President Muhammadu Buhari has advised school owners across the country as well as religious organisations, to scale up security in their environments, saying this was in keeping faith with the standards laid down by the United Nations-backed Safe School Programme of his administration. Mr Buhari made this call following the release of the kidnapped students of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, their teachers and some of their relations, who would soon be reunited with their families. Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the presidency to speak out on the alleged complicity of the military and certain officials of the government in the abduction of 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State by terrorists. The party described as alarming, the allegations in the public space especially, by the Northern Youth Movement (NYM), of compromises by the military, which paved the way for the invasion of the school reportedly located less than 100 meters to a military check point to abduct over 300 schoolgirls. The PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “Our party demands explanations to reports that soldiers stormed the community two hours earlier and ordered residents to clear the streets and retire to their houses, only for the bandits to invade the town, assaulted the school and carted away 300 innocent girls without any impediments.” Moreover, the PDP said there were already insinuations in the public space that the abduction was plotted by unscrupulous high-level officials of the Buhari Presidency, who were allegedly benefiting from the insurgency, terrorism and banditry going on in the country, and specifically demanded that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu, speak on the allegations.
Foodstuff and cattle dealers across the northern part of the country have started diverting their goods and all consumables to the neighbouring countries of the Niger Republic and Cameroon, according to an exclusive report by the Nigerian Tribune. The paper said dealers had begun blocking trade routes to the South by stopping food-laden trucks. Truckloads of food items from the northern part of the country were on Friday stopped by northerners from entering Kwara and neighbouring states in the South West. A video clip showing the illegal stoppage of trucks from the North at a Jebba village in Niger State by some northern youths circulated on social media on Friday. The military, in response, said following the tension generated by the incident, joint troops comprising the military and other security agencies were deployed to clear the Jebba-Kaduna Road and they had since restored normalcy in the area. The paper said some northern youths prevented many trucks carrying items like tomatoes, onions, beans, yams and cattle from going beyond a location in Jebba called Kara into Kwara or other states to the South West. The situation, it was gathered, caused the trucks to park by the roadside with some of their contents already going bad. The paper said the development was connected to an ultimatum given by the national leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to the FG which demanded compensation for the losses suffered by northern traders in the recent incident at Shasha market in Ibadan and during the EndSARS protest. Also, the new trading network began shortly after the Northern Consensus Movement (NCM) and the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria commenced a strike on Thursday and blocked all ‘borders’ between the North and South. The Northern groups made a demand on Friday of ₦4.7 billion as compensation for their members killed and properties destroyed during the Sasa crisis in Ibadan, Oyo State and the EndSARS protests in the western and eastern parts of the country, against the earlier reported ₦475 billion. The NCM National President, Awwal Abdullahi Aliu said the FG had failed to meet all their demands, hence the commencement of the strike declared by the groups. He stated that all border roads between the North and West, North and South, and the North and East had been blocked against trucks carrying foodstuffs and other consumables from the North to any part of the South.
The Dangote Group has suggested for inclusion in the Petroleum Industry Bill a provision that the licence to import petroleum products should be assigned only to companies with active refining licences. The company, which is building a 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery in Lagos, said this would encourage investment in local refining. The Chief Strategy Officer, Dangote Group, Aliyu Suleiman, in a presentation during a visit by members of the National Assembly’s Joint committee on PIB to the project site, highlighted several recommendations by the company. He said, “Nigeria is exceptional in being a major oil producer with near-zero refining capacity. “Though the Dangote Refinery will help address this, there could be periods when petroleum products may need to be imported, such as when the refinery is undergoing turnaround maintenance or if demand grows to exceed capacity.” The company recommended that the backward integration policy should be applied in the downstream petroleum sector to encourage investment in local refining. “To support this, the licence to import any product shortfalls should be assigned only to companies with active refining licences. Import volume to be allocated between participants based on their respective production in the preceding quarter. Such import will be done under the DSDP scheme,” he said. According to Dangote Group, fuel imports into Nigeria are of very low quality, and this has harmful effects on health. “It also impacts the performance and durability of vehicles, especially high-performance cars. ECOWAS members (including Nigeria) signed a declaration in February 2020 to adopt cleaner fuels,” it said. The company suggested that to safeguard the health of Nigerians, imported petroleum products must conform to the Afri-5 specification (50 ppm sulphur) in line with the ECOWAS declaration of February 2020 on the adoption of the Afri-Fuels Roadmap.
At least two people were killed after security forces went to arrest Chad’s opposition candidate Yaya Dillo at his home on Sunday morning, Dillo and the government said. Dillo, who plans to run against President Idriss Déby in a presidential election in April, told Reuters he was attacked at home by members of the presidential guard and that five family members were killed, including his mother. The government said in a statement that security forces went to Dillo’s home to arrest him after he refused to respond to two judicial mandates and were met with armed resistance. It did not say what the mandates were concerning. Two people were killed and five wounded in the ensuing fight, including three policemen, it said. The Internet has been cut in the capital N’Djamena since early Sunday morning, said a Reuters witness. Dillo said government forces have surrounded his house since the incident. Dillo is a formal rebel leader who fought against Déby in 2006 before joining his government and becoming a minister. More recently, he served as Chad’s representative to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). He is one of 16 people who have announced they will run against Déby in April’s election. Déby, who has been in power since 1990, pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that reinstated term limits but could let him stay in power until 2033. Hundreds took to the streets earlier this month to protest his candidacy in the upcoming election. Déby has faced strikes and protests in recent years over economic woes caused by low oil prices and armed rebellions in the north but has drawn on his effective control of state media and institutions to maintain political dominance.