The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions embarked on the protest alleging BASL’s sacking of 20 employees who indicated interest to unionise. Hundreds of passengers were on Wednesday stranded as protesting aviation unions shut down operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions embarked on the protest alleging BASL’s sacking of 20 employees who indicated interest to unionise.The protesting unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).As early as 6am, the union members, who defied a morning downpour, barricaded the entrance to the MMA2.Their action came in spite of a court order restraining them from embarking on the protest.The unionists, who chanted various solidarity songs, accused BASL management of violating extant labour laws by not recognising the unions and preventing staff from joining unions in the sector.They prevented passengers going to catch their early morning flights, and also airline officials and people with businesses inside the terminal from gaining access to the premises.The protest also caused heavy vehicular traffic around the airport environment, which spiralled to some parts of Ikeja and the Agege Motor Road.Airlines affected by the action include Arik Air, Medview Airline, Azman Air, Max Air, Dana Air and Aero Contractors, which operate flights from the terminal.There was heavy presence of security operatives including the Police and officers of the Nigeria Air Force in the area during the protest.Mr Frances Akinjole, General Secretary, ATSSSAN, told NAN that the unions were compelled to carry out the action following the refusal of the BASL management to accede to their demands.Akinjole said:”This issue started since May when these workers were laid off for indicating interest to belong to unions.“We met the management asking them to reinstate these workers and recognise their rights to join unions but they refused.“The regulator of the industry, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as well as aviation security agencies have intervened in series of meetings, but BASL management has refused to do the needful to avert this crisis.”Akinjole denied knowledge of any court order restraining the unions from carrying out the action, stressing that what they were doing had legal backings.Also, Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, NUATE, said the unions had issued the notice of strike to the public to afford travelers the opportunity of making alternative travelling arrangements.Abioye urged the union members to remain calm and refuse any form of provocation by security agencies deployed to quell the protest.However, Bi-Courtney in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Steve Omolale, said the company had obtained a court order from the Federal High Court, Lagos, restraining the unions from shutting down Nigeria’s only privately-owned terminal.“We will like to bring it to the attention of the entire public that the Federal High Court in Lagos in suit number FHC/L/CS/16412/18 has granted an order restraining the unions from carrying out their threats of disrupting the activities of the terminal.“Pursuant to this order, members of the unions found in the premises of MMA2 would be liable to trespass.“We reserve our right under the law of Nigeria to deal with such person as a trespasser,” he said.
Fears that last week’s defection by some senators and House of Representatives members will affect President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election were dispelled yesterday.
Eleven senators defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Two joined the former President Obasanjo –driven African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Thirty Seven members of the House of Representatives also defected. But the ruling party keeps its majority in both lawmaking chambers.
Also last week, Benue State Governor Samue Ortom defected to the PDP.
The campaign body said the APC will in the coming days receive defectors from other parties into its fold, adding that the expected defection of two gvernors will also not affect Buhari’s chances in next year’s election, given his performance.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Kwara State Governor Abdufatah Ahmed are expected to leave the ruling party for the PDP.
Giving reasons why Buhari will not be ruffled by the defections, Director of Strategic Communication of the Buhari campaign, Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo said in elections before the 2015 polls , which he won, the President did creditably in most of the states where the PDP had governors and legislators.
In a statement, Keyamo said: “The President won with large margins in the past in some states without the support of majority of the politicians from those states who moved recently to join the opposition party. Also, we are all witnessing the significant gains Mr. President is making in several places where he lost in the past, notably in the Southsouth and Southeast.
“From the demographics we have now, the historic figures and the present realities that we know, these defections will have little or no impact on the chances of Mr. President’s re-election.”
Keyamo said Buhari has consistently won in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Yobe and Niger, with over 30 million, especially in 2011 and 2015, adding that this was achieved despite the fact that most of those states were being controlled by political parties other than his.
He said “In 2011, when the President was in CPC, despite being states with sitting opposition Governors, National Assembly members, state Assembly members and local government chairmen, the President posted close to eleven million votes against all odds, defeating all his rivals in these 12 states mentioned above.
