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CAN condemns suicide bomb attempt in Kaduna

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There was pandemonium on Sunday at the Living Faith Church, also known as ‘Winners Chapel’, Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna State as a suspected suicide bomber was apprehended by officials of the church.

It was gathered that the lone bomber had even gained access into the church when the Close Circuit Camera of the church picked him.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State, has condemned the incident.

The CAN Chairman in the state, Rev. Joseph Hayab said the association got the report of the suicide bomber mission to the Winners Chapel and noted that it was unacceptable.

The Chief Security officer of the church, Mr. Ekpeyong Edet said the suspect was monitored via CCTV and was promptly accosted by the security operatives on ground.

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According to him, the suspect successfully gained access into the church sanctuary and upon searching the bag he was carrying an explosive device.

The suspect, it was learnt had been handed over to the police at the Sabon Tasha Divisional Police Station.

Security has been beefed around Living Faith Church in the State.

At the Faith Avenue, Barnawa of the church, towards the end of the second service when the news of the suicide bomber filtered in, truck load of security operatives were seen in front of the main entrance into the church.

Security officials as well as the Surveillance unit of the church were spotted frisking worshippers into the church.

They also, stopped and searched vehicles going into the church.

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Condemning the action of the suicide bomber, the CAN leader noted that three -day fasting and prayers embarked by the CAN leadership, was already working.

Hayab noted that the association got wind of the bomb scare but deliberately hoarded the information from the congregants.

He added that incident was clearly showed that the church was the target.

Hayab said, “we don’t know what the intention of the suicide bomber was. Probably if they interrogated him, they will get better information. 

“But one of the reasons was probably to scare us(church of God). Probably, he didn’t get the address of where we are meeting(prayer and fasting crusade). Let them tell us whether we are telling lies.

“We heard about it. We received  messages about it but we didn’t want to scare our members.

“We have taken security measures to protect our members in this place. I got this information at about 12:20pm that somebody was caught with a bomb at the Living Faith Church, Sank Tasha and I felt it was almost 1:00pm for our program 

“But why carry bomb to the church? When we said they are attacking churches,  you said no, why carrying bomb into the church.

Why the bomb not in the market place? Why the bomb in the first place?”.

Meanwhile, a call and message sent to the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo for confirmation of the incident, was not returned as of the time of its if filing the report.

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NLC rejects increase in the price of petrol

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DPR filling stations

‏The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, says it received with great shock and consternation the news of the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit known as ‘petrol’ from N121 to N143.

The increase, according to reports, is consequent upon a “monthly review meeting” by the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.

Referring to a statement released by the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Saidu Abdulkadir, purportedly on June 28, 2020, NLC said the PPPRA contradicted itself when it said that the latest price increase described as an “advisory” was meant to regulate a product that government claims had been deregulated.

It further explained, “That this new hike in the pump price of petrol was announced without the approval of the board of the PPPRA and the oversight ministry speaks volumes of the arbitrariness and public contempt in the operations of PPPRA. We find this deeply disturbing.”

The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, described the statement as very embarrassing that the PPPRA boss while trying to defend the indefensible appeared to be out of sorts and ready to clutch at any available straws to sell his “ice block merchandise” to “Eskimos”.

Apart from contradicting himself that PPPRA is still trying to regulate a deregulated product through “advisories”, the statement added that the PPPRA went on to exert more nails on the coffin of his own polemics when he argued that PPPRA was just like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) that would always act to protect the public interest.

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“That was how far the niceties went. The rest of the statement by the PPPRA boss, as reproduced in the excerpts below, was about how PPPRA plans to protect investors and increase their profit,” the statement further explained.

It noted that while the Market-Based Pricing Regime is a policy introduced to free the market of all encumbrances to investment and growth, it should not be misconstrued as to mean a total abdication of government’s responsibility to the sector and citizenry.

It added that the new pricing regime would encourage oil marketers to resume the supply of petrol, leading to further value creation in the downstream, foster job creation and ensure reasonable returns to investors.

NLC noted that it is unfortunate that Mr. Saidu Abdulkadir did not even feign pretense that government has abdicated its responsibility to protect Nigerians from the cut-throat tendencies of neoliberal market forces.

Contrary to the provisions of Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution, PPPRA claims that the abdication is not ‘total’, it said the statement by the PPPRA is juxtaposed with the recent killer electricity charges unveiled by DISCOs, Nigerians cannot help but feel the heat of a potent threat to run millions of Nigerians under, stressing that it is even worse that this is coming at a time when our people are living on the precipice of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement observed, “Nigerians would recall that the last downward review in the price of petrol was at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. The economic benefits of the so-called “downward” review was hardly enjoyed by ordinary Nigerians who were mostly indoors. Just as the lockdown is being eased out and as soon as the inter-state travel ban was lifted, the government decided to hike the petrol price. Nigerian people and workers are forced to interpret this move as grand mischief and deceit.”

