Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 6th March, 2018.

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari appears to have finally bowed to the criticisms of his alleged uncaring response to crises across the country.
After the massacre of dozens in Taraba, the president visited the state only yesterday and is expected to also reach Benue, Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers states where hundreds of citizens have been murdered in recent months.

A statement from the presidency noted that Buhari, having studied a report by the armed forces and other security agencies, is embarking on the trip to assess the situation.

What the statement didn’t acknowledge, however, is the overwhelming pressure by enraged Nigerians who watched the president at the wedding in Kano State on Saturday of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s daughter and the son of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose described the visits as insincere, belated, and a ploy to boost the president’s chances of re-election ahead of next year’s polls.

In a statement by his spokesman, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said: “Obviously, the president is more concerned about his re-election in 2019 and his visit to those states he abandoned during their times of trouble is to seek votes, not to sympathise with the people on their loses.

“On January 9 and 12, this year, 88 victims of herdsmen attacks were given mass burial in Taraba State. Also, on January 11, 2018, another 73 persons killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Benue State were buried in a mass grave in Makurdi, the state capital.

“Meaning that in Taraba and Benue States alone, 161 Nigerians were given mass burial within three days! This never caught the attention of our president. Rather, it was a visit to Nasarawa, a neighbouring state to Benue that was important to him.”

Fayose accused Buhari of showing a lack of compassion for Nigerians. According to him, “While the entire nation, especially parents of the 110 abducted school girls in Dapchi, Yobe State, were still in anguish, Buhari went to Kano, last Saturday, to attend a social function, thus sparking negative reactions from Nigerians.”

He said: “Apparently, it was the negative reactions of Nigerians, especially on social media and the effects on the president’s re-election bid that necessitated his hurried visit to Taraba State today, and planned visits to Benue, Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers.”

The governor expressed hope that the people of Taraba would not be “hoodwinked” by the “cosmetic sympathy, show of concern and crocodile tears he never bothered to shed when hundreds of indigenes of the state were being killed by suspected herdsmen.”

He concluded: “Nigerians can no longer be deceived by a president who never cared for them when they needed him most. Therefore, no amount of hurriedly organised campaign visits will sway the people.”

According to Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, the wedding, which took place two days after Boko Haram killed UN aid workers in Rann, Borno State, portrays the insensitivity of Nigerian leaders.

He wondered why the two governors would stun the public with the pomp of their children’s wedding when the nation was still reeling from the horror of dozens of schoolgirls abducted in Yobe State.

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
The Federal Government is trying to cover a “huge fraud in the presidency by declaring it spends N24 billion monthly (N774 million per day) to subsidise fuel in the country,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged.
The party described the figure as “fictitious and cleverly fabricated to retire the already exposed stealing of trillions of naira by the presidency cabal and All Progressives Congress (APC) interests in secret oil deals.”

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement, yesterday, said: “It is duplicitous for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to claim a sudden surge in fuel purchase expenses at the same time the nation faced the harshest fuel shortage across the country, with Nigerians paying exorbitantly for the product.”

According to the PDP, “The APC-led presidency is drawing its deceptive proclivity and concealment of fraud too far. And to think that such is hatched in a sector that is under the direct supervision of President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources is most disheartening.

“This is the same presidency that claimed to have abolished fuel subsidy payments and even accused the immediate past administration of alleged corruption in its subsidy management. It is, therefore, strange that the same government can pull out unimaginable figures and claim it is the cost of subsidy enjoyed by Nigerians.”

The party further queried: “How come that with such humongous sums, Nigerians are still paying as high as N250 to N300 per litre on fuel in various parts of the country? We have since charged the Buhari-led presidency to come out clear on the administration of subsidy under its watch. The question is, why is the Federal Government cloaking the subsidy regime in secrecy, if not to conceal its duplicity?”

The PDP said: “Nigerians need to know who in the presidency approved the spending of the said N774 million per day as fuel subsidy and who the benefiting companies are. Is the subsidy captured in any appropriation instrument of the National Assembly? What is the cost of landing imported fuel to the depots and at what exchange rate? Where are the details of the subsidy payout and the negotiating options and contracts?

“In reeling out its figures, the presidency has forgotten that Nigerians are still waiting for its explanations on the leaked memo showing alleged corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC to the tune of N9 trillion ($25 billion dollars). The presidency has also refused to offer explanations on the alleged involvement of its officials in various sneaky oil subsidy deals and reported diversion of N1.1 trillion worth of crude, last year, to service APC interests.”

As if finally out with a solution to fuel importation and the attendant subsidy payments, the NNPC has said it is targeting the reduction of capital flight in procurement and cost of producing a barrel of crude oil.

Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, Group Managing Director (GMD) Maikanti Baru said the corporation is working smart to bring more money into the coffers of the federation.

“The more we bring down the cost of producing oil and gas, the more money we bring into the pockets of federal, state and local governments. We are driving the Nigerian content agenda to essentially bring down cost. We have brought down the cost of production of a barrel of oil to about $20. Our target is $15. And we will continue to march towards that,” Baru said.

The GMD, who was represented at the 2018 edition of Technology and Innovation Expo by Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Saidu Mohammed, disclosed that the corporation has domesticated engineering, procurement, construction and most of the major activities in the oil and gas industry.

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
The earlier ban placed on the promotion of Directors of Administration to their next levels has been lifted, the Head of Service (HOS) Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita has said.
Before now, the promotion of Directors of Administration to the next level was denied them while their professional colleagues got career progression promotions up to the Permanent Secretary posts before retirement, a situation that unfortunately has brought stagnation into the Federal Civil Service.
Oy-Ita however, revealed that subsequently, all applicants into the Administrative Officer position in the service must be computer literates if they must be considered for employment.

The Head of Service stated this in a message to the 2nd Edition of the Permanent Secretary Service Welfare Office Quarterly breakfast meeting with organized labour unions in Abuja.
She said: ‘’I particularly delighted to inform you that the issues of promotions for the batch of Directors in the Administrative Cadre has been finally resolved, the lifting of the court injunction on this issue also led to the conduct of examination for 2015-2017 batch of Directors in the same cadre.”

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
President George Weah of Liberia yesterday declared that Nigeria’s Super Eagles were not only going to Russia to represent Nigeria but the entire continent of Africa.
The Liberian President, ‎who spoke in an interview with the State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, also warned those in-charge of the Sports Ministry to refrain from tampering with monies meant for the welfare of players during tournaments.

He expressed dismay over the attitude of African leaders, who always complain when it comes to investing in sports, and thanked President Buhari for the qualification of Super Eagles to the World Cup.

He said he was amazed when he met the President of France, Emmanuel Macron who spoke passionately on his sports agenda and how he plans to build capacity through sports.

“I have been fighting for so long for my national team to qualify. Imagine, in the world best here in Africa, the only world best. And I said to President Macron, that FIFA built one stadium in Liberia and we have one Balloon d’Or, so if you build 10 stadia in Liberia, you will have 10 ballon d’Ors.

“I think Nigerian team is a model, we all followed them. I have played with great Nigerian players… I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria. 

But I hope that they will prepare very early because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible.”

He added that the event is not in going to the World Cup, adding, “I want every African government to know that if you win the World Cup it is a pride to Africa, it is not just to Nigeria, so we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed. We must make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them. 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Road users and traders at the Ladipo Spare-parts Market at Toyota bus-stop, on Oshodi-Apapa expressway in Mushin area of Lagos State have raised the alarm over burst pipe flooding the entry point into the market and causing a crater on the road. The spot has become a mini-pool and a place where commercial motorcyclists wash [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Against the backdrop of rising cases of child abuse in the country, a professor of Counseling Psychology at Covenant University, Prof. Abiodun Gesinde, has identified lack of parenting skills, poverty, alcohol and drug abuse as leading causes of child maltreatment in the country. Gesinde made the submission at the institution 13th inaugural lecture held at [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Tragedy was averted by providence on Sunday at the University of Benin as a professor of English and Literature, Tony Afejuku,escaped death by the whiskers when a tree fell and damaged part of his official residence at the Ugbowo campus of the university, Edo State. Afejuku said he was reading under the tree but [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
The operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State police command have arrested a father and his son for selling Tramadol and other hard drugs to primary and secondary school pupils in Itire area of Lagos State. The father, Ibrahim Sheu, 40 and Franku Ibrahim, 23, were arrested at the weekend after [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Tragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday when the driver of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the Idi-Iroko/Ogolonto area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, yesterday crushed a primary school pupil, Ezekiel Daniel, to death, severing the head off at Ogolonto bus-stop, on Ikorodu Road. The incident resulted in a chaotic traffic gridlock as sympathisers [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Amid efforts by the presidential panel on resolution of herdsmen-farmers clashes to end the killings in the land, the one involving the Fulani and the Mambilla ethnic group of Taraba State appears to have defied any known solution. The crisis, which began around 3:00p.m. last Thursday at Yerimaru village of Kakara town in Sardauna council [] 

Tue, 06 Mar 2018
In this interview, political activist, Chief Ayo Opadokun, who as a chieftain of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), was one of the compatriots that fought the military to a standstill to restore democratic rule in Nigeria, told Niyi Bello (Political Editor) and Seye Olumide, that a new battle to right the wrongs of military incursion in [] 
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