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Afenifere Group Presents Bill To Tinubu For Returning Nigeria To Regional Govt

A Yoruba socio-cultural association, Afenifere, has presented a Bill to President Bola Tinubu, proposing a return of Nigeria to the regional system of government.
It is titled: “A Bill for an Act to substitute the annexure to Decree 24 of 1999 with New Governance Model for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Bill, authored by the chieftain of Afenifere, Akin Fapohunda, seeks among others, new extant laws to be cited as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”
Report reaching us at Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper said that the bill had already been disowned by the House of Representatives.
The House spokesman, Akin Rotimi, and the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business said it had not been listed for deliberation in the ongoing moves to review the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
However, Fapohunda said that the bill would be transmitted to the President today, June 24.
“I’m submitting my letter (draft bill) today but I will wait for seven days before releasing it to the public.”
Meanwhile, Fapohunda who also represents the Coalition of Indigenous Ethnic Nationalities said that the organisation is proposing the division of the country into eight geo-political regions with approximate interim boundaries.
The proposed regions, according to Fapohunda, include the southern region to be made up of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, and Cross Rivers States and “Optional inclusions of the Annang, Effik, Ekoi, Ibibio, Oro Ohaji/Egbema in Southern Imo, the Adonia, Efemia, Ijaw, Ogoni, Bini, Ishan, Isoko, Urhobo and the Ijaw-speaking people in Northern Ondo State with land contiguity.
“The South Eastern region consists of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States. The Western region comprises Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Ekiti States, incorporating the Yoruba-speaking people in Kogi and the Igbomina people in Kwara State. Additional options would be the Itsekiri people of Delta State and Akoko-Edo people of Edo State to make their respective choices.”
Others include the Mid-Western Region “Made up of Edo and Delta States, possibly incorporating the Anioma people and the Eastern Middle Belt Region comprising Northern Cross River, Southern Kaduna, Southern Borno, Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa and Taraba States.”
The Western Middle Belt Region comprises Southern Kebbi, parts of Kwara and Niger States while the North Eastern Region will be made up of parts of Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa, and Yobe States.
The North Western Region, according to the Afenifere chieftain, comprises Kaduna, parts of Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
Fapohunda said the coalition envisaged a two-tier government, federal and regions, adding that the latter would be at liberty to manage her affairs, “Including the creation of sub-entities, based on the stipulations that are agreed upon and embedded in their respective constitutions.”
In its proposed governance stipulations, CIEN stated that “In the quest for re-configuration and downsizing, an option to consider might be to retain the present boundaries of the 36 States, as would have been adjusted, but to creatively downgrade the paraphernalia of political administration as follows:
“To introduce a new regional government framework with executive and legislative functions and bodies with the headship title of Premier.
“In the new dispensation, the present States (for example the six in the Western region) would be converted to provinces. Governance at this level shall be by Provincial Councils that integrate executive and legislative functions, with Chairman and Support Specialist Administrative Officers. The regions shall be at liberty to create provinces, subject to viability and self-sustainability.
“The present Local Government Areas are to be transformed into divisions, with divisional managers and specialist administrative officers; to operate as socio-economic development institutions. The new provinces shall also be at liberty to create divisions, subject to viability and self-sustainability.”
The coalition also proposed a new constitution to embody novelties including freedom of the regions to “Create, merge and or re-configure their sub-political units and may adopt provinces, divisions or districts as may suit their circumstances without interference from any other authority.
“Regions and sub-regional entities are to be reconfigured such as would reduce the cost of public and civil service administration to less than 20 to 30 per cent of generated revenue.
“In drafting their Constitutions, the peoples of the respective regional territories will take a cue and also dismantle any arrangement or configuration that will favour the politicians and the political class; with a focus on freeing resources for true development.
“A uni-camera federal legislature comprising members that are elected at the discretion of the regions for which they would be representatives at Abuja.
“Decentralization of federal power in favour of not more than 10 regions on which there is a general national consensus, rather than the presently unwieldy number of 36 States. These old States are inconsequential indeed in being a viable unit of a truly federal system of government.”
In all, the coalition proposes that the Federal Government “Shall comprise not more than nine Ministries and Ministers,” adding that “The very big United States has just 15 Cabinet Ministers, while Nigeria is not even up to just a State of Texas or New York.”
The group is also advocating a return to the parliamentary mode system of government “Built-in statutory rotation of headship among the regions.”
Source: PUNCH.

