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16 Days To Handover: President Buhari,Aides Move Out Belongings From The Villa

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President Muhammad Buhari during a recent Parade

With 17 days to the end of his regime, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has moved out of his official residence inside the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to the Glass House, a temporary structure that has served as the abode of outgoing presidents since 1991.

The move is to allow for maintenance works on the residence in preparation for its next occupant, President-elect Bola Tinubu.

Reports indicate that most of Buhari’s aides have also been moving their personal belongings out of the seat of power in order to create room for Tinubu’s personal aides and key Presidency officials.

On the nature of renovations in the main residence, a senior State House source said that the 32-year-old edifice was being coated with white paint, while some of its sections were being cleaned and fumigated.

However, the renovation, which largely entails finishing and fittings, will not include the provision of new sets of furniture as the incoming President will determine whether to change the existing ones or not.

You know that most of the structure is white. So, the renovation will involve repainting of the stained sections and replacing fittings that have gone weak or bad. The furniture may not be changed. But that will depend on the new President,” the source said.

According to a two-minute video clip earlier published on her Instagram handle, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, revealed that the Glass House had since been the new residence of the first family.

Aisha was seen showing the incoming First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, around the State House official residence, adding that the Glass House should remain in use as the transition base for outgoing presidents and their spouses.

She said, “I have taken the incoming First Lady, Senator Remi Tinubu, around. She has seen the main house; we are now at the popular Glass House. The Glass House is a transitional home for outgoing presidents.

“I’m advising that the Glass House should maintain its tradition of being a transition home for outgoing presidents. As I am talking to you now, I am residing here with my husband.

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“Only two of us here, I think it should remain so as a norm of the institution and of the house

It was reported last week that the State House Management had begun renovating and refurbishing sections of the Presidential Villa.

The concrete perimeter fence encompassing the President’s office, official residence, the Council Chamber, press gallery, as well as other administrative offices were being overlaid with new white and green paints.

Our correspondent also observed the delivery of a new set of furniture to the green room adjoining the Council Chamber. Months earlier, the management had carried out a routine upgrade of card readers and installed barricades in areas, which were once freeways.

Meanwhile, the Villa Clinic located at the administrative section of the State House has been relocated to the N21bn VIP wing of the State House Clinic, now a medical centre.

In March 2023, Buhari approved the re-designation of the State House Clinic as the State House Medical Centre.

The Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, had disclosed after a pre-inauguration inspection of the new presidential VIP wing of the State House Medical Centre by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba.

It was observed that the President’s aides started packing their personal belongings out of the Villa earlier this month in order to avoid last minute focus on them by “overzealous security officials,” who might be taking pictures to give the impression that the aides were engaging in last-minute looting of the residential apartments.

Another aide of the President, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said, “Since we all know that the tenure of the present administration ends on May 29, which is about 17 days’ time, why will we wait until the new appointees start to resume before we move out?

“Already, the President and his family have also moved from the main building to a smaller one within the Villa, and I am sure that the first family will soon start moving their belongings out of the Presidential Villa.

“The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has taken the incoming First Lady round the residential areas and buildings in preparation for the handover. So, what are we going to be waiting for? The outgoing First Lady did that because she knows the incoming First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

However, we are not sure who will occupy our offices now. So, the idea of waiting for them or taking them around is not feasible. That is why we will have to move out of the official quarters.

We know how Nigerians begin to crucify an outgoing government and vilify its officials as soon as the handover is completed. We are not immune to that. We are expecting the same, but we won’t wait until we are disgraced before moving our personal effects out of the villa.

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PDP Chieftain Lauds Governors’ Forum Decision on Adherence to Electoral Guidelines

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ibrahim Ali Amin “Little,” has lauded the decision of the party’s governors’ forum to ensure that the constitution and laid-down guidelines on the election of party executives are followed strictly in the forthcoming state, local government, and ward congresses.

The Kano PDP chieftain explained that the governors’ position taken at their just-concluded meeting in Enugu has established the fact that the party is committed to reclaiming Nigeria come the 2027 general election.