“In 2015, despite the majority of these states being in opposition after the merger that formed the APC, the President posted close to 11 million votes again in these states with PDP not scoring up to 20 percent of the votes in most of these States.
“It is instructive that in these election cycles there were presidential candidates of Northern extraction (e.g Shekarau and Ribadu in 2011). Besides, Kaduna had a sitting Vice President in both elections.
“As we can see, any defection within these states would have little or no
consequence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances as he had always won those states, irrespective of the party in power in those states.
“For example in the much-touted Kano, in the 2011 Presidential election, President Buhari scored one million, six hundred and twenty four thousand, five hundred and forty three (1,624,543) votes as CPC candidate, while in 2015, he had 1,903,999 one million, nine hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine (1,903,999) votes as APC candidate.
“The vote difference of about 280,000 votes may be attributed to elements of ANPP, negligible ACN and Senator Kwakwanso, then Governor of the state that came into APC. Today, the President’s popularity in these states has increased due to the fight against Boko Haram which has been largely successful. So, he should expect more votes from these strongholds.”
He said even though he lost the elections in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kogi, Adamawa and Benue in 2011, he won the election in 2015, adding that the five south-western states have registered voters strength of more than 14 million out of the about 20 million voters in these nine states.
“Today, those five states are being controlled by the APC. Ekiti will join before the 2019 election after Governor-elect Kayode Fayemi is sworn in for a second term in office. All the political gladiators in those south-western states that helped to tilt the election in favour of the President in 2015 are still solidly with him and more have joined.
“The entire defunct ACN structures that moved into APC are solidly behind the President. In terms of defections in the western states, the Party has gained more than it has lost as the likes of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Senator (Mrs) Fatima Raji-Rasaki, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Senator Gbenga Kaka, former Governor Adebayo Akala, to mention but a few, are now with APC.
“To underscore the rising profile of the party in these states, the people of Ondo State and Ekiti State decided to entrust their states in the hands of the APC by voting out the previous PDP governments.
“Furthermore, these states are well represented in government with a sitting Vice President, important ministerial portfolios and prominent membership of the economic team. So, we can only expect more votes, not less, from the west.
“Adamawa, Kwara, Kogi and Benue states, with over six million registered voters, all had governors from other parties in 2011 with Senator Bukola Saraki being the PDP governor of Kwara State.
“In the four states, as the presidential candidate of CPC, the President posted six hundred and seventy thousand eighty (670,080) votes while CAN, the other legacy party of APC, posted three hundred and fourteen thousand seven hundred and forty one (314,741) votes, making a total of nine hundred and eighty four thousand seven hundred and forty one (984,741) votes when combined.
“In 2015, with only one APC governor among the four states, the President posted one million three hundred and fifteen thousand six hundred and fifty nine (1,315,659) in the four states, gaining over three hundred and thirty thousand (330,000) votes.
“Today, with APC in charge of three out of the four states, especially with Senator Gbemi Saraki and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, leading the efforts in Kwara State and the APC structure in Benue State still firmly in the hands of Senator George Akume (the same structure on which Governor Ortom rode to victory) the defection of the Senators from these States will have little or no effect on the difference gained
“The President lost 15 states (comprising 11 States of the South East and South South and Plateau, Taraba, Nassarawa and Ekiti States) in the 2015 elections, despite his overall victory.”
The post How Buhari’ll win in 2019, by Campaign appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has commenced.
The ceremony is taking place at the state Kremlin Palace in Moscow and attended by dignitaries from across the world.
The 32 participating countries including Nigeria will be divided into eight groups of four teams each during the event.
The post 2018 World Cup draw begins in Russia appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.
Electricity consumers in Cardoso Awodi-Ora area of Ajegunle Apapa in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Lagos, on Friday decried the epileptic power supply, outrageous billing and dilapidated equipment in their community.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the outrageous monthly bills received from Eko Electricity Distribution Company did not correspond with the supply given to the community.
Mr Joseph Emmanuel, a resident of the area said that electricity consumers in the community were given crazy bills despite having poor electricity supply.
“How can EKEDC be bringing between N27,000 and N30,000 to a three-bedroom flat in a month when the supply is just about six hours daily?
