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Hike in petrol price: We’re not living, but merely surviving, Nigerians cry out



Nigerians have continued reeling under the effect of the recent hike in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which has spread poverty and hardship to its nooks and crannies, with residents of Lagos State calling on the Federal Government to urgently implement adequate palliative measures to alleviate the present high cost of living they are experiencing.

Reports in New Express, quoting the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), records the lamentations of citizens arising from the situation which has worsened since President Bola Tinubu, announced in his inauguration speech on May 29, the complete removal of subsidy on the product which saw the cost jumping from N195 per litre to N537 in a matter of hours.

Regardless of the sudden ripple effects including hike in transport fares and the prices of essential goods and services, which skyrocketed throughout the country, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, Ltd. (NNPL), last penultimate Wednesday, announced a further increase of prices from N500 per litre to N617 per litre at its own petrol stations.

Bemoaning the situation, residents said the situation had led to rising cost of transport, essential commodities, and steep increase in utility bills, noting that it had left many struggling to make ends meet and the only way to survive was quick intervention by government.

Makinde Akinlemibola, Chairman, Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), who lamented the situation said that medical professionals are feeling the weight of the high cost of living, having no choice but to increase their consultation fee, adding that the hike had affected the cost of running the hospitals, from fueling the generators to huge electricity bills.

Stating that the situation had made it difficult for private facilities to increase the salaries of their workers, he however, urged employers to consider an increment to help them cope with the hike in transport fares and other commodities.

“The only way forward is to increase our consultation fees to meet up with the cost of running the hospital. It is from the consultation fee that we get the salary for staff and run the facilities. We cannot afford to alternate days like some government offices because we are essential workers and we don’t know when emergencies will occur,” he said.

Solomon Odewale, a young man who embarked on an entrepreneurial journey two years ago, said he now had to take up an additional job, adding: “I started as an entrepreneur two years ago but right now, I can’t meet up with the cost of running my business and my personal needs.

“I had to take up an administrative job for someone else, alongside running my own business and it’s challenging. Balancing both responsibilities is tearing me apart, making it difficult for me to focus on my own business,” he said.

Stressing how he made cutbacks in various aspects, he said: “For instance, I now limit the usage of my generator to pump water as I can’t afford to run it for extended periods.

“This situation is negatively impacting entrepreneurs in general. The cost of production for what used to be N1,000 has skyrocketed to over N5,000, leading to a much lower profit margin.”

Stanley Samuel, a civil engineer, who said he had to devise strategies to reduce various expenses, explained how he decided to cut back on driving his car to work every day and opted for public transport instead, stating: “As a responsible family man, I prioritise planning and focus on fulfilling the essential needs of my family while disregarding unnecessary wants.”

Nwanne Happiness, who recently secured a job with a salary, said she began producing and supplying chin-chin and egg rolls to supermarkets, adding: “Going to work used to cost me N200 Naira to and fro but now it is N600.

“Recently, I tried renting a room self-contained, I was shocked when they said it was N400,000. This used to cost about N80,000 to N100,000. So, this high cost of living is affecting me in all areas.”

Tochukkwu Samuel, on his part, said he now had to buy things in bulk from the market which had helped him save more, adding: “I have also cut unnecessary outings and going to beer parlour. I only buy what I need now; there is no room for waste anymore.”

According to the latest Consumer Price Index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 22.79 per cent, surpassing the previous figure of 22.41 percent recorded in May.


Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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