L-R) The Chairman Globacom, Dr Mike Adenuga during a Courtesy visit to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio in Abuja.
L-R) The Chairman Globacom, Dr Mike Adenuga during a Courtesy visit to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio in Abuja.
…Fifteen-year Crisis resolved!!!
The leadership crisis that has rocked the Igbo community in AkwaIbom State for more than fifteen years has finally been resolved.Details of the resolution were contained in a document presented to the wife of the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mrs. Ekaette UnomaAkpabio, during a courtesy visit to her by the group at Government House, Uyo, yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Hon. Chief Godian Uzoma informed the governor’s wife that the Igbos had come a long way in the presentAkwa Ibom State, having settled in the area long before the civil war. He further noted that the civil war had led to the destruction of severalassets belonging to the Igbo people, but that because of the peaceful and prosperous climate of the area, Igbo’s came back after the war in 1972 and organised themselves into an umbrella body to foster peace and progress. Chief Uzoma however regretted that sometime in 1999, the leadership of the group succumbed to forces of disharmony which led to a protracted crisis within the Igbo Community in the state. He commended the governor’s wife for allowing God to use her as a pillar of support to the governor in his uncommon transformation of the state, especially the free and compulsory education policy that does not discriminate against non indigenes. He added that it was the same divine guidance that led her to initiate the successful peace process in the group.
Also speaking, Chief C. Y. C. Ezeumeakuka and Ichie BarnabasNwannewuihe, the former factional leaders of the Igbo Community and the Igbo Union Federated respectively, both praised the governor’s wife for her timely and harmonious role in brokering peace which had eluded the association for so long. The two leaders, in their separate statements, promised to abide by the resolutions reached at the reconciliation meeting and expressed their hope that the peace will last for generations to come.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Mrs. Bridget Okpala, PresidentOhanaeze Women, acknowledged the role of the governor’s wife in resolving the crisis, describing it as a feat that no one has been able to achieve in the past 15 years. She described Mrs. Akpabio as a peacemaker, nicknamed her the Esther of the Igbo people adding that the resolution of the crisis will impact positively on Ndigbo across Nigeria.
A leader of the group, Chief Richard Onuchukwu, tendered an apology to the wife of the governor for the protracted crisis which had, over the years, hampered the contributions of the Igbo community to the development of the state and their peaceful co-existence.
Presenting the resolutions, the leader of the Reconciliation Committee, Mrs. Maureen Aniekan Umanah commended the governor’s wife for allowing God to use her to resolve the crisis, noting that one of the resolutions reached was that any member who is at any time found guilty of contravening the peace accord would be banished from the state.
Responding, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabiocommended the group for finally sheathing their swords. She expressed deep regret that the crisis had at some point claimed the life of one of their leaders, noting that by spending so much on litigation and in-fighting, the group had lost so much resources and opportunities which could have been used for the development of their members.
Mrs. Akpabio, who holds the title of Adadioramma 1, urged the group never to succumb again to the forces of retrogression but to work together with the governor and the current administration to build a greater Akwa Ibom State that all Nigerians can be proud to call home.
The event also witnessed the presentation of a seven-member Interim Executive Committee for the Igbo Community which has a mandate to conduct elections within three months.
Also present at the visit were Mrs Asuama Sydney, Cordinator Family Life Enhancement Initiative, Dr Carter Onyezeiri and other members of the reconciliatory committee.
Mrs Comfort Williams (Mrs.)
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
P M B 309
GARKI – ABUJA
1 August 2014
MILITARY ENQUIRY INTO THE ZARIA SHOOTING INCIDENT IS ONGOING
The need to calm the situation in Zaria city after the recent encounter between soldiers on routine patrol and members of Shiite Islamic sect in Zaria last Friday informed the initial taciturn posture of the Defence Headquarters on the issue. While not underplaying the significance of such incident, it was also necessary to ensure that sufficient information was obtained beginning from the unit level and other reliable sources at the location.
A preliminary investigation was therefore initiated to unravel the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident. An enquiry is subsequently ongoing at the Divisional level.
Although the report of the preliminary investigation at the unit level has vehemently contradicted some of the issues raised by the leader of the group, in his statement, especially on the allegation of extra judicial killings, the higher Headquarters is conducting additional investigation on the incident to ascertain the claims in the preliminary reports from the unit level. In spite of the preliminary findings, the importance placed on the respect for Human Rights in all military operations, activities and interactions, has prompted the additional steps presently being taken to ascertain the true situation.
Accordingly, the higher level of military enquiry is with a view to unmasking the remote and immediate causes of the incident and to identify anyone found culpable. Meanwhile, those apprehended during the incident are being interrogated.
The Defence Headquarters deeply commiserates with the families of those that lost their lives in that unfortunate incident, especially the leader of the group who was reported to have lost his sons. Indeed, his present disposition is understandable as it is pathetic. No effort will be spared to ensure necessary justice on this matter.
Director Defence Information
Family of the late Dora Akunyili has released details about the late former Minister’s burial programme.
The programme shows that she will be buried on August 28, 2014.
The family of former Minister of Information and Communications, late Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, has released a week-long programme of activities for her funeral, culminating in her burial on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
The programme, released today in Enugu by Prof. Akunyili’s husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, starts with a Christian Wake-Keep at No. 2A Bishop Onyeabor St., G.R.A. Enugu, to hold from 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 22.
A Night of Tributes is to hold at International Conference Centre Abuja from 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 25, while a Mass would be held for her at Pro-Cathedral Catholic Church, Abuja, by 10:00 a.m. the next day, August 26.
After the Church Service, Dora’s body would leave for Enugu, where there would be a Mass at KSJ Temple at 4:00 p.m. After a High Requiem Mass at Holy Ghost Cathedral Enugu at 9:00 a.m. the next day (Wednesday, August 27), Dora’s body would be taken to UNCOMA Hall, College of Medicine, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, for Final College Assembly to start from 11:30 a.m. From there, the body would be taken to Awka for Anambra State Government activities, then to Dora’s father’s house in Nanka, before being returned to her husband’s house at Agulu for a Vigil Mass/Wake-Keep.
On Thursday, August 28, Dora’s body would lie in state at John Chike Akunyili’s Compound before leaving for Agulu Town Hall, then Madonna Catholic Church Agulu for a Requiem Mass to hold by 10:00 a.m. Interment at John Chike Akunyili’s Compound follows at 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Akunyili in a statement expressed gratitude to Nigerians for their outpouring of love and support for his family at this moment of grief. “This has gone a great way in helping us to cope with the monumental loss of our precious gem, my beloved wife, Dora,” he said.
It would be recalled that Prof. (Mrs.) Akunyili, a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), died last Saturday, June 7, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Prof. (Mrs.) Akunyili, who was a delegate to the on-going National Conference in Abuja, would have turned 60 on July 14, 2014.
Dr. Chike Akunyili (Husband)
Enugu, Wednesday, July 31, 2014.
Following concerns being raised in several concerns, especially parents, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has announced the redeployment of corps members from seven northern states.
The affected states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano and Yobe states.
According to a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the Director of Public Relations in NYSC, Mrs. Bose Aderibigbe, the decision followed the high rate of insecurity in some parts of the North.
The corps members are part of the 2014 Batch ‘B’ Orientation Course scheduled to commence next week Tuesday August 5, 2014.
The NYSC said due to logistic reasons, the orientation course will be conducted in two streams for different states.
The Stream One exercise will be conducted from Tuesday, August 5 to Tuesday, August 26 2014 in Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Oyo, Niger, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kogi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Ogun, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states.
Corps members posted to states listed in the Stream One category will undergo the orientation course in their respective states of deployment.
The statement explained that the Stream Two exercise, meant for the affected northern states, had been scheduled for Monday, September 1, 2014 to Monday, September 22, 2014.
Corps members posted to Adamawa State will have their orientation programme in Niger; Bauchi corps members are expected to resume in Plateau State orientation camp while those posted to Borno State are to proceed to the Nasarawa State camp.
Other affected states are Gombe, where corps members are expected to serve in Benue and Jigawa State corps members are expected to have their orientation programme in Kaduna.
Corps members posted to Yobe State are expected to resume at the Federal Capital Territory Orientation camp.
The NYSC said corps members posted to Kano State would be notified of the state of their orientation in due course while those posted to Osun State will serve in Osun for the second stream of the exercise.
Members of the Enugu State House of Assembly are not ready to give up on their plan to impeach the Deputy Governor of the State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi.