“The supply is between 10:30 in the morning to 1:pm, then 11p.m to 3a.m daily, and at the end of the month one will be given outrageous bills.
“If I am using prepaid meter, I cannot finish N5,000 recharge in a month.
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“We are being forced to pay for electricity we never consumed; this is extortion, we demand for transparency in the billing methodology,” he said.
Mr Babalola James, a landlord in the area, said all the electric poles, cables and other electricity facilities situated along Ojo Road that supplied the community were due for replacement.
“Virtually all the transformers are dilapidated and can no longer continue to cope with the load on them.
“From our feasibility study, more than 89 houses use one transformer, which is grossly inadequate,” he said.
Mrs Funmilayo Adeoye, another resident of the community, urged EKEDC management to install prepaid meters in all houses in the area.
Responding, Mr Godwin Idemudia, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, said the company did not bill its customers arbitrarily.
“We bill according to the energy delivered. It is surprising to hear some of our customers complain about supply brought for few hours on daily basis for for few days.
“The truth is that the level of consumption for the few hours that supply is available mean a lot of energy could have been consumed within those hours.
“Due to lack of trust from some of our customers not knowing when supply would come again, they carry out a lot of activities within a short period.
“They use iron, pumping machine and electric stove all at the same time, so one cannot use availability of supply to determine their bills,” he said.
Idemudia urged electricity consumers in the area to report cases of dilapidated equipment at EKEDC customer care offices nearest to them.
Magu explained that part of such preventive measures was an aggressive sensitisation campaign, public enlightenment and education in both public and private sectors. Mr Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is cheaper to prevent corruption than to fight it.Magu said this on Thursday during the Anti-Corruption Sensitisation Programme organised for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Aviation Sector Workers Abuja.He said that section six of the EFCC Act required the commission to, in addition to its enforcement responsibilities, take measures to prevent economic and financial crimes.Magu explained that part of such preventive measures was an aggressive sensitisation campaign, public enlightenment and education in both public and private sectors.The essence, according to him, is to improve workplace consciousness of corruption and its corrosive effects and encourage workers to embrace them.“The EFCC alone couldn’t fight and win the war against corruption in Nigeria.
Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army on Wednesday said its troops had killed 20 Boko Haram insurgents in a clearance operation in the Lake Chad Basin.
Col. Timothy Antigha, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 8 Division, made the disclosure in a statement in Maiduguri.
Antigha said that the troops captured 17 insurgents, rescued 100 people, recovered vehicles and ammunition.
He said the six soldiers that sustained injuries in the operation were referred to military medical facility for treatment.
He said the operations were conducted in the past two weeks in Islands in Lake Chad region to crush Boko Haram insurgents inhabiting the islands.
“In continuation of Operation DEEP PUNCH 2, designed to smoke out Boko Haram terrorists inhabiting remote Islands in Lake Chad basin lying within Nigerian territory, troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army, on Operation LAFIYA DOLE, supported by soldiers of the Armed Forces Strike Group have inflicted heavy casualties on Boko Haram terrorists.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi SirikaThe Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has debunked insinuations that the checks conducted by security operatives on the aircraft belonging to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was politically motivated
He said the security checks were misinterpreted as having political undertone, when actually it was a case of professional and industry practice as regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity in the ministry, James Odaudu, stated: “It should be noted that such checks as carried out on the former vice president’s aircraft are mandatory and routine, and that no one is exempted except the president, vice president and visiting presidents.
“The ICAO security programme also requires that ministers and senior government officials are screened in the same manner as other passengers as they are expected to set examples for the travelling public and to the aviation security officials responsible for screening passengers.
“It is a routine practice that all incoming aircraft and passengers on international flights must go through customs, immigration, health, security and money laundering checks.
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“The general public is, therefore, assured that the ministry and its agencies would always accord the desired respect to the nation’s leaders, just as they are committed to ensuring the entrenchment of safety and security at the nation’s airports without political considerations,” the statement read in part.
Sirika, in a post on his twitter handle @hadisirika, had described Atiku’s claim as a “mischievous attempt to grab the headlines.”
He said Nigerians needed to know that “one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.