About 2 Million Pilgrims Move To Minnah For Hajj Rites

No fewer than two millions Pilgrims from different parts of the world, including over 50,000 from Nigeria, today, June 14, moved enmass to Minnah to begin the performance of pilgrimage, starting from Arafat tomorrow.

We at Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper and hardcopy magazine wish them safe and successful pilgrimage.

 

How Mafia Tried To sabotage My $19bn Refinery, Dangote Narrates

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has narrated how local and foreign mafia tried several times to sabotage his $19 billion refinery from coming to life.

Dangote made this revelation while speaking at the Afreximbank annual meetings (AAN) and AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas, on Wednesday.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man, said he had repaid about $2.4 billion of the $5.5 billion borrowed to build the refinery.

According to him, several entities did everything to sabotage the 650,000 barrels per day facility.

Dangote said he was aware that resistance would always exist, but he did not anticipate it being so harsh.

He said: “Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil; they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact.

“The local and foreign mafia tried several times to sabotage the refinery from coming to fruition.”

The businessman, who tagged himself a fighter throughout his life, said the mafias had tried several times to defeat him.

“But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life, you know. So I think it’s part of my life to fight,” he added.

On if he was receiving enough crude oil as feedstock for his refinery from the international oil companies (IOCs), Dangote said: “In a system where for 35 years people are used to counting good money, and all of a sudden they see that the days of counting that money have come to an end, you don’t expect them to pray for you.

“Of course, you expect them to fight back.

“And I think that is the process that we’re now really going through. But the truth is that, yes, the country, the sub-region, and also the continent, sub-Saharan Africa, need this refinery.

“So, you expect them to fight through non-supply of crude, non-purchase of the product. But I think it’s all temporary. We’ll get there.”

Source: Vangaurd

Man Jails In UK 4yrs For Removing Condom Without Consent

In a rare legal case in the UK, a 39-year old man has been sentenced to prison for removing a condom without consent during sex. Guy Mukendi, from south London, received a four-year and three-month prison sentence on Thursday, following his conviction in April.

The case, highlighted by London’s Metropolitan Police as a significant milestone, underscores the legal classification of non-consensual condom removal, or “stealthing,” as rape in England and Wales.

Mukendi was arrested in May last year after a young woman reported the sexual assault to the police in Brixton, south London. The victim had agreed to have sex with Mukendi on the condition that a condom was used. However, during the act, Mukendi removed the condom without her knowledge or consent.

The Metropolitan Police noted that prosecutions for such cases are exceptionally rare due to under-reporting. Nonetheless, the force remains committed to seeking justice for victims and addressing crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls. This case marks a significant step in their efforts to focus more on suspects in such crimes.

Detective Constable Jack Earl, who led the investigation, praised the thorough police work that built a compelling case against Mukendi, resulting in a clear verdict from the jury. Despite Mukendi’s continuous denial of any wrongdoing, the evidence presented left no room for doubt.

“This milestone case underscores the importance of recognizing non-consensual condom removal as a serious crime. We are dedicated to securing justice for victims and raising awareness that this act constitutes rape,” said Detective Constable Earl.

Mukendi was found guilty on April 2 at Inner London Crown Court and sentenced at the same court. The Metropolitan Police hope this case will encourage more victims to come forward and help bring perpetrators to justice.

