NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE DAILY SUN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [1ST APRIL, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Sunday,  1st April, 2017.

Sun, 01 Apr 2018
The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to compel the All Progressives Congress (APC) to jettison the controversial tenure extension for the National Working Committee (NWC) has ostensibly widened the crack in the ruling party.
During the NEC meeting of the party held last Tuesday, President Buhari had kicked against the February 27, 2018 resolution which proposed one year tenure extension for the current executives at all levels, declaring it as illegal and unconstitutional.
This was with a view to avoiding needless litigations that could arise from the party’s primaries conducted by the ‘illegal’ officers.
Consequently, the party is now torn between the forces of change and that of the status quo.
Sunday Sun reliably gathered that the former group, consisting largely of the governors who are favourably disposed to Oyegun’s leadership is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their wish eventually prevails. These include Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi State); Malam Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna State); Umar Ganduje (Kano State); Aminu Masari (Katsina State); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State); and Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi State), as well as Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and some of his counterparts.

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This is as some major stakeholders in the party loyal to the national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, are also warming up for the imminent change of power ahead of the June expiration of the tenure of the current office holders.
According to sources within the National Assembly, a sizeable number of lawmakers, including key principal officers, have resolved to pitch their tents with the national leader.
They were motivated by the renewed confidence and close affinity between President Buhari and Tinubu. Similarly, some South-west governors (excluding Akeredolu) in conjunction with their counterparts in Edo and Imo states are also said to be mobilising their colleagues for smooth change of leadership in the coming convention.
Preparatory to that, Sunday Sun learnt that campaigns have been stepped up for a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiohmole, who is being touted as a possible replacement for Oyegun.
In September 2016, Tinubu had openly called for Oyegun’s sack. And since then, his camp has continually perfected its strategy to scheme Oyegun out of the exalted position. Part of that strategy is the choice of his kinsman as the next national chairman.
As the scheming continues to gather momentum, there have been discordant tunes in the party. Some members of the NWC, who spoke with Sunday Sun, argued that conducting fresh congresses from the grassroots to the national level would spell doom for the party.
A member of the committee who did not want his name on print declared that the President had worsened the crisis situation in the party with his pronouncement on tenure elongation.
His words: “Sincerely speaking, Mr President misfired. Apart from the opportunity the caucus meeting provided in the eve of the NEC meeting, Mr President would have hinted the national chairman of such weighty decision ahead to see how it can be managed. To really worsen the matter, he said it before the media, denying us every opportunity of managing the information differently. He must be in a dreamland if he thinks that Tinubu alone can guarantee him ticket for re-election in the 2019. NWC members have nothing to lose. Mr President should watch his back.”
Another NWC member, who equally spoke in confidence, said: “For me, conducting fresh congresses will take the party backward. If we conduct primaries in Ekiti and Osun and the 36 states, as well as the national level, it will certainly scatter the party. Don’t forget that the 2019 general election is already around the corner. We cannot afford to carry litigations into the elections.
“Many of us have scores to settle with one another; many of us have justifiable reasons to be angry with one person or the other. But what shall we gain if we destroy the party in the process of pursuing our vengeances? The party members will be the greatest losers if the party is destroyed. Our concern should go beyond our personal anger against one another. Several interests will equally come to play in setting up the committee to resolve the tenure elongation logjam. I am afraid that the party may suffer defeat during the 2019 general elections.”
APC Chairman, Ebonyi State chapter, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze, while warning against the disastrous effects of changing the national and state leadership of the party, said that there were possibilities that most states and local governments would parade parallel executives.
He said: “Let me appeal to our aggrieved sisters and brothers that there may not be APC after 2019 if we conduct congresses to elect national and state officers. We will play into the hands of the PDP and Obasanjo’s Third Force. Some governors under PDP states will have opportunity to manipulate the congress since the APC leadership in some states has no financial muscle to conduct state congresses.
“The best thing to happen for the APC to make appreciable impact in the 2019 general elections would be to allow the current national and state leadership to continue. Mark my word, APC will struggle to win any election in 2019 if we go into the election as a divided party.
“We should not forget in a hurry that the problem which made it impossible for the PDP to recover till today was going into the 2015 general elections as a divided party. We must avoid occurrence of such mistake of going into the 2019 elections with litigations and divisions.” However, Senator Rufai Hanga, in a quick response to the claims, dismissed the fear that organising a fresh election would lead to further crisis in the party.
He said: “Holding fresh convention won’t tear the party apart; it will rather strengthen democracy. Before the president made the call for fresh convention, people were already prepared to leave the party because they believed the party belonged to some people. Now that the majority of supporters who are not happy have the opportunity to aspire to position in the party, it is better for the party.  It is in line with the position of the majority of our party members. In Kano, Kaduna, and several other places, that is the position of the majority.”
According to him, holding a fresh convention will give people the opportunity to aspire to different positions in the party.
“In most of the states, there was no election; the majority of aspirants were sidelined. They just wrote names of people they wanted into different offices. But now, a lot of people will have the opportunity to aspire into positions. I hope the party will stand its feet and make sure election holds. As we speak, some states are preparing to do the same thing they did the other time either by writing names or confirming the existing ones, which will not be good for the party,” he noted.
Also speaking in the same vein, Senator Joseph Waku stressed that the party would remain united if the people are allowed to elect leaders of their choice.
Commending the president for his resolution, he added: “The president is learning the rope of politicking. Having seen the reactions of the people, he has decided to act in line with the wish of the majority. That is the aspiration of our political leaders.  We cannot run away from Obasanjo’s tenure elongation and watch another person coming again with it in another crafty manner; otherwise, we will be killing the system. I commend the president for respecting the constitution of our party, as well as the country’s constitution. It has saved the party from an imminent collapse; it has put an end to impunity and arrogance in leadership. Now that the president has given the party to the people, it is now left for us to decide who to vote for.”
While admitting that the convention ought to have come earlier, he maintained that creating a level playing ground for all aspirants would make the party stronger and more united.
“It should have been done before now. The party will remain united when the people are allowed to elect the leaders of their choice. When the tenure of the present NWC expires in June, a caretaker committee will be put in place to organise election into various offices. If the party zones the position of national chairman to the same zone and aspirants from the zone come out to contest, people will decide who they want. But if the process is going to be maneuvered by the godfathers, the people will oppose and resist it. We are no longer interested in anointing any particular individual for whatever guise. The process of electing political leaders must be through participation of the rank and file of the party supporters. It should not be a garrison where you give a marching order.  Even if Oyegun himself wants to re-contest, he is free to do so. Nigerians are there to judge him whether or not he is a good leader. This is the way to reposition the party,” he posited.
Also speaking, renowned public affairs analyst, Mr Jide Ojo, said that the APC has nothing to fear if they intend to organise free and fair congresses and convention.

