NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [8th February, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Thursday8th February, 2018

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
In a major response to the incessant killing of farmers by armed herders as well as other violent crimes, including kidnapping and cattle rustling, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, wednesday ordered the deployment of troops in Benue State and five others, stretching across the North-west, North-east and North-central regions of the country.

Code-named Operation Ayem Akpatuma, the troops, according to Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Army, Major General David Ahmadu, are under strict instructions to stamp out acts of criminality in Benue, Kogi, Niger, Kaduna, Taraba and some parts of Adamawa.

“Exercise Ayem Akpatuma has become more expedient due to the upsurge in cases of armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Kaduna and Niger States as well as other sundry crimes in Kogi State and herdsmen/farmers clashes and attacks on innocent members of our communities particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States by armed militias,” Ahmadu told news reporters in Abuja yesterday.

He said the Army had to intervene in the internal security operations because the civil security outfits had been overwhelmed.

“These security challenges have continued unabatedly in these states despite the efforts by sister security agencies to curb them,” he said.

Ahmadu explained that the exercise would be conducted in the 1 and 3 Divisions of the Army, including HQ CAR, Guards Brigade, and 707 SF Brigade Areas of Responsibility, covering Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states from February 15 to March 31, 2018.

According to him, the operation offers the Army to continue the training and exercising of its troops in its formations across the geographical zones of the country, saying it was in line with its constitutional role in aid of civil authority.

Ahmadu stated: “The need for troops to be exercised, refreshed and to imbibe the requisite skills to cope with these emerging security challenges within the 1 and 3Divisions including HQ CAR, Gds Bde and 707 SF Bde Areas of Responsibility in aid of civil authority calls for this exercise,” adding that it would help Buratai actualize his vision of having a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.

He said the exercise would be conducted in conjunction with other security agencies, including the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Explaining that the operation would afford the troops an opportunity to effectively checkmate the dreadful activities of the marauding criminal militias perpetrating illicit acts in the states and its environs.

He said it would dovetail into real-time operations that would fulfil both training and operations objectives of sharpening the operational skills of personnel as well as providing an avenue to conduct operations against violent criminals when called upon.

He explained further: “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma will also be unique as the ones before it with the establishment of Step-Up Brigade Headquarters in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States.

“Emphasis will be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, roadblocks, checkpoints and show of force, as well as humanitarian activities such as medical outreach.

“It is pertinent to note that Exercise Ayem Akpatuma is set to be another remarkable exercise that would make the nation proud of the Nigerian Army’s determination at sustaining its constitutional roles of defending the territorial integrity of the nation as well as its commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about peace and security in troubled areas.

“In this regard, members of the public especially the residents of Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger States are enjoined not to panic as the security, safety and well-being of innocent and law-abiding citizens have been deliberately factored in the planning of this exercise.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
In what could be considered a vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the House of Representatives wednesday passed a motion calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to replace him with a more professional police officer.

The resolution came as the Senate summoned the Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Ali (rtd), over the recent invasion of some border communities in Cross River State by Cameroonian soldiers.

The House resolution arose from a motion sponsored by Hon. Danburam Nuhu (APC, Kano) on the need to curb thuggery in political activities in Kano State, in particular, and Nigeria, in general.

But in the build-up to the resolution, the lower chamber had separately approved a motion instructing Idris to tender an unreserved apology to the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, over the derogatory statements by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood.

The House asked the IG to relieve the PPRO of the position immediately.

The motion further mandated its constituted committee on the recent killings and insecurity in the nation, to investigate the alleged statements made by the IG and the implications on his ability to superintend the resolution of the killings in Benue and other parts of the country if found to be true.

The motion sponsored by Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah (APC, Benue), bothered on the derogatory statement by the police PRO against an executive governor of a state and the seeming unwillingness of the IG to recognise and enforce a constitutionally enacted law by the legislative arm of government.

He said Idris, who had failed to apprehend the perpetrators of the killings in Benue, where 73 lives were lost, had before a Senate committee, blamed the killings on the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law by the Benue State House of Assembly, calling for the suspension of the law.

Also, the police PRO reportedly made derogatory statements about the Benue State governor when he appeared on a live television programme on Tuesday and not only deriding Ortom as “a drowning man” he also called for his resignation while responding to questions about the alleged statements by the IG and the clamour for his resignation and lack of confidence in his stewardship as expressed by the Benue State government.

Nuhu, in his motion, condemned the development and sponsorship of thuggery in political rallies and called for an end to it.

He said disgruntled politicians were often responsible for the growth of thuggery in the country, adding that the recent incident of thuggery in Kano was supported by a high ranking member of the lower chamber.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Meanwhile, the Senate wednesday rejected the report of its Committee on Police Affairs, which met with the IG on the Benue killings for being one-sided.

The report, which cited allegations levelled against the State Governor, Samuel Ortom by Idris, was rejected because the committee did not contact Ortom to get his response to the issues raised.

The committee was charged with determining the IG’s level of compliance with the ultimatum issued to him to apprehend the perpetrators of the killings in Guma and Logo local government areas of the state and hand them over to the state’s Attorney General for prosecution.

According to the report of the Senator Abu Ibrahim-led committee, the IG blamed the implementation of the anti-open grazing law for the crises, which left at least 73 persons dead.

