1. NNAMDI KANU-LED IPOB PROVOKING ARMY TO KILL
The Presidency has stated that the Indigenous People of Biafra was deliberately provoking soldiers to commit acts of violence in order to draw sympathy from the international community. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who said this in a statement on Thursday, also blamed a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, for accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being a sectional leader.
The President’s spokesman said since the former minister was very active on social media, she should have been using her energy to condemn the IPOB leader but she chose to look the other way.
2. IPOB MEMBERS BURN ABA POLICE STATION
The Ariaria Police Station in Aba , the commercial hub of Abia State , was set ablaze by men, believed to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra on Thursday.
The incident occurred some hours before the Federal Government ordered the withdrawal of troops from major towns in Abia State, which have been under siege since Saturday when the Nigerian Army began its Operation Python Dance II .
The Abia State Police Public Relations Officer , Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the burning of the police station, adding that the IPOB members also injured a policeman. In the same vein, the irate mob made for the residence of the state Commissioner of Police , Mr. Adeleye Oyebade , in Umuahia , the state capital but were stopped by some policemen at the residence, who fired tear gas canisters to disperse the surging crowd.
3. EKWEREMADU, OTHER SOUTH-EAST LEADERS WADE INTO ABA CRISIS
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned “in strong terms” the military siege to the South-East geopolitical zone, stating that dialogue and inclusion are the best options in resolving the agitation in the region.
Ekweremadu, in a statement on Thursday, called on the people of the South-East to remain calm as he and other leaders of the region were engaging the Federal Government in discussions to ensure that the Operation Python Dance by the military in the zone was called off soonest. He assure the people that the Presidency and security agencies have been engaging meaningfully on the issue.
4. NIGERIAN ARMY FAULTS GOVERNOR IKPEAZU’S STATEMENT, BEGINS FULL OPERATION TODAY
The Nigerian Army says it will go ahead with its planned military operation in the South-east.
The army, in a statement issued at about 12:42 a.m on Friday, advised Nigerians to disregard the statement by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu which gave the impression that it was withdrawing its troops from the exercise codenamed “Operation Python Dance II.”
The army said the exercise will commence as scheduled and would run till the end of the year.
The army appealed to Nigerians to support the exercise which it said was part of its constitutional duties.
It promised that the troops would conduct themselves in the best professional manner in line with requirements of the Constitution.
5. MAMA TARABA APOLOGIZES TO APC FOR PREMATURE ENDORSEMENT OF ATIKU FOR PRESIDENT
Nigeria’s Minister for Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has apologized to the APC for endorsing Abubakar Atiku for President in 2019.
This is according to APC spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi.
Speaking after the minister’s meeting with the part on Thursday, he said Alhsasan has apologized to the party for her actions.
“When she came, we asked her to explain to us what truly transpired and in what context she said what she said and she did offer these explanations. Now, having offered her explanations, we acknowledged that as a member of this party, she is entitled to her opinion and she is entitled to her choice.
6. GOVERNOR LALONG IMPOSES INDEFINITE CURFEW IN PLATEAU
Rumours that the Hausa community in Jos, Plateau State, were planning a reprisal against Nigerians of South-eastern origin led to serious tension in the city and nearly crippled commercial activities throughout Thursday.
Refusing to take any chances, the situation compelled Simon Lalong, the state governor, to impose an indefinite dusk to dawn curfew on the Jos/Bukuru metropolis. The deployment of security personnel to all flash points within the metropolis has also been directed to ensure compliance with the curfew order and to avert any further breach of law and order.
The governor assured the citizens that the security and welfare, as the primary concern of government, was assured. He enjoined all citizens to go about their business with the assurance that their safety was guaranteed.
7. APC COMMITTEE ON RESTRUCTURING CALLS FOR MEMORANDA
The recently constituted committee by the All Progressives Congress on true federalism has called for submission of Memoranda from members of the public in pursuance of its mandate to review all ideas referred to as “Restructuring”.
Addressing , Secretary of the committee told newsmen in Abuja that 12 issues have been highlighted and will be addressed in form of consultations among Nigerians in different zones.
Issues to be discussed in town hall meetings at various levels include; creation and merger of states, Derivation principle, Devolution of power, Federating units and Revenue allocation.
8. MASSOB LEADER, UWAZURIKE, ASKS NNAMDI KANU TO SURRENDER
The leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Ralph Uwazurike, has said the activities of Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, negate the rule of engagement of the Biafra struggle.
Mr. Uwazurike expressed the view in Owerri on Thursday and added that the activities of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, could only lead to an unplanned war which was against the Biafra struggle.
He said the interest of the Biafra movement was to secure the interest, lives and property of Igbo people and not to start another war.
Mr. Uwazurike accused the federal government of popularising Mr. Kanu, adding that “if the government had ignored Mr. Kanu, the situation would not have escalated.’’
He attributed Mr. Kanu’s popularity to the relevance given to him by the federal government and called on all Igbo leaders to condemn the activities of IPOB as it had no agenda.
9. FG APPROVES FIRS RECRUITMENT OF 7, 500 GRADUATES AND 5, 000 NON-GRADUATES AS TAX LIASON OFFICERS
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has announced plans by Nigerian government to recruit 7,500 graduates as Community Tax Liaison Officers to raise tax awareness among citizens thereby increasing the number of tax payers.
Adeosun, along with the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr BabaTunde Fowler made this known at a joint media briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
This move according to Adeosun has become necessary owning to the very low number of persons captured in Nigeria’s Tax Database.
She said that through this initiative, the government expected to increase the number of taxpayers by 35 percent from 14 million to about 17 million in two years.
She, however, encouraged intelligent graduates interested in a career in tax administration to apply as the government planned to sponsor the recruits to become tax professionals.
10. COURT REMANDS 30 IPOB MEMBERS IN PRISON
A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt , Rivers State , on Thursday, remanded 30 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra in prison custody. The suspected IPOB members were arrested on Tuesday by the operatives of the Rivers State Police Command for allegedly engaging in violent acts that breached the peace in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Nine out of the 30 persons arraigned in court were accused of killing a police sergeant identified as Steven Daniel on Wednesday during the crisis at Oyigbo .
The court, however, did not take the plea of the accused persons as it declared lack of jurisdiction on the matter brought before it .
The Chief Magistrate , Amadi Amadi – Nna , further directed the court registrar to remit the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice and adjourned the matter indefinitely.