NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [8th April, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 8th April, 2018.

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Less than a year, precisely 313 days, to the 2019 general elections, the nation’s political landscape is still hazy, as President Muhammadu Buhari remains undecided on whether he would make a second bid for his office even as potential presidential aspirants in his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties, including the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are hesitant to step forward.

Notwithstanding the controversy over the reordering of the sequence of election contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, which has been vetoed by the president, it would have been expected that the country would be in an electioneering frenzy by now, particularly after the release of the electoral calendar by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) earlier in the year.


 
The electoral commission had fixed the presidential and National Assembly elections for February 16, 2019 while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections are to hold two weeks later on March 2, 2019. But intra parties preparations for the elections, including primaries for the nomination of candidates, are to begin on August 18 and end on October 7, 2018.

Nothing demonstrates the lethargy in the polity more than the fact that four months to the scheduled nomination primaries of the political parties, no serious bid is being made by any of the 11 presumed aspirants THISDAY listed in its February 25, 2018 edition.

They included the incumbent, Buhari; former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; APC National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu; former Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano State) and Donald Duke (Cross River State); Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe); former CBN Deputy Governor, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu; and multi-billionaire business mogul, Aliko Dangote.

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Although political analysts have adduced several probable reasons for the lull, a substantial number of them apprehend Buhari’s indecision on his presidential future as the main reason responsible for the hesitation by presumed contestants. They contend that while many of the possible aspirants in the ruling APC might be holding back because Buhari is most likely to have first right of refusal, opposition parties, particularly, the PDP’s contenders might be taking their time largely because of the intense covert power game in their parties.

Buhari had told some APC governors of Northern extraction that visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja in February, to persuade him to run again in 2019 that he was taking his time to contemplate the possibility and that he would make his decision known as soon as he makes up his mind.

A few weeks ago, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, broached the issue in a media interview and said the president was keeping his decision to his close to his chest, particularly because he would not want his government to be saboutage.

The immediate implication of the president’s mum on the rerun is that he has left several others in his party, including Tinubu, el-Rufai, Tambuwal and Kwankwaso, who are believed to have a burning desire to take his seat, undecided too.

In the main opposition party, the PDP, where the defection of Atiku had been expected to increase the tempo of activities, all is also quiet as the party struggles to recover from its post-December 9, 2017 National Convention crisis, which has seen some of its founding members leaving for the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The general lull, in the face of growing disenchantment with the Buhari administration has left many political observers confounded, asking: “Where goes Nigeria in 2019?” Will the country be stuck with Buhari or will a new aspirant spring a surprise out of the blues? The answer blows in the wind even as the 11 presumed aspirants earlier listed by THISDAY remain in contention albeit in deep silence.

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
The All Progressives Congress (APC) saturday confirmed that it would hold its National Executive Committee meeting on Monday to resolve its lingering leadership succession crisis.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, told THISDAY in Abuja that in spite of the constitutional issues around the meeting’s notice, it would go on as scheduled, clarifying that it is a continuation of the penultimate week’s meeting of the NEC.


 
“I don’t think there is any issue about the meeting’s notice because the Monday’s NEC is seen as a continuation of the last one held last week,” he said, adding: “The notice for the meeting has been given since that time because we didn’t finish the issue of constitutional amendment, the report of the committee on true federalism and all that. So the question of the constitutionality of the meeting does not even arise.”

Abdullahi’s confirmation headlines the storm expected at the meeting as members are expected to deliberate on President Muhammadu Buhari’s constitutional points of objection to the February 27, 2018 NEC’s decision to extend the tenure of the John Odigie Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) as well states and local government executive committees.

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The extension had elicited strong objection very senior chieftains of the party, including its National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, who argued that it was in violation of the party’s and the 1999 Constitution as altered, which provide for period election for executives of political parties.

As opposition to the extension of the executive tenure which ought to end on June 13, 2018 rose, with the Lagos State chapter and three other members filling suits against it in court, the president in a surprise move backed the opposition gang, advising the party leadership to reverse itself.

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
A cultural convergence of glittering proportions took place this past weekend in Lagos, Nigeria, a city that is—to put it lightly—having a moment. Naomi Campbelland Imaan Hammam were in town to walk runways at Arise Fashion Week (a finely curated schedule of catwalks by African designers) and Nike debuted their brand-new kits for the Nigerian soccer team (who have qualified for this year’s World Cup in Russia in June) with a pop-up jersey-customization station at African Artists’ Foundation. And then there was the second edition of Homecoming, a three-day event organized by London It-girl-cum-mogul Grace Ladoja, who imagined the mini-festival as a celebration of her heritage country, booking headliners Skepta (a London boy of Nigerian descent) and Wizkid (the Lagos-born Afrobeats megastar) for a concert at a swanky venue. John Boyega and Ozwald Boateng were casually milling about backstage, breakout rapper J Hus crowd-surfed during his insanely energetic set, and it felt, for a moment, like Nigeria was the only place you’d want to be.

To be fair, a weekend in Lagos with this much excitement has felt inevitable for some time. You’d be hard-pressed to find any other city with as much cachet and influence and vitality in 2018, and one can imagine in the future looking back at this time in Lagos like we do now at London in the 1960s: as the seismic center of a youthquake. “We are at the forefront,” says the Nigerian-British fashion designer Irene Agbontaen, lounging at Tarkwa Bay, a pleasant beach on the water. “We’ve been at the forefront.” Or, as Skepta puts it simply: “Lagos really feels like the new cultural mood board.”


