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Pay salaries, pensions arrears with Paris Club funds, Imo NLC tells Okorocha.

The Imo State wing of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities and other entitlements owed workers with the N13. 5 billion share of the Paris Club loan refund.

The NLC made the demand in a statement jointly signed by the state NLC Chairman, Austin Chilapku, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Paul Akalazu and Chairman of the Joint Negotiation Council (SJPSNC), Alloy Iwuanyanwu yesterday in Owerri.

They also urged Okorocha to stabilize the payment of their salaries at 100 % from the present 80%.

The Chairman of the NMA, Dr. Darlynton Akukwu, who was accompanied by past chairmen, Hyacinth Emele and Dr. Jide Egwim to Hot FM’s ‘Peoples Assembly,’ said they would not discuss with the Commissioner for Health, Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ngozi Njoku.

They pointed out that the appointment of Ngozi, who is a lawyer as Commissioner for Health instead of Women Affairs was a cause for concern and disenchantment.


Source: The Guardian

ONGOING: Protest at National Assembly over Ndume’s suspension by Senate

Thousands of protesters have blocked the entrance to the National Assembly in Abuja, demanding the immediate reinstatement of Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south in the Senate.

Mr. Ndume was suspended last week by the Senate for triggering investigations into allegations of forgery against the senate president, Bukola Saraki, and Kogi senator, Dino Melaye.

News reports accused Mr. Saraki of importing a Range Rover SUV without paying appropriate import duty, and attempting to clear the vehicle with falsified papers.

Mr. Melaye was accused of falsely claiming to have graduated from Ahmadu Bello University.

The Senate dismissed both allegations, and sanctioned Mr. Ndume by suspending him for six months.

There have been moves by Borno politicians to get Mr. Ndume reinstated.

Protesters arrived the National Assembly gate early Tuesday, with placards lambasting Mr. Saraki and the Senate.

“Saraki is a curse”, one placard read.

Many of the protesters said they were natives of southern Borno, Mr. Ndume’s district, but mostly live in Mararaba and Masaka areas of Abuja.

A PREMIUM TIMES’ correspondent at the scene said the protesters did not immediately appear like the usual “rented crowd”.

NLC declares support for Amnesty International

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared support for Amnesty International Nigeria.

The NLC also condemned a group, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, which last week protested against Amnesty International, AI, asking the global rights group to leave the country.

The group had claimed that an Amnesty report that accused the Nigerian Army of extra-judicial killings was false.

Several civil society groups have since condemned GOPRI and pledged support for Amnesty International.

On Monday, the NLC said it will collaborate with AI to promote the rights of vulnerable groups across the country.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, stated this during a solidarity visit to the Amnesty International in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Wabba said this had become imperative as rights of Nigerians, especially vulnerable groups such as women, children and the less privileged, were being trampled upon.

“I want to assure you of the support of NLC and the working class because as workers, our rights have been trampled upon several times.

“You are aware of the fact that across the states, salaries, pension and gratuity are not being paid as at when due. This is a violation of the rights of workers.

“Therefore, we need to stand side by side with organisations like Amnesty International to continue to protect the most vulnerable groups against the powerful and the rich in the society.

“We have documented some of these challenges that our people have gone through,” Mr. Wabba said.

He added that NLC would continue to partner with them in the fight for social justice, anti-corruption, good governance, accountability and in the dignity of the human being.

Mr. Wabba condemned the protest by the Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, at the office of the Amnesty International in Abuja on March 21.

He said Amnesty International was an organisation known globally and had worked extensively on human rights in many countries.

“For such issues to arise, especially the hiring of people to come and protest in this office is something that we condemn as organised labour.

“I really sympathise with you on what has happened, certainly Nigerians are already aware that this was a sponsored protest.

“It is something that is condemnable, we should not allow those business persons that have actually privatised protest as a means of getting money to continue in the business’’, he added.

Mr. Wabba urged them not to relent in ensuring that human rights, social justice for the less privileged, among others, were continually promoted.

He said there was need for the organised labour and its civil society allies to continue to build a strong network with the Amnesty International.

“It is very clear that the people who came were on a very destructive mission. They want to destroy the image and the credibility of civil society organisations, but I am happy none of them was associated with that scam.

“It is actually a scam, a rented group; that is why they ended up fighting themselves over the small amount of money promised by their sponsors.

“They want to institutionalise the culture of impunity and they are getting worried that the era of impunity is over, they will account for their actions,” Mr. Wabba said.

He assured that the NLC would not stop the struggle to ensure better living for the workforce adding that it would continue to collaborate with the organised labour to carry out humanitarian services.

Auwal Rafasanjani, Chairman Trustee, Amnesty International Nigeria, commended the NLC for the solidarity visit.

Mr. Rafasanjani said Amnesty International was a reputable organisation that worked on accountability.


Source: Premium Times

Impeached S’Korean president apologises for corruption scandal

Park Geun-hye, ousted South Korean president, on Tuesday apologised to the country’s citizens after appearing in the prosecutors’ office for questioning over corruption allegations that led to her impeachment.

According to NAN, Geun-hye said she was sorry in front of the cameras at Seoul central district prosecutors’ office, vowing to face her interrogation faithfully.

“I am sorry to the people. I will faithfully cooperate with questioning,” Geun-hye said as she proceeded to the prosecutors’ office.

Geun-hye who has stayed in her private home since she vacated the presidential Blue House on March 12, was slammed with a total of 13 counts.

She will be interrogated by state prosecutors for her alleged involvement in the scandal, which removed her from office after the impeachment was passed in the parliament on December 9. The constitutional court upheld the motion on March 10.

During the interrogation, prosecutors would focus on Geun-hye’s alleged involvement in bribery, abuse of power and leakage of state secrets.

Geun-hye, 65, has been accused of colluding with her decades-long confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is now in custody, to receive tens of millions of US dollars in bribes from Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of Samsung group.

The kickbacks are suspected of being offered in return for helping Lee inherit the overall management control of the country’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was hospitalised after a heart attack almost three years ago.

Geun-hye was also identified as an accomplice of Choi in helping solicit tens of millions of US dollars from scores of large business conglomerates to establish two non-profit foundations Choi used for personal gains.

Choi has been charged with meddling in state affairs behind the scenes by receiving government documents on a regular basis delivered by one of Park’s former presidential secretaries.

Geun-hye will be the fourth South Korean former president to be questioned by prosecutors.

EFCC arraigns impersonator of Femi Adesina

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned Christian Oyovweyho, alias Femi Adesina, before Justice Z. B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court Kano on a two-count charge of obtaining by false pretence.

The defendant allegedly impersonated the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammad Buhari, Femi Adesina, and attempted to obtain N300,000 from a professor of Economics at Bayero University Kano, Dalhatu Galadanci.

According to the complainant, sometime in July 2016, the defendant sent him a text message claiming to be Femi Adesina, S.A to the president on Media and Publicity. The defendant fraudulently claimed to be speaking on behalf of the president and that the name of the professor has been forwarded for appointment in the presidency. The complainant further stated that the defendant claimed to be searching for a better office for him.

Subsequently, the defendant asked the professor to make payment of N300,000 to facilitate his appointment to Nigeria Port Authority or Nigerian Railway Cooperation and Rural Electrification. At that point, the professor got suspicious and reported the matter to the commission.

After listening to the charge, the defendant pleaded not guilty.

Prosecution counsel Musa Isah requested a date for trial in view of the plea of defendant.

The counsel representing the defendant, T.M. Oyedema however brought a motion for bail, praying the court to admit his client to bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Justice Zainab granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a state or federal government official not below grade level 8.

The other surety must be a respected member of the society with a landed property within the jurisdiction. Also certificate of Occupancy in respect of the landed property shall be deposited with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

The case has been adjourned to April 11, 2017 for commencement of trial while the defendant remains in prison pending the perfection of his bail terms.

Malabu oil deal: Don’t rope me into your mess – Obasanjo warns Adoke

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has warned a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke, to cease further mention of his name in the controversial $1.1 billion Malabu Oil deal.

Obasanjo gave the warning from Addis Ababa during an interview with the media.

The ex-President said he saw the controversial award of OPL 245 oil field licence as the “height of corruption,” and, as such, could not have participated in negotiations that led to it.

His rebuttal came a day after Adoke insisted that the controversial Malabu oil Block Agreement was endorsed by the previous administrations of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

However, Obasanjo admonished Adoke to concentrate on rendering accounts of his actions while in public service and stop the name-dropping forthwith.

“I don’t support that kind of conduct,” Mr. Obasanjo said in his first reaction to the intercontinental oil scandal that has haunted three administrations for nearly a decade.

“Adoke and others should not drag me into a matter I know nothing about,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“If they have been asked to answer questions over decisions they took while in office, they should do that honourably.

“They should not bring Obasanjo into an Etete deal. I was not part of any such deal.”

“If I hold that view, I could not have approved a deal with Dan Etete. What Etete did is the height of corruption. He appropriated the asset to himself illegally, illegitimately and immorally,”

Obasanjo added that it was inappropriate for any government functionary to “appropriate to himself or herself what he or she is in charge of.”