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He said: “In a way, the APC wanted to use the extension of Oyegun’s tenure to mitigate the fallout of possible rancorous congresses and national convention in June this year, knowing full well that the nomination for the parties is coming up in the last quarter of 2018. Within the last one month, the president possibly held consultations and he is still pitching his tent with Tinubu by not only overruling the NEC on the extension, but also going to Lagos to honour Tinubu at the10th colloquium that was held few days ago. This obviously shows any political watcher that the president must have weighed his options and felt that he needs Tinubu more than Odigie-Oyegun. More so with his coming out to say that the NEC should reconsider the earlier position and make sure that they hold congresses and convention in accordance with constitution of the party and the country.

Sun, 01 Apr 2018
It will be a new dawn in the Catholic Church in West Africa on Saturday, April 7, when Monsignor Simon Faddoul,  will be consecrated and enthroned in Lebanon as the first bishop of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of the Annunciation, located in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The new Eparchy in Nigeria is a diocese just like the existing Catholic Diocese in Ibadan, but it will have its own bishop who will superintend over Maronite parishes in Nigeria and across West and Central Africa, where Catholic Lebanese reside.
He will also be a visitor to the Lebanese community in South Africa.
The ordained priests under the Eparchy can either be married or unmarried unlike what obtains in the regular Catholic Church, where all priests must take and adhere strictly to the oath of celibacy.
Following his consecration and enthronement, Monsignor Faddoul would preside over the Eparchy from Our Lady of Annunciation Church, located at 22 Jibowu Crescent, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
The seat of the bishop is surrounded by Premier FM of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Best Western Plus Hotel, former Deborah Mission House, Ibadan International School, and Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Currently, Catholic faithful who worship at Our Lady of Annunciation, which was until recently a parish of the Ibadan Diocese of the Catholic Church, are Lebanese residing in Ibadan. Mass is celebrated in the Aramaic Language. Recall that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself spoke in that language a number of times as recorded in the Bible. Some examples include when he raised a young maiden from the dead, by saying, “Talitakumi,” which means, “Young girl, arise.”
On the cross at his crucification, he spoke twice in Aramaic too: “Eloi, eloi, laba saba tani (My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me).
As Christendom marks His resurrection from the dead today, the words He spoke in anguish would resonate again in churches across the globe, when the Christian faithful will adore and worship Him in thanksgiving.