Mr Terkimbi Ikyange
Benue State Assembly has suspended the recently impeached Speaker
He was suspended for allegedly underestimating the house rules.
The impeached Speaker was alleged to have mobilized men of Nigeria Police Force to deny lawmakers access to the Assembly complex.
The lawmakers eventually held the Friday plenary at the old banquet hall of the Benue State Government House Makurdi.
The Majority Leader, Avine Agbom, however, moved the motion to suspend Ikyange which was backed by 18 other lawmakers.
Ikyange had rejected his impeachment declaring the process illegal with claims that his impeachment did not go through the legislative procedures.
The motion for Ikyange’s impeachment was moved by Richard Ujege (APC) of Konshisha constituency and seconded by Anthony Ogbu (APC) of Ado constituency.
Ujege cited the alleged highhandedness of the former Speaker as reasons for his and other officers’ ouster.
Ikyangbe has since then replaced by Titus Ugba of Kyan constituency.
Nigeria PoliceThe Police Command in Akwa Ibom on Friday appealed to aggrieved youths of Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas to lay down their arms within five days and embrace peace.
The appeal is contained in a statement signed by DSP MacDon Odiko, the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo.
The statement also enjoined the aggrieved youths to assemble at Central School, Ikot Akpankuk, Ukanafun, to surrender their arms for documentation from Sept. 22 to Sept. 26.
According to the statement , the assembly for surrendering and documentation of arms is expected to hold from 8a.m to 6p.m each day.
Odiko also stated that the gesture was meant for reconciliation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the aggrieved youths of Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun councils of the state.
“It is hoped that this gesture will lead to complete reconciliation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the aggrieved youths,” he stated.
Odiko also stated that the gesture was expected to pave the way for the government to develop the affected communities.
NAN recalled that Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun crisis which began about a year ago had led to hardship, insecurity and loss of lives in the area.
An Osogbo Chief Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Monday remanded two suspected cultists in Ilesa Prison over alleged murder.
The accused — Ridwan Akande (22) and Oluwagbotemi Oni (22) — of no fixed addresses, are facing a charge of murder.
The Magistrate, Mrs Olubukola Awodele, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison due to the magnitude of the offence committed.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Joshua Oladoye, had told the court that the accused, suspected to be members of Aiye Confraternity, committed the offence on Aug. 5, 2017 at Old Garage area, Osogbo.
Oladoye said the accused killed one Bintu Anifowose by shooting her with gun for unknown reason.
He said the offence contravened Sections 324 and 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34 Vol. 11, Law of Osun, 2003.
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The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the accused, Mr Abiodun Olaide, prayed the court to grant his clients bail in the most liberal terms.
The Magistrate, however, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison and adjourned the case until July 6, for mentioned.
Aregbesola made the assertion while speaking with newsmen in Osogbo, after a fitness walk organised for the newly absorbed 20, 000 youths into the state’s Youths Empowerment Scheme (O-YES). Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, on Saturday said the state had the lowest index of unemployment in Nigeria because of the youth engagement programmes he had instituted since coming to power in 2010.Aregbesola made the assertion while speaking with newsmen in Osogbo, after a fitness walk organised for the newly absorbed 20, 000 youths into the state’s Youths Empowerment Scheme (O-YES).“What you are witnessing today, the O-YES scheme, started in 2010/2011; 100 days after our inauguration and we are still running it.“Because we are not just a conventional administration like the previous governments, we have designed and empowered our young ones to cater to all needs of the people.“It is clear that no government has the capacity to employ all youths but we have, through the O-YES scheme, created opportunities that will engage and take them out of vices,” he said.“Two-third of youths in the O-YES are either in one employment or the other or self-employed.“This explains the results of all surveys, political, social, undertaken nationwide which throws up the fact that Osun has the highest index of happiness.“We have the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria, as well as the 7th largest economy in the country.”Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the Osun 2018 governorship election who took part in the walk, said O-YES was a laudable scheme which, he noted, would be kept and improved upon if he was elected governor.He said: “The scheme has taken cumulatively, 80, 000 youths off the streets and provided them with a platform to do something productive.“The state is very peaceful because the youth are engaged and because they have something to do, they are not vulnerable.“The government is encouraging youths through the scheme to embrace hard work, to shun vices and also remove vulnerability.”The Head of the O-YES programme, Mr Enibukun Oyewole, lauded the government for setting up the scheme which, he said,0 had transformed the lives of lots of youths.Oyewole said a lot of the O-YES cadets had been sent abroad for training in various skills acquisition, noting that N3.6 billion was expended on the scheme annually.He said the success of the programme attracted the attention of the World Bank had which studied it.Oyewole said the World Bank certified O-YES as a viable and sustainable solution to the problem of youth unemployment in Nigeria and consequently recommended it to the Federal Government and other states in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari deplanes at Kano airport during a recent visit to the state. PHOTO: TOLANI ALI
President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Daura for Mauritania after a one-day official visit to Katsina State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president took off from the Katina International Airport to Mauritania for an official engagement.
