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Guber poll: Don’t threaten Bayelsa’s peace with unguarded utterances – Group urges politicians



Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, political actors have been cautioned against reckless and unguarded utterances capable of undermining the prevailing peace in the state.

A concerned group, the Network of Bayelsa Professionals (NBP), made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

In the statement signed by the Co-ordinator, Mr Agbada S. Agbada, the group said while individuals reserve the right to aspire to any elective office, such aspirations must be pursued with decency and moderation to preserve the relative peace the State has experienced in the past few years.

“As we draw closer to the November 2023 gubernatorial elections in the State, it has become imperative for us to sound a note of caution to politicians to avoid unguarded utterances and conduct that will heat up the polity and jeopardise the relative peace the State has enjoyed for the past few years.

“As Bayelsans who are seeking to lead the State, we expect that the collective interest of Bayelsans will be the overriding consideration. Therefore, all political actors have a duty to preserve the relative peace the present administration has laboured to achieve.

“Recent utterances of some aspirants reflect a fixation on the abhorrent politics of mudslinging and desperation. We note that such utterances could easily heat up the polity and threaten the relative peace in the State.

“While we acknowledge the constitutional rights of qualified Bayelsans to freely aspire to lead the State and encourage active participation by Bayelsans in the electoral process, we advise political actors to avoid politics of bitterness and rancour and take the path of brotherhood, decency, mutual respect and peace in their political campaigns,” the statement read.

The group commended Governor Douye Diri for his commitment to peace.

It urged media organisations not to allow their platforms to be used by politicians to promote hate, campaign of calumny and other inciting and provocative remarks.

“Bayelsa is our only home and we have a collective responsibility to protect it from politicians who place their ambitions above the interest of the State,” it added.

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Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves surge by 5% to $33.58bn



Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 5 percent to $33.58 billion in the last two months.

This is according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s latest FX data as of June 19, 2024.

Accordingly, the foreign exchange reserves figure represents a $1.47 billion increase compared to $32.11 billion on April 19, 2024.

The Monetary Policy Committee, MPC during its 295th meeting reiterated its commitment to boosting Nigeria’s external reserves.

“The Committee also noted the marginal increase in the external reserve balance between March and April 2024 and urged the Bank to sustain its focus on accretion to reserves”, reads in part.

Recall that the Nigerian government received $925 million from Afrieximbank barely two weeks ago as the $3.3 billion crude oil-backed prepayment facility organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Meanwhile, despite the increase in the country’s foreign reserves, Naira depreciated N1485.36 for the second consecutive time against the dollar on Thursday.

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Ondo Govt breaks silence after court declared 33 LCDAs illegal



Following the judgment of an Ondo State High Court which declared the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, as unconstitutional, the state government has stated that it is studying the judgement.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Kayode Ajulo, in a statement on Friday, said the state government would duly analyze the judgement, adding that the rule of law would be followed.

The late former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu created the LCDAs in 2023.

But in his judgement on Thursday, Justice A.O. Adebusuoye stated that the LCDAs were not lawfully created.

According to Ajulo, the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement has been requested and will be studied accordingly.

“All necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Honourable Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritising the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served.”

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Nigeria Customs generates N249b within 5 months in Rivers



The Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Command, Onne in Rivers, said it has generated more than N249 billion as at May, 2024 representing 40.3 per cent of its current annual revenue target.

Comptroller of the command, Muhammed Babandede, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at Onne.

According to him, the 40.3 per cent revenue record followed a recent review of the command’s annual revenue target from N494 billion to N618 billion.

The comptroller noted that when compared to the same period in 2023, the command had recorded an increase of more than N153 billion.

He also said that six containers laden with codeine, contraband drugs and goods valued at more than N3 billion were also confiscated within the period under review.

He said that the seizures included four containers laden with bales of clothing, lace and fabrics with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of more than N911 million.

Others, the controller said, were two containers laden with 2,625 cartons of codeine syrup among other contraband valued at more than N2 billion.

Babandede commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for inter-agency collaboration while also assuring adequate handover of seizures.

He also emphasised that the command would not relent on its core function of trade facilitation which entailed streamlined and simplified technical and legal procedures for clearing import or export goods.

On the operations of bonded terminals, the comptroller explained that the final destination for clearing of consignment was at the importer’s discretion.

“These procedures are guide which all Customs officers must adhere to.

“This negates the erroneous belief that officers of the Onne command connive with operators of Bonded Terminals to transfer containers,” he said.

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