Obama Gives His Final Presidential Medals Of Freedom To Diana Ross, Jordan, De Niro, Springsteen, Others

Basketball star, Michael Jordan, actor Robert De Niro and music legend, Bruce Springsteen, were among the 21 people honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by outing President Barack Obama.

During a ceremony at the White House, President Obama gave out the awards which is the nation’s highest civilian honour – for his last time to a diverse group of sports stars, scientists, artistes and philanthropists.

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful personal way,” Obama said. “It’s useful when you think about this incredible collection of people to realise that this is what makes us the greatest nation on earth.

“Not because of what we are, not because of our differences, but because in our differences we find something common to share.”

According to AFP, the star-studded group included actors Tom Hanks and Robert Redford, basketball great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, cultural icon, Diana Ross and comedian and talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres.

While speaking on the accomplishments of DeGeneres, Obama lauded the comedian’s courage for coming out as a gay.

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Niger Delta Group Storms Villa, Gives Fresh Conditions For Peace

delegation of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress (NDPC) was at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday and gave fresh conditions for peace during a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It would be recalled that elders from the region, under the auspices of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, had on November 1 met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa where they presented a 16-point demand to him.

The secretary of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress, Professor Benjamin Okaba, told Osinbajo yesterday that their visit was to re-affirm the plausible submissions earlier made, prioritise their concerns and place them in clearer perspectives.

Okaba listed his group’s demands as including political reconstruction and fiscal federalism, saying the derivation principle should allow the different units annex and control their resources and pay appropriate and agreed tax to the centre.

The group also demanded stoppage of further invasion of the region under any guise; unconditional release of all freedom fighters from detention, relocation of multinational corporations’ operational bases to the region and creation of at least 6,000 jobs for the teeming population of unemployed and restive youths of the region.

It also demanded resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State and establishment of similar institutions in other parts of the region; release of over N800bn outstanding allocations to the NDDC; building of more modular refineries; reduction of the current state of environmental degradation and threat to life occasioned by the activities of the mult-national corporations in the region as well as comprehensive remediation of areas affected by oil spill.

Other demands were provision of medical facilities and attention to people suffering from ailments associated with oil and gas activities; prompting the legislative process for the review of the nation’s laws on environmental impact; immediate implementation of all laws stopping gas flaring in the region and establishment of internally displaced persons camps for the re-settlement of displaced persons at Bakassi, Gbaramatu, and so on.

In his response, Osinbajo charged the delegation to first address the issue of continued vanadalism in the region which, according to him, he said is the most important thing.

He noted that the problems in the region had always been there, saying if the elite in all regions of the country decide to end the problems in their regions, the crises would be resolved.

The vice president also told the delegation that independent producers who are Nigerians are the ones suffering from vandalism, not the international oil companies.

Credit: dailytrust

Woman Gives Birth After Thinking She Had Kidney Stone

A Georgia woman knew she was going to have a laborious evening at the hospital when she doubled over in pain with what she thought was a kidney stone — but that pain turned out to be a baby.

When Stephanie Jaegers called her husband, Michael, and told him she had to go to the hospital Tuesday, she was hoping doctors would perform a CAT-scan and find out what was causing her agony.

Instead, they performed an ultrasound — and told her she was about to have a bundle of joy.

“There are no words to describe the range of feelings associated with being told that you’re having a baby — in 30 minutes,” Jaegers’ husband, Michael, told WXIA Atlanta.

“It wasn’t until we heard the heartbeat that reality set in,” the proud papa said.

Stephanie, already a mother of three, had shown no signs of pregnancy prior to the pain, and even continued having her period over the last nine months.

She was also told she was premenopausal and could not have any more kids after she had a blood transfusion following the birth of her 2-year-old daughter.

But at 3:50 a.m. Wednesday at Piedmont Henry Hospital, the parents welcomed a healthy baby boy named Shaun, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

“I went from Googling kidney-stone treatments to a panic attack over the fact that not only were we pregnant, but the baby was coming within the hour,” Michael said. “Most parents have a good nine months to plan for such a blessing.”

