Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Sunday, 14 February, 2021 Val Edition)

President Muhammadu Buhari

Good Morning Nigeria! Happy Val! 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.

FG can’t single-handedly sell national oil assets — Rivers, others

A group of host communities in the Niger Delta region have criticised the proposal by the Federal Government to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and privatise a part of it as well as oil assets without the approval of other tiers of government.

The communities, in their presentations to the House of Representatives on the Petroleum Industry Bill, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, said that the proposal to eventually sell off a national petroleum company to be created from the NNPC required a collective approval of all stakeholders.

The Rivers State Government, which also expressed a similar view in a separate presentation, said that the NNPC and petroleum assets belong to the federation and not the Federal Government alone.

The group, Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, in its presentation to the House Committee on PIB, which held a public hearing between Wednesday and Thursday, particularly faulted the proposed plan to empower the petroleum minister to solely determine the fate of national assets in the oil and gas sector. Its position was contained in the document signed by the National President, HOSTCOM, Chief Benjamin Tamaranebi, “on behalf of host communities of Nigeria.”

Lekki tollgate: Outrage as police arrest 40 protesters

There was widespread anger on Saturday following the arrest of 40 persons who protested peacefully against the reopening of the Lekki Tollgate Plaza in Lagos State. The peaceful protesters were arrested on Saturday and locked up in standby Black Marias. Police consequently brought them before a mobile court in Yaba for conspiracy, conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace and violation of COVID-19 protocols.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing police brutality and alleged killings of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate, had ruled that the tollgate be handed back to its operator, Lekki Concession Company, after forensic experts submitted their report on the October 20, 2020 incident. Four out of the nine members of the panel had faulted the report of the forensic experts hired to comb the scene for evidence and rejected the application by the LCC to take possession of the facility, which had been shut down since the probe of the shootings started.

The four members who rejected the forensic report are the two representatives of the civil society – Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) and Ms Patience Udoh; as well as the two youth representatives on the panel – Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi. They contended that the LCC denied the forensic experts access to its servers and failed to provide them with information on who ordered the extraction of CCTV footage; the date and time of extraction of the footage; the method used for the extraction, among others.

Nobody can force us out of South-West –Miyetti Allah

Fulani herdsmen under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have vowed to resist any eviction from the South-West, citing their rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution to live wherever they desire.

Miyetti Allah also vowed to avenge the alleged attacks on and loss of herdsmen and their cattle, saying it would never tolerate any act of injustice on herders.

The National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Mr Alhassan Saleh, stated these in an interview with Sunday PUNCH against a backdrop of the eviction notices issued to criminal herdsmen by some South-West groups and personalities. Saleh said it was wrong to drive herders out of any part of Nigeria and that even if there were criminals among them, it was the function of the government’s security forces to identify and arrest them.

Herdsmen: We’ll protect ourselves if Buhari, Abiodun fail, says Ogun monarch

The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, and the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State have warned the federal and state governments against possible consequences of the killing of people in Yewaland by Fulani herdsmen. Herdsmen had, on Friday night, invaded Igbooro, Oja-Odan in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state, leaving three dead and two villagers injured.

The marauding herdsmen had reportedly invaded the village close to Eggua in Oja-Odan around 11pm, shooting sporadically and setting ablaze three houses and storehouses in the village. In the latest killing, a mother and her child were among the three persons hacked to death in their huts, while two persons were said to be in critical condition after they were shot by the herdsmen.

It was also learnt that many people, including children, sustained injuries. The attack came barely 24 hours after five persons were killed in Owode Ketu. In response, the monarch condemned the killings in a statement on Saturday titled, ‘Stopping the time bomb before it is too late,’ addressed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and Governor Dapo Abiodun. The monarch warned that the people might resort to self-defence if the governments failed to be proactive.

Some #EndSARS protesters are rogues, thieves –Defence minister

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), has said over 60 per cent of #EndSARS protesters don’t know why they participated in the demonstrations.

The #EndSARS protest recommenced in Lagos on Saturday under the aegis of #OccupyLekkiTollGate, with more than 30 protesters, including Debo Adebayo, a Nigerian comedian better known as Mr Macaroni, arrested by security operatives. The protesters were, however, arraigned before a mobile court in Lagos, and granted bail.

Magashi, who spoke on Saturday after participating in the revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress in Kano, alleged that some of the protesters were rogues and thieves.

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