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Press focuses on reactions to governance deficits in Nigeria, others

The reactions by different groups and opposition party to the claim by President Muhammadu Buhari that all his appointments and policies are premised on equity and inclusiveness dominate the pages of Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Vanguard reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, stirred the hornet’s nest, saying all his appointments and policies are premised on equity and inclusiveness

Those who disagreed with the President include main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and socio-political and cultural organisations, such as the pan-Yoruba group (Afenifere) and its counterparts in the Middle Belt, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) and pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

But Northern Elders Forum (NEF) disagreed with the groups, asking them to show proof of nepotism in Buhari’s appoinments.

Speaking at a conference organised for youths in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Buhari said there was no part of the country that had not been impacted positively in the area of infrastructure, agriculture, and economic support initiative, based on peculiarities of the region.

Buhari, who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said: “So far, all the policies, initiatives, projects and even appointments by this administration have been guided by equity and inclusiveness.”

But countering the President’s claims, the People Democratic Party (PDP), said the claims were a ploy to deviate from the calls for restructuring by Nigerians from all walks of life.

The party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, said: ‘’Even the President does not believe himself when he made that claim.

“President Buhari is only trying to run away from the calls for restructuring of the Nigerian state. How come he is just remembering the fairness of his appointments and policies? Truth is that no President in the history of this country has divided us as a people than President Buhari.

Elder statesman and chairman, Southern and Middle Belt Elders Forum, SMBLF, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, yesterday, slammed President Muhammdu Buhari over his denunciation of restructuring, saying the President cannot dictate to Nigerians.

The Guardian says that the rubber stamp toga has continued to hang on the neck of the House of Representatives despite modicum work it has recorded midway into its four years tenure with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila at the helm.

The House, which espouses the doctrine of parliamentary diplomacy adopted a legislative agenda of security, open governance, transparency and accountability, anti-corruption, social justice and economic growth, development and job creation.

Within the period under review, the House announces it had among others ensured a fixed budget cycle of January to December, passed several long awaited legislations and reforms of the federal government public procurement system.

However, observers insist that the lower legislative chamber has not lived up to its responsibility to Nigerians in ensuring good governance and accountability.

The failure by the House to call the executive to order on the recent ban on the use of Twitter by Nigerians, the delay by the House to pass the Electoral Amendment Act, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Fiscal Responsibility (amendment) Act, constitution of the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) is seen as instances of the House abdicating its responsibility.

The Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan, while identifying the problem said it was unfortunate that the current National Assembly has primarily become a rubber stamp, exercising unusually weak oversight over the executive arm.

ThisDay reports that five non-governmental organisations and four journalists have filed a suit against the federal government at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.

In the suit filed yesterday, they asked the court to declare the indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria a violation of their human rights under international law.

They also want the court to order the government to immediately rescind the suspension order and compensate them for the violation of their rights.

The NGO applicants are: Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Paradigm Initiative (PIN), Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the International Press Centre (IPC), and Tap Initiative for Citizens Development (TICD), while the journalists are:David Hundeyin, Samuel Ogundipe, Blessing Oladunjoye, and Nwakamri Apollo.

The suit, lodged with number ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21 ECW/CCJ/APP/29/21, in a 73-page documentation, was filed on their behalf by Abuja-based human rights and free expression lawyer, Mojirayo Nkanga, under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Revised ECOWAS Treaty, and the Nigerian Constitution, among others.

The Punch says that the Federal Ministry of Aviation stated on Monday that the Nigerian Government cannot force Emirates Airlines to operate or cease from operating in Nigeria as far as the international carrier abides by civil aviation regulations in Nigeria.

Emirates had on Monday reintroduced travel ban placed on Nigerian travellers. Reacting to the latest action taken by the airline, the ministry described the carrier as a business entity that was at liberty to decide on its mode of operations.

The Director, Public Affairs, FMA, James Odaudu, told one of our correspondents that the Nigerian government had not banned Emirates, adding that the United Arab Emirates, owner of the international carrier, had also not banned Nigerians from entering the UAE.

He said, “Emirates Airlines is a private business. Whatever decision they take is an economic decision. First and foremost, Nigeria did not ban Emirates. Nigeria only rejected their conditions for Nigerians to fly to the UAE. “So if on their own they’ve decided to start flying into Nigeria, fine. And if on their own they say they are not ready to resume flights yet, the Nigerian government cannot force them to start operations or cease operations.

The Sun says that the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay oil communities in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, a cumulative damages of N81.9 billion over oil spillage.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a judgment debt, ordered that the payment must be paid within 14 days, and failing which 8 per cent interest would be accruable on the principal sum annually.

Delivering judgment on Monday in a joint suit instituted against the two defendants, by the aggrieved oil producing communities, Justice Taiwo held that the American oil company and NNPC were negligent in the way and manner they handled oil spills that caused environmental degradation in the communities.

Taiwo particularly took swipe at the NNPC for being interested in the revenue generations from the oil exploration at the expense of the lives of the people in the communities.

He said he was convinced that the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the plaintiffs to support their claims that lives were made miserable for them when their water and land were polluted through crude oil leakages from old oil pipelines.


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Published on 10.02.2021

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