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Former aide to the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe has written an advisory letter to the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

In the letter he entitled “The State of Our Divided Nation” and shared via his Facebook page, Okupe warned that the drum of war was sounding very loudly from everywhere now.

He said that things will soon fall apart in the country if no adequate measures were taken to address the situation.

He advised Osinbajo to set up committees that will approach both Southern and Northern leaders to address the issues of restructuring the country and hate speeches flying about.

Okupe wrote, “It is no longer news that things are ‘no longer at ease’ in our nation, what we all fervently pray for is that ‘things should not fall apart’ as our late distinguished novelist, Chinua Achebe, wrote in two of his very popular novels.

“The drums of war are becoming extremely loud and are sounding from everywhere. The shouts of injustice, marginalization, inequity, nepotism are deafening… separatists movements are springing up from every part of the land.

“Never in our chequered history has visceral hate with so much outpour of potent venom been spewed publicly in our country. Certainly Nigeria will never be the same again.

“This time around, we have allowed the sword of division to penetrate the very fabric of our unity; even up to its marrow.

“Because of deep seated anger, frustration and uncontrolled impudence and widespread impunity, outbursts from various quarters and conclaves have crossed the line of civility.

“But we must not allow our sordid and painful past conflict with our present: to do so will be to jeopardize our future, as the saying goes.

“However, Winston Churchill said: ‘Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of deep thinking and confusion of counsel… all these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.’

“Your Excellency Sir, this is the time to act and act decisively. If you act now, ‘History will be kind to you because you would have written it yourself.’

“It is perhaps for this reason; as Mordecai said to Esther that the Lord God Almighty who you serve deliberately chose you out of the many available persons of stature in Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political dynasty, to be vice president to president Buhari.

“What I am about to say next may be seen in some quarters as impertinent. But I believe that my experiences borne out of closeness to and with two past presidents in moments of severe national distress, compels me all the same to submit my thoughts to you on the present situation of the country, with all humility for your consideration.

“Your Excellency, may I therefore suggest as follows:

“1. Set up a high powered Federal Government Committee to meet urgently with IPOB and stakeholders in the South East.

“2. Let a similar committee meet and team up with a committee of the Northern Governors Forum with the aim of evolving strategies to engage in consultations with Northern leaders and stakeholders.

“3. A similar team may closely interface with militants and stakeholders in the Niger-Delta area.

“4. Let a strong team from the Presidency, including the Attorney General, meet at different times with the leadership of the South who were members of the confab, and also their counterparts from the North.

“The aim of their engagement will be towards finding a renewed consensus on their previously published agreement or at least redefining what is agreeable now and what still requires further consultation and mediation.

“Part of the agenda of this team will be to resolve once and for all, the issue of restructuring of the federation.

“All the above activities should commence immediately and must be concluded within 6-8 weeks.

“Thereafter, the Federal Government will collate all the information and come up with a working document within another 4-6 weeks.

“The final document (NOT Government White Paper) is now circulated to members of the Council of States at least 2 weeks before a scheduled meeting which will deliberate on this pertinent national issues and advice the Federal Government on the roadmap to explore towards resolving these national issues.

“May the Almighty God direct you which way to follow, grant you divine wisdom to manage these delicate affairs and give you the courage to do that which is right, just and equitable.

“May I also at this juncture remind you of our school (Igbobi College) motto: “Omnes Unum in Domino” (ALL are one in the Lord).”

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‘I Paid 42k Twice For COVID-19 Test’ — Sweden Returnee Laments Extortion In Abuja

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Ndubuisi Ekwulonu, a Nigerian who came into the country from Sweden, says he was extorted in Abuja, as he paid twice for the mandatory COVID-19 test for passengers on international flights.

It is compulsory for all passengers coming into the country to provide negative COVID-19 test results prior to boarding; passengers are also expected to pay for a repeat test, which will be done after arrival.

Speaking with Brekete Family, a reality programme focused on human rights, in a viral video, Ekwulonu said despite paying twice for the COVID-19 test, his name was not found on the list of people who were to be tested.

“At the airport, there is a form the federal government said we would fill online before we leave where we are coming from. So after I filled the form, there are two options; either I pay with card or on arrival. Because of the bad network in Nigeria, I chose the option of paying on arrival,” he said.

“So, on getting to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, I used my ATM card and I showed them a picture that I have filled the form and they saw the ‘capture’. They requested my passport number which I gave them and they filled it in on their computer and brought out their POS. I paid and was debited N42,750.