Federal Government releases much-awaited economic recovery plan

The federal government has finally released its economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP), which has been in the works since 2016.

The document seen by newsmen is a medium term plan aimed at revamping the economy between 2017 and 2020.

“The ERGP differs from previous plans in several ways. First, focused implementation is at the core of the delivery strategy of the plan over the next four years,” the document read.

“More than ever before, there is a strong political determination, commitment and will at the highest level. Whilst all the MDAs will have their different roles in implementing the plan, a delivery unit is being established in the presidency to drive the implementation of key ERGP priorities.

“The ministry of budget and national planning will coordinate plan-implementation and for this purpose will, amongst other things, build up its capability for robust monitoring and evaluation.”

School drags WAEC to court for withholding results of 100 students

The Christ National Model College, Ido, Ibadan, has sued the West African Examination Council (WAEC) over the seizure of the May/June 2015 results of the school.

At the hearing of the suit on Tuesday, justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the federal high court, Ibadan, adjourned the case till April 6.

The judge adjourned the case in order to allow WAEC appear in court to defend itself.

Elizabeth Shittu, counsel to the plaintiff, had approached the court to order the examination body to release the 2015 May/June SSCE results of 100 of its students.

According to Shittu, one of the allegations levelled against the secondary school by WAEC was that the 100 students who sat for the examination cheated.

She said WAEC also alleged that the school carried out substitution of some examination papers like Animal Husbandry and English Language while the school failed to explain how the substitution was done.

But the plaintiff’s counsel argued that such substitution should not have led to the cancellation of all the papers of the entire students of the school.


Source: The Cable

Nobody above 50 years will be governor in 2019 – Okorocha

the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has said that nobody above 50 years of age will be governor of the state again.

The governor who spoke in Owerri, the state capital as a special guest of honor at the occasion marking the beginning of the 2016/2017 legal year in the state, asserted that nobody above 50 years would succeed him in office in, 2019.

Responding to the remarks made by Mike Ahamba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the governor said that the governorship position of the state from  2019, are not meant for people who are above 50 years age bracket.

The governor said “Mike Ahamba, SAN, did not attack me today. This is unlike him, it maybe because he wants to be governor in 2019, but let me advise him not to contest because nobody above 50 will be governor in Imo again”.

Okorocha alleged that all politicians in the state who are above 50 years had at one time or the other in the past improvised the state and brought untold hardships on the people and therefore should not be allowed to ruin the state anymore.

He said that the state should be entrusted to the people below the age bracket who have the burning and genuine desires to move the state forward after his exit as the governor of the state.

The governor equally debunked the allegation by the lawyers that some judiciary workers were being victimized by the state government for joining the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress to embark on strike by saying that he insisted “no work, no pay” so as to instil discipline in the civil service.

Okorocha equally boasted that apart from a former governor of old Imo State, late Sam Mbakwe, no other governor before him did 20 percent of what he had done as the state’s helmsman.

DSS raid on judges’ homes was a needless violation of the law – Saraki

Bukola Saraki, senate president, says the raid conducted on judges’ homes in October 2016 was a needless violation of Nigeria’s laws.

The homes of seven judges were raided by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on allegations of corruption.

Speaking on Thursday at a national dialogue on the fight against corruption organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Saraki said the operation by DSS without search warrants “leaves much to be desired”.

The senate president who was represented by Chukwuka Utazi said, “The recent so-called sting operation by the Department of State Services on the residences of some very senior justices, some without search warrants, others without any proof of incriminating body of evidence, leaves much to be desired.

“It is even more instructive that by Section 2(1)(e) of the EFCC Act, the Department of State Services sits on the board of the EFCC and could easily, in their meetings, point out the persons or bodies the EFCC needs to investigate and prosecute backed up by the evidence it has clandestinely gathered.

“That sting operation was a needless violation of our laws and an aberration that democratic society should consider anathema. The EFCC should have been provided the necessary intelligence to execute its mandate if the evidence disclosed a prima facie case against the justices.

“In the same vein, PACAC should not lend itself to supporting extra-legal actions if the fight against corruption must be sustained and ingrained in the body polity. A situation where PACAC speaks in favour of patently extra-legal means of law enforcement does not bode well for the rule of law.”


Source: The Cable

Make yourselves available for national convention, Sheriff tells PDP stakeholders.

Ali Modu Sheriff, national chairman of the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has called on stakeholders to collaborate with him to facilitate a national unity convention.

For some time, stakeholders of the opposition party have been at loggerheads.

Ahmed Makarfi leads one arm of the party, while Sheriff, who leads the other faction, was recently affirmed the authentic chairman by an appeal court in Port Harcourt.

Recently, former President Goodluck Jonathan met with PDP governors in Abuja, and it was announced that stakeholders of the party  had agreed that a political solution should be embraced.

There were reports that Jonathan had asked Sheriff to step down for peace to reign, but Bernard Mikko, spokesperson of Sheriff’s faction, issued a statement of denial.

“The public, PDP members and the media are hereby informed that the issue of the national chairman’s resignation as the political solution has never been discussed nor was it put up for discussion with former president and other stakeholders,” it said.

“PDP members nationwide and the media are hereby informed that shortly before the Court of Appeal judgment of February 17, 2017; all parties and stakeholders agreed that on the receipt of the court of appeal judgment whichever way it goes; members will be prevailed upon and urged to support the judgment and orders of the court of appeal and rally round the successful party to conduct; as soon as possible a national unity convention for the election of officers; the modalities of which shall be worked out by all stakeholders of the party.

“As a law-abiding citizen and advocate of the rule of law, Sheriff hereby calls on all stakeholders including but not limited to PDP governors; national and state assembly members; Board of Trustees (BoT) members to make themselves available and give their input on how we can as quickly as possible conduct a national unity convention; where our national officers will be elected. The national chairman has promised and undertaken not to contest.”


Source: The Cable

Osinbajo unveils three-year strategic plan for Civil Service

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, tuesday launched the strategic document for the Nigerian Civil Service from 2017-2019 aimed at increasing the quality of public service delivery, leading to the provision of a more lasting trajectory for the progressive development of the country.

The policy in four broad spectrum and enunciated by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, was unveiled at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

Osinbajo called for a holistic approach in the improvement of the lot of the civil servants in a Change environment, adding that Nigerian public workers have historically offered robust contributions in the development of major sectors of the country.

“The civil servants pioneered and implemented some of the most robust and community-driven programmes in the history of our country. We have to do something that will improve their lot,’’ Osinbajo said.

He expressed optimism that the plan anchored on four strategic goals, would result in the development of the country if addressed while also offering to be a part of the small group that would transform the country.
The strategic plan, according to Oyo-Ita, which has clearly defined objectives and requisite initiatives for its actualisation is in consonance with the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms.

The four goals include: EPIC, which aims to develop and institutionalise an efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centred culture in the civil service; ECM: design and implement an enterprise content management system; develop entrepreneurial culture and commercial orientation in the civil service and to improve the welfare and benefit packages for public workers.

She said the inculcation of entrepreneurial and commercial culture in public servants would transform the service from being perceived as cost centres to revenue earners, saying that the MDAs would become idea generation powerhouses that would complement the private sectors in creating business opportunities for government.
Meanwhile the Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has expressed his passion for public sector leadership and change initiative championed by the Presidency and HoS.

He pledged to work with the relevant stakeholders towards enabling the actualisation of these aspirations.
Aig-Imokhuede lamented that the narrative associated with the public sector is that of one dominated by poor performance, stagnation and self-interest in contrast to the true words of excellence, achievement, legacy that hold true in the private sector and civil society.

“These labels are borne out of the unfortunate reality that our country’s public sector is not efficient, not responsive and is becoming synonymous with non-performance. That is the experience of the ordinary Nigerian interacting with the Nigerian public service,” Aig-Imoukhuede said.

He added that at the root of so many of Nigeria’s problems are public servants who are unable to impact and transform the lives of the citizens despite the immense power of public policy within their grasp adding that the public sector in Nigeria is the first line of defence against most of the problems that have prevented the country from attaining its long anticipated potential.

‘’I have, through the AIG, which is a catalyst for public sector transformation, elected to join this crusade for a transformed civil service. I am committing my time and resources towards the dream of a Nigeria where our public sector will match that of Singapore; where Nigeria’s public servants will deliver effective, transformative change in the lives of the citizenry, using the power of public policy,” he said.

Rivers rerun: Hoodlums beat INEC staff to coma, 25 hospitalised

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said that more than 25 of its staff members were hospitalised due to Saturday’s supplementary election held in Etche, Rivers.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, said in Port Harcourt that the victims were attacked and wounded by Rivers people.

According to him, one of the victims regained consciousness on Sunday.

He said, “This is one area that Nigerians should ask questions. Over 25 INEC staff members are in hospital today because the people of Rivers State decided to either kill or wound them.

“They were all beaten up because they went to those villages to conduct an election.

“Let the people of Rivers State tell us the offence of any of them.

“What did they do? They were bringing materials for the election; they decided to descend on them, beat them up, collect their personal belongings and run away.”

Ikoiwak noted that the victims were on official duties and needed a peaceful environment to achieve success.

He called on Nigerians to condemn the alleged attack.