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It said it is clear even to the blind that the crisis in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sub-sector is ‘self’ nay “government-inflicted”.

“The refusal by successive governments to fix our national oil refineries is at the root of this problem. The government simply wants to transfer the cost of its own inefficiencies to the Nigerian people. Nigerian workers say “No” to such,” the statement added.

It is grand mischief and deceit to keep comparing apples with mangoes, the statement explained, stressing that there is no way Nigerians would accept a situation where they are charged international rates for a product which Nigeria is the sixth-largest producer in the world.

”The extra costs that the PPPRA wants Nigerians to pay in order to promote “growth” and “investment”, according to the statement are actually the cost of profits made by countries that we ship our crude oil to, the cost of sea freight of the refined products, the cost of demurrage at our seaports when the refined products arrive, the cost of the frequent devaluation of our national currency, and the cost of official corruption by gatekeepers managing the downstream petroleum sub-sector.”

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“Nigerians have groaned to pay these unjust costs for years. This latest increase might just be the last straw that would break the camel’s back,” the statement said.

“We demand that the Federal Government reverts to the old price of petroleum especially given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous price before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago,” the statement added.

NLC said it renewed its call for a national conversation on the management of Nigeria’s oil assets which it insists must be in tandem with the provisions of the constitution.

It said the constitution clearly mandates that the commanding heights of our national economy be held by the government in the interest of the citizens of Nigeria.

The congress demanded that the four national petroleum refineries must be fixed without any further delay, saying that Nigerian workers want to be appraised of the timelines set by the government to ensure that this is effectively done.

“Nigeria belongs to all of us. Workers are major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. Nigerian workers and people must not only be treated fairly but must be seen to have been so treated by their government,” the statement emphasized.

 

 

 

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Lagos govt seals 10 private schools for holding lessons

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Ten private schools have been put under lock by the Lagos State Government for flouting the closure order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, especially among the students.

The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, who led the Monitoring and Investigation team of the office, disclosed this during the second and third phase of the massive monitoring of private schools compliance to the directive.

According to her, a large number of private schools visited across the state were found to have complied, but those who did not comply were sealed.

She said they were holding lessons for their teeming students within the school premises, disregarding the social distancing order, explaining that the exercise would continue across all the education districts in the state to make sure all schools comply with the government order and discourage the nonchalant attitude of some schools to the directive.

“No doubt, COVID-19 has had a negative effect on our schools but we want students to come out stronger and better. We want to make sure schools are closed. We also want to make sure schools are adhering to the closure directive since the number of COVID-19 infections has increased dramatically over time. On the field”

The Director-General, who earlier warned of the danger inherent in the exposure and clustering of students in a class in the name of lessons, strictly reiterated that any school where teaching and learning is ongoing while trying to beat government scrutiny without concern for the health and safety of learners would be sealed.

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While admonishing parents and school owners, Seriki-Ayeni encouraged them to abide by the directive of the Lagos State Government to stay safe and healthy by promoting washing of hands with soap, wearing of masks in public places and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

“This is a unique time in the entire world, therefore, it is only the living that learns.”

She pleaded with them to embrace the norm of online schooling as she advised parents not to be found guilty for exposing the lives of their children to danger.

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She encouraged school owners to begin the process of thinking through the opportunities that exist at this time to up-skill their staff through virtual training and webinars.

She said:

“This is the time to think and plan strategically to form good partnerships with the government in order to get resources for your schools.

 

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Pirates kidnap nine Nigerians in Niger Delta

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Pirates attacked an oil production vessel off Nigeria in the early hours of Thursday and kidnapped nine Nigerian nationals, the ship’s owner BW Offshore said.

The Sendje Berge ship was undergoing maintenance when the attack happened, BW Offshore’s Chief Financial Officer Staale Andreassen told Reuters.

The Oslo-listed company said none of the people remaining on the vessel was injured.

“We are working now with the Nigerian authorities to get those nine people safely back,” Andreassen added.

The vessel, a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) that can produce about 50,000 barrels per day, was working at the Okwori oilfield operated by Addax Petroleum, a part of China’s Sinopec Group.

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A maritime security firm Dryad Global, citing unidentified reports, said the attack involved three boats and explosives, making it unusual.

Andreassen said he could not confirm that a number of boats had been involved, but denied that explosives were used during the attack.

Reuters

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