Newspapers Review: Stories That Made The Headlines This Thursday Morning – 19 July 2018

Lagos at standstill as over 12,000 trucks choke roads
Thu, 19 Jul 2018
LAGOS — Over 12,337 tankers and container-laden trucks are at present illegally parked in different parts of Lagos, just as the entire stretch of the dual carriage Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, inward Tin Can/Apapa, has been invaded and seized by over 5,000 articulated trucks. Consequently, traffic on the ever-busy road has been totally paralysed with attendant untold suffering for motorists, commuters and other road users.
Vanguard’s on-the-spot counting of illegally-parked trucks and tankers on roads and bridges within Apapa and environs, including far-flung places in Lagos, shows that no fewer than 12,337 of them are scattered in different locations in the areas visited. A breakdown of this shows that from Iyana Isolo to Tin Can, there are 3,200 trucks parked on the road; Ijora to Palmgrove, 3,485; from Marine Bridge to Ijora, 1850 and down the bridge, 1050; from Stadium to Eko Bridge, 874; from Costain—Stadium-Alaka—Fadeyi, 865; from Berger Suya to Kirikiri Road(New Road Bus stop, 678; from Wilmer Bridge to Awodiora(Ajegunle), 187; from Coker to Costain Bridge, 63.

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Buhari govt confused, incompetent to stem killings, says Obasanjo
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again attacked the Federal Government, stating that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is incompetent and incapable of addressing the killings and poverty in the country.

He argued that the administration was confused and had reached the end of its tether while the nation was being left perilously to drift.

Instead of proffering solutions, the former leader said the government had been wringing its hands and “giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the other.”

Obasanjo said this in a letter read on his behalf at a one-day national summit on insecurity and killings in Nigeria convened by the Northern Elders Forum, Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum on Wednesday in Abuja.

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Defection fever grips Senate
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

“When politician meet, they must discuss politics and how to improve on the standard of living of Nigerians. It will not be wrong to say that some issues were discussed. I do not know when Saraki and Baraje will publicly declare their defection. I cannot speak on that.” – PDP Spokesman

Fred Itua, Abuja and Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin

Palpable anxiety has gripped the Senate, as lawmakers, predominantly from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) reportedly put final touches to their planned defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Although no lawmaker has officially written to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to announce his or her defection, it was learnt that negotiations were at a “point of no return.”

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Daily Sun gathered that some of the leading lawmakers plotting to dump the APC, were waiting for the last day before the Senate begins its annual recess.
The parliament will be shut from next week till the end of September.

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Saraki, Wike, Tambuwal, Ortom in defection talks
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

It was meant to be a gathering to pray for a politician’s mother, but yesterday’s session in Ilorin was more than that.

Politicians latched onto the prayer to smoothen defection talks between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Reformed-All Progressives Congress(R-APC)—the conclave of aggrived APC members.

The secret session was between PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus and some aggrieved APC bigwigs, led by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Also yesterday, former President Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting with former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in Minna.

The two-hour meeting was described as “private”.

Some APC governors, PDP governors and PDP leaders took advantage of the prayer for the repose of the soul of Alhaja Aishat Baraje, the mother of Kawu Baraje, a leader of the R-APC to fine tune the APC men’s defection plan.

APC Deputy National Chairman Lawal Shuaibu (North) and Adeniyi Adebayo (South) attended the prayer but the governors and the PDP chiefs thereafter held a private session at the GRA Ilorin home of the Senate president.

Saraki returned to Ilorin on Tuesday, received by a large crowd – obviously to make a political statement.

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At the session were Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Samuel Ortom(Benue) and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), who is also a presidential aspirant.

Others are: Secondus, another presidential aspirant and former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido; Senator Barnabas Gemade; Baraje and Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly Ali Ahmad, among others.

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2019 elections: Saraki, Secondus, Tambuwal, Ortom, Wike, others meet
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Intrigues ahead of the 2019 elections continued yesterday as Senate President Bukola Saraki, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus and other high ranking members of the party met in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Others at the meeting included former Jigawa State governor and PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Sule Lamido; Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan.
The meeting is seen as further moves by some elements in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who have since formed a splinter group, to return to the opposition party.
The meeting came after some of the dignitaries had taken part in the eighth day ‘Fidda’u prayers for Alhaja Aishat, mother of Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who led the formation of R-APC before he re-joined the PDP few days ago.

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For Secondus, yesterday’s meeting was his second coming to Ilorin in five days. He had earlier visited the Baraje family house on Saturday.
Though attendees were not forthcoming as to what was discussed at the meeting which took place at Saraki’s home in Ilorin, the spokesman of the PDP, Ologbondiyan described it as “a gathering of like minds.”

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Again, Obasanjo Attacks Buhari over Insecurity
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again called out President Muhammadu Buhari for his inability to tackle the security challenges and orgies of bloodshed in the country.

Obasanjo spoke Wednesday through former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, at a one-day national summit on insecurity and killings in Nigeria, convened by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

The event was also attended by a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, Chief John Nwodo; PANDEF leader, Chief Edwin Clark; Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba; former Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; and a host of others.

He said the Buhari administration had done and was still doing serious damage to Nigeria’s commonwealth and heritage, insisting that the president’s team was not only incompetent but also incapable of addressing the killings and poverty in the country.

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FG Unveils New National Carrier, Nigeria Air, In London
Thu, 19 Jul 2018

After 15 years of operating without the country’s own branded airline, the federal government yesterday unveiled the branding and livery for a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, billed to be launched at the end of this year. The defunct Nigerian Airways Limited, which was inaugurated on May 1, 1959 to give Nigeria its fledging National Airline during the tenure of Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola as minister of Aviation, stopped operation in 2003. According to reports, while the national carrier was plagued by mismanagement, corruption and overstaffing at the time of closure, the airline had debts of more than US$60,000,000, equivalent to $78,115,051 in 2016. Apart from its poor safety record, its operative fleet comprised a single aircraft flying domestic routes as well as two leased aircraft operating the international network. But unveiling the logo of a new national carrier yesterday, Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika,

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