Nigeria’s economy is taking a dangerous nose dive, corruption and fraud sits at the helm of the matter, and the resurgence of hostilities in the Niger Delta has threatened to cripple the nation further.
File photo: Militants in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria pose great threat to the nation’s economy.
A look at the major news headlines of the major Nigerian dailies echoes these thoughts and more. Below are the top headlines making the rounds for Friday, June 10.
We begin with The Punch which has the headline “Avengers threaten secession as militants bomb NPDC facilities”.
The attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta continued Thursday evening with the bombing of a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Sources revealed that the incident happened at 7:40pm around the Shalomi Creek in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Multiple security sources in the area confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents at about 8:50pm.
No group, including the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for series of attacks on oil facilities in the past, has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s incident.
The commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Riami Mohammed, when contacted at about 9:09pm, denied knowledge of the incident. He promised to investigate and get back to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
But a senior military officer, who spoke on condition anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, confirmed the development.
The source said details of the incident were still sketchy due to the time it took place.
The Niger Delta Avengers had earlier on Thursday threatened to secede from the country, saying that successive governments had been unfair to the people of the Niger Delta region.
It said that what the people of the Niger Delta had been asking for from successive governments in Nigeria was the provision of basic amenities and inclusiveness.
The group called on the international community, especially Britain, France, United States, Russia and China not to allow the region to go the way of Sudan.
In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Murdoch Agbinibo, the NDA maintained that all that successive governments wanted was the flow of crude oil from the region and not its development.
It vowed to remedy the age-long devastation against the region with every means necessary.
It said in the statement, “Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 to date, our resources have been used to sustain the political administrative livewire of Nigeria to the exclusion of the Niger Delta.
“Finally, we are calling on the international community to come and support the restoration of our right to peaceful self-determination from this tragedy of 1914 that has expired since 2014.
“We want our resources back to restore the essence of human life in our region for generations to come because Nigeria has failed to do that. The world should not wait until we go the Sudan way. Enough is enough.
“This history of terror, we the Niger Delta Avengers will resist and correct with every means necessary. We have nothing to lose in the battle ahead.”
It added, “Justice, they say, is only found within the structure of a nation state; rather than provide justice, the Nigerian government has decided to mobilise her military might to intimidate, torture, maim, victimise and bombard a section of the nation and her citizenry to allow the free flow of our oil.
“Since the day crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity and quality in Oloibiri in the present day Bayelsa State, what we have being asking from successive governments in Nigeria is potable drinking water, electricity, roads, employment, quality education, resource control and inclusive governance.”
In another development, Daily Sun reports on the confession of suspects who murdered Colonel Samaila Inusa.
The reports suggests that a prime suspect in the killing of Colonel Samaila Inusa, who was kidnapped in the presence of his wife on March 26, 2016, at NNPC Junction in Kaduna State, and subsequent discovery of his decomposing body two days after, Emeka (other name witheld) yesterday recounted how the deed was done.
Emeka confessed there was no intent to kill Inusa. They only wanted to snatch his car. In the process, the late Inusa struggled with them over an AK47 riffle and got shot in the process. He added that after that they were moved away with the car and sold it for N800, 000.
He said: “One Sunday evening, we were on patrol; any vehicle we saw, we would snatch. It was in the process that we saw Colonel Inusa’s car from Police College coming down to Refinery Junction where we collected the car.
“Immediately, we handed over the car to Dan-Sokoto and he took it away. Thereafter, we took him to Abuja By-pass. I asked him to lie down and relax his mind because we were only interested in the car, not his life.
“I told him; you are bigger than this car, and can afford to buy another car’. Shortly after, he said he wanted to drink water, so, I went to the car to bring pure water for him. As I bent down to give him water, the man snatched the gun from me and quickly removed the magazine.
“But one bullet was already in the panel. He was holding the gun butt and I was holding the mouth. So, we were dragging the gun. At a point, the gun was facing me and attempted to pull the trigger, but I succeeded in turning the gun to his direction. He pulled the trigger and fired himself.
“I told him, we didn’t want to kill you, but you have killed yourself now. But, that man nearly killed me.”
