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Saraki has returned all pensions collected from Kwara State – Govt

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The Kwara State Government has said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has returned all the pensions he collected so far as a former two-term governor of the state.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the claim emanated from the Kwara State Government, and he neither confirmed nor denied it.

The Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, in a statement on Wednesday said the attention of the state government had been drawn to issues surrounding the payment of pensions to former governors of the state, especially Saraki.

Gold said, “The (Kwara State) Government not only stopped the payment of the said pension, the amount already paid into Saraki’s account since he left office was deducted from the money owed to him as well as his other outstanding lawful entitlements.

“In view of the foregoing, it should be noted that neither the Kwara State Government, nor Saraki, violated the state pension law or any other law for that matter.

“The State Pension Law empowers the state government to pay pension to former governors of the state.
“The Kwara State Government will want to reiterate the fact that it was Dr. Saraki who, of his own volition, considered the morality of the situation in which the pension would put him since he is still a serving Senator and chose to abandon his legal rights.

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“We believe he should be commended for the decision.”

Gold added, “It is the hope of the Kwara State Government that this clarification will end all the controversy about this issue.”

The SSG said Saraki, as a two-term governor of the state, was entitled to pensions as stipulated by the third schedule, Paragraph D (i) of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law, No. 12 of 2010 of Kwara State.
He added that the said pensions had been duly remitted to his (Saraki’s) account, like other former governors, since he left office.

He, however, said that when, via a letter dated August 20, 2015 addressed to the state government, Saraki requested that the payment of pensions to his account be stopped and the amount already credited to the account be refunded to the (Kwara State) Government, the state government promptly complied.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana

According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari

”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough

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Akande-Sadipe

The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.

Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.

She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.

“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.

She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.

The APC chieftain  continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.

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“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.

Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency  said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.

“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.

“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.

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Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.

 

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Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery

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Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed. 

In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.

“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”

Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.

“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”

In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.

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“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”

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