So, some time last week, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello made a comment that was misconstrued as being rude not only to the Catholic Bishops, but to Christianity in general.
The comment, which I believe he made innocently but was blown out of proportion by Nigerian media succeeded in causing a lot of media protests among Nigerians, especially on social media. However, in wisdom and an impressive show of humility, the governor came out and publicly apologized for the wrong message he might have caused with his comment.
The governor not only apologized to the catholic bishops, but also to Christians generally over his alleged comment that those who opposed President MuhammaduBuhari were corrupt Christian leaders who were unhappy because looters were no longer able to pay tithes to them.
Bello said he could never insult men of God as he had tremendous respect for the catholic community.
From that story that Nigerians woke up to on Monday, another positive news that followed the following day was the news of another batch of yam export to the United States of America.
Professor Simon Irtwang, Chairman, Technical Committee on yam export, on Tuesday said yam exporters were finalizing processes to export another consignment of yam in the first quarter.
Irtwang said that the consignment in this batch would be for the United Kingdom and United States. According to him, the committee had been touring major yam markets, especially in the Southwest, to inspect the quality of yams there.
The better news in this case is that unlike the first time Yam was exported to the US, several mistakes were made ranging from the quality of yam to the packaging of the consignment. However, Irtwang said that having learnt from the challenges of the first consignment, the committee was hopeful that the second one would achieve 100 percent success.
At least with this development, although on a very small scale, our country can earn foreign exchange from other sources and sectors apart from our oil.
Moving on, it can be recalled that early in the week, the Army Chief of Staff, Lietenant-General Buratai announced that Boko Haram had been totally defeated, although I strongly believe otherwise. President MuhammaduBuhari in Abuja said the era of Boko Haram terrorism was gradually drawing to end, with the narrowing of the recruitment base of the insurgents, and renewed onslaught by the Nigerian army.
President Buhari, in a statement by the senior special assistant on media and publicity, Femi Adesina said the terrorist group had lost appeal in its initial strongholds, necessitating a steady retreat that will eventually culminate in ending the insurgency.
I do hope that all these claims and counter claims eventually become true so that we can finally bid farewell to Boko Haram and the pogrom it brought upon Nigeria.
It should not shock you right now that even as I write this article right now, it has been confirmed that Boko Haram struck in Borno State on Friday, the 16th of February, killing at least 18 persons in the suicide bomb-blast. This is coming after the claims and counter claims that the terrorist group has been disbanded.
Another important and big story that Nigerians heard on Wednesday was the good news that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG) suspended the 15-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government over unresolved labour issues.
Considering the tight situation that the country is in with the supply and cost of fuel products, a lot of Nigerians considered this as good news that would at least reduce the hardship in the system.
In addition to NUPENG calling off its strike action, seventeen ships laden with petrol were expected to sail into Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports from Friday to march 24, the Nigerian Ports Authority revealed. This announcement by the Nigerian Ports Authority on Thursday portends that very soon the queues in most filling stations will most likely reduce due to the availability of the product.
And to what I consider as the biggest and most positive development in the week under review. On Friday, the Not Too Young To Run movement gave a 30 day ultimatum to the state assemblies, national assemblies and the executive to conclude the ongoing constitutional amendments process.
This came after the age reduction bill received affirmative votes from twenty-five state assemblies thereby meeting the constitutional threshold that stipulated that any amendment to the constitution must be approved by at least twenty four state houses of assembly.
While urging the state assemblies to without further delay transmit the amendments to the National Assembly, the coordinator of the movement, Mr. Samuel Itodo further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill as soon as it was transmitted to him.
And with that story, I end this week’s edition of NEWSQUAKES. From my end here, I can only wish for more positive events and news stories in the forthcoming week.However, from our end here, it’s good-bye till we come again next weekend with a review of the biggest stories of the week.
Meet you again in peace and in one piece.