Below are the headlines found on The Daily Trust Online Newspaper for today,  Tuesday, 27 February, 2017.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The military and the police in Yobe State are currently embroiled in recriminations over the events that led to the abduction of students from a boarding school.
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam two days ago said military withdrawal from Dapchi made it possible for Boko Haram insurgents to attack Government Girls Science  and Technical College and abduct 110 students.

The Army described the allegation as not only “unfortunate, but also very far from the truth.”
Col Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, in a statement yesterday said the Army handed the security of the town to the police when troops left to support another military formation that came under insurgents attack.
However, the police in Damaturu said the statement by the military “is not correct and untrue.”
The Army’s reaction yesterday first dwelt on its achievements in the counter insurgency war being waged under Operation Lafiya Dole.
The statement by Col Onyema Nwachukwu said: “Several communities and Local Governments that were hitherto under siege of the insurgents have been liberated and the insurgents pushed out. 
“While troops continue to trail and decimate the remnants of the insurgents in the hinterlands, the security of the liberated communities and towns fall in the hands of the sister security agencies. 
“The recent dislodgement and further decimation of the insurgents from their enclaves in the Sambisa and the Lake Chad Islands are testimonials to the effective operations of troops against the insurgents. “Additionally, troops are regularly conducting long range patrols, raids and ambushes to canalise and take out fleeing insurgents. 
“Given all these efforts, it is very astonishing and shocking that such unfortunate comment and allegation is been touted against the loyal and dedicated troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
 Contrary to the comments being circulated, troops earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed to reinforce troops at Kanama following attacks on troops’ location at the - Nigerien border. 
“This was on the premise that Dapchi has been relatively calm and peaceful and the security of Dapchi town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town. 
“Troops’ redeployment was therefore done in tandem with the exigencies of operation and not as misconstrued. 
It is thus obligatory, to state that the allegation reportedly attributed to the Governor of Yobe state is misleading and misinforming.  
“We reiterate our commitment and determination to carrying out our mandate to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the north east. 
“We also implore members of the public to continue to support us with credible information on the whereabouts of the Boko Haram terrorists. 
“We would also like to assure the parents, government and the good people of Yobe State and indeed members of the public that we will not rest on our oars in the search and rescue of the abducted school girls and any other persons held captive by the terrorists”. 
Military didn’t formally handover to us – Police
The Commissioner of Police Yobe State, Mr. Sumonu A. Abdulmaliki, however denied there was a formal handing over of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi.
Mr. Abdulmaliki in a signed stamen in Damaturu yesterday said: “It is not correct and untrue, as there was no time that the military informed the Police of their withdrawal consult or handed over their locations in Dapchi town to the Police. 
“The whole of Yobe State is still under Security Emergency which the Police, the Military and other security agencies are battling to ensure lasting peace. 
“Members of the public in Yobe State are implored to disregard and discountenance this claim that the Military formally handed the security of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police as untrue, unfounded and misleading.  
“The Yobe State Police Command will continue to cooperate with other security agencies in ensuring safety and protection of lives and property of people of Yobe State.” 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri recently freed by the Boko Haram have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to relocate them and give them new jobs.
They made the plea at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday when they were hosted by President Buhari.

They said going back home was still a nightmare following their experiences in captivity.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Dr Solomon Nicholas Yusuf said they appreciated everything done to ensure their freedom.
“Sir, from the university, it is a golden opportunity for us to see you and to share our fears and concern because we were abducted while working for the nation. 
“And right now going back home to us is still a nightmare because of our experiences. Sir, we have this golden plea with all due respect sir, if there is an opportunity for us to be relocated and maybe given another job, sir, this is our golden request. This is the only opportunity we have to share with you. But we appreciate everything done, the sacrifice you have given to us, thank you sir.
“We also want to appreciate the DSS, the Nigerian Armed Forces, and the entire team that worked together to make sure we regained our freedom. We appreciate their labour and love they have shown to us.
“We also want to appreciate Nigerians for praying. We were informed that the entire nation was praying for us and we were excited and we said oh God, what is this? This is love. Sir, we are grateful.”

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The 36 state chairmen of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have endorsed tenure extension for the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led National Working Committee (NWC).
The state party chairmen also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019. 

