Good morning, welcome to Gistlover roundup of Latest Nigeria News Headlines for Today, Friday, 19th March, 2021.
1. Nigeria to Receive 6 Brand New Super Tucano Jets In July – Presidency
The Presidency on Thursday confirmed that Nigeria will receive six new Tucano jets to boost the fight against insurgency in July 2021.
This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesman for the President, Mallam Garba Shehu.
He added that the others will arrive shortly after and that 14 Nigerian pilots are already in training at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia ahead of the delivery.
The statement reads: “Six of the twelve Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021. With the remaining six shortly after that. There are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
2. First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari Returns To Nigeria after Months in Dubai
President Muhammadu Buhari‘s wife and first of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari has returned back to the country.
According to a report monitored by Gistlover on Daily Trust, Aisha who left Nigeria for Dubai, the United Arab Emirates about six months ago, made her way back to the Presidential Villa on Wednesday night.
Gistlover recalls that the first lady had travelled out of the country anonymously after Hanan, one of her daughters with President Buhari got married in September 2020.
3. North-West Governors Discuss Ways to End Banditry
Governors of the North-West zone on Thursday discuss ways to end the increased rate of banditry and other security challenges facing the region.
The Katsina State Governor and Chairman of the Northwest Governors Forum, Aminu Bello Masari, made this known in a tweet via his Twitter handle.
Masari, who hosted the North West governors in his office in Katsina, expressed confidence that the insecurity being faced by the region will be curbed very soon.
He said that they had fruitful discussions and deliberations on the best ways they believed insecurity being faced in the states could be subdued and that these deliberations will according to him be forwarded to appropriate quarters for further action.
4. Border Closure Didn’t Stop Free Flow of Arms, Ammunition – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday noted the closure of land borders in Nigeria did not stop the free flow of arms and ammunition.
Buhari stated this while receiving the outgoing Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
The President in his statement noted that the stability of Libya will stop the flow of illegal arms and ammunition in the Sahel region of Africa.
According to Buhari, Muammar Gadaffi held to power in Libya for 42 years by recruiting armed guards from different countries, who then escaped with their arms when the Libyan strongman was killed.
5. $1.5bn for Port Harcourt Refinery Repair Suspicious – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has kicked against the federal government’s plan to spend the sum of $1.5 billion to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery, Rivers state.
Gistlover reports that the Federal Executive Council had on Wednesday announced the approval of the sum of $1.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa.
Sylva said the Ministry of Petroleum Resources had presented a proposal to the council presided over by Buhari to rehabilitate the refinery.
The minister announced that the rehabilitation of the refinery will commence in three phases, adding that the first phase is to be completed in 18 months, which will take the refinery to a production of 90 percent of its nameplate capacity.
Sylva noted that the second phase is to be completed in 24 months and all the final stage will be completed in 44 months and consultations are approved.
Reacting in a post on Twitter, Atiku said that a more valuable refinery of the same size as that of Port Harcourt was sold for less by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), asking if due diligence was performed before the approval of the fund.
6. Buhari Stops Monguno’s $2.5bn Arms Deal with UAE Merchants
The plan by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, to buy arms worth $2.51 billion from UAE in 2017 was stopped by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari stopped the deal after the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, told him that the would-be suppliers are commission agents.
Kyari also told the President that there are issues with the contract Monguno signed with the International Golden Group (IGG), the Abu Dhabi-based arms supplier on March 27, 2017.
Also, following an N14 billion mark-up in an equipment purchase contract for the police by the office of the NSA in 2019, Buhari directed that henceforth, only the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Ministry of Defence should be involved in arms procurement.
According to TheCable, Buhari had earlier instructed that no third parties or agents should be involved in arms purchase, maintaining that it must be a country-to-country transaction.
7. Buhari Will Not Condone, Spare Looters – APC Tells PDP
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has backed President Muhammadu Buhari to go after looters of public funds within and outside his government.
The ruling party made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, released by its National Secretary of the Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe.
According to the statement, the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government would not spare or condone looters found guilty.
It also condemned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the allegations that the Buhari’s regime was the most corrupt government in Nigeria.
8. S/West Leaders Ask Buhari to Suspend 2023 Elections, 1999 Constitution
Some leaders of Yoruba ethnic group under the auspices of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, (NINAS) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to with immediate effect, suspend the 2023 general elections.
The group made this known during a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital Wednesday evening, by its spokesperson, Professor Banji Akintoye.
The NINAS also asked President Buhari to suspend the 1999 constitution, stressing that Nigeria cannot progress under the current political structure.
Akintoye said that the group was giving the federal government another 30-day ultimatum after the expiration of the 90-Day Notice of Grave Constitutional Grievances issued by NINAS to the Federal Government of Nigeria on December 16, 2020.
While stating that the 1999 constitution was the cause of major problems the country was currently facing, he warned international money lenders not to lend Nigeria any money.
9. Oshiomhole Retracts Defaming Comments against Ortom, Apologizes
The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has retracted his defaming comments against the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom in 2018.
The former Governor of Edo State noted that he acted based on information he had but has discovered that the information is false and baseless.
Recall that Governor Ortom who was not pleased with the statement of Oshiomhole had dragged him to court over the embarrassing and defaming comments.
Oshiomhole while speaking on Thursday described the Peoples Democratic Party Governor as a dear friend and brother with whom he had shared so much in common, including mutual respect.
10. We’re Using Weapons Biafran Army Surrendered to Fight Boko Haram – Soldier Cry Out
An officer of the Nigerian Army has alleged that troops engaged in the war against the deadly Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents are using old weapons to fight the terrorist group.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, the soldier said the weapons used against the terrorists were those recovered from the Biafra Army after the civil war ended in 1970.
He accused top army officers, including former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, of using the Boko Haram war as an enterprise to enrich themselves at the expense of their lives.
That’s the Latest Nigeria News Headlines for Today, Friday, 19th March, 2021. Read more Nigerian news on Gistlover website. See you again tomorrow.