Hours To Sallah: Prices Of Rams, Food Stuffs Break Through The Roof

Prices Of rams, essentially needed by Muslims to sacrifice as major part of the Eid-El-Adha or Sallah and other food items, including ingredients, have skyrocketed in the markets across Nigeria.
Price survey showed that an average ram that sold about N50,000 before now has increased to between N170,000 and N200,000.
Ram dealers are already complaining of low sales as buyers complained of the high prices of the rams.
The survey showed that a small container of tomatoes formerly sold for N150 now sells for N2,000, a waste bin basket formerly sold for between N1,500 and N2,000 now goes for N15,000, and a big basket of N10,000 now sells for N175,000 and above.

Also, a basket of Scotch Bonnets, popularly called ‘atarodo’, which used to sell for N1,500, now goes for N12,000. Similarly, a bag of onions now goes for N75,000 as against N50,000 and below that it was sold before.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food prices in Nigeria increased 40.53 per cent in April 2024 over the same month in the previous year, and food inflation reached an all-time high of 40.53 per cent in April of 2024.
Source: Business News Report.

NNPC Limited Boss Calls For Special Court To Try Crude Oil thieves, Pipeline Vandals

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has called on the nation’s judiciary to establish special court to tackle the twin challenges of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Kyari, who spoke today, June 13, at the National Judges’ Capacity Building Workshop on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and INVESTIN 234, in Abuja, said that such measure would ensure accelerated hearing thereby leading to the oil and gas industry achieving its full potential as an enabler of national economic and industrial growth.
In a goodwill message he delivered at the workshop, the Group CEO said that the gains of the Petroleum Industry Act have been undermined by crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
A statement by the Chief spokesperson of the NNPC Limited, Olufemi O. Soneye, quoted the Group CEO as emphasizing the urgent need for the judiciary to consider the creation of a special court to try offences related to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism or to grant accelerated hearings to such cases.
According to him, the role of the judiciary is critical to the success of the efforts of the various security arrangements put in place by NNPC, the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the industry.

“In particular, is the recommendation that a special court be created to try those offences as they hinge on our survival as a country, and/or for such trials to be conducted under an accelerated hearing process by the issuance of Practice Directions to that effect, with concomitant sanctions to deter would-be offenders.”
Kyari also called on the judiciary to accelerate hearing to criminal cases in their courts, through timely determination of the criminal charges and imposing adequate punishments and sanctions on culprits to serve as deterrence to others.
He said that NNPC remains committed to collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the PIA.
“Together, we can ensure that the benefits of our natural resources are maximized for the economic and social development of our country.”
The Group CEO commended the Chief Justice of the Federation, Olukayode Ariwoola and the organisers of the workshop for extending invitation to him and the opportunity to deliver a goodwill message at the workshop.

African Public Relations Association Mourns Malawian Vice President, Others

The African Public Relations Association (APRA) has expressed condolences to the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM, an institutional member of APRA), the government and citizens of the Republic of Malawi over the plane crash that claimed the lives of the Vice President of Malawi, Dr. Saulos Chilima and nine others on June 10, 2024.
In a condolence letter issued by the Secretary General of the APRA, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, dated June 11, and addressed to Benson Linje, the President of PRSM, the continental association described the incident as a “huge loss, not only to the people of Malawi but to the African continent.”
The letter reads: “We write to express our profound shock and sadness at the tragic plane crash that caused the death of H.E. Dr. Saulos Chilima, the Vice President of Malawi, and nine others on Monday, June 10, 2024. On behalf of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), we extend our heartfelt condolences to you, our colleagues in the Public Relations Society of Malawi, and the great people of Malawi.
“As always and especially this time of national mourning, we stand in solidarity with the people of Malawi. We share in the pain and the grief at tending this huge loss, not only to the people of Malawi but to the African continent.”
“The Council and all members (institutional, corporate and individual) of APRA offer heartfelt sympathies and will continue to remember the great people of Malawi in our entreaties.”
APRA prayed that the memories of the departed would bring strength and that the support of friends, colleagues, compatriots, other pan-Africanists and lovers around the world will help to bring PRSM and the people of Malawi comfort on the incident.
APRA also prayed that the families, friends and loved ones of the deceased find strength and be comforted over this tragedy.
“Please rest assured that, as we mourn the passing of these distinguished personalities and individuals, we also celebrate their lives and contributions to the Republic of Malawi and our dear continent. May their souls rest in peace.”

