sheath our swords and retrace our steps and allow all sleeping dogs lie.

“The land in question, or the contentious portion belongs to us, and no written or oral agreement or any binding contract was ever perfected or entered into between us and anyone over it.

Those who contacted the Federal agency (NIPOST) were seen and treated as mere meddlesome interlopers. Because no such ceding of land ever existed or took place when there was no title documents to do so. As none was ever signed by anyone because negotiation had continued seemingly ad infinitum for more than forty years, consequent upon which we ordered the community out of the land, in writing!

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“It was an incontrovertible fact that no response or reaction was received from the community for our letters of Aug 24,1988; February 22,1990; March 8,2003; August 3,2007 or March 5,2018.

How can anyone reasonably describe this bodylanguage other than nonchalant and irresponsible. So how can such organization suddenly wake up now and expect to be taken serious.

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Investigation by journalists revealed that none out of more than six topical letters including copy of the drafted agreement which encapsulated and articulated the points agreed to between them was ratified or returned to the Family.

But according to the land owners, they are requesting for a total sum of Two hundred and five million Naira (N205m) from the PG/Ideani community, being accumulated cost of the proposed annual ground rent for the forty-three years they held unto the land and denied us access or use. There were other items including- training of members of the family up to university levels; giving of employment to all willing and qualified members of the family.

The community had in one letter to the family copiously expressed her sadness in keeping the land for more than forty years without perfecting the handover/transfer of ownership process due to lack of matching funds and administrative will.

Chief Charles Nwolisa who jointly signed the statement along with Godfrey Nwankwo Okpala on behalf of the family led by their lawyer and other Consultants showed copies of letters written to the community these past years.

From the tone of a letter from the community, it was in response to one of the letters from the family which made them set up a Lands Committee. It was this committee, according to its chairman that recommended handing off the land and returning it back to the family, especially where the proposed Post Office project had gone out of fashion, in view of the emergence of information communication technology (ICT).

More so when the community failed to live up to any of the proposed terms and obligation, even if just in principle.

So, notwithstanding the unfortunate crass display of lack of information and arrogance of power by those who sponsored the PG to power, “.. we have in summary tried to educate the public, the PG and his pupetteers on the raw truth they intensionally chose to ignore.

“We also urge those indulging in this unfolding infantile busybody concerning the judgement on the land to approach the High Court of Justice at Ogidi for a copy to avoid any unpleasant consequences.

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“We may not have the luxury of going into all these details again.. “, the family added.

Opinions from the community’s eight villages were in favor of the family, to do whatever pleases them with their land.

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One of the elder statesman and leaders in the community, Chief Eugene Agwubilo in an interaction with journalists at his Nsokwe village country home, Ideani, disclosed that “the parcel of land in question belongs to the Nwolisa family.

“I will volunteer on oath that as a kid, we often go hunting in that place. It was then called ‘ofia Iyiogu’ and was inhabited by one of Nwolisah’s son called Iyiogu. He died a leper, without a wife or child.

“The late Iyiogu’s property was consequently inherited by other Nwolisah offsprings today. It’s their land”.

Chief Agwubilo, a very strong, articulate and agile nonagenarian added that, “I also learnt that someone at a time was laying claim to the land. That is not possible! Except the issue was about the correct boundary demarcation, else it’s incontestable that the piece of land duly belong to Nwolisa family. I am willing and ready to testify to this anywhere”, Chief Agwubilo noted.

In addition, he pointed out that he had personally in the past urged the family to move back into the land since efforts by the community leadership to use a portion of it for the proposed post office, if they enter into an agreement with them to use it. That he was therefore surprised to hear about the ongoing rumpus currently arising from moves by the family to sell or enter into a joint commercial venture with an investor on the land.

But Okoye, (PG) alongside his Secretary reacted with a written two-page letter claiming “the land is Ideani Community Post Office land”

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They warned those encroaching on the land or vandalizing property on it to desist.

At the last weekend executive meeting when journalists besieged the civic center to hear from him or what the community would say about the matter, Okoye said it will wait till next meeting.

Another elderstatesman from Uruechem village, Ideani who appealed for anonymity, who was among the leadership of Ideani in the hey days of the late Igwe Humphrey Okoye noted that, “any person claiming or assuming that the community was given the land in any way should ask himself how? There was no formal or informal agreement executed between the community and the family. Anything seen that went on then on the land was manipulatively done in order to railroad the family into succumbing willy nilly. But they were vehement that no further development should take place until the proposed agreement was perfected and executed. Little wonder no signpost was planted on the land to announce “Site for proposed Ideani Post Office”.

“No such signpost was made or mounted because no such site was acquired by anyone. They know the consequences of placing same, the Nwolisah family would have readily removed it.”

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