Idris, whose presentation to the committee was attached to the report, said inciting statements by Ortom and the public display of corpses of victims, also fuelled further violence.

He also accused the governor of arming a militia, under the guise of Civilian JTF/ Livestock Guards, “with prohibited firearms whose composition is lopsided and comprising majorly of persons of Tiv Ethnic Nationality.”

Idris recommended that the anti-grazing law is suspended.

On his level of compliance with the Senate’s resolution to arrest the attackers, Idris said 145 suspects had been arrested with 124 charged to court, while 21 others were still being investigated.

The committee subsequently found that there was a serious defect in the intelligence gathering mechanism of the police due to inadequate funding, in addition to the massive proliferation of arms and ammunition in Benue State.

“That inflammatory statements, utterances and actions of some politicians and opinion moulders have been found to be promoting hatred and inciting violence,” the committee said.

These findings were similar to submissions by the IGP.

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, reacting to the report, observed that the committee did not make any efforts to speak with Ortom, despite the allegations by Idris.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
The federal government wednesday in Abuja said its proposed $2.5 billion Eurobond already approved by the National Assembly would yield N762.5 billion proceeds for the refinancing of treasury bills.

According to the government, the deal would result in annual savings of N64 billion.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who made this disclosure while briefing journalists at the end of yesterday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, said the $2.5 billion Eurobond issuance was not a new borrowing but had already been approved by the National Assembly as part of the government’s external borrowing plan.

She recalled how the $500 million bond issued in November 2017, yielded N162.50 billion, which she said was used to redeem treasury bills, which matured in December 2017 and led to a significant drop in the bid rates of both treasury bills and federal government bonds.

Giving the impact of the $500 million bond, Adeosun disclosed that in December 2017 and January 2018, treasury bills bid rates dropped from about 16 per cent to 13 per cent while government bond rates dropped from about 16-16.50 per cent to 13.50 per cent.

“This translates to savings for government on new borrowing while also making the cost of borrowing for the real sector cheaper since the sovereign rate serves as a benchmark for other borrowers,” she stated.

Stating the potential savings from the $2.5 billion refinancing, the minister said the estimated proceeds of the N762.5 billion expected from the bond would be used to redeem treasury bills in a way that “at the estimated current NTB rates of 15 per cent (following mop-up operations by the CBN), the savings from the refinancing of N762.5 billion of domestic debt using external capital raising is about N64 billion per annum.”

Furthermore, Adeosun disclosed that FEC approved a memorandum she presented for the re-appointment of six transaction parties to manage Nigeria’s Eurobond.

She listed the institutions as City Group, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered, Nicodalo, Whitened Case and African Practice.

She explained: “I presented a memo to reappoint transaction parties that play active parts on our Eurobond. This is for the Eurobond issuance of $2.5 billion for refinancing. This is not new borrowing. This is for Nigerian government treasury bills that mature and we then refinance into dollars.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wednesday declared that he had no candidate for any political office in the 2019 general elections, saying he would remain an elder statesman with a passion for a greater Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who shed more light on his Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) at his Abeokuta home, Ogun State capital, noted that the group’s mission is to galvanize the people to appreciate their interests and power.

The former president, who spoke during a courtesy visit by a youth group from Delta State, led by a governorship aspirant, Mr. Frank Esanubi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, said the transitions that had taken place in the country since independence neglected the people at the grassroots.

According to Obasanjo, his statement on President Muhammadu Buhari was not meant to disrespect the office of the president or embarrass him, but rather to articulate his (Obasanjo’s) views about the situation in the country and offer his candid advice.

He added that his statement was thoroughly thought out and not frivolously issued, saying as a former president he could not hold the office of the president in contempt.

Obasanjo, however, reiterated that CNM would remain a socio-political movement, insisting that he would cease to be a member of the coalition the moment it derails and ventures into partisan politics.

He said: “In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision. Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice. I will gladly do that. I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office. I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get a different result.

“If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration. So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots. It is a socio-economic movement where youth and women, especially, will be given the opportunity to appreciate their interests and power. Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Chinedu Eze Passengers were aghast in fear on Wednesday when one of the emergency doors of the Dana Air aircraft conveying them fell off on landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Dana Air in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Kingsley Ezenwa, however, said the door could not have fallen off without [] 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reached an agreement with the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) on the use of satellite to enhance the transmission of election results from each polling pnit nationwide irrespective of location. The collaborative venture would also enable INEC to carry out voter education and sensitisation through [] 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Reinstatement won't stop his probe by EFCC, says FG ' PDP, labour union chide presidency Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Solomon Elusoji in Lagos with agency report The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Attahiru Ibrahim, have been summoned to the Presidential Villa [] 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Paul Obi in Abuja The Department of State Services (DSS) has invited Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). The invitation came via a telephone call from the secret police and it asked Afegbua to be at its headquarters no later than 11a.m. thursday, both Afegbua and his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, [] 

Thu, 08 Feb 2018
Says economy is attracting huge interest from foreign investors Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja, with agency report The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, is proposing increased tariff for cigarette and alcohol. Her proposal is in line with the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), one of the instruments of harmonising member states [] 
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