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Northern elders: Buhari’s comments on restructuring, state police insensitive

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari dos not have the final say on the contentious issues of restructuring, state police, and the release of detained agitators for self-determination.

Reacting to President Buhari’s statement in an exclusive television interview on Wednesday, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmad said the voice of majority of Nigerians advocating restructuring must be respected.

Ahmad also said that Buhari’s fear that state police might be abused by state governors did not hold water, adding that there is federal might to checkmate such abuses.

On the release of agitators, NEF Spokesman cautioned Buhari to allow judicial process has its way, rather than heating the already tensed situation.

“The worry now is the huge distance which appears to exist between the thinking and posit of the President and those of other Nigerians.

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“There is virtually unanimity on the need to restructure the country, even if the details may vary. To shut out a major issue like restructuring that could determine the future of the country is insensitive at best and contemptuous at worst.

“On state police, if the President’s objection is predicated on abuses by governors over local government assets, we have to ask what he has done to stop such abuses with his huge powers. In any case the country should work towards producing better quality of leadership at all levels so that our federal system is not held hostage to incompetence and corruption of elected leaders.

“On the release of agitators, we have made our position very clear. The judicial process should be allowed to determine whether they are guilty of threatening our existence as a country or not, as well as their involvement in criminal activities.

“There should always be room for political solutions, but they must not cause more damage that already exists,” Baba-Ahmad said.

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Indonesia moves capital from Jakarta to Nusantara

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Indonesian lawmakers have passed a law, moving the nation’s capital from Jakarta in Java to Nusantara in the island of Kalimantan.

Kalimantan shares borders with Malaysia and Brunei.

The move is a step forward in one of the most ambitious projects initiated by the country’s President Joko Widodo.

Some former presidents have floated ideas of relocating the capital city in the past.

The president, widely known as Jokowi, three years ago vowed to relocate the capital city to the province of East Kalimantan.

Among the reasons are high population density and land subsidence in Jakarta, home to more than 10 million people.

Nusantara, which the new capital is called, will be built in two districts in East Kalimantan — Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara. It is set to occupy about 256,000 hectares of land.

The name of Nusantara, which can be translated as an archipelago in English, was chosen by President Jokowi, Minister for National Development Planning Suharso Monoarfa has said.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is home to some 270 million people, consisting of about 17,000 islands.

“The national capital has a central function and serves as a symbol of a country to show the identity of the nation and state,” Minister Monoarfa explained during a meeting with lawmakers at the House of Representatives building on Tuesday.

The ground-breaking of the construction project that is slated to cost $32 billion was initially expected to be conducted in August 2020.

But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to put it on hold.

Some of the projects on the construction of the new capital will be carried out by public-private partnerships, and the early stage of the relocation will begin this year and is expected to end in 2024.

At this stage, the government will build a presidential palace, parliament buildings, and a housing complex in the primary zone.

The move of civil servants at the early stage must be completed before Aug. 16, 2024.

Nusantara will serve as the centre of government, while Jakarta would remain the business and economic centre of Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

A day before the lawmakers passed the bill, President Jokowi stressed that that new capital is not only about physically relocating the offices of government institutions, but also “building a new smart city.”

It is reported that Nusantara will be headed by an authority chief appointed by the president and its level of position is equal to a minister.

Several former government officials which will likely become the chief include Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and former minister for research and technology Bambang Brodjonegoro.

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BREAKING: Court grants Nnamdi Kanu N1 billion damages against FG

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From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

An Abia High Court sitting in Umuahia and presided by Justice Benson Anya has awarded N1bn to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, against the Federal Government over the infringement of his Fundamental Human Rights by the military.

In a judgment delivered Wednesday morning that last for an hour, Justice Anya said it was wrong for the military to have invaded his home in Afaraukwu, Umuahia on September 10, 2017, which made him flee the country.

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The court while delivering judgment, urged the Federal Government to apply a political solution to resolve the Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB problem.

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[BREAKING] Nnamdi Kanu: Police disperse Sowore, others with ‘tear gas’, bullets at Abuja court

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Operatives of the Nigerian Police Force have dispersed a former presidential aspirant and activist Omoyele Sowore and other individuals who were present at the Federal High Court to monitor the arraignment of the leader of the proscribed group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, The PUNCH has observed.

The PUNCH reports that Sowore who arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday morning was barred from accessing the court premises and was attacked by some hoodlums.

After which the Security operatives began to fire live ammunition into the air creating an environment of fear and disarray.

The PUNCH reports that Sowore, an activist had on October 21, 2021, visited the Federal High Court to witness the ongoing trial of Kanu.

Sowore who was also attacked then blamed the operatives of the Department of State Services for the attack on him.

Details later

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