Michael also wrote a Facebook post to share the news and explain how the couple went through the pregnancy without knowing a baby was coming.

“Shaun was also breech throughout the entire pregnancy, which prevented him from moving around to indicate to Steph that he was in there, and his position made it to where Steph didn’t ‘show,’?” he wrote.

The seasoned parents hadn’t gotten rid of all their baby gear yet and found a car seat and some clothes stored in their attic.

Read More: nypost

Jibrin Gives Lawmakers 3 Days To Return Illegal Allowances

Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Thursday gave his colleagues in the House of Representatives three days to return all questionable allowances they paid themselves.

Mr. Jibrin said any lawmaker who fails to heed his call should be prepared for the backlash that would follow when he publishes details of how such official perpetrated the fraud.

Mr. Jibrin’s statement came a day after he was suspended by the House for 180 legislative days —approximately a full calendar year as the House sits three times a week— after being found guilty of violating House ethics and lawmakers’ privileges.

It also came a month after Mr. Jibrin accused his colleagues of raking in millions in illegal allowances, and after he indicted himself as having received N650 million illegally.

To return their loot, Mr. Jibrin advised his colleagues to individually approach the appropriate authority and make arrangement on how to pay everything back into the federal purse.

“I have written to the Clerk of the National Assembly to stand by in anticipation,” Mr. Jibrin said.  “In the face of the revenue challenges and biting hardship the country is currently facing, there is no better time the country needs such money than now.”

Mr. Jibrin said he resolved to take this action after receiving numerous enquiries from different corners on the need for him to back his allegations against the House leadership and other lawmakers with evidence.

“I have come under intense public scrutiny and pressure to prove that there exists systemic corruption in the House,” Mr. Jibrin said.

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Again, Group Gives FG 1-week Ultimatum To Release El-Zakzaky

Again, group under the umbrella of Save Zakzaky’s life group of Nigeria has issued a one week ultimatum to the federal government to unconditionally release their leader Ibraheem El-Zakzaky from detention.

The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh El-Zakzaky has been in DSS detention since December, 2015 following their clashes with the Nigerian Army.

According to the National coordinator of the group, Bashir Marafa, “We call on the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to release Sheikh Zakzaky who has been unjustly in detention without trial for the past nine month unconditionally.

“No doubt, Save Zakzaky’s life group of Nigeria, with the supports and aspirations of millions of Zakzaky’s followers within Nigeria and beyond, are greatly concerned over the deteriorating health condition of our great leader Zakzaky, who has been denied access to seek for good medical care, while he is being detained with no reason whatsoever, except what we see as “great oppression”, and denying his fundamental human right as a Nigerian citizen, by the Buhari administration.



Birdman Gives $250,000 Bentley To GF Toni Braxton

Birdman sure does love him some Toni Braxton. The Cash Money CEO recently gave the chanteuse a 2017 Bentley Bentayga, according to reports.

The luxury SUV from the British automaker reportedly costs $250,000. It’s named for the Roque Bentayga, an iconic peak in the Atlantic Canary Islands.

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My Husband Gives Me 10 Naira Feeding Allowance, Wife Tells Court

An Ojaoba Panel of Sharia Court of Arbitration in Ibadan on Friday heard that a man, Abdulrasheed Yusuf, gives his wife, Sidikat, N10 per meal as upkeep allowance for family of six.

Sidikat had asked the court to dissolve her 18-year-old marriage to Yusuf for alleged infidelity and starvation.

“He was giving me N10 as feeding allowance either as breakfast or lunch because he said he just lost his job.

“Even when he got another job, Yusuf did not change and in fact, the situation worsened as we continued to depend on concoction.

“Yusuf, most of the times fed on bread and egg with sardine while the children and I took gari or eba.

