Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 Edition)

Lagos State Governor-Elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

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.

Lagos okays 21-year jail term for cultists

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has signed the bill for the Prohibition of Unlawful Societies and Cultism of 2021 into law, approving a 21-year jail term for convicted cultists in the state.

The state House of Assembly, in February, passed the anti-cultism bill, which also stipulates a 15-year jail term for anyone found guilty of abetting cultists and residents who willfully allow their properties to be used as meeting points by cultists.

Sanwo-Olu, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, assented to the bill at the swearing-in for newly appointed members of the state’s public procurement agency governing board and two permanent secretaries on Monday.

Govs meet on fuel subsidy, COVID-19 vaccine

Governors will on Wednesday meet to discuss the audit report of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and the issue of petrol subsidy, as well as the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Other issues to be deliberated upon at the 28th teleconference meeting also include an update on the meeting with the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Universities.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in Abuja.

PANDEF, MASSOB disagree over Asari-Dokubo’s Biafra govt declaration

The Pan Niger Delta Forum and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra have disagreed on Sunday’s declaration of a new Biafran de facto government by a former Niger Delta militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo.

Asari-Dokubo, apart from declaring himself the leader of the new Biafra de facto government, had announced names of some officials, who would work with him. The former agitator, who cited injustice and marginalisation against the Igbo in various zones of the country as reasons for seeking a better life for his people, said in a statement that the new Biafra administration would set up a provincial structure of government.

But while PANDEF expressed dissatisfaction over the declaration and called for the restructuring of the country instead, MASSOB described Asari-Dokubo’s action as a welcome development. The spokesman for PANDEF, Mr Ken Robinson, said though the bias under the current regime was a contributory factor to the increasing call for secession by some ethnic nationalities, the forum was not created as a secessionist group.

Be vigilant, we can’t secure all schools, Federal Government tells parents, others

The Federal Government has emphasised the need for Nigerians to be vigilant to end attacks on schools and abduction of students. The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, indicated that government could not secure every school in the country.

According to him, government has directed schools to report any security threat to the nearest security agency. In the interview, the minister was asked what government was doing to protect schools from incessant attacks by bandits.

He responded, “Eternal vigilance is the price for security. Every nation is always concerned about the consciousness of its people. The Federal Government cannot secure every house. Everybody needs to be vigilant. We have passed this message to all our schools so that anywhere they are, if there is any threat, they know the nearest security agency to contact.”

Nigeria’s public debt rose to N32.9tn in Dec – DMO

Nigeria’s total public debt rose to N32.9tn at the end of December 2020, the Debt Management Office said in a statement on Monday.

From its last report on public debt, the figure stood at N32.2tn as of the end of September 2020, which showed an increase of N700bn. The DMO disclosed that the total public debt to the Gross Domestic Product was 21.61 per cent, adding that it was within Nigeria’s new limit of 40 per cent.

“Nigeria’s total public debt as of December 31, 2020 was N32.92tn. The figures include the debt stock of the federal and state governments, as well as, the Federal Capital Territory,” it stated.

Why presidency should come to the South-South – Edo PDP

The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Monday, urged the party leadership to zone the 2023 presidency to the South-South.

The state chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, who made the appeal while addressing journalists in Benin, as part of activities to mark his first year in office, argued that the zone was shortchanged when President Goodluck Jonathan was denied a second term.

He said, “As 2023 approaches, I humbly submit that our party has eminent men and women from across the six zones of the country that can lead us to victory. Our zone, South-South, I believe was short-changed when President (Goodluck) Jonathan was stopped from getting a second term. With that in mind, and with the quality of leaders from the zone, we demand that our party, PDP, must zone the Presidency to the South-South to at least right the wrong that was inflicted on the zone.

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