The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has reacted to the controversy trailing the Federal Government’s planned securement of $500million loan from China.
The House of Representatives had raised an alarm over clauses in Article 8 (1) of the Commercial Loan Agreement signed between Nigeria and the Export-Import Bank of China.
In the said agreement, Nigeria stands to concede her sovereignty to China should there be a default in the repayment of the $400million for the Nigerian National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone phase 2 project signed in 2018.
The controversial clause in the agreement signed by the Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of Nigeria and Chinese bank on September 5, 2018 provides:
“The borrower hereby irrevocably provides waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration pursuit to Article 85 thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuit thereto except for the military asset and diplomatic asset.”
But Amaechi on Tuesday, explained that he told the National Assembly members not to probe the loan issue too much in order not to scare the lender.
“The reason why I said that is because we have already applied for $5.3billion to execute the rail from Ibadan to Kano. We are about applying for about $3billion to execute the rail from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
“Don’t forget the National Assembly approved that loan. It is unconstitutional and impeachable if you take a loan without the approval of the National Assembly. So the same National Assembly that approved the loan is now questioning the same loan and the terms of the loan having looked at it before.
“If I am the lender, I will be worried. If they get worried, they will say ‘No, we will not approve the remaining loans you have applied for,” he said.
Amaechi who described the loan as the cheapest so far, said the Chinese loan is a concessionary loans at 2.8 percent interest.
He explained that before meeting China, the Federal Government had already approached other countries who didn’t approve the request on the ground that they didn’t have money.
Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.
The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.
The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.
Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.
At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.
The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.
Edo Guber: Youth Leader Canvass For Peaceful Poll, Charged Youths To Desist From Violence
A youth leader in Kaduna state and convener of Youths Arise in Democracy Now, Hon James Makeri has on all the gubernatorial candidates of all the political parties participating in the September 19, 2020 election not to use youths as agent of destruction during the polls.
Hon Makeri made the statement today while answering questions in an exclusive interview with Kabido Newspaper in Kaduna.
He said that ” my message to Edo youths to particularly not to allow themselves to be use in thuggery and other crimes which will affect the election negatively”.
” Also the main contenders that is Governor Godwin Obasakie and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should allow the electorate to vote for their choice as there is no victor or vanquished in the election as it is the will of the people which must be respected by all.
He added that Nigeria is evolving and both the youths and elder state men must as a matter of patriotism give way to peace for democracy to flourish in the country.
Hon Makeri further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be steadfast and honest in the conduct of the election in order to entrench democratic norms in the country.
NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.
NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.
He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.
“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.
“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.
Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”
The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.
Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.
Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.
“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.
His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.
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