The Air Force helicopter marked NAF-600 left the Daura helipad at exactly 9.30 a.m on Saturday.
Buhari was in Katsina to commiserate with victims of windstorm which affected some parts of the state recently.
Buhari will be accompanied by his counterpart from Benin Republic, President Patrice Talon, to inaugurate an ECOWAS project. President Muhammadu Buhari will be in Lagos today, Tuesday, October 23, 2018 to inaugurate an ECOWAS project. According to a twitter post from the Presidency handle, the President will be in Lagos to inaugurate the ECOWAS border post at Seme-krake in Lagos. He will be accompanied by his counterpart from Benin Republic, President Patrice Talon.
Rochas OkorochaTraders in Imo State were excited at the weekend as TraderMoni, the Federal Government’s policy of assisting petty traders in the country was launched in the state.
Hundreds of traders at the Relief Market in the Owerri metropolis filed out to register for the quick cash transfer of N10,000 from the Bank of Industry, managers of the fund.
Speaking at the Owerri Relief Market, the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the scheme is a deliberate policy of the government to assist small-scale businesses in the country to grow as well as to reduce poverty among the people.
Osinbajo also said the current administration would continue to ensure that the welfare of Nigerians would be its major priority and urged the people to continue to support efforts of the government to make the country a better place for all.
Meanwhile, some of the traders who spoke to newsmen said they had earlier heard the announcement on radio but had thought it was one of those gimmicks of government, which never works.
One of the traders who identified herself simply as Agnes expressed gratitude to the federal government as she had received an alert immediately she completed her registration while still at the point of registration.
“It worked like magic because as soon as I registered and provided them with my account number, I received an alert of N10,000. It is now that I know it is real.”
Mrs. Toyin Adeniyi, Executive Director of the Micro Enterprise department of the Bank of Industry said it is part of the policies of government to assist petty traders in the country to grow their businesses.
She urged beneficiaries to ensure that they repay the loan within six months to enable them access more loans to help their businesses.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) journalist, Tayo Elebiyo Edeni, after she was assaulted by security operatives shortly before President Muhammadu Buhari’s commissioning of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port…yesterday.It was one of the states hit recently by killings. Many believed President Muhammadu Buhari would seize the opportunity offered by the visit to voice government’s concern and allay people’s fears. They were disappointed.
Buhari yesterday commissioned 10 coaches and two locomotives and the Kaduna Inland Dry Port.
Parts of the country witnessed bloodshed over the past week. While 21 people were killed in Rivers State, about 50 others died in attacks by herdsmen in Benue. In Kaduna, a traditional ruler, Dr. Gambo Makama, and his wife were murdered in Sanga Local Government Area. The President, however, left the state without saying a word on any of the incidents.
On Tuesday, a group, Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA), had issued a statement envisaging the outcome of the visit.
“It has come to our knowledge that Buhari will be in Kaduna on Thursday January 4, 2018 to commission a dry port and a few railway coaches. Aside from the niceties of tape-cutting at designated sites and a few remarks, President Buhari’s itinerary is quiet on his other activities while in Kaduna.
