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Northern senators commend Tinubu, ECOWAS for lifting sanctions on Niger Republic

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By Francesca Hangeior

Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF) have the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bola Tinubu, and other leaders of the sub-regional body for lifting sanctions it earlier imposed on Niger Republic.

The ECOWAS under Tinubu’s leadership had imposed sanctions on Niger Republic to force the country’s junta to return to democratic rule.

The NSF had pleaded with ECOWAS to lift the sanctions, saying it was having a negative effect on states sharing borders with Niger Republic.

The Niger Republic’s junta, following the sanctions imposed on it by ECOWAS leadership, had expressed its readiness to team up with other juntas in Mail, Burkina Faso, and Guinea to exit the regional body and form a Sahel state.

But on Saturday, the ECOWAS leaders met in Abuja, and lifted the sanctions.

Following the development, the NSF issued a statement through its spokesman, Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, welcoming the decision of ECOWAS to lift the sanctions.

The statement reads: “Today, the Northern Senators’ Forum expresses its heartfelt appreciation and commendation to the exceptional leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for their decisive action in lifting sanctions imposed on Niger Republic as a result of military takeover on July 26, 2023.

“We are pleased to see that ECOWAS has responded to the progressive requests we made – individually and collectively – on the subject matter, and we commend their prudent and compassionate approach in addressing these critical issues.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum believes that the principled and empathetic decision made by ECOWAS to lift the sanctions on Niger Republic is a testament to the organisation’s commitment to regional solidarity, cooperation, and respect for human rights.”

“We understand that this action will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of Niger Republic, as well as ensuring the restoration of stability and economic prosperity in our region.

“We are particularly grateful that ECOWAS leaders have considered our pleas to restore electricity, open borders, and lift the sanctions on Niger Republic.

“These measures will not only have crucial humanitarian implications but will also foster regional integration, trade, and cooperation. We firmly believe that this step taken by ECOWAS will positively impact the lives of the people of Niger Republic and Nigeria and facilitate the restoration of trust and harmony among all member-states.

“As representatives of the people and advocates for justice and democracy, we commend ECOWAS for their responsiveness and understanding of the immense challenges faced by our fellow West African nation.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum stands in solidarity with ECOWAS in restoring democracy and rule of law in Niger Republic and other west African countries, and we are committed to working to promote stability, peace, and socio-economic development throughout the region.

“The Northern Senators’ Forum urges the government of Niger Republic and its people to seize this opportunity to hasten the process of returning to democratic governance to build a stronger and more prosperous nation, harnessing their resilient spirit and unwavering determination.

“Furthermore, we urge all regional stakeholders to continue engaging in dialogue and pursuing peaceful solutions to address any remaining concern, fostering a harmonious environment for progress and development.

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Despite Claims Of Subsidy Removal, Tinubu Has Spent Trillions Of Naira Since May 2023 To Subsidise Same Fuel – El-Rufai Blasts President

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Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, has stated that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration has been subsidising petrol known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) since its inception in May 2023.

He affirmed that the development has so far cost the present administration trillions of naira since inception, adding that if not because of the subsidy payments, the price of petrol per litre could have been much higher than the diesel.

Diesel is currently sold above N1000 depending on the location, compared to PMS which is about N600 to 750 per litre.

El-Rufai made this known while speaking on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State at the occasion of a Capacity Building Workshop at the International Conference Centre, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri.

The workshop is meant for Enhancing Skills of Government Officials in Policy Implementation and Productive Human Management Resources for honourable Commissioners, Chief Advisers and Special Advisers, Senior Technical Advisers, to Governor Babagana Zulum, Heads or Chief Executives of Agencies and Departments, Tertiary Institutions and local government Chairmen.

El-Rufai said, “A good leader must be decisive and have the ability to make good decisions, trustworthy, empower others irrespective of political, religious or ethnic considerations, have clear communication skills and resilient in all ramifications.

