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Petrol, Electricity Deregulation: PDP, Atiku Outburst Height of Hypocrisy – APC

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had described the condemnation of deregulation policy of the federal government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s Presidential candidate at the last general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the the height of hypocrisy.

The party also noted that Atiku’s outburst revealed his two-facedness and portrayed him “as a man not only acutely lacking in integrity but one that should never be trusted.”

Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena of APC in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja said the condemnation of the opposition party and it’s presidential flag bearer on the deregulation of electricity tariff and pump price of petrol smack nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order.

The statement reads in part: “As genuine patriots, reputable groups and organizations, make honest contributions to the reactions about the deregulation of electricity and petrol prices, we receive with some amazement comments attributed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, condemning the decision of the Buhari administration to deregulate the PMS sector.

“The PDP and Atiku’s reaction to what has been adjudged an inevitability by many experts clearly depicts the height of hypocrisy demonstrated by them on many issues relating to the progress and wellbeing of Nigeria.

“Worrisome is the action of the PDP’s presidential flag bearer at the 2019 general elections. It’s rather unfortunate if truly, the comments reported by a section of the media, condemning the removal of petrol subsidy, is attributed to Atiku Abubakar.

“Atiku’s comments clearly reveals his two-facedness and portrays him as man not only acutely lacking in integrity but one that should never be trusted. Atiku continues to justify the majority of the Nigerian people who rejected him at the polls. This stems majorly from the fact that he was part of the government that created the “corrupt petrol subsidy” monster and also the chaos in the electricity sector.”

The ruling party also noted that Atiku’s hypocrisy was his pretentious promise to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector by privatizing the NNPC during the electioneering campaign of 2019.

According to APC, “Atiku made the sale of NNPC to his friends and the deregulation of both the PMS and the electricity sector the hallmark of his 2019 presidential election misadventure.

“Atiku argued at different forums in 2018 and early 2019 that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatization if they must be efficient.”

Quoting from his specific words about the privatization of the NNPC as a springboard for the deregulation of the downstream sector, Atiku said, “Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” according to a Guardian story of January 17, 2019.

It also recalled that during the campaign Reuters reported on November 19, 2018, Nigeria’s Abubakar promises to boost oil investment, cut subsidies if elected.” The news report added “Abubakar said he would eliminate subsidies on imported fuel and let the market determine the price.”

Again, his campaign platform, during the electioneering also disclosed: “The liberalization of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry to, among others, allow market-denominated prices for Premium Motor Spirit and eliminate subsidies for its consumption.”

APC further noted that in June, Atiku, in a tweet, hailed the Buhari administration’s drive to remove subsidy on petrol, saying that “the stoppage of subsidy and price-fixing is a right move, although it should have come earlier when the economy was stronger.”

According to Atiku, “FG and state governments should proceed to remove other impediments and roll out incentives to spur investments in the sector, especially the numerous refineries that have been licensed but yet to be built. Then ensure the quality of fuel meet set standards.”

The ruling party maintained that the PDP lacks the moral credentials to question an honest and transparent move by the Buhari-led administration to find lasting solutions to the problems caused by the party in the years that it led the affairs of the country

“Describing the deregulation of the price of petrol by the APC-led government as callous and cruel is rather sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, given the pain and anguish suffered by Nigerians on long queues at petrol stations when the PDP-led government presided over a very corrupt subsidy regime.

“It is therefore laughable that the same set of people will turn around and condemn decisions taken to fix the mess they created in the system. The PDP’s outburst indeed exposes once again its real fraudulent character and plot to patronize Nigerians and make them suffer in perpetuity by keeping a fraudulent subsidy arrangement that feeds a few individuals at the expense of the masses.

“Judging from the foregoing, the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and comments attributed to them should not be taken seriously as they simply lack the decency required to guide Nigeria and Nigerians to the path of prosperity and progress.

“Compared to PDP’s failed past, under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, the reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.”

The ruling party then concluded that “in line with the drive to deregulate the oil sector, the petroleum products pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which has inturn freed up cash to fund the ongoing development of critical infrastructure across the country.”

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BREAKING: IGP Recommends Suspension of DCP Abba Kyari Over FBI Indictment

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations touching on him.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by CP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer on Saturday.

According to Mba, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated 31st July, 2021, noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer, is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference. The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.

Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the Force to the rule of law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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Rice : WACOT Announces Major Investment in Kebbi State

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The West African Cotton Company (WACOT), on Friday unfolded new investments in Kebbi State, just as the firm has been given a pat on the back for being part of the socio – economic development drive of the state and Nigeria in general .

This is according to a press statement signed by Sarki Yahaya, Special Adviser (SA) Media to Kebbi State Governor

The new investments include the second phase of the mega rice mill at Argungu, where the first phase of the large scale rice mill was established five years ago .

The second phase of the rice mill, is a multi million dollars new investment by WACOT in Kebbi State, which according to the Chairman, the current installed capacity is 120,000 metric tonnes and they are operating at 95 percent of capacity. The new investment shall double the capacity to 240,000 metric tonnes making it about the largest in Africa.