The ongoing impeachment proceeding against Onyebuchi entered another phase on Thursday as the House of Assembly asked the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Innocent Umezurike to set up a seven-man panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct leveled against the embattled deputy governor.
The latest resolution was sequel to the receipt of the reply to the allegations by the deputy governor in which he denied all the allegations, expressing delight however that none of the allegations bothered on financial impropriety.
The CJ was given seven-days within which to set up the panel, whose membership must be in line with constitutional provisions.
Onyebuchi is in a political battle of his life following order from his boss, Governor Sullivan Chime, asking him to resign his position.
Wife of former Military Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Hajiya Asiya Buhari, Thursday condemned the assassination attempt on her husband in Kaduna last week.
She therefore, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign from office, saying it was high time he did so.
In a terse statement made available to media houses, Asiya Buhari advised the President to follow the example of former South Korean Prime Minister, Jung Hong-won who resigned over his government’s handling of the ferry accident which left more than 300 people dead.
“As he saw grieving families suffering with the pain of losing their loved ones and the sadness and resentment of the public, he took responsibility as prime Minister; he apologised to his country and resigned because of service to humanity,” she said.
“Jonathan should emulate such a leader, because Nigerians have been dying daily, for the four years, hoping that government is going to do something, but we are tired of this insecurity and increased attacks on innocent people.
“Where is Jonathan? What is he doing? If action is not taken now, when? It is not enough to verbally condemn; action is long overdue,” Asiya concluded.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday condemned the show of force displayed by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) in some areas in the state on Wednesday.
The masked-operatives had driven round the metropolis and shot sporadically into the air, an act that scared many residents.
Speaking in Oshogbo at the commissioning of the emergency call centre built for efficient security network in the state, the governor lamented that the display was meant to intimidate the people as no situation called for such.
Aregbesola stated that his administration will launch an official complaint to the authorities concerned, saying that they have no constitutional right to threaten or intimidate law abiding citizens of the state.
“We owe it a duty to let the whole world know what is happening here. This is against the right of the Nigerian people. We’ve all forgotten that we pay the salaries of the security agencies,” he said.
“We don’t pay for them to wear mask in our towns. They should only wear masks when they engage terrorists and if they have to operate in a region where seeing them might compromise their own safety and security.
“What would they say is the reason for what they are doing now other than threat, shock and awe? So, what this means is that they want to conquer and cow our people, which is a direct assault on democracy.
“I won’t take gun against them but I will not be quiet. We should all talk and condemn it because this is not about Aregbesola alone,” the governor stressed.
On the call centre, he explained that the facility will immediately alert security operatives at the dial of a distress call line (080067866786) that can take 24 calls at a time and 100 (hundred) calls when upgraded.
The governor pointed out that just as it has been done in all other aspects of public life in Osun, protecting the lives and property of the people is a task that has kept the administration busy and for which his administration will continue to shoulder.
He said it is a task for which his government was fully committed to observing, adding that government would leave no stone unturned in terms of welfare and security of the people.
“This Emergency Call Centre will go a long way in enhancing the effectiveness of the various security measures we have been putting in place for the safety of lives and property in Osun,” Aregbesola added.
“Towards this end, therefore, we have gradually been building a mutually reinforcing security system that will guarantee the pursuit of a ‘life more abundant’ in the State of Osun. We have, among other measures, set up a patrol unit, the Swift Action Squad (SAS).
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it is maintaining strict screening of visitors at airports, seaports and border areas to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus into the country.
Mr Emeka Obua, NIS Public Relations Officer, stated this in Abuja on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the Service was collaborating with the Port Health Services and Plant Quarantine Services to screen visitors entering the country.
“All immigrants, including plants and animals, entering the country are screened for any form of disease that can cause harm to the health of Nigerian citizens.
“We, in collaboration with sister agencies, have always maintained tight security at the ports checking to ensure that anything or anyone entering the country is certified to do so”, he said.
Obua said that Port Health Services officials were immediately alerted in cases where they encountered travelers with incomplete certificate of vaccination or obvious signs of ill-health.
He urged officers at the ports and border areas to take precautionary measures by wearing protective clothing to prevent contact with the virus.
He said that officers deployed to those areas always met with travelers; hence it was mandatory for them to wear face masks, hand gloves and other protective item.
Obua said the measure was to reduce the risk of contracting the virus as it was easily transmitted through physical contact and air.
“The Ministry of Health has alerted us not to have direct physical contact with any traveler, and to take precaution since we come in contact with people at the country’s entry and exit points.
“They have advised us to wear protective clothing like face masks and hand gloves”, he said. (NAN)
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, has withdrawn his committee’s ringing endorsement of the education policies of the Rauf Aregbesola administration, saying the good policies have been ‘darkened’.
Senator Chukwumerije in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the decision to withdraw the endorsement was due to feelers from stakeholders in the state who claimed that the reality as seen three years ago have been eroded.
The senator had in 2012 while leading a delegation of the Committee on Education on a supervisory visit to Osun State, commended the education policies of the Aregbesola administration as unprecedented in the country.
“The Governor of Osun is God-sent to his people. Aregbesola, as a fresh governor, has shown that he is a serious-minded person. For the first time, the education policy of Ogbeni Aregbesola remains the best in the country, even ahead that of Lagos State”, Senator Chukwumerije was quoted then as saying.
But two years down the line, he has reversed himself, saying too many waters have passed under the bridge.
His statement read in part: “Two years ago when the Senate Committee on Education visited Osun State as part of its oversight functions, I had cause to commend the education policies of Rauf Aregbesola.
“Over 700 days down the line, a lot of water has passed under the bridge with many insisting that those policies were merely on paper.
“In addition, stakeholders in the State, especially parents, proprietors, and school managers have inundated the Committee with tell-tales of woes in schools in the State, adding that the waters that have passed under the bridge in two years have been muddied. They cited as an example the questionable N8 billion ‘Opon Imo’ project. This has also been confirmed by political opponents of the governor in their public comments. When good policies are darkened the way that project was, then change is a must”, Chukwumerije said.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has described Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka as a global achiever.
Amaechi, who felicitated with Soyinka on his 80th birthday at a dinner, held in his honour at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, said the renowned writer had been consistent in the literary world and had brought laurels to Nigeria despite the country’s current travails.
Explaining that Soyinka’s achievement spanned across the globe, the governor noted that he was able to attain the feat as a result of hard work.
He said, “I need to thank you for accepting the invitation by the Rivers State Government to host you to a dinner. The reason for it is basically the achievements that you have made globally not just in Nigeria.
“You have in the midst of our so many bad news brought good name to Nigeria. I will give you an example; like those days when Nigerians were very good in football, wherever we went, we would say ‘I am from Nigeria. I’m related to Okocha or to Kanu’.
“This is because the only good news then was just the football we played but as things are, the football has joined so many negative things too because we are not doing too well as we used to do before. But you have remained consistent in the literary world.
“The good thing about your own achievement is the fact that it has to do with hard work. If you don’t read, you won’t be a good writer. Nobody can tell you that once you wake up, you become a good writer. Reading begets writing and you must understand what you are writing about”.
In his response, the Nobel Laureate, who expressed gratitude to Amaechi for honouring him, attributed his good physical condition to his eating habit.
The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) on Thursday said contrary to the claims by some individuals that the Federal Government was behind the recent assassination attempt on the life of former head of state, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), the Boko Haram sect was responsible.
The NSA recalled that as far back as February, leader of the terrorist sect, Abubakar Shekau, had threatened Buhari and some other prominent northerners, calling them infidels that must be dealt with.
Dasuki spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the Council of State meeting during which the issue of the attack on Buhari came up for discussion.
He said, “We said something about the attack on Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi.
“There was a threat as far back as February this year issued by Shekau calling them infidels by names and positions saying that they were in trouble and they were going to see.
“Well, the government was not responsible, and if you say that the government was responsible in the case of General Buhari, why don’t you say the same in the case of Sheik Dahiru Bauchi?
“We said it not because we had facts but because it is what sells the paper. That is the most unfortunate thing. And we want to say that it was not only General Buhari, there were others mentioned too”.
Dousing the fears that Boko Haram might have started turning the abducted Chibok schoolgirls to female suicide bombers, Dasuki said government did not have control over the girls as long as they are still in captivity.
He, however, said when they are released, government would put in place a reorientation programme for them before they would be reunited with their parents.
