A sociopolitical group in Owerri zone, known as Owerri Zone Development Union, OZDU, has said that the Secretary to Imo PDP, Nze Ray Emeana is set to dump the party for the governing APC.
The group noted that Emeana claims that the Ihedioha administration did not treat him right, regretting that since his ouster, the former Governor has used him as his attack dog against Governor Hope Uzodimma.
Similarly, a highly placed source within the PDP confided in our correspondent that apart from Emeana, other big wigs are also planning their exit following major conflict of interest.
“The truth is there is too much bad blood in Imo PDP at the moment and it’s all because of 2023 especially in Owerri zone,” the source said.
When asked wether such exit was imminent, he said:”Well, they have been meeting. But I think someone like Ray Emeana will want to receive certain assurances before he officially defects. It all depends on what compromise they reach and how soon they reach it,” he said.
Meanwhile, members of the APC caretaker committee would neither confirm nor deny whether Nze Ray Emeana was being expected in the APC.
But a text message from a member of CampHope who pleaded anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the press, simply said: “Not only Ray Emeana, please. Discussions are ongoing.”
He said,” I will leave politics any day I leave PDP and i remain a strong member of the leading opposition PDP in the state. For avoidance of doubt , no member of the failed APC administration had approached me. They cannot because they know I won’t join them” I’m a contented person and not like Femi Fani-Kayode.
“Their allegations show the level of frustrations in Imo State chapter of of the APC.
APC had the impression that if they took Ogubundu Nwadike , former publicity secretary of PDP that PDP is finished but they are now frustrated to know that our party is still very strong and formidable in the state.
Let me also correct the impression that I’m Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s attacking dog, Ihedioha is an outstanding person so he can speak for himself. I attack only those working hard to destroy what Imo stands for.
“Moreover, Emeka Ihedioha’s 12 years as a federal lawmaker and 7 months as the Governor of Imo State speak for him. Ihedioha has not even declared for Imo gubernatorial seat, remember.”
Emeana further said there must be fairness , equity and justice in Imo State if APC is sincere. They should join the campaign for a governor of Owerri zone extraction.
THE Federal Government may consider barring unvaccinated individuals from accessing government facilities, among other measures, if the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy being witnessed continues, The PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered, however, that the decision would only be taken if the government did not notice any significant improvement after the ongoing enlightenment and engagement across the country.
Recall that the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, had said the government might enforce the law against those who refuse COVID-19 vaccination.
The Edo State Government had already started barring government workers without COVID-19 vaccination certificates from accessing government buildings.
When asked on Friday if the Federal Government was also considering such step, the Secretary to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Muhammed, told The PUNCH it would be considered if it became necessary.
Muhammed said, “We don’t have
such plans but if it becomes necessary, it is something that can be considered.
“There is a lot of mobilisation going on. We have community engagement in all the states where the communities and traditional leaders are engaged.
“We will continue to persuade people through all available means to make sure that people would realise the need and take the vaccines by themselves. For now, there is no plan to do that.”
1.6% fully vaccinated- NPHCDA
Meanwhile, data obtained from the website of the NPHCDA on Sunday revealed that as of September 18, 2021, only 1.6 per cent of the over 200 million Nigerians had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the NPHCDA, only 4,373,434 eligible citizens have taken their first dose of the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, while 1,764,649 of the initial four million had taken their second doses.
Shuaib added, “We will continue to monitor for side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines and as it is common with all vaccines, there have been reports of mild to moderate reactions.
“This is normal with any vaccination. We are working with NAFDAC to keep a close watch on those who have been vaccinated for any unlikely case of serious adverse effect,” he said.
As of September 18, 2021, no fewer than 201,630 confirmed cases had been reported in Nigeria with a total of 2,654 fatalities, with 190,288 cases discharged.
The revenue generated from the sale of Nigerian gas to three neighbouring countries for electricity generation rose by 11.36 per cent to $6.47m last year from $5.81m in 2019, according to official data obtained by our correspondent.
