Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Monday, 14th September 2020
1. Presidency Replies Obasanjo, Says He Is ‘Nigeria’s Divider-In-Chief’
The Presidency has berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his Thursday’s comment on the state of the nation, describing him as “Nigeria’s Divider-in-Chief.”
Naija News recalls that Obasanjo had said on Thursday that Nigeria was slowly becoming a failed state and a basket case that urgently needs to be pulled from the brink of collapse.
Speaking while delivering a speech titled “Moving Nigeria away from tipping over” at a consultative dialogue in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Obasanjo said he had never seen Nigeria so divided, adding that many of the problems plaguing the country today were due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.
However, responding to the former President in a statement on Sunday titled “Obasanjo is Nigeria’s Divider-in-Chief”, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said with his comment which he described as unfair attacks on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and his regime, Obasanjo had descended from the lofty heights of a Commander-Chief.
2. Federal Government To Ban Alcohol Sale In Sachets, Polythene
The Federal Government through the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has indicated plans to completely phase out high concentration of alcohol in sachet and small Polyethylene Terephthalate and glass bottles in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the decision by the Federal Government to ban alcohol in sachets, polythene is contained in a statement by the Director-General of the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on Saturday titled: “NAFDAC cautions on alcohol abuse.”
3. Buhari Is Still Trying To Correct The Problems Obasanjo, Atiku Brought On Nigeria – APC
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has again accused the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of wasting Nigeria’s resources when they were in power.
The APC further stated that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and his Vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who ruled Nigeria for eight years did almost nothing to set the country on the path of growth and development but rather looted the nation’s resources in connivance with their political friends.
The APC stated this position in a statement on Sunday by Yekini Nabena, the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary where it called on Obasanjo to account for the $16billion his administration allegedly spent on the power sector without any result to show.
It also accused Atiku of privatizing many of the Nation’s assets by selling them off to his friends at ridiculously cheap prices.
The APC thereafter noted in its statement that the two former leaders have no moral right to write letters to the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari on how to run the affairs of Nigeria.
4. Falana Drags FG, Ganduje Govt To African Commission Over Death Sentence On Kano Singer
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has dragged the Federal government and Kano government led by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia over the death sentence on Kano singer Sharif Yahya Sharif.
Naija News reports that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria is asking the Commission to exercise its mandates and authority under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and pursuant to the commission’s order 100(1) of the commission’s Rules of Procedure, 2020.
In the petition dated 8 September 2020, Falana states: “I am writing to you on behalf of Sharif Yahya Sharif to ask the Commission to consider this request for provisional measures. The request is submitted in conjunction with our communication on behalf of Sharif Yahya Sharif convicted and sentenced to death for blasphemy in Kano State of Nigeria.”
5. AGF Malami Strips NBA of Major Powers
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has ‘weakened’ the powers of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) with the introduction of a new rule.
Naija News reports that in a new gazette, AGF Malami amended the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, removing the requirement for the NBA stamp and seal on court processes.
Recall that NBA membership was compulsory and the stamps and seals were sold at N4,000 for 72 pieces and were given upon payment of NBA dues.
A lawyer could not submit any document or letter to the court without the stamp.
With the new directive, the use of the stamp will no longer the needed to submit court processes.
Persons who are not members of the NBA, including non-lawyers are now empowered to submit court processes.
6. FG Conspiring With Private University Owners – ASUU
The Federal Government has been accused by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, of conspiring with owners of private universities to de-market public universities.
It added the conspiracy had occasioned the proliferation of private varsities and deliberate underfunding of public universities owned by Federal and State Governments.
The President of ASUU, Abiodun Ogunyemi, said this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital during a town and gown meeting with stakeholders on union’s ongoing strike action.
He said: “The issue is a calculated attempt to de-market public universities, by the owners of private universities together with Nigerians rulers.”
“There is also this attempt to underfund these public universities to make them surrender.”
7. Despite Meeting With Buhari Govt Health Workers Begin Strike
Health workers under the umbrella of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) will withdraw services from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020.
Recall that the Federal Government at a conciliatory meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Thursday had announced it had an agreement with the unions.
JOHESU leaders, at the end of the meeting which had Minister of State, Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of State, Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; JOHESU Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah, and other officials in attendance, were given Saturday 12, September 2020 to report back to the government team.
But in a statement on Sunday morning jointly signed by the leaders of various health unions in the sector, JOHESU said it would proceed with its planned strike following the inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
The union said it took the decision at the end of its expanded National Executive Council on Saturday.
8. NBA Chairman, Olumide Akpata Fumes As Malami Strips The Body Of Major Powers
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olumide Akpata has promised to engage the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abukakar Malami (SAN) over his recent decision to weaken the powers of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) with the introduction of a new rule.
According to Akpata, Malami doesn’t have the unilateral power to amend the 2007 Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners.
This he said in reaction to reports that in a new gazette marked S.I N0.15 of 2020 issued by AGF Malami and dated September 3, 2020, the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007 has been amended, removing the requirement for the NBA stamp and seal on court processes.
However, Akpata in a press release on Sunday, titled, “Statement by NBA President on the Purported Amendment to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007,” disagreed with the position of the AGF on the matter.
The NBA President added that such a decision to amend the LPC can only be taken by the General Council of the Bar.
9. Edo: I Sponsored Oshiomhole’s Election — Obaseki
The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki on Sunday noted that he sponsored the governorship election campaign of former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole.
The Edo State Governor stated this during a live debate between him and the governorship candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Obaseki in his statement claimed that Oshiomhole was broke as a former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress and couldn’t afford to sponsor his governorship campaign.
He further stated that he drew the blueprint used by the former Governor during his tenure, hence the reason the former governor could trust him to continue implementing the plan for the state.
10. Katsina State Govt Announces Decision On Reopening Of Universities, Other Tertiary Institutions
The Katsina State government has declared that tertiary institutions in the state will not be allowed to reopen yet so as not to further spread the coronavirus disease.
This was made known by the State Commissioner for Information, Abdulakarim Sirika, while briefing newsmen on the latest developments on the war against COVID-19.
He noted that though some states have announced reopening of schools at various levels, Katsina State will not be reopening schools just yet.
He said: ”The institutions have students from different parts of the country who may be returning with different COVID-19 status, so allowing them to return may escalate the situation. So for now they are not reopening.”