Friday, 16 December 2016

President Buhari cried out to Nigerians: Stop blaming Us

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The Federal Government, yesterday, told Nigerians that the current administration under President Muhammadu Buhari was not to be blamed for the current economic woes of the country. It said that it was on a rescue mission to right the wrongs of the past governments. This came as the 36 state governors have agreed to cut down the size of their convoys, excessive travels amongst others to fight recession.

These were the highlights of the meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential Villa, Abuja. The Federal Government’s self exoneration is coming barely one week after the National Chairman of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, admitted that some first missteps of the government upon assumption of office May 2015 affected the country’s economy negatively. Similarly, Imo State governor, Mr. Rocahs Okoroacha, who is also an APC governor, it will be recalled, recently accepted blames for the economic downturn on behalf of APC.

APC on rescue mission

But briefing State House Correspondents at the end of Wednesday meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udo Udoma alongside Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Anambra State Deputy Governor, Mr. Nkem Okeke absolved the Federal Government from blames, saying the APC government was on a rescue mission.

He said: “We did not and are not responsible for the current economic situation we find ourselves. We are actually a rescue team, a team working to rescue Nigeria from the position we find ourselves in. “Under President Buhari, we are determined to take Nigeria out of the situation. The situation started long before we came. As you know, oil price started falling from 2014 when it was about $110 and by January this year, it was below $30. Unfortunately, they did not save. “ We are determined to take Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. That is why we are developing an economy recovery plan and that is our focus. We are committed to success.” Udoma stated that NEC also reviewed practical measures to liberate the country from recession.

We’ll cut down retinue of aides, foreign trips

Revealing that the Council also discussed other measures taken by the 36 governors to beat the current economic recession, el-Rufai when asked to highlight them said that they had decided to cut down on the retinue of political aides, the size of their convoys, local and foreign trips amongst others. He also gave an inclination of the Federal Government to merge some agencies and parastatals. Speaking on Niger Delta, the governor said the unrest in the region which had drastically affected oil production was a subject at the meeting. He said: “Governors also raised concerns on the Niger Delta situation. You know we budgeted that we will be producing 2.2 million barrels of oil per day. At a point, oil production dropped to one million barrels per day. “This has significantly affected the nation’s revenue and the most hit were the Niger Delta states that get the bulk of their revenue from the nation because the less they produced, the less they have.”

Why The Righteous Suffer - Billy Graham

Why the Righteous Suffer

Billy Graham Daily Devotional

Friday, 16 December 2016

Topic: Why the Righteous Suffer

Key Verse: God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings . . . — 2 Corinthians 1:7 (TLB)

Message:
This question, “Why must the righteous suffer?” is as old as time. There is only one place that we can find an answer, and that is in the Bible. You do not need to study the Scriptures long to learn why sinners meet reverses and anguish. They are apart from God. Their sorrow is the result of their sins. But-why do Christians suffer?

Scripture teaches that many Christians suffer so that they may fellowship with others who are in affliction. Only those who have known sorrow and suffering can have fellowship with those in affliction. The Word of God also teaches that Christians suffer in order that they might glorify God in their lives. The Bible further teaches that Christians suffer in order that God might teach them lessons in prayer. Also, Christians suffer in order that God might bring them to repentance.

Prayer for the day: How tender is Your comfort, Lord. How loving Your chastening.

Mob kills commander of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency

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                                       Mob kills commander of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency
There was pandemonium in the Liverpool, Apapa area of Lagos on Thursday after an irate mob lynched a commander of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency, Mr. Bakare Olatunji.

It was learnt that Olatunji, who was the zonal head of the agency in the Apapa area, had led a team of officials to the area in a patrol van to arrest erring motorists at about 11am.

PUNCH Metro gathered that tanker drivers, who parked their vehicles on the road fled on sighting the enforcement agents.

The LASTMA van was said to have ran into an assistant driver (motor boy) while he struggled to escape arrest.

The boy, whose name had yet to be ascertained, was reportedly sleeping by the roadside.

He died on the spot.

Angered by the boy’s death, his friends were said to have regrouped and went on the rampage, killing Olatunji in the process.

A mechanic in the area, Uthman Salau, said another LASTMA official was injured, while others fled the scene.

He said, “The drivers were relaxing around 10.30am when they saw a LASTMA van approaching. They felt the officials had come to arrest them for parking vehicles indiscriminately. So, they ran away. A motor boy, who was sleeping beside a tanker, was woken up by the commotion. Before he could escape from the spot, the LASTMA van hit him and he died instantly.

“One of the drivers, who saw the boy lying in a pool of blood, called his colleagues and they stormed the scene with cutlasses, bottles and all sorts of weapons. The officials fled with the van except their team leader (Olatunji). They stabbed him to death.”

However, an eyewitness, who gave his name only as Issa, said the operatives had flagged down a motorist, who refused to stop, adding that the agency’s van knocked down the boy as they gave the driver a chase.

“LASTMA agents are fond of extorting money from motorists on roads around here. Their leader waited behind after his men had fled, thinking that he could pacify the angry youth. But he was not lucky. They  killed him,” he said.

A driver, who did not disclose his name, said he got to the scene after Olatunji had been killed.

“I am not sure whether the LASTMA officials were chasing somebody or not. What I learnt was that the boy was killed by their van, which sparked off the protest and the eventual killing of one of the officials,” he added.

A LASTMA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his colleagues had been under fire for lax enforcement which made them to intensify operations in the area.

He said, “Ordinarily, they would not have gone for operations in that area. However, two weeks ago, the management was angry that we have not performed to expectation in terms of enforcement. Each zone was asked to generate N12m by December 19. So, we are under pressure to deliver. That is the reality we are battling with.”

LASTMA spokesperson, Mahmud Hassan, said investigation had commenced to ascertain the cause of the incident. He, however, refuted the claim that the agency was mandated to generate revenue.

He said, “I can confirm his (Olatunji’s) death. We are still investigating and I will get back to you. The Lagos State Government did not set up LASTMA as a revenue generation agency. We are there to provide services to the good people of the state. So, we are not after generating revenue. What we are after is safety on Lagos roads and our men are professional. That is our primary duty and responsibility and that is what we have been doing day and night.

“No target is given to anybody. We are not compelled under any circumstance to meet certain target at a particular time of the month or year.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, in a text message, said the case was under investigation.

NEWS UPDATE: Finally Senate rejects Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman

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Breaking: Finally Senate rejects Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman

Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been rejected by the Nigerian Senate.

The Senate formally declined confirmation of his nomination for the position of the chairman of the anti-graft agency on Thursday, December 15, 2016 siting a negative security report from the country’s secret police.

The spokesperson for the upper legislative chamber, Aliyu Abdullahi, revealed this on Thursday afternoon after the senators emerged from a closed-door meeting where Mr. Magu’s confirmation was discussed. He was slated to be screen today.

“The Senate wishes to inform the public that based on available security report, the Senate cannot proceed with the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” Abdullahi said.

“The nomination of Ibrahim Magu is hereby rejected and has been returned to the President for further action.”

President Muhammadu Buhari sent a letter to the Senate in July 2016 requesting that Ibrahim Magu, an assistant commissioner of police, be confirmed as the chairman of the EFCC.

The letter, also sought the confirmation of Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Ibrahim Magu was appointed to replace the former ECFF chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, in an acting capacity in November 2015, after Lamorde was fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Under Magu, the public image of the agency as a crime fighter, was tarnished after series of unlawful actions by the EFCC, disobedience to court orders, and gross violation of human rights of Nigerians.

Magu politicized his position and became known as the “hatchet man” for President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.