Mugabe Appeals For Calm Amid Economic Crisis

  • Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has appealed for calm as his government battles to contain a debilitating economic crisis.

The 92-year-old president appeared frail but jovial, struggling with his lines a bit as he delivered a 30-minute State of the Nation address on Tuesday.

He praised the country’s security forces for maintaining order, although critics accuse them of using violence to stifle dissent.

This once prosperous but now economically struggling southern African country is battling cash shortages, high unemployment and company closures.

A new local currency, introduced last week, has failed to end cash shortages, with many people still sleeping outside banks to access their money. The cash crunch has meant that Mugabe’s government has failed to pay its workers on time since June.

Mugabe did not mention these issues in his speech, resulting in murmurs of protest from opposition members of parliament.

He chuckled when one opposition representative asked him to make sure he was reading the correct speech. This followed last year’s embarrassing incident when for his State of the Nation speech Mugabe read the same speech he had delivered just a few weeks before.

Credit: abcnews

Tony Elumelu Appeals To Both Clinton, Trump On US-Africa Policy

Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, yesterday appealed to the leading candidates in the United States presidential election — Democratic Party’s Hilary Clinton and Republican Party’s Donald Trump — to retain the prevailing US-Africa policy, saying it was adequate and would only need to be expanded and scaled up.

“On US-Africa policy, some things don’t need to change,” he told his audience as the keynote speaker at the US Senator Chris Coon’s Opportunity Africa Conference 2016 in Delaware, adding: “What they need is to be expanded and scaled up.  In other words, we need more US engagement in Africa through mutually beneficial trade and investment.”

He said this would be his and 200 other US and African political and business leaders, including President Obama and over 30 African presidents’ focus during next week’s US-Africa Business Forum in New York.

“We would discuss how to strengthen mutually beneficial economic ties between the African and American peoples,” the chairman of Heirs Holdings said.

Elumelu, who spoke on the theme, entrepreneurship, is one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs, who isdedicating time and money to create a new generation of African business women and men, committing $100 million of his own money to the laudable project.

According to him, “If we give our people the economic tools to thrive and living standards increase, the political challenges that Africa face can be tackled and fundamental positive change can be assured.”

He, therefore, called on the next US president to work in shared purpose with Africans on implementing innovative solutions to the complex but surmountable challenges in Africa.

He challenged the American electorate to impress it on their candidates and the eventual president to engage more with Africa.

Read More: thisdaylive

Buhari Appeals For Patience, Promises Real Change

Following the grim economic data released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirming Nigeria’s slide into recession, rising inflation, unemployment and plummeting foreign capital importation, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with his administration, assuring them that the pains they are currently going through would soon give way to development.

Buhari, who reminded Nigerians that his administration’s “change” mantra was aimed at restoring the nation on the path of integrity and prosperity, said this in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during the inauguration of the Osogbo Government High School built by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

The president urged Nigerians to be patient and persevere for a while, promising that the pains would soon give way to development.
He said his administration was working hard to avoid the mistakes of the last administration in tackling insecurity and corruption and to revamp the economy, which has been badly affected by the drop in the price of oil, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Buhari said: “We promised Nigerian people positive and progressive change during our campaign. We are not and shall not be deterred from that noble undertaking.
“But as we have learnt from history, change has never been attained by any nation on a bed of roses, but rather through patience, perseverance and steadfastness.

“We are quite aware of the pains and inconveniences that have been the lot of the citizenry in the past one year as we strive to faithfully implement our programmes in fulfilment of our change agenda.
“We are however comforted by the real change and progress we have made in fighting corruption and restoring integrity to government; providing security for lives and property; and positioning the government for effectiveness and especially deregulating the oil sector.

“We must also not forget the fiscal discipline that has now characterised government business at all levels. This indeed is how it should be and we are determined to introduce and implement actions and measures that will entrench the change mantra in our individual lives, just as we are doing in curtailing excessive waste and rent seeking in governance.

“We are determined to remain on track as we strive to deliver to rescue the country from past mistakes in fulfilment of our promise of improving the conditions of our people and making Nigeria a prosperous country.”
Also rising in defence of the administration, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday that the country’s economy under Buhari could not be equated to the reckless fiscal policies that were the vogue when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in office.

Reacting to the call by the PDP for Buhari to resign on account of the dire economic situation, APC blamed the present state of affairs on the reckless policies of the previous administration.
APC assured Nigerians that the Buhari-led administration was solidly committed to resuscitating the economy in the quickest possible time and in the best interest of the people.