“My lord, right from the beginning of my stay with Yusuf as his wife, I started experiencing different kinds of bad treatment of which starvation was number one.

“Worst still, Yusuf started having sexual intercourse with my younger sister who came to assist me when I was sick and in fact impregnated her.

“My lord, I still managed to endure with him for 10 years and when I saw that things will not change, I moved out of his house.

“As if those are not enough, he could not pay for any of his children hospital bill, let alone mine.

“During our wedding, so as to make things easy for him, I barely requested him to give me my favourite Islamic music cassette as my bride price and I am ready to refund it,” Sidikat explained.

Sidikat also said that her husband impregnated her younger sister.

However, Yusuf strongly opposed the divorce, but failed to address any of the fundamental issues of starvation and infidelity raised by his wife.

“My lord, till the end of time, I am not parting ways with Sidikat.

“I am ready to welcome her back into my home any day anytime,” Yusuf said.

In his judgment, the President of the court, Sheikh Hamad Tirmisiyu, held that it was terrible for any husband to be so irresponsible to the extent of being unable to fend for his household.

He added that Sharia considered inability of a husband to adequately provide for his family as a wicked act and ungodly.

“Obviously, there is no true love between Sidikat and Yusuf because the husband cannot respond to the fundamental issues raised by the wife.

“Accordingly, Sidikat shall refund the Islamic cassette which stood as bride price on wedding day to Yusuf.

“The children shall determine who to stay with between Sidikat and Yusuf.

“In addition, Yusuf shall pay a monthly feeding allowance of N10, 000 for the upkeep of the four children until they are ready to stay with him,” he said.

Credit: NAN

Avengers Embraces Dialogue, Gives Condition For Peace

The federal government’s efforts to restore peace in the troubled oil-rich Niger Delta region recorded a significant gain yesterday as the Niger Delta Avengers, the group that had been responsible for recent serial attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region, said it was ready to discuss its grievances with the government.

The militant group’s turning of a new leaf, was largely due to pressure from the back channel contact made by the federal government’s negotiating team, headed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu.

The group’s offer of dialogue was, however, predicated on International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the region committing to send independent mediators to the dialogue, saying that was the only way it could have confidence in talk that is expected to chart the way forward for peace in the region.

The federal government’s team, which also include the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, is mandated to reach out to the militants and other stakeholders in the region and find a way to end the violence that had adversely affected oil production output of the country, which had dwindled from 2.2m bpd to about 1.6m bpd. Only yesterday, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), said it had lost N60 billion in three months, owing to the break in its Forcados pipeline bombed by the NDA.

The NPDC’s loss is only a part of the general loss to the nation’s overall revenue loss manifested in the shut-in of over 800,000bpd since the NDA hostility began in February.

But in a statement by Mudock Agbinibo, the group’s spokesperson, it said it would cease fire to enable it discuss with the federal government’s team. It, however, demanded absolute sincerity on the part of government, warning that it would not allow the discussion to be turned into a political jamboree.

“We are warning this government of President Muhammadu Buhari not to turn the essence of genuine peace talk and dialogue to political jamboree that is prevailing now where all manner of social media agitators and criminals have been sponsored by the job seeking corrupt political class to save faces before the government of the day,’’ the NDA said.

As guarantees, the group said while it would not blow up more pipelines, it insisted that repairs to all bombed trunk lines must be put on hold until the dialogue is over, threatening to sink in the deep waters two large vessels belonging to the oil companies if its conditions were disregarded.

Credit: Thisday

Senate Gives Buhari Final Warning Over Budget 2016

The Senate, yesterday, gave what it described as a final warning to the presidency on its dealings with the legislative branch of government, affirming that it would no longer tolerate the presidency blaming the legislature for its failures.

The assertion which was a direct fallout from brickbats over the removal of the Calabar – Lagos rail project from the final budget, came as presidency officials, yesterday, affirmed that the rail project was in the budget but removed by the committees of Appropriation in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The claim which was stoutly rebuffed by the Senate and the House was, however, backed by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who said the coastal rail project was in the budget report presented by his committee to the Senator Danjuma Goje-led committee on appropriation.