He said, “What really can anybody do? The Chibok girls who are in captivity are not under Federal Government’s control.
“The only thing we do is to try and address those who are outside. There is already a programme we will put them through if they are released today to make sure that if there is any indoctrination, we will try and reduce the intensity.
“That is all we can do before they go back to normal life. We can’t do anything to stop them from being indoctrinated.
“The girls who are doing these things are not by any means indoctrinated. That is not what we have as at now”, Dasuki maintained.
The Peoples Democratic Party, Kwara State chapter, yesterday accused a former Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who publicly declared his membership of the All Progressives Congress on Wednesday, as being an APC mole in President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
The State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Rex Olawoye, in a statement on Thursday, said the party was not surprised at Abdullahi’s declaration for APC.
The PDP spokesman alleged that unknown to many Nigerians, Abdullahi on Saturday, February 8, 2014 secretly registered as a card-carrying member of the APC in Kwara State.
He stated that Abdullahi actually became a member of the APC five months ago, before President Jonathan sacked him as minister.
Olawoye said, “His latest ‘open declaration’ was only a façade to deceive unsuspecting members of the public. This development has therefore evidently confirmed the fear of well-meaning Nigerians, who raised the alarm then that Mallam Abdullahi, was planted in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan by the opposition APC to sabotage the government of Nigeria from within. The good news, though, is that he was spotted by the Presidency way before he could do further damage to the government he pretended to be serving.
“On national development, there is no worst case of self-indictment than that of a man who served for an upward of four years as a Commissioner of Education to now turn around to lament over the quality of education in the state, and by extension, the country at large!
“What can Abdullahi point to as his concrete contributions to the socio-economic development of Kwara State in the last eight years that he presided over critical state and federal ministries and parastatals? How has he impacted on the lives of his people within the period that he held sway as both minister in charge of sports and the youths ministries?”
Olawoye stated that it was only when Abdullahi and his handlers were able to truthfully answer the above questions that he could have the moral high ground to disparage the claimed impressive achievements recorded over the years by the PDP-led Federal Government.
Olawoye labelled Abdullahi as a liability to any political party that he joins, adding that the former minister had a past riddled with controversies.
He, therefore, advised the APC to ensure that Abdullahi was asked to first purge himself of the vestiges of the past before he could be formally admitted into its fold.
Olawoye said, “Abdullahi should be asked to seek the forgiveness of families of innocent public school teachers, who his obnoxious and draconian policies when he was Kwara State
Enyimba are through to their second successive Federation Cup final following a 1-0 win over Giwa FC at the MKO International Stadium Abeokuta on Thursday.
The ‘Peoples Elephants’s’ 25-year-old Cameroonian export Raphael Boumsong broke the deadlock in the second-half after both sides had went into the interval searching for an opener.
Coach Khadiri Ikhana’s men will now progress to their fifth Cup final in six years, where they will face four-time winners Dolphins of Port-Harcourt.
An Ebube Okpokwu match-winner helped Dolphins beat Prime FC- the only representative from the Nigeria lower league- at the Fifa Goal Project in Abuja.
Both losing semi-finalists were reduced to ten men in the second-half, with Ifeanyi Anaemena of Giwa getting his marching order for a dangerous tackle on Enyimba’s substitute Chinonso Okonkwo, while Prime’s Abdullah Fatai was also red-carded.
Enyimba defeated Warri Wolves last year to claim their first Cup title in their fourth asking.
The winners of this year’s tournament are assured of a place in next season’s Caf Confederations Cup.
The final of the 2014 FA Cup comes up at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on Saturday, August 16.
Rafael Nadal’s defence of his US Open title faces fitness race, after the Spaniard injured his wrist with less than a month to the start of the championship.
The 28-year-old, who defeated top seed Novak Djokovic to claim 2013 edition of the fourth Grand Slam of the year, will be out of action for two to three weeks after hurting his right wrist in training on Tuesday.
Nadal has pulled out of the two major hard-court season warm-ups ahead of the US Open- the Cincinnati and Toronto championships- where he’s also a reigning champion.
“I’m extremely disappointed that I am unable to defend my titles,” the world number two said.
The 14-time career Grand Slam winner has not played any competitive match since his shock defeat by Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
The Toronto Masters starts on Monday with the Cincinnati event beginning the following week.
“Unfortunately I injured my right wrist on Tuesday during practice,” he said.
“After the tests I have undergone in Spain, including MRI and checking with my doctors, I will have to stay out of competition for at least two to three weeks.”
The 2014 US Open begins on August 25 at Flushing Meadows.
Stephen Keshi has reiterated his commitment to the Nigeria national team, with talks of renewing his contract in full swing.
AfricanFootball.com reports that the Nigeria Football Federation has will forward a letter of intent for contract renewal to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2013-winning manager.
Keshi, 52, speaking from the United States said: “Yes, I met with Deji Tinubu in Lagos before heading out for the US to see my family.
“It’s my country, I am ready to serve. I have started something I would love to finish.”
Without mincing words, the ‘big boss’ added there, however, has to be improvement in the working conditions for his new deal, compared to what was obtainable during his previous spell.
“But I cannot work the way I worked last time, it’s not possible! All my staff, no! no!! no!!! We have to be professional, everybody has to do what they are supposed to do,” he added.
“I cannot be paying another staff salary, when I am not the Nigeria Football Federation. We will see how it goes. If the conditions are met, we will be there, no wahala.”
Head of the three-man committee for the coach’s new contract talks, Tinubu, also confirmed to AfricanFootball.com they “are making progress” and hopes both parties reach an agreement before the start of the Afcon 2015 qualifiers in September.
“We would have our terms and we know he would have his terms, but we would be working in such a way that we would arrive at an agreeable term that would suit both parties and then hopefully he signs,” Tinubu said.
The Super Eagles will start the defence of the title it won in South Africa last year against the 2013 hosts, Sudan and the winner of the second round qualifier between Congo and Rwanda.
The 2015 tournament will come up in Morocco from January 17 to February 8.
believes in doing things by himself.
The leader of the disbanded Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) over allegations he sponsored the recent assassination attempt on former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Following the July 23 bomb attack in Kaduna that killed about 85 people and which allegedly targeted General Buhari and prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, the social media was awash with reports that one of the suspects in the incident, who was arrested by security agencies, claimed the former Niger Delta militant paid them N5 million to carry out the attack.
In the petition signed by his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, Esq, and addressed to the Director-General of DSS, Nta Ekpenyong, Dokubo-Asari urged the agency to investigate the allegations contained in the publication so as to put an end to the threat to his life and family.
Youths groups under the aegis of the Niger Delta Youth Leaders Council on Thursday announced a last minute cancellation of their one million man march on Abuja, the nation’s capital, in support of President Goodluck Jonathan to declare his ambition to run for second term in office.
The groups said they decided to shelve the rally planned in honour of people who died from suspected Boko Haram bomb blasts during the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, coordinator of the groups, Barrister George Turnah, said after series of consultations with stakeholders, it was resolved that the rally be suspended based on the “mood of the nation and security reasons and as well to condole with our brothers in the north who lost loved ones during the several bomb blasts in Kaduna, Borno, Yobe and Kano states”.
According to him, a new date will be announced for the rally later.
Recall that the pan-northern socio-political organization, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, had on Wednesday said the planned rally was ill-timed and a disregard to the feelings of Nigerians, particularly those in the North, who are under constant threat of terror attacks. It also urged northern youths to participate in the rally.
Turnah said the Nigerian youths also condole with President Jonathan on the issue of terrorism and urged him to “go ahead in his efforts in securing the abducted school girls”.
He urged politicians to put Nigeria’s interest first before their personal interest in the fight against insurgency.
Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State yesterday pleaded with striking workers in the state to come to terms with the reality of their salary reduction and return to work as there was no way out of the tight financial angle the state government has found itself.
The state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday commenced an indefinite strike action until the state government reverses the deduction of workers June salary among other demands.
Suswam in his appeal to the workers, urged them to “face the reality of the situation and come back to work”.
He explained that “There are two options; either to reduce the salaries of workers or downsize and I felt that the second option would be very bad for the state. What we have done is not reduction but we are harmonizing workers’ salaries with that of teachers so that they can be at par. We have to take this step now given the fact that the resources of the nation has dwindled”.
Adamawa youths under the banner of Concerned Youths for Good Governance, have called on the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and contest in the Adamawa State governorship by-election.
Ribadu is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress but is being courted by the ruling PDP in the state due to his soaring popularity.