He said, “It is very sad. None of them was beaten up in his home but where they went to conduct an election.

”Why shouldn’t Nigerians discuss that? Why should people sent to conduct an election be beaten up and their belongings taken away from them?”

About 700 staff members of the commission were mobilised for the supplementary legislative election in Etche.

The National Youth Service Corps had withdrawn from assisting INEC in the election due to security issues.

Vacate PDP secretariat now, Makarfi faction orders Sheriff

Sacked National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has asked the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to vacate the party’s national secretariat immediately.

He said Sheriff, who was declared the authentic national chairman of the PDP by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, should wait until the Supreme Court makes its own pronouncement on the matter.

The spokesperson for the faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, accused the Police of favouring the former governor of Borno State in the crisis.

Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, said that Sheriff must leave the secretariat in order to avoid breakdown of law and order.

FG still owing oil marketers N300bn subsidy arrears – Forte Oil Boss

The federal government is yet to pay over N300 billion subsidy claims of major oil marketers for fuel imports between 2014-2015, says Akin Akinfemiwa, group chief executive officer of Forte Oil Nigeria.

Akinfemiwa made the disclosure on Thursday when he appeared before the house of representatives ad hoc committee investigating debts owed to the Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) by oil marketers.

According to the oil chief, his company owes N5.9 billion to the PPMC but was also being owed N13.8 billion in subsidy claims.

He informed the Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya-led committee that steps were being taken to settle the subsidy arrears by the federal government.

“So far, the government, led by the Chief of Staff to the President invited us to a meeting with other stakeholders to address two issues. One was to continue petrol supply, and two was for Federal Government to pay its debts. For the debts, a committee was set up to settle them.

“The total stands at over N300 billion. Right now, we cannot even do much, but we do not want a situation where there will be queues in the country,” Akinfemiwa said.


Source: The Cable

BBNaija: I’m Going To Do Collaborations With Olamide, Falz – Coco Ice

Coco Ice, one of the first Big Brother Naija housemates to be evicted has spoken on her plans outside the reality show.

Coco Ice told Bella Naija, ”Definitely, my world has completely turned around for greatness. Opportunities are more available to me. The BBN is a very big platform and I am already riding the wave. So I would honestly say that my world has changed for the good. I am going to be releasing a song titled “feeling my P” really soon.
”Then I am going to be doing collaborations with big names like hopefully, God willing, Olamide, Falz, Tiwa Savage, and some other creatively cool artists in Nigeria. I am open to collaborations right now, afterwards my album definitely.

Man docked for allegedly raping teenage sister-in-law.

A vulcaniser, Wasiu Ibrahim, 35, was on Wednesday brought before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly raping his sister-in-law.

The accused, who resides at 61, Abeokuta St., Ogba, near Lagos is being tried for rape.

The prosecutor, Clifford Ogu, told court that the offence was committed on January 26 at the residence of the accused.

Mr. Ogu said that the victim, a 15-year-old girl, was residing with her sister, the wife of the accused.

“The accused raped the victim when his wife had travelled,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Ogu, a police inspector, said the accused came home drunk and forcefully raped the victim.

The offence contravened Section 259 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty.

The Chief Magistrate, Taiwo Akanni, granted the accused bail in the sum of N250,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Mr. Akanni adjourned the case till March 15 for mention.


Source: NAN

My husband became President because he never gave up – Aisha Buhari

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has advised Nigerians to emulate her husband by never giving up on their dreams and aspirations.

She said her husband became Nigeria’s president in 2015 due to his doggedness, persistence and compassion for the masses.

She said this in Abeokuta on Tuesday in Abeokuta during the launch of a book titled, “Buhari vs Yar’Adua: Facing the future,” written by a Special Assistant on Media to the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Opeyemi Soyombo.

The First Lady was represented by the wife of the Ogun State governor, Dr Olufunso Amosun.

She commended the efforts of the author, who documented the legal struggles of her husband in the 2007 election petition challenging the victory of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Despite Buhari’s legal struggles which saw him moving to Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court trying to prove that he won the 2007 presidential election, he lost the case. But he never gave up his presidential ambition.

Mrs Buhari noted that the importance of record keeping or documentation could not be over-emphasised because without it history would be distorted.

She said there were lots of lessons to learn from the life of President Buhari who contested the presidential election consecutively four times before he eventually won in 2015.

She said, “There are lots of lessons to learn from the life of President Muhammadu Buhari, most especially his doggedness and compassion for the masses. President Buhari contested presidential election consecutively four times before he eventually won in 2015.
“His victory has paid off considering his passion for helping the masses and most importantly the successes recorded in the anti-corruption war of his government.

“I commend the efforts of the writer for documenting the Presidential Election suit between the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and President Umaru Yar’Adua of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007.

“This shows that the author has been following with keen interest elections held in the country and the petitions arising from them. In most recent shared views and writings on human and societal development, the investment made on other people gives tremendous yields; thus the facts and authenticity of the book are invaluable.”

The chairman of the occasion, who’s a retired judge of the Ogun State High Court, Justice Ademola Bakre, said Nigerians must all work for a better future of Nigeria.

While he lamented the rot in the country’s judiciary, he warned against interference and undue pressure in the affairs of judges.

He said, “I want to appeal that Nigerians should allow the judges to do their job, people should stop putting unnecessary pressure on them.”
Speaking with journalists after the launch, the author said he was motivated to write the 179-page book, which was divided into seven chapters, to forestall election rigging in the future in Nigeria.

Soyombo noted that Buhari was short-changed in the 2007 presidential election, adding that the book would “ensure that we have credible, free and fair elections and to ensure that the judiciary on no account, either by design or default, would endorse electoral robbery.”

The book was reviewed by Mr Kayode Oyede of the Department of Public Private Law, Faculty of Law, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.

Why 2018 Census will be biometric based – FG

The Sokoto State Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Barrister Muhammadu Aminu Jason, has explained why the 2018 census will be biometric based.

He explained that the development was aimed at avoiding human errors.

While addressing newsmen in the state on Monday, Jason said, “As a prelude the commission will today (Monday) commence the third phase of Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, in Illela Local Government Area, LGA of Sokoto State.”

EAD is said to be a process of deploying high calibre technology to divide the landmass of a country into small units that can be easily covered by a team of enumerators during census enumeration.

Jason said, “The significance of the EAD exercise goes beyond the conduct of the 2018 census hence it will be used as an established national data for generating accurate locality list including house numbering for subsequent census.

“The commission had previously demarcated 37 local government areas in all the 36 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the previous EAD exercise.

“Nigerians have no reason whatsoever not to believe the outcome of the 2018 census as we are deploying sophisticated technology in carrying out the EAD exercise,” Jason stated.

Recall that the Federal Government, FG, last week released over N775 million for the conduct of EAD exercise ahead of next year’s National Population Commission, NPC census.

The exercise, which is expected to kick off on February 20 and end on March 10, includes the foundation on which the census architecture stands.


It’s unfortunate some Nigerians are praying for Buhari to die – Jerry Rawlings

Ghana’s former President, Jerry John Rawlings, has bemoaned Nigerians praying for President Muhammadu Buhari’s death.

He described the emergence of President Buhari as a divine intervention because of his anti-corruption credentials.

Rawlings made this known weekend during a courtesy call on him by a group of actors including legendary actor, Pete Edochie.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the cost of living in Nigeria appears to be suffocating the people.

“So while some are praying for his health, unfortunately, some are praying he wouldn’t come back.”

Recall that Buhari had been on a 10-day vacation in the UK .

The Presidency had announced that Buhari wrote to the senate to extend his vacation indefinitely due to ‘health issues’, an action that has drawn so much condemnation from Nigerians.

“Rather than blame Buhari, we should be blaming the extent and depth to which corruption had gripped Nigeria.

“But I guess you need a creative team that would know how to resolve the economic situation of the country without possibly undermining the cost of living of the people.

“People are getting away with massive corruption because they are not compelled to conform to traditional religious authority.

“We swear by the Bible and the Koran and lie but dare not with our local traditional deities.

“We are destroying the fabric of our society. This is not good enough. People are distorting historical truths all the time.

“When you find yourselves at the centre of human endeavours like I have, truth must be sacrosanct,” Rawlings added.


Kaduna airport tested and ready, says relocation committee chairman.

Mohammed Joji, chairman coordinating committee on Abuja relocation, has said that the Kaduna international airport is ready for heavy commercial use.

Joji, who is also the secretary general, aircraft operators in Nigeria, made the remark on Friday after inspecting facilities at the airport.

Speaking to reporters in Kaduna, Joji said, “All the equipment were tested and are doing fine. As far as I am concerned, I am comfortable with this one, we are happy about it.”

Joji said the airport had been re-branded with modern equipment in line with international best standard.

He listed some of the items installed at the airport to include lighting system, distance measuring equipment, solar power, and other vital facilities.

Alkali Usman, an assistant inspector general of police, added that adequate measures had been taken to ensure security at the airport and on the Kaduna-Abuja road once flight operations were diverted from Abuja to Kaduna.

“Our level of deployment on the road has been assessed and we have earmarked where we will cover in terms of patrol,” she said.

