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Press focuses on fuel subsidy removal issue, 5th anniversary of Chibok Schoolgirls abduction

The assurance from the government that there are no plans to remove subsidy on petrol and the 5th anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 Chibok Schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Punch newspaper said that the Federal Government has given the assurance that there are no plans to remove fuel subsidy now just as queues emerged in filling stations in some parts of the country.

The report said that the Minister of Finance, Ms Zainab Ahmed, gave the assurance at a ministerial press briefing at the 2019 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

The report recalled that the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, had last week called on the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy, saying it was the right thing to do.

The newspaper also reported that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association have described as poisonous the International Monetary Fund’s advice to the Federal Government on fuel subsidy.

The two unions said the IMF’s advice had created panic in the country, which had led to the hoarding of petroleum products.

“The statement of IMF has created panic in the country with associated hoarding of petroleum products, panic buying, skyrocketed increases in prices of goods and services in the country,” NUPENG and PENGASSAN said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The Nation newspaper said that the members of the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy group have accused the Nigerian Government of abandoning the remaining 112 Chibok schoolgirls to their fate.

They said five years after the abduction of the schoolgirls, their parents were grieving without a glint of hope for the release of their daughters.

The activists noted that similar neglect had befallen the parents of Leah Sharibu, an abducted victim of insurgents.

#BBOG said Federal Government’s failure on the Chibok schoolgirls had become a sore point in the nation’s history.

The newspaper also reported that Nigeria and Cameroon troops killed 27 Boko Haram terrorists in a joint clearance operations, destroyed gun trucks and recovered arms and ammunition belonging to the terrorists.

The newspaper said that Col. Sagir Musa, the Acting Director Army Public Relations, who confirmed this in a statement on Monday, said that the troops’ encounter with the terrorists took place in the Northern part of Wulgo, Tumbuma, Chikun Gudu and Bukar Maryam villages.

According to Musa, no casualty was recorded on the part of the Nigerian and Cameroonian forces.

The Vanguard newspaper said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described as “reckless and groundless” claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is a Cameroonian, saying the argument is a calculated attempt by the ruling party to trivialize and divert attention from the compelling issue of the criminal rigging of the 2019 Presidential election.

In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday, the PDP said: “Such diversionary tactic has, however, only helped in further exposing the fact that the APC has no answers to the plethora of overwhelming evidence before the tribunal that the election was won by Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.”

The Leadership newspaper reported that Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, has said that no International Oil Company (ICO) is planning to exit Nigeria contrary to reports in some section of the media.

Kachikwu made this known while briefing newsmen after the facility tour of ExxonMobil Erha Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSO) in Lagos on Sunday.

The newspaper explained that the FPSO unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the production and processing of hydrocarbons for the storage of oil.

ThisDay Newspaper said that the operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested five police officers and declared an Inspector, Dania Ojo, wanted, for allegedly shooting dead a girl, Ada Ifeanyi, in the Apapa area of Lagos State.

One Emmanuel Akomafuwa was said to have sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the shooting that killed the 20-year-old girl.

The report said that the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the police officers were already facing internal disciplinary actions at the command’s headquarters and that if found wanting, they would be prosecuted in conventional court for murder.

The Guardian newspaper said that the Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, are not on duty as communal clashes ravage parts of their territories.

The report quoted the leaders of the Tiv community as saying that the crisis has already killed 23 persons, while the Jukun put their casualty figures at 12.

The report added that the conflict started two weeks ago in Kente Village, in Wukari Local Government Area (LGA), Taraba State and spilled to Ukum LGA in neighbouring Benue State.

The Daily Independent said that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday attributed the increasing rate of insecurity in the country to the fallout of the Federal Government’s failure to properly fund education and educate children of the masses.

The report said that Prof. Deji Omole, Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) branch of ASUU, who made this observation, stated that Nigeria’s future looked bleak with the attitude of the country’s political leaders to funding education.

Omole maintained that the Union was unhappy with the 2019 budget allocation to education and that the ruling class should see the rising insecurity as one of the consequences of their failure to educate the nation and attend to the welfare of the people.

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