Speaking in an interactive session with stakeholders from 21 local government areas in the state in Yola, chairman of the group, Ibrahim Toungo said the former anti-graft czar has all it takes to win election on the platform of PDP.
He extolled the leadership qualities of Ribadu, saying his moral background achievements at the EFCC have convinced the youths that he is a selfless manager of people and resources as well as being a focused leader.
Decrying the level of infrastructural decay in the state in the last 15 years, Toungo noted that Adamawa youths decided to support Ribadu as the next governor for a common good.
He said the one-time presidential candidate is conversant with problems of the state and could chart the way forward by reviving the economy and ailing infrastructure in the state.
The CYGG leader said with the popularity of the PDP in Adamawa, fielding Nuhu Ribadu as the party’s candidate will be an added advantage that could guarantee the party’s victory in 2015, adding that “in Nigeria, the PDP remains the only platform that can guarantee electoral victory because of its teeming supporters. Our research and finding revealed that the PDP is well rooted with seventy percentage (70%) support base in the State (Adamawa)”.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Benue, have ordered their members to embark on an indefinite strike with effect from July 31 if the state government fails to meet their demands.
This was disclosed in a communiqué jointly signed by the NLC Chairman, Simon Anchaver, and his TUC counterpart, Ordue Tartenger, in Makurdi after their meeting.
The two unions in the communiqué called on the Benue government to reverse the reduction of workers’ salaries or face the wrath of the workers.
The unions also expressed worry over the decision of government to unilaterally deduct salaries of workers in spite of the position of the organised labour that it would resist attempt to reduce workers’ salaries.
“The joint session observes with dismay the non-payment of minimum wage to pensioners and the non-implementation of 15 per cent and 2.5 per cent increment to pensioners. We also observe that primary school teachers are yet to enjoy the full implementation of the minimum wage, they should also be paid alongside with other workers”, the communiqué said.
The organised labour called on the state government to refund excess tax deduction from its members since 2011 and refund all deductions made in respect of the national housing funds.
“The three years leave and transport grant arrears owed our members by the state government must also be paid forthwith. The state government should address other issues affecting our members before the close of work on Wednesday or else we will embark on an indefinite strike July 31”, it said.
Gov. Gabriel Suswam ordered the deduction of all staff salaries in the state to enable the government implement the primary school teachers’ minimum wage. (NAN)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun on Thursday said that all arrangements had been concluded to receive President Goodluck Jonathan in Osogbo on Saturday.
The Secretary of PDP in Osun, Mr. Bola Ajao, made this known when he addressed journalists in Osogbo.
Ajao said the President was coming to throw his weight behind Senator Iyiola Omisore’s bid to win the state governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the election holds August 9.
He said Jonathan would also use the visit to intimate the residents with his transformation agenda.
“The President’s passion for overall development is not hidden. Few days from now, residents will be at the poll to elect a governor to steer the ship of the state for another four years.
“The import of the President’s visit is not only to boost the candidature of the party’s governorship candidate but to further explain his transformation agenda to the people.
“A vote for the PDP is a vote for individual growth and collective emancipation through a one man one woman vote”, he said.
According to him, PDP leaders, including Vice-President Namadi Sambo, will accompany the president, who is also expected to visit the Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuade.
The president will address residents at the township stadium, Osogbo.
Mr. Omisore of the PDP is the main challenger to the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress. (NAN)
Four suspects have been arrested by the police in Bayelsa State for their roles in the abduction of Madam Fiorentina, the 90-year-old mother of Senator Emmanuel Paulker.
It was learnt that some of the suspects had confessed to the crime and were helping security agencies to track the location of the kidnappers.
The state government on Thursday gave kudos to security agencies in the state, especially the police, for the prompt manner they responded to the incident.
Confirming the arrest of the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilary Opara, assured that the nonagenarian would soon be released.
Recall that the victim, who was first kidnapped in 2010, was on Wednesday morning again abducted by unknown gunmen at her residence in Opolo-Epie, Yenagoa.
The state Security Adviser, Lt. Col. Benard Kenebai (rtd), in a statement in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, also confirmed that the urgent response of the security agencies led to the arrest of the four suspects.
Kenebai on behalf of the government, assured security agencies of the needed support in their efforts to free the woman and arrest other suspects.
“One of the prime suspects arrested within minutes of the distress call and three others arrested less than six hours later, have all made very useful statements to the police and efforts are on to ensure the prompt and successful release of the victim”, he said.
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro, has congratulated the new Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba on his appointment.
Until his appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, Abba was the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
Okiro, a former Police IG, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, advised the new police chief to rise up to the challenges of his new appointment.
He noted that as a tested officer who had held various Command positions in the Nigeria Police Force, he has no doubt that Abba would bring new perspectives in the search for solutions to the security threats confronting the nation.
National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh has denied receiving $2 million from Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, to accept him back to the party.
Umeh spoke shortly after commissioning Abia State office of the party, saying he was not a politician to be purchased with money.
“Such things cannot be touted with my name any more. I have proved myself in Nigerian politics as somebody who can’t be purchased by anybody, no matter how much money you have.
“I am so focused and concerned on the affairs of this party and Igbo people and if you want to achieve that, you will not allow money to influence you.
“All the people who had contested elections in the party, nobody can say he bribed me. I don’t behave like that.”
He also noted that Governor Okorocha had been swallowed by his misadventure of leaving APGA in the first place.
He alleged that the governor had been sending emissaries to him to be allowed back to the party, but his request has been turned down as it was impossible.
“As for Okorocha, he has been swallowed by his misadventure and it is normal that he will be saying anything. Of course, he has been sending people to me that he will like to return, but you see him quickly refuting it.
“I said no, you did not behave well, we can’t entrust him with APGA again to do anything.
“If Imo people want him, it should be through APGA. I am very certain that they have rejected him, that is why he is running back to APGA to see if he can clean himself up. Let him stay.
“We have capable people that can rescue Imo State. He said he is on a rescue mission, but rather he imprisoned Imo State. We have capable people in Imo who will rescue Imo people, people with true Igbo spirit that is lacking in him.
“He is not somebody you can describe as a proud Igbo man. I know what we did to give Imo people governor through APGA so that Imo State will help Anambra State to get the rest of South East together for the good of our people.”
“After that strenuous effort, he threw it away and joined foreigners. So what are we going to do with him again? If you are in my position as chairman of APGA, what will you do, nothing.
“We are making very serious effort to win the election, and I am sure that we are going to win. We will win back Imo State and we shall hold him accountable for his misdeeds,” Umeh said.
President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of AIG Suleiman Abba as the new Inspector‑General of Police.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said AIG Abba, currently the Assistant Inspector‑General of Police in charge of Zone 7, comprising Abuja, Kaduna and Niger states, replaces the incumbent Inspector‑General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, who proceeds on statutory retirement today (yesterday) having completed 35 years in service.
“The incoming Inspector‑General, a lawyer, hails from Jigawa State and is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS. Positions previously held by him in the Police include Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, FCT Command, Deputy Force Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Rivers State. His appointment is with effect from today, August 1, 2014.”
The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Mbama Okiro in a congratulatory message to the new IGP said it was a deserved appointment.
In a statement by Mr. Ferdinand Ekpe, Assistant Director, Information of the commission, Okiro advised him to rise up to the challenges of his new appointment, noting that as a tested officer who had held various Command positions in the Nigeria Police Force, he had no doubt he (Abba) would bring new perspectives in the search for solutions to the security threats confronting the nation.
Abba formerly served as the Deputy Force Secretary at Force headquarters and Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Kebbi State Police Command. He was also the Aide de Camp to Mrs. Mariam Abacha and was also once the officer in charge MOPOL 44 Abuja
Petr Cech’s career in Chelsea may be finally over as Jose Mourinho’s recent comments suggests the goalkeeper may not be in his plans for next season.
“Petr is ready to fight for his position but Thibaut is the best young goalkeeper in the world, no doubts about that,” the Portuguese tactician said.
“They will fight and for me it’s a good problem to have to make a decision.”
Mourinho’s mind is made up on who his second goalkeeper will be as he spoke highly of Mark Schwarzer in the cover up role.
“… I know that Mark Schwarzer is a very good keeper, very stable and a good man, completely ready to be our second goalkeeper like he was last season and to give positive performances if we need him to play.
“So if he’s our second goalkeeper, we will feel very safe with him.”
With these words, Mourinho hinted the end of Cech’s glittering career at Chelsea.