“We have also made arrangement to protect the airport and equipment, building and everywhere.

“We have also ensured that all hotels and places of interest are protected and guarded, and we are going to increase patrol visibility.”

Amina Salami, the Kaduna airport manager, said the airport was 95 per cent ready for traffic from Abuja.

LEAKED: Nokia 3310 to be reborn with new features

Nokia 3310, the sturdy, durable and economical phone loved by many, is set to make a return in a matter of weeks.

Originally released in 2000 during the early era of mobile phones, Nokia 3310 will return with its known reliable qualities and brand new features.

The new Nokia 3310 will be sold for a little under $30 (approximately N15,000).

The phone will be made public at mobile world congress later this month, according to leaker Evan Blass who first revealed the details.

Microsoft reportedly designed the internet-enabled Nokia phone in a bid to increase its market share in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The phone comes with built-in Opera Mini Browser and Facebook Messenger.

It is also compatible with several social media applications.

The new Nokia 3310 has a 0.3-megapixel camera, a radio and a torch among its features.

It has a battery that Microsoft says can last as long as 29 days on standby.

The built-in apps can work without a 3G connection.

Production for Nokia 3310, the original, was stopped in 2005.

After selling an estimated 126 million units, it is regarded as the best-selling phone in the world.

Nigerians drug our children, turn them into prostitutes – South Africans lament

Residents of Rosettenvile, South of Johannesburg, South Africa have expressed displeasure over the acts of immigrants living in the country. Last few days, at least 15 houses belonging or rented by immigrants, especially Nigerians, have been burnt by the angry residents.

They are furious that Nigerians give their children drugs and turn them into prostitutes. They say they didn’t want to burn the houses but wanted them to live their country.

The houses were razed after the police started shooting at the protesting residents. The community got angry and started burning the houses.

They ask: How can a 9-year old child be a prostitute?They say when the children go to school, they are scared because they don’t know if the child would come back. They explained they don’t have enough money to hire buses to bring the child to the front of their gates.

They reported the case, but their was no action, that is why they resorted to what they did.



Boko Haram created 54,000 widows, destroyed 541 Borno schools – Shettima

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said on Monday that at least 54,000 women had become widows due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect between 2011 and February 2017.

He added that the terrorists destroyed 5,335 classrooms in 541 schools.

Shettima said this while delivering a speech at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture, an annual event held in commemoration of the third Nigerian head of state who was assassinated on February 13, 1976.

While delivering the keynote address titled, ‘Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State: Experiences and Lessons for a Multi-party, Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious Nigeria,’ the governor opined that the cure for religious extremism remains quality education.

He said, “In Borno, there are currently 54,000 widows,” adding that the political class needs to step up its humanitarian efforts.

The governor added, “Virtually all our schools are being rebuilt in Borno. As I said earlier, a total number of 5,335 classrooms in 503 primary schools and 38 high schools and two tertiary institutions were destroyed in the state.”

Shettima urged the western world to assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and the rehabilitation of victims, adding that the Syrian refugee crisis will be nothing compared to Nigeria’s if the nation’s crisis is not well handled.

He added, “Believe me, unless we wear our thinking caps as leaders, the future is very bleak. We either take advantage of the demography and its dividends or reap demographic disaster. As I said in Washington, Syria has a population of less than 30 million people. I think it is in the interest of the Western world to see that Nigeria works. Just two million Syrians knocking on the door of Europe and the Europeans have become agitated. What do you say of about 30 million English-speaking Africans knocking on the door of Europe?

“And in Nigeria, South is the Atlantic Ocean; up North is the Sahara desert. We can eat up the food reserves in Niger, Mauritania and all the countries in the Sahel within a week. The other side is Togo which is not bigger than Ogun State.”

Also speaking, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo urged political and religious leaders not to encourage violence but peace.

Osinbajo noted that great leaders like the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa; Martin Luther King junior in the United States are remembered for promoting peace even in the face of persecution.

Acknowledging the guests for their solidarity to one of Nigeria’s heroes past, the Chief Executive Officer of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation and daughter of the late head of state, Aisha Oyebode, praised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for its achievements in the fight against terrorism.

She added, “For those that knew my father intimately while he was alive, you would agree that beyond the mien of the no-nonsense general, he was generous and kind-hearted. He was more at home in the company of the masses, and understood the pains and suffering of the downtrodden, and used all the power and resources he had to fight for the weak and the oppressed within and outside Nigeria. General Murtala Muhammed truly had empathy, which is why 41 years on, his sacrifice and legacy as a man of the people, is still very worthy of commemoration.”

“We, at the MMF, believe that our theme for this year – Humanitarian Crisis and Response in a Plural State: What Role for Leadership? – is a fitting tribute to General Muhammed’s legacy.”

What the Constitution says about Buhari’s health – Falana

A renowned lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana have condemned President Muhammadu Buhari for not disclosed the status of his health condition to Nigeria.

Falana said Nigerians have the right to know the health status of a sitting president.

Speaking on a Channel television’s programme, Falana said even if the law does not mandate the president to make such disclosures, Nigerians deserve to know his health status.

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, the right to health is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy but I am saying now that henceforth, this situation calls for a review of the law so that we won’t be left guessing next time,” Falana said.

“We are talking of the President. Many state governors go in and out of the country, some for a month or two, some for three months without anybody asking any question and without any handover to their deputies,” he said.

The senior lawyer said the system has been structured in a manner that a public office holder does not have to be secretive about issues concerning him.

Falana said: “But I am saying that with what we are going through now, we must come to appreciate that if you are going into public office, you have no secrecy.”

“It is our duty and right and the President took cognizance of that last year when he disclosed to Nigerians what he was going abroad for. This year should not be an exception.

“This is what has given room to a lot of rumours and speculation which are totally uncalled for,” he said.



VIDEO: Ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi threatens to slap journalist in court

Patrick Akpobolokemi, former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), recently threatened to slap a female journalist in the premises of the federal high court, Lagos.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial for alleged corruption.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused him of defrauding the federal government to the tune of N795.2million.

In a video, which is now circulating on social media, Akpobolokemi is seen in the presence of one of his lawyers, and some unidentified individuals.

One of the men around him apparently drew his attention to the reporter who was trying to take some photographs.

“Which one be this one na?’ asked the man putting on a blue shirt with stripes.

“This is the premises of the court,” the reporter responded.

At that moment, Akpobolokemi moved closer to the journalist, using his right hand to block the camera.

“Who are you now? Why should you just come here?” he asked.

“I am a member of the press. I can take pictures within the premises of the court.”

Losing his cool, Akpobolokemi threatened: “I will just slap u now; I will slap you,” to which she responded: ” No you cannot, sir. You cannot slap me. What’s that?”

It is not clear when the incident happened.

This is not the first time that Akpobolokemi would be involved in an altercation within the premises of the court.

He was in the news in December 2015 for resisting arrest.

Akpobolokemi, who had just been released from prison custody on Friday after fulfilling a bail condition of N50 million, was walking towards his car when officials of the anti-graft agency approached him.

“I am not going anywhere,” he screamed on top of his voice, as he struggled with them.

With the support of armed mobile policemen, the operatives overpowered Akpobolokemi and bundled into a white Toyota Hiace bus.

Below is the video of the latest incident.



EFCC summons former OAU Vice Chancellor over alleged N3.5 billion fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has invited a former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bamitale Omole, over allegations of fraud levelled against him by academic staff of the university.

PREMIUM TIMES had on April 20, 2016, reported that the budget monitoring committee of the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, accused the management of the university under Mr. Omole of mismanaging N3.5 billion intervention fund released to the university for upgrade of facilities.

The Union had accused the management of the institution under Mr. Omole of expending the sum on hostel renovation and construction of new lecture theatres without observing due process and transparency.

The funds were part of the N100 billion released by the Federal Government in 2013 to universities in response to agitations by ASUU for upgrade of facilities at the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

An implementation monitoring committee had spelt out guidelines for accessing the intervention fund but the teachers’ union in OAU said the university failed to abide by the guidelines.

According to the report of the monitoring committee obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the university’s management failed to follow due process in contract awards or follow guidelines in the use of the fund.

Although the management, through the university’s spokesman, Olanrewaju Abiodun, denied any wrong doing, a body known as Third Eye International OAU restated the allegations in a petition to the EFCC.

In the petition, the group had urged the agency to investigate “the illegal disbursement and embezzlement of funds”.

Apparently in response to the petition, the EFCC in a letter to the Acting Vice Chancellor, Anthony Elujoba, dated January 19, requested the release of Mr. Omole and the university’s bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu.

The commission asked the bursar to come along with Certified True Copies (CTC) of “all capital project contracts, including financial documents relevant to the renovation of official residence of the VC executed in the institution”.

“Other documents expected are financial document of funds remitted to OAU under the NEEDS ASSESSMENT of Nigeria Public Universities Special Presidential Intervention between 2013 and 2014 and all financial documents of Employer Contributory Pension Scheme of the Institution between 2012 and 2016.”

Students groups and the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, of the university had also demanded that Mr. Omole be probed.

Mr. Omole’s invitation comes less than two months after the current acting vice chancellor, Mr. Elujoba was also questioned by the EFCC.