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Ali-Amin, a grassroots mobilizer and former gubernatorial candidate in Kano, said staging free, fair, and transparent congresses will also attract more Nigerians to join the party, pointing out that Nigerians have more hope in PDP than in any other political party.

While urging all party members in Kano to join hands in moving PDP forward, the chieftain expressed hope that the party leadership will adhere strictly to the provisions of the party’s congresses and electoral guidelines in the forthcoming congress and election of the Kano executives.

He also reiterated his resolve to continue to work for the PDP at all levels for ultimate victory, noting that Nigerians need to be salvaged from the current hardship through sincere and committed leadership, which the PDP is set to provide.

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Unidentified Persons in Kaduna Assault APC Chieftain for Allegedly Criticizing Governor

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Some unidentified persons, in a video footage going viral on social media platforms, have assaulted APC Chieftain Abdulmajeed Danbilki Kwamnada from Kano.

Danbilki, popularly known as Kwamnada, is notorious for criticizing politicians on radio in Kano and some northern states.

The yet-to-be-identified assailants were seen interrogating Danbilki while handcuffed, asking why he insulted the Kaduna governor. He replied, “I don’t insult the governor.” They further asked if he was from Kaduna, to which he responded, “I am not, but from Kano, a northern Nigerian and a Nigerian.”

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While giving them the answer, they started flogging him. During the assault, he complained, “I have sugar and heart problems,” then lay down and began begging them to stop.

Many people, even Danbilki’s detractors, condemned the assault and called on human rights organizations to intervene

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Imminent Fuel Increase as Petrol Landing Cost Rises to ₦1,117 Per Litre

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Fuel Pump

 

 

The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, was N1,117/litre as of Tuesday, July 16, 2024, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria announced on Wednesday.

MEMAN disclosed this during a webinar with journalists on Wednesday.

The association revealed that the landing cost of diesel was N1,157/litre, while that of aviation fuel was N1,127/litre.

Reports indicate that the N1,117 landing cost of petrol is far above the pump price of the product in Nigeria.

At the moment, filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and those of the major marketers sell PMS at between N617/litre and N660/litre, while independent marketers sell for N700/litre or more.

NNPC, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, has consistently denied subsidising the cost of PMS but refused to disclose the landing cost of the product.

Our correspondent reports that the revelation from MEMAN is almost the first from marketers in the industry as the landing cost appears to have been shrouded in secrecy by the importer of PMS.

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MEMAN’s Executive Secretary, Clement Isong, said the costs were obtained from independent energy price benchmark providers.

The association maintained that it would release similar information regularly to keep the masses informed.

Recently, independent oil marketers accused private depot owners of hiking the ex-depot price of petrol from N630 to N720/litre.

An expert in the energy sector, Prof Wumi Iledare, told our correspondent in an interview that the cost of PMS in Nigeria was far below the international price, considering the price of diesel.

“The gap between the cost of diesel and petrol in Nigeria is much. It is never like that all over the world. That means something is wrong.

“I don’t know if NNPC is paying subsidies or not, but somebody is absorbing the difference. You can call it under-recovery or subsidy, but the price of petrol today does not reflect the market cost of producing a litre of petrol,” he disclosed.

Iledare added that with the current exchange rate, the price of petrol should not be less than 80 per cent of the price of diesel.

Corroborating this, a Professor of Economics at the University of Ibadan and President of the Nigerian Economics Society, Adeola Adenikinju, said, “The current price of PMS is being subsidised by the government. The government buys at higher rates and sells to us at subsidised rates. That is what they call under-recovery.”

The International Monetary Fund recently warned the Nigerian government to remove what it called implicit fuel and electricity subsidies.

In a report published recently by the IMF, the organisation told Nigeria that the subsidies would guzzle three per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2024 as against one per cent in the year before.

President Bola Tinubu declared the removal of fuel subsidies during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

IMF noted, however, that “adequate compensatory measures for the poor were not scaled up promptly and subsequently paused over corruption concerns. Capping pump prices below cost reintroduced implicit subsidies by end-2023 to help Nigerians cope with high inflation and exchange rate depreciation.”

However, the NNPC and the Federal Government have vehemently denied subsidising the current price of PMS

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