NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [22 MARCH, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on The Leadership Online Newspaper for today, Thursday 21 March, 2018.


Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The federal government has said the Dapchi schoolgirls and two other persons abducted by the Boko Haram sect who were freed by the insurgents yesterday secured their freedom unconditionally.  104 out of the 110 schoolgirls abducted from Government Girls Science And Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram insurgents regained their freedom alongside one other girl and a boy yesterday. Briefing journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dispelled rumours that the girls were released after certain conditions were met in a negotiation between government and the insurgents.  According to him, all the 106 persons were freed unconditionally contrary to reports in a section of the media that ransom was paid and that some insurgents were swapped for the freed persons. ‘’It is not true that we paid ransom for the release of the Dapchi girls, neither was there a prisoner swap to secure their release. What happened was that the abduction itself was a breach of the ceasefire talks between the insurgents and the government; hence it became a moral burden on the abductors. Any report that we paid ransom or engaged in prisoner swap is false,’’ he said. The freed persons who were formally handed over to the federal government were immediately airlifted to Abuja aboard a military transport plane.  The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Rogers Nicholas, handed over the girls and one boy to a four-member federal government delegation at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Maiduguri yesterday evening. Members of the delegation include the Information minister; minister of Interior, Gen Abdulrahman Danbazau (rtd); the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim and a member of the House of Representatives from Dapchi, Hon Goni Lawan Bukar. Earlier in a statement, the minister of Information said the number could still increase, as the documentation of the freed girls is ongoing. He said the release of the schoolgirls is the outcome of the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure their release.  Mohammed said the girls were released at about 3:00am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country, even as he streesed that it was unconditional. ‘’For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.  ‘’Within the period when the girls were being brought back, operational pause was observed in certain areas to ensure free passage and also that lives were not lost,’’ he said. Also earlier in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday after the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Mohammed had maintained that the girls were released unconditionally. “The girls were released unconditionally, no money changed hands. They only had one condition that they will return them to where they picked them. So, in the early hours of today, they did return the girls and most of them went to their parents’ homes”, he stated. On how the girls were released, the Information minister said, “The event is developing. Many of the girls that were released were not dropped in one place. Some were dropped on the road and they went back naturally to their parents’ houses. They are now being asked to come and be documented at a center and as at five minutes ago, I was told 91 girls and a boy had been documented.  “The report we got was that one condition the insurgents gave was that they will be the ones to drop the girls and they dropped them in the early hours of this morning. “Like I said in the statement released to you earlier, once violence and confrontation was ruled out and negotiation started, there was a deliberate pause on the part of the military. In order words, it was agreed that there will be no force; there will be no confrontation. That was why it was possible for them to drop the girls. It was part of the agreement that ‘we will release the girls and there will be no violence nor confrontation’. And don’t forget that the lives of this children are much more important to us than any cheap victory. On her part, Minister of State for foreign affairs, Khadijah Abba Ibrahim, who hails from Yobe State expressed happiness over the release of the girls

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
In what looks like a vote of no confidence on the decision of the Federal Executive Council to approve for Nigeria to sign up to the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday constituted a committee to review the content of the proposals, especially its wider security implications. Speaking to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting yesterday,   special adviser on media to the president, Femi Adesina said Buhari was of the opinion that Nigeria was yet to fully understand the economic and security implications of the agreement.   According to Adesina, the president said the agreement had the capacity to hinder local entrepreneurship and encourage the dumping of finished goods in Nigeria. Consequently, the president constituted a committee comprising the ministers of Finance, Budget, Labour, Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Immigration Service. The committee is to report to the Council in two weeks.   Adesina said,  “The explanation from the president which the FEC bought was that he would not want to agree to anything that would hinder local entrepreneurs. And on the surface, except if proven wrong, is that, that agreement has the capacity to affect local entrepreneurship. “Then he (Buhari) also said that anything that could encourage the dumping of finished goods in Nigeria was going to be contrary to our interest. So, it is one of the reasons why he declined. Then he said the country is yet to fully understand the economic and security implications of the agreement.   “So, there has to be further consultations with different stakeholders and the final position was that a committee be set up to meet and review the contents of that proposal and they will do it within two weeks and get back to the Federal Executive Council.” LEADERSHIP recalls that President Buhari had last weekend cancelled his scheduled trip to Kigali, Rwanda, for the extraordinary meeting of African Union Heads of State and Government. The president had been scheduled to depart Nigeria for Kigali on Monday for the signing of the framework agreement for establishing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).   One of the country’s labour centres, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had maintained that the agreement was detrimental to the nation’s economic interest, alleging that the government did not consult widely on the matter. 


Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Hundreds of retirees yesterday in Calabar, capital of Cross River State stormed the governor’s office gate, with placards and tried to force their way into the governor’s office to enable them see Governor Ben Ayade so that they can express their displeasure over the death of six of their colleagues in one week due to economic hardship. Unknown to the aggrieved retirees who were blocked by security personnel at the gate the governor had been out of the country to woo investors since two weeks ago.   The protesters who were led by one former staff of Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC), Mr. Paul Idagu, stormed the gate of the governor’s office at about 11.45am insisting to see Ayade or the state deputy governor to address them on the issue. Some of the placards read,   “We have suffered enough; pay us our gratuity from 2014,” “Paris Club refunds are rare gift that must be used for the purpose meant for,” “Governor Ayade: Retirees in Cross River are entitled to longevity.  Let us not die out of frustration.” Idagu, while addressing journalists said, “We are here to let the governor know that we have buried about six of our fellow retirees in the last one week because government has not paid us our gratuities since 2014.  Government must not wait until we all die before they pay us.”   The protesters’ spokesperson enumerated, retirees buried in the last one week without collecting their gratuities to include, Augustine Etta; Sylvia Edem Bocco; Naji Abang Naji; Sylvester Ibok and Vincent Eja who the protesters claimed died a pathetic death. He said, “We wish to inform you of one of us who just died and was buried last week, Mr. Vincent Eja worked for Cross River State government for 35 years and retired as a director in government printing press in 2014.


Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ogoni indigenes under the aegis of Niger Delta Coalition Project have, in an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, urged the federal government to grant operational licences to indigenous firms in the Niger Delta region. The letter signed by its coordinator, Ambassador Young Piero, in Abuja, said investigations revealed that indigenous firms were more []The post Ogoni: FG Urged To Grant Operational Licence To Indigenous Firms appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Disturbed by the spate of killings, kidnappings, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the state, the government of Akwa Ibom State has entered into a peace deal with militants and cultists with a view to retrieving illegal arms in their possession. With hundreds of deaths already recorded in the affected local government areas including []The post Insecurity: A/Ibom Police Begin Mop Up Of Illegal Weapons appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called for concerted efforts to protect forests and green areas in urban and reserved areas, even as the state government is pushing for initiatives to create greener cities and harness the state's rich and diverse forest assets. The governor said this in commemoration of the International Day of []The post Obaseki Harps On Conservation, Diversity, Greener Cities appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, has warned Akwa Ibom State residents to refrain from multiple registrations in the ongoing continuous voter's registration in the state. Ikoiwak gave the warning yesterday in Ibiono Ibom local government area of the state while addressing stakeholders' forum on continuous voter's registration and []The post AKISIEC Boss Warns Against Multiple Voter Registration appeared first on Leadership 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Suspected armed cultists yesterday attacked the Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force in Oporoma, the headquarters of the Southern Ijaw local government area in Bayelsa State and set the station ablaze. LEADERSHIP gathered that the attack on the police station was carried out after a suspected cultist involved in the rescue mission of []The post Cultists Set Divisional Police Headquarters Ablaze appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Bandits have laid an ambush on troops in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing 11 soldiers and wounding three. LEADERSHIP gathered that the bandits laid siege on the troops at Kampanin Doka village of Birnin Gwari on Tuesday night. The soldiers are among a special detachment of troops sent to []The post Bandits Ambush Troops, Kill 11 In Kaduna Village appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Senate President, Bukola Saraki has described as tragic, saddening and unfortunate the recent death of 22 students, teacher and driver of the Government Day Secondary School, Misau, Misau Local Government Area of Bauchi state. The students who were members of Hausa club of the school were said to be on their way to Kano state []The post Death Of 22 Bauchi Students, Others Tragic Saraki appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has cautioned against the outright sale of critical national assets as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) where it was proposed that government should reduce its equity in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Federation Accounts' joint venture oil and gas assets. []The post RMAFC Cautions Against Outright Sale Of National Assets appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The Special Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Properties has entered into partnership with the Office of the Surveyor 'General of the Federal (OSGOF) in the conduct of its assignment. The understanding between the two parties became officially established yesterday when the Chairman of the panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla led his team to the []The post Presidential Panel Partners OSGOF Towards Recovery Of Public Properties appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The federal government has said it saved N68 billion on personnel cost in 2017. This brings the aggregate savings by the Government on personnel cost since 2007 to date to N288 billion. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun made the disclosure during her presentation of 'Status Update on the Implementation of Federal Executive []The post FG Saves N68bn On Personnel Cost appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), has lamented the lack of implementation of the policy on tomato saying farmers are being discouraged as its member numbering over 47 million has so far lost about N10 billion this Tomato season alone. Narrating their plight while addressing the media in Lagos, the national secretary of []The post Nigeria Tomato Farmers Lose N10bn To Importation appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
There is no government intervention program available for sufferers and families of children and people suffering from neurodevelopmental disabilities. Comprehensive care for children with neuro-developmental disorders requires coordination across education, health, and social developmental service systems. Sufficient improvement in the quality of individuals living with neurodevelopmental disability can be a lengthy process that requires []The post Understanding And Treating Autism In Nigeria 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The controversy over whether the National Assembly has the right to amend Section 25 of the Electoral Act 2010 seems to have dwarfed the other good provisions contained in the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill to which President Muhammadu Buhari recently withheld assent. The controversial amended section seeks to specify the order of elections to []The post Still On The Brouhaha Over Electoral Act Amendment appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
According to the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, ''Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi who was born on February 27, 1948, has lived an impressive, worthy and exemplary life from childhood till date. From a primary school in Lassa village, Borno state, she left to attend Government Girls Secondary School, Dalla in Kano state; and []The post Justice Ogunbiyi: From Village Girl To Supreme Court Justice appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
On March 29, 1984, the then military government of General Muhammadu Buhari drafted the infamous Decree No. 4; titled, ''The Protection Against False Accusations Decree No.4, 1984. Considered by scholars as the most repressive press law ever enacted in Nigeria. Section 1 of the law provided that 'Any person who publishes in any form, whether []The post Hate Speech Bill 2018: Is Decree 4 Of 1984 Reincarnating' appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Sometime ago I was on a flight from London Heathrow to Abuja. In the compartment next to mine sat a middle-aged English lady by name Janet. About an hour into this flight and I can't remember exactly how, a conversation developed. Janet had a thriving beauty outfit in London West End and visited Nigeria on []The post Cosmetic Governance appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
It is always expected that, whenever elections approach, desperate politicians surface with different foxy and crafty activities designed to either bamboozle their gullible supporters or achieve simple and cheap publicity to fake relevance within a particular political environment. It is on this note that, with the 2019 general elections getting closer, the good, the []The post Re: There's Total Infrastructure Collapse In Gombe appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Prof Michael Kwanashie is the Vice Chancellor of Veritas University, Abuja. In this interview with CHIKA MEFOR, he speaks on issues impeding progress in the Nigerian education sector. Excerpts: Last year, the federal government registered six more universities. Many think the problem in the sector is not about more universities. Do you subscribe to this []The post Govt Should Extend TETFund Support To Private Varsities ' Prof Kwanashie appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
There are few professions more significant to the nation's future than teaching. Teachers' aid students to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy, trigger their intellectual curiosity, and support their social emotional growth, yet when it comes to welfare packages they are the most unwell treated profession in []The post Nigerian Teachers And Unpaid Salary Backlogs appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Mohammed Barde was the Chief Executive Officer of Sun Trust Bank until a few weeks ago when he left his job to join politics. He tells BLESSING BATURE about his ambition and vision for Gombe State if he is elected governor in the forthcoming gubernatorial contest Why are you abandoning lucrative banking job for an []The post Gombe Needs Good Leadership ' Barde appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Justice Moses Bello retired recently as President of the Customary Court of Appeal, a seat he held for 25 years before attaining the mandatory retirement age of 65 year. In this interview with KUNLE OLASANMI, to commemorate his retirement from the Bench, he insisted that Nigeria's Judiciary is one of the best in the world, []The post I May Take To Farming In Retirement ' Justice Moses Bello appeared first on Leadership Nigeria Newspapers. 
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