Arms Cash Scandal: Obanikoro returns N167 million to FG, vows to pay N417 million more

Ex- Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has returned a fresh sum of N30m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, with a promise to pay a balance of N417 million.

Tthe former minister has now returned N167 million to the Federal Government.

A reliable source revealed that the former minister paid the money from his Diamond Bank account to the EFCC Recovered Funds Account.

The source stated, “I can confirm that Senator Obanikoro has been meeting up his part of the agreement. You will recall that last year, he promised to return a certain amount of money every quarter.

“He has made a payment of N30m, his first instalment in 2017. He is also reporting at the EFCC as he should.”

The ex-minister, who returned to Nigeria in October 2016, after spending about 15 months in the United States, was accused of receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

Obanikoro had said in his statement of oath at the EFCC that after receiving the money in 2014, he gave N1.219bn to the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, while N1.3bn was given to the PDP governorship candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

He also confessed to giving Fayose a separate $5.377m at Spotless Hotel in Ekiti State in the presence of party stalwarts, including the then PDP state secretary, Mr. Tope Aluko.

Obanikoro was said to have kept about N785 milliom for himself, which he allegedly spent while campaigning ahead of the PDP governorship primary in Lagos State, which Mr. Jimi Agbaje won.

However, the EFCC asked him to return about N584m, out of which he has returned N167m.

At the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, Mr. Alade Sunday, a manager at Zenith Bank, narrated how Obanikoro delivered about N1.219bn to Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele, for onward transmission to Fayose.

He had added that it took the cashiers about 10 days to count all the money.

Sunday had said Obanikoro flew the cash to Akure airport and the money was loaded onto bullion vans.

“When we got to the airport, we waited for some minutes before the aircraft arrived. When the aircraft offloaded its passengers, one of them appeared to me to be Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and the other one appeared to be his ADC, Adewale.

“Agbele walked up to them and had a discussion with them. Thereafter, he signalled to me to bring the van. Bags loaded with cash were loaded into the van and Obanikoro’s ADC, I and Agbele drove back to the bank,” he had stated.



1 in 5 African children ‘does not get vaccines’ – WHO

One in five children in Africa does not receive basic life-saving vaccines, resulting to the loss of many lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.

The World Health Organisation says while Africa has made gains in the last 15 years, toward increasing access to immunisation, progress has stagnated, and the continent is falling behind on meeting global immunisation targets.

The organisation therefore charged African leaders to commit to funding immunisation to save lives in the region.

Heeding the call, heads of state across Africa have pledged to ensure everyone in the region has access to immunisation.

They made the pledge at the 28th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia.

The leaders adopted a declaration on universal access to immunisation in Africa and endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization.

The call is coming at a time when UNICEF announced an outbreak of measles in hard to access areas in Nigeria’s north-east region.

The north-east has witnessed a major crisis in the past seven years.

Measles alone accounts for approximately 61,000 preventable deaths in Africa, including Nigeria, and fewer than 15 African countries fund more than percent off their national immunisation programmes.

The Addis declaration on immunisation calls for countries to increase political and financial investments in their immunisation programmes.

It includes 10 commitments, including increasing vaccine-related funding, strengthening supply chains and delivery systems, and making universal access to vaccines a cornerstone of health and development efforts.

The Addis declaration was signed by ministers of health and other line ministers at the ministerial conference on immunization in Africa (MCIA) in February 2016.

“African leaders are showing outstanding leadership by endorsing this landmark commitment which will allow more African children to be reached with life-saving vaccines no matter where they live,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of Gavi, the vaccine alliance board.

“We must now ensure that the commitments translate into sustainable financing for immunization. Gavi stands ready to support African countries in their efforts to implement equitable health approaches and maintain strong immunization coverage so we can create together a more prosperous future for communities across our continent.”


Source: The Cable

Governor Ajimobi denies governors’ emergency meeting over Buhari.

Amid rife speculation over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state yesterday refuted reports that governors were summoned for an emergency meeting in Abuja to discuss the issue.

“There is no iota of truth in the rumour making the round that governors were summoned to Abuja for an emergency meeting to discuss the health status of our dear President. We should desist from circulating callous insinuations aimed at denting the image of prominent citizens.

“Instead of peddling unfounded rumours, I will advise Nigerians to continue to pray for the President and other leaders, including governors, because their well-being is tied to the well-being of the people.

The governor, who spoke yesterday in Ibadan, clarified that his trip to Abuja was for a scheduled meeting with World Bank officials. He went on: “It is pertinent to state here that the President only went for a break and to use the opportunity to undergo routine medical check-up. To the best of my knowledge, he was not even admitted into any hospital for any ailment.

“There is nothing wrong with the President taking some time off to rest and meet with some people abroad unofficially. I am reaffirming the fact that our President is hale and hearty.”

Recalling the negative online comments that had trailed his recent interaction with the protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAIUTECH), Ogbomoso, Ajimobi said it was high time the medium was regulated to check abuses.

Acknowledging the importance of the new media for social mobilisation and creation of awareness on developmental issues, policies and other positive intents, he admitted that the medium was also being abused by some individuals.


Source: Guardian

PRESS STATEMENT: DAY 1000 of consistent, daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy.

One thousand days ago — April 30, 2014 — our movement started with a march by over two thousand citizens from all walks of life in the city of Abuja demanding rescue of hundreds of girls alleged to have been abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School, Chibok Borno State.
The world was later to learn from the findings of the Presidential Task Force set up by the preceding federal government that 276 schoolgirls writing their final certificate examination had been forcefully taken on the night of April 14, 2014.
The findings stated that 57 of the girls had escaped variously as their captors hauled them on the long journey into the Sambisa forest leaving 219 missing by the time the news of the abduction reached the public.
Social media starting reacting  from April 15 when the news of the abduction broke even while the traditional media in Nigeria was not reporting the tragedy. One week later on April 23, 2014 the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls emerged and became popular on social media as the widely used message of demand for the rescue of the abducted school girls.
Fifteen days later and with still no acknowledgement nor action by the federal government on the abduction, diverse citizens were convened using reach outs of all types to participate in a solidarity march for the abducted girls. That march of April 30, 2014 adopted the social media hashtag  #BringBackOurGirls as the message of the protesters. The citizens that gathered walked from the Unity Fountain under heavy rains to the Nigerian National Assembly to demand for government rescue of the school girls.
That march awakened much more people to the tragedy and in a rare demonstration of global empathy, many people organized marches in several cities in Nigeria and around the world calling for rescue of the abducted girls.  That first march went on  to become a daily “sit-out” campaign in Abuja and a weekly “shout out”  in Lagos and various advocacy activities in cities like Oshogbo, New York, Washington DC.
At the beginning, members of our movement made a promise to our #ChibokGirls couched in a question that is part of the movement’s chants: “When shall we stop?” The answer is simple: “Not until our Girls are back and alive! “Not without our daughters! The two pillars around which our advocacy was framed for 1000 days are our  shared humanity with our #ChibokGirls and the social contract between citizens and their government.
As a citizens movement, our priority has been to awaken our government to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties of its citizens like our #ChibokGirls. Our activities invariably also awakened global awareness of and some action against the cruel action of the Boko Haram terror group. Staying above the fray of politics and change of governments, our movement has remained resolute in the singularity of purpose of demanding and compelling necessary government action to rescue the Chibok girls.
That our movement — a citizens’ advocacy in Nigeria —  has lasted 1000 days is traceable to the core values on which it  is founded. Interestingly these core values make up HUMANITEEDS: Hope, Unity, Motivation, Affability, Nationalism, Integrity, Transparency, Empathy, Equity, Discipline, and Sacrifice. These are the  values that have shaped the thought processes, decisions, and actions of the movement.
Lending our contribution to solutions has also been part of our modus operandi. In 1000 days, we have not only advocated on the matter of our girls but also delivered solutions to our government and people. Below are some of the Solutions we worked on:
–         Citizens’ Solution to End Terrorism
–         Verification, Authentication, and Reunification System (VARS) document
–         ABCs of Our Demand
–         Missing Persons’ Register (MPR)
–         Chronicle of false narratives by the Nigerian government on the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls
–         Options Note on Rebuilding the Northeast
These are available on our website
Key milestones achieved by BBOG include:
  • Ignited the ultimate acknowledgement of the tragedy three weeks after by the then federal government following one week of our movement’s sustained advocacy.
  • Catalytic to multi-nation meeting convened in Paris, France in May 2014 to find the abducted girls and build a sub-regional counter terrorism response.
  • The offer of leading member-nations of the UN Security Council to help rescue our ChibokGirls,
  • Crystalized the advocacy for #ChibokGirls by key global figures and the global community.
  • Saw a strong commitment made by then incoming president – Muhammadu Buhari-  that the return of our girls and other abducted citizens as the indicator of defeat of the terrorists;
  • Compelled our federal government to prioritize the effective and efficient use of resources provided for prosecuting the war and providing security more broadly. In the process, our troops in the battlefront confirm improvement in the tools necessary for war.
  • Shone the light on the scale of humanitarian tragedy that has befallen millions of our internally displaced citizens as far back as 2014 when the North East destabilization was escalating.
However none of those milestones  compared to the sense of progress that the movement celebrated when the first  Chibok girl — Amina Ali Nkeki was found by the Civilian Joint Task Force and the military on Tuesday May 17, 2016.
Subsequently two other Chibok girls — Maryam Ali and Rakiya Abubakar were also found at different times due to the activities of the military. The largest set of girls – twenty one- were released by the terrorists on October 13, 2016 following a successful negotiation with the Federal Government, the Swiss Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That 24 of our ChibokGirls have been given the  justice of freedom from terrorists is considered a testament that our citizens’ advocacy for them was valid despite the stiff attacks and opposition our movement attracts for our steadfast stance.
Furthermore, by making our #ChibokGirls the symbol of all other victims of Boko Haram –many of whom lost their identity in the course of the tragedy in the North East– it compelled the Nigerian military to achieve the rescue of thousands of these other Nigerians.
We also highlighted and advocated on issues related to military welfare, demanded for presidential pardon of soldiers who were wrongly sentenced to death upon being court-martialed for refusing to fight without arms. Some of such unjust sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.
Adopting our #NigerianHonourOurHeroes initiative, we continue to champion the cause of our soldiers and their families for the risk they take at the war front and for the gallantry they show whenever any of  them die at the battlefront to safeguard people and nation.
In the last 1000 days of our advocacy,  we have become a model for the effective expression of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen which promotes demand for democratic accountability from their government.
Our movement has seen the emergence of other citizens’ advocacy groups on related issues of good governance, philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, citizens interventions and such like. The idea of the informed, engaged and active citizen is no longer a dream but already being acted upon by ordinary citizens across the country.
Our singular issue was the rescue of our Chibok girls, but it did not take our movement time to see how the lack of good governance and demand for accountability failed them on that night they were abducted. It is reason our movement insists on Good Governance.
On this tragic DAY 1000 of our advocacy, we again celebrate the efforts of our men and women in uniform who continue to place their lives on the line at the frontlines of the fight against the insurgency and in the search for our Chibok girls as well as other persons who have been abducted by Boko Haram.
Today as we ponder  the colossal tragedy of the non-return of 195 of our girls on day 1000 of daily #BringBackOurGirls advocacy, we renew our  commitment to never stop  demanding until all the remaining 195 of our missing girls are rescued. It is why we today ask the federal government to accelerate the effort it assures is being made to successfully negotiate the release of another set of 83 of our ChibokGirls.
As a movement, we do not wish to see DAY1100 without all our ChibokGirls back. #BringBackOurGirls!
For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

