Invasion: Nigeria, 140 others vote against Russia, Ukraine to get $5.2bn lifeline - AfrobadooTV
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Invasion: Nigeria, 140 others vote against Russia, Ukraine to get $5.2bn lifeline

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Nigeria on Wednesday sided with 140 countries to demand the immediate withdrawal of  Russian troops from Ukraine.

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that “demands” Russia’s  “immediately” withdraw from Ukraine, in a powerful rebuke of Moscow’s invasion by a vast majority of the world’s nations.

Also on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group said they would respond to Ukraine’s request for urgent financing with about $5.2bn cumulatively.

In the UN, after more than two days of extraordinary debate which saw the Ukrainian ambassador accuse Russia of genocide, 141 out of 193 member states voted for the non-binding resolution. However, about five countries sided with Russia. They include- Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Belarus and Russia.

About 35 countries – mainly African nations – abstained from voting. They include: Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Congo, Cuba, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

However, 141 countries including Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada, condemned Russia. The resolution deplored the invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest terms” and condemned President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put his nuclear forces on alert.

Nigeria’s stand on Wednesday was a historic departure from its non-aligned movement in the politics between the West and Russia.

Buhari approves $8.5m for evacuation

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday in Abuja, approved $8.5m (N3.5bn) to facilitate the immediate evacuation of 5,000 Nigerians from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, Zubairu Dada, disclosed this to State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

Dada, who spoke alongside the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, said the approval followed a joint memo presented by both ministries at the council meeting.

He said the evacuees include 940 from Romania, 150 from Slovakia and 350 from Poland who have registered to leave.

On the amount approved, Dada explained that “The Ministry of humanitarian affairs wrote a memo to the President seeking funding to enable us to conduct this exercise. The memo was to the tune of $8.5m, which Mr President has graciously approved. That provision entails an arrangement to evacuate no less than 5,000 Nigerians.

“It also includes some assistance for the feeding that may have been done by the missions under whatever arrangements. Even the missions themselves are also in dire situations.”

Quizzed about when the funds will be released, Dada said, “That is why the evacuation flights will begin today (Wednesday).”

Nigerians await visas to join Ukraine war

However, while the Nigerian government was making plans to evacuate over 5,000 of its citizens stranded in Ukraine, over 100 Nigerians are awaiting visas to travel from Nigeria to Ukraine to join the war and fight against Russian belligerents having registered at the Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria.

It was learnt that since Ukraine had already shut its airspace, anyone seeking to come into the country will have to use land borders at Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, had through his verified Twitter handle, asked foreigners to join the war.

“Foreigners willing to defend Ukraine and world order as part of the International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine, I invite you to contact foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine in your respective countries. Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too.”

In an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, the Second Secretary at the Ukrainian Embassy to Nigeria, Bohdan Soltys, said the list of those willing to fight for Ukraine had been sent to Kyiv.

He said, “About 100 people wrote to us and said they would like to do this. We have transferred the information to the Ukrainian government and so far we have not received any feedback and a positive response.”

When asked if women would also be drafted, Soltys stated, “Right now, no.”

He, however, explained that the process may not be as easy for Nigerians since Nigerians need visas to visit most European countries and the

“There are also challenges because you cannot fly directly to Ukraine only to those countries bordering Ukraine but some of these people need visas and you need to get in touch with some of these countries. So, it is not like you can apply today and be in Ukraine tomorrow. Nigerians need visas to all the European countries,” he said.

In a related development, the Federal Government has waived the 48-hour pre-travel COVID-19 test for all evacuees returning into the country.

In a memo signed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, dated February 28, 2022, which was sent to all airlines, it was stated that the Nigerian passengers would only have to fill in the necessary documentation.

The circular titled, ‘Waiver from Pre-Departure Covid19 Quarantine Protocols for Nigerian Returnees from Ukraine’, further stated that the move had been authorized by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID 19.

It read in part, “Passengers will however be required to fill the Nigerian International Travel Portal upon their arrival in Nigeria with the assistance of the Port Health Services.

“Upon arriving in Nigeria passengers will be directed by the Port Health Services to designated government laboratories for COVID 19 PCR test. The COVID19 PCR test which must be done within 24 hours of arrival will be at no cost to the passenger.”

Also,  the Federal Government, in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said warned that only those documented at the Nigerian Embassies would be evacuated.

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Pyrates disown viral video on 2023 presidential candidate

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The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity has distanced itself from lyrics of a viral video targeting one of the presidential candidates.

Aside from disowning the video, the group stated that those who canvass it do not represent the opinion or position of the Pyrates Confraternity and therefore “dissociate ourselves from any insinuations or misrepresentation, the video conveys.”