Read More: thisdaylive

Brazil’s Rousseff Appeals Against Losing Presidency

Impeached Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff filed a Supreme Court challenge Thursday to her removal from office in an early blow to new President Michel Temer’s bid to stabilize the country.

The appeal, filed by Rousseff’s lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardozo and seen by AFP, demands “the immediate suspension of the effects of the Senate decision.”

The Senate voted Wednesday to convict Rousseff on charges of having illegally manipulated government accounts, stripping her of her office and replacing her with Temer, her bitter enemy and former vice president.

Cardozo’s appeal asks for “a new trial” during which Temer — who was sworn in as president up until the end of 2018 — would be downgraded to interim president.

Temer is now in China, attending a G20 summit, while Rousseff remains in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia. She is expected to leave shortly for her personal apartment in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Rousseff was convicted by a two-thirds Senate majority of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into economic disarray.

Senators voting for her removal said she had contributed to Brazil’s economic crisis and acted with criminal irresponsibility.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, denied doing anything illegal and claimed to be the victim of a right-wing coup d’etat.

In a surprise move, a Senate vote on barring Rousseff from public office for eight years failed, meaning she is free to reenter political life. The ban had been considered by many to be a standard consequence of removal in an impeachment trial.

Read More:

Court Reserves Judgment On Appeals Seeking To Overturn Ruling On Ikpeazu’s Removal

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved final judgment in multiple appeals filed by the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other interested parties seeking to overturn the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja which sacked Ikpeazu as governor.

A five-man panel of justices of the court led by Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju adjourned the matter for judgment after it heard six separate appeals.

 The hearing of the appeal which lasted till 5p.m., witnessed several drama including the attempt by the Ali Modu Sherrif’s faction of the PDP to come in but was rebuffed by the court.

Justice Ogunwumiju had drawn the   attention of the court to a letter from the Sheriff-led faction of the PDP that sought to withdraw the appeal.
The said letter was signed by the Deputy National Legal Adviser of the party, Bashir Maidugu.

After hearing from the parties, including Mr. Olagoke Fakunle (SAN) who said he appeared for the PDP, the court decided that the Sheriff’s group had no business in the appeal.
“Fakunle what exactly have you said? There are six appeals before this court which we must hear today. And we are going ahead with the appeals already filed. Do not disrupt this court again. You can go on appeal if you so wish,” the judge told the lawyer who was from Sheriff’s camp of the PDP.

Read More: Thisday


Buhari Appeals To National Assembly To Pass Money Laundering, NDDC, FCT, Other Bills

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night appealed to the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, consider and pass five bills presently before it.

He made the appeal while speaking at a dinner he hosted in honour of National Assembly members at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
He listed the bills to include the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation bill, Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) bill, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters bill, Statutory Budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) bill and a Bill for Acts for domestication of agreements for avoidance of double taxation between Nigeria and South Korea, Spain, and Sweden respectively.

The president observed that both the FCT and the NDDC could not execute their statutory mandates unless their budgets were approved by the National Assembly.

Buhari thanked the lawmakers for their painstaking efforts that led to the passage of the 2016 Budget.

He said: “It is on record that this is one rare occasion where the Appropriation Act was assented to with the schedule i.e the details.”

The president said that the dinner was held first to mark 2016 Democracy Day and to further appreciate the National Assembly leadership, membership and management for the great work they had done.

He restated the commitment of his administration to observing the principles of separation of powers.

Credit: Thisday

Group Appeals To FG Over Arrest, Harassment Of Ijaw Youths

 Iwere Peace Movement, a socio-cultural organization in the Niger Delta, has appealed to the Federal Government to halt the continued arrest and harassment of Ijaw youths in the Niger Delta, particularly in Warri. It argued that the action is creating tension in the region.

Also the Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group faulted the allegation that a former ex-militant leader was behind the bombing of the oil pipelines and abduction of journalists in the creeks last year. The group claimed there was a calculated attempt by some PDP members who defected to APC in the area to destroy the Ijaws.

However, the Iwere Peace Movement in a statement signed by Mr Merie Oritsejolomi and Johnbull Deghelli Omadeli, charged security agents to go after those behind the destruction of the oil pipelines and not innocent Ijaw youths being arrested and humiliated by security agents.

According to the statement, “we have observed with pains the arrest of several innocent Ijaw youths by security agencies since the destruction of some oil pipelines by unknown persons.

“In as much as we support the efforts of the military in going after the perpetrators, we appeal strongly that this incessant arrest of Ijaw youths under the guise of searching for the perpetrators of the pipeline destruction must stop.”