“We didn’t know he was a military officer. It was a week after we killed the Colonel we started reading on the pages of newspapers and on social media that the man we killed was a senior military officer. We specialised in car snatching, we are not kidnappers.”
The Nation takes a look at the fight against corruption as led by the nations top antigraft agency EFCC. The focus is on the recovery of about N1billion from ex-ministers and INEC chiefs.
The cash came from some former ministers, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and coordinators of some election observer groups, The Nation learnt yesterday.
More than N2billion has been frozen in many accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
The cash is part of the N23.29billion allegedly pumped into the failed bid to get former President Goodluck Jonathan re-elected by bribing INEC officials. It allegedly came from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
There are also refund pledges running into billions of naira, a source said.
The latest of such refunds came yesterday from two former ministers, three INEC officials and a coordinator of election observers who paid back N62,750,000 to the EFCC.
Besides, no fewer than 36 INEC officials have been implicated in the campaign cash fraud.
According to a source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, the EFCC has recovered more than N1billion cash from those who shared in the bribe.
The source said: “In all the six geopolitical zones, most of those quizzed have admitted benefiting in one way or the other from the cash.
“Our investigation revealed that there appears to be a pattern of allocating about N450million to each of the 36 states and FCT.
“Some of the beneficiaries have paid back; others made pledges and some are still meeting in groups to refund what was allocated to them.
“So far, we have recovered over N1billion in cash and more than N2billion frozen in some accounts nationwide.
“We have given them deadline and they seem to be willing to pay back.”
Vanguard has the Senate telling President Buhari to “Look beyond APC for solutions to economy”.
The Senate, yesterday, vowed to hold accountable, every appointee chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari to help him address the nation’s myriad of economic problems.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who made the declaration at the celebration of one year of the 8th Senate, sought the support and co-operation of the President to discharge this oversight task.
Lambasting his colleagues for failing to take steps to come up with the necessary policy and legislation to put the economy on the right track, Saraki implored the President to look beyond his party, All Progressives Party (APC), to get the best brains to help him run the economy.
He said: “We are confident that one year after, the President must by now have better clarity on the capacity of his appointees. The Senate would not hesitate to hold any appointee accountable for the work he has accepted to do.
“We would like to seek Mr. President’s support and co-operation to enable us discharge this oversight task.
“We have failed to take the necessary steps in policy and legislation that would set us on the path to developing the kind of economy we desire.’’
The Guardian takes a look beyond Nigeria and focuses on the 15,000 mourners that attended the funeral of Muhammad Ali.
Mourners at Mohammad Ali’s funeral. Photo: AFP
With more than 15,000 mourners in Louisville, Kenturky, the United States (U.S.) to bid him farewell, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali, began his final journey yesterday in a blaze of glory.
The mourners began trickling in for Ali’s funeral shortly after the doors opened at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, three hours before the traditional Muslim service.
Ali, before he died, had insisted the funeral be open to all and they came from all parts of the world, young and old; black, white, Middle Eastern and Arabic. Some wore traditional Islamic attire, others blue jeans or business suits.
The organisers said the service was meant, especially, as a chance for Muslims to say goodbye to a man considered a hero of the faith in the U.S.
“Muslims hope the service for the Kentucky native will help underscore that Islam, under attack in recent months, is fully part of American life. Muhammad planned all of this,” said Imam Zaid Shakir, a prominent U.S. Muslim scholar, who led yesterday’s prayers. “And he planned for it to be a teaching moment.”
Ali, who died Friday at 74, famously joined the Nation of Islam, the black separatist religious movement, as a young boxer, then embraced mainstream Islam years later, becoming a global representative of the faith and an inspiration to Muslims.
In sports proper, Keshi’s death takes the front page of Complete Sports, as Westerhof says that the late Keshi was key to his success as coach of the Eagles.
The former nigerian manager, Clemence Westerhof has glowing tribute to late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi who died in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8, 2016, saying the Big Boss was helped him make the Super Eagles great during his reign as Nigerian manager.
Westerhof said that one of the positives we can take from Keshi’s death is that he has gone to reunite with his wife. He further prayed that God will protect and bless the family left behind.