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Qatar Snubs Tinubu’s Visitation Request

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Qatari authorities have turned down President Bola Tinubu’s request to visit the nation and hold a business and investment forum.

The Qatari government in a letter to the ministry of foreign affairs on Thursday disclosed that it would not be able to welcome Mr Tinubu and hold the proposed forum on March 2 and 3 due to the lack of a legally binding agreement between Qatar and Nigeria for the promotion of investment.

It also noted that its ministry of commerce had other commitments on the days Mr Tinubu desired to visit.

The Embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologises that it will not be able to hold a Business and Investment Forum as proposed by Nigerian side” because “there is no any agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection,” the letter sent to the foreign affairs ministry on February 22 stated.

The Gulf nation further stressed that its commerce and industry minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani “will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period” which makes him unavailable to meet with the Nigerian leader.

It added that its officials would be too busy because Qatar was hosting its own “web summit” the same time Mr Tinubu planned to visit.

“The State of Qatar will be hosting a web summit during the suggested period and the state’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event,” the letter indicated.

The Qatari government’s failure to reschedule the business forum to a more convenient period, perhaps, suggested its unwillingness to forge any economic alliance with Nigeria.

Last year, the United Arab Emirates authorities faulted an announcement that a visa ban on Nigerians had been lifted after Mr Tinubu visited the UAE leader, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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Singer, Portable Fights Okada Man in Lagos Over Stolen Phone

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Controversial Nigerian singer Habeeb Okikiola, better known as Portable, is at it again, but this time with a bike man.

The street singer, who recently returned from America, caused a commotion in Lagos as he fought dirty with a bike man, who he accused of stealing his phone. In videos making rounds online, the singer, who was wearing a yellow hoodie, was captured engaging in a fistfight with the bike man as Lagosians gathered to separate them.

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DSS Busts Suspected Terrorist’s Residence In Niger, Recovers Arms, Dollars

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Personnel from the Department of State Services (DSS) conducted a raid on Wednesday at the residence of a suspected hardened terrorist in the Gbeganu area, a suburb of Minna, Niger State.

The raid, which took place during the daytime, caused fear among residents in the area.

According to sources familiar with the operation, this was the third raid in less than four years in the neighbouring areas of Nkangbe and Gbeganu, both in Bosso Local Government Area. The suspect targeted in this raid was allegedly a storekeeper for a terrorist group, although specific details about the recovered weapons were not disclosed.

Residents informed Daily Trust that a substantial amount of cash, including dollars, was seized during the operation. The suspect had been known as a tricycle rider before the raid revealed his alleged involvement with terrorist activities.

Previous incidents include a similar raid in October 2023, where a suspected terrorist engaged security forces in a fierce gun battle before escaping, and in June 2021, when a house linked to a notorious kidnapper was demolished after weapons were found in a raid.

The Niger State Police Command spokesperson, SP Wasiu Abiodun, stated that they had no information regarding the recent raid when contacted.

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Tinubu’s Minister Disobeys President’s Order, Fails to Confirm Appointment As Directed

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, has allegedly failed to implement President Bola Tinubu’s directive to appoint Nicholas Agbo-Ella as Nigeria’s OPEC Governor.

Recall that in a May 6 directive, President Tinubu instructed Lokpobiri to submit Agbo-Ella’s name to replace Gabriel Aduda, who was redeployed to the Ministry of Women Affairs.

President Tinubu in his memo to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and copied to Mr Lokpobiri said that Mr Lokpobiri should “take immediate steps to notify OPEC of the change of Permanent Secretary and replace Ambassador Gabriel T. Aduda’s name with Ambassador Nicholas Agbo-Ella as the Governor nominated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, being the current Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum.”

The minister was directed to ensure the “replacement is confirmed by the conference scheduled for 1 June 2024.”

Mr Aduda is a brother to former FCT Senator Philip Aduda who is reportedly an ally of Nyesom Wike.

 

According to sources within the administration, Mr. Lokpobiri has failed to submit Mr. Agbo-Ella’s name to the OPEC Board of Governors as of June 1, despite the president’s directive.

The reason behind Mr. Lokpobiri’s inaction is unclear, and it remains a mystery why Mr. Aduda, who has been reassigned to the Ministry of Women Affairs, continues to serve as OPEC governor.

 

Checks show that Mr Aduda is still listed as Nigeria’s Governor on the OPEC website.

Sources close to the ministry revealed that Mr. Aduda, despite his transfer from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, was recently photographed receiving the OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al Ghais, in Nigeria. Additionally, a photograph dated June 2, 2024, shows Mr. Lokpobiri and Mr. Aduda attending an OPEC meeting virtually.

This is also not Mr. Aduda’s first controversial involvement. In May 2014, it was widely reported how he entered the federal civil service despite failing exams at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

After resigning due to poor performance, he was surprisingly appointed Director of the Economic Research and Policy Management Department at the Federal Ministry of Finance just six months later. He has since served in various ministries, including Foreign Affairs, Petroleum Resources, and now Women’s Affairs.

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