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#EndSARS: Put yourself in my shoes, I was helpless, Sanwo-Olu tells critics

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For the umpteenth time, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, defended his outing during the #EndSARS crisis that engulfed Nigeria in 2020, particularly the shooting at the Lekki Tollgate by soldiers, which reportedly claimed the lives of many youths.

The Governor of Lagos, who was a guest of The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television, told his host that there was no way he could have ordered the shooting, or had a hand in it, when he was not in command of the soldiers, who stormed the venue and allegedly carried out the shooting.

Against the backdrop of the backlash he has been getting over the matter, which has literally pitted him against a groundswell of Nigerian youths, especially in Lagos, who are holding him responsible, the governor said he had no control because the state government did not have authority over the police and the military.

Hear him: “Young people do not do roleplay and sit back to reflect on what happened. It was not a flash event. It built up for three weeks. I do not have control. I do not control the military or the police,” the governor said

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“On the question of who ordered the [Lekki shooting], who ordered the police not to listen to me when I went to Magodo the other day? Who ordered the military out for our election last Saturday? It is not in my remit or space.

“All of the people — and I am saying this for the first time on national TV — that claimed that they were either injured or affected in one form or the other, I, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have reached out to them and supported, given them jobs and empowerment and things for them to start right.

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“And that is why you do not see anybody come out during this campaign period to say ‘I was an #EndSars victim and I lost something,’ because I have taken it up and I feel that is something for me as a father and a leader to do for them, and clear this air around it.”

It was also a day the governor, took a stand on the threat being issued by some people claiming to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), forbidding Igbo residents from Lagos from voting any other persons than the party in the coming elections, saying such a move was quite condemnable.

Describing it as a mere flash and a dot in the Lagos spirit, he stated that the state remained the Centre of Excellence, where every Nigerian and foreigners were welcome to live, create wealth and contribute to its overall growth as a mega-city.

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His words: “Lagos is a Centre of Excellence. Indeed we’re excellent. There are things that we need to do in order to be globally competitive, one of which is making sure that Lagos continues to create opportunities for everyone in the country. For us, a Lagos that is a Centre of Excellence, must continue to speak to that excellence in every sense of it.

“It must be a place where people come in, do business, do well and they can create wealth for themselves and their families. That is our primary driver. Any other thing that comes out will be a distraction for us. It is condemnable and I totally condemn it. It is unacceptable, it is not something that any forward-looking government will want to condone.

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“The first thing is that we’re human beings and the next is that we’re Nigerians, which is a put-together that is not you or I that created it. The moment we can put that into inclusion, then next question is that if your wife is in hospital and at a point of being delivered, would she say she would need a Yoruba doctor or an Igbo doctor or you go to a hospital, would you say that you want a Yoruba bread or Igbo bread or you go to a butcher and say you need the meat cut by an Hausa man that you’re going to eat.

“For as long as those things don’t divide us, for as long as those are not the parameters with which we judge ourselves, these other lines that politics have brought, it is just supposed to be a little dot and we move away very quickly. You know, we  should not even ventilate it, we should not give it anything to hold a space in us. Those are the things which define the excellence we have and that is what we promote.”

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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