A communiqué signed by Chief Henry Ajomale, the Lagos State APC chairman, passed a vote of confidence on President Buhari, the party’s National Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun and other leaders for what they called numerous achievements despite challenges so far experienced in the country.
They said the decision was taken after a thorough appraisal of the APC government. 
The communiqué, issued by the Forum of APC State Chairmen after their meeting in Abuja yesterday, also backed the Senator Bola Tinubu led peace and reconciliation committee and urged the panel to expedite action in reconciling members of the party. 
The forum also called on all members of the party to give maximum support to the committee to achieve sustainable peace in the party. 
Part of the communiqué read, “The forum hereby also resolved as follows: In view of the short period between the time available for the proposed party congresses and INEC published time-table for conduct of party primaries and general elections, the forum resolved that the tenure of the present officers of the party at all levels be extended by 2 years to avert challenges in the party. 
“In view of the reasons as adduced above, and the fact that the present constitution as amended in 2014 has not been fully tested in the short life of the party, the forum resolved that the proposed amendment of the party constitution be suspended.” 
Today’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is expected to endorse the proposal of the state party chairmen, after its consideration last night by the national caucus of the ruling APC which met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It would be recalled that Daily Trust had earlier reported plans by APC leaders to extend the tenure of the current NWC.

PDP squandered $500bn in 16 years – Buhari
Buhari said the Peoples Democratic Party squandered $500 billion oil earnings in 16 years.
“Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity, in spite of having earned over US$500 billion from Oil & Gas alone, during the 16 years of PDP rule. Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office. 
“Therefore we must not be shy in projecting our tremendous achievements from 2015 to date. The territorial integrity of Nigeria is no longer under threat. A number of security challenges still exist, but they exist in even the most well policed and well secured countries. I am confident that the measures we are taking will tackle the acts of rural banditry, herdsmen/farmers conflicts, communal clashes, kidnappings and other crimes,” he said.
APC must brace up for tough challenges in 2019 – Oyegun
“I wish to note that the road so far has not been smooth sailing, but we have weathered the storm. We must brace ourselves to face and overcome challenges that will come our way this year, and they are going to be tough. Elections are generally very emotive,” he said. 
He said he fully supported the Asiwaju Peace Committee constituted to reconcile all aggrieved groups within the party and encouraged all members to support the committee.  
Our correspondent reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed were among top party members absent as of the time of filing this report (10:00pm).  
The meeting, which started at 8:00pm, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, state governors, members of National Working Committee, members of the National Assembly, members of National Executive Council, former governors, ministers among others.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, says the electoral body has no reason to change the current sequence of the 2019 general elections  released based on the provision of the existing laws.
Professor Yakubu, who said this yesterday in Abuja at a regular consultative meeting with the media, did not rule out the possibility of looking at the sequence of the election timetable if there was any compelling issue.

“On 9th January, we issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections based on our powers and extant laws and nothing has changed. There is a principle behind the choice of these dates- as our democracy matures, we should be moving from uncertainty to certainty.
“As far as the Commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna for now; we are working based on existing laws. But if something happens tomorrow, we will come out clear and tell Nigerians, but I think we are not operating based on conjectures,” he  said.
The INEC chairman, who reiterated the concern of the electoral body over what he called “monetization of the electoral process,” said the commission was already working with security agencies to stop the menace.
Professor Yakubu said INEC was optimistic about the conduct of free, fair and credible general elections in view of its continued engagement with critical stakeholders in the electoral process.
He said the commission had finished all the preparatory steps for the 2019 general elections, adding that practical steps had been taken to implement provisions of the Election Project Plan (EPP).
The INEC chairman said the commission was making efforts to ensure that voting process was easier for persons living with disabilities (PWDs), including pregnant and lactating women as well as the aged.
He ruled out the possibility of giving opportunities for underage voters in national elections conducted by the INEC, stressing that the electoral body would do “whatever it takes to clean up the voter register so that only those who are eligible are allowed to vote.”

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to chair the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting coming up on Tuesday ahead of the party´s National Convention slated for Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting will discuss national issues, the crisis within the party and take a decision on when its National Convention would hold.

The national convention usually provides an avenue for the party to ratify its policies and programmes; elect or remove members of its National Working Committee (NWC) and amend its constitution if need be among other things.

Source at the APC national secretariat said that the tenure of the present APC John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC will expire in June, adding that new members would be elected at the party’s national convention slated for July.

He said there were issues on whether the Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC should continue or be replaced.

NAN reports that APC has been unable to hold the mandatory bi-annual non-elective convention since 2014 as stipulated in its constitution.

The constitution makes it mandatory for the party to hold a bi-annual national convention to review party affairs and make necessary adjustments, where necessary.

Security operatives were seen around the APC National Secretariat carrying out surveillance around the premises ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party in Katsina today organised a one day retreat aimed at restrategising its operation towards reclaiming the state in 2019. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will not hold this Wednesday. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the eight-member in-house committee constituted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate reports of under-age voters in Kano State. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Osun State Government has resolved no fewer than 6,000 cases for Fulani herdsmen and crop farmers in the state from 2014 till date and ensured peaceful co-existence among them. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. 
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