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More rail stations to be named after prominent Nigerians -Amaechi

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More prominent Nigerians will still benefit from the Federal Government’s naming of railway stations across the country.

Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, said this in a statement by his Media Assistant, Mrs. Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni.

Before the statement, Nigerians had wondered why former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other prominent Nigerians had no rail stations named after them.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had approved the naming of some railway stations along the Lagos-Ibadan corridor and others on the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri line after some Nigerians.

The beneficiaries included Bola Tinubu, Apapa Station; Mobolaji Johnson, Ebute Metta Station; Babatunde Fashola, Agege Station; Lateef Jakande, Agbado Station; and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Kajola Station.

Others include Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti, Papalanto Station; Prof. Wole Soyinka, Abeokuta Station; Segun Osoba, Olodo Station; Ladoka Akintola, Omio-Adio Station; Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ibadan Station; and Chief Alex Ekwueme, Operation Control Centre.

For the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri railway, the beneficiaries and the stations assigned to their names include Adamu Attah, Itakpe Station; Dr. Olusola Saraki, Ajaokuta Station; and Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Itogbo Station.

Earlier, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers, Mr. Segun Esan, demanded the immediate reversal of the naming of the Apapa Railway Station to late Mohammed.

The FG had recently named the Apapa Railway Station after Tinubu.

Mohammed, until his death, was the Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Board.

He said it would be proper to name the Apapa Station after Mohammed, who died while in active service, as a mark of his sterling contributions to nation-building.

But Amaechi said a bigger railway station would be named after the late Alhaji Waziri Mohammed.

“We are naming a bigger station after Waziri Mohammed,” he added.

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NIGERIA

Gov. Ugwuanyi appoints Dr. Ezugwu as Chief of Protocol

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Monday, appointed Dr. Barth Ezugwu as the Chief of Protocol, Government House, Enugu.

Dr. Ezugwu is the immediate past Transition Committee Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and a former Commissioner for Transport in the state.

He also served as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Youths Mobilization and Empowerment as well as the Administrator of Adada Development Area in Uzo-Uwani LGA.

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NIGERIA

NUPENG meets Lagos Govt, calls off strike

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called off its strike which started in the early hours of Monday after a meeting with Lagos State Government officials.

A communique jointly signed by Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olalere Odusote and Deputy National President of NUPENG, Mr. Solomon O. Kilanko, stated both parties agreed the government will meet with heads of all security agencies to prevent further disturbance of vehicles conveying petroleum products.

The two sides agreed the issue of “area boys” will be addressed by the State.

“A dedicated phone number will be established within one week to enable petroleum product transporters gain prompt access to security agencies.”

While assuring the allegation of extra-ordinary levies charged by a particular local government will be investigated promptly, the communique further reads: “The State government will continue to relate with all road users in the planning and execution of road works in the State”.

NUPENG also made a commitment all tankers will not exceed the loading capacity of trucks as provided in the regulations and in compliance with directives of the Department of Petroleum Resources.

Disclosing Lagos will review the timing restriction on movement of petroleum tankers within the next one week, Odusote said recommendations will be put forward to the government on ways to ease access of petroleum tankers to tank farms.

“Lagos State Government will immediately set up a standing committee to relate with the Union on an ongoing basis to address any issues as they arise,” the parties agreed.

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NIGERIA

Kano singer sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy

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A Kano Upper Shari’a Court on Monday sentenced the 22-year-old singer to death by hanging for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

The Presiding Judge, Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani, gave the judgement after finding Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty as charged.

Sharif-Aminu, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against the Prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

After the incident, protesters burned down the singer’s family home and led a procession to the Kano Hisbah Command’s headquarters in protest against the singer’s action.

The court also sentenced one Umar Farouq of Sharada quarters in Kano metropolis to 10-year imprisonment for making “derogatory statements concerning the Almighty Allah in a public argument.”

Aggrieved youths on March 4 staged a protest on the premises of the Kano Hisbah office, over what they described as an alleged blasphemous song against Prophet Muhammad.

While addressing the protesters, the Kano Hisbah Commander, Harun Ibn-Sina, said officials in the state were on top of the situation and that the man’s parents had been arrested and were under Police custody.

The protesters alleged that the nonchalant attitude of the government and the security agents in the state over the issue informed their decision to embark on the protest.

The convener of the protest, Idris Ibrahim (popularly known as Baba Idris), said, “Our mission is to alert the government to do the needful; otherwise, we will take the law into our own hands.”

Idris, who said similar incidents had occurred in the state without any action from the relevant authorities, warned that they would not allow Sharif-Aminu’s case to go unpunished.

Sharif-Aminu had composed a song containing alleged derogatory verses against Prophet Muhammad, which ignited violence against his family members.

But the family house of the singer, located at Sharifai quarters in the Kano Municipal Local Government Area, was set ablaze by irate youths who described the song as blasphemous.

Investigations revealed that the singer, said to be a follower of the Tijjaniya sect, is a member of Faidha group, who are known for their preference of Ibrahim Nyass (a famous Senegalese Islamic scholar), over Prophet Muhammad.

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