Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 14 February, 2018.

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Following an emergency meeting, yesterday, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Taraba, Kaduna, Benue and Zamfara States to curb bloody clashes between farmers and herdsmen. It also demanded the suspension of political structures and the appointment of administrators to run the states’ affairs until security is restored.

The Spokesman, Mallam Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who disclosed the group’s position on key national issues, warned that dire consequences await President Buhari and other public office holders particularly from the North in the 2019 polls, if they fail to take decisive steps to arrest the level of insecurity in the country.

The CNG asked the Federal Government to disband all militias by force if necessary, and vehemently rejected calls for the establishment of state police, arguing it would be a recipe for disaster and an oppressive and manipulative tool at the hands of governors.“We emphatically repudiate the vilification of one ethnic and religious group or the other for whatever reason or justification. In this light, we deem the targeting of the entire Fulani and by extension, Muslims, for vilification, systematic dehumanisation, profiling, alienation or any action that will render them objects of attack and persecution, not only immoral and illegal, but also abhorrent to our sensibilities and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable,” the coalition said.

The CNG said federal and state governments “must immediately identify suitable lands across the country and create grazing reserves and cattle routes.” But where “resistance is shown,” the lands must be “expropriated through resort to extant provisions of the Land Use Act and other related laws.”It demanded the establishment of a “National Policy on Grazing and Livestock Development,” to oversee the needs of pastoral communities across the country. It also demanded the “immediate setting up of a National Pastoralist Commission, to act on all matters affecting the wellbeing and interests of all citizens whose livelihoods depend on livestock rearing.”

Giving reason, the group argued that successive governments had put in place structures like the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission and the Niger Delta Development Commission “aimed at resolving a specific set of challenges affecting specific communities in the South.” Hence, there is “no justification whatsoever to resist or even question the creation of special initiatives to address the needs of herdsmen if these will lead to lasting peace and stability.”

The CNG pushed for “a Special Intervention Initiative” to be operated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministries of Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Water Resources, “for supporting special livestock development policies and the establishment of special funds to support pastoral communities along the lines of the Anchor Borrowers Programme and other types of Federal Government interventions.”

It warned “persons or groups that feel strongly against the politics and policies of Mr. President to direct their grievances at him or his government, as further attempts to rub political opposition on an entire race or religion would no longer be tolerated.”It pressed for the “immediate withdrawal of the quit orders separately issued to the Fulani in the South East by Ohanaeze, and to northern communities in Delta State by the state government.” It vowed South East governors and leaders “would be held responsible” if consequently any harm befalls northerners.

The coalition called on the Federal Government to proscribe “all religious groups, political parties or ethnic and tribal organisations undermining Nigeria’s peace, security, and peaceful coexistence through unguarded utterances and deliberate actions aimed at fomenting unrest and engendering inter-religious and inter-communal conflicts.”

It took a swipe against media organisations, accusing them of “slanted reporting of events with greater bias against a particular religious and ethnic group as witnessed in the herdsmen and farmers clashes recently.” It therefore asked the Federal Government to “call media operators to order in their reporting of all security situations.”It reminded the government of CNG’s “earlier patriotic advice for the enactment of appropriate laws to deal with all manifestations of hate speech from any quarter,” and gave “notice to instigators and perpetrators of all hate crimes that the CNG is ready and willing to take matters to the International Criminal Court for redress where local remedies could not be provided to the victims of such actions.”

The coalition asked the Federal Government to rethink its decision not to interfere with state laws on land. It said: “Contextually, we see this decision as a veiled affirmation of the injurious and vindictive anti-grazing laws that are not just in conflict with the supremacy of our Constitution, but also repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.”It condemned the blaming of the North for “everything that is wrong with Nigeria,” and warned that the region would no longer put up with “deliberate and sustained attacks on its unity, integrity and dignity.”

It also cautioned “detractors coming from outside the North to foment trouble and escalate tension among our people,” saying: “Their actions will not go unnoticed and in the fullness of time, they will be held accountable for their instigation to violence and killings of innocent people on both sides involved in the herders and farmers conflicts.”

The region’s “noble dispositions” must not be perceived as “weaknesses,” the CNG warned, because “the North is no longer going to turn the other cheek.” But “if the mutual respect and peace which have evaded us throughout this country’s independent existence cannot be achieved at this point, we would all be left with no choice but to support the suggestion for the conduct of a referendum so that each component can peacefully decide its fate.”

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Twenty-two secondary school pupils died in an accident yesterday between Maitama Sule College and Dudduru village in Gaya town, about 65 kilometers from Kano. The auto crash involved a truck and an 18-passenger bus conveying the pupils who were going on an excursion in Kano.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as Ibrahim Adamu, told The Guardian that the accident, which occurred around 11:00 a.m., involved 26 persons. He said the bus had a head-on collision with the truck conveying tomatoes while they were both trying to avoid a pothole.

The bodies of the dead pupils as well as those who were injured have been taken to Gaya General Hospital.“The bus which was coming from the other side towards Kano was on high speed on the road which is under construction. Perhaps the bus driver lost control and collided with the truck that was coming from the opposite direction. We counted 26 persons who died,” Adamu said.
The Guardian learnt that the pupils, who were on their way to visit a radio station in Kano, were coming from Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The Kano State Police Command confirmed the incident but faulted the casualty figure given by Adamu.

