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Presidential poll: I’m not afraid of lies, propaganda —Peter Obi

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the February 25 election, Mr Peter Obi has said that he is not afraid of what he called lies and propaganda against him, describing them as part of the journey to a new Nigeria.

“I have always lived my life in the most law-abiding manner possible. Sometimes, as humans, we make mistakes, but I will never knowingly break any law.

“I am, therefore, not afraid of the lies and propaganda against my person, which are part of the journey to a New Nigeria,” Obi said at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the Labour Party in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday.

According to him, there may be more mud slinging on him from those who are against the emergence of the New Nigeria, adding, however, that he would never be deterred by the obstacles along the way to victory.

He urged Nigerians to remain calm and steadfast in their journey of reclaiming their mandate of a New Nigeria, assuring that he would never give up on the journey until victory is achieved.

Obi explained that he never expected the journey to New Nigeria to be an easy one, adding that the forces which had, over the years, lived off the old order, were bound to fight back, as is being experienced currently.

He said: “if they come at us through land, air and sea, we will respond to them through land, air and sea, but we will remain law abiding and will never give up on the nation.

“We are on the right path, and we will remain committed to the course.

“The millions of Nigerians who voted for me did not just cast their votes, but they invested their hope in me. They deserve justice, so we must stay the course. “And beyond regaining our mandate, I am committed to lifting people out of poverty. I remain committed to transforming Nigeria, starting from the North to every part of the nation”.

He reiterated his commitment to a ‘Nigeria that will be beneficial to every Nigerian’, stressing that the struggle to reclaim the mandate is not about him, as a person, but about millions of Nigerians who reposed their trust on him through their votes

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Nigeria’s inflation rate hits 33.95% in May -NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent in May 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for May, which was released on Saturday in Abuja

According to the report, the figure is 0.26 per cent points higher compared to the 33.69 per cent recorded in April 2024.

It said on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 11.54 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2023 at 22.41 per cent.

In addition, the report said, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 2.14 per cent, which was 0.15 per cent lower than the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.29 per cent.

“This means that in May 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in April 2024.”

The report said the increase in the headline index for May 2024 on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis was attributed to the increase in some items in the basket of goods and services at the divisional level.

It said these increases were observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel, clothing and footwear, and transport.

Others were furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, education, health, miscellaneous goods and services, restaurants and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication.

It said the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12 months ending May 2024 over the average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 29.06 per cent.

“This indicates a 7.86 per cent increase compared to 21.20 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said the food inflation rate in May 2024 increased to 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 at 24.82 per cent.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis is caused by increases in prices of Semovita, Oatflake, Yam flour prepackage, Garri, and Bean,

“Others are Irish Potatoes, Yam, Water Yam, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Stockfish, Mudfish, Crayfish, Beef Head, Chicken-live, Pork Head, and Bush Meat.”

It said on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in May was 2.28 per cent, which was a 0.22 per cent decrease compared to the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.50 per cent.

“The fall in food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a decrease in the average prices of Palm Oil, Groundnut Oil, Yam, Irish Potato, and Cassava Tuber.

“Others are Wine, Bournvita, Milo, and Nescafe.”

The report said that “all items less farm produce and energy’’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce and energy, stood at 27.04 per cent in May on a year-on-year basis.

“This increased by 7.21 per cent compared to 19.83 per cent recorded in May 2023.’’

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the deregulation of the commodity by removal of subsidy.”

It said the highest increases were recorded in prices of Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing Class, Bus Journey intercity, and Taxi Journey per drop.

“Others are Accommodation Service, X-ray photography, Consultation Fee of a medical doctor, Laboratory service, among others.”

The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.01 per cent in May 2024.

“This indicates a 0.18 per cent decrease compared to what was recorded in April 2024 at 2.20 per cent.”

“The average 12-month annual inflation rate was 23.45 per cent for the 12 months ending May 2024, this was 5.34 per cent points higher than the 18.11 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the urban inflation rate was 36.34 per cent, which was 12.61 per cent higher compared to the 23.74 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate was 2.35 per cent, which decreased by 0.32 per cent compared to April 2024 at 2.67 per cent.’’

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.82 per cent, which was 10.63 per cent higher compared to the 21.19 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate was 1.94 per cent, which increased by 0.024 per cent compared to April 2024 at 1.92 per cent.’’

