NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [27 March, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 27 March, 2018.


Mon, 26 Mar 2018
Governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have quietly thrown their weight behind the move by the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which is proposing, among others, to alter the sequence of elections in the country.


A highly placed source in the National Assembly who said he had spoken to many of the governors, especially those seeking a second term in office, have given their tactical support surreptitiously to the amendment of the Electoral Act.

Buhari recently vetoed the Electoral Amendment Bill on the grounds that the section that is proposing to alter the election sequence for the presidential elections to hold last would infringe on the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise and supervise elections in the country.
However, the National Assembly has vowed to override the president’s veto, with lobby intensifying by the day among pro- and anti-Buhari legislators to vote for or against the bill, amid allegations of offers of inducements by the executive arm of government to kill the bill.

The National Assembly can override a presidential veto if two-thirds of its members in both chambers vote for the bill to become law.
The source, who spoke in confidence on the backing of several state governors, said many of them are concerned that the president might work against them once his election has been held first, hence their preference for the amendment to the Electoral Act.

He said many governors have been quietly urging their lawmakers in the National Assembly to accelerate the process of overriding the president’s veto.
Other governors, it was gathered, are eager to see the amendment passed.
However, it is still not certain if the amendment will scale through in both chambers of the federal legislature, as a senator who spoke to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, said he was confident that the amendment would pass easily at the Senate, but may hit a brick wall in the House of Representatives.

“The House of Representatives is likely to be the stumbling block, but if many of them realise that their return to the House may depend on the bill, they would not hesitate to override the president’s veto,” the senator said.
He also revealed that last week’s reconciliatory meeting by the leadership of the APC with its Senate Caucus to avert the planned override vote of the president’s veto has failed, as senators have started to append their signatures in register to vote in favour of the passage of the bill.

The senator claimed that at least 67 of his colleagues had already signed the register to override the veto, saying at least 15 are from the South-south geopolitical zone, 13 from the South-east, 10 from the South-west, 10 from the North-east, and seven from the North-west.
The register is believed to be in the custody of a senator from the North-east.
Another senator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, further revealed that about 20 senators were still undecided on whether to override the veto or support pro-Buhari senators who are said to be just 15 in number.

Senators from the opposition PDP are all in favour of overriding the veto, THISDAY gathered.
He explained that the pro-Buhari group has been operating under the assumption that it has about 40 senators on their side, but most of them are actually prepared to vote to override the president insofar as electronic voting is used on the day the voting takes place so that their identities can be concealed.

He also claimed that some PDP senators who have “deceptively” committed not to override the veto were only playing along in order to partake in the “largesse” being promised by the executive not to upturn the president’s veto.
“Of course, they (pro-Buhari group) will say they are more than that. But many are being blackmailed into doing so and are being promised cash. But they will vote pro-amendment at the end of the day.
“The pro-Buhari group is finding it hard to win people to their side, because our people know there is nothing special to be gained from fighting for the president. Chief John Oyegun (national chairman of the APC) cannot guarantee anything,” he said.

THISDAY also gathered that the lawmakers in both chambers are unhappy with Oyegun for having watched while the executive explored every opportunity to rubbish the legislature.
“This caucus is one of the most important blocs in the party, but that was the second time he has met with us since June 2015. The first time, he promised to resolve all the issues with the executive, but he did not. So there is nothing he can say now that we would believe he can deliver,” another senator said.
It was learnt that senators in favour of overriding the veto on the bill held a meeting at the weekend in Lagos, after attending the wedding of the daughter of business mogul, Aliko Dangote, where they assessed their plan.

Mon, 26 Mar 2018
With the 2019 general election a year away, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday apologised to Nigerians for its past mistakes, even as it urged the people to support its efforts to rescue the country from maladministration.


Under a new campaign slogan, “Rescue Nigeria”, the PDP, which after 16 years in power was ousted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, said it would act as a rallying point in the effort to rescue the country from inept leadership under the APC-led administration.

Speaking at the opening of the public discourse on nation building organised in Abuja Monday, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, said that his party would seek the support of Nigerians to retake power so as to rescue the economy and put a stop to the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians.

He promised that the party will come up with an economic blueprint that would highlight interventions in areas such as healthcare and education.
While speaking on the theme, “Nation Building – Resetting the Agenda,” Secondus said the time had come for a public conversation on the state of the nation in order to arrest the dwindling fortunes of the country and stop the slide into anarchy.

Also in a rare show of remorse, Secondus said he and his National Working Committee (NWC) were apologising to Nigerians for the party’s many mistakes during its reign.
He said the new PDP leadership has decided to toe the path of honour and humility by accepting its shortcomings and was making a commitment to chart a new course for the development and progress of the country.
“PDP made many mistakes and we accept that there may have been impunity and imposition in the past, this is human. But the ability to admit making mistakes is one of the best ways to make amends and progress.

“Let me use this opportunity to apologise to Nigerians for our past mistakes. This is the best way forward and we want to set a precedent that if one makes mistakes it is wise to apologise and to move forward on a new note.
“We do not want to behave like the APC which would rather tell lies. On behalf of members of my NWC I apologise to Nigerians and ask for your support in seeking to rebuild the country. This is a clear departure from what the APC is known for because the party believes in using lies,” he said.

