Buhari justifies construction of rail line linking Niger Republic
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday, justified the decision of his regime to construct a rail line linking Nigeria with the Niger Republic despite criticisms that trailed the announcement of the plan.
He said connecting Niger Republic through rail would, among other benefits, foster trans-Sahara trade and contribute to the expected gains in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
Buhari gave the justification while virtually presiding over the ground-breaking for the commencement of the rail line from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The rail line is known as Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line with a branch line from Kano.
Describing the rail line as “another vital transportation infrastructure,” Buhari noted that it traverses the major commercial and administrative centre of Kano and passes through other economic hubs of the country including Kazaure, Daura, Katsina and up to the border town of Jibiya and the Niger Republic city of Maradi.
According to the President, the cities of Jibiya and Maradi constitute a significant trading core between Nigeria and the Niger Republic, adding that the tradition dated back many centuries.
Buhari said, “This vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport services between Northern and Southern regions of the country, reaching Nigerian southern ports of Lagos and Warri.
“The entire route encompasses territory inhabited by close to 80 million people across 10 states of the country. This project has a branch line to Dutse the capital of Jigawa State to open up this corridor which is endowed with vast resources.
“The Kano – Maradi rail line has been identified as a viable line that will significantly enhance the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for our industries.
“The project, when completed, would serve import and export of goods for the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports. The country would earn revenue through expansion of trade and commerce, while the people of the Niger Republic will benefit from the ease of transportation logistics at an affordable cost in their import and export business.
“The connection to the Niger Republic through rail will also foster trans-Sahara trade and contribute to the expected gains in the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.”
Communal crisis: Curfew in Irepodun, Orolu now 6pm to 6 am, says Oyetola
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has relaxed the 24-hour curfew declared in Irepodun and Orolu councils of the state following the communal crisis that broke out between Erin-Osun and Ilobu towns.
The reviewed curfew regime, which takes immediate effect, will now be from 6 pm to 6 am daily, and will subsist until further notice, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan, titled ‘Erin-Osun/Ilobu crisis: Oyetola relaxes 24-hr curfew’.
Omipidan stated that the review became necessary following the peace meeting held between the Governor and monarchs of the affected towns and another meeting between the monarchs and the State Commissioner for Police, wherein the traditional rulers agreed to a peace accord.
“Following the peace meeting between Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the traditional rulers of of Erin-Osun and Ilobu towns, and with the return of peace to the affected towns, the governor has approved the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew declared last Sunday to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“Consequently, the curfew will now run from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am daily, and will subsist till further notice. Security operatives will therefore remain in the two councils to enforce the new curfew directive with a view to further maintaining law and order.
“As we all know, the curfew was never declared to inflict hardship on our people in the first instance, but to protect them and return normalcy to the affected communities.
“The State Government appreciates the monarchs and all the security agencies for their various roles in ensuring that normalcy and peace return to Erin-Osun and Ilobu.
“We commend citizens and residents for their show of understanding and cooperation so far.
“The Governor also enjoins residents and citizens to always channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities and resist the temptation of taking law into their own hands,” the statement added.
Herdsmen crisis needs political intervention, says Lawan
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has said the intervention of political leaders is needed to stop herdsmen crisis and the activities of bandits and kidnappers in the country.
The senate president described political leaders are problem solvers, adding that leaders in the country need to unite against criminality.
He also urged the leaders to resist the antics of divisive elements bent on instigating inter-ethnic tensions across the country.
The lawmaker noted that “insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and militancy remain serious threats to a secured and safe Nigeria”.
He added that they are challenges that require the collaborative effort of the legislature and executive to tackle.
Lawan made this known in a speech delivered on Tuesday during plenary to welcome lawmakers back from the Christmas/New Year recess, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The Senate president, while appealing to Nigerians for calm in view of the recent inter-tribal agitations and conflicts in some states in the South-West part of the country, described the development as “worrisome and one that requires the immediate intervention of political leaders”.
“Distinguished Colleagues, the very recent emergence of inter-ethnic and inter–tribal conflicts in some parts of our country is worrisome. The Senate calls for calm. The situation also calls for leadership at all levels of government.
“Leaders must unite to fight and defeat criminality in the Country. Leaders must also unite to fight any divisive and centrifugal sentiments, and tendencies
“Political leaders are problem solvers. As parliamentarians, we should search for possible legislations to address the issues that tend to create tensions amongst our people.
“We are going to consult and partner with all arms and tiers of governments, in our quest to finding lasting solutions to these ugly developments,” he added.
Gunmen abduct Taraba Deputy Governor’s PA
Alhaji Bala Baba, the Personal Assistant to Taraba Deputy Governor has been abducted by unknown gunmen.
Baba was abducted from his residence in Sabongari area of Jalingo at about 1.30 am on Tuesday February 9, by gunmen who shot sporadically for over 30 minutes.
Though the gunmen are yet to establish communication with members of his family, it was gathered that they headed towards Gongon -Malik area of Jalingo.
Acting Public relations officer of Taraba command, Reform Leha who confirmed the incident said they have intensified effort to arrest those behind the act.
Senate receives Buhari’s request to confirm service chiefs
President Muhammadu on Tuesday urged the Senate to confirm the immediate past Service Chiefs for appointment as non-career ambassadors.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s letters of request on the floor at plenary.
The Senate, on Tuesday, read a request from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs.
The request which was contained in a letter dated 27th January, 2021, was read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday.
According to a statement by Lawan’s aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, the letter from the President, read, “In compliance with the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officer as the Chief of Defence Staff and Services Chiefs of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The appointees for confirmation are: Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao – Chief of Air staff.
“They are to replace the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.”
Buhari had appointed the new service chiefs after persistent clamour by Nigerians that he brings in fresh hands in the country’s counter-terrorism war especially in the North-East.
However, human rights lawyers including Femi Falana had said the President lacked powers to appoint the new generals without the constitutional endorsement of the National Assembly.
Army appoints Yerima new spokesman
The Nigerian Army has appointed Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima as its Director of Public Relations.
Yerima replaces Brig.-Gen. Saghir Musa, who has been redeployed to the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora in Niger State.
Yerima, a one-time Acting Director Defence of Information, was until his appointment, the deputy director reserve at the Defence Headquarters.
According to the profile released by the Army Headquarters, Yerima is a graduate of Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University.
He enrolled in the Nigerian Army in October 1989 and was commissioned into the Corps of Army Public Relations.
He served in various military formations and units such as Aide De Camp to the Commander Training and Doctrine Command between 1990 and 1993.
Yerima was Public Relations Officer for the Nigerian Army Officers wives Association, Office of Chief of Army Staff 1994; spokesperson, 81 Division from 1995 to1996 and PRO Nigerian Defence Academy 1996 to 2000.
He was also Military Spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in Siera Leone, 2000 to 2002; PRO to Chief of Army Staff, 2003 and PRO to Chief of Defence Staff, 2005.
The new army spokesperson was also Deputy DPR 1 Division Nigerian Army, 2008 as well as Chief of Staff and Coordinator at Directorate of Army Public Relations, 2007 to 2009.
He served as Director of Defence Information between 2009 and 2013; was also Deputy Director, Production at TRADOC from 2013 to 2017 as well as Deputy Director Reserve, Defence Headquarters before his current appointment.
Yarima is member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations as well as African Public Relations Association and Fellow of West Africa Society for Administration and Communication.
He was a participant at Senior Strategic Media Operation programme at Reach Cambridge and at Kofi Annan Centre, Ghana.
He also attended Senior Leadership Course at Sheringham United Kingdom and undertook a US-Embassy funded Media tour of Africom in Studgarf Germany.
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