 
In the city itself, there are new shops and clubs popping up, and more broadly you can feel the pulse of Nigeria and its diaspora all over the world, whether it’s Kehinde Wiley’s sensational portrait of Barack Obama now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery or the innovation of Afrobeat setting the pace for music all over the globe. “There are so many people of Nigerian descent doing big things—Chimamanda [Ngozi Adichie], Skepta, [boxer] Anthony Johnson, Wizkid,” says Teni Zaccheaus, a founding publisher of Native, a new magazine made for and by Nigerians. Native also teamed up with Nike to throw a football tournament featuring teams from their magazine, Skepta’s crew, and Off-White in competition. “It’s a renaissance of art and culture and music and sports and performance and architecture.”

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Homecoming’s organizer Ladoja has been key to the spread of Naija culture in the West. As a creative mind behind Skepta, one of the most successful artists in the history of British grime, she’s made it her mission to bring Lagos to London and London to Lagos. “I’m British and Nigerian—what are we gonna make that bridges that? It’s hippie shit, but I genuinely believe I understand my purpose,” she says poolside one day at the hip hotel Maison Fahrenheit in Victoria Island. “I’m just a vessel for change.” She (along with Greatness Dex, who runs the African satellite of Skepta’s grime collective) has been a part of helping Skepta to become a local hero here; while in the country for Homecoming, he was officially made a chief (or Amuludun of Odo-Aje) of his family’s hometown, Ijebu Ode. “To be able to come back to Nigeria and get so much love for my work is my biggest life blessing. I’ve always hoped to never get lost in translation with me being British-born,” Skepta says. “Finding your way home is everything, so to do it and still be loved like you were abroad makes it all worth it.”

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, has stated that the 2nd THISDAY Healthcare Policy Dialogue, tagged: ‘The Journey to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria’ is timely, as the National Assembly has intensified efforts for the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund (BHCPF) for all Nigerians.

The BHCPF is a fund allocation to cater for the basic health needs of all Nigerians, with a minimum of one per cent provision by government as stipulated in the 2014 National Health Act.


 
Tejuoso said the National Assembly is about concluding the passage of the 2018 national budget, but that if it doesn’t reflect the one per cent of the consolidated revenue fund for health, the country would be sending a wrong signal to development partners.

“If we don’t do this, it means we are not encouraging development partners that have spent more than that over the past years. We cannot surrender our health financing to foreign friends,” he added.

He said the implementation for 2018 would mean a minimum of about N45 billion would be set aside in this year’s national budget for BHCPF.

According to him, this is why the health summit, organised by THISDAY Newspapers is coming at the right time since the passage of the national budget is around the corner, adding that the event would afford policy makers and healthcare stakeholders the opportunity to chat a way forward for universal health coverage for the citizens.

The high level policy dialogue will hold Thursday 12th April at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 10am.
The Summit, which is the second in a series of healthcare policy dialogues organised by THISDAY, will be headlined by the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghabreyaesus and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole headlining it.

The first edition, with the theme: Healthcare Financing, was held Tuesday March 6th 2018 in Abuja, and it recorded a huge success as it drew quality participation and came up with some far reaching conclusions that are currently being discussed at the highest level of government in the country.

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This second edition, which draws on the success of the first, is particularly relevant as Nigeria sets into motion its Universal Health Coverage aspirations with the launch of the BHCPF under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This high level policy dialogue will bring together policy makers, including members of the Federal Executive Council, parliamentarians, development partners, including bi-and multi lateral institutions, entire senior leadership of the WHO, healthcare practitioners, civil society organisations, private sector leaders, media think-tanks, academia, institutions involved in financing and delivering healthcare – banks, HMOs, MFIs & insurance companies, and members of the public.

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Participants at a town hall meeting of the 24 communities composing Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti state have stridently called for autonomy of the LGs to enable them respond to the yearnings of the people at the grassroots. The gathering observed that autonomy would ensure that the Local Governments are strong enough financially to []The post Town Hall Meeting Calls for LG Autonomy appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Eromosele Abiodun The plan by the federal government to close the Ijora-Apapa Bridge in Lagos for 'permanent repairs' will cost the country over N200 billion, if the bridge is blocked for two months. The government makes between N1.2 trillion and N1.3 trillion annually from the ports through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian []The post FG May Lose over N200bn to Ijora-Apapa Bridge Closure appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Ugo Aliogo The race for Cross River State government house assumed a competitive twist during the week following the declaration of an All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant, Tony Ushie to give the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a good run for the seat. At a well-attended rally which held in Igoli, the headquarters of Ogoja local []The post 2019: C'River APC Governorship Aspirant Declares, Promises to Build Institutions appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Police arrest seven suspects Saraki seeks improved security Abimbola Akosile and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin The Presidency has sympathised with the victims of armed robbery attacks which were carried out on five banks in Offa, Kwara State last Thursday, during which 17 people were confirmed killed, including nine policemen. The official message was contained in []The post Presidency Commiserates with Victims of Offa Bank Robbery appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Abimbola Akosile with agency report The Presidency has upbraided Senator Danjuma Goje over his comments and criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration's National Social Investment Programme (NSIP). In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, he said contrary to Goje's view, the programme []The post Presidency Chides Senator Goje over Comments on Buhari's NSIP appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

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Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Risk of early depletion as four Discos pay N6.08bn out of N44.85bn January invoice NBET officials introduce religion into leadership crisis Chineme Okafor in Abuja There are strong indications that the N701 billion payment assurance facility secured by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) for power generation companies (Gencos) in Nigeria may not last []The post Poor Remittances by Discos Threaten NBET's N701bn Power Fund appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

Sun, 08 Apr 2018
Barcelona equalled the record longest unbeaten run in La Liga history as a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired the runaway leaders to a 3-1 win over Leganes yesterday to make it 38 league games unbeaten. The Catalan giants will look to break the record that Real Sociedad set in 1979-80 when they host Valencia next weekend, []The post Messi Hat-trick Helps Barca Equal Record appeared first on THISDAYLIVE. 

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