The Federal Government has concluded plans to rescue Nigerian students trapped in Sumy, in the north eastern part of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, a new batch of 306 Nigerians returned home from war-ravaged Ukraine yesterday.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, stated that they arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 00:30 a.m. aboard Air Peace Boeing 777-300 Flight APK7534.through Budapest, Hungary.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made contact in the the Ukraine north east city of Sumy on quick evacuation of Nigeria students stuck in the region.
Similar telephone conversation was made between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the President of Nigerian Students Union, Fehintola Damilola Moses.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine is said to be following up for the successful evacuation of the students.
The arrivals increased the number of Nigerians evacuated by the Federal Government to 1,112 as 807 others had earlier been evacuated in three batches as at Saturday.
NiDCOM stated also that the returnees were excited to be home after the uncertainty of fleeing from the war.
They applauded the speedy response of the Federal Government to their plight, NiDCOM added.
Reports say many Nigerians and other nationals have fled Ukraine into nearby countries since Russia launched a full-scale war on its neighbour on Feb. 24.
The Nigerian government approved the release of 8.5 million dollars on Wednesday for the immediate evacuation of at least 5,000 Nigerians fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict zone to Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.
NiDCOM has been at the forefront of the evacuation.
US, Europe weigh plans for Ukrainian government in exile
US and European officials have been discussing how the West would support a government-in-exile helmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should he have to flee Kyiv, western officials tell CNN.
The discussions have ranged from supporting Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials in a potential move to Lviv in western Ukraine, to the possibility that Zelensky and his aides are forced to flee Ukraine altogether and establish a new government in Poland, the officials said.
The discussions are only preliminary and no decisions have been made, the sources said.
Western officials have also been wary of discussing a government-in-exile directly with Zelensky, because he wants to stay in Kyiv, and has so far rejected conversations that focus on anything other than boosting Ukraine in its fight against Russia, two western diplomats explained. They added that there have been discussions about sending one or more members of Zelensky’s government to an external location where a government could be set up in case Kyiv falls and Zelensky is unwilling or unable to get out.
“The Ukrainians have plans in place that I’m not going to talk about or get into any detail about to make sure that there is continuity of government one way or another, and I’m going to leave it at that,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS on Sunday.
US and European officials believed in the earlier days of the war that Zelensky moving to Lviv might be feasible because it was not clear whether Russia would target western Ukraine. But now—given Russia’s dramatic escalation over the last several days against civilian targets across Ukraine—they are not as sure that Russia will spare any inch of Ukrainian territory.
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Pyrates disown viral video on 2023 presidential candidate
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.”
Security: Oluwo Meets Security Operatives, Fulanis, Bororo, Others
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.
CBN, NIBSS SET TO TRANSFORM THE AFRICAN PAYMENT ECOSYSTEM WITH THE BRAND UNVEIL OF DOMESTIC CARD SCHEME
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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