Thibaut Courtois had spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid where he grew to be one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and would have stayed longer if he had no place yet at the Stamford bridge.
Both Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are closely watching the Cech, who last week admitted “I don’t want to sit on the bench.”
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare successfully completed a Commonwealth Games sprint double after another dominant performance in the women’s 200m final at Hampden Park on Thursday.
The 25-year-old held her nerves to finish it down the line in 22.25secs, ahead of Team England’s pair of Jodie Williams and Bianca Williams, both ending up behind the African spring queen in a time of 22.50secs and 22.58secs respectively
The victory also saw her become the first African to clinch a Commonwealth Games sprint double.
It was always Okagbare’s race to win in the absence of Jamaica’s Kelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will only be competing in the women’s relay events in Glasgow, and the Nigerian ensured there was no fairy tale disappointment on her way to a second gold medal.
Having qualified from last night’s heat and the semi-finals early Thursday night in 22.99secs and 22.43secs respectively, the 2013 World Championships bronze medalist ensured there was no deep in form and eventually made it two wins out of two.
While the Beijing Olympic bronze medalist shifted attention to the track at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Team-mate Ese Brume, 19, won the women’s long-jump event in the absence of her hero.
Brume’s 6.56m jump was enough to help her clinch gold in the long jump final.
AndrewDick won silver in the men’s freestyle 86kg wrestling after losing the event’s final to Canada’s Tamerlan Aasagziev.
There were also bronze medals for team Nigeria’s Ifeoma Nwonye in the women’s 55kg freestyle wrestling, Amas Daniel in the men’s 61kg and Sampson Clark in the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestling events.
As at time of report, Team Nigeria has won 25 medals (8 gold, 6 silvers and 11 bronze) and are ranked 8th on the medal standings.
The government-appointed head of China’s largest mosque has been murdered after conducting morning prayers, the local government in the far western region of Xinjiang has said.
State media report on Thursday that Jume Tahir, the Uighur imam of the 600-year-old Id Kah mosque in the city of Kashgar, was killed on Wednesday by “three thugs influenced by religious extremist ideology”, the Xinjiang state website Tianshan said.
Police launched an all-out investigation and shot dead two of the alleged assailants while capturing the other, Tianshan said. Tianshan added Tahir’s killing was “premeditated” and that the suspects intended to commit a “ruthless murder”.
Tahir was found dead in a pool of blood outside the mosque’s prayer house, US-based Radio Free Asia reported earlier on its website.
The death comes days after possibly one of the deadliest incidents in Xinjiang in years, where rebel Muslim Uighurs have been fighting for independence.
On Monday, the government said a gang armed with knives and axes killed or injured dozens of people in Shache county near eastern Xinjiang city of Kashgar. Police returned fire, with the death toll estimated to be as high as 200.
Neither Tahir’s murder nor Monday’s violence could be independently verified.
Tahir’s high-profile support for the government – the report referred to him as a “patriotic religious personage” – and his criticism of violence in Xinjiang likely made him a target or rebels.
The official reports identified the three suspects as Tuergong Tuerxun, Maimaiti Jiangremutila, and Nuermaimaiti Abidilimiti, the Chinese renderings of Uighur names.
The reports said the suspects attempted to resist arrest with knives and axes. The reports did not say which of the three were killed. [AFP]
Sierra Leone began quarantining areas of Ebola infection, as international health officials announced an international $100m plan to combat an epidemic which has already killed more than 700 people in West Africa.
Security forces set up quarantines on Thursday, hours after Sierra Leone’s President, Ernest Bai Koroma, ordered a state of emergency, cancelled a trip to the US and called a summit with regional leaders and the World Health Organisation on how to deal with the crisis.
“I hereby proclaim a state of public emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak,” he said in a speech late on Wednesday, adding that the measures would initially last between 60 and 90 days. “All centres of the disease will be quarantined,” he added.
Koroma said that the police and the military would restrict movement between affected areas, and would provide support to health officers and NGOs following a number of attacks on health workers by local communities.
Koroma also said that house-to-house searches would be implemented to trace Ebola victims and quarantine them.
He added that new protocols had been established for passengers arriving and departing Lungi airport outside Freetown.
In a statement, the WHO said the death toll from the outbreak of Ebola had risen to 729 after 57 deaths were reported between July 24 and 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The WHO added that its $100m fund will be launched at a Friday meeting in Conakry, Guinea.
“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level,” the organisation said.
“This will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination.”
A Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, which was later overturned, left Europe on Thursday for the United States, where she will make her new home.
Meriam Ibrahim, her husband and their children were due to arrive in Philadelphia on Thursday on a flight from Rome, where last week they met privately with Pope Francis.
The Rev William Devlin, a New York City pastor who has helped the family, said they would be flying onto Manchester, New Hampshire.
Meriam’s husband, Daniel Wani, had previously lived in New Hampshire, where hundreds of southern Sudanese refugees have settled over the years. He had been granted US citizenship when he fled to the United States as a child to escape civil war, but he later returned and was a citizen of South Sudan.
Sudan initially blocked Ms Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June. At one point, the family took refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum.
Rev Devlin said Ms Ibrahim expressed some sadness when he talked to her Wednesday.
“She is leaving everything she knows behind,” he said.
Ms Ibrahim had been sentenced to death over charges of apostasy.
Her father was Muslim, and her mother was an Orthodox Christian. She married Mr Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan, in 2011.
Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims. By law, children must follow their father’s religion.
An American doctor who contracted Ebola virus while working in Liberia is showing slight signs of improvement, according to reports.
Dr Kent Brantly remains in a serious condition while he undergoes intensive treatment at an isolation centre, the Samaritan’s Purse charity reports.
Dr Brantly is medical director for Christian aid group’s care centre in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, where he was initially employed to work as a general practitioner, delivering babies and performing surgeries.
Dr Brantly was working alongside missionary Nancy Writebol, who has also contracted the disease. Two other members of their medical team contracted the virus – one fatally, according to US National Public Radio.
“He doesn’t want people to lose sight that he’s one of three people at this hospital who got infected and one of them has already died,” Dr David McRay, director of Maternal-Child at JPS Health Network told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . “… In Kent’s eyes, he’s no more special than all of the Africans who are passing away..”
“We’re trying to figure out what went wrong because he was always very careful,” said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister in Monrovia.
It is not clear how Dr Brantly became infected as he believes he did not violate any guidelines. “Kent is confident he followed all of the appropriate protocols,” Dr McRay said.
Dr Brantly completed his medical residency in Fort Worth, Texas, before travelling to Liberia in October 2013 with his wife Amber and two children, aged 3 and 5, to work with the Samaritan’s Purse Christian aid group. Amber and the children flew home to the United States two weeks ago, before Dr Brantly began exhibiting signs of the illness and tested positive for the disease on July 23.
“The disease usually declares itself within two weeks,” Dr McRay said. “It’s usually in the second week of the illness that people are either recovering or not — and most not. My thought is, we’ll know something next week.”
In its advanced stages, Ebola virus can cause significant hemorrhaging, including bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and rectum and a rash containing blood that spreads all over the body.
In an email message to Dr McRay, Dr Brantly said: “I’m praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease. Please continue to pray along with me and my friend Nancy who is also very sick and for the doctors who are taking care of us. Peace. Kent.”
The Special Adviser to Osun State governor on Environment, Mr. Bola Ilori has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the heavy presence of DSS operatives in the state.
Over 5,000 operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) were said to have been deployed into the state in a bid to ensure a peaceful election, but the government of the state says the presence of the security operatives is a way to cause panic in the state.
“The deployment of security operatives to the state is normal if they are here to protect us. But, any arrest of any member of the APC in the state will be against the interest of democracy.”
He concluded that the development was an abuse of office by the federal government, while imploring the people of the state to remain calm.
Fifty-seven more deaths from the Ebola epidemic spreading alarm in west Africa have pushed the overall fatality toll from the outbreak to 729, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
The 57 deaths were recorded between Thursday and Sunday last week in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the UN health agency said in a statement.
It added that 122 new cases were detected over the four days, taking the total number of confirmed and likely infected cases to 1,323, AFP reported.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the list of the 20 political parties and governorship candidates that will be contesting in the August 9 governorship election in Osun State.
