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The 2017 diary: February

President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

February 1. British govt deports 41 Nigerians, others over immigration issues. The British government deported 41 Nigerians and some Ghanaians over immigration issues classified as offences in the English laws. The Nigerian deportees were 33 males and eight females.
*Fire guts Balogun Market in Lagos. An early morning inferno engulfed a building where Ankara clothes (traditional fabrics ) were sold at the popular Balogun Market on Lagos Island.

February 2. Military kills 36 Boko Haram terrorists, arrests 3,332 civilian suspects. Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole killed 36 Boko Haram terrorists and arrested 3,332 civilian suspects in co-ordinated aerial and ground military operations against fleeing insurgents from Sambisa forest and other hideouts.

February 3.Wishing Buhari dead is wicked, says Obasanjo. Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, described those behind the rumoured death of President Muhammadu Buhari as not only wicked, but also callous and treacherous. ‘’I was also rumoured to have died almost 12 times. I don’t know what they derive from doing so, but they should seek for forgiveness Obasanjo added.

February 4. Ibori arrives, treated to heroic welcome in Delta. Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, arrived the country aboard the British Airways after serving his jail terms in the United Kingdom over charges bordering on corruption and money laundering.

February 5. Buhari extends vacation to complete medical tests. President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly informing it of his desire to extend his vacation in order to complete and receive the result of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

February 6. Nigerians defy Police, hold anti-govt rallies. Nigerians braved the odds to stage an anti-govt protest that resonated across major cities of the country. They agitated for better living conditions for the citizens. The protest was greeted with intimidating security presence across the states, particularly at the National Stadium and the National Theatre, both in Surulere, Lagos State.

February 8. NJC seeks extension of acting Chief Justice Onnoghen’s tenure. The Senate said it would not convene an emergency session to screen and confirm the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen whose name was forwarded to the upper legislative chamber by the Acting President , Yemi Osinbajo. But an emergency meeting would no longer be necessary as the National Judicial Council (NJC), the body that empowered to recommend judicial officers for appointment transmitted a letter to the Presidency, seeking the extension of Onnoghen’s period as the acting CJN, for another three months.

February 9. Presidency stops using of DMI for security in Villa. The Presidency might have carried out directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers drawn from Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) from the Presidential Villa. They were replaced with operatives of the Department of States Services (DSS).

February 10. ‘It’s a new dawn for Niger Delta. Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, promised a new era and new dawn for the people of oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta, saying plans were underway for the rapid development of the area. Osinbajo was in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, in continuation of his engagement visit to seek opinions on the way out of the Niger Delta impasse.

February 11. Anxiety mounts over closure of Abuja Airport. With the planned closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) on March 8, air travellers to Abuja and environs might be in for tough times, as foreign airlines plying the route were pulling out of the plan to divert traffic to Kaduna airport. The foreign airlines made up of African and European carriers, were rejecting Kaduna airport, citing security and logistic concerns.

February 12. Nigeria to service $1 billion Eurobond with N361 billion. Nigeria was considering a new debt service provision of N361 billion ($1.2billion) for the $ 1 billion (N305. 1 billion) Eurobond which was acclaimed to have been over-subscribed.

February 13. Trump pledges US weapons to combat terrorism in Nigeria. President Donald Trump of the United States assured of his country’s readiness to assist Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism. Trump also extended an invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Washington at a mutually convenient date.

February 14. Outrage as N145 billion questionable items remain in 2017 Budget. There was the fear that a huge part of funds borrowed to execute the 2017 Budget might end up in private pockets, as no less than 276 questionable items from 55 agencies remained in the document. The items, estimated at nearly half of the $1 billion Eurobond proceeds, appeared in the form of duplications, repetitions and inexplicable headings in the 2017 Budget.

February 15. At centenary, stakeholders laud Union Bank’s rebranding. Union Bank Plc’s rebranding strategy at the dawn of its 100 years of operations in the country ensured improved customer satisfaction, a hallmark of new generation banking system. It was established in 1917 in the country as Colonial Bank.

February 16. Nigerians weigh cost of Buhari’s medical vacation abroad. The real cost of President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued stay in London for his medical vacation and the attaedant fraternal trips by politicians dominated the social media landscape. The exchange rate of N510 to $1 at the parallel pushed cost of overseas travel beyond most Nigerians. Since January 20, the President was on vacation to

February 6, 2017. The stay was extended indefinitely on February 5, 2017.

February 17. Eight female suicide bombers blow up selves in Maiduguri attack. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said eight suspected suicide bombers in a Volkswagen Golf laden with explosives, attacked eastern flank of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, late on February 16, into early morning of February 17, 2017. The blasts killed two civilians and injured seven civilian JTF members.

February 19. London police called to arrest The Guardian’s reporter over Buhari. Security staff at the Abuja House in London called in policemen to arrest a correspondent of The Guardian who was on the premises to see President Muhammadu Buhari and possibly interview him.

February 21. Medical tests show I need more time to rest, says Buhari. President Muhammadu Buhari said that the results of the medical tests showed he needed more time to rest, a development which necessitated his stay in the United Kingdom longer than originally planned. He expressed gratitude to Nigerians for our “show of love and concerns”.

Febuary 22, National Assembly fumes at Osinbajo’s veto of four Bills. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo withheld assent to four Bills passed by the National Assembly in the previous year, 2016. The four proposed laws were National Lottery Amendment Bill; Dangerous Drugs Amendment Bill; Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund; and Currency Conversion Bill.

February 23. Students lead protest against xenophobic attacks on Nigerians. Youths and members of the National Association of Nigerian Student protested in Abuja against the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. The protesters burnt the national flag of the South African High Commission.

February 24. Akeredolu sworn-in as sixth Governor of Ondo. The newly sworn-in Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, assured the people of the state that his government would utilise all available means to surmount all existing challenges and build on successes of his predecessors. Akeredolu said that in his inaugural speech during the swearing-in ceremony for him and his Deputy, Mr. Alfred Agbo-ola Ajayi at the Akure Stadium.

February 25. Southern Kaduna killings: Osinbajo summons IGP to Aso Rock. To frontally tackle the embarrassing killings in Southern Kaduna additional security measures, including a total deployment of 15,285 policemen were put in place by the Nigeria Police Force in the area, as the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo summoned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to Aso Rock.

February 27. Presidency alleges plot to divide Buhari, Osinbajo. The Presidency raised the alarm over an alleged plot to cause a division between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

February 28. South Africa deports 97 Nigerians over alleged offences. No fewer than 97 Nigerians were deported from South Africa over alleged civil and criminal offences committed lately. At least six of the deportees were returned into the country for alleged drug offences, 10 were arrested and deported for alleged criminal offences while others reportedly committed immigration offences in their host country.

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