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Wike Withdraws Approval For Atiku To Use Stadium For Rally [PHOTOS]

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The Rivers state government has revoked its approval of Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use for its presidential campaign rally.

The Rivers government had approved the venue for Atiku Abubakar, standard-bearer of the PDP, to use for his campaign rally scheduled to hold on February 11.

But in a letter dated January 31 and addressed to Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto and director-general of the PDP presidential campaign council, Christopher Green, Rivers commissioner for sports, said the approval has been withdrawn.

Green said the decision was taken over an alleged plot by the campaign to share the venue with a “violent” faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Tonye Cole, the Rivers APC governorship candidate.

“Credible intelligence available to the Government of Rivers State and recent developments now show that your Presidential Campaign Organisation is working in collaboration and in-cohoots with a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State led by Tonye Patrick Cole, and that it is the intention of your Presidential Campaign Organisation to accommodate and share the approved facility for your campaign with the said faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the letter reads.

“Government records show that the activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party, including shootings and killings in the course of protests arising from the nomination process of delegates for primaries and detonation of explosives in the course of Campaigns.

“The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and prized asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will definitely expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.“

The development comes days after Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, said he will cancel the approval given for the use of the facility if it is accessed before the approved hour.

This development also comes amid a crisis in the PDP over the position taken by stakeholders, including five governors.

Wike and his allies — including Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu — have excluded themselves from the party’s presidential campaign over calls for Iyorchia Ayu to step down as its national chairman.

The calls for Ayu’s resignation, according to the group, are based on the grounds that the Abubakar and the national chairman cannot be from the same region.

BIG STORY

BUSINESS: Investing In Davido’s Coin Highly Risky, SEC Warns Nigerians

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The public has been cautioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not to invest in the meme coin that is purportedly associated with popular Nigerian artist David Adedeji Adeleke, better known by his stage name Davido.

The commission made this known in a statement published on its website on Friday.

The SEC issued a warning, saying that users of the meme coin do so at their own risk.

“The general public is hereby advised that meme coins lack fundamental value and are purely speculative. The general public is further warned that investing in meme coins, including $Davido, is highly risky and should be done with a full understanding of the associated risk.

“Capital market operators are by this notice warned not to associate with instruments that fall outside the SEC’s regulatory purview. Such instruments should not in any manner be distributed or monitored through any capital market mechanism.

“Please note that the commission does not recognise $Davido as an investment product or investable asset class under its regulatory purview, as such individuals who patronize it, do so at their peril,” the statement read.

The SEC said it will keep a close watch on market developments and is ready to step in with regulatory action as needed.

The commission further explained, “Generally, meme coins are cryptocurrencies inspired by memes and internet jokes. They are often envisaged as fun, light-hearted cryptocurrencies promoted through a social media community and sometimes through celebrity endorsements.

“Meme coins are also not intended to serve as a medium of exchange accepted by the public as payment for goods and services, or as a digital representation of capital market products such as shares, debentures, units of collective investment schemes, derivatives contracts, commodities or other kinds of financial instruments or investments.”

The music star unveiled a meme coin called $Davido on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

However, the meme coin has been widely criticised by Nigerians after its value nosedived just a day after its launch.

Social media was awash with disappointed investors and fans venting their frustration as the coin’s value plummeted, with many expressing their dismay and disillusionment.

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UPDATE: More Women Testify Against Perm Sec Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Union Levels Allegations Too

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The controversies and series of serious allegations surrounding the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, have taken a different dimension.

The Ministry’s labour union, the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), is likewise incensed at the Permanent Secretary.

The union charged Lamuwa with financial irregularities, favouritism, bad management, and high-handedness, all of which had a negative impact on the rights and welfare of the employees.

In a June 11, 2024, petition to Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the staff union charged that the Permanent Secretary was pushing all matters pertaining to employee welfare, benefits, training, and other related matters to the side.

They specifically highlighted the denial of various benefits the workers were entitled to, which had been a source of their discontent for months.

In the petition obtained by PRNigeria, the union listed and explained in detail the series of benefits that the workers were entitled to that Ambassador Lamuwa has been denying them for months.

They accused him of unduly and illegally favouring a certain category of people and victimising those who do not dance to his tunes in the area of posting, training and other benefits like Hajj seats.

