Second Nyanya Bomb Blast Fuels Fear of Political Motive
• 12 dead, 30 injured Terror attacks aimed at stopping WEF
• President holds emergency security meeting Friday
Less than three weeks after a bus station in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was hit by a bomb blast, another bomb explosion ripped through the same neighbourhood, resulting in the death of at least 12 persons and 30 others injured, and fuelling fears that the two successive attacks in Abuja, might be politically motivated. On March 14, a similar blast at the bus station led to the death of 75 victims and several others injured.
Speaking on the incident last night, a security source said that the two successive attacks might not be unconnected with political considerations as the 2015 elections loom. He added that they are also targeted at frightening participants and stopping the country from hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled for May 7 to 9. He revealed that as a result of the second attack on Nyanya, President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned an emergency security council meeting to take place today in order to review the latest development and devise a strategy to combat the menace of rising insecurity in the country.
Thisday, front pg cont on pg6
Labour links terrorism to bad politics
• 12 feared killed in Borno attack • Govt to focus on wealth redistribution • Okays new housing scheme for workers
IN unequivocal terms, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday in Abuja at the May Day celebration said that unbridled political interests were hampering the war against terrorism. Meanwhile, amid Labour’s apprehension over rising insurgency in the country, suspected Boko Haram gunmen on Wednesday killed 12 persons and torched several houses in Kopchi village in Damboa Local Council of Borno State. Similarly, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday rejected World Bank classification of Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world, saying “the nation is not poor”, but needed to redistribute its wealth. In a related development, the Federal Government yesterday approved three new housing schemes for workers in appreciation of their hardwork and to reduce their plight in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Labour stated this in Abuja yesterday at May Day celebration, lamenting that despite enormous resources voted into maintaining security, the fight against terror has been far from being won partly to the various conflicting political interests in the country. The event was devoid of its usual fanfare as policemen mounted various security checks, frisking people entering the Eagle Square, venue of the celebration.
The Guardian, front pg cont on pg2
Iyabo writes Boko Haram, says insurgents more competent than Jonathan’s men
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo has accused those in President Goodluck Jonathan’s inner circle of being a hindrance to the resolution of the crisis posed by the Boko Haram insurgency. In an open letter to the Islamist sect, whose leadership she credited with “more sense,” Senator Obasanjo, however, faulted the insurgents for betraying the true essence of revolutionaries in directing their venom against the lower class. Dr. Obasanjo in the 860-word letter particularly cringed at the abduction of hundreds of school girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, saying their crave for sexual gratification is no excuse for the abduction. While noting her surprise that more armed groups have not risen against the state given the social and living conditions of the majority of the population, she wrote: “I am moved to write about the current state of affairs in Nigeria. My first inclination was to write to the President but since all letters to him seem to elicit only open derision and even more stupidity from his inner circle, I have decided to address my letter to a group also currently causing Nigerians a lot of pain and agony that may actually have more sense than the country’s leadership.
FG not supporting northern govs’ development efforts – US
The United States has said that efforts being made by the northern state governments in addressing the Boko Haram’s appeal in the region are not getting required support from the Federal Government. The US Department of State stated that the Federal Government had failed in addressing “grievances among northern populations” which it listed as high unemployment and dearth of basic services. This was contained in the US Bureau of Counterterrorism 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism which was released on Wednesday evening. The yearly report assesses trends and events in international terrorism. The report decried the Boko Haram insurgency which it said “continued throughout the northern part of the country,” noting that the violence was spilling over into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The report partly read, “The government of Nigeria’s efforts to address grievances among northern populations, which includes high unemployment and a dearth of basic services, made little progress.
The Punch, pg3
N4 trillion pension assets under threat as FG grants police pullout
Nigeria’s pension industry with total assets of over N4.2 trillion, faces a major threat, should the Federal Government succeed in compelling Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to transfer an estimated N302 billion in bulk, belonging to personnel of the Nigeria Police Force ,to the newly established NPF Pensions Limited, analysts have said. The implication of this move, is that the statutory right of individual contributors, including police personnel, (to choose their PFAs by themselves) under the contributory pension scheme, as provided in the Pension Reform Act 2004, would have been compromised. This again undermines the provision of the same Act, which allows movement from one PFA to another, only when the transfer window becomes operational. Analysts who spoke to BusinessDay about the development, said compelling existing PFAs to transfer in bulk, a whopping N302 billion, to a new PFA belonging to the police, would create portfolio risks and endanger the stability of existing PFAs.
BusinessDay, front pg, cont on pg2
Jonathan, Senate reach compromise on insecurity, abducted schoolgirls
President Goodluck Jonathan and twenty-two Senators led by Senate President, David Mark, at a Wednesday night parley, deliberated on the intractable issue of insecurity in the country and that of the missing female students of Chibok, Borno State, and resolved to henceforth, partner on all security challenges. Senate during its plenary on Wednesday morning, unanimously resolved to mandate a 22-man Senate delegation led by its presiding Senate President, David Mark, to meet with President Jonathan and discuss ways of tackling the security challenges in the country. The Senators were also to discuss with the President, modalities on how the 234 abducted female students of Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by insurgents two weeks ago, would be rescued. Although details of the discussion held at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday night was a bit sketchy as at the time of filing this report, Daily Independent reliably gathered on Thursday afternoon from one of the Senators who was at the meeting, which “the meeting went well and the President listened to us.
Daily Independent, pg6
PenCom to sanction PFAs over pension fund management
The National Pension Commission is ready to sanction some Pension Fund Administrators for non-compliance with regulatory requirements on the management of the growing pension funds, investigation has revealed.According to information obtained from the compliance report prepared by PenCom, some of the issues observed from the reports forwarded by the PFAs to the commission include non-compliance with investment limits; delay in the payment of retirement benefits; and receipt of pension contributions without appropriate schedules.
The Punch, pg28
World Bank pulls together more fund for FARA’s MDTF
World Bank has granted an additional $19 million to Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) to extend its Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) grant agreement for a further five years. The extension paves the way for the Bank to accept new contributions to FARA’s MDTF. The signing of this extension is an important milestone for FARA as it unlocks the resources the FARA Secretariat needs to commence full implementation of its new medium-term operational plan.
U.S. pledges support to end terror attacks in Nigeria
The United States Government has pledged to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and insurgency within the coming days, Secretary of State, John Kerry had announced in Ethiopia. Kerry made the announcement while briefing newsmen on Friday in Addis Ababa as part of his activities during a three-day visit to some African countries including Ethiopia.
Daily Independent, from the net
Ex-deputy Senate President, Pam, Attah Die
Two prominent Second Republic politicians–former Deputy Senate President, John Wash Pam and former governor of old Kwara State, Alhaji Adamu Attah, died Thursday. Pam, 73, was said to have died of complications arising from prostrate cancer at the National Hospital, Abuja at about 1.30 pm. Attah, who was 84, also died at the same hospital. Pam, who was deputy to Senator Joseph Wayas from 1979 to 1983, hailed from Foron district of Barakin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, is survived by two wives and 18 children.