NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [27 February, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 27 February, 2018.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday night hosted the National Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the State House, Abuja, with a directive to the leadership of the ruling party to begin plans for various congresses of the party.

Buhari, who gave the directive against the backdrop of the 2019 election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), added that it was about time the party prepared for its ward, local government, state and national congresses.

He also advised the APC leaders to uphold what he described as the party’s culture of internal democracy in the conduct of the elections and urged them to ensure that they work together, irrespective of the outcome of the elections.

“Now that INEC has come out with the timetable for the elections in 2019, the party should prepare itself for congresses at a. Wards, b. Local Governments, c. States and d. Centre.
“We should strictly follow the constitution of the party in undertaking these party elections. We should ensure internal democracy and avoid shortcuts and illegal manoeuvres, which have characterised the opposition party with the consequences that they are now divided.

“The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party,” he said.

Buhari also thanked the party leaders and members for what he described as the successes achieved in the 2015 elections by “securing the majority of the state governors, a majority in the National Assembly and majorities in the state assemblies”.

According to him, the success was the output of unity of purpose exhibited by members of the party, which he said resulted in the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While thanking them for believing in him, he admonished them to adhere to the party’s constitution and reminded them of the state of the country before the advent of the APC government.

He also advised them to co-operate with the leader of the reconciliation team in the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, expressing optimism that violence by cattle herders would be brought under control.

He also said he was aware of the scathing criticism of his government, especially on board appointments.
“We must remember that this resounding success would not have been achieved without the unity of purpose we exhibited in challenging and defeating an incumbent government.

“Those outstanding successes would not have been possible without your hard work, dedication, and above all, sacrifice. I wish to individually and collectively thank you all sincerely for believing in me and remaining steadfast party members despite the distractions and antics of the opposition.

“The unity and success are needed now more than ever because the elections are looming.
“I must state at the outset that to succeed we must, in all our actions and decisions, follow strictly the constitution of our party. It is easy to forget that we succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement.

“Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms funds diversion, depleted Excess Crude Account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure, namely the railways, roads, electricity, in spite of having earned over US$500 billion from oil and 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.

“I now turn to the party differences in various states: to this end, I have appointed a committee, headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a leader of the party, to reconcile the differences in various states.
“We hope the committee will be given maximum support and co-operation to enable it to satisfactorily carry out its work and get the party united in purpose and in shape for the battles ahead.

“I am very much aware of opinions and criticism about the pace of government: in particular, the delay in appointments to boards of parastatals. Many boards have been inaugurated so far.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son, Mr. Yusuf Buhari, who was involved in a ghastly motorbike accident last December, returned to the country Monday after undergoing further treatment overseas.

Although it could not be ascertained where Yusuf had gone for treatment, THISDAY gathered that Yusuf, who arrived the country Monday night, was in a better shape and is expected to resume a normal life.

At the time of his accident, a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, had said Yusuf was allegedly drag racing with his friend, when the accident happened on December 26.
According to the statement, “Yusuf broke a limb and sustained an injury to the head as a result. He has undergone surgery at a clinic in Abuja. He is in a stable condition.”

He had first undergone successful emergency surgery at the Cedarcrest Hospitals, Abuja, carried out by a team of neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons.
As Yusuf’s health improved, he was transferred from the intensive care unit of the hospital to the ward, following which he was certified stable and discharged.

But sources in the presidency disclosed Monday that shortly after he was discharged from Cedarcrest, he departed the country quietly due to the sensitivity surrounding his treatment abroad.

When contacted Monday on his return, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, declined to comment on the issue.
Adesina, who sounded irritable, said: “The boy has a right to his private life. We can’t be talking about him and his movement.”

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
With Nigerians and the rest of the world still reeling over another major abduction of schoolgirls in the North-east, the Nigerian Army and the Police Force Monday engaged in a blame game over the abduction last week of the 110 girls from Government Science and Technical Girls’ College in Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents.

The army, in a statement issued Monday by the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col Onyema Nwachukwu, described the statement by the Yobe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Gaidam, who had accused the military of withdrawing the troops from the town one week before the girls were abducted, as not only unfortunate but far from the truth.

It further explained that the troops were withdrawn on the premise that Dapchi had been relatively calm and peaceful, and the security of the town was formally handed over to the Nigeria Police Division located in the town.

According to the army, “The attention of the headquarters Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, has been drawn to a statement credited to Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, the governor of Yobe State, currently circulating in the media, in which he reportedly alleged that the withdrawal of the military was responsible for the recent suspected Boko Haram attack and abduction of female students from Government Girls’ Science Technical College in Dapchi. This allegation is not only unfortunate but also very far from the truth

“Although this headquarters will not attempt to join in any blame game, it is very expedient to set the records straight for the benefit of posterity. In carrying out its mandate to counter terrorism and the insurgency in Northeastern Nigeria, Operation Lafiya Dole has been alive to its responsibilities vis-a-vis the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.

“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.”

