#Aleppo Evacuation Delayed, Opposition Blames Pro-Assad Militia

The evacuation of rebel-held eastern Aleppo was delayed on Wednesday and, while a war monitor said the reason was unclear, an opposition official blamed Shi’ite militias allied to President Bashar al-Assad for the hold up.

A ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia, Assad’s most powerful ally, and Turkey ended years of fighting in the city and has given Assad his biggest victory yet after more than five years of war.

Officials in the military alliance fighting in support of Assad could not be reached immediately for comment on why the evacuation was delayed.

Sources on Tuesday had given different expected start times for the evacuation. A military official in the pro-Assad alliance had said the evacuation was due to start at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), while opposition officials had been expecting a first group of wounded people to leave earlier.

However, none had left by dawn, said a Reuters witness waiting at the agreed point of departure. Twenty buses were waiting there with their engines running but showed no sign of moving into Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern districts.

“There is certainly a delay,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory, a war monitor.

Officials with Aleppo-based rebel groups accused Shi’ite militias backed by Iran of obstructing implementation of the Russian-brokered deal. The pro-opposition Orient TV cited the negotiation committee in eastern Aleppo as saying there was no clear reason why the wounded had yet to be evacuated.

Assad has been backed by an array of Shi’ite militias from across the region in his campaign for Aleppo.

Read More: reuters

Why Board Appointments Are Delayed– Presidency

Key appointments into boards of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been held back because of a major restructuring of the executive arm of the government, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has said.
“A lot of people had expected jobs by way of key appointments in boards, ministries and  parastatals. That has been held back by the fact that the government and the president have promised a major restructuring of the executive. You know he has reduced the ministries to about 24 from 42. That will not go without concomitant challenges on the existing parastatals and agencies which obviously have to be modified to fit into shape and fix into the existing ministerial structure,” Malam Shehu told newsmen in Abuja at the weekend.

He said with the passage of the budget and the subsequent endorsement by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians would begin to feel the positive impact of government’s programmes and activities as money would be released into the economy.
On the purported secret recruitments in federal government agencies, he urged Nigerians to wait for the outcome of the investigation launched into the issue by the National Assembly.
He, said, “I have been approached by a number of people who say can you give me a note to so so, so agency? A lot is happening in this country and I keep saying that Buhari’s government is not a government of notes. I guess that whoever is found doing that would get himself in trouble,” he said.

Credit: dailytrust

NYSC Explains Delayed Corps Members January Allowance

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Thursday urged corps members to remain calm over delay in payment of their January allowance.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Bose Aderibigbe, Director Media and Publicity of the corps, and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

It attributed the delay to discrepancies in planning figures for 2016 from the NYSC, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, and the Ministry of Finance, respectively.

The statement said that the management of the scheme regretted the delay.

It assured that it was working to ensure all corps members received their allowance within a week.

Credit: Vanguard

Why Buhari’s Cabinet Is Delayed- Report

As Nigerians await President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, there are indications that ministers may not be named within the next two months. In the past weeks, Buhari has come under criticism over the delay in appointing ministers, one month after assuming office and three months after winning the presidential election.

A competent source has revealed that President Buhari’s delay in constituting a cabinet is caused by his reluctance to build on the “rotten foundation” he inherited from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.  He therefore, wants to take his time to sieve through the list of those being considered as ministers.

According to the source, “you cannot even begin to imagine the situation we have met on ground. Almost everything is in a state of decay. There is absolutely no way the new government can hope to achieve anything long-lasting without first building a new foundation.”

The source likened President Buhari’s plan of action to that of a doctor who first has to break a poorly set bone afresh, before resetting it to allow for smooth and proper growth. The source said it would be impossible to appoint ministers to portfolios, without first knowing which portfolios exist and which will be abolished.

“The President plans to cut down the number of ministries and parastatals. He wants to cut down the cost of running government. He wants to make sure that all the loopholes that enable corruption to thrive are blocked. All these are procedures that require time and careful planning. You cannot do it in a rush,” the source revealed. He noted that Buhari could not realistically have begun this process without first receiving the full report of the transition committee and ascertaining exactly the situation his government faced.

Read More: sunnewsonline