According to INEC, the parties and their candidates to be listed in the ballot papers during the election include: Action Alliance – Babatunde Oralusi (Governor), Hon. Adekunle Rufai (Deputy); Accord Party – Niyi Owolade (Governor), Opawuyi Bolaji Abdulganiyu (Deputy); ACPN – Olufemi Adeleke Hammed (Governor), Famiran Lawrence Olusola (Deputy); Action for Democracy – Senator Sunday Olawale Fajimi (Governor), Ogundele Kamarudeen Adeyemi (Deputy); African Democratic Congress – Comrade Ojo Gbenga Gabriel (Governor), Comrade Adebiyi Adedayo Segun (Deputy); All Progressive Alliance -Agboola Azeez Obasanjo (Governor), Oseni Kazeem Adebisi (Deputy); All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – Akintunde Adebimpe Adetunji (Governor), Oladitan Olabode Joseph (Deputy); and All Progressives Congress (APC) – Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola (Governor), Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori (Deputy).
Others include: Citizen Popular Party – Alhaji Rafio Shehu Anifowose A. (Governor), Raji Sofiyat Bodemi (Deputy); Labour Party – Akinbade Fatai Akinade (Governor), Adenipekun Michael Isola Tunde (Deputy); MPPP – Chief Babatunde Adetoro (Governor), Faremi Raphael (Deputy); NCP – Afolayanka Olanrewaju Jimoh (Governor), Akinlabi Babatope Sunday (Deputy); NNPP – Prince Adefare Segun Adegoke (Governor), Mrs. Adebowale A. Mujidat (Deputy); Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) – Oludare Timothy Akinola (Governor), Wayilat Titilade Adeleye (Deputy).
Also listed for the election are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – Senator Iyiola Omisore (Governor), Rafiu Adejare Bello (Deputy); PPA – Ganiyu Abiodun Lawal (Governor), Mrs. Grace Mabayoje Ojofakuade (Deputy); UDP – Funso Toyin Bunmi (Governor), Phillip Samuel (Deputy); UPN – Adeoti Ibrahim Abiodun (Governor), Salokun Folasade Bukola (Deputy); UPP – Prince Victor Olusegun Adeniyi (Governor), Mrs. Christiana Oluwatoyin (Deputy); and SDP – Akinwusi Olusegun (Governor), Alhaja Rashidat Taiwo Olaigbe (Deputy).
The statement from INEC said Osun State has 30 local government areas and 332 registration areas. The state also has 3,010 polling units and 3379 voting points.
INEC, the statement said, has accredited 29 local and foreign observers to monitor the election.
They are: Centre for Civic Education (aka: Transition Monitoring Group, TMG), Justice and Equity Organisation, NEPAD, Nigeria Reclaim, Naija Centre for Democracy and Development, Centre for Peace Building and Socio-Economic Resources Development, Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room (Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre), Nigeria Bar Association, Election Working Group, National Association for Peaceful Election in Nigeria, Independent Election Monitoring Group, Rights Monitoring Group, Election Monitor, Police Service Commission, Abuja, CLEEN Foundation, and Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolutions.
Other observers are Research Initiative for Sustainable Development and Gender Awareness (RISDGA), Justice Development and Peace Commission, The Forum of State Independent Commission of Nigeria (FOSIECON), Women Arise for Change Initiative (20), EU Delegation-Abuja, International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and United States Mission to Nigeria.
Also on the list are: the High Commission of Canada, British High Commission, UNDP/DGD-Abuja, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy of France.
Addressing media professionals recently, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the commission was determined to make the Osun governorship election better than that of Ekiti which it conducted last June.
He said it was the hope of the commission that the Osun governorship election would serve as a fitting prelude to the 2015 general election which would be the best conducted under the commission’s watch.
The Federal Government has begun a sensitization campaign for airport workers drawn from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International (NAIA), Abuja, on the dangers of the deadly Ebola virus.
General Manager Communication, Aviation, Mr. Yakubu Datti, said in a statement that the awareness drive by the Port Health officials, became expedient because of the dangers posed by the virus and how to prevent the spread of the virus in the work place, home and the community.
According to him, the sensitization campaign was carried out to complement other measures already put in place by Port Health at the country’s international airports to prevent the presence and spread of the virus.
Fears that the deadly virus might have found its way into Nigeria came following the death of an infected Liberian in Lagos. Authorities however, had since moved to ensure the virus does not spread in the country.
The Nigeria Governors Forum led by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state has called on the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba to be fearless in the discharge of his duties.
The Forum, in a statement released in Abuja and signed by the Secretary, Osaro Onaiwu, the governors urged the new Inspector General to consider the peculiar security challenges facing Nigeria and see it as an opportunity for him to write his name in history by leading a successful fight against the forces of darkness plaguing the nation.
The statement further thanked the men and women of the Nigeria Police Force for their patriotic sacrifices in the fight against criminal elements and called on them to support the new IG in his efforts.
About 60 million Nigerians between 18 and 40 years of age may be spending up to N1.8 billion on sports betting daily, investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveals.
The investigation showed that they commit on the average N3,000 on sports betting daily.
Dotun Ajekigbe, a sport betting analyst, said that sport betting though risky was also rewarding.
Ajekigbe said that about 60 million Nigerians placed bets on different matches daily across the country.
He said that most unemployed youths have taken to online and other forms of sports betting to make a living.
According to him, from findings this group of people stake an average of N3,000 daily.
“Sport betting is gambling, not investing in bank shares.
“But almost everything in life is a gamble, more so with money matters. With gambling comes risks because it not 100 per cent guaranteed.
“However, you can dramatically reduce your risks by taking calculated risks only.
“When you take calculated risks, you base your decisions on sound research and evidence, not intuition.
“Sport betting is by chance. The better informed the player is, the better the chance he/she has of making money,” he said.
Mr Ambrose Obialor, who runs Yobo Viewing Centre, Lagos, says that some people bet between N2, 000, N10, 000 and above, depending on the individual.
He said that some people denied themselves of food after spending all they had on a bet.
Mr Afeez Adigun, an agent for 1960 Bet Company, Lagos, said that between 200 and 300 people visit his office to place bets on match days during football seasons. while about 150 people bet at off-seasons.
According to him, a betting company can generate up to N20 million monthly and use between N5 million and N7 million to meet winners obligations in terms of payment.
He also described sports’ betting as very risky but highly rewarding business.
A representative of another betting company, Betting World, who did not want his name mentioned, said that sport betting companies have employed about 50 youths in Lagos.
He also said that betting outlets were always filled with countless young people between ages 18 and 40 who come to place their bets.
The representative said that most people borrow as much as 10,000 for their daily stakes, stressing that some of them win, while others lose but returned for the next day’s betting.
He said that most people did not like to place bets on Nigerian matches because they were highly predictable.
Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lottery Board, said the lottery industry was very risky but also lucrative.
Gbajabiamila said that the board generated about N1 million in 2013 from about 11 sport betting companies in the state.
He added that more revenue could be generated with more investment to develop the industry.
“The state government has been making efforts to provide an enabling environment for the lottery industry but only 40 per cent of the industry had been tapped into.
“We urge the Federal Government to create a more enabling environment for operators in the industry to increase revenue and create jobs for youths.
“The major needs of the operators are improved electricity and internet provision to boost the business,” he said.
He restated the commitment of the board to rid the state of illegal lottery operators. [NAN]
The discovery of a corpse of an indigene of Anambra State in Nkwelle Ezunaka, Oyi Council Area of the state has raised fears that the dreaded Ebola virus may have entered the state.
The corpse was said to have been brought in cargo into the town from Liberia and deposited in the morgue of one Apex hospital at the weekend by relatives of the deceased, who were said to be making arrangement for his burial ceremony.
In a move to forestall an outbreak, the Anambra state Government today (Thursday) sealed off the hospital and the mortuary and quarantined the workers and the in-patients on the suspicion that the corpse might be a victim of Ebola having been brought in a Cargo from Liberia, one of the countries in the West African sub-region prevalent with the Ebola virus.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Josephat Akabuike said in Awka that the hospital was shut down when an informant from the community who suspected that the corpse must have been a victim of Ebola disease in Liberia informed the state government that a corpse was brought into the community from the West African Country.
According to him, the informant was aware of the effects of the Ebola disease in Liberia and as a matter of fact was responding to the announcements the state government had been making since the disease became public knowledge.
Suspended Chairman of Enugu West Traditional Rulers Council and Traditional Ruler of Amadim-Olo, Ezeagu council of Enugu State, His Majesty, Hayford Agana, has threatened to drag Enugu State government to court over the withdrawal of his certificate of recognition.
