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Restructuring Nigeria is the best – United Kingdom

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Restructuring

NIGERIAN NEWS – Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, has noted that the call for restructuring of the country was a healthy one.

Thompson tasked Nigerians to be united as they work towards peace and development. NIGERIAN NEWS

The High Commissioner stated this when she addressed newsmen on Sunday in Abuja on the occasion of the 57th Independence Anniversary of the country.

According to her, “I am really excited to be here, I find Nigeria an energising place to be in as it is full of opportunities.

“I come out of many meetings energised at the prospects that Nigeria has but I at times come out of other meetings less energized and a bit more pessimistic.

“Nigeria has obviously gone through the economic high and lows, rising and falling tensions, through military dictatorships to the solid and strengthening democracy that we see today.

“The UK’s relationship with Nigeria is long and broad. We work together now on issues ranging from trade, investment, commerce, education, infrastructure, health, security and the list goes on. NIGERIAN NEWS

“We are committed to taking that relationship from strength to strength and to standing with Nigeria on this journey as it deepens democracy, improves security and creates prosperity.

“There are obviously issues that need to be addressed in Nigeria.

“Issues like corruption, issues like the insecurity in the Northeast, issues like the under-representation of girls in positions of influence and indeed the violence that many of them suffer on a daily basis.

“The Buhari government is committed to tackling many of those issues, and there are some incredibly impressive people working to address them.

“Challenges remain in Nigeria as they do in every other country of the world.

“I and the UK would encourage Nigerians to unite, to stand firm for peace and for unity to overcome those who wish Nigeria harm and to bring a safe and prosperous future for all Nigerians.

“I think the debate about restructuring is a healthy one to be had.

“It shows that the population are engaged in the politics of the country and care about how their country is run and what it gives to them.

“I would urge, as the government has done, for calm in how those discussions proceed and for measured responses in terms of language and activity.

“This is so that those legitimate political debates can be had in an atmosphere of mutual respect and of a mutual ambition to take things forward rather than to descend into violence which would be really unfortunate for a country like Nigeria.

“Take advantage of the differences, the huge range of people, of cultures, of landscape that we see in Nigeria.

“Nigerians should take advantage of the full variety that the country enjoys and I certainly would support the president’s commitment to tackling corruption.

“It’s something that comes up very frequently when we speak with business people who either are operating in Nigeria already or are contemplating coming to Nigeria, but with other actors as well.

“The commitment that the president has shown in tackling that issue is highly commendable, and we work closely with him and we continue to do so to bring his aims to fruition.’’ NIGERIAN NEWS

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Vietnamese President, Tran Dai Quang, dies

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Vietnamese President, Tran Dai Quang, dies

Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang died Friday at age 61 after a prolonged and serious illness, state media reported.

He passed away from a “serious illness despite devoted treatment by professors and doctors” both in Vietnam and abroad, the official Vietnam News Agency said.

In office as president since April 2016 after more than four decades at the powerful Ministry of Public Security, Quang had a reputation as a tough leader with little tolerance for dissent.

Though he held one of the country’s top four positions and was officially the head of state, his role as president was seen as largely ceremonial, greeting visiting leaders and hosting diplomatic events in a bid to boost Vietnam’s profile on the world stage.

Quang had appeared thin and pale in public, and was unstable on his feet last week when he hosted a welcoming ceremony for Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Hanoi last week.

His last public appearance was just two days ago, at a meeting with visiting Chinese politicians and foreign dignitaries in Hanoi.

Quang, a member of the Politburo, had a reputation as tough and influential in the inner circles of the communist party, though often appeared uncomfortable in the public eye and lacked the charisma of some of his peers in the upper echelons of the party.

In an interview with AFP in 2016 ahead of a visit by the former French leader Francois Hollande, Quang read from a prepared statement and was quickly escorted from the room by staff when a question went off-script.

State media made a sombre announcement of his death Friday and celebrated his long commitment to public service.

His time in office was dominated by a simmering conflict with Beijing over the South China Sea, a long-running dispute between the communist neighbours that escalated on several occasions.

Vietnam cancelled at least one oil drilling project in the resource-rich region during Quang’s tenure in an apparent bid to quell tensions.

He was the administration’s most public face at a series of high-profile events, most notably at an APEC meeting in Danang in November last year where he hosted a bevy of world leaders — including US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping.

As president, he oversaw a crackdown on dissidents that rights groups have decried as a chokehold on free expression. More than 40 people were jailed this year and some 100 have been behind bars as of April 2018, according to Amnesty International.

(AFP)

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Flood victims groan, beg for assistance in Bayelsa

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Flood victims groan, beg for assistance in Bayelsa

Some affected residents along the Epie Creek in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have bemoaned their loss and the discomfort caused them by floods that submerged their houses.

Southern City News learnt on Thursday that the impact of flooding caused by the overflow of the waters from Taylor Creek, tributaries of Orashi and Niger rivers, dealt a devastating blow to the residents.

It was also gathered that the water levels rose beyond tolerable limits and thereby wreaked havoc on houses, the environment and properties of some residents.

Due to the development, some residents were said to have temporarily relocated from their homes to seek refuge in other places.

A resident of the Onopa area of the Yenagoa metropolis, Joy Elvis, said the people were helpless as the assistance promised by the state government in its sensitisation messages had yet to materialise.

Elvis said, “It has not been easy; the water levels have been on the increase and it is usually expected at this time of the year, but on Tuesday the flood entered our houses, destroying properties. Since then, we have been under intense pressure. Worse still, some of us have no where to run to.

“We need help badly but no one seems to care. We have resorted to moving some of our valuable items to neighbours’ houses because there are no shelters provided by the government yet.

“Our prayer is that the water go back because if it goes beyond this level, even the Good Samaritans accommodating some of us will be threatened as well.”

Another resident, John Abide, said they had been compelled to use local canoes to access their homes, following the constantly rising water levels in the past few days.

He lamented that a lot of people affected were not reluctant to leave as they did not want to become a burden to their friends.

Abide stated, “So, what most people do is to adapt by making wooden platforms within their houses where important things are kept.

“Those who have canoes have put them to use when they needed to go out. We are predominantly people who go to the river regularly to fish; so, we are not so afraid of water.”

Yet another resident, who gave his name only as Preye, said the recent flood had left a sour tale in the mouths of many residents of the area.

She appealed to the government and public-spirited individuals to come to their rescue in order to give them a new lease of life.

“We know what happened to us is a natural disaster but we are appealing for help. We know that government’s intervention will go a long way in ameliorating our predicament, “ he stated.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government has said it is determined to ensure that no life is lost in the flood that is currently ravaging the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had, while giving an update of the situation, assured the residents that with the proactive steps the government had taken, there was no cause for alarm.

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Rotimi Amaechi gets another appointment from Buhari

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Rotimi Amaechi gets another appointment from Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi as the Secretary/Director General of his campaign team.

This was contained in a statement signed by Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday.

A terse statement said Amaechi will subsequently appoint other members of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign team.

The statement reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of a campaign organization for his re-election in 2019 with Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as Secretary.

“Hon. Amaechi was the Director General of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Committee in 2014-2015 that won the elections and brought the current administration into office.

“The new Director-General will announce other appointments into the campaign structure as approved by President Buhari.”

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