The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a press statement: Setting The Records Straight- Official Position Not in authorised Videos, noted that as a responsible organisation, it is mindful of the need to be circumspect by advocating for good governance without heating the polity.

According to Owoaje, Pyrates Confraternity have provided direct intervention and thought leadership on community and national issues using direct action or press releases with 100 of such attributed to nominated and authorised representatives.

Owoaje, while insisting that any suggestion that the video represents the outcome of a considered reflected “political opinion of the organisation is mischievous, misleading and out rightly false,” reiterated that “since our founding 70 years ago, we have never been politically affiliated or involved in electioneering.”

“We have never had a preferred candidate in any political election. We are not supporting or against any candidate in this 2023 election. Some of our members belong to different political parties and can support any candidate unconditionally in the knowledge that political activities at the level of partisanship are not allowed within our corporate entity.

“For the enthronement of democracy and democratic values of the freedom of political choice in Nigeria, our organisation and members opposed the military dictatorship. We joined hands with other civil societies to end military rule in Nigeria. Like several Nigerians, many of our members paid the ultimate price for the democracy we enjoy today. We fought for democratic principles as symbolised by June 12. Many of us were hounded into exile, imprisoned, tortured, businesses and employment destroyed, and our families terrorised by the military dictatorship for speaking truth to power.

“As an organisation, we cherish these democratic principles and reject any action of persons who will use songs or videos to tarnish the non-political stance of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) inadvertently or wilfully. We denounce the political clickbait merchants desperately pursuing social media and economic mileage through deliberate misinformation about our organisation. They do not represent our values as ensconced in our ideals.”

Owoaje explained that the organisation’s desire is for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) supported by security agencies to conduct free, fair and transparent elections and has launched a campaign through https://www.ourvotescount.org.ng for that purpose.

“Finally, we reaffirm that all official positions of the National Association of Seadogs are hosted on our website, and social media handles. Our formal opinions are not disseminated on videos that have no official origin or organisational authorisation.”

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Security: Oluwo Meets Security Operatives, Fulanis, Bororo, Others

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As part of his commitment to checkmate insecurity in Iwoland, the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, HIM Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi,today, met with security operatives, the Fulanis and Bororo in his palace to forestall further case of kidnapping in the territory.

The security men comprising the police, civil defense and Amotekun corps urged the heads of Fulanis and Bororo to assist them by giving adequate information to trail criminal infiltration mingling with them in the bush.

Oluwo described security as the life wire of every functioning community as he called for collaborative effort to curtail kidnapping case in Iwoland.

The area commander, ACP Omololu further enjoined individuals in the society to be security conscious and assist the security by providing security tips to aid effective policing. ACP Omololu disclosed his plan to convene an elaborate security stakeholders meeting.

The president of Iwo Board of Trustees (IBOT), Prof. Lai Olurode, pledged unalloyed support for optimum performance of the security agencies.

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CBN, NIBSS SET TO TRANSFORM THE AFRICAN PAYMENT ECOSYSTEM WITH THE BRAND UNVEIL OF DOMESTIC CARD SCHEME

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The CBN announced in 2022 that it will be launching a National Domestic Card Scheme in conjunction with the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.

The new Domestic Card Scheme is a robust in-country Scheme tailored to address the specific requirements of Nigeria’s payment industry and provide innovative offerings tailored to the Nigerian market and beyond. The Scheme will transform the domestic and African payment landscape through the promotion of innovation in the payment, enhancement of interoperability domestically and internationally and improvement in the suite of products and solutions offerings by banks and other financial institutions such as debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenized cards.

The National Domestic Card set to be delivered to over 200 million Nigerians offers unique value propositions through enhanced data sovereignty and transaction security, better pricing opportunities, reduced demand for FX, enhanced financial access and support of the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy, amongst others.

The brand unveil of the new Domestic Card Scheme by CBN and NIBSS will be take place on Thursday 26th January at a virtual event that will be graced by critical stakeholders in the financial ecosystem such as the Governor of the CBN, Deputy Governors of the CBN, the Director General Securities and Exchange Commission and Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation. Also expected at the event are representatives of multilateral agencies, Switches and Processors, Payment Service Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Payment Terminal Service Providers, Payment Solutions Service Providers, card manufacturers and industry associations.

The launch of this historic Scheme presents a new dawn in the Nigerian payment ecosystem and unveils the unique opportunities presented by the Nigerian retail landscape. It is indeed the beginning of a new era, charting the future of the payment landscape as the first Domestic Card Scheme to be launched on the African continent.

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