The monarch said he would demand N20 million as damages from the state government for the embarrassment caused him on account of the withdrawal of his certificate of recognition should the government fail to reverse same.
The state government in a letter by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Pastor Emeka Abugu, had suspended the monarch over alleged refusal to hand over “assets of Enugu West Traditional Rulers Council, a Toyota Bus and sum of one million naira to the new executive, despite appeals from the council and Ministry.”
Abugu said in the letter that the suspension took effect from last month.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the State Government in which the monarch conveyed his intention to sue the government, he stated that the vehicle in question and the one million naira were personal gifts to him by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Explaining that the bus was not the property of Enugu West Traditional Rulers Council, the monarch, who attached the receipts of purchase and other transactions concerning the bus, said it was in appreciation of his support to the Deputy Senate President.
He added that the one million naira which he (Ekweremadu) gave him on the day of delivery for maintenance was equally shared with other traditional rulers.
He narrated in the letter by his counsel, Peter Eze, that Governor Sullivan Chime had in 2013 convened a meeting of all recognised traditional rulers in the state, where he dissolved the zonal executives of the council and appointed new ones, adding that Igwe Samuel Uka was appointed to succeed him. [Vanguard]
Actress, Chika Ike looks fierce in new photos…..Photos of her promo shots for her boutique, ‘Fancy Nancy’
Do we like or not?????
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration “scores first in the area of impunity”.
It also berated the present administration for its notoriety in acts of impunity.
The opposition party made these observations as part of its analysis of the ongoing impeachment saga playing out in Nasarawa State.
In a press statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC lampooned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of Nasarawa House of Assembly for demanding the dissolution of the seven-member panel inaugurated by the state’s Chief Judge to probe the allegations leveled against Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.
The party described the action of the PDP-dominated Nasarawa assembly as unreasonable and unconstitutional, arguing that for the first time in the history of the nation’s democracy, the legislature was seeking to disband the investigative panel it directed the Chief Judge to set up.
It said that the demand by the lawmakers showed that they either had poor understanding of the constitution or they were blinded by their desperation to impeach Gov. Al-Makura.
“Either way, they have boxed themselves into a tight corner. Holding an illegal sitting in Abuja with a fake mace is as ridiculous as the demand by the lawmakers for the dissolution of the panel set up by the Chief Judge”, the party said.
”Section 188 (5) of the Constitution is clear: ‘Within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chief Judge of the state shall, at the request of the speaker of the house of assembly, appoint a panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provided in this section’.
“It is important to point out to the desperate lawmakers that the key words in that section is that the chief judge must appoint persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity. At this juncture, it is neither the opinion of the speaker nor that of the legislators that counts; it is the opinion of the chief judge.
“Therefore, neither the speaker, the lawmakers nor the chief judge can dissolve the panel at this stage, and none of them can stop the impeachment process. Once the chief judge has appointed the panel under Section 188 (5), he becomes ‘functus officio’, that is he has no further powers on the matter. This is the situation of things at present and the lawmakers can only await the report of the panel”, the APC spokesman said.
APC said it was not surprised with the unwarranted and illegal call for the dissolution of the panel by the PDP members of the Nasarawa legislature, because that call fell within the realm of the runaway impunity for which the PDP and the Jonathan administration have become infamous.
“What the house is suffering from now is called boomerang. Against sound advice, it went ahead to initiate the impeachment process. Well, it must now follow it to its logical conclusion. The chief judge cannot be made to dissolve the seven-man panel because he simply lacks the power to so do”, APC added.
The Delta State Police Command has arrested a 25-year-old woman, Ese Oghenevwe, and her church priest, Austin Eduviere, following a report that the former’s two sons died after consuming a liquid substance given to her by the priest.
According to a press release issued on Wednesday evening, the Police at Abraka received information that the woman had killed her two children, Prayer Clement, nine months old, and Wisdom Clement, 2, by giving them a liquid substance to drink.
“Based on the information, detectives arrested the said Oghenevwe. The suspect revealed that the liquid substance was given to her by Eduviere of Triumphant World International Church Abraka for healing purposes as the Apostle claimed he had prayed over it”, the police release by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Celestina Kalu said.
According to the police spokesperson, the apostle disclosed that the said liquid substance was a mixture of water and salt which he sells to people at N1,850 for healing of various ailments after praying for them.
Meanwhile, the police said they arrested a carjacker and recovered a stolen vehicle on Wednesday.
The press release said, “Police patrol team from Abraka Division while on stop and search duty at Police station junction Abraka intercepted a Toyota Camry car, number plate, LSD 264 AC with two occupants.
“Immediately the vehicle stopped one of the suspects alighted and took to his heels while the other, later identified as one Akpos Omote ‘m’ was arrested. The suspect has confessed that they snatched the car from one Mrs. Jane Esegbe at Udu, in Udu LGA in Delta state.
“The said Toyota Camry has been recovered to the station, while efforts are on to apprehend the fleeing suspect”.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has warned the political class against militarization of Nigerian politics.
The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Bola Ilori, at a press briefing in Osogbo, on Wednesday, said that deploying troops for election duties was a violation of the constitution and a gross abuse of office.
Ilori said that it had become so ridiculous that soldiers were now being deployed to mediate in land disputes.
According to the special adviser, the frequent deployment of military personnel in purely civil matters could work against the advancement of democracy.
He said, “If you use the military to hijack power, you should expect that the military would not sit back and watch you enjoy what you did not work for. They may strike and that will be too bad for our nation.
“The Nigerian political class is giving ideas to the military that they can hijack power with the way some people are using them to hijack power. The political class has gone to the extent of inviting soldiers in land dispute”, Ilori said in apparent reference to the incident between the Lagos State Government and Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musliu Obanikoro, who brought in soldiers to stop work on a government project.
While expressing the confidence that Aregbesola would win the August 9 governorship election, Ilori said the governor had performed very well and the people of the state were ready to vote him in for another four years.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, on Wednesday charged public servants in state-owned agencies to collaborate with their various units to render quality services to people of the state.
He gave the directive when he inaugurated four boards under the state ministries of environment, education and tourism in Benin City, with a charge to collaborate with Management of the agencies for optimum result.
The inaugurated boards include the Waste Management Board, headed by Mrs. Elizabeth Ighodaro; Technical and Vocational Education Board, led by Lady Tina Agbara; while the Tourism Board and Environmental Committee are chaired by Mrs. Jane Osagie and Comrade Murktar Yusuf Osagie respectively.
The governor called for synergy between the management and the board to achieve optimum results because the role of the latter was different from the role of the former.
“Management has responsibilities for day-to-day running under the guidelines that are formulated by the boards.
“In some cases, there are some enabling laws that set up these bodies and of course, whatever you want to do must be done in conformity with the provisions of the law”, the governor said.
Oshiomhole described the management team as seasoned professionals with responsibilities, special skills and knowledge to manage and ensure that the organization achieved its objectives.
He recalled that there had been friction in the past between members of both the management and board of state agencies in the course of their duties, adding that such tensions were “completely unnecessary”.
Oshiomhole said, “So I trust that you will all realise that regardless of your level, all of us here including myself are all working for the same principal, who are the people of Edo State.
“We are all accountable to the Edo People.
“In discharging your duties, ensure that you are adding value to the quality of life of Edo people because that is the bottom line.
“Of course you know that our Party is founded on the principles of popular participation.
“Other people may boast of their capacity to manipulate elections, we boast of our capacity to deliver on our mandate, deliver on public welfare and infrastructure”.
Dorobucci was a smash hit that only came into being when 7 members of the famous Mavin crew put their heads and their voices to create a song that would later turn into a national phenomenon that spun off several competitions and critical acclaims. The team of Mavins led by Don Jazzy have achieved a lot in such a short time and here are things about them we bet you didn’t know:
He was activated in Mavin records in February 2014. His first single under Mavin records was titled “Turn It Up” and it featured Tiwa Savage. Reekado, whose real name is Solomon Ayoleyi Hanniel, was a final year student of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos when he was called to join the Mavin crew. The Mavin star who sang the hook of the viral hit song, ‘Dorobucci’ is young, God fearing, fun and spontaneous. His music is a blend of country, dancehall and Afro-Pop. His Twitter handle is @Reekadobanks and he has 4,888 followers on Twitter and counting.
