Why I Stand With Buhari By Femi Adesina

These are very difficult times in our country. Sad, mournful and dolorous times, as the New Year opened with killings in Rivers, Kaduna, Taraba, and Benue states, among others. Of course, there had been gruesome carnage on the Mambilla plateau mid last year, and bloodletting in Numan, Adamawa State, as well as in other places. Hell suddenly seemed to have enlarged itself against Nigeria. Sincere condolences to those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones.

But instead of finding solutions, and joining to chart the way forward, some people are making political capital out of the killings. They are trying to use the orgy of bloodshed to advance their political interests, wanting to make it appear that it is a failure of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Faults are thick where love is thin. There is prejudice in Nigeria. Plenty. There is insularity, in prodigious quantity. There is animus, antipathy against anyone that is not of your ethnic or religious stock, or that belongs to a different political orientation or persuasion. If you meet him, kill him, if you can’t catch him, poison his footsteps, seems to be the singsong among some people. And as the build up to general elections next year gathers momentum, matters are made worse. Everything must be politicized, including wanton killings. There must be spurious handshakes across the Niger, and across the Benue, all for political gains.

But I stand with Buhari, and will always do. Why won’t you? Your snout is in the honeypot, licking the nectars of office, some cynics would say. Really? My bank balances do not indicate so. It is not just about money. It is about conviction. It is about believing in a man who can bring enduring change to our country, if we allow God to have His way through him.
Standing with Buhari through thick and thin is not about money, or the spoils of office, which are not even available in these lean times. In or out of my present position, I stand with Buhari. Sir Walter Scott wrote: “Other people’s resolutions may fluctuate on the wild and changeful billows of human opinion. Ours, now and forever, are anchored on the Rock of Ages.” In or out of government, I stand with Buhari. Why? You will get to know shortly.

There is strident attempt to defame, demean and de-market the Buhari government today. Who are those behind it? The crooks, thieves, freeloaders, who want business as usual. They hate probity. Their souls abhor accountability. They prefer the plunder of the past years, and can’t wait to see that epoch return. They engage in all sorts of misinformation and disinformation. Hate speeches. Fake news. Under us, you had leeks, onions and garlic to eat. You were fed manna till you wanted no more. When you were tired of the fluffy stuff, we gave you meat, you gorged yourself so much, till meat began to come out of your noses. They wouldn’t tell you about what William Shakespeare calls “the goodly apple, but rotten at the cheek.”

They won’t tell you about humongous amounts of money made from oil, which stood at over $100 dollars per barrel for about six years, and which they looted to the last cent. Foreign reserves; depleted. Excess Crude Account; looted. Federation Account; plundered. They turned the country to a wasteland, leaving an economy primed for recession. But deftly and sure-footed, the Buhari administration is building a new foundation for the economy, erecting an edifice that will stand the test of time, not a bubble that collapses with just a pinprick, not a will-o-the-wisp that vanishes in the midday sun.

That is why I stand with Buhari, and have stood with him since he was a military leader in the 1980s. I can trust this President. I can go to bed, knowing that my leader is not striking deals to fleece the country in the dead of night. I can trust that every money that comes into the coffers of Nigeria, will be used for the good of Nigerians. Am I saying it is a perfect administration? Such has not been forged from the smithy of the divine powers.

Every human enterprise will have its shortcomings, but on Buhari I still stand. I stand with him, and by him, any day.

Some people ask themselves: can we afford to be outside government for another four years from 2019? We would be dead! No access to the public treasury, which we know how well to abuse and plunder? To ravage and savage. They have spat into the sky, and collected the spittle with their faces. Rather than let Buhari be, we would employ all the tricks in the books. Defame, demean, de-market him. Is he not Fulani? He is supporting herdsmen causing murder and mayhem round the country. Trumpet it from the rooftops, even without a scintilla of evidence. He is sectional, and bent on Islamizing the country. He is fighting a one sided anti-corruption war. His war against insurgency is a fluke, not winnable.