Some of his alleged crimes as listed in the petition include delay in payment of some benefits, delay in promotion and conversion of staff, lack of transparency in posting, delay in payment of clothing allowance, discrimination in paying First 28 Days Allowance, lack of fairness in the distribution of the 2024 Hajj seats, inadequate posting of Batch B officers to foreign missions, poor sanitation and hygiene due to insufficient water supply, lack of work tools, dilapidated office buildings, refusal to pay the 25th regular course allowance for nine months, among others.

In the petition, signed by the Chairman and Assistant General Secretary of the JNC, Comrade Ali Seidu and Comrade S. E. Akpana, the union urged Ambassador Tuggar to look into their grievances and address the series of injustice allegedly done by the Permanent Secretary to avoid a drastic action by the workers.

They workers said: “Consequent upon the maladministration, dwindling level of productivity occasioned by the administrative leadership apathy in the ministry, the JNC has been engaging with the management thinking its solidarity with the authorities of the Ministry will yield positive results and prompt action on pending issues.

“Unfortunately, there was no corresponding improvement instead, the management has become worse, unreceptive and very harsh to everyone who dares to speak and ask questions. Victimisation, intimidation, and harassment has become a tool the management uses to shut critics while the staff of the Ministry continue to suffer.

“The staff of the Ministry are outraged by the egregious neglect, surreptitious administrative skullduggery, manipulations and commercialisation of the Ministry’s activities by the Permanent Secretary and his allies under the guise of rejuvenation. They have introduced harmful practices that threaten the very fabric of our Institution. We demand an immediate end to all their destructive policies and a return to the principles of fairness, equity and transparency. We call on the Honourable Minister to direct the authorities to investigate these grievances and take swift action.

“We the staff hereby give a 21-days ultimatum to the Management to immediately address the grievances outlined in our communiqué, failure to do so will be met with strong resistance.”

In his response, the Minister called for calm and promised to look into their grievances.

It would be recalled that the Permanent Secretary had been in the eye of the storm for days over allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a staff of the Ministry, Simisola Fajemirokun-Ajayi, who is said to be an aide to the Minister.

The lady wrote a petition to the Minister, through her lawyer, Femi Falana, which forced the latter to equally write to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, to probe the allegation of sexual harassment against Lamuwa.

The Head of Service also set up a panel to investigate the allegations and suspended the Permanent Secretary pending the probe’s outcome.

Meanwhile, further investigations by PRNigeria showed that at least three more women have approached the probe panel to lodge similar allegations of sexual harassment against Ambassador Lamuwa.

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Ghana Announces Three Weeks Of Power Cuts Over Reduced Gas From Nigeria

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Ghana’s state-owned electricity company has announced a three-week power outage due to reduced gas supply from Nigeria.

This has made the “dumsor” (a term that means “on and off”) electrical shortages that have been a problem for the country for years worse, according to BBC Africa.

Over the past 20 years, Ghana’s population and urbanisation have increased, and with them, so has the country’s need for power.

However, this growing demand has been hindered by the current gas supply reduction from Nigeria, which commenced on Wednesday and is attributed to maintenance works being conducted by a supplier.

This has resulted in a decline in power generation across the country, compelling the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to initiate load shedding to effectively manage electricity distribution, as stated in a release on Thursday.

“The reduction in gas supply is due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three weeks,” it added.

On Wednesday, West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) revealed that it was experiencing a decline in the volume of gas available for transportation as a result of one of its producers in Nigeria shutting down its facility for maintenance.

This reduction in gas availability has had a knock-on effect on customers in Togo, Benin, and Ghana, who are experiencing decreased gas supplies transported by WAPCo.

“The current situation is entirely out of WAPCo’s control,” the regional power utility added.

“We expect normalcy to return after the maintenance activities.”

ECG has assured the public that it is working collaboratively with other key stakeholders in the power sector to make the most of available resources, thereby minimizing the impact on consumers during the gas shortage period.

It comes barely two months after President Nana Akufo-Addo curtailed the export of electricity to neighbouring Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin in response to local supply challenges.

In recent years, power shortages have worsened as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Private electricity suppliers are owed $1.6bn (£1.3bn) by the state power company, according to Elikplim Kwabla Apetogbor, the head of the organisation representing them.

Ghana, a leading producer of gold and cocoa, has increasingly relied on gas for electricity generation in recent years.

Despite having hydro and thermal sources, which provide much of its electricity, the country’s infrastructure is often inadequately maintained.

Last July, threats were made by private electricity suppliers to halt operations due to unpaid arrears, highlighting the challenges facing Ghana’s energy sector.

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