Five things to know to start your Thursday
Buhari expresses joy over release of Abuja-Kaduna train hostages
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed joy over the release of the remaining 23 held hostages of the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train attack. The hostages who had been held by Boko-Haram affiliated terrorists since March 28 were released to the Federal Government on Wednesday, thereby putting a closure to a matter that had drawn global attention.
The President, in his reaction to the news of the release of the hostages, not only applauded the military for their devotion to ensuring the release of the remaining captives but insisted that the country owes the military and all other security and intelligence agencies a debt of gratitude for the successful conduct of the operation.
He also agreed that the military has shown that they have the capacity to deal with the nation’s security challenges if properly motivated.
“This country’s armed forces are as good as any. Given needed support and encouragement, as we have been doing, there is no task that they cannot accomplish. I commend them for this remarkable outcome, “the President said, according to a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu.
The president also used the opportunity to congratulate the families of the released hostages for standing strong and having them back alive.
“In expressing satisfaction with the successful deployment of both kinetic and non-kinetic processes leading to the eventual safe release of the remaining hostages, President Buhari also congratulated the families of the victims for having them back alive,” the statement added.
“He directed that the relief that comes to the nation arising from the closure of this unfortunate saga must be sustained at all times, all over the federation.”
“The President also credited his government for resolving the issue and the de-escalation of the terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping that have surged recently, giving assurances that the efforts will be sustained.”
Atiku pledges to complete Mambilla hydro power project
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has promised to complete the Mambilla hydro power project if elected as the president in 2023 general election.
Abubakar said this at the interactive session with PDP North East Stakeholders on Wednesday in Bauchi.
He said the North East has suffered devastation due to security challenges in recent times, promising to restore the lost glory of the subregion.
Abubakar said that the interactive session was to share ideas with the stakeholders on his plans to revitalise of the North East.
He said Mambilla hydro power project has been on the drawing board for over 50 years, promising to ensure its prompt completion if given the mandate in 2023.
“If PDP is elected and I become president in 2023 we will restore the mambilla hydro power project, address insecurity in the North East,” he said.
FG to add 817MWs to national grid to boost power supply –TCN
The Federal Government says plans are ongoing to add additional 817 Megawatts (MWs) of electricity to the national grid to boost power supply within the FCT and its environs.
Sule Abdulaziz, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said this in Abuja while inspecting ongoing projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday.
Abdulaziz said that the project which belonged to TCN and referred to as the Abuja Feeding Scheme, was being funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), a donor agency.
He said when completed, it would contribute an additional 1. 465 transmission lines to the grid, thereby, upgrading and reinforcing electrical power supply to the FCT.
“With the additional lines, TCN capacity of transmission lines will be higher than what is in existence and this means that in future, we can build some sub-stations without upgrading the lines,” he said.
Greenpeace protesters disrupt UK Prime Minister Liz Truss speech
As U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss delivered a speech Wednesday in which she pledged to stick with the “disruption” of her tax-cutting economic agenda, the newly elected leader faced a different kind of disruption: Greenpeace activists.
Truss was speaking to delegates at a conservative conference in Birmingham, located in central England when two Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner reading “Who voted for this?” and shouted slogans including “Who voted for fracking?”
Security escorted the activists out of the hall as the audience booed.
Truss shrugged off the interruption with a laugh and said, “Later on in my speech, my friends, I am going to talk about the anti-growth coalition. But I think they arrived at the hall a bit too early.”
Last month, the government lifted a ban on fracking in England, opening the door to domestic shale gas production amid a European energy crisis.
“Whenever there is change, there is disruption,” she said. “Not everyone will be in favor. But everyone will benefit from the result — a growing economy and a better future. That is what we have a clear plan to deliver.”
Truss defended the chaotic rollout of her economic measures, saying that in extraordinary times, “it would have been wrong not to have proceeded rapidly with our energy and tax plan.”
Truss vowed to stick with her plan to reshape Britain’s economy through tax cuts and deregulation in a bid to end years of sluggish growth. She said cutting taxes was “the right thing to do, morally and economically.”
Musk, Twitter not yet reached deal to end court battle
Elon Musk and Twitter have not yet reached an agreement to end the litigation and clear the way for the world’s richest person to close his $44 billion deal for the social media platform, two sources familiar with the litigation told Reuters.
Musk, the world’s richest person, proposed to Twitter late Monday he would change course and abide by his April agreement to buy the company for $54.20 per share if Twitter dropped its litigation against him.
Twitter’s legal team and lawyers for Musk updated the judge on Tuesday with their attempts to try to overcome mutual distrust and find a process for closing the deal.