While welcoming participants, Secondus said the reason for the discourse was to undertake a review of the state of the nation, saying it was like “physical surgery”.
According to him, Nigeria may not be at war in the conventional sense, or was just gaining independence, however the economy, he noted, had taken a downturn in the three years of APC rule that warrants serious introspection and resetting of the agenda for nation building.


Mon, 26 Mar 2018
In response to the story pushed out by the presidency on Sunday providing more details on how N100 billion was allegedly moved to the private residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan by the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the run up to the 2015 polls, the former president has once again denied the allegation, saying there is an orchestrated campaign by the presidency to smear his name.


Speaking through his aide, Mr. Reno Omokri, the former president also took a pointed dig at Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who stirred the hornet’s nest last week with the corruption allegation, to stop hiding behind “faceless sources” if he was certain of his claim.

“The stories making the rounds in the media accusing former President Jonathan of looting N100 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria and taking it directly to his house are false. Such a thing never happened.

“The presidency knows so, which is why it circulated the story to various media houses and refused to attach its name, preferring to say that the story came from a ‘source’ in the presidency.
“I can authoritatively say that that source is no one other than the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,” said Omokri in a statement yesterday.

According to him, the same story was leaked by “sources” almost word for word to several online media last year, adding that the allegations were lies.

“More interesting is the fact that it is because this administration continues to make false allegations of financial misappropriation to mislead the public by blackmailing political opponents that caused the Egmont Group to suspend Nigeria.


Mon, 26 Mar 2018
In a posthumous book titled, “M.T. Mbu: Dignity in Service,” slated for public presentation in Abuja on April 10, the late Ambassador M. T. Mbu has alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s ceding of the Bakassi Peninsular to Cameroon was not done in the public interest, but for personal glory.


The foreword to the book, which also gives an account of the 1966 coup, was written by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, with a blurb by former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, and introduced by former Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).
According to his son, Mark, the late Mbu was encouraged by the renowned Ibadan book publisher, Chief Joop Berkhout, to write his memoir before he died on February 6, 2012.

The late Mbu, who hailed from Bokyi in Cross River State and remains to date Nigeria’s youngest ever minister, having first been appointed to head the Federal Ministry of Labour at age 23 in 1953 under the colonial administration, said in his recollections that he warned First Republic Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, of an impending coup based on what he heard soldiers discussing openly in Kaduna.

The late Mbu, whose career traversed several ministries, all of which he headed at different epochs (from the fifties to nineties), and was privy to most of the negotiations on Bakassi, argued that the decision to cede the Peninsular to Cameroon was taken because “Obasanjo was hoping to impress the international community, the outside world and to be hailed as having avoided war. He was gunning for a Nobel Peace Prize to be in the same column as Al Gore and Nelson Mandela”.

According to Mbu, when Obasanjo went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with Cameroon, there was no need for it. “Nigerians have been occupying their land. Nigeria was not obliged to go to that court.
“With that judgement and our compliance with the jurisdiction, we have only postponed the evil day that a solution has been found. And what is annoying is our indifference to the optional clause of the statute of the International Court of Justice,” he wrote in the book.
Nigeria, ECOWAS and the Morocco Question
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
TUESDAY WITH REUBEN ABATI I was in Morocco recently, about 20 years after I last visited Timbuktu, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat and Laayoune. I was quite impressed to see how Morocco with its colour-coded cities remains very much an organized, efficient and a comparatively competitive country. The trip this time began from the Lagos airport aboard []
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Jonathan Denies N100bn was Moved to His Residence by CBN
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Asks Osinbajo to stop hiding behind 'sources' Tobi Soniyi In response to the story pushed out by the presidency on Sunday providing more details on how N100 billion was allegedly moved to the private residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan by the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from the vault of the Central Bank []
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Oyegun: Call for My Removal Belongs to History
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Tinubu, Akande absent at APC caucus meeting Buhari to attend party's NEC meeting today The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, last night said the call for his removal was a thing of the past as the party has moved forward. Oyegun who said this when he spoke with journalists []
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States' Debts Exceed 50% of Their Annual Revenue, Warns FRC
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Lagos, Osun, C'River lead states with highest debt to revenue ratio Chineme Okafor in Abuja The 2016 Annual Report of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has disclosed that most states in Nigeria now have financial debts that are more than 50 per cent of the annual revenues they get. The report stated that in 18 []
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Herdsmen Attack Benue Villages Again, Kill Five
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
George Okoh in Makurdi Fulani herdsmen on Monday attacked Agatu and Guma Local Government Areas in Benue State, killing five persons in the process. According to a source, two people were killed in Agatu, two people killed in Guma, while one herdsman was killed at Lower Benue, a suburb of Makurdi. The herdsmen had attacked []
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Kwara Gov, Others Pledge Support for IPI Congress 2018
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfattah Ahmed, on Monday assured the International Press Institute (IPI) of support to ensure that Nigeria successfully host the IPI World Congress in June. The governor, while receiving a delegation of the IPI Congress Media and Publicity Committee, which was on advocacy visit to his office in Ilorin, said he []
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Middle East Tensions Support Crude Oil Price at $70 Per Barrel
Tue, 27 Mar 2018
Ejiofor Alike with agency report Crude oil prices slipped slightly on Monday but a rebound in stock market and the escalating Saudi Arabia ' Iran tensions capped the losses and supported Brent crude futures at over $70 per barrel. Concerns of a looming trade dispute between the United States and China had also weighed on []
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