NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [15 April, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 15 April, 2018.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
In a deft strategic move to isolate President Muhammadu Buhari over the reordering of the sequence of elections contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, already vetoed by the president, the National Assembly has proposed a new amendment bill that places the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections first on the order of elections.

Entitled, “Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018,” which passed first reading on March 21, shortly before the federal legislators proceeded on their Easter break, the bill, which THISDAY sighted, retained word for word the vetoed bill but reviewed the troublesome section 25 of the principal act.


 
The new section 25 provides that the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections shall hold first, National Assembly comes second, while the presidential election brings up the rear. The vetoed bill had provided for the National Assembly election to come first, while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly as well as the presidential ones come second and last, respectively.

But as the federal legislators came under harsh criticisms from the public, which accused them of selfishness, the president vetoed the bill on the grounds that the revision of the sequence of election would erode the discretionary powers the 1999 Constitution, as altered, grants the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the order of elections.

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The new bill, according to THISDAY National Assembly multiple sources, was a partial response to the complaint of state governors that the vetoed bill put them at a clear disadvantage and were prepared to frustrate the planed veto-override by the National Assembly. Sensing the potency of the governors, THISDAY gathered, the National Assembly leadership entered into negotiations with the state chief executives, who were believed to have enormous influence on some of the federal legislators.

According to the sources, the governors agreed to cooperate with federal legislators if they would adjust the sequence to make state elections come first while retaining the presidential poll at the rear. The federal legislature’s leadership was said to have thought this to be a reasonable compromise since the target of the reordering of the sequence was the presidency and not the governors.

With this compromise, the move to veto-override the presidential veto became worthless since doing that would retain the sequence that put the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections in the middle of the order.

“Given our agreement to move the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections forward, it became necessary to introduce a new bill and subject it through the constitutional processes of law-making,” a source told THISDAY.


Sun, 15 Apr 2018
As the nation commemorated the fourth anniversary of the abduction, by Boko Haram, of 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, saturday, the news came from Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known for his strong link to the terror group, that only 15 of the 113 girls still in the custody of the terrorists were alive.

“I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 Chibok girls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months,” he was quoted to have said by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).



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There were, however, muffled reactions from the government yesterday. While the Presidency said it had no information on Salkida’s claim, the Defence Headquarters dismissed it as the stereotype about the safety of the girls.

“I have no information on that,” Shehu Garba, a media aide to the president, told THISDAY on phone.

But the Defence Headquarters’ spokesman, Brig. Gen. John Agim, said it was not true, contending that it was the familiar speculation about the safety of the girls.

The disclosure dampened the hope of the girls’ parents and relations, who had expected their return following the federal government’s assurances that it was negotiating their release from the terrorists’ enclave.

The 276 girls were abducted on April 14, 2014. While 163 had returned at various times in different circumstances, 113 remained in the custody of Boko Haram.

President Muhammadu Buhari had again on Friday assured the world from far away London that the federal government would not abandon the 113 girls, as it was negotiating frantically with the terrorists to secure their release.

“We are concerned and aware that it is taking long to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors,” a Presidency statement quoted the president to have said.

Saying most of the girls died from cross fire between the terrorists and the Nigerian military, Salkida gave more depressing information about the remaining 15 girls, saying it was almost impossible for them to return home as they had been married off by the terrorists.

He said: “What is the status of the remaining 15 girls as far as negotiations are concerned? My investigations also revealed that they are no longer under the control of Abubakar Shekau. According to sources, they are now ‘married’ and only their ‘husbands’ can decide their fates.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has launched a major campaign to repair several years of damage done to his image by his erstwhile boss, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, as he traversed the United Kingdom in the last one month, talking to international opinion moulders on his true essence. The international image improvement engagements are preparatory to his declaration for a presidential run in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which THISDAY sources close to him said might not be later than the end of May.

