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Crowd mobs Obi at Delta mega rally *Says, I’m the best, I’m make Nigeria work



Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) recorded one of his best outings in the ongoing campaign for Nigeria’s number one job,when he arrived Delta State, home to Ifeanyi Okowa, the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The former Governor of Anambra State, which shares a common border with his hosts, fell into a warm embrace of one of the most enthusiastic crowds seen so far in the state reminiscent of what happened in Benin, Edo State, which has been one of the reference points.

Peter Obi, who was in the state on Monday, alongside his wife Margaret, his running mate, Yusuf Datti-Ahmed, told his audience that the sufferings of Nigerians presently did not know religion, region or tribe, and that he had the best and most reliable ticket to unite and secure the country.

Saying that with the energy and enthusiasm of the youths, his administration would move the country from consumption to production, he stated:“We will make education work, no more strikes in our public varsities. We will ensure that there is law and order, and no more harassment by police because we will train them to work. They are our friends and not enemies.

“Warri Port will work. We are supposed to drive from here to Warri on the double lane, we will do it and complete East-West road, which they have been building for 24 years now.

“I’m not contesting the election because I’m from the South-East. Disregard it is my turn’ slogan. It’s the turn of every right-thinking Nigerian to take back the country. I am from the South-East, if it is turn by turn, it is the turn of the South-East. But I am not running this election because I am from the South-East but because I am a Nigerian and am the best. No other person or group is like the Obi-Datti combination.

“We still have age on our side, our average is 50. The average age of others is 70 which is the retirement age. We will make sure they are retired in peace. The job of governing this country requires physical and mental energy, we want those who are ready. We want people we can trust, people who will trace their history.

“We are businessmen, we create wealth, our opponents have never created wealth, rather they are only used to taking and sharing. We are competent, we are qualified, and we have the capacity to do the job. And above all, we have compassion.Don’t follow them, if they give you money, take it and vote for us because that money is your money which they stole initially.

“They said LP has no structure, it is that structure they have used to impoverish Nigerians. We want to throw away that structure. So vote LP candidates. Don’t be deceived, a new Nigeria is possible.”

Echoing the same sentiments, his wife, told Nigerians to hold her responsible if her husband, failed to perform if elected, saying LP was the only party with a human face, insisting that both the umbrella and the broom which Nigerians earlier trusted with their votes have grossly disappointed.

Enjoining the people to collect their PVCs, and ensure that they come out on February 25 to vote LP,she said:“LP is the only party with a human face, we have followed broom, umbrella, chicken, now its time to follow mama, papa and pikin. As women and youths, it is time for us to collect our PVCs to change the system. Any promise made by Obi, if not fulfilled, I should be held responsible. If he fails to perform, hold me responsible.

“God has blessed us in this country, this is the last chance to get it right. This is time for a new Nigeria, come out and vote because it is the only weapon we have.”

The running mate, Yusuf Datti-Ahmed and other leaders of the party, who also spoke at the campaign rally, appealed to the people to vote for all Labour Party candidates in order to salvage the country.


Speak now! Catholic priests want Kaduna gov’s reaction to El-Rufai’s Islamisation comments



Uba Sani, must either officially distance himself or affirm the declaration of his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai that Muslim-Muslim executive branch leadership, have come to stay or stand up to denounce it immediately.

These were the demands from Catholic priests in parts of the North, who as they expressed disgust at the statement, which showed the former governor captured in a video, which went viral last week, practically celebrating the continuation of an arrangement, which he first introduced in 2019, and which has now been sustained with the new governor having a Muslim deputy.

Clerics from Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria chapters of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), in a public letter to Sani, urged him to declare his position on what they described as political supremacism in Kaduna state and Nigeria, as part of their reactions to the video, which has raised a lot of dust.

El-Rufai, who in his speech to Muslim clerics in the state, had recounted how after instituting an all-Muslim executive in the state himself and made it permanent in the state, the arrangement was pushed through at the national level with the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, as President and Vice President, respectively on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Informing that while Nigerians were actually believed that religion was not the issue in pushing through with the ticket, when it was in fact the case, the former Governor, who spoke in Hausa, declared that the arrangement had come to stay and would last for the next 20 years at the initial stage after Tinubu, adding that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had been defeated by the outcome.