On states’ profile analysis, the report showed that in May, all items’ inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi at 42.30 per cent, followed by Kogi at 39.38 per cent, and Oyo at 37.73 per cent.

It however, said the slowest rise in headline inflation on a year-on-year basis was recorded in Borno at 25.97 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.74 per cent, and Delta at 28.67 per cent.

The report, however, said in May 2024, all items inflation rate on a month-on-month basis was highest in Kano at 4.24 per cent, followed by Gombe at 4.06 per cent, and Bauchi at 3.75 per cent.

“Ondo at 0.57 per cent, followed by Kwara at 1.19 per cent and Yobe at 1.24 per cent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Kogi at 46.32 per cent, followed by Ekiti at 44.94 per cent, and Kwara at 44.66 per cent.

“Adamawa at 31.72 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 34.35 per cent and Borno at 34.74 per cent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis.’’

The report, however, said on a month-on-month basis, food inflation was highest in Gombe at 4.88 per cent, followed by Kano at 4.68 per cent, and Bayelsa at 3.62 per cent.

“While Ondo at 0.02 per cent, followed by Yobe at 0.95 per cent and Adamawa at 1.02 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in inflation on a month-on-month basis.”

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EID-el-Kabir: Tinubu calls for reflection on sacrifice, duty, unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged Muslim faithful to reflect on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, an event that denotes sacrifice, faith, and obedience to the will of the Almighty.

“The President congratulates the Muslim faithful and prays that Allah accepts their supplications and acts of obedience,” Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

Tinubu enjoined Nigerians to reflect on the essence of the occasion, which bears strong meaning and significance for the nation.

The President emphasised that sacrifice and duty were essential ingredients to nation-building, “noting that it takes collective purpose, will, and action to bring about great change.”

He called on citizens to spare a prayer for the nation for continuous peace and stability while working according to purpose in promoting unity, peace, and progress.

“The President acknowledges the sacrifices that Nigerians have made in the past one year as his administration sets the nation on a firm pedestal of growth and development.

“President Tinubu affirms that the sacrifices and great expectations of citizens will not come to nought as already propitious outcomes are beginning to manifest with the economy strengthening and vibrancy returning to critical sectors.

“The President reassures Nigerians that his administration is prioritizing their physical, social, and economic security and will not relent on this noble endeavour,” Ngelale said.

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Nigerian airspace fully covered by radar – NAMA

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This is contained in a statement signed by the Managing Director of NAMA, Mr Ahmed Farouk, on Saturday in Lagos.

Farouk said that the radar stations in Nigeria located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt are all serviceable.

He described as false and misleading the claims by a blogger that an unidentified aircraft was spotted at the Presidential Villa, Abuja undetected.

According to him, radar services for Terminal and Enroute flights are positively identified and provide air navigation services to airspace users.

“The agency hereby wishes to state that the claim that the Nigerian airspace is not covered by radar is false and misleading.

“The radar stations in Nigeria (Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt) are serviceable. Radar services for terminal and enroute flights are positively identified and provide air navigation services to airspace users.

“Yes, it is true that the TRACON system, like any other electronics systems, is undergoing an upgrade of software and modernisation to meet the ever growing demand for efficient, effective and seamless air traffic management services.

“Furthermore, the welfare of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers in terms of salaries and allowances is not in contention, as to suggest that it is the lowest in the world.”

Farouk added: “The reported ‘unidentified’ aircraft is a security terminology. In real terms, the aircraft in question is known, but only to the ATC.

“The violation was in the interest of safety, as a result of adverse weather (serious thunderstorm) on the said date.

“The purported circular issued by the NCAA is for airlines to be guided from straying into the marked and published prohibited or restricted areas of the Nigerian airspace.

“It is obvious that the journalist in question does not understand the workings of the surveillance systems, hence his misconstrued and misguided information on Primary and Secondary Radar.

“The agency shall willfully volunteer information on her services to anyone who requires them at any time,” said Farouk.”

The NAMA boss assured of the agency’s commitment to ensure sustainable welfare packages for its staff, especially the Air Traffic Controllers.

According to him, NAMA remains committed to its responsibility to provide safe, effective, economic, and efficient air navigation services in Nigeria.

He said that the existence of robust, effective civil and military coordination and collaboration guarantees a secured airspace and air navigation.

“We are pleased to say that the Nigerian airspace is safe and secured,” he noted.

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