N-Gas Limited, a company owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Chevron and Shell, buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transport it to Ghana, Benin and Togo through the West Africa Gas Pipeline.
The company has executed agreements with upstream producers in Nigeria (Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company/ND Western Joint Venture) and with gas transportation companies (Nigerian Gas Company Limited and West African Petroleum Company) for the supply and transportation of gas to its customers.
The audited financial statements of N-Gas showed that its profit jumped by 53.32 per cent last year to $9.52m.
“Revenue arose from the delivery charges on sale of gas to Volta River Authority and Communaute Electrique du Benin- Lome/ Cotonou under their respective gas sales agreements,” the company said.
The revenue generated from gas supply to Ghana’s VRA was $4.64m while those of CEB Cotonou were $1.22m and $608,000, according to the financial statements.
In the notes to the financial statements, N-Gas said the outstanding receivable balances from VRA relating to gas sales from August 2014 to December 2020 stood at $69m.
“The bulk ($48m) of these receivables are way past due in line with the GSA contract Clause 13, which states that payments should be made to the seller within 10 business days of receipt of an invoice,” it said.
The company said it assessed the material impairment of the receivables by computing a fair value of the receivables as of December 31, 2020 with the impact reflected in the financial statements.
It said, “The Political Risk Insurance expired in December 2019, invalidating the debt guarantee provided by the Government Consent and Support Agreement. The renewal of the PRI is being processed by WAPCo with Marsh Insurance Brokers & underwriters.
“However, N-Gas has made good progress on recovering the balance of the legacy debt from the TAPCo (Takoradi Power Company) Account. The Escrow agreement for the TAPCo Account has been approved by N-Gas Board and awaiting approval from VRA Board.”
N-Gas said it recognised the efforts by VRA and the government of Ghana to liquidate the debt before the end of 2021.
The company said the force majeure declared by NGC, a subsidiary of NNPC, was lifted in November 2020, adding that all parties in the WAGP value chain agreed for the principal terms of the chain of agreement to kick in from May 2021.
“However, VRA has informally requested for a further six months’ extension till 31st October 2021, after which the force majeure will be lifted unless the waiver is further extended by written agreement of the parties,” it added.
N-Gas is jointly owned by the NNPC (62.35 per cent), Chevron N-Gas Limited (20 per cent) and Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (17.65 per cent).
Attempts by a female passenger, Obehi Isesele, and one Emmanuel Omebere to export illicit drugs to Europe through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, have been thwarted by narcotic officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The agency said the suspects were arrested before they boarded their flights.
The NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, said, “While Isesele was nabbed on Saturday, September 11, 2021, during outward clearance of an Ethiopian airline flight at Gate B, Departure Hall, of the Lagos airport on her way to Milan, Italy, with 312 sachets of Tramadol, weighing 1.5 kilogrammes, concealed in crayfish and dried vegetables, Omebere was caught with 137.45 grams of the same drug concealed in foodstuffs at the Abuja airport on Thursday, September 2, during outward clearance of a Turkish airline flight to Istanbul, Turkey.”
Meanwhile, efforts by traffickers to export varying sizes of consignments containing cocaine, heroin and other illicit drugs through courier firms were also reportedly foiled.
Babafemi said, “Some of these include 475g of heroin concealed in food items going to Canada; 202g of cocaine hidden in body cream containers going to Australia; 720g of Cannabis Sativa tucked in computer hard drives heading for the United Arab Emirates, and another 2.1kg of cannabis hidden in body cream bottles going to Oman, while 60g of cocaine concealed in degree certificates meant for Australia was also seized, all from three courier firms in Lagos.
“Curiously, a 38-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Ngozi Nwuju, was arrested on Tuesday, September 14, at her residence in Rumueme, Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with 4.5kg of cannabis following intelligence that she sells drugs.
“Also, one Aliyu Saidu, suspected to be a fake soldier was arrested with 2.3kg of Cannabis Sativa in a commercial bus from Lagos to Makurdi, on Monday, 13th of September, at Aliade checkpoint, Benue State.
