Press zooms in on Remembrance Day in South-eastern states, others

The Remembrance Day observed in the five Southeastern states of Nigeria to honour millions of people killed in the Nigeria-Biafra…

The Remembrance Day observed in the five Southeastern states of Nigeria to honour millions of people killed in the Nigeria-Biafra war and the call by the leaders of major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria on President Buhari to wake up to his responsibilities, warning that the nation is currently on the precipice are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that it was a ‘tale of two worlds’ in yesterday’s Remembrance Day observed in the five Southeastern states – Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo – and in the United States of America.

While U.S. President Joe Biden saluted the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in memory of its fallen service members at the National Cemetery, streets in Southeast Nigeria were deserted as the former separatist region commemorated the death of over one million people who died in the Biafra war half a century ago.

Markets and roads were empty in the major cities of Aba, Owerri and Awka, heart of the former ‘Republic of Biafra’, in a renewed push by the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to remember the war victims and heroes with a strict order for people to remain indoors yesterday.

In Imo, economic and social activities in all the 27 local councils suffered a serious setback as everyone remained indoors. Apart from those who opted to respect IPOB’s ‘sit-at-home’ order, many others stayed away for fear of being arrested by security personnel, who had been deployed to keep the peace after Sunday’s gruesome murder of ex-presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak.

The roads were deserted, markets were closed and public transport services were withdrawn by operators. Some school owners announced compulsory mid-term holiday to enable pupils remain at home with their parents.

The Vanguard says that leaders of major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up to his responsibilities, warning that the nation is currently on the precipice.

While the Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, through its National Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, called for total overhaul of the present 1999 constitution, which he said was “tilted in favour of the North against the South”, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, through its President General, Prof. George Obiozor, said there was need to re-negotiate Nigeria’s unity.

The two regional groups tabled their grievances and also proffered solutions to some of the existential problems facing the nation, at an event, tagged “Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-Ethnic Peace Dialogue”, organised by Youths Off The Streets Initiative, YOTSI.

In his presentation at the event, Afenifere leader, Adebanjo lamented that the country is currently faced with critical threats of imminent second civil war and forcible political break-up.

ThisDay reports that the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, yesterday appealed to editors not to join in beating drums of war for the breakup of the country.

Declaring open the 2021 Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Kano, the governor said some media organisations in recent times had crossed redlines, by threatening the nation’s unity, harmony and integration through their reportage.

He said: “It is very important at this time that we should use the media for the promotion of peace and stability and change the viewpoints that could alter public views and sentiment toward a more peaceful resolution of our multifaceted current crises.

“If and only if we as a nation are interested in peace and harmony, we must reject hate propaganda machinery. In the main, this is a time editors should be conflict-sensitive about our nation.

“In other words, I have a feeling that the crossing of redlines by some media organisations in recent times has impacted on the nation’s unity, harmony and integration.

“Our brave, collective pursuit in uniting this nation, underscores the fact that for as long as we have a common purpose, we will find no obstacle big enough to stop us from marching on. The media and particularly our gatekeepers have a role to play in this regard.”

The Punch says that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said crude oil export proceeds plunged by 98 per cent in April, compared to March.

The NNPC said in a report that the total revenue from crude oil exports in April fell to N723m from the N35.72bn generated in March.

“No remittance to Federation Account in April for May 2021 FAAC due to recorded value shortfall resulting from difference between the landing cost and ex-coastal price of Premium Motor Spirit recorded in March 2021,” it said.

The corporation said it lifted 7.62 billion barrels of crude oil in March, compared to 10.79 billion in February, and exported 66.67 million barrels. It said the country maintained its 1.52 million barrels per day production quota as agreed during the previous meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Domestic gas receipts for the month amounted to N5.13bn as oil and gas revenues totalled N156.37bn, a reduction of 30.38 per cent from March revenues.

“Feedstock valued at $54.6m was sold to the Nigeria LNG Limited during the period out of which $52.4m was received during the month, the difference being MCA obligations, gas reconciliation and credit notes,” the NNPC said.

The Sun says that the Executive Vice Chairman, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, on Monday disclosed that the number of clusters of access gaps has been reduced to 114 from 217, in the Commission’s efforts to ensure that more Nigerians are digitally included in the ICT ecosystem.

He revealed that Nigeria’s telecoms sector had reached basic internet subscription of 154 million; over 87 million broadband subscriptions, representing 45.93 percent broadband penetration; over 207 million voice subscriptions with teledensity standing at 108.94 percent as at October, 2020.

Danbatta made the disclosures when hosted a delegation from Autoridade Reguladora Nacional (ARN), the Telecom National Regulatory Authority of Guinea-Bissau who were in a week-long benchmarking visit to the Commission in Abuja recently.

The EVC pointed out that the NCC has through the implementation of various policy initiatives, particularly the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), improved access to broadband for over 80 million Nigerians and targets the provision of Point of Broadband Access (PoA) in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the country within the plan period.

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