Press focuses on NADECO’s ‘Save our Souls’ letter to UN on Nigeria’s security crisis, others

The ‘Save our Souls' letter to the United Nations by the umbrella body of pro-democracy groups asking the international body…

The ‘Save our Souls’ letter to the United Nations by the umbrella body of pro-democracy groups asking the international body to prevent the collapse of the country is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Guardian reports that the umbrella body of pro-democracy groups in Nigeria, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), has formally written a ‘Save our Souls’ letter to the United Nations (UN), asking the international body to prevent the collapse of Nigeria.

The letter made available to the media, yesterday, and signed by NADECO’s General Secretary/Spokesman, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, was a reference to the one earlier written to President Muhammadu Buhari and entitled: ‘Re-Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari about the Unacceptable Deterioration of National Security and Political Stability Under Your Watch’.

It reads: “We, the National Democratic Coalition, on behalf of Nigeria write to formally request you to use your good offices to take immediate and concrete steps to halt the fast deterioration of national security and political stability in Nigeria.”

It states: “Nigeria’s current situation is so deplorable because of the imposed centralist and unitary 1999 Constitution, which was manufactured by a military clique and imposed upon us. Ethnic nationalities who were the building blocks upon which the British colonialist constructed Nigeria had clamoured, appealed and cautioned the sectional military wing ruling Nigeria (foisting former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan) as surrogates, for Nigeria to return to a federal constitution upon which Nigeria secured its independence in 1960 put their interventions had always been met with disdain and provocative responses.

Nigerians have never accepted the suspension, and abrogation of the negotiated Independence Constitution.”

The coalition told the international body that all ethnic nationalities, as contained in the attached open letter to President Buhari, could no longer accept to be treated as slaves and inferior citizens in this British contrived political space.

The newspaper says that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of calls for structuring as unacceptable and an attack on the people’s rights.

The party said: “As citizens of a democratic state, Nigerians have every right to demand constitutional restructuring as well as a democratic forum to deliberate on good governance and national cohesion.”

The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that such demands are neither synonymous nor contiguous to warfare.

It said: “It is appalling, and to say the least, despicable, that Mr. President and his party, the APC, which came to power in 2015 on the promise of restructuring, have not only reneged, in utter duplicity towards Nigerians but also turned around, six years after, to label restructuring as warfare.”

The party also noted that the quest for an efficient local government system as well as an effectual judiciary could only be achieved through a constitutional restructuring that directly confers and vests the required powers and control to them.

ThisDay reports that Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court in Abuja “to stop the federal government and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Muhammed from using their patently unlawful directive to all TV and radio stations not to use Twitter, and to delete their accounts as a pretext to harass, intimidate, suspend or impose criminal punishment on journalists and broadcast stations simply for using social media platforms.”

This is in reaction to the order by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) asking TV and radio stations to “suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately” after the social media giant was banned in the country for deleting tweets of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/496/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP is seeking “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr Lai Muhammed and any other persons from censoring, regulating, licensing and controlling the social media operations and contents by broadcast stations, and activities of social media service providers in Nigeria.”

In the suit, SERAP is also seeking “an order setting aside the directive by NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed asking broadcast stations to stop using Twitter, as it is unconstitutional, unlawful, inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

SERAP is arguing that “the government of President Buhari, the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed have consistently made policies and given directives to crack down on media freedom, and the rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression and access to information, and to impose crippling fines and other sanctions on broadcast stations without any legal basis whatsoever.”

The Punch says that the World Bank has said Nigeria is likely to make N462bn the electronic money transfer levy as a source of stable revenue in 2021.

EMT levy is a singular and one-off charge of N50 on electronic receipt or transfer of money deposited in any deposit money bank or financial institution on any type of account on sums of N10,000 or more.

The revenue derived from the EMT levy is shared based on derivation and distributed at 15 percent to the Federal Government and Federal Capital Territory, and 85 percent to the state governments.

The Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, Akpan Ekpo, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the levy on users of formal financial services was worrisome.

The Sun reports that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has disclosed that Nigeria earned $997.1 billion in 27 years (1990-2017) from the sale of crude oil.

Prorated over the 27-year period, which included the later years of military governments in Nigeria, the report indicated that the country earned an average of about $37 billion yearly from oil sales.

According to the OPEC report, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida, earned $50 billion from oil sales between 1990 and 1993 before the government ended.

Between 1993 and 1998, General Sani Abacha’s government which succeeded Babangida’s government, earned $64 billion while, while General Abdulsalami Abubakar who succeeded Abacha, earned $5.8 billion from oil sales within the one-year period that he was in charge of the country’s affairs.

The newspaper says that Nigeria’s economic landscape is set to witness a turnaround in some years’ time with the flag off of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited Train 7, a project that has been said to help propel Nigeria as a major gas exporter and a fully industrialised nation.

According to industry obsevers, the project will help Nigeria increase its number six global ranking in gas production and first in Africa with the recent Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 project.

The Train 7 Project, according to its promoters, will increase NLNG production by 35 percent and its competitiveness in the global LNG market, adding that the construction period after FID will last approximately five years with the first LNG rundown expected in 2024.

The decision allows the expansion to increase the capacity of NLNG’s six-train plant from the extant 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Tuesday at the flag-off ceremony of the NLNG Train 7, held in Bonny Island, Rivers State, said the project would attract $12 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and also earn Nigeria more dividends and revenues.

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