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As at the time of filing this report, Sunday Sun learnt that the bishop-elect of the new Eparchy had travelled out of the country in preparation for his consecration and inauguration on Saturday.
The decision of the Vatican to create the new specialized diocese would henceforth allow seminarians who feel called to the Catholic priesthood to respond to the inward call and still be able to marry if they so choose.
The freedom to marry and still be priests would only obtain in the new Eparchy which is guided by the doctrines of the Eastern Church as opposed to the practices of the Latin or Western Church (otherwise known as the Roman Catholic Church), where priests are compelled to be celibate for life as long as they remain ordained priests.
It would be recalled that in the early centuries of Christianity, priests of the Roman Catholic Church were allowed to marry and have children. This practice ended following a doctrinal imposition by the Papacy.
Sunday Sun investigation revealed that Monsignor Faddoul has started learning the English Language as a teacher was said to have been employed for him so that his vast knowledge of Lebanese Language will be complemented with English, which would rightly position him for the evangelism.
When Sunday Sun visited the church, the entrance gate was firmly locked, and two guards at the gate of the church did not allow access into the premises on the grounds that the reporter did not have official permission.
The coming of the Maronite Eparchy has raised curiosity among members of the Catholic Church, especially those in the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan, on the implications of the development in the country.
Efforts made to talk to the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Reverend Gabriel Abegunrin, were not successful as he was said to have travelled to Abuja, as at the time of filing this report. Also, notable Catholics in Ibadan, especially the President, Laity Council, Mr Steve Olasupo, could not be reached for comments.

Sun, 01 Apr 2018
Former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, in this interview on the state of the nation, urges President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate a meeting of leaders across the six geo-political zones as a panacea to curbing the escalating insecurity in the country.

Ogunlewe, who spoke against the backdrop of the recent statement by a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd), alleging that the armed forces had been providing cover to armed bandits to kill innocent people and urging Nigerians to defend themselves, warned against further crisis, saying “we are going to be an embarrassment to the Black race if we don’t manage our affairs properly.”

The security challenges bedeviling the country took a different dimension recently with a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, accusing the security agencies of bias and urging Nigerians to rise up and defend themselves. What is your take on the issue in your position as an elder statesman?
It’s not only Gen. Danjuma that has spoken in that light. Former president Obasanjo also spoke in the same vein, the same thing with former president Babangida. When wise people are talking like that in a nation, then all is not well. These are our five star Generals; they are all respected leaders in the country. My take is that they should call a meeting where all of them would sit down and discuss this matter. It’s of national importance; it’s something that nobody should ignore. It’s better we discuss it and the issues are addressed. People that are waving it away may be postponing the evil day.
My concern is that in Yoruba land, there is a saying that where somebody is running, something must be pursuing that person. You can hardly see somebody that is just running without a cause. So, when that person is running, if you look properly you will probably get what is pursuing him/her. So, what is pursuing Nigeria as a nation is something that all our leaders need to find out. They can call a meeting of all the leaders in the country; they know themselves. They can sit down and address these issues and nip them in the bud because they are of concern to everybody.

If you are talking about a meeting of all the leaders in the country, who and who do you think should be involved?

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We know the leaders across all the geo-political zones. If you talk about the South-west, we know the Afenifere leadership. If you talk about the South-east, we know those that are leading them. If you talk about South-south, they know themselves. The Middle Belt people also know themselves likewise the North-west and the North-east people. So, they can gather together and talk; they know themselves. We know people that when they talk Nigerians listen. They should come together, close the door and speak on our behalf. Our population will not support any crisis in our country. God forbid! We are too many to be crisis ridden. We are going to be an embarrassment to the Black race if we don’t manage our affairs properly.

Will the kind of gathering you are talking about not amount to another form of national conference. Is that what you are advocating?
No! The leaders will just sit down and talk. It’s not going to be an all comers gathering. They know people that are important in this country and it is going to be a closed-door meeting. The meeting I am talking about is of critical national importance. And people that should be there are people that can stand up and speak the truth; people that will not be afraid to say the truth. We know them and those are the kind of people I’m talking about. Look at the meeting the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) held in Kaduna recently. They issued a communiqué, which should be of concern to everybody. That kind of body is too important to be ignored. And when people are making ‘noise’ like that, somebody somewhere should listen. That’s my take.

Who should initiate this talk?
The President, of course. He is the president of every Nigerian. He is the father of all in this country and he must be able to listen to everybody.

In view of Danjuma’s statement, which the Federal Government has described as a call to anarchy, how do think Nigerians can defend themselves within the ambit of the law in the face of the present security challenges across the country, especially if government fails to initiate steps restore law and order?
I think they will take necessary steps this time around. A person of Danjuma’s calibre is not a frivolous talker. How often has the man spoken in this country in the last four years? He doesn’t talk. For an elderly person like him to speak out now, you cannot ignore his views; you cannot! What does he want again that he doesn’t have already? These are the people that ensured the survival of the unity of Nigeria. When a lot of other Nigerians were running away, they were on the battlefield to make sure that Nigeria remains united. Are you telling me that if they observe something they should not say so? I don’t think so. They must speak when it’s important that they speak because everybody that fought for the unity of this country has a larger stake in it than some of us that didn’t fight. How can you put your life down for the unity of a country and you cannot talk in that country? They sacrificed for our unity; they sacrificed for our survival as a nation. We owe them a duty to listen to every thing they say.

Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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Sun, 01 Apr 2018
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