They refuse to see massive investments in infrastructure, which would burst into full bloom in another year or two. Roads, rail, power. They refuse to see the rebounding economy, strides in agriculture and mining, all with good auguries for the future. They refuse to acknowledge the stock market, which recently recorded N15.78 trillion, the highest in the history of the country. What of N1.3 trillion spent on capital projects in 2016? And almost the same amount for 2017? No, they rather imagine how much of that amount they would have pocketed if they were in power, living in obscene luxury, while the rest of the country went to hell, if it wanted. They refuse to see the good things happening to the country. And none is as blind as those who deliberately refuse to see. All these and more are the reasons I stand with Buhari, and will always do. So that Nigeria can have a future and a hope. Our own Canaan, flowing with milk and honey.

After primitive fury was unleashed in Benue, and about 73 people were left dead, a sitting President eyeing reelection could also play politics with it, visiting and muttering the right words to impress the people. Nothing wrong. But for President Buhari, action speaks louder than words. Action stations, he told the security agencies. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations was first despatched, then the Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police himself, and then the Nigerian Army. Consultations were held with the governor of the state, with Benue elders, and now, a committee headed by the Vice President, made up of nine governors, has been set up to proffer solutions to farmers/herdsmen clashes. Action truly speaks louder than words.

President Buhari has not thrown his hat officially into the ring for a second term in office. But they are in mortal fear of him running. Therefore, they do all they can to dissuade him. Malign him, paint him black, devalue him before the electorate. But they don’t know that there are many devices in the hearts of men, but only the counsel of God shall stand. If God has ordained President Buhari to be in power beyond 2019, human effort to stop it can only end in futility.

I stand with Buhari, because it is solid ground for Nigeria. All other ground I see, at least for now, is sinking sand. For us, for our children, for generations yet unborn, Buhari is engendering a new country, whose builder and maker is God. Let the wailers wail; endlessly. Let the heathens rage; till they render themselves hoarse. Let them throw even the kitchen sink at him, they did worse in the build up to 2015. I stand with Buhari. I know his heart for Nigeria, and for Nigerians. Let people shed their prejudices. Let them eschew hate, and purge themselves of all malice. The future can only then be written in gold.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

Electricity From Wind, Solar Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel

New onshore wind and solar energy projects are set to deliver electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels plants, with other green technologies also rapidly gaining a cost advantage over dirty fuels, a report published Saturday said.

According to a new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), within two years “all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range, with most at the lower end or undercutting fossil fuels”.

It expects renewables will cost between three and 10 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2020, while the current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges from five to 17 US cents per kWh.

“This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm,” said IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Amin, in a statement.

“Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now — overwhelmingly — a smart economic one,” he added.

Continued technological advancements are not the only factor helping drive down prices. The report found that the market was becoming more competitive and a number of experienced project developers had emerged in the sector.

The best onshore wind and solar PV projects are expected to deliver electricity for three US cents or less by next year.

But onshore wind and solar are not the only sectors becoming more competitive rapidly. The study found that new bioenergy and geothermal projects commissioned in 2017 had global weighted average costs of around seven US cents per kWh.

IRENA said auction results suggest that two other technologies –concentrating solar power (CSP) and offshore wind — will provide electricity for between 6-10 US cents per kWh by 2020.

“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system,” said Amin.

The report was released on the first day of the eighth assembly of IRENA, which aims to be a global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by its 154 member countries.

I’m Still In Race For Presidency- Fayose

Despite the fact that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party has zoned the presidential ticket foe Elections 2019 to the North, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that he is still in the race for the 2019 presidential election.

Speaking during an interactive session with teachers in public primary and secondary schools at the Government House in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said, “I am still in the presidential race. I am only waiting for the time the Ekiti governorship election will hold so I can have the time.

“Though I am making contacts and I am reaching out to the people that matter across the country, I have no role to play, only the NWC will present the delegates’ lists for them to elect the candidate. So, I won’t interfere despite my support for Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

“I have no regret supporting Olusola. If it were those people I had supported, they won’t be abusing me. But they remain our brothers and sisters and we are going to put our house in order at the right time so that we can be on the same page.”

Fayose appealed to the teachers to support Olusola the way they supported him in the June 21, 2014 governorship election, where he defeated Fayemi.

On the agitations of some aggrieved PDP aspirants that Fayose should be prevented from interfering with the primary, the governor gave an assurance that the state had no role to play in the primary election, saying it was the prerogative of the Chief Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee.

Some aggrieved PDP aspirants such as a former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senator Biodun Olujimi, Owoseeni Ajayi and Amb Dare Bejide, had at a joint press conference on Monday advised Secondus to stop Fayose from playing any role in the primary.