CBN: Nigeria’s External Reserves Increase By 15%

Statistics from the Central Bank have shown that Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange reserves rose by 15 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.


The reserves which now tops 27.4 billion dollars as at January 19, increased by 3.6 billion dollars from 23.8 billion dollars on October 19.


The report also indicates a 1.6 billion dollars increase in the first 19 days of the year, estimated at 6.2 per cent.


Analysts consensus, however show that the current increases in the reserves may be unsustainable owing to the fall in Naira value and the shortage of dollar supply.


Source: Channels TV

Funmi Iyanda: I’ve never wanted to get married. It’s not for me.

Funmi Iyanda, talk show host and broadcaster, says the marriage institution is not for her.

The host of the defunct New Dawn, on Wednesday, took to Twitter to state that she’s not the “marrying type”.

Sharing her experience with a psychic, she tweeted: “I had my palm and tarot card reading done yesterday, 1st time. Psychic says l am not the marrying type. I want my money back.”

Her tweet elicited comments of support from well-wishers, who prayed that she would get married.

In response, Iyanda further tweeted: “Oh for goodness’ sake. Stop texting me prayers. This means he told me what l always knew. Jeez! So many fried brains.

She added: “I have never wanted to be married. I like it for others who like it for themselves but as for me ms Funmi Iyanda, no, thank you.”

When asked why she’s against marriage, she said, “because marriage is often wielded as a power tool and a repudiation of it seem like a challenge to misguided power notions”.



BREAKING: One day to go, Jammeh declares 90 days state of emergency in Gambia

A day before the official end of his tenure, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has declared a 90-day state of emergency, Gambian State television has announced.

The terms for the state of emergency are not known as the announcement did not provide further details.

Mr. Jammeh made the declaration as Nigeria reportedly deployed a warship to the coast of the country to put pressure on the long term leader to vacate office and hand over to President-elect Adama Barrow.

Mr. Barrow was to be inaugurated on Thursday but Mr. Jammeh has said he will not hand over to him.

The President-elect has since left the country to neighbouring Senegal after the mediation intended to convince Mr. Jammeh to allow for peaceful transition, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, seems unsuccessful.

Also the regional Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has said it could deploy soldiers to force Mr. Jammeh out of office.

While Mr. Jammeh still clings to power, many of his aides have deserted him.

Gambia’s tourism and culture minister, Benjamin Roberts, on Tuesday became the sixth minister to resign from Mr. Jammeh’s cabinet.

Others who have resigned include ministers of finance, foreign affairs, trade, information, and environment.


Source: Premium Times

Janet Jackson Welcomes First Child At 50

50-year-old singer, Janet Jackson has given birth to her first child, a baby boy.

The singer’s publicist, in a statement, said Jackson had a “stress-free” delivery of Eissa Al Mana.

“Janet Jackson and husband Wissam Al Mana are thrilled to welcome their new son Eissa Al Mana into the world,” her publicist said.

“Janet had a stress free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably. No further details are available at this time.”

The singer’s sister, La Toya Jackson, congratulated her on Twitter, writing, “How exciting! Jan and Wissam just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy!!! Congratulations.”

Janet Jackson secretly married her third husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al-Mana, in 2012.

She was previously married to soul singer James DeBarge in the mid-1980s, and to dancer Rene Elizondo Jr from 1991-2000.

Berlin Attacks: Killer on the loose as arrested Pakistani has denied involvement.

The suspect in the Berlin lorry attack that killed 12 people and injured 48 others has denied any involvement, Germany’s interior minister said.


Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt later said he could not confirm the suspect in custody was the driver of the lorry.


The man being held is believed to have arrived in Germany from Pakistan at the end of last year.


He was captured in a park 2km away after reportedly fleeing the popular Christmas market in west Berlin.


Mrs Merkel has vowed to punish those responsible for the Berlin attack “as harshly as the law allows”.

Why Fayose’s Account Cannot Be Unfrozen – By Johnson Adebayo

One Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the federal high court sitting at Ado Ekiti State is reported to have ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to defreeze and return to Mr. Ayo Fayose, the governor of Ekiti State the sum of N300 million traced to the Zenith bank. Mr. Fayose had claimed that the money was part of the campaign fund donated to him by the management of Zenith bank. The cock and bull story of Mr. Fayose was vehemently denied by Zenith Bank. To corroborate the denial of the bank, the EFCC has revealed how the sum of N1.2 billion was taken to the Ado Ekiti branch of the zenith bank from the office of the National  Security Adviser under the retired  Col. Sambo Dasuki.


Since another federal high court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris sitting in Lagos had authorized the freezing of the same account the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo is illegal and ought to be ignored by the EFCC. In the course of the proceedings before him, it was disclosed to  Justice Taiwo Taiwo that the N300 million was part of the N1.2 billion traced to Mr. Fayose from the Dasukigate. Apart from Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro who has admitted that he handed over, he said the sum of N1.2 billion to Mr. Fayose the criminal trial has commenced in respect of the stolen fund. Since Mr. Fayose currently enjoys immunity and cannot be arrested his agent, Mr. Abiodun Agbaje is now standing trial for keeping part of the loot. Why then was Justice Taiwo Taiwo in a hurry to transfer the proceed of crime to Mr. Fayose? Did he establish the legitimate ownership of the money?


With the facts of the Dasukigate which are within public knowledge, what was the basis of the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo to the effect that part of the loot be returned to Mr. Fayose? Was it meant to destroy the evidence of the proceed of crime so as to exonerate Mr. Fayosr? Since Justice Taiwo Taiwo is not unaware of the illegality of his order, he has set out to destroy the evidence of Mr. Fayose’s criminality so that upon leaving office he cannot be tried.  Unfortunately for Justice Taiwo Taiwo all the agents of Mr. Fayose including Abiodun Agbaje have implicated him. Mr. Obanikoro has also nailed him. In fact, the former minister has refunded part of his own share of the loot. Mr. Iyiola Omisore has equally made a refund of part of the N1.3 billion traced to him from the same illicit transaction.


Some human rights organizations have challenged Justice Taiwo Taiwo for converting his Court to a Court of Appeal over another federal high court which had ordered that the disputed account be frozen. Once again, the federal high court presided by two judges have given conflicting orders on the Fayose loot. Justice Idris had earlier ordered the freezing of the account. Justice Taiwo has now ordered that the same account be defrozen!  Since the order of Justice Idris was tendered before Justice Taiwo Taiwo it is clear that he deliberately set out to ridicule the Nigerian judiciary which is currently enmeshed in corruption. The National Judicial Council should investigate the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo .


Furthermore, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN,  the lawyer of Mr. Fayose should be asked to explain why he engaged in forum shopping by filing a fresh suit before Justice Taiwo Taiwo instead of taking steps to set aside the order of Justice Idris or appeal against it to the Court of Appeal.  This lawyer should be disciplined for setting the two courts of coordinate jurisdiction against each order. The disgraceful conduct of Justice Taiwo Taiwo and Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN should be not be allowed to go unchallenged. We just cannot continue to expose the country’s judiciary to avoidable embarrassment for pecuniary interests.

Three days after Rivers Rerun, INEC yet to announce several results.

About three days after a total of 21 constituencies went into elections in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is yet to announce final results for most of the areas.

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, INEC conducted the rescheduled Rivers national and state assemblies rerun and supplementary elections across three senatorial districts, eight federal constituencies and 10 state constituencies.

The voting exercise – and later counting of votes and collation of results – took place amid widespread violence that claimed lives, including police officers, irregularities and ‘overt’ bias by security operatives and electoral personnel, reports by the media and observer groups say.

Of the 21 constituencies, as of early Tuesday, results are only known for 10 – the three senatorial districts, four federal constituencies and three state constituencies.

PDP Surpasses APC In Senatorial Contests

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won senatorial elections in the Rivers East and Rivers West districts, leaving one, Rivers South East senatorial district, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In Rivers South East, APC’s Magnus Abe clinched victory to earn a second term in the Senate. He polled 125,938 votes to trounce Olaka Nwogu of  the PDP  who garnered 25,394 votes, INEC said. The district witnessed cases of violence and irregularities with security operatives caught on video snatching election materials in Bodo, Gokana LGA and two persons dead in Luwii, Tai LGA amid gunfight.

Rivers East result was declared on Monday afternoon after confrontation between PDP members led by Governor Nyesom Wike and security operatives at the collation centre in Port Harcourt. There, PDP’s George Sekibo scored 93,098 votes to defeat APC’s Andrew Uchendu who had 34,193 votes. Arch rivals, Mr. Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, APC leader and Minister for Transport, are from Rivers East.

Shortly after return was made in Rivers East Monday afternoon, INEC announced Osinakachukwu Ideozu of the PDP winner in Rivers West, bringing PDP’s senatorial seats to two. Mr Ideozu scored 107,166 votes. He defeated Otelemaba Amachree of the APC who garnered 48,898 votes.

Parties reject opposing victories

PDP rejected the election of Mr. Abe as Rivers South East Senator-elect, saying there was no election in the zone; rather, INEC, Army and the Police aided APC to earn victory. The rejection came after Mr. Abe had urged PDP to accept his election, having been declared winner by INEC already. He said “Rivers people have suffered enough.”

But APC also vowed to legally challenge Mr. Sekibo’s election in the Rivers East. On Monday, Dakuku Peterside, an APC leader and NIMASA boss who was the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 governorship election, told journalists that results had not been conclusively collated in Etche, Port Harcourt City and Emohua LGAs, yet PDP was announced winner even without APC’s agent present.


APC candidates – Barry Mpigi and Maurice Pronen – were declared winners of elections to represent Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme and Gokana/ Khana federal constituencies respectively in the Federal House of Representatives.

Mr. Mpigi scored 48,760 votes to defeat PDP’s Jacobson Nbina with 11,737 votes, while Mr. Pronen had 68,219 votes to defeat Dum Dekor with 20,329.

In Okrika/Ogu/Bolo federal constituency, PDP claimed its first Reps seat in the rerun elections. PDP’s Gogo Tamuno with 11,668 voted defeated APC’s Maureen Tamuno who had 5,995.

Also, PDP’s Boma Goodhead won the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru federal constituency. In the result announced by the Returning Officer on Monday at in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-Toru LGA, Ms. Goodhead, said to be a younger sister to ex-militant, Asari Dokubo, scored 39,444 votes, to defeat APC’s Dewari George who had 8,817 votes.

Mr. Dokubo was said to have mobilised some supporters to the collation centre to demand result be announced after initial delay. Mr. Dokubo later joined his sister on street jubilation.

Eight federal constituencies went into the rerun and supplementary polls. With outcomes in four now declared – PDP and APC taking two each – results from the remaining four are being expected.

Ikwere/Emohua, Opobo/Nkoro/Andoni, Degema/Bonny, and Etche/Omuma federal constituencies are the remaining four from which final results are still being expected


It is only in three state constituencies that final results have been declared, with APC winning two, and PDP one.

In Khana state constituency II, APC’s Friday Nkeeh scored 15,000 votes to defeat PDP’s Dinebari Loolo who had 4,000 votes. Both winner and loser had round figures! In Gokana state constituency, APC’s Innocent Barikor won with 24,624 votes.

Bonny state constituency was won by the PDP. The party’s Abinye Pepple scored 6,610 to win the seat.

Thus, final results by INEC are being expected from seven state constituencies namely  Eleme, Asari-Toru I, Asari-Toru II, Andoni,, Etche II, Ikwere, and Degema.

Summarily, out of the 10 constituencies where results have been released so far, PDP and APC have five each. PDP has two senatorial seats, two Reps seats and one State Assembly seat, while APC has one senatorial seat, two Reps seats and two State Assembly seats.

The rerun polls were held following invalidation of the 2015 national and state assemblies elections in Rivers State. Although the elections had earlier been slated for March 19, violence marred the polls then, forcing INEC to suspend the exercise – and finally held during the week.

Rivers State has notorious history of electoral violence, and tough talks by opposing political actors helped stoke tension and prepare ground for violence that characterised the electoral exercise in the state on Saturday.

At least five persons lost their lives, but previous elections recorded greater tragedies. Although there were cases of overt bias, huge deployment of military and security personnel for the Saturday’s elections helped improve the security of exercise.

Lil Kesh Opens Up on How His Pastor Father Deals With his Vulgar music

Mr Me YAGI aka Lil Kesh shared many interesting views about his career, family, educational background and more in a new interview with Punch newspaper.

Keshniro Ololade shared insights about his educational background and that he is currently enrolled at National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN). He also made mention that his father who happens to be a pastor has been supportive of his music. He also talked about his brainchild YAGI and when he intends to sign new artiste.

See detailed interview below:

Was it your childhood dream to become a music artiste?
I have pretty much been around music all my life, and the love for music has gotten me this far. My dad is a pastor and he owns a church. However, it’s not like I made a conscious decision to become an artiste; it grew on me untill I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What was your dad’s reaction to your decision to become an artiste?
My dad was cool with it. He lets you do whatever you want to do. He feels that whatever his life story is doesn’t have to affect the way his children live their lives. According to what he used to tell me, everybody must live his or her individual stories. He watched me grow from being part of the choir, learning to play drums, and attending music shows. Till now, he gives me all the necessary support and respects my decisions.

Considering that your dad is a pastor, isn’t he bothered by your vulgar lyrics?
Those vulgar songs are basically about me doing my job and he doesn’t interfere. Besides, not all my songs are vulgar. I have recorded songs like Ishe, Semilore and others. However, the ones that go viral are the ones with vulgar lyrics. I understand my markets, and I know the demography I’m directing my music to, which is the youth and adults. I’m a blunt entertainer, but I consider my fans, and always try to give them what they want. But this year, I decided that I’ll feed my fans with more meaningful songs that will inspire them.

What inspires you to write such vulgar songs?
Most of those songs were not written; we just go into the studio and ‘vibe.’ However, my environment inspires me and it’s not like I deliberately try to be vulgar.

Beyond the stage persona, who is Keshinro Ololade as a person?
I have a dual personality in the sense that I could go into the studio and come up with crazy songs that would entertain people. I could also be home alone relaxing, and listening to soft and mid-tempo songs. Listening to my songs, some people may think I’m a loud and local boy, but they’re usually surprised when they meet me and see that I’m calm and cool-headed. I’m not that outgoing, except if I have to attend events.

What’s your educational background?
I went to a number of primary schools, all in Lagos. I also attended secondary school in Lagos before proceeding to the University of Lagos to study Linguistics. However, I had to defer my admission because of my hectic schedule. Right now, I’ve enrolled at the National Open University, where I’m studying Mass Communication.

Some people believe you came out of nowhere to rise to the top in the music industry.  Can you share some of your struggles?
I have always been a hustler. I started my career by attending several talent hunt competitions, and I won some of them which made me quite popular in school. At a point, I was always hanging around studios because I had no money to record songs.

Lil Kesh spoke again on his relationship with Olamide and how the YBNL boss signed him. The “Ishe” crooner talked fame, his hood and more. Click here for the complete interview

Tragic Tale Of How Corper Ifedolapo Died In Kano NYSC Orientation Camp Clinic

It was a tale of tears, agony and regrets on Thursday in Osogbo the Osun state capital, as a National Youth Service Corps member, Ifedolapo Oladepo was buried.

Like many thousands of young graduates mobilised for the 2016 Batch ‘C’ service year, 26-year-old Ifedolapo Oladepo, a first class Transport Management graduate of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho had said her goodbye to her family members, set for Kano, hoping to see her dreams fulfilled.

However, exactly a week after, it was her corpse that was brought to her family after she was said to have died following complications arising from an ailment few days into the NYSC orientation programme in Kano.



