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Buhari snubs calls to visit North, jets out to Turkey with wife, seven ministers

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Stephen Angbulu and Solomon Odeniyi

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has snubbed calls to visit northern Nigeria amid the rising insecurity in the region. Rather, the President on Thursday travelled with his wife, Aisha, and seven ministers to Istanbul to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit.

Buhari had come under attack in recent times due to the rising insecurity in the region with youths campaigning with the #SecureNorth and #NorthisBleeding.

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As of Thursday evening, over 32,000 people had signed a petition on Change.Org, calling on the President to declare a state of emergency in parts of Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina due to the insecurity even as the President had refused to visit victims.

During  protests on Wednesday, the demonstrators said the President should personally visit communities attacked bandits rather than sending delegates there.

Some northern groups faulted the President’s decision to visit Lagos for the book launch of All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bisi Akande, barely two days after a bus load of passengers were burnt alive by bandits in Sokoto State.

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Defending the President on Monday, the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said it was impossible for the President to pay condolence visits to victims, adding that sending a delegation was proper.

“These attacks are happening almost on a daily basis and it is not possible for the president to visit all the places for condolences. And if you send a delegation, it is as if you were there, is all the same,” he said.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement on Thursday that the President had travelled to Turkey for a summit, themed, ‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity,’ which will be hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the summit will review the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last summit in 2014.

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Shehu said, “The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State Visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

“The Turkish leader had, during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to $5bn and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

Shehu added that Buhari would be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Bashir Magashi; FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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Istanbul will be the 9th city the President has visited in the past 13 weeks. Within this period, he has visited Dubai, Durban, Paris, Scotland, New York, Riyadh and Mecca.

– Coordinator, NAM

Meanwhile, the coordinator , Northern Alliance Movement, Yahuza Getso said the President’s decision to snub even his home state where a commissioner was killed on Wednesday and traveled out of the country showed that he does not care about Nigerians.

He said, “ We find it very disheartening and  disappointed that at a time when people are being killed, when a lawmaker was killed in the president’s state ,this is apart from the killings and kidnappings in the Northern parts of the country, he ( president) could leave the country, this has brought to the fore his lack of concern.  It is a bad attitude that we never expected from our president. The President is an absolute failure to Nigerians. “

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Buhari will leave the country on – SOKAPU youth leader

The Youth President of  the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Isaac John, in an interview with The PUNCH said he was not surprised by the action of the President.

According to him, only God has been holding the country.

He said,” I am not surprised and I do not expect anyone to be. It is the same old story. He would leave even if the entire country is on fire.  Let me say at this point that it is only God that is holding the country

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Meanwhile, Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has demanded the immediate release of protesters arrested in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the Northern region.

The PUNCH had reported that some northern youths who were protesting against the rising insecurity in the region were arrested and subsequently detained by the operatives of the FCT police command.

However, in a statement on Thursday signed by Falana, he accused the police of breaching the fundamental rights of the protesters by disrupting their demonstration and arresting some of them.

The statement was titled, “Release detained protesters against insecurity”.

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It read, “On Thursday some young people participated in a peaceful protest against increasing insecurity in the northern part of Nigeria. In utter breach of the fundamental right of the protesters the Nigeria Police Force violently disrupted the rally and arrested some of the participants.

“In stopping the peaceful rally the police violated the fundamental right of the unarmed protesters and others who were earlier arrested in Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto by the police and the State Security Service.

“By abruptly stopping the protests, the security forces breached section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act which requires the police to provide adequate security for citizens who participate in peaceful meetings and rallies.”

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Nigeria Newspapers

Gov Sule’s community security Mechanism has made Nasarawa safer, says Hon Moses

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From Abel Leonard, Lafia

The Community security Mechanism adopted by Governor Abdullahi Sule in tackling insecurity in the state has been described as an effective strategy that has kept the state in peace and safe.

Describing the policy on Friday is the Senior Special Assistant to governor Sule on security Engr. Moses Utondo, during an interview with news men in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

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According to the aide, the state government’s adoption and use of community based security mechanism has curtailed instances of insecurity and made the state safer compared to the time of previous administrations and compared to other states.

“In most cases if you allow a security challenge to occur before you respond, it results into monumental damage. So this administration adopted a policy, a security mechanism which is community based.

“This community based security mechanism has succeeded in checkmating issues of possible outbreak of security breaches in any part of the state. It is so effective that we don’t allow security breaches to occur before we respond to it,” he said.

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He explained that the state government’s community based security mechanism entails strong synergy and commitment with community stakeholders who tips off state government officials and security agencies immediately there are signs of an impending security breach in any part of the state.

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“Anywhere there are issues that can result to outbreak of insecurity, we always tackle it head on. We apply our local methods in gathering intelligence from local sources which has been successful in alerting us ahead if there are signs of security breaches.

“The use of this method is because some of the security agents in the state are not locals and sometimes cannot get to the root of any intelligence information except the locals are ready to cooperate,” he said.

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He explained further that what has made the state safer compared to other states is the constant interface with traditional rulers on the state of security situation in their domains.

The SSA however added the community based security mechanism also entailed working in partnership with security agencies in the state to gather intelligence, arrest and prosecute trouble makers found, thereby making it difficult for security breaches to occur.

“Today Nasarawa state is rated the first in the country in terms of security and this is due to the sincere commitment of the administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule to tackle insecurity head-on.

“You will agree with me that clashes between herders and farmers has significantly reduced since this administration came on board,” he said.

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FG, States, LGAs share N699.824bn in December 2021

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

The three tiers of government shared N699.824 billion as December 2021 subvention as declared by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for January 2022.

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The N699.824 billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N507.267 billion; distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N187.409 billion and Exchange Gain of N5.148 billion.

In December 2021, the total deductions for cost of collection was N30.003 billion and the total deductions for statutory transfers, refunds and savings was N36.643 billion. The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.368 million, showing a $3,000 gain compared to $35.365 it was as at December 2021.

The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N699.824 billion; the Federal Government received N279.457 billion, the State Governments received N221.190 billion and the Local Government Councils received N163.879 billion. The sum of N35.297 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue.

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The distributable statutory revenue of N507.267 billion was available for the month. From this, the Federal Government received N248.885 billion, the State Governments received N126.238 billion and the Local Government Councils received N97.324 billion. The sum of N34.820 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue.

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In the month of December 2021, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N201.255 billion. This was higher than the N196.175 billion available in the month of November 2021 by N5.080 billion.

The sum of N5.796 billion allocation to NEDC and N8.050 billion cost of collection were deducted from the N201.255 billion gross Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, resulting in the distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N187.409 billion.

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From the N187.409 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N28.111 billion, the State Governments received N93.705 billion and the Local Government Councils received N65.593 billion.

The Federal Government received N2.461 billion from the total Exchange Gain revenue of N5.148 billion. The State Governments received N1.248 billion, the Local Government Councils received N0.962 billion and N0.477 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue.

According to the Communiqué, in the month of December 2021, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) increased reasonably, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Oil and Gas Royalties decreased significantly while Import and Excise Duties decreased marginally.

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