But an apparently thoroughly upset Catholic priests, in an open letter on Thursday, said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former state governor who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regard to the commotions Mallam El-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state,” the letter reads.

“We write you today because we are responsible stakeholders in the affairs of our beloved state with our own congregations and followers. Mr governor, we do not intend to conclude that you are in agreement with all the content of the former governor’s utterances, as you have given no explicit reason to suggest so (yet), even though you were present at the occasion! We therefore earnestly expect your direct official reaction to the utterances of your predecessor in office.”

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Buhari spent more than $19billion on revamping four refineries without result – Nasarawa gov



Barely two weeks after his exit, the records of former President Muhammadu Buhari, have come to to the fore with one of them indicating a damning verdict, as he was said to have sunk a whopping $19billion in trying to rehabilitate the nation’s four refineries, without anything to show for it.

Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nassarawa State, who used the former President abysmal failure to make a case for supporting the removal on petroleum products, compared the huge wastage to the amount Dangote refinery, cost to give Nigeria a facility with the single chain production in the world.

None of Nigeria’s four refineries, located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri is currently operational despite the huge amount sunk to resuscitate them, most of the funds borrowed from foreign lending agencies, the latest being the securing of $1.5million loan for that of Port Harcourt.

Bemoaning the situation, the governor, said: “Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined.”

A guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programm of Channels Television on Thursday, Sule, pinned the payments of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries, adding: “From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time, there was zero subsidy.

“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries; more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”

The Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, which took off in 2017, drew Nigerians and global personalities in different fields of life, including four African Presidents at its commissioning on May 22, 2023 by Buhari.

Sule, who also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components, added: “The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery. The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.

“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad. The ideal resolve would have been to allocate the major funds to one of the refining states to fix it totally before allocating the remainder to the other states.

“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well.”

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Japan goes tough on asylum seekers, enacts new law to check abuse



Despite desperate attempts to block it, including a ruckus, which broke out in parliament Japan went ahead on Friday to enact an immigration law that would see the government deporting failed asylum seekers, even with members of civil society, joining in the pushback.

The law gives refugees only three chances to try after which they would face deportation, unlike before when applicants could stay in Japan during the decision process, regardless of the number of attempts they made to secure refugee status, reports, say.

The revised law will “protect those who must be protected while strictly dealing with people who have violated rules. There are many people who misuse the application system to avoid deportation,” Justice Minister Ken Saito, was quoted as saying, adding that this had persisted even when such people were not fleeing danger or persecution.

Last year, Japan accepted just 202 refugees out of some 12,500 applicants, and separately allowed 1,760 people to remain in the country due to “humanitarian considerations,” including more than 2,400 evacuees from Ukraine under a different framework.

Activists staged rallies against the revised law, but a protest from the opposition bloc in parliament was voted down by the ruling coalition, which holds a commanding majority.

“It is intolerable to deport people, even if they have criminal records, to countries that may violate their human rights” and where “their life and freedom would be in danger”, the Tokyo Bar Association said this week.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party says the revisions will bring better access to medical care and accommodation options for people whose asylum applications are pending.

Japan’s immigration detention conditions have been under scrutiny since the 2021 death of Wishma Sandamali, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Sandamali was not an asylum seeker but had been held for overstaying her visa after seeking police protection, reportedly to escape an abusive relationship.

Her family are seeking compensation of more than $1 million from the government over her death.

Sandamali reportedly complained repeatedly of stomach pain and other symptoms, and campaigners allege she received inadequate medical care.

Controversy and political pressure over the incident led ruling lawmakers to drop a push to enact similar legal changes to immigration rules two years ago.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer for Sandamali’s family, told AFP on Thursday that the revised bill was “equivalent to having a button to execute those who seek refuge by deporting them”.

“Japan’s refugee recognition system is not working,” he said, with officials turning down applications quickly, sometimes without face-to-face interviews.

Amnesty International also said in March that Japan should scrap the proposed revision to immigration laws, calling the country’s detention policies “harsh” and “repressive.”

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