Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Saturday, 23 January, 2021 Edition)

Ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

We’ll wait for Okorocha to take action on new political alignment — APC

The Imo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress said it would wait for a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, to take action on his planned political alignment before taking a stand on the issue. Okorocha had in Rivers State on Monday when he visited Governor Nyesom Wike to inaugurate some projects said, “We have bad people in APC, just as we have them in PDP and that was why I made the call in Rivers State that the good ones should come together to lead the people”.

The party’s caretaker chairman in the state, Marcon Nlemigbo, said this in an interview with our correspondent in Owerri on Thursday. He said the party was currently focused on supporting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); and the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.

Asked what step the party would take, Nlemigbo said, “Okorocha is a citizen of Nigeria and in our country, free speech is not a crime. We will wait until he takes action. But let it be known that with or without Okorocha, Imo APC is strong. We are not disturbed neither are we threatened by what he said.”

600 Nigerians stranded in Saudi for evacuation Jan 28 — FG

The Federal Government has said that about 600 Nigerians irregular migrants in Saudi Arabia will be evacuated on January 28 and 29 in batches of 400 and 200.

The Chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said their evacuation was delayed due to issues relating to COVID-19.

The stranded citizens were being kept at a detention facility by the Saudi authorities pending their repatriation. A video on social media had shown the Nigerians lamenting the hardship they were facing at the detention facility.

Govt’s funding problems’ll continue this year — Finance minister

The huge funding gap of the Federal Government occasioned by the crash in crude oil prices would continue this year, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Ahmed said that although the trend might not persist beyond 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic had continued to disrupt economic activities in Nigeria and across the world.

The minister, who said these in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by her media aide, Yunusa Abdullahi, stated that the pandemic had complicated a lot of issues leading to cyclical economic crises.

Universities to be shut from February 5 — SSANU, NASU

Non-teaching staff in the universities will commence a nationwide strike from February 5, 2021 over the Federal Government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula for the N40bn earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.

The Joint Action Committee comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions announced this at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday. The committee had last week embarked on a three- day protest over the government’s failure to honour the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the unions on October 20, 2020.

The JAC, led by the SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim, and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, said other contentious issues that informed the decision to embark on a nationwide industrial action include inconsistencies in the IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ ASUU/SSANU 2009 agreement. Others are the non-payment of retirement benefits to former members, non-constitution of visitation panels to universities, poor funding of universities, teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others.

Two feared dead as herdsmen, Sunday Igboho’s supporters clash in Oyo

Violence erupted in Igangan in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Friday when a popular Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, reportedly stormed the Fulani settlement in the town to eject the Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and some other herdsmen accused of fuelling security problems in the area.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that some persons were killed while properties worth several millions of naira were set ablaze during the clash which occurred in the evening.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had in a broadcast warned people fuelling ethic crisis in the state to desist from such act. Despite this, Igboho and his supporters stormed Igangan on Friday afternoon. Addressing the youths, Igboho said, “They started deploying soldiers here since yesterday (Thursday). When our people were being kidnapped and killed, there was not soldier to be deployed to secure them.

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