“We are all Nigerians and no Nigerian must be treated as an animal or a visitor in his own land. It is sad watching Ijaw youths being arrested on a daily basis living their families in pain because of issues they know nothing about. This is not the best way of resolving the current tension in the region rather it may escalate it because when people feel betrayed by a nation that is supposed to protect them they can seek alternative means to survive.

“So we are strongly appealing to the Federal Government to apply diplomacy because when you intimidate people, nobody will want to help you in the investigation. Ijaw youths must not be seen as the problem of this nation. Those behind the destruction of the pipelines should be apprehended while innocent Ijaw youths in detention should be allowed to re-join their families so as to douse the tension in the region” it stated.

The Iwere Peace Movement added that “with this allegation from the Itsekiri group,it is obvious that the Itsekiri former PDP member who defected to the APC and the Itsekiris of Ugborodo are the ones that carried out the bombing of the pipelines and accusing Tompolo just to divert attention. The tried woefully to exploit the recent issue between Tompolo and the EFCC to score cheap political point.”

Credit: Vanguard

Group Appeals To PMB To Revive Ajaokuta Steel Industry

A group under the aegis of Builder Hub Foundation has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to revive the Ajaokuta Steel industry, saying that the country is in desperate need to diversify the economy due to the dwindling revenue accruable from crude oil.

In a letter addressed to the Permanent secretary, Mines and Steel Development and signed by the founder of the foundation, Natasha Akpoti, the foundation stated that it is regrettable that Nigeria has continued to suffer monumental losses from the multibillion dollar investment due to assets depreciation, brain drain of man power that were trained in Russia, Bulgaria, and India for the steel plant.

In the letter which was also copied to Buhari, Akpoti stated that Ajaokuta steel plant has the capacity to produce over 5 million metric tonnes of steel per annum once the first, second and third phases are completed.

Credit: Leadership

Impeachment: Fayose Appeals To Buhari, CJN

Against perceived moves to impeach Governor Ayo Fayose, the hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, stepped up pressure on President Muhammudu Buhari to prevail on his party faithful and security agencies to check the disruption of the peace in the state.

The impeachment moves allegedly spearheaded by the outgoing members of the State House of Assembly, remained a matter of speculation yesterday even as it was claimed that the 19 legislators belonging to the All Progressives Congress, APC, may storm the state today.

Governor Fayose, on his part, called on President Buhari and Justice Mahmoud to call the 19 APC lawmakers to order.

Fayose, who spoke with newsmen at the Governor’s Lodge over the tension elicited by the speculated move of the APC legislators, insisted that all the entitlements of the APC lawmakers have been paid contrary to Speaker Adewale Omirin’s claim that they were yet to be paid.

The governor flaunted copies of the Skye Bank cheques dated May 26, 2015, issued to the lawmakers to corroborate his claim. One of the cheques, which bore the name Boluwade Bolie Kehinde was received on behalf of the lawmaker and had a sum of N2,149,052 .37on it

Fayose said it would amount to illegality for the embattled speaker, Adewale Omirin to continue to hold claim as the speaker when actually he had been removed from the post as far back as November 2014.

Read More: vanguardngr

Group Appeals To Buhari Not To Dissolve NDDC Board

A group, the Niger Delta Professionals Association, has appealed to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, not to dissolve the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

In a statement issued in Abuja Wednesday, the group, through its President, Ose Olise, also advised Mr. Buhari against taking any action that would return the oil-rich region to its former bloody state.

Already, the group said it has received reports that some outgoing governors from the region are trying to manipulate the youth in the region into staging a protest against the leadership of the development agency.

“We are aware that they have already procured some youths from Niger Delta especially Akwa Ibom State among other states to organize a protest against the management of NDDC Board,” the group stated.

“We are also aware that they have sponsored some elements who have already filed a suit to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the management and Board of NDDC on false allegations.”

It, therefore, used the medium to draw the attention of Niger Delta indigenes and Nigerians to the thickening plot by some politicians to stoke crisis in the region.

Since elections have come and gone and the winners declared, the group advised politicians in the country to concentrate their efforts in things that would move the country forward.

It also argued that politicians should put the overall interest of the nation and the Niger Delta region above their individual and collective political interests.

The group said since the NDDC board is less than two years, it should be allowed to compete its tenure, saying if it is found that it did not fulfil its statutory mandate, Mr. Buhari can refuse to renew the boards second term.

The group described as “uncivil, gross misconduct and impunity” to instigate the dissolution of a performing board because some politicians are interested in filling the position with their stooges.