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Since Atiku fell out with Obasanjo in 2003 in the heat of their PDP presidential primaries, the latter has spared no effort in projecting his deputy as a corrupt public official, who, given the opportunity to be in command of the ship of state, would “steal the country blind.” So effective has the Obasanjo stigmatisation of Atiku been that the corruption perception became the former vice president’s albatross in his three previous presidential contests.


 
“Aware of the implication of tackling this matter head on this time around, we decided Atiku should make deliberate efforts to disabuse the minds of the people, particularly, the international opinion moulders, whose views could affect his chances,” a close associate of Atiku told THISDAY last week.

Although most of the engagements were passed off as business and academic meetings, in the form of lectures on economic issues of national importance to Nigeria, THISDAY sources said the main objective of the Atiku team was to divert attention away from his not too complimentary political reputation and project him as a man of great ideas, who has been wilfully misrepresented.

Consequently, a series of foreign engagements have been lined up for him, including a major economic speech at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) on April 25.

According to a statement by his media office, the keynote speech, entitled “The Importance of Strengthening State Economic Management Systems,” will unveil innovative and tangible solutions that once implemented would help Nigerian states come out from their current economic challenges and help get Nigeria working again. It said during the trip to the UK, Atiku will also give another major keynote speech at the Invest Africa and British Council for Africa “Annual Debate”. He would speak alongside Dr Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, UK Government, on the subject of “Building new trade partnerships in Africa.”

The statement noted that the speaking engagements were a follow-up to Atiku’s meeting in June of 2017 with Liam Fox and Prime Minister Theresa May, where they discussed the UK’s plan to increase trade with Nigeria post Brexit. It added that during the trip the former vice president would also be the guest of honour at a lunch on Nigerian inward investment hosted by Lord Anthony St John (former UK Minister for Africa) and be a guest speaker at Round Table of key UK business leaders interested in investing in Nigeria at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall.

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Documents show how embattled NBET auditor tried to subvert power market Chineme Okafor in Abuja A month ahead of the planned official commissioning of its 450 megawatts (MW) capacity power generation plant located in Benin City, Edo State, Azura Power has announced the completion of its whole plant run, indicating that all of its three []The post Finally, Azura Deploys 450MW in National Grid, Raises Nigeria's Power Output appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Abimbola Akosile with agency report More than 40,000 South Africans from across the political spectrum gathered at the funeral ceremony of anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela in her beloved Soweto to wish her a final goodbye on Saturday. Madikizela-Mandela's death on April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illness was met by an []The post 40,000 Bid Anti-Apartheid Heroine, Winnie Mandela, Farewell appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

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Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Military kills seven Boko Haram insurgents in ambushes around Sambisa forest Paul Obi in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The Nigerian Army saturday said it has arrested the masterminds of the killings in Taraba State. Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Texas Chukwu said: 'Troops on exercise Ayem Akaptuma on 12 April 2018 []The post Army Arrests Masterminds of Taraba Killings appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Said red line was crossed Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The President of France, Emmanuel Macron has explained that the French, British and American attacks against Syria early morning of Saturday was in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the President Bashar Assad regime. Macron, in a statement made available yesterday by the []The post Macron: Why France, Allies Attacked Syria appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
A Nigerian oil servicing firm, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, has established a $100 million fabrication plant in Warri, Delta State to meet the fabrication needs of multinational companies in the oil and gas sector. The newly completed oil and gas production plant, according to the chairman of the company, Chief Lemon Ikpea, is dedicated []The post Warri Gets $100 Million Fabrication Plant appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Lagos records highest number, Zamfara Lowest Kuni Tyessi in Abuja In preparation for admission into the 104 Federal Government Colleges within the country, 79,878 candidates saturday sat for the National Common Entrance Examination conducted by the National Examination Council, (NECO). Out of the total number, Lagos state has the highest number in terms of enrolment []The post 79,878 Candidates Sit for NECO Exams appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo saturday left Nigeria for Togo to represent the country at an emergency meeting of leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in Lome, the Togolese capital. A statement by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, which said the meeting took stock of crisis in Guinea-Bissau, added that ECOWAS leaders []The post Osinbajo at ECOWAS Meeting in Togo appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

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