The PDP has battled a series of internal fightings which political analysts suggest has weakened the party’s impact as a worth opposition and also dimmed its chances at the next polls.

Nigeria Records 140m Phone Subscriptions In Third Quarter

Nigeria recorded a total of 140 million active voice subscriptions and 93.26 million active Internet subscriptions in the third quarter of 2017.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said this in a report on “Telecoms Data: Active Voice and Internet per State, Porting and Tariff Information for the Third Quarter of 2017’’ posted on its website.

The bureau said that total active voice subscriptions fell by 8.73 per cent from third quarter 2016, and by 2.21 per cent from second quarter of 2017.

It, however, stated that total active internet subscriptions increased by 1.22 per cent from third quarter 2016 and declined by 0.55 per cent from second quarter, 2017.

According to the report, both voice and internet communication subscriptions in third quarter, 2017 were dominated by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

Meanwhile, the report stated that the four largest voice communication providers in the third quarter were Airtel Nigeria, 9mobile, Globacom Limited and MTN Nigeria Communications.

According to the report, the providers’ contributions are 24.75 per cent, 12.30 per cent, 27.70 per cent and 35.96 per cent of the total telecom communication subscriptions respectively.

It said that the top four specialised in GSM, while Globacom Limited also hold 0.01 per cent of the total active voice subscriptions in the form of Fixed/Fixed Wireless Telecommunication.

By the end of the third quarter, the report indicated that Southwestern and North central states recorded higher than average number of voice and internet subscriptions than other states in the country.

By the end of the third quarter, the report stated that Southern and Southwestern states recorded the highest active voice subscriptions.

It said that Lagos, Ogun and Oyo, the top three states recorded altogether 26.10 per cent of the total voice subscription of the country.

The report said that Lagos led in telecommunication usage with 20.39 million active voice subscriptions and 20.12 million GSM users by the end of the third quarter, equaling to 14.58 per cent of the total nationwide subscriptions.

It stated that FCT, Kano and Kaduna established another cluster of heavy voice subscription, each of which reported more than six million active voice subscriptions in the quarter under review.

In addition, the report said that most states recorded negative growths in active voice subscriptions in the third quarter on both year-to-year and quarter to quarter basis.

It stated that FCT, Edo, Adamawa, Ondo, Lagos and Oyo were the only states which recorded positive year-on-year growths in active voice subscriptions in the quarter under review.

VON

Neymar May Make £357m Move To Real Madrif

Neymar could be set to smash his own world-record transfer fee and make a sensational move to Real Madrid.

The former Barcelona star became the most expensive footballer in history when he moved to PSG for £198million in August.

But after less than six months in France, it appears the Brazilian is already eyeing his next big transfer, according to reports in Spain.

Marca’s front page yesterday claims the 25-year-old is the Galactico ‘most craved’ at the Spanish giants, but would cost an eye-watering £357m.

Neymar is believed to want the move, the Brazilian’s camp giving signals of his desire to play at the Bernabeu one day despite his Barcelona background.

The Spanish newspaper claims the Galactico policy is one they are keen to revive, having not made such a purchase since the acquisition of James Rodriguez in 2014.

With Real trailing Barcelona by 16 points in La Liga, club president Florentino Perez is keen to make a statement in the transfer market.

Marca claim that Madrid have also considered other options, including Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Timo Werner, but have made Neymar the priority.

They are determined not to go behind the backs of PSG, and will not pursue a move without the prior knowledge of the Parisian club.

Ikpeazu Rejects Cattle Colony Plan For Herdsmen In Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected plans by the federal government to establish “cattle colonies” for Fulani Herdsmen and their cows in Abia State saying that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani herdsman as cattle colony.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, governor Ikpeazu has indicated that Abia state will not accept that any of its land will be used to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen.

“We reject such plan . We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land. “Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.

He added that “such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not a party to it.”, the press release concluded.

Buhari’s Campaign For 2019 At This Time Is Political Sacrilege

Senator Shehu Sani, representative of Kaduna Central, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to forget his ambition of running for a second term next year and address the security situation of the nation and other national challenges.

The senator said: “It is wrong to be talking of the re-election of Buhari as President when hundreds of lives are being lost and people are being massacred in different parts of the country.

“In time of bloodshed like this, the issue should be how to come together and address the problem. But those marketing the President at a time of this bloodshed are like people dancing on the graves of Nigerians.

