Today’s The Nation Newspaper Headlines Thursday 21st February 2019

Today’s The Nation Newspaper Headlines Thursday 21st February 2019

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Army Chief: ballot box snatchersll be dealt with

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019

MILITARY officers with divided loyalty were yesterday ordered to resign.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai said such officers should quit not later than tomorrow.

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Gen. Buratai spoke as the Army renewed its pledge to constituted authority, stressing that it will not disobey orders.

Besides, it vowed to deal with “those who seek to undermine our democracy by interfering in our electoral process”.

He said incitement against constituted authority will not be tolerated.

Gen. Buratai, at a meeting with General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) and selected Commanders at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, cautioned politicians against making inciting statements.

The COAS spoke against the backdrop of the remarks by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman Uche Secondus at the PDP 84th National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

The party leaders counselled the military not to obey President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that ballot box snatchers be severely dealt with as part of measures to sanitise the electoral process.

Gen. Buratai said: “It is unfortunate to hear persons who are aspiring to rule this country again inciting the army to disobedience. We have consistently stated our position in the political dispensation to remain neutral and apolitical.

“However, direct and public incitement of the military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated. I request such persons to withdraw this inciting statement. Let me reemphasize loud and clear, that the Nigerian Army is a professional army.

“The foundation of military professionalism is discipline and without discipline an army cannot stand. One of our core values is loyalty to constituted authority. Loyalty must be hundred per cent. I shall leave you in no doubt as to our resolve to bequeath a professionally responsive army to Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Should any officer or soldier have doubts as to his loyalty to the Nigerian State as presently constituted, such a person has up to February 22, 2019 to resign. There is no room for indiscipline or disobedience to lawful orders in the NA today.”

Lt.-Gen. Buratai, who said the meeting was called to review matters arising as a result of the postponement of the general elections, noted that the shift has increased apprehension locally and internationally, especially on the safety of voters and electoral materials.

The COAS said: “You are all welcome to this expanded weekly meeting which has in attendance, not only Principal Staff Officers and Directors, but also GOCs and selected field commanders.

“You will all recall that just two weeks ago, we all met here for an Operations Conference that was held to strategise on the NA’s roles during the 2019 General Elections, which was earlier planned to commence from 16 Feb 19.

“Unfortunately, the election did not hold as planned and has been postponed to hold on 23 Feb 19 and 9 Mar 19. This shift in date has necessitated a need to review some of the decisions taken at the last conference and also to reiterate some of the directives Passed to you in light of the postponement of the elections.