Hadiza ‘DiJa’ Blell is of mixed race(Nigerian and Sierra Leonian) beauty, singer and song writer. Her mother is from Northern Nigeria while her dad is from Sierra Leone. She began her music career in 2008 and her first single titled ‘Rock Steady’ got her nominated for the Best Urban/R&B Single at the 2009 Canadian Radio Music Awards. She also won the 2008 Best New Artiste award at the Beat Awards. Don Jazzy found this gorgeous red head and brought her into the Mavin fold. She signed a record deal with Don Jazzy in 2013 but it was publicised in 2014. Her first single under Mavin records titled ‘Yaro’ was released on Valentine’s Day, 2014 and it was produced by Don Jazzy himself. She is a degree holder in the fields of Biology and Psychology and she is multi-talented judging from her varied interests in song writing, recording, fashion designing and visual arts. She has lived in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the United States and Canada. Di’Ja is a multi-linguist who speaks Hausa and Krio(a Sierra Leonian tongue) fluently. Her type of music has been described as Pop & Reggae-infused R&B. The bodacious bombshell is quite appealing to the eyes and that is probably why her Twitter handle, @aphroDIJA has over 8,600 followers.
The first thing that will blow your hat way is that Mr Bello is only 18 years old! Ever smiling and a total ladies man, Korede enjoys his fitting nickname ‘African Prince’. He reportedly did his part of the Dorobucci song in 5 minutes! His first single was titled ‘African Princess’ and it featured the boss himself, Don Jazzy. He is not entirely new to the music scene. He was nominated as the Next rated Music Artiste for Peak Awards and TUSH awards in 2011.
He maintains that being discovered by Don Jazzy was a pure miracle. Don Jazzy had put out a competition where he planned to pick the best three entries and sign them. However Korede who did not participate in the competition was granted an audience by Don Jazzy through a mutual contact and Don Jazzy liked his work and proceeded to sign him.
His wink in the Dorobucci music video won the hearts of numerous fans across Nigeria and it even led to a twitter trend/competition called #KoredeBelloWink where people could record their own version of the wink and send it in. He draws inspiration from Asa and 2face and his type of music has been dubbed ‘Afropop/Soul/Folk’
Tiwatope Savage Balogun is a sexy and vivacious songstress who has garnered tons of international repute. She is arguably the current queen of Nigerian R&B. 34 years of age and married to her manager, Tee Bilz, Tiwa has become a force to reckon with under the Mavin umbrella. In 2006, she participated in the UK version of the X factor while she was enrolled in the Berklee College of Music. She also co-wrote Fantasia Barrino’s “Collard Greens & Cornbread” which won a Grammy award in 2010. In 2009, she got signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing giving her the opportunity to write songs for top international artistes. She has signed endorsement deals with MTN, Pepsi, Maggi and Forte Oil. She has bagged numerous awards and nominations including one MTV Africa Awards and a BET Awards nomination in 2014. Tiwa has performed on the same stage with people like 50 Cent, Eminem, Destiny’s Child and Mary J. Blige.
Charles Enebeli also known as D Prince was born on the 23 of October, D’Prince is the younger brother of Mavin records CE0, Don Jazzy. He shot to the limelight with his hit track ‘Omoba’ in 2009. He is known for his popular slogan “D Prince is here!” an dother hit tracks including ‘Goody Bag’ and ‘Take Banana’. Charles released his debut album titled ‘Frenzy’ in 2012. The buff and jovial mavin who hails from Abia state is also signed as a brand ambassador for MTN alongside his brother. He opened a nightclub in 2011 called Club Jonzing and it proved to be quite a lucrative venture for him at the time. Sources reveal that he has been dating Cameroonian beauty, Inorie Fotso since 2011.
The certified doctor with a Mavin heart, Sidney Onoriode Esiri is probably the only full-fledged doctor in the Nigerian music industry today. He was born in October 1980 to late Nollywood veteran actor, Justus Esiri. In 1999 he signed up to join the Trybesmen as a backup dancer and choreographer for 3 years. In 2004, he became a certified dentist. In 2007, he took the bold step to quit dentistry as he signed to the now defunct Mo Hits Records where he featured on 7 of the 15 tracks released in their compilation album, ‘Curriculum Vitae’. He has been credited with hits like “Something About You“ and “Pop Something” which were total club bangers. He is currently enjoying the success of his hit single Surulere which features Don Jazzy.
Don Jazzy is a quintessential music producer and music mogul. The Mavin boss is not one to be trifled with in the Nigerian music front. With his numerous giveaways on Twitter, the very down to earth entrepreneur continues to increase in wealth. Michael Ajereh Collins Enebeli (Don Jazzy) was born in Umuahia, Abia State. He developed a likeness for the bass guitar at 12. He studied Business Management at the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma in Edo state. Many people may not know this but Don Jazzy tried to make ends meet in the UK before returning with Dbanj in 2004.
He partnered with D’Banj to set up Mo’Hits Records. The partnership however came to a controversial end in 2012. He worked with Jay Z and Kanye West on their track, Lift Off which was featured on the ‘Watch The Throne’ album. He has a whopping 871,000 plus followers on Twitter. He was once featured on Forbes list of influential Africans.
With numerous awards and endorsements to his name prominent of which are MTN, Samsung and Loya Milk, Don Jazzy has really improved the music/entertainment industry in Nigeria and is truly a force to reckon with in the Nigerian music scene.
Veteran Nollywood actress — Empress Njamah was off the movie scene for a while but made a return months ago.
She might not be the prettiest actress but her body makes us think she is a direct descendant from the linage of goddesses.
The seasoned Nollywood Actress, Empress Njamah is making a good return to the movie scene after being off for a while.
She shared some very hot photos of herself on her IG page.
Scroll to see the other shots: -
The Rivers State Police Command has reiterated its resolve to put an end to kidnapping in the state as it launches a “Stop kidnapping” campaign on Friday 1/8/14
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, disclosed this yesterday while briefing journalists in Port Harcourt.
Ogunsakin said the command had reduced the rate of abduction in the state, adding that the number of rescued victims had been overwhelming. He, however, expressed sadness at reported cases of kidnap, stressing that the crime must be nipped in the bud.
“The number of arrest we made and the number of victims we have even rescued were overwhelming. Kidnapping is too bad, we don’t want a situation where anybody would be kidnapped. That is why we want to sensitise the people that kidnapping should stop.
“We want to ensure that kidnapping is stopped in Rivers State. We are not happy with all these cases of kidnap. People should be able to do their work freely without any hindrance”, he said.
The police boss also advised members of the public to be wary of those they employ as house helps, citing a particular incident where a houseboy arranged for the abduction of his boss. He said after rescuing the victim and the boy’s account was examined, millions of naira were found.
He advised: “Before you employ a houseboy, check the background very well”, adding that most kidnap cases were successful because of insider information.
Ogunsakin said the command had put security mechanisms in place, including the provision of a dedicated telephone number to police stations in the state.
He explained that the dedicated number was to ensure that distress calls were responded to promptly by the police, before the criminals would leave the scene.
Veteran soul singer — Keyshia Cole made a big return appearance on Power 105.1′s “The Breakfast Club” on Wednesday.
The American sensation and newly-single mother is currently on her “Point of No Return” tour and decided to talk about everything concerning her personal life. Especially her relationship status to lesbian rumors surrounding her DJ Mustard-produced single “She.” Despite the provocative lyrics, Keyshia maintains that the song is about self love.
She also opened up about her separation from husband Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, and cheating rumors involving him and rapper Diamond. Keyshia is not currently seeing anyone (including Don Benjamin), but would love to date again.
She has been in touch with Remy Ma (“She’s really in a great place”) and revealed that she got “loaded” while recording her album Point of No Return, which will likely be her last for Interscope.
See excerpts below: -
On whether she’s been with a woman: “I’d rather not answer that.”
On self service: “When I broke up with [Boobie], I didn’t really have anybody to depend on mentally, sexually. It was a lot of finding myself and getting back in my own groove.”
On rumors that Diamond hooked up with her ex: “If you smashin’ the homie, you smashin’ him. Don’t be cool with me one day and then ’cause you smashed my ex, it’s like you don’t want to talk to me no more.”
On Boobie: “Recently, I told him—I hope you really find that woman and you be good to her.”
On recording the album: “I got drunk and drunk and drunk and drunk and now I’m like sober. Everytime I’m recording like that, I get loaded. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to say how I feel.”
On Remy Ma: “She’s doing good. She’s really in a great place. She’s still talking crap though. It’s in her. I told her, I got her back, whatever she needs.”