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Meet The Men In Taliban Interim Govt

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Meet the men in the Taliban Interim govt

After overthrowing the government of Afghanistan, the Taliban, on Tuesday, announced key posts for their new interim government with strong non-conformist and wanted terrorists as part of the new regime.

Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who is on a UN sanctions list, was named as leader of the new government, while Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, was named as his deputy at a news conference in Kabul.

Here is a rundown of several key senior officials announced into the Taliban government:

Mohammad Hasan Akhund, Acting Prime Minister

Mullah Mohammed Hasan Akhund is a Taliban veteran who was a close associate and political adviser to Mullah Omar, the founder of the movement and its first Supreme Leader.

A member of the group’s Supreme Council, he served as Deputy Foreign Minister in their previous regime, and was placed on a UN Security Council sanctions list connected to the “acts and activities” of the Taliban.

From Kandahar, he previously served as the Taliban Governor of the key province. He also served as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister during the Taliban’s first stint in power in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, Acting Deputy Prime Minister

Abdul Ghani Baradar, named as Deputy to Hasan, was born and raised in Kandahar, and like most Afghans, Baradar’s life was forever changed by the Soviet invasion of the country in the late 1970s, transforming him into a fighter.

He was believed to have fought side-by-side with Mullah Omar. The two would go on to found the Taliban movement in the early 1990s during the chaos and corruption of the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal.

After the Taliban government was toppled in 2001 by US-led forces, Baradar is believed to have been among a small group of Taliban members who approached interim leader, Hamid Karzai, with a potential deal that would have seen the group recognise the new administration.

Arrested in Pakistan in 2010, Baradar was kept in custody until pressure from the United States saw him freed in 2018 and relocated to Qatar.

While in Qatar, Baradar was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office and oversaw the signing of the troop withdrawal agreement with the US.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, Acting Interior Minister

The son of a famed commander from the war against the Soviets, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has doubled as the Deputy Leader of the Taliban and head of the powerful Haqqani network.

The Haqqani network is a US-designated “terror group” long viewed as one of the most dangerous armed groups in Afghanistan.

It is infamous for its use of suicide bombers and is believed to have orchestrated some of the most high-profile attacks in Kabul over the years.

The network is also accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding kidnapped Western citizens for ransom, including US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was released in 2014.

Known for their independence, fighting acumen, and savvy business dealings, the Haqqanis are mainly based in eastern Afghanistan and hold considerable sway over the Taliban’s leadership council.

Mullah Yaqoob, Acting Defence Minister

The son of Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, Mullah Yaqoob heads the group’s powerful military commission, which oversaw the vast network of field commanders charged with executing the rebellion.

On Tuesday, he was named as Defence Minister. Yaqoob’s father enjoyed cult-like status as the Taliban leader, and that potent lineage makes him a unifying figure in the movement.

Mawlawi Amir Khan Mutaqi, Acting Foreign Minister

Originally from Paktia province, Mutaqi calls himself a resident of Helmand. Mutaqi served as Minister of Culture and Information during the previous Taliban government, as well as Minister of Education.

Mutaqi was later sent to Qatar and was appointed a member of the peace commission and negotiation team that held talks with the United States.

Neither military commander nor religious leader, according to Taliban sources, Mutaqi is the chair of the Invitation and Guidance Commission, which, during the insurgency, had led efforts to get government officials and other key figures to defect.

In statements and speeches while fighting raged for control of the country, he projected a moderate voice, calling on forces holed up in provincial capitals to talk to the group to avoid fighting in urban areas.

In the weeks after the fall of Kabul, Mutaqi played a similar role with the lone holdout province of Panjshir, calling for a peaceful settlement to hostilities.

Meet the men in the Taliban Interim govt

 

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.

The resolution followed a motion by Honourable Sergius Ogun who stated that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC), is underquoted.

The lawmaker described this as fraudulent while also expressing worry that the subsidy regime has been used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over $10 billion.

The committee is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Wednesday’s move by the lawmaker came on the same day that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mele Kyari ruled out the possibility of a subsidy for diesel.

He made the comments while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream, alongside the CEO of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, among others.

“In our country today, we do not produce AGO and we regret that our refineries are not working,” he said. “Are we doing anything about it? Yes. I have heard the honourable members lamenting; yes, they (the refineries) are not working.

“This is the truth. I don’t want to bore you with why they are not working, but they are not working; I admit they are not working but we regret it. I will invite this committee at your convenience to join us to see how much work we have done to get them back to work, but they will not come back tomorrow.

“They will not! You cannot start it tomorrow. We regret this; we regret this situation, and we are doing everything possible. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery. The reason is very simple: we don’t even want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turnaround maintenance because we are concerned.”

 

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

The senate has confirmed seven persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial positions.

The upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees on Wednesday after they were screened by the “committee of the whole” chaired by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The ministers-designate will replace those who resigned to pursue political bids.

Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio and Emeka Nwajiuba are some of the ministers who resigned to pursue presidential bids.

The ministers confirmed on Wednesday are Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo), and Odo Udi (Rivers).

During screening, Ikoh said as a way of tackling employment in the country, “technical” graduates can be job creators.

“On the unemployment situation, we need more technical graduates to do most of the things we are doing right now. If you are a technical graduate, you can employ yourself and employ others,” he said.

On his part, Umana said the country could boost its foreign exchange earnings with its free trade zones.

“On the issue of how to boost foreign exchange, I want to say that even the free zones platform is a veritable platform for this,” he said.

“The free zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange.”

Nakama said the federal government must be ready to make some compromise to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“On tackling the issue of ASUU, my answer is that there will be leave of compromise. Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise and through this, we will able to solve these incessant strikes once and for all,” he said.

The remaining four nominees were asked to “take a bow and go” on the grounds of their experience.

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