“The police are already attending to the situation. Let me officially inform you that 22 passengers died in the crash,” the spokesman of the police command, Magaji Musa Majia, said. He did not specify whether the victims included any teacher.

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar yesterday declared that if the country should practice federalism as enshrined in the nation’s constitution, it has to adopt state police to tackle its security challenges.
He told State House correspondents on the sideline of a dialogue on ethical values and national security organised by the presidency at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While giving reasons for his support for state police, he said it would engender true federalism.His words: “Nigeria is a federation. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for a federal system and in federal system, the federating units are all independent in their own spheres of influence.We copied the Constitution from the American Constitution and if you go to America you discover that there is County Police, there is State Police and then Federal Police.

If we are going to engender true federalism, that is probably the beginning of the process.”On the fears that state governors might abuse state police if it was eventually established, the governor said there would always be fears when new policies are being introduced.

“There will always be fears but we should not think in terms of individuals in Nigeria, that is our bane, we should think in terms of developing institutions.
“When we develop institutions and the plain truth, they take care of the indiscretions of individuals.”

On the meeting at the villa, he said, the leaders had to dialogue on ethics and integrity of service and the launching of a compendium on the life and times of Mr. President and the services he had rendered to the country from when he joined the army to date. “This compendium was conceived well before the consideration for 2019 elections. It is a factual compendium not politics.

“The dialogue is the first thing in addressing the nation’s problems, the need for us to forge unity, to consider the challenges confronting the nation without unnecessarily overheating the polity,” he added.

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Despite losing about 10 million customers in 2017, the last quarter of the year, however, showed that telecommunications operators’ growth performance actually leaped by 3.69 per cent.
The Guardian checks showed that the operators, the quartet of MTN, Globacom, Airtel, and 9Mobile, which had their growth contracted in the first three quarters of the year by negative 8.15 per cent; 6.15 per cent, and 2.22 per cent respectively, moved positively to 3.69 per cent in Q4.
According to statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN, whose growth went down by 5.25 per cent in Q3, resurrected with 5.25 per cent growth in the last quarter of 2017.  For Globacom, from 0.16 per cent loss in Q3, it bounced back to growth with 2.19 per cent in Q4.

India-owned Airtel happened to be the only operator that maintained a fairly stable growth, moving from 1.49 per cent in Q3 to 7.53 per cent in Q4. Apparently due to the challenge of losing majority shareholder over a protracted $1.2billion loan, 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat, has been on a steep fall from 4.54 percentage growth losses to 1.14 percentage losses in the last quarter of the year under review.
Further analysis of the statistics showed that Internet penetration increased marginally to 98.3 million in December 2017 against 94.8 million recorded in November, showing an increase of 3.57 million.Airtel, MTN, Globacom earned more Internet subscribers during the month in review, while 9Mobile Internet users dipped.
The Data breakdown revealed that MTN gained the most with 2, 642.666 new Internet users, raising its subscription in December to 36,069,697, from 33, 426, 931 in November. Airtel added 911,040 new Internet users in December amounting to 23,985,203 users against 23,074, 163 subscribers in November. Globacom also gained 87,538 new users in December as the figure recorded was 26,997,917 against 26,910,279 in November.In the period under review, 9Mobile however, unlike others, fell by 68,341 Internet users in December, slashing its subscription to 11,407,180.
Meanwhile, speaking from Singapore, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who hailed the new licensing of Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos), assured of them improving Nigeria’s broadband landscape.
Danbatta described the move as a key step to ensuring the deployment of infrastructure for the telecommunications sector.Speaking at a panel session of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), and Regional, Telecommunications and Media Forum in Singapore, Danbatta noted that the Commission had to develop innovative solutions to fast-track infrastructure deployment with a view to deepening the nation’s broadband penetration.

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Tuesday, released its 2018 list of priority pathogens that have the potential to cause a public health emergency and which have no, or insufficient, countermeasures. 

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Nigeria saw a significant reduction in the US imports of its crude in recent years, starting from 2012, following the shale oil production boom.The U.S. imported a total of 28.53 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in the third quarter of last year.... 

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Former Super Eagles Goalkeepers' Trainer, Ike Shorunmu has urged the national team manager, Gernot Rohr to give all the invited goalkeepers for the Russia 2018 World Cup preparations equal chance to prove their worth ahead of the world football showpiece. 

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Crude oil production may be affected if the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB),were to enforce full implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act. 

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
The Benue State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, says the command has arrested residents who sold out information leading to the recent attack on a patrol team at Ayilanmo in Logo council area of Benue State. The incident led to the death of three officers with one still missing. 

Wed, 14 Feb 2018
A High Court in Benin City yesterday jailed a bank official 14 years, for defrauding a customer of N20 million.The victim, Mrs. Gloria Ogbeide, was accused of defrauding ex-Governor Adams Oshiomhole's Special Adviser on Security, Mr. Mikano Kadiri and his wife. 
Naija Newspapers
Naija Newspapers

Naija Newspaper is a digital media distribution and review company focused on delivering Nigerian news across Nigerian audience. We are the biggest newspaper review company online; our value proposition is to be the all-in-one station for daily newspapers distributed in the country to various online audience. Our partnership includes and is not limited by the following Punch newspaper, Thisday online, Daily Sun Newspaper, Nigeria Tribune, BusinessDay, Leadershjip, Blue Print, Nigeria Guardian and Vanguard newspapers.