“Though it is too early to judge the present administration, it is just been there for only nine (9) months, and you know leadership is work in progress, you start something as I said in my speech, you start a policy because you are absolutely sure is the right policy, but in the course of implementation, if you see bottlenecks, you modify, because the key word in leadership in my view is not ideology or anything, is pragmatism.

“You should always be pragmatic. You are not God, only God is perfect, so as a good leader, when you make a policy and you started implementing, and it doesn’t seem to work well, you should have the humility to stand back and said, this is not working.

“For example, if you appoint a person to a position and he is not performing to expectation, you should have the humility to say look, I need a better person to do the job perfectly. Leadership is a continuous thing and in a term of four years, you can’t assess a government of nine months.

“But as I also said earlier during my presentation, the removal of fuel subsidy by the present administration is another good policy by President Tinubu. I have always supported withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

But as you can see, in the course of implementation, the government has now realised that the subsidy has to be back, because right now, we are paying a lot of money amounting to trillions of naira for subsidy even more than before, because the impact has been seen and the packages of support that will reduce the impact have not been effective in reducing the impact, and so, the federal government has to backpedal by subsidising petrol. Many people don’t know this.”

“If they want to know whether there is fuel subsidy or not, they should compare the prices of petrol and diesel per litre. This is because, under normal circumstances, petrol is supposed to be more expensive than diesel. As it is, diesel is above N1000, while petrol stood at about N600 per litre. So we are still subsidising for fuel in Nigeria.” He stated.

 

 

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Reps South Wes Caucus Condemn Activities of Acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators

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By Gloria Ikibah
The South West Caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned in strong terms the recent activities carried out by acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators, which have caused unrest and pose a threat to the peace and stability of our region.
This was contained in a statement signed  by Leaderof Southwest Caucus/Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. PAdewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, Chairman, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Abiodun James Faleke and Secretary General, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Taofeek Ajilesoro on Monday in Abuja.
The statement reads: “As representatives of the people, we stand firmly against any form of unlawful behavior and violence that undermines the rule of law and the unity of our country, Nigeria. It is essential that all grievances and demands be addressed through peaceful and lawful means, respecting the rights and well-being of all citizens.
“We urge all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue, prioritize the welfare of our people, and work towards finding peaceful and lasting solutions to any grievances,” said Rt. Hon.Dr Abiodun James Faleke, Chairman of the South West Caucus of the House of Representatives. “Violence and lawlessness have no place in our society, and we call on all individuals to uphold the principles of peace, unity, and respect for the rule of law.
“The South West Caucus remains committed to upholding the values of democracy, justice, and unity in our region and the country at large. Together, we can overcome challenges and build a better future for all”.
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How I Made A Vow 34 Years Ago Never To Watch Tv Again – Pope Francis

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Pope Francis has disclosed that he made a vow 34 years ago to stop watching television.

The revered clergyman said he placed himself on the self-imposed ban after stumbling across a smutty show.

He explained that the vulgar viewing was so bad for his conscience that he had to place a TV ban on himself.

The Supreme Pontiff said he hasn’t watched the box for almost 34 years.

He said: “I was watching television in the lounge with my fellow priests.

“It was July 15, 1990, and some scenes of an adult nature, to put it delicately, were being shown — something that was not good for the heart.

“Nothing risqué, of course, but when I went back to my room, I said to myself, ‘A priest cannot look at such things.’

And so, the following day, during the mass for the feast of the Madonna del Carmelo, I vowed never to watch television again.”

His Holinesss, 87, said that one of the last things he watched properly on TV was the fall of the Berlin Wall – in 1989.

He, however, stated that there have been a couple of exceptions to his self-imposed sanction.

Speaking via his new book “Life: My Story Through History”, Pope Francis said, “Only very occasionally do I allow myself to watch: for example, when a new president is sworn in, or I watched briefly once when there had been a plane crash.

“I switched it on, too, to follow Sunday mass while I was being treated at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome.

“But I didn’t watch the coronation of Charles III, the new British king, for example, or many other important world events. Not out of disdain, but because I made a vow.”

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