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Consult opposition parties, others for solutions, Saraki tells Buhari

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Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has advised President Mohammadu Buhari to involve opposition parties, international friends and other stakeholders in finding lasting solution to insecurity and other socioeconomic challenges confronting the country.


While calling for concerted effort to put to an end the myriads of problems facing Nigeria, Saraki said the country’s security challenges were beyond the capacity of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to single-handedly resolve.
The ex-Senate President stated this, yesterday, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He charged political leaders to shelve their ambitions and selfish interests and come to a round table to discuss and find solution the country’s challenges.

“These are issues that cross party lines and what is required now is for government to provide leadership in bringing all stakeholders together. I think what is important for us now, as I keep on repeating, is that these are issues that should involve everybody. I think that when we talk about kidnapping, when we talk about sense of belonging, these are issues that cut across part lines and what is required now is for government to provide leadership in bringing all stakeholders together. Let us discuss and see how we can address some of these issues.”
Saraki, who is Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation and Strategic Committee, had arrived Obasanjo’s Pent House residence, inside the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta at about 12:12p.m in the company of former governors, Ibrahim Dankwanbo,Gombe; Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Osun; Liyel Imoke, Cross River; Ibrahim Shehu Sema, Katsina) and former Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande Adeola. The team immediately went into a meeting with the former President.
Speaking on the meeting with Obasanjo, Saraki said: “We told him (Obasanjo) what we are trying to do – to reposition the party. We told him how important it is – the project Nigeria, and he told us his commitment to Nigeria, that he will never shirk away from that responsibility to have a better Nigeria. Of course, like we all know, he (Obasanjo) is not partisan at the moment, his focus in on Nigeria, not on party and that he repeated to us.”

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He also denied the report on the planned removal of PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, describing it as “a mere propaganda.”
Saraki, however, expressed the optimism that the PDP would soon resolve its crisis.
“I think that we are making some progress, there are people who were not ready to sit on the same table to discuss, we have been able to achieve that. We have given more time for ourselves in trying to do that and we are hopeful that in this month of March, we will begin to see a lot of progress, that will unite the party and with that unity will be also be able to bring in more membership to our party.”

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Nigeria imports N30bn worth of fish in three months

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Despite the abundance of water bodies, Nigeria spent N30 billion importing fish into the country in the last quarter of 2020.

This is according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) obtained on Monday from Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics and Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade reports.

According to the reports, last year, Netherland sold to Nigeria N23 billion worth of fish and Russia N7 billion.

The types of fish imported into Nigeria the report showed included Herrings and Blue whitings.

Blue whitings and Herrings were imported from Netherland while just Herrings were received from Russia.

In 2019, in a briefing with state governors and the media, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele revealed that about $1.

2 billion worth of fish is imported into Nigeria annually.

He disclosed that current fish production in the country stood at 0.8 million tons while the demand was 2.7 million tons, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tons.

However, the federal government has vowed to put an end to Fish importation in the country by next year.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo  Nanono  , made this promise in November last year during the 35th Annual Conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria.

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Meanwhile, Nigeria’s major export and import market in the fourth quarter of 2020 was India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

 

The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles, and antibiotics while the major export include crude petroleum and natural gas.
The bureau also stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 percent between October and December 2020.

 

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I’ve been preaching against Boko Haram for 15 years –Isa Pantami

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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has debunked reports alleging that the United States placed him on a ‘terror watch list’ for alleged ties with the late Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf.

Pantami, an Islamic cleric, also said he has been preaching against the terrorist sect for over 15 years.

Social media platform, Twitter, was aghast on Monday over the reports published by some news platforms.

While some critics of the minister have dragged him over the unconfirmed reports and allegations, his supporters have since taken to his defence. As of the time of filing this report, the minister’s name, Isa Pantami, topped Twitter trends with over 18,000 tweets.

He stated, “My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.”

Continuing, the minister advised Nigerians who were yet to link their Subscriber Identification Modules with their valid National Identity Numbers to do so before May 6, 2021, adding that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was poised to expose criminal elements through the NIN-SIM data linkage.

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“On the issue of NIN-SIM verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as government based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is security, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all. Let’s the sponsors continue,” Pantami said.

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Lagos-Based Pastor Carries Coffin, Says God Not Happy With Buhari Government

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Benjamin, popularly known as Jehovah Sharp Sharp, carried a coffin as he marched through the streets of FESTAC.

The Bishop, who claimed God asked him to do so said God wasn’t happy with the government and the state of the nation.

The General Overseer of Resurrection Praise Ministry, Archbishop Samson Benjamin protested on Sunday in Lagos against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

Benjamin, popularly known as Jehovah Sharp Sharp, carried a coffin as he marched through the streets of FESTAC.

The Bishop, who claimed God asked him to do so said God wasn’t happy with the government and the state of the nation.

The cleric explained that his action was the outcome of “a spiritual journey of more than one year”.

He was quoted as saying, “From the 15th of September 2019 up until this moment, I have not eaten food cooked by fire or any pleasant food, I have been seeking the face of God over this great country.

Last week, I had a mortal vacation, which was a solitary confinement where I didn’t talk to any human to be with the cabinet of the trinity, I didn’t see the sun, moon, clouds.

“What you are seeing me do here right now is what the Prophets of Old would do. God will ask them to carry a symbol when he wants to pass a message to the leaders of the nation.

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“He said to me ‘Go and carry a coffin on your head, it is not furniture or anything for interior decoration, it is good for nothing, it is at the end of the life of a man that he is put into a coffin.”

Benjamin quoted the message he claimed he heard from God: “Tell the leaders that they have intentionally depleted the common resources that belong to this great country and have brought hardship on the citizens, I am not happy with it.”

The Archbishop urged Nigerians to tell the leaders the truth, describing Nigeria as a disappointment to God, “who brought people of various ethnicities together and gave them the resources”.

“But those in power have chosen to make the commonwealth of the country their personal property, this is the reason I am carrying this coffin, God is not happy, and he is saying it is not political leaders alone, including the religious and traditional leaders.”

On why he didn’t take it to the Aso Villa, the seat of power in Abuja, Benjamin said God had not asked him to do that yet.

“Human right is the right of citizens of this country, we have found ourselves in a government that sees you as an enemy when you are being constructive in your criticism,” he said.

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The clergyman stressed that the way forward for Nigeria is that those in power need to sit and decide if the country should stay together or not.

“Secession cry is everywhere, the question is, is it God’s will that all these must happen? We need to sit down at a round table and look at it again what and what put us together, whether those things are still workable today or are no longer workable,” Benjamin said.

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