NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [19 March, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 19  March, 2018.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
The presidency at the weekend in Abuja disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to keep Nigerians in suspense on his re-election bid was a deliberate ploy to avoid sabotage.
Making this disclosure in an interview with select State House correspondents, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president would continue to keep his intentions close to his chest because those opposed to his re-election could exploit his declaration to sabotage the country.

According to him, the president declaring his ambition about a year to the next election would only give such saboteurs a lot of time to sabotage the country economically and politically, among others.
“You know the peculiarity of Nigeria, particularly now. If the president speaks too early, it’s a problem. There is a lot of sabotage in the country.
“You have also heard so many have said, ‘don’t run,’ because they know that if the president runs, other people would just run away because they don’t have the foggiest chance in hell of beating him. So, they want to discourage him from running.

“Now, if he tells you, ‘I’m going to run,’ and elections are still one year away, it gives them one year to sabotage the entire country from all fronts – politically, socially, economically – they would throw everything at him just to dissuade him from running.
“So, when you know that, why then speak early? I think it makes a lot of sense for you to keep things close to your chest till it is time for you to then say, ‘ok, I’m running’ by which time they can do less damage,” he explained.
Although the president has alluded to re-contesting the presidential election in 2019, he has not declared it definitively, keeping Nigerians on the tenterhooks on his real intentions.

One instance when he dropped a hint on his interest in seeking re-election in 2019 was when he paid a state visit to Kano last year. He had said: “Kano is in my pocket.”
The state voted overwhelmingly for Buhari in the 2015 elections, giving him 1.903 million of the 2.13 million valid votes cast.
Also, while on a visit to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire last year, the president said he arrived late to a meeting with the Nigerian community because he had insisted on coming with two governors, as doing so could be a vote for him in the future.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Following the concession made by the Senate to screen and confirm the nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari to fill the posts of deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the four members-designate of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the CBN has said it will hold its first meeting of the MPC this year on April 3 and 4.
This is just as Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has affirmed its ‘B/B’ long and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Nigeria. The agency also assigned a “stable outlook” on the country.
The MPC was unable to hold its first meeting last January because it could not form a quorum.
This arose from the July 2017 resolution of the Senate to suspend all confirmation processes for presidential nominees whose offices are not specifically listed in the 1999 Constitution.
The resolution was made after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, by his remark, exacerbated the rift between the Senate and the Executive over the rejection twice of the nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the upper legislative chamber.
Osinbajo had said since the EFCC was not specified in the Constitution, there was no need to have sent the nomination to the Senate in the first instance.
The Senate thereafter resolved to suspend consideration of all such nominees, pending the legal determination of its power of confirmation.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
The objection raised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to Nigeria becoming a signatory to the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has cast an air of uncertainty on the fate of the trade deal, and has been blamed for President Muhammadu Buhari’s sudden cancellation at the weekend of his scheduled trip to Kigali, Rwanda, Monday.
Buhari was billed to attend the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) in the Rwandan capital with other African leaders to sign the CFTA agreement on Wednesday, in pursuit of the AU 2063 vision.

The agreement is expected to allow free trade among all countries that sign it.
But a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Elias-Fatile, in a statement Sunday, said Buhari cancelled the trip in order “to allow more time for input from Nigerian stakeholders”.
Sources at the presidency also revealed that the advanced team of the president’s entourage travelled to Kigali on Friday but has been asked to return home.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), last week, had approved Nigeria’s participation and signing of the agreement.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, while briefing journalists in the State House, had said FEC gave the green light for Nigeria to sign the agreement, pointing out that the president would be in Kigali on Wednesday to sign the agreement.

He also said FEC resolved that Nigeria should bid for the location of the secretariat of CFTA in the country, in view of Nigeria’s outstanding role during the negotiation process.
“The council approved for Nigeria to sign the agreement establishing CFTA in Kigali on March 21, which will be signed by our president at an extraordinary session of the AU.
“It also approved for Nigeria to express an interest in preparing a bid to host the secretariat where it will operate.
“Nigeria has played a leadership role in the negotiations. Our chief negotiator and Director-General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations was the chairperson of the negotiating technical team.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has accused the Northern Muslim elite of using religion to hold onto power to the detriment of their people and the larger society.