The Senate, last night, in a sternly worded statement urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the budget bill and not distract Nigerians from what it claimed were acts of blackmail on the part of the executive arm.

Credit: vanguardngr

PDP Gives Sheriff Three Months To Hold Convention, Hand Over

The newly-appointed National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Alli Modu Sheriff has been given three months to conduct a national convention and hand over to an elected National Chairman. The three months period was given to Senator Sheriff by the PDP on Tuesday. However, the PDP Former Ministers’ Forum which met also on Tuesday rejected Sheriff as National Chairman and harped on the need for a National Convention of the party before March 28 to elect a new National Chairman and other national officers. It will be recalled that Senator Sheriff had, since his adoption last week by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, been facing various forms of opposition. The BoT of the PDP had, for

The BoT of the PDP had, for instance risen from a meeting on Monday in Abuja with a declaration that Sheriff was unfit to lead the party. In a dramatic U-turn, the same BoT, through its acting Chairman, Senator Walid Jubrin, said on Tuesday that the board is now on the same page with other organs of the party to stand behind Sheriff in steering the affairs of the party. The decision to offer three months life line to the National Chairman came after a meeting between the PDP Governors’ Forum, the BoT, the NWC and the PDP National Assembly Caucus at Ondo State Governor’s Lodge. The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State,

The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko while briefing Journalists after the meeting, said the various organs of the party agreed to work as one family. Mimiko said, “In view of the recent development of our party, I want to let you know that all organs of the party, the Governors forum, National Assembly caucus and BoT have agreed to stand by our national chairman to ensure that our party moves forward. “We have put behind us all the controversies in the last few days and I want to assure you that we are together as a party. “We have also mandated the National Working Committee (NWC) to put in motion immediately the processes of ensuring that within three months the national convention of our party is called. “We will brief all our manners within the next two weeks; the timetabl will be out all culminating in the national convention.

“I want to assure all of you that PDP is ready. Let them know that as one big family we are set and ready to move forward and ensure that we give good governance to the country,” the Governor said. Mimiko pointed out that all organs of the party were represented at the meeting. Speaking on the outcome of the meeting by the former PDP ministers, the Governor declared that every past minister is a product of the state caucus of the party. His words, “They (the former PDP Ministers) emanate from the state. The caucus of the party is all designed that every state is represented by the chairman of the party.

Credit: DailyTimes

Senate Says Abuja Too Dirty, Gives 21-Day Deadline For Cleanup

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, has given the Area Councils in the capital 21 days to clean up parks, markets and the entire FCT or face sanction.

The Chairman of the Committee, Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West), gave the directive when the committee met with the chairmen of the six area councils in the territory.

Mr. Melaye said the FCT was too dirty to be the seat of power and a capital city, stressing that no state capital around the world was as dirty as the FCT.

“This committee is giving you three weeks to clean up the metropolis; the environmental sanitation in the FCT, the area councils especially AMAC is poor.

“You see heaps of rubbish on the road side; Abuja is the pride of Africa, we cannot let this continue.

“After three weeks, if you don’t clean up the FCT, we will clean you up: you cannot be collecting revenue from the market and the market will be very dirty.

“You go to our parks and it is an eyesore; two weeks you won’t clean the parks and you are generating money from that park and when they ask, you will say there is no money.

“We are very serious about cleaning up the city within three weeks, clean up Abuja, especially the satellite towns,” he said.

Mr. Melaye queried why a lot of money was being generated from markets and parks and yet they remained dirty.

He urged the chairmen to provide proper account of revenues generated from markets and parks and how they had been utilised over time.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Taraba Guber Election: Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Upholding PDP’s Victory

The Supreme Court on Monday said the All Progressive Congress and its governorship candidate in Taraba State, Aisha Alhassan, had no locus standi to challenge the nomination of Governor Darius Ishiaku by his party.