The army said contrary to the governor’s comment, the troops earlier deployed in Dapchi were redeployed to reinforce troops at Kanama, following the attacks on troops’ location at the Nigerian-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 the 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 schoolgirls and any other persons held captive by the terrorists,” it added.

But in a swift riposte Monday, the Yobe Police Command dismissed the claims by the army that Dapchi town had been handed over to its division in the state.

A statement issued by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sumonu Abdulmaliki, the police said: “The attention of the Yobe State Police Command has been drawn to press statement from headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole subscribing 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’.
“The statement by the military of formal handing over of Dapchi town to the Nigeria Police Division in Dapchi 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 Police Command added that it would continue to co-operate with other security agencies in ensuring the safety and protection of lives and property of people of Yobe State.

Freed Lecturers Meet Buhari

But even as the military and the police shifted responsibility over the Dapchi kidnappings, three lecturers of the University of Maiduguri (Unimaid) and 10 other women met with President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in the State House, Abuja, 16 days after regaining their freedom from Boko Haram insurgents.
The lecturers were part of a surveillance team of oil explorers contracted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to search for crude oil in the Lake Chad Basin in Borno State, the epicentre of the insurgency.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
An unconfirmed number of people were reportedly killed and several houses set ablaze in Kasuwan Magani village, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State Monday, following a violent clash between Muslims and Christian youths in the community.

Another unspecified number of people were also said to have sustained injuries as the youth engaged each other with dangerous weapons.

There was no official confirmation on the casualties but unconfirmed reports said about 12 persons died during the clash, which was said to have occurred at about 10.30 a.m. Monday.

There were conflicting reasons for the cause of the outbreak in violence, with one version claiming that some Christian men went about beating Christian girls who were dating Muslim boys.
Another version claimed that a Christian girl was abducted and converted to Islam and taken to the residence of the Sarkin (Chief of) Kasuwan Magani.
In a phone interview with THISDAY, a resident of the area, Abubakar Aliyu, alleged that Christians don’t want Hausa (Muslim) boys to date their girls.

But a Christian youth also resident in the area who did not want his name in print, alleged that the Muslims were abducting Christian girls and converting them to Islam.
Sources said the problem has been a long-standing one in the community.
A source disclosed that recently a Christian girl was beaten by Christian boys, forcing her mother to report the matter to the police, but the police were chased away by other youths who were invited by the culprits.
Many residents, especially women and children, were said to have fled their homes Monday to safe areas as a result of the clash.

The community, which is about 31 kilometres away from Kaduna city, is located along the highway connecting Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States, as well as the southern part of Kaduna State.
Commuters plying that route were stranded for several hours following the incident.
Residents alleged that security personnel did not arrive until around 2 p.m. when a combined team of soldiers and police were deployed to tackle the situation.
As of press time, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aliyu Mukhtar, told THISDAY on the phone that the situation had been brought under control.

Aliyu said the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations had relocated to the area.
“We got a distress call in the morning that there was tension in Kasuwan Magani. The Assistant Commissioner of Police is already there as I am talking to you with his men.

“Mobile policemen have been deployed to the place. So the situation has been brought under control.
“I cannot give details about the cause of the problem now until investigations are concluded.
“We are yet to obtain the number of casualties but we are on top of the situation,” Mukhtar said.

Also moving to arrest the situation, the Kaduna State Government Monday directed the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the violence and bring them to justice.
The government, in a statement by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman for Governor Nasir el-Rufai, condemned the wanton destruction of lives and property.
“The Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has directed the prosecution of all persons responsible for the Monday mayhem that occurred in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government Area,” the statement said.
Aruwan added that the security agencies must investigate the unfortunate incident, arrest and make available for prosecution the perpetrators.
Tue, 27 Feb 2018
TUESDAY WITH REUBEN ABATI BY REUBEN ABATI Karma is a bitch. Poetic justice is a bastard. Both have combined to wrong-foot the incumbent Buhari administration to make it look like a big mistake and an act of misjudgment by the Nigerian electorate. If Buhari had been disallowed from taking power in 2015, and those who [] 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Vows to weed out underage voters before 2019 elections Confirms dates for Ekiti, Osun polls Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday said until the existing laws regulating the conduct of elections in the country are amended, the arrangement of the elections as earlier [] 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Tobi Soniyi in Lagos The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked Tony Ojukwu to assume office as the acting Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in contravention of the civil service rules and the Act that established the commission. Some staff of the [] 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The presidency Monday denied allegations that it had conceived fresh plans to reintroduce onshore/offshore dichotomy in the sharing of crude oil revenue among littoral states with the aim of depriving such states their derivation under the revenue sharing formula. States delineated as littoral states include: Akwa lbom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and [] 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Obinna Chima A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has identified healing, a decisive war against poverty and restoration of the country's place in the world, as pressing needs the nation requires. Moghalu, who recently declared his intention to contest for the president in 2019, said this during [] 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Gboyega Akinsanmi Two and half months after he presented the 2018 appropriation bill before the House of Assembly, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday signed the bill into law with a plan to rake in N897 billion internally generated revenue (IGR). Ambode equally assented to the state Transport Sector Law, 2018, and Teaching [] 
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