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[FULL STATEMENT] Amotekun Not A Threat To National Unity — Tinubu

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National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has finally broken his silence on the raging debate surrounding Amotekun, the regional security outfit recently created by South West governors.

In a statement released today Wednesday January 22nd, Tinubu faulted claims made by some Nigerians that the country will be put in great danger if Amotekun which was created to confront the insecurity in the South West states, is allowed to function.

According to him, Amotekun does not pose any threat to National unity.

Read his statement below:

“Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion. Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.”

The statement continues: “Amotekun. This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.

Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.

While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.

In this matter, I do not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the SW Governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.

Seeking to fulfil their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfil what they genuinely see as their public duty.

Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.

Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardize the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.

If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances. There are those who will use inflamed words to spark the passions of others. This may bring transient applause. But when the cheers fade, we shall only have further descended because their words were never inclined toward resolution and long-term improvement but toward short-term popularity and perpetual confrontation.

I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. I dearly love its people, all of them. Over the years of our existence, they have suffered much. Yet they still hold forth with heroic patience and an extraordinary optimism born of strong faith. To these people I owe my best. I shall not treat them cheaply or bandy their emotions like some errant football. The welfare of this good and decent people is my overriding concern.

Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue. Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: FG Reduces 2020 Budget

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The Federal Government has sent new budget proposal to the National Assembly for consideration in view of global economic realities as a result of the COVID-19- pandemic.

The new proposal sighted by The Nation, which is being considered by the National Assembly, reduced the 2020 estimate from. N10.594 trillion to N10.276 trillion.

It also reduces the oil bench mark from $57 per barrel to $30 per barrel while the oil production volume was reduced from 2.17 million barrel to 1.70 million barrel.

The exchange rate increased from N305 to N360 to a dollar.

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Inside Nigeria

COVID-19: Chinese Doctors Arrive Nigeria Today, To Spend One Month

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Despite opposition by the Nigerian Medical Association, the visiting 15-member medical team from China will arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on a chattered Air Peace aircraft on Wednesday (today).

The personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, will be coming with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in the country.

The Executive Director, CCECC, Mr Jacques Liao, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.

Liao dispelled what he described as the controversy about the team’s visit, stating that “the primary purpose of the team is to provide CECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare.”

He added, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.

“The primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary health care assistance. They are also coming with adequate personal protective equipment and medical items for the employees.”

The director explained that under the directive of the Embassy of China in Nigeria and in response to the Federal Government’s request, the team may also share with their Nigerian counterparts effective methods on COVID-19 containment.

Liao explained that in keeping with CCECC’s corporate value, ‘stride with Nigeria,’ the firm would be participating in the construction of two COVID-19 response facilities in the Federal Capital Territory for free.

Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has rejected the decision of the Federal Government to bring in Chinese doctors and nurses to assist in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawmakers on Tuesday said the decision to bring in people from “the hotbed of the plague” was not in Nigeria’s best interest. They urged the Federal Government to suspend the plan.

Their position was contained in a statement signed by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Elumelu, said the caucus wanted the Federal Government to rescind its decision to import doctors from the “hotbed of the plague into our country at this critical time.”

The statement read in part, “The lawmakers note that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and express fears that bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest.

“The Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association over the decision. The caucus notes that this is particularly after alleged escalation of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time.

“At such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardising their lives must be avoided.” (Punch)

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: Nigeria Records 16 New Cases Of Coronavirus

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday night announced sixteen new cases of the Coronavirus,

Ten cases were recorded in Lagos; two cases were recorded in the FCT, two in Oyo, one in Delta and one in Katsina

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 254.

44 have so far been discharged with six deaths recorded.

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