FEC Approves N654m To Monitor Illegal Frequencies In South East

 

The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N653,886,584 to procure and deploy a hybrid spectrum monitoring system that will cover the southern part of the country, most importantly the south-east.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Issa Pantami, disclosed this on Wednesday, at the end of the 18th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at State House in Abuja.

According to him, the investigation carried out in five geo-political zones, the north-east, north-west, north-central, south-west and south-south, revealed that out of the 320 frequencies discovered, 106 were illegal and based on the advice of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the illegal frequencies will be prosecuted.

 

 

Mr Pantami described the use of illegal frequencies in the country which according to him, has become very rampant, as worrisome.

He explained that the initial monitoring did not cover the southeastern part of the country, hence the need for the council’s approval.

South East Governors Ask Teachers To Undergo Compulsory COVID-19 Tests

A file photo of Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi

 

The governors of the southeast have asked teachers in the country to undergo compulsory COVID-19 test.

The Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, disclosed this at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital while briefing newsmen of the outcome of the virtual meeting of the forum on Sunday.

Umahi said the forum also reviewing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, adding that school infrastructures will be reviewed to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols pending when the Federal government decides on when it is safe to reopen schools.

While urging the Igbo people to continue to comply with the COVID-19 protocols, the governor said eastern states will commence COVID-19 testing on every household, targeting people of 65 years and above.

To Reopen Or Not

The South-East Governors’ decision comes as the debate on whether to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic continues.

On July 13, the federal government released guidelines for the safe reopening of school.

“Now is the time to plan and address the eventual safe reopening of schools and learning facilities,” Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said.

“As a responsible government, it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities. We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities.”

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, gives an update in Abuja on Monday, June 22, 2020.

 

However, schools have remained closed across the country as the pandemic rages on.

The federal government has relaxed restrictions to allow final year secondary school students prepare and sit for WAEC examinations, but many have voiced concerns on the health implications of such a move.

“For the avoidance of doubts, schools have not resumed,” Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said on July 2. “Only critical examination classes will be allowed to resume for those who need revision before examinations.

“As we have informed you, the Federal Ministry of Education will consult further with stakeholders before issuing guidelines that will lead to full resumption.

“We appeal to Nigerians to continue to show understanding and to ensure that their wards take full advantage of electronic platforms provided for learning.”

On Sunday, Nigeria reported 555 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the country’s total caseload past the 40,000-mark, according to the NCDC.

 

Nnamdi Kanu Calls Off IPOB Election Boycott In Southeast

 

A pro-Biafran separatist group on Friday said it had lifted its call for a boycott of Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary elections this weekend.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wants independence for the Igbo people who are in the majority in southeast Nigeria and had urged its supporters not to vote on Saturday.

IPOB’s self-styled “supreme leader”, former London estate agent Nnamdi Kanu, has said the action was part of a wider call for a referendum on sovereignty.

But he tweeted late on Thursday that the boycott was lifted as all the group’s “preconditions and terms have been met, signed, sealed and delivered”.

Kanu, who is in his 40s, disappeared after an army raid on his home in Umuahia in September 2017. He re-emerged in Israel in October last year and is now in Britain.

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The IPOB high command confirmed the decision in a statement on Friday, but neither it nor Kanu gave further details, although it promised to publish more details at a later date.

That will likely fuel speculation of a deal between the group and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, who stood to lose out if voters stayed at home.

The five states in southeast Nigeria have just over 10 million registered voters and have long been a stronghold for the PDP.

The party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has chosen an Igbo politician, Peter Obi, as his running mate.

Abubakar, a former vice-president, has also said he is in favour of restructuring Nigeria’s federal system, by devolving more power from the centre.

The southeast has long complained it has been marginalised by successive governments and military regimes since the end of the civil war in 1970.

The conflict, which killed more than one million people, started after a unilateral declaration of an independent republic of Biafra in 1967.

No Igbo politician has held high office since 1983, when Alex Ekwueme was Shehu Shagari’s vice-president.

