NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [9th February, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Friday9th February, 2018

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Following the mounting resistance to the federal government’s proposal to establish cattle colonies as a panacea to the conflicts between herders of cattle and farmers that have led to several deaths in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday said that the proposal was not meant to colonise any part of the country as widely alleged.

Buhari also debunked allegations of bias levelled against him over his appointments since he assumed office almost three years ago, but again promised that he would take a second look at issues pertaining to the federal character principle when a compendium of all government appointments are eventually submitted to him.
Buhari made a similar promise late last year.

The president, who spoke on the cattle colonies and his appointments when he received members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) led by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama in the State House, Abuja, also explained that he had not deliberately marginalised any ethnic group in the country.

Instead, the president, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, explained that government’s intention with the proposed policy was only meant to create grazing locations for cattle rearers, pointing out that the proposal has been misconstrued as another form of colonisation.

The statement said Buhari expressed regret that what was conceived as a well-thought out policy, after wide consultations with stakeholders, had been largely misunderstood by a section of the public.

It added that Buhari assured the Catholic bishops that the federal government would continue to explore all opportunities and support initiatives to ensure that peace and stability prevail in restive areas.

Adesina also said Buhari condemned the recent spate of killings in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba and Zamfara States, pledging that security operatives would ensure that the perpetrators and all persons caught with illegal arms in the affected areas are prosecuted.

The president was quoted to have said: “The impression created that I was sitting in an air-conditioned office and at home, enjoying myself while these things happened, is dishonest.

“At every step, I have tried to foresee these problems because I have the experience as a former military officer who commanded three out of the four divisions of the Nigerian Army, in Lagos, Ibadan and Jos.

“I am quite aware of the problems we have and I am doing my best to get law enforcement agencies to be on alert.”
The statement added that Buhari told the Catholic bishops that he would not be tired of recounting the remarkable progress recorded in the areas of security, the economy and the fight against corruption.

The president was confident that his government “has done very well in security in the North-east in comparison with what the situation was before we came in and what it is now”.

“On the economy, particularly agriculture, I am very pleased that God answered the prayers of Nigerians who prayed for a bountiful harvest.

“People have taken advantage of the federal government policies and programmes to return to the farms and they have not regretted,” Buhari was quoted to have informed his audience, adding that government would be guided by the laws of the federation in the investigation and prosecution of all graft-related cases.
“People are being prosecuted systematically with evidence. If a permanent secretary has five houses in Abuja, two in Kaduna and one in Borno and Sokoto and he can’t account for the property and there are bank transactions linking him to the property, the prosecuting agencies will not have difficulties making progress on the case,” Buhari was further quoted.

According to the statement, Kaigama, in his remarks, pledged that the Catholic Church in Nigeria would continue to support the government of Buhari and make its contribution to nation-building through prayers, admonitions and assistance to needy Nigerians.

“As the voice of the people, we shall continue to highlight the plight of our people and play our prophetic role of sensitising the government, thus promoting good governance, national unity and cohesion,” Kaigama said.
He, however, admonished that the goodwill of the president was fast depleting because of failure on the part of his government.

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
The House of Representatives Thursday passed a motion condemning the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, of obstructing and perverting the course of justice in a bid to arrive at a predetermined outcome in the asset declaration case involving the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

It also mandated its Committee on Judiciary to interact with the AGF to ensure that sanity is brought back to the case involving the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Umar, and the EFCC.

The condemnation by the lower legislative chamber followed a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by Hon. Yakubu Barde (PDP, Kaduna) on the need to restore sanity in the administration of justice in the fight against corruption in the country by the AGF and EFCC.

He expressed concern over the recent turn of events whereby Umar had been charged on a two-count charge for corruption before the FCT High Court by the EFCC.

He noted that the EFCC and AGF had previously cleared Umar of the same allegations which formed the basis of the charges.

Barde expressed concern that the anti-graft agency and the AGF were currently prosecuting cases before the CCT, over which Umar presides as its chairman.

According to him, the EFCC had previously issued a statement absolving Umar of any wrongdoing but the same Umar was now being charged and asked to try the Senate President, giving the appearance that a game was being played to arrive at a pre-determined outcome in the Saraki trial.

