The Northern Elders have made U-turn on the Biafra agitation.
Speaking through one of the vocal voices and National Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum Prof Ango Abdullahi the northern elder said if the Igbo are tired in remaining in Nigeria, they should be allowed to leave.
He stated this while answering questions in an interview with Daily Sun. Professor Ango said he said it openly in front of the Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo that he supports Biafra in line with the principle of self-determination.
He said: ”I do if the Igbo want it. If the people of Igbo want Biafra I support them. I said this in front of the Vice-President that I support Biafra if the people of Biafra want Biafra according to the principles of self determination as agreed in the United Nations. It is a convention people should have their self determination.
See what is happening…I mean South Sudan had self determination and Nigerians if they are tired because I have said so openly that if Nigerian elites particularly those who are creating all the problems we are having today if they feel that we cannot sit down and talk honestly…
”Yes I am and I am saying we should sit down and face each other and say we want one Nigeria. If we say we want one Nigeria okay let’s sit down and discuss how we will get along with the job of creating one Nigeria. But if at some point we feel that one Nigeria will not be possible except on individual terms, not on collective terms then I am in favour of quietly and peacefully going our different ways. That is what I have said. I still say so.” he said.
BREAKING: Italian Infected With Coronavirus Visited Ogun
The Italian confirmed to have been infected with Coronavirus had also visited Ewekoro in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State this week.
But residents and visitors to the state have no reason to panic, the Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker said on Friday morning.
Coker disclosed that the Italian visited a giant manufacturing company(name withheld) in Ewekoro community, adding that the facility so visited has since been quarantined in accordance with health safety standard.
The Commissioner, who abandoned her bed rest to attend to the public health emergency, while briefing the press, said the state has epidemiologists and Infectious Disease Consultant already handling the situation with support from the Lagos State Government and Federal Government.
She said efforts are in place to get in touch with people that have had contact with the established index case.
She advised the public to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and to report to the nearest public health centre if they notice any sign of cold, cough and respiratory difficulty.
Repentant Boko Haram Terrorists To Enjoy Foreign Education — Senate Bill
The proposed National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria’ will get its funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, The PUNCH reports.
Other sources of funding include- donations, grants, annual subventions from the government and counterpart funding from the six North-East states of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe.
The details are included in the bill which was obtained by The PUNCH on Thursday.
The controversial bill, which is officially known as ‘A Bill for the Establishment of the National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria and for Other Connected Purposes’, passed the first reading in the Senate on Thursday last week.
But few hours after the bill, which was sponsored by Senator representing Yobe East, Ibrahim Geideam, passed the first reading, it attracted angry reactions from the Chibok Community, which was attacked by the insurgents in 2014, and the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Also, the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which has been calling for the release of schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in 2014 by the insurgents, said the plan to set up the agency should be done concurrently with the rehabilitation of thousands of internally displaced persons.
But on Monday, Geidam, in an interview with journalists, defended the bill. He said many Boko Haram terrorists were willing to lay down their arms but were afraid of the consequences of their action.
The senator explained that his bill was not meant to take care of insurgents captured by the security agencies because those ones would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Barely two days after the senator defended the controversial bill, 25 Boko Haram members and their wives, who surrendered to troops in Niger Republic, arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Wednesday.
A copy of the bill on the agency for Boko Haram repentant terrorists, obtained by a PUNCH correspondent, states that one per cent of TETFund and UBEC fund will be used in funding the agency for rehabilitating the terrorists.
The agency will also be funded by 0.5 per cent of the federal allocation of the six North-East states.
The PUNCH reports that TETFund obtains its funding from a compulsory two per cent profit tax that is paid by all registered companies to the Federal Government.
Section 10 of the controversial bill reads in part, “The agency shall establish and maintain a fund which will consist of initial take-off grant from the Federal Government; annual subvention from the government; states counterpart funding which will be deducted at source at 0.5 per cent of their statutory allocation; 1 per cent of the Education Tax Fund (TETFund) and UBEC fund.
According to the proposed law, the agency will also be funded by grants in aid, gift, testamentary dispositions, endowments and donations.
The bill states that the proposed agency shall have a governing board which shall consist of the chairman who is to be appointed by the President in consultation with the National Assembly.
The governing council will also have one representative from each of the North-East states, one representative each of the stakeholders, three representatives of the impacted communities, one person from the Nigerian Army, air force, navy, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, all of whom must not be below the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The council will also include one representative each from the federal ministries of humanitarian affairs, finance, environment, petroleum resources, North-East Development Commission and the Local Content Board.
As regards the powers of the proposed agency, the bill gives repentant terrorists the opportunity of receiving foreign education.
Section 5(m) reads in part, “(The agency shall) implement programmes geared towards the rehabilitation of beneficiaries, engage the services of offshore and Nigerian institutions in the pursuit of the educational needs of ex-agitators.”
The proposed agency is expected to implement a comprehensive programme in the area of disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration.
It will also coordinate efforts of relevant agencies, organisations and institutions towards the attainment of set objectives as regards job placement, internship and sustainable reintegration.
Coronavirus: Oil Price Falls Below Nigeria’s 2020 Budget Benchmark
Nigeria’s budget estimate appears threatened as oil price drops $5 below the 2020 benchmark on global fears over the impact of the Coronavirus epidemic.
Brent crude which is the international benchmark for crude oil, traded at $51.95 per barrel. This figure is $5 lower than Nigeria’s $57 crude oil price benchmark in the 2020 budget.
The United States West Texas Intermediate, WTI, traded at $47.31 per barrel, down 2.91percent.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global oil demand will witness its first contraction in a decade because the Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a partial shutdown of the Chinese economy.
For Nigeria, this does not tell a good story as the country depends on crude oil for an estimated 90 percent of export earnings and more than 50 percent of government revenue.
The outbreak has also affected businesses and governments across the world as the supply of some raw materials have been delayed and conferences cancelled.
Commenting on the impact of reduced oil prices on Nigeria’s economy and the risk of a recession, Lukman Otunuga, FXTM research analyst, said recession will continue to hang over the Nigerian economy for as long as crude oil remains the primary source of revenue.
“Falling oil presents negative consequences for the economy, especially when considering how roughly 90 percent of export earnings and over 50 percent of government revenues are from crude exports,” he said.
“What is even more alarming is Nigeria’s 2020 budget which has set the benchmark for oil at $57. With Brent and Crude both depreciating over 15 percent since the start of 2020, it raises tough questions whether Nigeria will meet its oil revenue goal of N2.64 trillion.
“The woes do not end here. Foreign exchange reserves are poised to decline on lower oil which not only complicates the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) efforts to defend the Naira but raises the risk of inflation running rampant.
“The toxic combination of lower government revenues, rising consumer prices and weakening local currency is more than enough to threaten Nigeria’s fragile economic recovery.”