“In Kano, one Shuaibu Yusuf was arrested on Friday, September 17, with 537kg of Cannabis Sativa, concealed among bags of cement in a truck, while in Ogun State, five persons were arrested on Tuesday, September 14, after their truck conveying 552kg cannabis was intercepted at Ogere Remo, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), commended the officers and men of the agency for maintaining the heat on drug dealers.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, on Sunday, began seven days of seclusion preceding the annual ‘Olojo’ Festival in the ancient city.
‘Olojo’ in Yoruba means ‘the day of the first dawn’, but in the lore of Ile-Ife, the Olojo Festival is an annual cultural festival created to celebrate the day the Almighty created the earth.
Speaking before going incommunicado, Oba Ogunwusi said that he would dedicate this year’s seven-day seclusion to pray for a better Nigeria.
The Ooni said that Nigerians had every cause to thank God in view of the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the rest of the world.
“When we compare what has been happening in other nations, we have every cause to glorify God, for He has been so faithful to us by delivering us from the power of coronavirus.
“Our efforts to protect people from the pandemic by providing fumigators for 36 states and Abuja, the FCT cannot be over-emphasised.
“But we shouldn’t relent in our efforts to see to the welfare of people generally that’s why am dedicating my sixth seclusion on the throne to pray for our leaders.
“Seclusion is so significant that I cannot joke with it because I inherited it from my ancestors thousands of years ago,” Ooni explained.
The Oba said that he would also use his period seclusion to pray for God to touch the hearts of Nigerian politicians to stop playing games with people’s lives and be sensitive to people’s yearnings.
“Our politicians in this country have the same value, same character, politicians, but am going into seclusion to pray for our leaders to have a change of mind, so that things could get better.
“Our leaders should be ready to serve us genuinely, as promised during their campaigns, so am going there to pray to my ancestors to touch their hearts, for them to make life more bearable to us.
“We cannot continue like this, things need to change and there cannot be any change without the hands of God, for the prayer of the righteous availeth much,” the Ooni said.
No fewer than three PhD and 30 Masters degree holders applied for the 2nd edition of Rep. Tunji Olawuyi’s digital empowerment programme, tagged Ajuloopin Digital Empowerment Programme (ADEP) 2021, says an official.
More than 4,604 people applied for the equipment.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Titilope Akogun, the Head of the Technical team for the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme, which is the brainchild of the lawmaker representing Ekiti/Isin/Irepodun/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara, began in 2020.
The statement said that no fewer than 200 people were empowered by the federal lawmaker in Digital Training, Mini Importation as well as distribution of laptops and tablets to beneficiaries at inception in 2020.
A breakdown of the application revealed that there were 902 Bachelor of Science (BSc), 988 Higher National Diploma (HND), 853 National Certificate of Education (NCE) holders.
Others are 441 Ordinary National Diploma (OND), 873 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) holders, while 514 were unspecified.
Of the 4,604 applicants, 556 are currently employed, 1,218 are self-employed, while 2,830 are unemployed.
According to the statement, 750 of the applicants are from Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara, 1 512 are from Irepodun Local Government Area, 634 of them are in Isin, and 698 from Oke-Ero.
It stated that 324 applied from Offa Local Government Area, 459 are from Ifelodun, while the remaining 327 applicants are from Oyun Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that each applicant would be called for a phone interview session after which 500 successful applicants would be shortlisted.
It said the 500 applicants to be shortlisted would be invited for a physical interview where the number would be pruned to 350 as the final successful candidates for the programme.
President Muhammadu Buhari has named Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as NNPC Limited Board Chairman with Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya as Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
The president ordered the incorporation of NNPC Limited in line with the provision of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina on Sunday said the President in his “capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited”.
Adeshina explained that “this is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the Company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the Company.
“Chairman of the Board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
“Other Board Members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North Central), Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North West), Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South South), and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South West)”.
The UK government says it is scrapping its often controversial “traffic light system” of grading countries according to the COVID-19 risk guideline that is currently in operation for international travel into England.
In an announcement of the forthcoming changes to its travel guidelines, as from 4 am on Monday, 4th of October, 2021, the UK says rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries with simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.
