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2023 General Election: GAC Endorses Gov. Sanwo-Olu For Second Term

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The Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) has endorsed Babajide Sanwo-Olu for a second term to rerun for 2023 governorship election in Lagos.

GAC is the highest decision-making body of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos.

This announcement was made on the social media handle of Gboyega Akosile Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Sanwo-Olu. According to Akosile, the decision was taken after a GAC on Monday.

Akosile wrote, “breaking news: Lagos GAC gives nod to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term bid. The Governance Advisory Council at a meeting in Lagos today gave pass mark to Sanwo-Olu for staying through to the developmental agenda of Lagos.

Congratulations dear boss!”

 

This announcement comes few weeks after the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) had dismissed speculations on endorsing another candidate for the 2023 Lagos governorship election.

In a statement issued by GAC in January 2022, the council said: “The GAC has not settled for any person to replace Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as governor. Therefore, it is absolutely false and preposterous for anyone to suggest so.

“The process of picking a Governor is clearly stated in the constitution. And contrary to the false impression the merchant of hate, confusion, discord and disharmony wanted to create with the post, there is no discussion of second term ticket by the GAC.

“It should also be pointed out that it is not within the realm of GAC to engage in picking replacements for a governor.

“Importantly, the Independent National Electoral Commission has not signaled the commencement of the process for governorship election in Lagos State.”

In the same month, Governor Sanwo-Olu during an interview with Channels Television said the people of Lagos were aware of what they would miss if his administration was denied a second term.

He said; “I think we are doing a very good job.

“If I dare say so, I think that the citizens know what it is they will be missing if they don’t let us continue to wrap up all the things we are doing.

“As we speak, we have done about two-thirds of our term – about 65.7 per cent, because we count it every day. The field is not open yet; the race has not been declared open yet. But for me, it is about ensuring that these four years that I have promised my citizens, I put every bit of my sweat into it.

“I will ask, I will consult; citizens, how do you see it? …. that’s how you get it down. Keep your focus on, try and finish very strong. You know when it is time for us to do all the politicking, we will do it.”

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Russia Halts Supply of Gas to Finland, Disagrees on Payment Mode 

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Russia’s majority state-owned multinational energy corporation, PJSC Gazprom, on Saturday, halted gas exports to one of its neighbouring countries, Finland, in the latest escalation of an energy payments dispute with Western nations.

A statement released by Finland’s gas system operator, Gasgrid said: “Gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped.

“Starting from today, during the upcoming summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline”. 

Investors King gathered that majority of the European supply contracts are denominated in Euros or Dollars and Moscow already cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.

Imatra is the entry point for Russian gas into Finland and even though majority of the gas used in Finland comes from Russia, gas only accounts for about five per cent of its annual energy consumption.

Gazprom Export has requested that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in Russian currency (roubles) because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Finland refuses to do so.

Gazprom Export, on Friday, said: “flows would be cut because Gasum had not complied with the new Russian rules requiring settlement in roubles.”

Earlier on Friday, the Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler, Gasum had said the Russian Gazprom warned that flows would be halted from 04:00 GMT on Saturday morning.

The decision is coming at a time when Finland and Sweden announced that they were going to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance, a decision inspired by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, the  Finish Prime minister, Sanna Marin had said: “When we look at Russia, we see a very different kind of Russia today than we saw just a few months ago.

“Everything changed when Russia attacked Ukraine. And I personally think that we cannot trust anymore that there will be a peaceful future next to Russia.”

Marin noted that joining NATO is “an act of peace [so] that there will never again be war in Finland in the future”.

According to Swedish leader Andersson, “to ensure the safety of Swedish people, the best way forward is to join NATO together with Finland”.

The announcements were met with support from leaders in almost all NATO nations.

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken told reporters that the United States would strongly support the NATO application by either Sweden or Finland should they choose to formally apply to the alliance.

Investors King recalls that Russia had in April, announced the suspension of gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria on the same payment disputes. 

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FG Resumes Conditional Cash Transfer Programme Across Six Local Govt. In Kebbi

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The Federal Government has resumed the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme in Kebbi State, commencing with a payment of N9.24bn to 76,107 CCT beneficiaries.

The National Coordinator of the programme, Hajiya Halima Shehu, made the announcement during a state visit to Governor Atiku Bagudu in Birnin Kebbi.

“As at now, payment to CCT beneficiaries is ongoing in the state. A total number of 76,107 beneficiaries across six local government areas of Bagudu, Danko, Wasagu, Dandi, Jega, and Shanga, will be receiving the payment. The beneficiaries will be receiving 26 months of payment circles, starting from January to February 2020.

“The payment will be in two batches of those 60,000 beneficiaries for four payment cycles, using the virtual account. The second batch has 70,107 beneficiaries for nine payment cycles through the debit cards. The total amount for the two batches in the state, according to Shehu, was over N9.24 billion.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria, in partnership with the World Bank in 2016, designed and developed a safety net programme for Nigeria under the platform of National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP).

“One of the components of NASSP is the national conditional cash transfer office responsible for implementing the household uplifting- conditional cash transfer to the poor and the vulnerable households across the country,” she said.

Shehu commended the governor for providing her an audience and the chance to update him on the commencement of payments and the state’s successful implementation of the program.

Responding, Gov. Bagudu, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Samaila Yombe-Dabai, thanked the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, headed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, for actualising the programme in the state.

“I assure you that the state government will do all it takes to support the success of the programme in the state.

“We are looking forward to getting more local governments to be involved in the cash transfer programme,” Bagudu said.

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Ukraine/Russian War: Twitter Heightens Fight Against Misinformation 

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In the wake of the Russia-Ukarine crisis, Twitter has stepped up its effort to put an end to misleading tweets from official accounts about the war.

Investors King gathered that Twitter has already limited content from more than 300 Russian government accounts, including President Putin. The new change will be effected under the company’s new “crisis” policies.

Twitter will also prioritise labelling false posts from accounts with wide reach, like state media or official government accounts, while preserving them for “accountability” reasons.

Twitter users will now be required to click through the warning notice to view the post and Twitter will disable the ability to like, retweet or share the content. The company said it would also change its search and explore features to avoid amplifying false tweets.

Twitter’s head of security and safety, Yoel Roth, wrote in a blog post announcing the changes saying “Today, we’re introducing our crisis misinformation policy – a global policy that will guide our efforts to elevate credible, authoritative information, and will help to ensure viral misinformation isn’t amplified or recommended by us during crises. In times of crisis, misleading information can undermine public trust and cause further harm to already vulnerable communities. 

“Alongside our existing work to make reliable information more accessible during crisis events, this new approach will help to slow the spread by us of the most visible, misleading content, particularly that which could lead to severe harms. 

“While this first iteration is focused on international armed conflict, starting with the war in Ukraine, we plan to update and expand the policy to include additional forms of crisis,” Twitter said examples of problematic posts included false or misleading allegations of war crimes, false information regarding the international response and false allegations regarding use of force.

The company said it would rely on multiple sources to determine when claims are misleading. Strong commentary and first person accounts are among the types of tweets that would not be challenged by the policy, it said.

Twitter has approved a $44bn takeover by billionaire Elon Musk, who has criticised its content moderation policies

The new policies come just weeks after Twitter’s board agreed to a $44bn (£34.5bn) takeover offer from billionaire businessman Elon Musk, who has called for less moderated speech on the platform.

Musk had said in the past week that he would revoke Twitter’s suspension of former United States president, Donald Trump. 

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