Kukah also criticised Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State for his handling of the bloody violence and destruction of property in Southern Kaduna in 2017, which resulted in the deaths of several people in that part of the state.
Speaking in Kafanchan at the burial Sunday of Joseph Bagobiri, the late Catholic Bishop of the Kafanchan Diocese, Kukah maintained that despite its access to power for years, the North still remained backward and the poorest part of the country.
Kukah said: “It is sad that the Northern Muslim elite has used religion to hold onto power to the detriment of even their own people and the larger society.

“For despite holding onto power for all these years, the North is still the poorest part of the country, nearly 15 million Muslim children are on the streets with no future in sight. We are, as the governor of Borno would say, the poster child of poverty.”
He said Nigeria was facing a very serious crisis more than ever before.
According to Kukah, “Death, destruction and destitution have become our lot and nowhere is this more expressed than in Northern Nigeria.”
He noted that “today, Boko Haram and the herdsmen and farmers’ clashes are phenomena that are peculiar to the North and Islam”, adding: “We cannot run away from this.”

He warned that the world was changing and Nigerians have a country to build, observing: “Even Usman Dan Fodio (Islamic preacher and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate) said that a society can live with unbelief, but no nation can survive with injustice.”
Kukah said the late Bagobiri had lived at a time when clearly the foundation of unity and justice in Kaduna, in particular and Nigeria in general, seemed threatened, stressing that he fought against the marginalisation of the Southern Kaduna people.
He declared that no religious leader worth his salt can stand by in the face of visible injustice, stressing that “it will be a mortal sin” to remain aloof to the glaring injustice.
According to him, the people of Southern Kaduna had suffered the injustice of deliberate exclusion from all the rungs of local and national politics in the current administration.
He said: “They have got to where they are now by the sweat of their brows. We do not ask for pity or sympathy from anyone. We have come so far, not through the state, but in spite of the state in Northern Nigeria.

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Says anti-graft war forced civil servants, others to abandon their accounts Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) effort to promote financial inclusion, Nigerian banks lost over two million customers between 2016 and 2017, with several customers abandoning their accounts due to the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) which would have linked them [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Say any attempt to breach peace will be resisted The Lagos State Police Command yesterday warned some protesters planning to block Third Mainland Bridge and other critical public infrastructure in the state over the new Land Use Charge (LUC) of the state government, saying any attempt to breach public peace would be met with stiff [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
By Paul Obi in Abuja Soldiers under Operation Ayem Akpatuma have arrested 12 herdsmen in Benue State allegedly involved in destructive activities in the state. The arrest came on the heels of the decision by the military to ensure that all criminal gangs and herdsmen notorious for communal clashes are nabbed. According to the Director, [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
NIM mobilises new politicians for 2019 By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja As part of efforts to prepare a crop of new breed politicians for the 2019 general election, the Nigeria Intervention Movement, (NIM), yesterday said it would hold a grand political summit in Abuja on Wednesday. A statement by the spokesperson for the summit, Mallam [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
By Daji Sani in Yola The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Malkohi official camp in Adamawa State have appealed to the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, to step up his humanitarian response to them. Speaking with THISDAY at the weekend, one of the IDPs who simply [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has confirmed the death of his immediate elder brother, Mr. Inam Udo Udoma. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Akpandem James, the minister said his elder sibling died on March 13, 2018, after a brief illness. He was aged 66. [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
The Department of State Service (DSS) has arrested some gunrunners in some states around the country. The arrest came as security agencies across board intensify efforts to apprehend criminals in the country. According to Tony Opuiyo of the DSS, 'In furtherance of tactical operations to stem activities of criminal elements across states of the federation, [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
A civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sent an open letter to the United Nations Security Council and its members urging them to urgently hold a special session on Nigeria and to visit the country to press the authorities to end continuing killings and destruction of property by suspected herdsmen across [] 

Mon, 19 Mar 2018
More than 1,423 key players in the industrial, agricultural and technological sectors of the Nigerian economy will gather in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, for the fourth edition of the Ogun State Investors' Forum 2018. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to declare the forum opened under the theme: 'Consolidating The [] 
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