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PDP Reps tells Buhari to secure Nigeria or resign

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Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up and save Nigeria from the grips of rampaging terrorists, bandits and kidnappers or he should resign.

The PDP caucus said it was worrisome that Nigeria under Buhari has been seized by hostage-takers-bandits and terrorists – who extract ransom demands on the poor and impoverished citizens and turn homesteads, hamlets, villages, towns and cities into killing fields.

The caucus in a statement signed by the leader of the caucus, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP Rivers State), noted that the bloodletting unleashed by the hostage-takers, which has gone unabated, with Buhari showing “complete incapacity to arrest the situation, or bring the killer squads who roam the vast swathes of our country to book”, was traumatic.

Chinda said the president was missing in action and that rather than leading from the front as a general, he was leading from the back.

“Everywhere we turn, today, our dead are either being prepared for burials by families whose hearts are torn up by grief, or they are being mourned by families who can’t tell where the corpses of their loved ones are or where the killer squads will turn up next.

“Here is the stark truth of the Nigerian condition under Buhari’s ruinous rule; citizens are in a prolong, severe and intense state of mourning that has kept them stuck in acute anguish, pain and trauma.”

“In his recent remark at the sidelines of the COP-26 Conference in Scotland, United Kingdom, General Buhari boasted: ‘We will defeat them, one highway, one rail link- and one job- at a time’. It is over three weeks since the Conference ended, no stone of resistance has been mobilized by the General against bandits, terrorists and kidnappers,” he said.

Speaking further, the caucus said bandits, terrorists and kidnappers have continued to unleash their reigns of terror on helpless citizens, taking not “one highway, one rail link – and one job – at a time” but whole communities and regions in fell swoops whenever they choose to strike.

“The communities of Sabon Birni of Sokoto State, Kagara of Niger State, Karim Lamido of Taraba State, Katoge and Yanturaku of Katsina State, and of the north east, north west, south south and south east are witnesses to the reigns of terror.”

The caucus said it was saddened that “unfortunately, the president who famously boasted of leading from the front is now missing in action.”

“General Buhari is concerned only about his personal and family safety, and the safety of his lackeys.”

“Typical of rulers in history who suffered from messianic complex, he thinks his personal survival is tantamount to the survival of the nation,” the caucus said.

On the issue of the Electoral amendment bill, the caucus expressed concerns that in the past one month, Nigerians have waited on Buhari to give assent to the Electoral Reform Bill passed to him by the National Assembly.

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Google set to invest $9.5bn in US

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Google has announced plans to invest $9.5bn in its US offices and data centers around the country in 2022, up from more than the $7bn it spent in 2021.

According to CNN, the big bet on office space was coming at a point Google was embracing a hybrid work model. The Alphabet-owned company has called for many of its employees to work in an office three days a week after two years of being fully remote.

The Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet and Google, Sundar Pichai, said, “It might seem counterintuitive to step up our investment in physical offices even as we embrace more flexibility in how we work.

“Yet we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees, and stronger communities.”
Google said it would open an office in Atlanta this year and continue to develop and expand office space in Austin and New York. It added that it planned to continue investing in data centers in Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, among other states.

As part of the announcement, Google said it expected to create at least 12,000 new full-time jobs at the company this year.

Google and other tech companies were among the first businesses to shift to remote work when the pandemic hit in early 2020. But that shift always appeared to be temporary. Like others in Silicon Valley, Google had previously invested billions in expansive campuses and lavish office benefits for workers.

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European markets pull back amid doubts over latest Russian pledges over Ukraine

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European stocks retreated on Wednesday following the latest round of talks between Russia and Ukraine, aimed at finding a solution to the conflict.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.8% in early trade, with autos shedding 1.9% to lead losses, while oil and gas stocks gained 1.7%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Finland’s Nokian Tyres fell 6.6%, while Sweden’s Lundin Energy added 4.7%.

Investor sentiment was boosted on Tuesday following negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey, at which Russia’s deputy defense minister claimed Moscow had decided to “drastically” cut back its military activity near Ukraine’s capital.

Alexander Fomin, who spoke following the talks in Istanbul, said Russia would slow its military operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order for peace talks to progress. Russia previously claimed that it would reduce military operations in other parts of Ukraine but then continued its advance.

Growing hope for a cease-fire appeared to boost investor sentiment Tuesday, as Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 200 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures also climbed 0.6%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.7%. Meanwhile, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which spiked on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fell more than 4% to $100 per barrel.

Doubts have set in over the pledge, however, and while the Russian military has begun moving some of its troops in Ukraine away from areas around Kyiv to positions elsewhere in Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby warned the troop movements do not amount to a retreat.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as investors watch for developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. Stateside, traders are keeping tabs on a slew of key economic reports, while also monitoring the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday showed 11.3 million job openings, higher than the 11.1 million expected. The ADP will also release its private payrolls data ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report, on Friday.

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Lagos Assembly kicks against harassment of residents by police

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Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, yesterday, cautioned police in the state against harassment, intimidation and extortion of residents.

Obasa said this on the floor of the House when lawmakers honoured outgoing Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who has been promoted to Assistant Inspector-General, and is due to retire in January 2022.

Obasa said Odumosu was honoured as the first Commissioner of Police in the state to stand before the lawmakers and address Lagosians on his experience policing the state.

The Speaker thanked Odumosu for his openness and responsiveness to issues affecting the peace of the state.

“It is important to call on those behind you to know that the relationship between the police and the people need to be constantly improved upon,” Obasa said, adding that men of the Nigeria Police Force need to build more trust among the people.

“Everybody must be treated with respect, dignity and honour. And that is how we can earn respect. Policing should not be about harassment and extortion but building trust among the people and making them comfortable,” Obasa said.

The Commissioner of Police, who led a team of officers to the House, thanked the lawmakers for their support. According to him, nothing could have been achieved in terms of security and peace in the state without assistance of the House.

He said he would remain grateful to Lagosians for making it possible for him and his team to effectively manage the security of the state.

Odumosu, who described Lagos as ‘mini-Nigeria’, said proactivity of the Assembly led to the creation of laws that helped the police remain successful in the state.

He said the Cultism Prohibition Law also helped to reduce illegal associations in tertiary institutions in the state and enlightened property owners and residents.

“We promise to continue to excel in providing watertight security for people of the state,” he told the lawmakers. He also promised he would encourage his successor to sustain the relationship between the police and the House, while urging the lawmakers to extend their support to his successor.

“Policing Lagos is not a tea party. Without the laws in Lagos, it would have been difficult to police the state. Don’t get tired, don’t relent in making laws that would make Lagos maintain its place as the most peaceful state in Nigeria,” he said.

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