Shagari and Ekwueme were ousted in a coup led by army general Muhammadu Buhari, who has been civilian president since 2015.

Southeast Governors Meet In Enugu

Governors of the Southeast states and lawmakers in the Federal and State Houses of Assembly are currently meeting in Enugu, the Enugu state capital.

The meeting which is holding at the Enugu State Government House, also has the President General of the Ohaneze Indigbo, Chief John Nwodo, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Anambra Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke in attendance.

This is the first meeting of the southeast leaders since they announced the proscription of the activities of IPOB on September 15, 2017.

Today’s talks are expected to centre on the IPOB issues, their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this month, as well as the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November the 18th.

 

PHOTOS: Southeast Governors Forum Gets New Executives

The Southeast Governors Forum has sworn in executives into the forum.

The executives include Prof Otuanya Simon as Director General of the Forum,  Dr. Udah Michael Ikechukwu as Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Olandu as Director Finance and Administration, Engr. Chibuke Amechi as Director of Projects.

Earthquake Leaves At Least 21 Dead In Central Italy

earthquakeAt least 21 people including children have died in Central Italy after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 76 kilometre, Southeast of the city of Perugia.

In Rome, reports say some buildings shook for 20 seconds and a family of four were found under rubble in the town of Accumoli. Several people remain trapped under the rubble.

“One person was pulled out of the rubble during the night,” said Mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci.
“There is a family of four under a collapsed house and sadly there are two small children among them.”

Some of the worst damage was in the town of Amatrice, where several people died and rescue efforts were under way to find survivors.

“The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble. There’s been a landslide and a bridge might collapse,” Mayor of Amatruice, Sergio Perozzi told BBC.

Italy’s civil protection has described the earthquake as “severe” and the united states geological survey also predicted that the damage could be significant, based on data from previous quakes.

In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the Aquila region, which was also felt in the Italian capital, left more than 300 dead.

APC Assures Nigerians Of Productive Leadership

APC-members organise prayer in kadunaThe National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has assured Nigerians that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would live up to expectations during the first 100 days in office.

Mr Oyegun, who was represented by National Vice Chairman of the APC in Southeast, Mr Emma Enukwu stated this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, during a south-east Solidarity Rally organised in honour of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

He insisted that the results generated from the south-east region during the last Presidential elections were not the true reflections and wishes of the people of the south-east, saying that the APC government will always ensure free and fair elections, portraying the wishes of the masses.

While addressing the crowd, the Ebonyi State Chairman of the party, Eze Nwachukwu, also commended the national and south-east leaders of the APC for their quest to change Nigeria.

Other National Officers, who spoke to Channels Television, said most of the people in the south-east do not believe in the course of the APC before now. It is obvious that with the event, the entire region has defected to the party, they said.

The event was graced by former Governor of old Abia State, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the National Organising Secretary of the party, Senator Osita Izunaso, National Auditor of the party, Chief George Moghalu and the Deputy National Financial Secretary,  Sunday Chukwu, amongst others.

At the event, new members of the party that defected from other political parties in the state were welcomed.

Government Demolishes Properties Of Suspected Kingpin In Umuahia

The Abia state government has demolished two houses in Umuahia owned by Olisagbo Ifedike, a suspected kidnap kingpin, an indigene of Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government area, Anambra state.

Mr. Ifedike popularly called ‘Ofe-Akwu’ was arrested in 2012 by a team of anti-terrorist squad at Enugu in connection with a series of kidnapping and armed robbery cases in the southeast.

The two residences which allegedly served as hideouts include a resort (akoto resort located at ohobe-afara) and a private home at agbama, all in Umuahia.

The state government has also declared its readiness to confiscate any other landed property discovered to be owned by the suspected criminal.

Special Adviser to Abia State Governor on Task Force and Allied Matters, Retired Captain. Awa Agwu alongside heavily armed security operatives visited the site of demolition.

Retired Captain Agwu announced that the demolition exercise had the approval of the government and is in line with the anti-terrorist/ kidnap law as amended by the State House of Assembly.

No items were recovered as it was alleged that the suspect’s wife has removed them.