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Wike, an expired drug about to be taken off the shelf – Dino



The war seems not over, neither does there seem a let-off in the acerbic language both sides are hauling at each other in the bitter engagement between Dino Melaye, Senator formerly representing Kogi West and Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, which broke into the open a fortnight ago.

Wike had drawn the first blood, when he dismissed the governorship ambition of the Senator, describing it as a non-issue and warning the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where both belong that giving him the ticket, in the forthcoming election in Kogi State, would result to sure failure.

But Dino did not allow the din to die before making a quick riposte, where after acknowledging that the Rivers governor had actually bankrolled a previous attempt, he now wondered, why the same man who found him so good as to invest huge resources in his previous ambition, would now turn around to denounce the same move.

His quick explanation was that Wike was beefing him for his refusal support his vitriolic attack on Atiku Abubakar, who vanquished him to pick up the PDP presidential ticket, which got worse after he also lost the bid to become the running mate to the former Vice President, who chose his neighbour, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, instead.

In fact, Dino, went ahead to recount how the same Wike, who spent all his time during the recent presidential election campaigns attacking Atiku for usurping the chances of the South, had lobbied heavily to become his (Atiku’s) running mate and in one instance, called him (Dino), 19 times in a space of two hours to mount pressure on him to intervene in lobbying Atiku.

Even after emerging the PDP candidate, Wike continued his protests, insisting that Dino, was unfit for the position, a statement, that prompted the Senator to once again, descend on him, calling him an expired drug about to be taken off the shelf.

A guest of The Morning Show, a breakfast show on Arise Television, Dino, told his hosts: “My quick response to Nyesom Wike is that he’s an expired drug, who is about to be taken off the shelf. So, I’d not want bother myself discussing with a man who is about to leave office and is suffering from post-election trauma. I want to concentrate seriously on my election. I want to concentrate on rescuing the people of Kogi State and I do not have time for drug and alcohol-induced individuals.

“I want to say that we work with time and season. Governor Wike himself on national TV, had told Nigerians, on a  Monday morning, that he was taking 40 years-old whisky – on a Monday morning. So, I’m not the one calling him. He advertised himself as such to Nigerians.

“But having said that, I want to tell you that, that you supported me, does not mean that you’ll ask for my liver and kidney. I’ll not give it. Let me say it that Wike himself, had always been supported and and he owes PDP a lot and anything he’s doing for any individual in PDP is like giving back to what the PDP did for him.

“Governor (Peter) Odili made him chairman of his local government. So, he has been helped by somebody. After Governor Odili helped him, Governor (Rotimi) Amaechi made him Chief of Staff. Governor Amaechi helped him. Governor Amaechi nominated him as the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governor Amaechi helped him.

“Mrs. Goodluck Jonathan spent her money, her connections and everything to make him the governor of Rivers State. So, everyone gets help by one person or the other. But you don’t help people with the intention to enslave them. You help people with the intention to control them. You don’t help people with the intention to run their lives and run their decisions.

“Once you give assistance to somebody, then you should allow the person to exist. Wike, once he assists you and you don’t do his bidding, and you try to say I have an idea or you have a decision, he would go all out to announce you and advertise what he has done for you.

“For example, he gave N50million to the family of the late respected traditional ruler in Port Harcourt. He came on national TV to announce that he gave N50million to the family of that respected man, a former Minister of the Federal Republic and a respected traditional ruler. The holy book says whatever you do with your right hand, the left hand should not know.

“So, the truth of the matter is that God can assist you through anybody. But because I refused to support his presidential ambition, when he was helping me, I was qualified, when he was helping me, he felt I had the quality and credibility to be a governor.”


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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