President Tinubu Declares State of Emergency on Food Security in Nigeria; ‘It’s Ridiculous’ – INEC Rejects LP’s Call to Sack Mahmood Yakubu | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • President Tinubu Declares State of Emergency on Food Security in Nigeria
  • ‘It’s Ridiculous’ – INEC Rejects LP’s Call to Sack Mahmood Yakubu
  • Senate Approves Tinubu’s N500 Billion Palliative Fund Request
  • DSS Charges Emefiele to Court in Compliance with Court Order
  • Peter Obi, LP Kick Against Tinubu’s Offer of Appointments to Opposition Governors

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

President Tinubu Declares State of Emergency on Food Security in Nigeria

President Bola Tinubu has taken a decisive step to address the growing concerns over food security in Nigeria by declaring a state of emergency on the issue.

The President’s spokesperson, Dele Alake, made the announcement during a briefing with State House correspondents.

In line with the administration’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable citizens, President Tinubu directed that all matters related to food and water availability and affordability be placed under the purview of the National Security Council. This move underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgency with which the government intends to address it.

Acknowledging the rising cost of food and its impact on citizens’ livelihoods, President Tinubu directed the immediate release of fertilizers and grains to farmers and households. This intervention aims to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal and ensure that essential food items are accessible to all.

To achieve sustainable food production, the President emphasized the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands throughout the year. The goal is to create a conducive environment for continuous food production and reduce dependence on seasonal cycles.

President Tinubu also announced the establishment of a National Commodity Board, which will oversee the review and continuous assessment of food prices. This board will also maintain a strategic food reserve to stabilize prices of critical grains and other food items. By moderating price fluctuations, the government aims to create a more predictable market and protect consumers from sudden spikes in food prices.

To support these efforts, various stakeholders have been enlisted, including the National Commodity Exchange, Seed Companies, Research Institutes, Microfinance Banks, and agricultural associations. This inclusive approach ensures that all relevant sectors of the agricultural value chain are actively involved in implementing effective solutions.

Recognizing the importance of security, President Tinubu emphasized the need to protect farmers and farmlands from attacks. The government will work closely with the security architecture to ensure a safe environment for farmers to cultivate their land without fear.

The President also highlighted the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in funding the agricultural value chain, underscoring its commitment to supporting farmers and driving economic growth in the sector. Additionally, efforts are underway to map out 500,000 hectares of land to increase the availability of arable land for farming, further enhancing food production capacity.

President Tinubu emphasized the need to boost revenue from food and agricultural exports, positioning Nigeria as a key player in the global market. This not only contributes to the country’s economic growth but also enhances its food security resilience.

‘It’s Ridiculous’ – INEC Rejects LP’s Call to Sack Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed the Labour Party’s (LP) demand for the removal of Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman.

The LP had called for punitive action against Yakubu and other top officials of the electoral body based on the final observer group reports on the conduct of the 2023 elections.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, described the LP’s reasons for demanding Yakubu’s dismissal as illogical and ridiculous.

He clarified that election observers are accredited under specific rules and regulations and are required to submit their reports to the commission, which may or may not include recommendations. Oyekanmi emphasized that observers are not authorized to indict INEC but rather to observe and make recommendations.

Furthermore, Oyekanmi pointed out that it is not within the LP’s jurisdiction to demand the dismissal and prosecution of the INEC chairman over election outcomes in which the party fielded candidates.

He highlighted the irony of the LP challenging the presidential election outcome in court while openly discussing the matter at a news conference, which is considered sub judice.

Oyekanmi emphasized that the LP is one of the political parties registered and regulated by INEC in Nigeria, and it should adhere to the rules and regulations governing the conduct of political parties.

The response from INEC makes it clear that the commission stands by its procedures and rejects the LP’s call for punitive action against its chairman.

Senate Approves Tinubu’s N500 Billion Palliative Fund Request

The Nigerian Senate has granted approval for President Bola Tinubu’s request to appropriate N500 billion for palliatives aimed at mitigating the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy on Nigerians. The approval comes shortly after the House of Representatives also agreed to the request, reflecting a unified effort to address the challenges posed by subsidy removal.

President Tinubu had approached the National Assembly seeking provision for the funds, and the upper legislative chamber responded by amending the 2022 supplementary appropriation act. The N500 billion will be sourced from the N819 billion allocated in the supplementary appropriation act.

Similar to the House of Representatives, the Senate swiftly passed the motion sponsored by Opeyemi Bamidele, the Majority Leader, through accelerated passage. In order to expedite the approval process, the Majority Leader moved a motion to suspend relevant standing rules of the Senate.

During the consideration of clauses in the bill, the Senate approved N185 billion for the Federal Ministry of Works to alleviate the impact of the 2022 flooding on road infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones. Additionally, the Senate approved N35 billion for the National Judicial Council (NJC) and N19.2 billion for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to address the extensive destruction of farmlands caused by severe flooding in 2022.

Furthermore, N10 billion was approved for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to support critical projects.

DSS Charges Emefiele to Court in Compliance with Court Order

In a recent development, the Department of State Services (DSS) has announced that it has charged Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to court. The move comes in response to a federal capital territory high court order, which mandated the DSS to press charges against Emefiele if there were any criminal allegations against him.

Presiding Judge Hamza Muazu had instructed the DSS to release the former CBN governor on bail if he was not taken to a competent court within one week. In compliance with the court order, the DSS has confirmed that Emefiele has been charged and will face legal proceedings.

In a statement issued by Peter Afunanya, spokesperson for the DSS, it was emphasized that the decision to charge Emefiele was made in accordance with the court’s order. The DSS had previously applied for a court order to detain him in 2022 in connection with a criminal investigation.

Although Emefiele obtained a restraining order from an FCT High Court, the DSS arrested him in June 2023 based on suspected new criminal infractions, one of which forms the basis of his current prosecution.

While the DSS assured the public of professionalism, justice, and fairness in handling the matter and carrying out its duties, it did not disclose the specific charges filed against Emefiele.

On June 9, President Bola Tinubu suspended Emefiele and directed him to transfer his responsibilities to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, the Deputy Governor of the Operations Directorate.

The following day, the DSS announced that Emefiele was in its custody for “some investigative reasons.”

Peter Obi, LP Kick Against Tinubu’s Offer of Appointments to Opposition Governors

Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have voiced their opposition to President Bola Tinubu’s offer of board slots to state governors, including those from opposition parties.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) met in Abuja, where NGF Chairman Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq announced that Tinubu had requested nominations for board positions in federal government agencies that were recently dissolved.

However, the LP sees this move as a “gimmick” aimed at attracting opposition governments and figures into the All Progressives Congress (APC) fold.

Yunusa Tanko, Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Campaign Council, criticized the initiative, describing it as an attempt to legitimize an “illegitimate government.”

Tanko stated that the LP would only recognize the legitimacy of the government when a court decision is made. He viewed the move by the APC as a tactic to deceive people into accepting and legitimizing their government.

The opposition’s skepticism reflects a deep-rooted distrust of the ruling party’s intentions. The LP and its presidential candidate remain firm in their stance against the APC government, asserting that they will only recognize its legitimacy through a court ruling. The offer of board positions to opposition governors is seen as a calculated strategy to sway public opinion and gain support, but the LP remains resolute in it rejection.

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