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Police confirm attack on Kwara APC senatorial candidate, others
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Kwara State Police Command yesterday confirmed the attack on the campaign train of Kwara South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lola Ashiru, by suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs loyal to its Kwara South senatorial candidate, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim in Ojoku, Oyun Local Government Area.Police spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: We received with astonishment the reported attack unleashed on Lola Ashiru, the APC sena
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PDPll be defeated on Sat, says Tinubu
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council Co-chairman Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday urged party members in Lagos to intensify the mobilisation for Saturdays rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.Noting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was jittery, he said the ruling party will defeat the opposition party at the poll and put it to shame.The former Lagos State governor also explained why Igbo in Lagos should vote for the APC, saying that the government
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Two APC members shot dead by suspected PDP thugs in Kwara
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said two of its members were shot dead by suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs during a senatorial campaign tour at Ojoku in Oyun Local Government Area.Oyun is the home town of Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, who is also the PDP senatorial candidate for Kwara South in this Saturdays National Assembly election.The attackers were also said to have injured eight APC members and vandalised 20 vehicles belonging to APC Kwara So
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Court of Appeal fails to hear Onnoghens suits
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
THE Court of Appeal in Abuja has postponed its planned hearing of the three appeals filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to February 27.It was the third time, in one month, that the court will postpone hearing in the appeals filed against the decisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), before which the suspended CJN is standing trial for alleged breach of code of conduct for public officers.Justice Onnoghen is, by his first appeal, challenging the
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Oyo govt sacks Akalas son as local govt chair
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Oyo State government has endorsed the sack of Mr Olamijuwon Alao-Akala, a son of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, as the Executive Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government Area.In his place, former Vice Chairman Abas Bello has been sworn in an acting capacity to chair the council.The decision followed the change of party by the sacked local government chairman from the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) to the Action Democratic Party (ADP), the platform on which his father is contesti
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Fed Govt to consider oil output cut
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
OIL cartel push for output cut to attract higher prices in the global market gained more ground yesterday. It got the backing of the Federal Government.A statement by Garba Shehu, Media and Publicity Aide to the President, said President Muhammadu Buhari pledged Nigerias cooperation to the effort to reduce oil production to push up prices.The President spoke when he received the Minister of State for African Affairs/Special Envoy of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ahmad Qattan.Pre
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Polls shift: Fed Govt orders payment of February salary
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Federal Government yesterday ordered the immediate payment of February salaries to enable workers wishing to travel to vote in the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly election on Saturday.Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed broke the news to reporters after yesterdays Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.According to him, the payment of February salaries to federal workers began on Tuesday.The early payment, he s
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PDP to Army chief: dont drag military into politics
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai was yesterday cautioned against dragging the military into politics.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which gave the counsel, urged the Army chief to refrain from acts or actions that could suggest in any way that the military has become an arm of a political party.The opposition party faulted Buratais allusion to its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as well as his threats to officers and ranks to execute the orders of President Muhammad
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Delta youths endorse Atiku, Okowa others
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
CONCERNED Youth Presidents (CPP) in Burutu Local Government in Delta State, yesterday, endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.The group also endorsed PDP candidates in the state, urging youths in Burutu council to re-elect Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his deputy, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro.The group spoke in a statement signed by over 10 youth groups from Burutu.CPP described Okowa as a development guru and a friend to youths, adding that Delta
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Election: PDP advises Buratai not to drag Military into politics
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai not to drag the Military into politics.Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan gave the advice in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation urged Buratai to refrain himself from acts or actions that would suggest in any way that the military had become an arm of a politic
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Maku pledges resuscitation of Nasarawa cultural festivals if elected governor
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Gubernatorial Candidate in Nasarawa State,Mr Labaran Maku said he would revive the states cultural festivals that had been abandoned by previous administrations if elected.Maku, a former deputy governor of the state, made the promise when he hosted Mr Aliyu Doma, the Gubernatorial Candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) at his Akwanga residence on Wednesday.According to him, the state that has multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and cross-cultural heritage should
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Nigeria loses billions of dollars to prolonged bid rounds
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
BILLIONS of dollars have been lost due to governments inability to conduct bid rounds for major and marginal oil fields, former co-founder and Executive Director, Pillar Oil Limited, Seye Fadahunsi, has said.Fadahunsi could, however, not give a specific figure, but he maintained that the figures run into billions of dollars. This is what the country could have been able to add to the economy over the last 12 years, especially from proper licensing rounds of blocks that are fallow, he said.He exp
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Oil firm invests N8b in downstream
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Chief Executive Officer, ENYO Retail and Supply Limited, an retail outlet, Abayomi Awobokun, said the company has invested over N8 billion in the downstream retail business with eyes on expanding its market share in the petroleum sub-sector.Awobokun, in a press outing yesterday in Lagos, said set up the company to impact positively in the downstream subsector of the oil and gas industry, adding that despite the challenges confronting the petroleum industry, his team of investors is ready to
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Motorists, OPS lament return of trucks to Lagos roads
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
Lagosians thought the end had come to the traffic gridlock on its major roads with the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari two week ago on a campaign tour.But like a flash in the pan, the traffic nightmare has since returned.Their joy and relief was short-lived as these tankers have returned to the roads, causing stressful traffic and frustrating ride on road users.The frustration is not limited to commuters alone, but other businesses, such as real estate in Apapa and environs have fallen victi
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Meter asset providers to begin operation soon, says NERC
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is working to ensure that firms, which applied to serve as meter asset providers under the new metering arrangements, begin operation soon, its officer in charge of Meter Asset Providers (MAPs), Mr Shittu Shuaibu, has said.In an interview with The Nation on phone, he said the Commission is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure the success of the new metering scheme, which culminated in the introduction of the meter asset providers, as a th
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AfDB approves $15m equity fund for SMEs
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $15 million equity investment in Verod Capital Growth Fund III, a private equity fund that will make investments in high growth middle market companies in Anglophone West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.The Funds investments will be in companies in consumer-driven sectors including light industrials, fast-moving consumer goods, education, financial services and agro-processing. The ticket
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Chevron bags NIPS awards
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, has won two awards at the industry dinner and awards night, organised by the Nigerian Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja. The awards were in recognition of the companys outstanding performance.The awards won by CNL are: for contributions to the hydrocarbons industry, and the Foreign Investment Network (FIN).CNL Chairman and Managing Director, Jeff Ewing, received the two awards. The first award was presen
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FGN bond auction oversubscribed
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The trend of oversubscription at Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bond Auctions for the year continued at the February 2019 Auction conducted yesterday by the Debt Management Office (DMO).Three instruments, for 5, 7 and 10-year tenors, with a total value of N150 billion were offered but total bids received from investors for the bonds exceeded N234 billion, with a total subscription level of 156 per cent.In a statement, DMO said: The focus of investors was principally on the 10-year bond whic
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Govts intervention in Arik, Aero kept over 3, 000 jobs
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
Federal Governments intervention in Arik and Aero Contractors saved over 3,000 jobs in the aviation industry, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said yesterday.He said the intervention also prevented the dearth of more aviation professionals and the two airlines are today still in operation, under receivership.He said to make the airspace safer, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), completed the Kano Tower Automated Air Traffic Management and Meteor
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SMEDAN unveils Conditional Grant Scheme for micro enterprises
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) yesterday launched the Conditional Grant Scheme for micro enterprises in Nigeria. The scheme is expected to lift the sub-sector, making it more efficient and financially viable.Speaking yesterday at the launch of the scheme in Lagos, Director-General, SMEDAN, Dikko Radda, said the micro enterprises sub-sector is a critical sub-sector in the Nigerian enterprise development space.He said the sector collectively account for a majority of
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Oil rallies to $67
Thu, 21 Feb 2019
Oil prices hit new highs yesterday, bouncing back from a morning slump after the United States (U.S.) government said shale output would rise to a record next month.Brent futures rose 79 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $67.24 a barrel, surpassing Mondays high for the year of $66.83.U.S. futures were up 99 cents, 1.8 per cent, at $57.08 a barrel, after hitting a new intra-day high going back to late November.Nigeria, which has $60 budget benchmark for this year, is willing to reduce oil output to help
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