The court made the declaration while giving reasons for dismissing the appeal of APC and Ms. Alhassan in its judgement on February 11.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read details of the judgement, said the appeals and cross appeals had no redeemable substance.

The court held that the governor was duly sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party to contest in the election, adding that evidence brought before it had confirmed Mr. Ishiaku’s membership of the party.

“The matter is very simple, the apex court has ruled on matters of this nature at different occasions.

“There is no way a candidate of another political party who did not participate in the primaries of another political party could suddenly rise to challenge the conduct of such an exercise.

“It is therefore, clear that the appeals and all the cross appeals against the election of Governor Darius Ishiaku of Taraba have no redeemable substance,” Mr. Rhodes-Vivour said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Senate Committee Gives Petroleum Minister Two Weeks To End Fuel Scarcity

The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream has given the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC two weeks to end petrol scarcity in the country.

The committee handed down this directive at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Petroleum, NNPC and agencies in the petroleum sector.

For nearly three weeks, there have been long queues at different petrol stations across the country; a situation that has defied solutions by previous administrations and has again reared its head a few months into the present government.

The heads of the agencies explained the reason for the problem in the petroleum downstream sector which they say have made petrol scarcity a recurring problem in the country.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Fr. Mbaka Gives Condition To Support Biafra Protest

Spiritual Director of Catholic Adoration Minis­tries Enugu, Rev. Fr. Camil­lus Ejike Mbaka, has given one condition on which he would support the ongoing pro-Biafra protests in the South-East and part of the South-South.

Mbaka said he would only support the agitation if those behind it come out to lead the struggle.

He warned that the protests are capable of snowballing into a huge crisis of the scale associated with Boko Haram if not curtailed now.

Fr. Mbaka spoke during the launch of new products, Rapha Groundnut oil, Rapha Soya Oil and Rapha Carbon­ated Drinks, produced by his company, Aqua Rapha Investments Limited. He is chairman of the company.

Speaking, he lambasted those still fueling the pro- Biafra protests, saying it was capable of scaring away in­vestors from the region.

Credit: Sun

First-Time Mom Who Had No Clue She Was Pregnant Gives Birth

Judy Brown didn’t believe her doctor when she was told what was causing her awful stomach pains. WCVB reports on Wednesday, Brown, 47, went to Beverly Hospital in Massachusetts because she could no longer endure the severe abdominal pains she was experiencing. She thought it was a digestive issue. Oh wow, was she  way  off.

“It’s good news,” her doctor said. “There’s no blockage, you are pregnant.” A stunned Brown (who attributed her bulging belly to weight gain from getting older) then found out an even bigger surprise. Her baby was due at that very moment.

Carolyn Rose, an eight pound baby girl, was born on that day to  Brown and her shocked husband Jason. The couple have been married for more than 22 years and never put much thought into family planning. They had to borrow a stroller and baby bassinet so they could take their daughter home.

This is also the last time the couple wants to be surprised by a baby. So they’re taking some steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“I will get the surgery before it even becomes a thought,” said Jason Brown.Meanwhile, he said he has “daddy’s little girl” to dote on from now on. “When she cries, I’m there.”

Credit: Cosmopolitan

Nigerian Woman Gives Birth At The Mediterranean

A woman, believed to be Nigerian was rescued from a sinking dinghy in the Mediterranean. And minutes later she gave birth to a baby.

Had she not been saved by the Italian coast guard, she would have sunk with the baby.

The woman had been attempting to cross the sea on a rickety dinghy with around 100 other migrants and refugees when it began to deflate.

After being rescued by the Italian coast guard, the woman went into labour as the boat was on its way to the island of Lampedusa.

After giving birth, the woman was helped off the boat. A coast guard carried her baby in a blue blanket.

Both mother and baby were in hospital doing well The Mirror reported last night.

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