“Campaigning for Buhari for next year’s election when people are being killed, when orphans and widows are being produced as a result of the tragedy of these circumstances and people are being kidnapped, I think amounts to political sacrilege.

“It is an insult on the conscience of Nigerians and it is an insult on the moral integrity of Nigerians for anybody to ignore what is happening and simply walk to the President and tell him that what is important at this material time is his re-election campaign for next year’s election…

“If we allow this trend to continue, it would threaten the peace and unity of this country.

“I advise people advising the President and strategising for him to contest the elections to spare him some time, advise him well and provide a solid strategy to end the carnage and atrocities that is going on in the country today.

“Human life is more important than politics, because you cannot preside over dead people. The images we see in both social and traditional media is heart-rending and despicable.

“I can tell you that over a year ago, the President was in Zamfara State in military fatigue to address the problem of banditry and mass killing. The President should be seen in any part of the country where such violence occurs.

“The President must visit Southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari, Taraba, Benue, Rivers and Adamawa states. It gives people some hope that their Commander-in-Chief is determined and committed to defend and protect them.”

The Benue Killings: Matters Arising By Dan Agbese

There has been a steady outpouring of grief, anger and condemnation in Benue State over the latest killings by Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo local government areas. For tens of families in those areas, the new year did not bring joy and happiness. It brought death, grief and loss. Official figures of the dead? 71 men, women and children who had no quarrel with these herdsmen and in no way provoked them into turning them into mere disembodied statistics.
I offer the state governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, my condolence. Their death diminishes all of us who are indigenes of the state. It is right for all those who come from that sad state to express our feelings over the attempts by the herdsmen to turn Benue, and indeed, three other states in the Middle Belt zone into killing fields. It is unacceptable. We are right to say so loud and clear.

Something appears to be stirring post these senseless killings. The minders of our state appear to have finally woken up to the real security challenges of enemies without borders menacing our state. The reaction this time is different from the indifference shown by the authorities when the herdsmen, not once but several times and with impunity, levelled several villages in Agatu Local Government Area, also in the state, in 2015 and 2016. We still do not know how many were killed in those attacks. Let us not pretend that the minders of our state failed to rise up to that challenge then. Guma and Logo are sad reminders of a simple fact: evil earns its capacity to spread when it is treated like a minor boil on the nose of the unfortunate.

Still, I welcome the outpouring of anger and condemnation by our big men. I can see that the reaction to such incidents has moved from the politically correct template of mere condemnation couched in jaded words by the important people in both the state and the nation at large into what I see as perhaps a move to address this growing problem and free the state and the nation from being hostages to these mindless killings and killers.

On October 30 last year, the former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, released bone chilling statistics on the killings and the destruction by the Fulani herdsmen in four states – Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Benue – in 2016. In only one year, according to the general, Fulani herdsmen killed 2,500 people and displaced 62,000 people in the four states. The states lost $13.7 billion and 47 per reduction in their internally generated revenue.

Since leaving office in a blaze of glory in 1999, Abubakar has become a tireless ambassador for peace in and outside the country. In releasing the statistics, he warned that the killings were spreading beyond the four states. What he did, and rightly so, was to confront the Nigerian state with the fact that its lethargy would make matters worse, much worse, and urged it to wake up. It seems to me that his timely warning appears to have been ignored. The consequence is that the killings are going on and have spread to Adamawa, Taraba and even Imo states.

Abubakar described these killings as clashes. In my reaction to his timely warning in my column for this newspaper, titled: Fulani herdsmen? The grim statistics, I pointed out that the killings did not and do not result from clashes between the herdsmen and the villagers because “there is no evidence that those attacked ever faced the attackers or that they had a chance to fight back. These attacks and killings are unprovoked and the attackers choose where and when to attack.” I also pointed out that “The real shock is not that these killings, maiming and displacements go on with impunity but that the federal government seems to be doing Rip Van Winkle in the face this critical national challenge.”

In these sad moments, it is naïve not to expect our people who believe they must be heard to bottle their emotions. A crisis is easy to be exploited and manipulated for political gains. It is in the nature of human societies. We must be careful not to reap such bountiful political harvests at the expense of the people. But make no mistake: when the emotions are spent and the dead are buried, the big people would once more padlock their lips and remain blind to, and silent on, issues that agitate us. Guma and Logo would recede into our collective memories overflowing with the sad victims of similar incidents in and outside the state.