“I was given two options; one laboratory in Jabi, the other in Maitama. Because I live close to Maitama, I chose that. But if you put the address of the laboratory in Google, it will take you to Emab Plaza, one laboratory there.”

He said on getting there, the people at the lab said they were unaware of what he was asking for and told him to leave.

“So, I came out, met a gateman to direct me to the place. He said I should go to THISDAY Dome. I went there; they said I should go to the ministry of health in the secretariat. At the ministry, I was directed to MM, one conference center. So, I took the taxi there and found the lab.

“I told the guy that they will ban me from the country if I don’t do the test and he said he will forward my information to Lagos which he did.”

Ekwulonu said he waited at the laboratory the whole day for a response from Lagos, but unfortunately, none came.

“I went home, came back. He checked the system and said my name is not on the list they gave him. Luckily for me, two people on the same flight with me came and couldn’t find their names. Even my friend from Sweden couldn’t find his name,” he said.

“Then they said I will have to pay another money if I want to do the test. I paid another N42,750 and did the test.

“This morning… I am supposed to leave Nigeria on Saturday, they sent me a message that I have to pay again for another test.”

Ndubuisi, who was in tears, lamented the difficulty in securing a job as a Nigerian in Sweden. He said there are about 5,700 employees where he works, but 5,000 were sacked.

“And I was among those retained. It took me time to get this job because I am a Nigerian. Even a Rwandan will get a job before you and these are people you know, in every aspect of life, you are better than them. Just because you are carrying a Nigerian passport, to get a job will be hard, so how can I lose my job because I came into Nigeria?” he lamented as he burst into tears.

However, later on, Tuesday, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in a tweet, said Ndubuisi had been refunded.

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The Story Was Twisted Fundamentally Out Of Context, My Client Never Begged Salami Panel For Mercy —– Magu’s Lawyer

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Wahab Shittu, counsel to Ibrahim Magu, suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says his client never admitted to the allegations against him.

Magu is being investigated by a presidential panel over allegations of abuse of office and mismanagement of recovered assets under his watch as acting chairman of the EFCC.

Magu appeared before the panel last Friday to defend himself.

Shittu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the report that Magu confessed to the panel that he was overzealous as EFCC chairman and begged for mercy was misleading.

“We wish to state that this story was twisted fundamentally out of context by my client’s accusers who want to hit back at my client without justification,” he said.

“It is true that Magu and my humble self addressed the panel at the conclusion of his defense while Magu clarified that he threw himself to the job of acting chair because of his passion for the anti-corruption war, a situation that may be alleged overzealousness in some quarters.

“He however pleaded for justice and fair-play by the panel members in the context of his overall achievements and his fledgling career which hitherto remain unblemished and will terminate in two years’ time.

“Counsel to Magu also urged the panel members in the interest of fear of God and loyalty to their conscience to ensure justice in the matter and concluded by thanking them for patience and understanding throughout the proceedings.

“At no time did Magu admit to guilt to the allegations, the subject matter of the inquiry. Indeed the only thing going for Magu is the conviction of his innocence.

“A member of the panel had cause to inquire from me whether I am convinced that the panel will do justice to my client? I responded in the affirmative and I hope my optimism of the justice of the process at the end will not be illusory.”

He said as Nigerians wait on the Ayo Salami-led panel to do justice in this matter, commentators in the public space should comment based on facts and law.

According to the lawyer, the preoccupation of the inquiry is to reveal the truth without grandstanding, sensationalism, dramatization, or any attempt at the coloration of the truth.

“The danger is that these orchestrated stories in the public space may have the effect of shifting the real focus from the quest for facts and truth which is the real focus of the inquiry to sensationalism, half-truths, propaganda which will neither benefit either Nigerians who are interested in the real facts and truth nor the panel members who have toiled for days to execute the assignment including the subject of inquiry whose proclamation of guilt or innocence will define his future career and his perception in the public space,” he said.

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Nigerian Govt Orders DisCos To Suspend Electricity Tariff Hike

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The Federal Government has ordered the Electricity Distribution Companies in the country to suspend the recent hike in tariff.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission issued the order on Tuesday night.

This followed an agreement reached by the Federal Government and Organised Labour for the suspension of the hike in tariff for 14 days.

According to the NERC, the tariff suspension will be from September 28, 2020, to October 2, 2020.

The Order, No. NERC/209/2020, with the title: “NERC Order on the suspension of the Multi-Year Tariff Order 2020 for the electricity distribution licensees,” was signed by the NERC Chairman, James Momoh; and the Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, and addressed to the country’s DisCos.

 

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