Lead Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Dr. Joseph Okoeguale, has warned women against inserting ice cream into their vagina or injecting seasoning cubes into their buttocks.
Dr. Okoeguale also warned against inserting potash alum and other chemicals into the vagina, noting that those engaging in such practices are putting their health at risk.
Women who indulge in the practice of putting different substances in their vagina claim that such practice boosts sexual pleasure and fertility. They also believe that injecting certain substances in their buttocks can equally help increase their buttocks size.
However, the expert says there is no scientific proof supporting their claims.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Dr. Okoeguale warns that these methods have the potentials to cause ulcers and infections in the genitals.
Okoeguale, who is also the Deputy Director, Institute of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever and Emergent Pathogens at ISTH, said his unit has admitted and treated many women with severe burns and ulcers in their genitals, after using chemicals for the genitals.
“Ice-cream is full of sugary and carbohydrate substances and it may encourage the growth of microorganisms within the vagina. This may increase vaginal discharges and even bacterial growth because some of them may become contaminated and they introduce it into the vagina.
“Some of them introduce ice cream during sexual intercourse; the man may pour ice cream into his mouth and pour it into the woman’s vagina. So, the microorganism within the mouth – mixed with saliva and whatever thing is in the mouth – will be poured into the vagina, and a lot can happen from there.
“I don’t think injecting seasoning cubes into the buttocks does anything. It has no benefit really; I don’t understand the rationale behind that.
“Why would anyone do that? There will be complications for such action,” he said.
Speaking further, he said women who use medicated soaps, alum, and other chemicals or substances to douche are also at risk of having vaginal discharges, scars, and pains during sexual intercourse.
“Some people use different types of chemicals just to make the vagina tight for more sexual pleasure during sexual intercourse; but as experts, we discourage it.
“For them, they just want the vagina to be extra clean, they feel they perceive some very bad odour in the vagina so they use medicated soap to wash the vagina, which is wrong because there are good bacteria called lactobacillus, which help to keep the vagina healthy, serving as a defence and preventing harmful infections to the vagina.
“When people use those medicated soaps to wash the vagina, they are prone to having vaginal discharges; and that is why we tell people not to use medicated soaps to wash inside the vagina.
Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) has kicked against granting blanket amnesty to surrendered members of Boko Haram.
Naija News reports that reports that emerged that the Buhari government is reportedly granting amnesty to Boko Haram terrorists and reintegrating them back into the society.
But speaking to Vanguard on Sunday, Senator Ndume insisted that terrorists would not be granted amnesty.
According to the former senate leader, the federal government would not be allowed to grant repentant terrorists amnesty.
“Like I told you, I am a victim. In one night they killed our elders, 75 of them, and slaughtered them in an abattoir,” Ndume said.
“I keep saying this because of that gruesome murder of our elders, innocent people… I lost all my houses in my town.
“They burnt it down to ground zero, they burnt almost 70 per cent of my local government, they destroyed the structures; in my local government, over two million people were displaced.
“We have this memory fresh in our minds. The end of war is a very welcome development and that is because the Nigerian Army is putting the heat on them.
“ISWAP is putting the heat on the followers of Shekau (B/Haram leader killed by rival group), and those mostly surrendering now are those that belong to the Shekau faction. So the army has issued a statement that they are going to profile them, they are going to process them, those that need to be prosecuted will be prosecuted the those that need to be rehabilitated will be rehabilitated.”
Senator Ali Ndume stated that repentant insurgents that need to be resettled will be resettled but the Buhari government should not give priority to resettling the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
He said priority will be the resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction of the victims.
Ndume said: “That is why I want the media to understand that there is no way, I’ve not heard government say they are going to grant blanket amnesty. It was good news that they said these our enemies are now surrendering.
“And we said ‘okay if they are surrendering they are welcome, but they have to go through the due process’.
“They have to face the law. Even in America, Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is still there after 20 years. And I understand that they still have up to 40 people there out of thousands before. And it was gradual, it took them 20 years to reduce that number”