I Didn’t Fall, But Bowed For Democracy At Eagle Square – President Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has written off those who made noise about his fall at the Eagle Square while climbing a vehicle to inspect Democracy Day parade yesterday, June 12.
While reacting to the trending video clip of his fall, the President said: “Early this morning, I had a swagger, and it’s on social media. “They were confused about whether I was doing Buga or Babariga, but it is a day to celebrate democracy while doing ‘Idobale’ (a Yoruba word meaning bowing or prostration) for the day.
“I am a traditionally Yoruba boy, and I did my Idobale.”
A Pesidential spokesperson, Bayo Onanuga had earlier yesterday, said that President Tinubu is not a Superman.
“He is human like all of us.”
Onanuga recalled that President Biden of the United States of America has had several slips in the last three years. Even the younger Barack Obama slipped while President. Political leaders are human.
Also yesterday former Vice President Atiku Abubakar sympathised with President Tinubu.
“Slipping should not detract from the import of Democracy Day celebration.
“I sincerely sympathise with President Bola Tinubu, @officialABAT, over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I do hope that all is well with him. -AA” Atiku tweeted.

Tinubu Falls Heavily On Democracy Day; Nothing To Worry About – Presidency

The President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had a heavy fall today, June 12, in Abuja while attempting to mount the rostrum in the midst of several aides and security personnel.
Footage of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, showed the President missed the steps and fell across the open vehicle where he was supposed to stand to review the marchpass of military and paramilitary teams, in celebration of the Democracy Day at Eagle Square.
President Tinubu had earlier in the day, delivered a speech to mark the Day.
Responding to the incident at the Eagles Square, Special Adviser to the President on Social Media, Dada Olusegun, said that there is nothing to worry about.
Olusegum, through the social media admitted that “Mr. President missed his step while climbing into the truck at the June 12 Democracy Day celebration and tripped. It was a mild misstep. He immediately went on with the ceremonial rounds. No issues.”

Election Rigging Is Like War, Must Be Fought To Ensure True Democracy – Gov. Adeleke

The Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has described election rigging as war that must be fought to ensure the evolution of true democracy in Nigeria.
According to him, it is only free and fair elections that can be taken as the lifeline of virile democracy, even as he acknowledged the sacrifices and struggles that paved the way for the civil rule that we currently enjoy.
In a statement today, June 12, to commemorate Democracy Day, Governor Adeleke called on politicians in the country to submit themselves to upholding the tenets of democracy by respecting the will of the people.
He advised the political class to recommit themselves to strengthen the country’s electoral system to deliver credible elections and ensure that the will of the people is not subverted.
“The best homage we can pay to our democratic heroes is for us to continue to uphold the basic tenets of democracy, including free and fair elections and observance of rule of law.
“We cannot on one hand, celebrate democracy day and on the other hand, undermine the democratic tenets. You cannot be applauding the great memories of the late Bashorun Abiola and at the same time be working against free and fair elections.
“I call on leaders locally and nationally to re-dedicate ourselves to democratic ideals. The will of the people freely expressed must be accepted by genuine democrats. Our electoral system must be strengthened to deliver credible elections.
“Under no circumstances should the will of the people be subverted.
“Free and fair elections are the lifeline of any virile democracy. “Politicians must grow to know and accept that power flows from the people. Rigging elections is an act of war against democracy. Genuine democrats accept electoral verdicts as a mark of respect for the voters, the ultimate holder of sovereignty. “That’s what I did in 2018 when I was denied victory.
“If there is any lesson June 12 every year is to teach us, it is that democracy thrives when electoral candidates bow to people’s will. We must stop being autocratic in democratic garb.
“If you are rejected at an election, take it in good faith and prepare for the next round of election. “After all, Abraham Lincoln failed several polls before his eventual emergence as American president.”

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