He said the development portrayed the legal system as capable of being manipulated and should be of great concern to all Nigerians.

The lawmaker also expressed concern that any possible conviction or findings that the CCT may make by the same Umar, who is also facing trial, may be rendered null and void by the Court of Appeal, thereby frustrating the course of justice.

He said he was particularly disturbed that the AGF had been instrumental to the unwholesome saga playing out in the administration of justice, more so since the AGF, CCT and EFCC are indispensable in the fight against corruption in the country.

Barde said the development was not good for a government that claims to be fighting corruption, adding that it has the potential of ridiculing the country in the international community.

Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim (APC, Adamawa) said though it was not the business of the House to interfere in the judiciary, justice must be seen to be done.

He said a person who is being investigated for an alleged crime cannot be a judge in another criminal case.
Also, Hon. Razak Atunwa (APC, Kwara) said the development had made a mockery of the legal system, stressing: “You don’t need to be a lawyer to see that it’s injustice.”

He further expressed regrets that the AGF had allowed the unfortunate scenario to fester, while President Muhammadu Buhari had done nothing to arrest the situation.
Furthermore, Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife (APGA, Anambra) said naturally, justice must be seen to be done to the accused, complainant and society.

He argued that in the present circumstances, justice could not be seen to be done while Umar still chairs the CCT.
But Hon. Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno) argued that a judge accused of a criminal offence could still preside over criminal cases if the allegations against him had not been proven and if he has not been suspended from office.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Caucus in the House has clarified that the motion condemning the AGF and EFCC was not peculiar to the trial of the Senate President alone but all persons currently standing trial before the CCT chairman.

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose, has called on the people of Benue State to remain resolute with the anti-open grasing law even in the face of killing by herdsmen.

He threw the challenge yesterday in Makurdi during a condolence visit on Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House

Fayose who described what the Benue People are facing as ethnic cleansing, maintained that their land which is rich in agriculture had been handed to them as inheritance by their forefather hence, they must protect it.

He noted that the anti-open grazing law cannot be compromised as it remains the only panacea to curbing incessant attack by herdsmen on farmers.

“Leaders of this country will one day give account for thousands of Benue blood that has been spilled. It is an irony that some people are tried for hate speech while those who kill are exonerated. This government is ruling Nigeria with double standards. He who takes another person’s life will pay for it some day.

“Those beating drum for this herdsmen are behind. Imagine Ghana has dealt decisively with herdsmen and we should do the same. You do not disarm vigilant who use dane guns and allow people with AK47 free,” he fumed.

Fayose who announced a donation of N10 million to cushion the effect of the over 100,000 displaced persons in the state, advised his Benue State counterpart to seek alternative political structure if his party has failed.

“If you enter a vehicle and it breaks down, you are free to take another one. I am the oldest Governor in the country at the moment having served in President Obasanjo, Jonathan governments and now, am king of the road in Buhari’s government,” Fayose said.

Responding, Ortom said there was a paradigm shift in this country, vowing to join Fayose in speaking out loudly against injustice in the country.

“Even though I am in APC if I see anything wrong with the Nigeria system, I will speak out. All I am asking for now is justice, equity, fairness and transparency and not giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. I am an elected governor and must speak for my people. The law is a product of the people. Leaders must rise up and leave up to their responsibilities,” Ortom insisted.

Meanwhile, Troops of the Nigerian Army 707 Special Force Brigade yesterday arrested two Fulani (herdsmen) militia in Guma yesterday while planning an attack on the local government area in Benue State.
According to a statement by the Assistant Director Army Public Relations 707 Special Forces Brigade, Major Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni, the troops on a routine patrol on Gbajimba-Iyiodeh road in Guma Local Government Area, arrested two Fulani militias who were suspected to be planning a dangerous mission.

He said the troops sighted a group of militias while on their daily patrol.
“The militia who were suspected to be converging, possibly for an attack on Ortom’s fish farm and other innocent citizens, were about to be approached for questioning when they opened fire on the troops who later engaged them,” he added.