Those who are calling on the president to resign are merely riding the tide of public emotion. The president has nothing to gain from the killings in Benue and other states. It is not right or fair to accuse him of inaction because he, like the herdsmen, is a Fulani. The tribalisation of a crisis such as this merely beclouds of our thinking and our sense of fairness and proportion. Let us face the fact and the fact is that the primary responsibility for the security of the state and its people lies squarely on the shoulders of Ortom, the state governor. Security is the number constitutional duty placed on the shoulders of the president and the state governors.

Consider the ham-handed official police reaction to the killings in Guma and Logo in early January. They might have been forgotten if the killers had not returned a few days later to Logo. The inspector general of police attributed the first wave of killings to communal clashes in those areas. I think he misadvised himself and his statement in the heat of the crisis was equally callous and ill-timed. I can find no where in the laws of our land where the police are authorised to treat communal crises with insouciance or levity. Perhaps, this mind set encouraged the killers to return.

Why did the state and the police fail to rise up to the immediate challenges of securing the affected local government areas? Interestingly, the Benue State police command informed the public they had arrested seven of the herdsmen involved in the new year attacks. Were they Tiv men in herdsmen’s clothing? It is such a great pity that the police chose to be mealy-mouthed about this grave problem.

The current killings throw up once more one of the fundamental problems with the operation of our military federalism. As horrendous as the Benue killings are, they are in no way worse than those in Borno and Yobe since 2009. Or worse than those in Adamawa and Plateau states. Whether they are perpetrated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen or hired killers, these killings point to an uncomfortable but inescapable fact: our security system has failed us. This is not really about Benue. It is about the inability of the Nigerian state and the constituent units of the federation to make us safe in our own country. No one should take this lightly because the challenges posed by these pockets of crises are nasty and real; intractable even.

We need to take two urgent steps in this regard. The first is to take another look at the nature and the practice of our security system. Security is not entirely the responsibility of the Federal Government. It is a shared responsibility between it and the state governments. The states cannot effectively discharge this responsibility with our current single federal police force. Experience has amply demonstrated that it is not working or working satisfactorily. It argues for a state police.

Despite the generous security votes for which they are accountable to no one, the state governors do not feel sufficiently responsible for security in their various domains where most of them choose to enjoy privileges without responsibilities; what the late Churchill called the province of harlots. They throw it back on the Federal Government. In their failure they try to score cheap political points by making the president the scapegoat every time there is a security breach resulting in death and destruction.

I am afraid this would not wash. So, the second point is to hold the state governors primarily and unequivocally responsible for security in their domains. Their failure to do what they ought to do with their security votes and the security outfits available to them to make their states and their people fully secure and protected should attract constitutional sanctions. The Nigerian state ought not be complicit, by default, in the cheapening of the lives of its citizens. No band of killers can ever boast of the security arsenal in the custody of the Nigerian state.
Why do we feel so helpless?

Nigeria Navy Shakes Up Commands

The Nigeria Navy (NN) has embarked on a reorganisation that caused appointments and re-appointments of officers for effective and efficient service delivery.

The Acting Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Navy Capt. Suleman Dahun, said on Friday in Abuja that appointed included three new Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs).

The new FOCs are Rear Adm. Akinjide Akinrinade for the Logistics Command, Oghara, Delta; Rear Adm. Matthew Emuekpere for the Eastern Naval Command, Calabar, Cross River; and Rear Adm. Saleh Usman who took over at the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

The acting director added that the appointment also affected 27 other Rear Admirals.

“These are: Rear Adm. Begroy Ibe-Enwo who is reappointed at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja as the Chief of Naval Transformation, Rear Adm. Victor Adedipe is appointed Director of Plans at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“While Rear Adm. Peter Onaji is taking over as the Chief of Naval Safety and Standard at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja and Rear Adm. Dogara Albehu is now the Director of Training at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“Rear Adm. Micheal Ebe is assigned the Director of Plans, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, while Rear Adm. Aliyu Lawal is taking over as Director Equipment Standardisation and Harmonisation, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“Others are Rear Adm. Uchenna Onyia who is now the Director of Administration at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja and Rear Adm. David Adeniran is reappointed the Commander Naval Drafting, Apapa, Lagos State,” he said

As well as Rear Adm.Tanko Dakwat who is now the Admiral Superintendent Naval Ordinance Depot, Lagos State, Rear Adm. Ahamefule Eluwa was reappointed Moderator at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau.

