Petrol price may revert to N65
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday evening presided over an emergency meeting with governors and some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Governors in attendance included those of Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Imo, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross River, Kogi, Sokoto, Edo, Enugu, Delta, Rivers, Ebonyi, Delta, Nasarawa, Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara, Lagos, Gombe, Kebbi, Plateau and Jigawa.
Others in the meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim. The Ministers participating included Finance (Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), Petroleum Resources (Deziani Alison-Madueke), Labour and Productivity (Emeka Wogu) and Information (Labaran Maku).
He was also billed to meet again with Labour leaders last night and make a nationwide broadcast afterwards. The meeting between Jonathan and the governors ended at about 8.50 p.m. Midway into the meeting, they were joined by Senate President, David Mark, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Leader, Ndoma-Egba. It was learnt that the President may have decided to revert the price of Premium Motor Spirit (fuel) to the former N65 a litre.
The President, had after the wreathe-laying ceremony marking the end of the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Arcade, Abuja retired to his official residence. He was later joined by Defence and security chiefs in a meeting.
Those in attendance at the meeting included the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, Chief of Defence Staff (Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin), the Service Chiefs – Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika (Army), Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim (Navy) and Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (Air Force) and the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim.
It was after the meeting with the security chiefs that he moved to the Council Chambers of the Villa where the parley with the governors took place.
A two-day break from the ongoing strike over increase in the prices of petroleum product declared by Labour ended yesterday.
Also Mark summoned a meeting over the issue in his residence yesterday. At the meeting were Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Peter Obi of Rivers and Anambra states as well as Anyim, Alison-Madueke and Nwogu.
Speaking after the meeting, Amaechi expressed confidence that a solution would soon be found to the problem. He said: “I believe that solutions would be found to the strike. I believe that we are at the verge of finding a solution to it.
“We have held a meeting and we have looked at the solutions and we think that with Labour, we can find a joint solution to the problem and you must realize first that the President is patriotic in his decision and all of us in government are backing him. Labour agrees to deregulation. I don’t know if there is any point that they are not part of deregulation. Their argument is how and when and we are sorting out all those fine details and we will find solution to it.”
When asked to be more specific about the details, he said: “What is more specific than the fact that we are meeting and finding solutions to these problems and that before the end of today, tomorrow and all that.
“There is a President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria he will determine whether there would be one or not. Don’t forget that the convener of that meeting is here. The government delegation came to see him to present what we think is the way forward…”
Asked about the way forward, he stated: “If we wanted the world to know what it is and it is not a proposal we won’t have come to him, we would have called you (press) and address you. The fact that we came to him, is to say to him this is our proposal and then maybe he will look at it, call Labour and say have a look at this.”
Meanwhile, more Nigerians have called on both Labour and the government to find an amicable solution to the lingering crisis.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, in a statement issued yesterday advised the Federal Government and Organised Labour/civil society leaders to find a mutually agreeable settlement to the current anti-subsidy withdrawal protests across the country in the larger interest of millions who have been suffering additional burden of hardship since the strike began a week ago.
According to him, both the government and Labour leaders should be united by the common interest of ordinary Nigerians who are bearing the crunch of the seeming stalemate.
He said unless the two sides are realistic, the nation stands the risk of reaching a cul-de-sac in the negotiations, thereby compounding the hardship of millions who are earnestly awaiting a speedy end to this crisis.
Atiku particularly urged the two sides to listen to the reason rather than bending to the dictates of their egos, which might lead to avoidable complications in finding a workable solution to the subsidy crisis.
Atiku noted that sacrifices were needed by both sides to ensure that the final resolution serves the best interest of the economy and the people. He, however, condemned the killings by the security agents and the violence and arson on public and private property by a section of the protesters.
While urging restraint by both parties, he advised Labour leaders not to allow criminal elements to infiltrate their ranks and discredit the essence of legitimate peaceful protest.
Similarly, the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Olufemi Lanlehin urged the Federal Government to respect the people’s opinions and wishes as a way of resolving the impasse resulting from the removal of the subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit.
Lanlehin, in a statement said: “The only panacea to this situation is for the Federal Government to do the will of the people by reverting to the old price of petrol, which is N65”, adding that “when this is done, Federal Government can now have ample time to work out how best to address the fuel subsidy issue.”
Lanlehin who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning and Poverty Alleviation added that the Federal Government could still plan for removal of the subsidy in a manner that will not “disrupt people’s means of livelihood while also not destabilising the nation’s economy.”
“The Federal Government could have come up with a well thought out plan and a phased approach to the removal,” he said.
“It should not have been done in one fell swoop without adequate palliative measures in place first before the removal of the subsidy.”
He therefore called on government to take cognisance of the hardship that had attended the increase in the pump price of petrol, which is the major driver of the economy and revert to N65 a litre.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
Read the release report below;
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