It said dissolving the NDDC board without any significant reason would send wrong signals to the people of the region and could trigger crises.

“We are using this medium to respectfully and humbly advise General Muhammadu Buhari to be very careful with the way he handles Niger Delta matters, in order not to end up creating a serious and unprecedented anarchy in the region.

“We wish to call on the American President Barack Obama, David Cameron of United Kingdom, Angela Mikel of Germany, and other well-meaning world leaders to prevail on the incoming government of General Buhari to religiously avoid unrest in the region by allowing the incumbent Board of NDDC to be.”

The group also appealed to eminent religious leaders and leaders of thought across the country to prevail on the incoming government not to take actions that would rob it of the support Nigerians gave it at the just concluded polls.

“Let peace reign in Niger Delta Region. Let us not dissolve the incumbent NDDC board just because it was instituted by outgoing Peoples Democratic Party-led government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“In the interest of peace equity and good conscience let the incumbent board of NDDC serve out their tenure. PDP and APC are made up of Nigerians. Politics is not war. Election has come and gone let us build our country.”


Borno Appeals To UN To Halt Boko Haram Crisis

The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has appealed to the United Nations to intercede in the emerging humanitarian crisis the Boko Haram insurgency has brought in West and Central Africa.

The Chairman of the organisation, Alhaji Grema Terab, said the Boko Haram crisis was assuming “different dangerous dimension” by the day as shown by the recent extradition of about 15 000 locals from Niger. “Today it is Niger that is sending Nigerians parking, tomorrow it may be Chad or Cameroon or any other country in the sub region,” Terab said

He added that the situation call for urgent attention first from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), then the African Union and perhaps the United Nations.

Terab said Borno State alone have borne the brunt of building a new camp for 4 248 indigenes of the state evacuated to Maiduguri.

He lamented that with the creation of the new camp for those evacuated from Niger, the state has 21 camps with over 120 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), insisting that this had created a heavy financial burden on the state government with several millions of Naira going into the running of the camps.

“As it stands today Borno state government has expended several billions of Naira on the problems thrown at it by the Boko Haram crisis and this has put at a standstill so many other things. We need the assistance of not only the federal government but the United Nations to come out of this quagmire which has put everything in the state at a near standstill.”

Terab added, “It was a pity that the state who have had to bear the burden of 1,5 million internally displaced persons overdrawing the facilities in Maiduguri, has to do it almost alone without appreciable assistance coming from the Nigerian government and international agencies.”

The Boko Haram terror has claimed the lives of more than 13 000 people and displaced about 2 million over the years.

Credit: CAJ News

Save Coastal Settlements, Bayelsa Monarch Appeals To FG

Chief Howells Levi, the paramount ruler of Olobia Community, Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, has appealed to the Federal Government to protect their settlements from extinction.

Levi told media personnel on Monday at Yenagoa that a violent surge had, in July 2014, rendered hundreds of Koluama residents homeless as their homes were washed away by the Atlantic Ocean.

The monarch explained that the coastal community located along the Atlantic coastline in the state, had lost substantial territory to marine erosion and tidal surge, forcing residents to retreat.

According to him, the Federal Fishing Terminal constructed by the Federal Government has been washed away by the violent Atlantic tide which is still threatening to submerge the remaining settlements.  “Koluama is faced with erosion and the erosion is so serious that within the next five years, from what we see there, the name Koluama will no more (be) in the history of Bayelsa State.

“The people of Koluama want the government to protect the shore, so that we don’t want to be removed from that environment, government should protect the shore.

“The whole land is eroded, and we see that it is the company in that environment that has caused this problem for us, because of constant exploration activities.

“And so, we will like the government to come to our aid by securing the shore for us.”

He said that the environment of the oil rich area had also suffered the adverse effect of oil and gas exploration and regretted that the people were facing serious threats of losing their ancestral home land.

The traditional ruler also appealed to the Federal Government to provide social amenities to the coastal settlements to enable them have a sense of belonging.

Reacting to the claims made by the monarch, the General Manager of Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Deji Haastrup, said that the operations of the company were environmentally safe.

According to him, there is no scientific basis to link CNL’s activities offshore Bayelsa State to an ocean surge which is normally caused by a rise in sea level. “At CNL, we conduct our business in accordance with international best practices and in accordance with the highest ethical and environmental standards which helps to maintain the integrity of the environment wherever we operate.

“This includes offshore Bayelsa State. We have integrated environmental protection into every aspect of CNL’s activities and operations as prescribed by the company’s Policy of Protecting People and the Environment.”

Credit: NAN