He said further that the appointment also affected Rear Adm. Dolapo Kolawole, as the Director of Policy at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Mike Okonkwo as the Chief Staff Officer at the Logistics Command Headquarters, Oghara, Delta.

Others are: Rear Adm. Shuwa Mohammed as the new Director of Armament Supplies, Naval Headquarters, while Rear Adm. Segun Adebari is the new Group Managing Director at the Navy Holding Ltd., Abuja.

As well as Rear Adm. Abubakar Al-Hassan as the Director of Transformation at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Obed Ngalabak as the Admiral Superintendent Naval Doctrine and Assessment Centre, Lagos State.

Others are: Rear Adm. Abraham Adaji who was reappointed Director of Operations at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Jatau Luka as the new Chief Staff Officer at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters.

While Rear Adm. Ibikunle Olaiya was reappointed as the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“The appointment also include: Rear Adm. Kamarudeen Lawal who is appointed the Director of Transformation at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Rear Adm. Abdullahi Adamu as the Director of Combat Physical Training, Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“While Rear Adm. Oladele Daji who is redeployed to the Western Naval Command Headquarters, Lagos State, as the Chief Staff Officer. Rear Adm. Maurice Eno as Director of Research and Development at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“Others are: Rear Adm. Saidu Garba now the Director of Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, as well as Rear Adm. Barabutemegha Gbassa as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Eastern Fleet, Calabar, Cross River.

“As well as Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim now the Director of Manning at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, while Rear Adm. Muhammad Nagenu as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Central Fleet, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,” Dahun said.

The acting director said further that the exercise also saw the redeployment of 95 Commodores to various commands, units, and establishments.

NAN

APC Youths Want Private Schools Banned

The National Youths Caucus of All Progressive Congress (APC), Northwest Zone, on Friday in Kaduna canvassed for total ban on the operations of private schools in the country.

The caucus which held a rally in support of ongoing reforms in the education sector in Kaduna State said the measure was necessary to save public schools from total collapse.

Malam Isiyaku Sarkin Pawa, Secretary of the caucus, said Nigeria must take steps to salvage the education sector from its present poor state in order to build a prosperous and stable nation.

“In the past, everyone attend public schools irrespective of their parents’ status in the society, but because of the establishment of private schools, all public schools have been neglected.’’

He added that public schools which used to be for all classes of people have now become only for the poor, thus encouraging segregation in access to educational opportunities between children of the rich and poor.

“Public schools performance is not too good, that is why we are supporting the governor’s reforms in the education sector,” the secretary added.

Jafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who received the group on behalf of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, explained that the reform was not politically motivated but for the benefit of the future generation.

“The state government has done a lot towards improving the education sector, there is no going back on the disengagement of unqualified teachers, instead we will improve on the quality of teachers and education in general,” he said.

He assured that the government would continue to do the right thing in spite of the challenges being faced.

NAN

China Breaks Record With World’s Longest Bridge

China said it has completed the major work of the world’s longest sea bridge on schedule, after its lighting system was installed and tested.

It took six years preparation, and eight years to build the 55-kilometre-long bridge linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao.

Major work on the bridge consisted of a 22.9-kilometre-long main bridge, a 6.7-kilometre-long tunnel and an artificial island off the bridge, which is considered the most technically demanding part of the whole construction.

In the next few weeks, engineers and constructors will test the coordination of the bridge’s various systems and equipment, and proceed with inspection and cleaning work, said Zhang Jinwen, project director with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Authority.

“The bridge will be put into trial operation after its port project is completed and taken over by customs, inspection and quarantine, and border control authorities,” Zhang said.

In the past 14 years, the regional economy and transport network have undergone tremendous changes, leading authorities to re-assess the utilization rate of the bridge, said Su Yi, assistant to the chief of the HZMB Authority.

But Su dismissed worries that the bridge would not have enough traffic, saying, “we have full confidence for the future.”

“We have a whole toolbox of policies at our disposal,” Su said. “It is like playing cards. We can adjust our moves accordingly.”

The bridge will slash travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes, further integrating cities in the Pearl River Delta.

Source: Xinhua