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has mocked the presidency for embarking on what it described as an “ill-fated mission to salvage the badly damaged chances of retaining power in 2019 presidential election.”

The party slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration for abandoning its responsibility of governance and now deploying resources meant for the good of the people to push a desperate but ill-fated mission to perpetuate on Nigerians, an obviously unpopular presidential candidate in 2019.

The party said the presidency has become so panicky that it effectively hijacked the functions of the leadership of its dysfunctional and ideologically vacuous APC, by appointing people into partisan offices, outside its much-desired responsibility of governance.

PDP said it finds APC’s attempt to reconcile its dwindling ranks as laughable, cosmetic and politically inconsequential.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement thursday, said it is ludicrous that after almost three years of failure to deliver on the littlest of its campaign promises, the Buhari Presidency is now moving around, cap in hands, looking for those to use once again to beguile Nigerians ahead of the 2019 elections.

The PDP stressed that the Buhari presidency has failed to be remorseful for its misrule,adding that the disagreements in the ruling party are fallouts of members’ resentment towards its desperation for power.

“There is widespread disenchantment and indignation across the nation resulting from hunger and the inability of the Buhari presidency to provide the people with basic necessities of life, which they had always enjoyed in the past.

“Nigerians are therefore waiting to see how Tinubu, who has also openly expressed his concerns and disapprovals on the mismanagement of the economy and whose large constituents are direct victims of the ineptitude, impunity, nepotism, dictatorial tendencies, corruption and insecurity that has characterised the Buhari Presidency, will now turn around to preach that all is well and attempt to sell a practically bad product to the nation.

PDP further said the desperate move by the presidency to politically prey on individuals is mere foolhardiness and a totally decadent approach to pitch key leaders against the people on an issue that has already been thrown overboard.

“This is more so as the political institutions and front runners that threw up the Buhari presidency in 2015 have now, not only regretted their actions, but have also strongly advised that President Buhari should not contemplate contesting a second term in office.

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko CFR, has affirmed his respect for the judiciary, the rule of law and the constitution of Nigeria. Otudeko stated this when he appeared yesterday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos Judicial Division to give evidence in the suit instituted by Honeywell against [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
The reinstated Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, resumed work thursday, only to be greeted with a massive staff demonstrations against his return. The staff under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) led by the branch Chairman, Mr. Razak Omomeji, according to Premium [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Records $196m shortfall in 2017, launches 2018 response plan The United Nations thursday said it requires $1.05 billion assistance to meet up its 2018 humanitarian intervention programmes in the North-east where Boko Haram insurgency has affected more than 10 million people. According to the UN, 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan appeal was pecked at '$1.05billion, people [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Davidson Iriekpen A new report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has revealed how most allegations of corruption in federal universities such as unfair allocation of grades; contract inflation, truncation of staff's salary on the pay roll; employment of unqualified staff; Senator Dino Melaye's certificate scandal saga; examination malpractices; sexual harassment; issuance of [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Chinedu Eze The Minister of State, for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, thursday said the total debts owed aviation agencies by Nigerian airlines were over N513 billion. The minister who seemed angry with the airlines for kicking against the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), said Nigerian airlines have refused to grow, noting that they supported [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Signs six other bills into laws Gboyega Akinsanmi Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assented to the State Electric Power Reform bill into law. The law isspecifically designed to generate at least 4, 000 megawatts of electricity under an embedded power initiative. The governor also signed six other bills into laws namely: the Amended [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Davidson Iriekpen An Abia State High Court sitting Isuikwuato has the ordered the Abia State University, Uturu to restore the degree result and certificate' of former state Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu. Delivering judgment in a suit filed by the former governor to challenge the allegations of fraud and breach of admission regulations concerning his [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja A former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, has refuted reports that the sum of N3.9 billion meant for the installation of security devices across the nation's airports, was diverted during her tenure. Oduah who represents Anambra North senatorial district in the Senate, said the report published in a national daily [] 

Fri, 09 Feb 2018
DMO: Proceeds of $2.5bn Eurobond Will Reduce Debt Service-to-Revenue Ratio 
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