1. Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation have blamed the driver of a Lagos State Government staff bus for a fatal train accident which killed six people and injured 96 in the PWD area of the state on Thursday.
2. Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, the traditional ruler of Yaba in Abaji area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is dead. A member of the deceased family, Shuaibu Abdullahi, who confirmed the death on Thursday night, said the monarch slumped suddenly and his aides rushed him to Abaji General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
3. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has suspended his campaign activities for the March 18 governorship election following the train accident which occurred on Thursday morning. A train belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) had rammed into a BRT passenger bus conveying the state civil servants to work, killing several people, while scores were critically injured.
4. The Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to allow the use of Temporary Voters’ Cards (PVC) in the March 18 governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections. Justice Obiora Egwuatu made the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed by two aggrieved Nigerians.
5. There are indications that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is set to relieve one of his most senior lawyers of his duties, for not handling his matter professionally. The IPOB leader was reportedly angry with the said senior lawyer, who he accused of not being able to secure his release from custody since his incarceration for what he described as no crime.
6. The Defence Headquarters, yesterday, said a total of 1,332 terrorists and their family members surrendered to troops of Operation Hadin Kai across the North East in the last two weeks. The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami made the disclosure during the bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces in Abuja.
7. The widespread rejection of the old N500 and N1,000 which persisted yesterday was worsened by banks’ refusal to accept deposits of the notes without registration on the Cash Return Portal, CRP, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Investigations reveal that banks cannot accept deposits of old notes from customers until the CBN suspends or eliminates CRP registration of old notes deposits.
8. The Presidency yesterday ruled out annulment of the presidential and National Assembly elections of February 25 allegedly characterised by irregularities, saying it won’t allow the June 12, 1993, saga to repeat itself. Consequently, it advised any candidate or political party not satisfied with the conduct and outcome of the election to approach the court for redress.
9. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has advised newly inducted foreign-trained doctors to consider practising their medical profession in the country, instead of travelling abroad in search of greener pastures. The MDCN said many of the doctors who had migrated to other countries are currently regretting their action, given the discrimination they face in their workplace.
10. The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, on Thursday, arraigned a man, Samuel Oni, before a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Akure, for allegedly defrauding a sex worker, Blessing Olaitan, of N120,000 via fake alert.
Sanwo-Olu, deputy test run Lagos red line ahead of commissioning
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, on Saturday, carried out a test run of the Lagos Red Line ahead of next week’s commissioning of the project by President Bola Tinubu.
The Lagos State governor also inspected the tracks and the rail corridors. Some of the comfort facilities inspected by Governor Sanwo-Olu included the train’s cooling system, handrails, cushioned seats, and in-built safety features of the wagons.
Today, I was at the Ikeja Train Station for the pivotal test run of the brand-new trains dedicated to our transformative Red Line Rail Project.
The Red Line Rail Project which I performed the groundbreaking on April 15th, 2021 is a momentous step towards a connected and… pic.twitter.com/CzynLh8759
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) February 24, 2024
“We just completed another inspection of the Red Rail Line facility and corridor; now we are back in Ikeja Mega Station. We all have just used the train to Iju and back. I’m sure our media men can fully report what we all witnessed in the course of the short journey. This rail infrastructure is ready for inauguration, but we still have a few cleaning to do,” Sanwo-Olu said in a statement by his chief press secretary Gboyega Akosile.
“The challenge we have is the pedestrian interference on the rail track and unapproved activities seen along the corridor. We will continue with the enforcement we started against illegal use of the rail corridor. We are in talks with NRC (Nigeria Railway Corporation) to reinforce the train route with physical barriers to limit pedestrian interference.”
He told residents of the state to abide by safety measures in using the rail line, saying, “We have reduced human interference on the track considerably over the last two months, but enforcement continues.
“The stations are ready, the trains are ready and I believe Lagosians are ready to welcome this new infrastructure built for their use and benefit.”
Sanwo-Olu’s deputy Obafemi Hamzat and members of the State cabinet were part of the entourage.
The 37-kilometre rail line built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) will be inaugurated by President Tinubu, along with its stations and other ancillary facilities. The Red Line traverses seven stations from Agbado, a boundary town in Ogun State, to Oyingbo in Lagos Central.
UPDATED: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso — member nations that are ruled by the military.
On Saturday, President Bola Tinubu, chairman of ECOWAS, said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
In a statement, Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, said Tinubu spoke at the extraordinary summit of ECOWAS held in Abuja.
“Everything we did was in hopes of persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance. And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol,” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.
“However, the sanctions that we contemplated might help lead our brothers to the negotiating table have become a harsh stumbling block. In my mind and heart, that which is hurtful yet ineffective serves no good purpose and should be abandoned.
“ECOWAS was established for the unassailable objective of improving the lives of the people of this region through fraternal cooperation among all member states. This edifice was cemented on the strong foundation and apt conviction that, united as one, we can be the true masters of our destiny.”
Tinubu said ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability, democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development through fair opportunity for each and everyone in West Africa.
He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken, adding that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.
In calling for the suspension of sanctions, Tinubu said: “We must take note of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and of Lent.”
“Whether you pray in the mosque or in the church, this represents a time for compassion, hope, and harmony. It is a time that we must not only seek God but also a closer relationship with brother and neighbour,” the president said.
“What I suggest in real and practical terms is that we, my colleagues and fellow heads of state in ECOWAS, indefinitely suspend economic sanctions against Niger, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and against the leadership of the military authorities in those nations.”
The president asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable.
He added that for Nigeria, “this will also mean the prompt resumption of the export of electric power to Niger”.
“In this vein, suspension of sanctions is an important but initial step. What we seek is more than the breaking of the diplomatic logjam. We must use this very moment when things seem tense and progress unavailing, to forge greater cooperation within our community,” he said.
“We not only reach out to our brothers. Today, we say unto them — let us begin to work more earnestly together for the economic development of our people and towards confronting those modern challenges that respect no borders or boundaries.
“As leaders of ECOWAS, we have accepted the honour and duty to draft the history of the region and its people during our tenure in office.
“We have also accepted the honour and duty to reach out to our brothers, letting them know this regional home belongs to us all. I shall do my utmost in this regard. I humbly beseech that you do the same.
“For these reasons, we must suspend sanctions and return to brotherly dialogue. I call on the leadership in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger to embrace the hand extended.”
BREAKING: ECOWAS lifts sanctions against Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions imposed on Niger Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, member nations that are ruled by military.
The authorities of ECOWAS on Saturday said the decision was based on humanitarian considerations, especially because of the Lenten period and the approaching month of Ramadan.
The regional bloc also lifted sanctions on Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
To invite all four countries to a meeting.
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