“A similar scenario unfolded on September 12, 2017 when he visited the state for the commissioning of a feeds milling plant called OLAM, along Kaduna-Abuja Road. The President left after fulfilling the righteousness of tape-cutting. We guess his Thursday January 4, 2018 visit will ply the same lane. This is not the first time President Buhari is showcasing a lackadaisical and I-don’t-care attitude to the barbaric annihilations of the people of Southern Kaduna,” said CEDRA chairman, Dr. John Danfulani.
Disappointed, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) yesterday passed a vote of no confidence in the president, and the state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, over their handling of attacks.
The group said the prolonged insecurity in the southern part of Kaduna State and the failure to arrest the perpetrators prove that government’s intelligence gathering mechanism has failed.
In a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Mr. Yakubu Kuzamani, SOKAPU said: “With so much sadness and concern, the Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union is constrained again to point out to the general public that the ominous signs coming out from the renewed attacks on our people, which has shattered the relative peace we have been enjoying, calls for serious concern.”
The group said it was wondering “why the government continues to adopt the same strategy to security in Southern Kaduna when such has not translated into stopping these attacks and killings.”
It noted that the failure of the authorities to arrest the perpetrators “has emboldened these terrorists to keep attacking and killing at will, while the government is left to issue flowery press statements after each attack and deploy security to already destroyed communities.
“In view of all these killings of our people, SOKAPU is urging the government to show more determination, willingness and sincerity and be more proactive in curbing these killings.
“We urge government to increase the space for more meaningful engagement in searching for more viable deterrents to these killings. We also urge the security personnel to increase their intelligence gathering and go after these terrorists, rather than wait for them to attack.”
Ahead of the arrival of Buhari and his entourage to the port commissioning in the Kakuri area, security operatives assaulted Taye Elebiyo Edeni, a reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The lady was eventually evacuated with assistance from Red Cross paramedics and fellow journalists.
Despite showing accreditation tags, a team of security operatives “acting on orders from above” had cordoned off the entrance, preventing journalists from gaining access.
Pleas by officials of the Ministry of Transportation to allow journalists go in fell on deaf ears. This was followed by a threat from an operative to push the reporters away. Some security men were said to have readied their guns and attempted to deploy tear gas. In the ensuing scuffle, a mobile policeman reportedly punched Edeni in the face.
Buhari meanwhile expressed optimism that the dry port would boost the nation’s economy.
The facility, with a capacity for 29,000 tonnes of cargoes yearly, is expected to serve as a port of origin and destination, as cargoes would be conveyed via locomotives from ports in Lagos to Kaduna.
According to Buhari, industries and businesses have waited long for the facility, which he said would accelerate the implementation of the Federal Government’s economic diversification agenda.
He said the port would provide importers and exporters in the hinterland the opportunity to ship and clear cargo easily without travelling to Lagos. This would reduce the cost of transportation and doing business and eliminate congestion at Lagos ports, he said.
“It remains for customs and port officials to make these facilities work and not frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy, inflicting delays and hardships, thereby defeating the object of the whole exercise, as has happened in the past. Make these facilities work this time,” the president added.
Yesterday, leaders of the three main ethnic nationalities in Benue State rose from an emergency meeting in Abuja, passing a no-confidence vote on President Buhari’s administration for failing to ensure the security of Benue citizens.
They also rejected the President’s condolence messages to the people through Governor Ortom, saying that it is not from the bottom of the President’s heart.
President General of Mdzough U Tiv, Engr. Edward Ujege, presided over the press conference alongside the President of Idoma National Forum, Bar. Amali Adoya Amali, as well as the President General of the Omi Ny’ Igede, Ode Enyi.
”We believe that the Federal Government is playing to the gallery. There is no guarantee that these incidences will not occur again. The leaders said, “The blood of those killed is on the heads of those running the Federal Government.
“We the people of Benue, wish to remind the President that we voted massively for this government to protect us and provide conducive atmosphere for development but the reverse is now the case.
“We also want to remind the President that he swore an oath to defend all citizens of Nigeria but had failed woefully in the discharge of this responsibility in Benue State.”
Also yesterday, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the recent massacre of defenseless Nigerians in Benue, Rivers, Kaduna and other states by marauders as extremely wicked, iniquitous and horrifying.