The Chairman of the firm, Alhaji Farouk Gumel disclosed this in Argungu , when the Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the Managing Director of First Bank Nig Plc, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun visited the company .

According to the Chairman, the firm will continue to invest and expand as they strongly believe in the robust economic policies of the state and federal governments.

He said that , the funding for the second phase of the rice mill has been secured from First Bank.

The WACOT Boss described the bank as an active partner of the company , saying ,” this is beneficial to us , Kebbi and Nigeria .”

He said that the delegation of the bank was visiting to see for themselves the dividends of hard work performed by the company.

” They are also here to appreciate the strategic importance they have given to agriculture, ” he explained .

The Chairman further acknowledged the tremendous support the firm was getting from the administration of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu since its inception.

Also while answering Reporters’ questions, Bagudu expressed delight that Nigeria was now an investments hub and investments destination of choice globally.

According to the Kebbi State Governor, the plausible and beautiful policies of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari were handsomely yielding fruits .

Bagudu added that , sequel to this happy development, no fewer than fourty seven new large scale rice mills had sprang up across Nigeria .
The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum further noted that , the good omen had positively impacted the state .

According to him, rice yields in the State and the nation had been bolstered , while rice production also shored up.

Bagudu expressed happiness that , more Nigerians were believing in Buhari by engaging in agriculture, especially rice production and eating what they produced.

‘ The mantra of President Muhammad Buhari, let us grow what we eat is working’, he averred.

Similarly, Bagudu stated that , other neighbouring African countries like Benin and Niger republics were now keying into Nigeria’s rice revolution .

Bagudu averred that, history will not forget the enormous contributions of the WACOT Rice Mill to Kebbi and NIgeria,especially the execution of Corporate Social Responsibility projects .

He said ,” the key to national emancipation is in more production and this is part of the laudable federal government policies aim to achieve .”

He also commended the CBN for its financial response to the Agriculture sector as well as the First Bank for supporting WACOT to expand its capacity.

The Managing Director of First Bank, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun expressed delight that , their partnership with WACOT was paying off as the firm has progressed steadily.

He noted that Nigeria was now happily a major rice producer as against her previous position of being a major rice importer .

According to him, Nigerians should give themselves enough credit as a country , noting that , great strides had been achieved in spite of the initial pessimism.

He assured that , first bank will remain very close to the company and Kebbi State.

Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who is also the Chairman Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production in Nigeria is the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council has earlier held a meeting with officials of WACOT Rice led by the Chairman of the company, Alhaji Farouk Gumel and the officials of First Bank,led by the Managing Director of the Bank, Dr. Adeshola Adedotun.

The governor accompanied by the officials of WACOT and First Bank Nigeria Limited went round to inspect the edifice.

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Tension as Benin Republic Plots Igboho’s Deportation to Nigeria

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There are strong indications that Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, may be deported to Nigeria.

Upon his deportation, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force would arrest him, a security source disclosed.

However, the activist’s lawyers have kicked against the move, saying that it was against international law.

Sources in Benin Republic disclosed on Thursday that Benin Republic was not ready to engage in a diplomatic crisis with Nigeria.

One of the sources, who works with Benin’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau, confirmed that charges against Igboho were punishable by deportation, fines, or imprisonment.

The security official revealed that “Our intelligence gathering showed that it is unhealthy to jail Igboho here (Benin Republic).”

The senior NCB officer added, “Yes, he was detained for fresh charges. While he was initially in the Brigade Criminelle facility, he made useful confessions. His lawyers also know that he is guilty of irregular migration.”

Another official said, “The least punishment Igboho can be given is to be deported to the country he came from (Nigeria) if found guilty. The Nigerian authorities can take over from there if they wish.”

An official of the Department of State Services confirmed to our correspondent that “Yes, he is wanted. We have the mandate to arrest him if he steps into Nigeria. That is not hidden.”

When contacted, counsels for Igboho warned Benin Republic against deporting the activist, stating that was dangerous and against international law.

One of the activist’s lawyers said he was aware that the FG is putting pressure on Benin Republic “through the backdoor to deport Igboho at a time that will only be known between the security operatives of the two countries.”

However, Pelumi Olajengbesi, a Nigerian-based counsel for Igboho, said the plan would fail.

He said, “I am aware that the Federal Government through the former Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai is making effort to get him deported. We can say that clearly.

“So far, the facts available before the court have nothing to do with the Nigerian government.

“We have nothing to worry about because the Benin Republic government has shown that it will operate within the precinct of the law. For us, we believe that Igboho is a criminal of conscience who has taken an effort to liberate his people.”

Also, Olasupo Ojo, the Coordinating counsel for Igboho, warned that deporting Igboho for Nigeria to arrest him was against international law.

“It is illegal under international law to send back somebody who escaped to save his life. You cannot send him to a country where there is ample evidence that his life is at stake, endangered. It will bounce back heavily on Benin Republic if they do that,” he said.

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