President Muhammadu Buhari has alleged that those who stole the nation’s wealth are behind the Niger Delta militants blowing up oil and gas installations in the oil-rich region.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president made the allegation while interacting with Nigerian professionals in New York. Adesina said the professionals comprised top flight aeronautics engineers, physicians, I.T experts, a Judge, a top policewoman, entrepreneurs, professors, and many others. Adesina said the parley provided Buhari opportunity to bring them up to speed on how and why Nigeria got into trouble. He said the president assured them that with all hands on deck, including the best brains in the Diaspora, the country would bounce back in the shortest possible time.
The president said: “Those who stole Nigeria dry are not happy. They recruited the militants against us in the Niger Delta, and began to sabotage oil infrastructure. We lose millions of barrels per day, at a time when every dollar we can earn, counts. It is a disgrace that a minimum of 27 states, out of 36 that we have in Nigeria, can’t pay salaries. “We got into trouble as a country, because we did not save for the rainy day. For example, between 1999 and 2015, when we produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, and oil prices stood at an average of $100 per barrel, we did not save, neither did we develop infrastructure.
Suddenly, when we came in 2015, oil prices fell to about 30 dollars per barrel. “I asked; where are the savings? There were none. Where are the railways? The roads? Power? None. I further asked: What did we do with billions of dollars that we made over the years? They said we bought food. Food with billions of dollars? I did not believe, and still do not believe. “In most parts of Nigeria, we eat what we grow. People in the South eat tubers, those in the North eat grains, which they plant, and those constitute over 60 per cent of what we eat. So, where did the billions of dollars go? We did a lot of damage to ourselves by not developing infrastructure when we had the money.
“Talking of our military, they earned respect serving in places like Burma, Zaire, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, and then, suddenly, that same military could no longer secure 14 out of 774 local governments in the country. Insurgents had seized them, calling them some sort of caliphate, and planting their flags there; till we came, and scattered them.” Buhari said that he raised the morale of the military, changed the leadership, re-equipped and retrained them, which earned the support of USA, Britain, and some other countries. The president said: “They helped us, and today, the pride of our military is restored.
Buhari Appeals for Urgent Global Humanitarian Action in North-East
Meanwhile, President Buhari yesterday appealed to the international community not to further delay or downplay the need for humanitarian intervention in the North-east and the Lake Chad Basin.
He said: “It is time for collec- tive global action to invest in the people of Nigeria’s North-east and the Lake Chad Basin region,” the president told a high-level event on “The Humanitarian Crisis in the Lake Chad Basin: A Turning Point,” in New York, on the margins of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).
“We are renewing the call for re-dedicated international action to end the humanitarian needs of victims and address the root causes of terrorism itself,” he said at the event jointly-sponsored by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the African Union, the European Union and the Orga- nization of Islamic Cooperation.”
Buhari noted that the complexities and severity of humanitarian crisis across the world had increased in recent times, resulting in devastating repercussions.
He said: “Political and socio-economic structures as well as the growth trajectory of many countries have been negatively affected leaving traumatised populations. The dual impact of Climate Change and terrorism cum insurgency has created deeper implications for peace and security, social harmony and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
While commending the Multi- National Joint Task Force for degrading Boko Haram, he said that the Nigerian government had been fully responsive to the urgency to save innocent lives, protect victims of Boko Haram atrocities, guarantee stability and facilitate the resumption of normal social and economic activities in the North-east of the country. “The Government of Nigeria is not overwhelmed by the enormity of this humanitarian challenge. Rather, we remain resolute in defeating terrorism in all its forms. We have put in place a robust people-driven counter-terrorism strategy built on a combination of revamped security operations and a human rights-based approach to help bring about rehabilitation, reintegration and reconstruction,” the president said. According to him, Nigeria has been providing food support, reintegrated healthcare, shelter, psycho-social support and access to water and sanitation amenities for those in need. He said: “We are also engaging highly respected community and religious leaders to discourage vulnerable youth from being radicalised.” Buhari expressed delight that displaced persons have begun to return to their communities in Konduga, Mafa, Benisheck and Ngala in the North-east.
On the missing Chibok schoolgirls, the president said that the unfortunate incident had remained in “our national consciousness,” adding that the administration “is working hard to ensure the release of all Nigerians held captive by Boko Haram, including the Chibok girls. We are ready to ensure their swift rehabilitation, reintegration and the continuation of their studies once returned to their families.”
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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