Trends For Wednesday 9th December: ASUU, Biafra And More

No less than four thousand Nigerians trooped to social media to express what they expect from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which they branded as new.

Seeving through many of the reactions on Twitter, @jayjaybobo_ said, “The #NewNDDC recognised that they still owe it to the people to ensure human capital development and the readiness to do so.”

On his part, @Shopeters001 believes that “The new NDDC had concentrated on small pocket projects and avoided doing major infrastructure projects, which would have made more impact on the quality of life and the economy of the region.”

While @SheundamMedia submitted that “Upon stabilization of the agency in the past three months, NDDC have begun to develop a new road map for the Niger Delta based on the vision of President Buhari and his cabinet minister”, he also stressed that: “There is need for environmental remediation and cleaning up of oil spills and destroyed areas.”

For @r_olysco, the “NDDC has not relented on the core mandates”, as “Projects that were previously left uncompleted are being re-mobilised and contractors are slowly coming back to site.”

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), was one of the hot topics on the trend, garnering over thirteen thousand reactions.

These came as President Muhammadu Buhari expressed displeasure over the ongoing strike by members of the union, and the indefinite suspension of the meeting between the union and the Federal Government, billed for today.

The President had described as “amazing” the failure of the lecturers to suspend their eight-month strike, even when the country is facing dire economic challenges.

A couple of Nigerians, however, expressed empathy with the government, while appealing to ASUU to show some level of understanding. They said the union’s action is felt more by an average Nigerian student, whose academic plan and progress are being disrupted.

But to others, ASUU should not bulge until government implements the terms agreed with the union. They said the government was good at not fulfilling promises which is why the strike has dragged on for this long.

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Sentiments among proponents of Biafra was high after a statement allegedly credited to its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, went viral on social media.

Kanu, in an unverified Twitter handle, tweeted that “BIAFRA will be everything NIGERIA could not be as a nation. Except the boring cliche that ‘Nigeria is indivisible’, I challenge every proponent of #OneNigeria to point to one benefit Nigeria serves her citizens. Or give me one good reason why #Biafra should not be restored.”

But one of the numerous responses to the tweet reads: “We are yet to see any active participation for #Biafra restoration by any of the detractors or crowned saboteurs.
They never preached but only criticize, never in any protest or any of their family member, never detained or imprisoned. Stop listening to them, they are irrelevant.”

Despite the views of those in support, others held the opinion that the Nigerian government needed to do more in terms of formulating policies that would instill a sense of belonging among the various ethnic nationalities in the country.

The presence of Hisbah in some northern states, has again, brought to the fore the argument over the secularity of the Nigerian state.

This is as the United States, recently, designated Nigeria as a country of concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

In reacting to development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, said “although the Nigerian State is multi-religious and multi-ethnic, our constitution expressly states that the Government shall not adopt any religion as State religion.

“The Government will engage the United States and request that Nigeria be removed from the list.”

Meanwhile, some Nigerians who reacted, have said that the continued existence of Hisbah is antithetical to constitutionalism.

They alleged that with the backing of various state governments in the north, Hisbah, which according to them is an Islamic police, have been destroying alcoholic products and beheading people in the name of blasphemy.

Uncertainty seems to be dangling on the faces of many as to whether President Muhammadu Buhari would keep to his word by honouring the invitation extended to him by the National Assembly.

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The legislature had invited Buhari to speak on the current insecurity and he has ‘agreed’ to address the nation on Thursday December 10, but APC Governors led on by Rotimi Akeredolu and Yahaya Bello called for the cancellation of the address.

According to the governors, this would set precedence and provide ground for state assemblies to be inviting them over every flimsy issue.

But those who reacted urged the President to ignore the governors and honour the invitation, adding that it would portray him in a positive light as a democratic leader.

They, however, slammed the governors for trying to hinder democratic governance, which they say, is based on the principle of accountability to the people, represented by members of the parliament.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has said that the National Assembly has no power to compel President Buhari to appear before it.

According to reports, Malami said it was outside the constitutional powers of the national assembly to summon the president over his “operational use of the armed forces”.

Central Bank of Nigeria
The role that the Central Bank of Nigeria will be playing in the Solar Power Programme of the Federal Government was one of the reasons the apex bank made the trend today.

Most of the over 1,600 engagements were aimed at creating awareness on the scheme so that Nigerians can take advantage of it.

@Adeniyi_sunday20 explained that: “The 5 Million Connections initiative is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low-cost loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).”

@DoctorFrank2 submitted that: “The cost of the programme is N140billion and the President, by approving the work of the ESP chaired by VP Osinbajo, has mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure affordable lending facility to make it happen.”

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The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has shared purported pictures of vehicles captured and destroyed in an ambush on Nigerian troops advancing in the dreaded Alagarno forest – Timbuktu triangle area.

The terrorists were reported to have killed 10 soldiers and took one hostage in Borno.

This development has elicited reactions among Nigerians who took to social media to air out their views.

Some decried the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of people in the northern part over what they described as worsening security situation in the region. They also called out Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, whom they say was praising President Buhari over improved security in the state.

On the latest attack by ISWAP, they alleged that there must be some level of compromise among security agencies as the leakage of intelligence has been helping the terrorists gain upper hand over troops.

INEC Chairman
The Independent National Electoral Commission made the trend after the swearing-in of its Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu by President Muhammadu Buhari.

While many congratulated the INEC boss, others urged him to use the opportunity to address observed anomalies that characterized his first tenure. They advised him to introduce reforms that would ensure free, fair and transparent elections in 2023.

Hilarious reactions have trailed the statement credited to the new President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sunday Asefon, in which he vowed to shut down all private universities in the country should the nine-month strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not called off.

Some of those who reacted doubted whether NANS has such power to obstruct private individuals from operating their universities. They said the threat from the student body is intended to attract public attention, especially that the Association was gradually losing its relevance.

Others said it was wrong for NANS to threaten shutting down private institutions, saying they should rather go shut down state government houses and the Aso Rock.

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