Unsurprisingly, her death has raised suspicion from her family members who now claim Ifedolapo could have been saved if she had been given the necessary attention by the NYSC authorities at the Orientation Camp in Kano.

Said to be in proper health before leaving for the Orientation Camp, the death of Ifedolapo has led to several questions regarding the state of health facilities at NYSC orientation camps across the country.

The family identified particularly lack of qualified medical personnel and wrong medications contributed to the death of the NYSC corps member.

Her elder sister, Oyeyode Abimbola, speaking with Channels Television, gave her account of what transpired between her and her sister before her death:

“She called me five hours to her death and told me to start coming as the NYSC doctors are not doing anything for her. They thought she was pretending in order not to go for parade, so they did not attend to her.


How Corps Member Died After Visiting Kano Orientation Camp Clinic
She noticed a lot of rashes on her body after injection, family says

“When she started calling people from home, they eventually gave her an injection (and) immediately after the injection, she called me again that she noticed a lot of rashes on her body that I should speak with the doctor who refused to talk to me.

“She called five minutes later and told me her tongue was twisting, then they sent all her friends out after seeing all the reaction on her body after giving her the unknown injection,” she said amidst tears.

“She said we should get a flight and I called immediately but they told me Abuja flight is Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“I told her to tell anybody in the clinic that I am a nurse and they should allow me to speak to them. Later a male nurse took the phone from her and told me she was having anaphylactic reaction and they will watch her for just one hour and transfer her to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital but alas they did not transfer her until five hours later when they noticed she was restless and calling people at home.

“I boarded a bus going to Kano with her sister, Kemisola Oladepo, to go pick her from there. I begged them to take her to a teaching hospital around but they took her to a general hospital in Gwazo where they have nothing or little care to render.

“They took her phone from her, claiming she was not resting. From that 5PM I could not talk to her, I took a 16-hour journey to make sure I get to her but I was called around 3AM that she gave up, without any doctor in the hospital to assist her.

“The only nurse on duty told me she tried her best by staying beside her when death was taking her away because there was nothing to use.

“From that 3AM till I got to Kano I was hoping it would only be a mix up somewhere it can’t be her my Dolapo is gone… (Sobs).

“I got to Kano and met her at Aminu Kano mortuary, alas it was her being put in that cold place.”

(Sobs) “Amoke mi you couldn’t withstand the agony, NYSC successfully cut your destiny due to negligence.”

Although they are grieving, the Oladepo family wants the government to restructure the NYSC programme and provide infrastructure needed to prevent the loss of innocent young men and women all in the name of serving their fatherland.

Arrived Sick

How Corps Member Died After Visiting Kano Orientation Camp Clinic
Ifedolapo Oladepo in camp before her death

?The Press and Public Relations Head of the NYSC in Abuja, Mrs Bosede Aderibigbe, when contacted told Channels Television correspondent in Osun state via the telephone that “the deceased corps member from the account I got arrived the Kano orientation camp sick and presented a medical report.

She claimed that it was not the drill in the camp as being alleged that complicated her case.

“We trained all our commandants and officers not to force anyone who is weak to do the drilling exercises.

“Although what happened is a big loss to the family and NYSC as well because we lost a life, we can only console the family.

“I have called for the full medical report and will send it to you immediately I get it.

“What we needed to do we have done. We asked the NYSC in Osun to attend the internment and this is the normal thing to commiserate with the family.

How Corps Member Died After Visiting Kano Orientation Camp Clinic

“The family should please accept our condolences but all reports reaching me indicates that she was not forced to do the regular drills as alleged. That is what I can say for now,” she concluded.

In the meantime, our correspondent is yet to get the medical report which the NYSC official promised to send as evidence.

Seven party chairmen endorse Senators indefinite suspension from APC

Seven local government chairmen of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State have endorsed the controversial suspension of a senator, Shehu Sani, from the party.

The local governments, LGs, represented by the seven chairmen make up the Kaduna Central senatorial district which Mr. Sani represents in the Senate.

The APC council chairmen who endorsed the suspension are Magaji Bala, Chukun LG; Abdullahi Jariri, Birnin Gwari LG; Musa Shehu, Kaduna North LG; Ibrahim Musa, Giwa LG; Halidu Bature, Igabi LG; Bala Wahab, Kajuru LG; and Ibrahim Soso, Acting Chairman of the APC in Kaduna South.

“We have received information from Ward 6 in Kaduna South LGA of our great party the APC, on the indefinite suspension of the erring Senator Shehu Sani from the party at those levels,” the party chairmen said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

“Subsequently we wish to hereby endorse this suspension by the ward chapter…”

The chairmen said they endorsed the suspension because Mr. Sani was disrespectful to the “party and its leaders,” and because of “his various attempts at causing divisions within the party in the state, by sponsoring frivolous petitions and troublemaking.”

Source: Deltabreed
Source: Deltabreed

The senator was also suspended for “his continuous refusal to show remorse for his actions and seek forgiveness from any level of the party in the state,” they said.

They said Mr. Sani’s actions constitute “serious offenses against the party as captured by article 21 section (A), sub sections i, ii, iii, v, vi and vii of the constitution.”

“We recommend that the state party executive committee make haste in also endorsing this appropriate indefinite suspension,” they said.

The initial suspension by a faction of the party in Mr. Sani’s Ward 6 of Tudun Wada was opposed by the chairman of the party in the ward.

The chairman had accused a political adviser of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, of offering N3 million bribe to the ward officials to suspend the senator, who has been critical of the governor’s performance. Though the alleged beneficiaries denied receiving any bribe, the governor’s aide has kept mum on it.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

On Wednesday, in reply to the suspension by the ward, Mr. Sani released a scathing statement attacking Governor El-Rufai.

It was hours after the senator’s statement that the APC council chairmen met to endorse the suspension.

In his reaction to the council chairmen’s endorsement, Mr. Sani’s aide, Abdulsamad Amadi, said the signatories were coerced to sign the document.

“The document was already prepared in the government house. They were being practically forced to sign that document. When they see that people are trooping to the government house, they became apprehensive and later took them to the Seventeen hotel to sign the document.

“The suspension letter was never written on a letter headed paper which could mean that anybody could have written that. I am assuring you that by tomorrow or next, some of the chairmen who were claimed to have signed the document will speak with you people.

“The people that signed the letter were not properly constituted as most of the zonal exco members were not consulted and were not carried along. The zonal chairman was not part of the meeting also.” Mr. Amadi said.

EXCLUSIVE: Governor Ambode presents 2017 Budget today. [FULL PRESENTATION SPEECH]

The Lagos State 2017 budget has been presented by Governor Ambode today at the Lagos State House of Assembly in the presence of all lawmakers from all constituencies in Lagos. Below is a transcript of his full presentation speech:




At the commencement of this administration, we began a journey with the people of Lagos with a promise to make the State work for all. We undertook this journey with great hope for tomorrow. We set forth not alone, but with the Almighty who has been faithful and very generous to us as a State in spite of the present economic situation we have found ourselves as a Nation.


On behalf of all the people of Lagos State, I wish to commend the Honourable Speaker and all Honourable members of this hallowed chamber for their unrelenting strides in growing and developing the economy of the State and being worthy ambassadors of our people.


The Year 2016 budget of N662.588bn was approved and signed into Law on January 4th, 2016 to focus on the expectations and priorities of our people. As at the end of October, 2016, the overall performance of the budget was 71%. Total revenue stood at N350bn/77.5% while Capital Expenditure closed at N200bn/62% and the Recurrent Expenditure performed at N180bn/82%.


As you are all well aware, we shall continue to render our performance/activities through in our Quarterly Town Hall Meetings in which the last Three meetings showcased all our activities in all sectors.


It is my strong belief that by the end of this year; there would have been more improvements in the performance indices due to our strong investment in infrastructure. It is worthy to note also that the reforms and restructuring in the Public Service have continued to yield positive and encouraging results as we continue to invest the resultant savings in other economic sectors of the State.


Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, “The People’s” budget of 2016 has positively impacted the lives of Lagosians and I am confident that the year 2017 budget will consolidate on our modest achievements and propel our State to enviable heights.


The Year 2017 Budget will be in effect at an auspicious time when our State will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary. The proposed budget with a size of N812.998billion will continue the massive renewal of our infrastructure and the enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investment destination in Africa.


While we focus on physical infrastructure, we shall continue to pay due attention to social infrastructure especially health, education, youth and social development in 2017.


The key components of “The Golden Jubilee Budget” are:

Budget Size N813bn

Recurrent   Expenditure N300.535bn

Capital    Expenditure N512.464bn

Capital/Recurrent ratio 63:37


We have maintained a conservative approach in estimating our Federal Allocation due to falling oil prices that was about $41.98 per barrel at the time we finalized this budget; however the State expects an increase in Federal allocation through 13% derivation from Oil & Gas in 2017.


In view of our financing gap, we shall continue to sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term; enhance revenue growth throughout the year on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.


We would explore more collaborations with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in the areas of Road network expansion, Transport; Housing, and the Environment.


The sectoral allocations as proposed in this budget will be distilled further by the Commissioner of Finance later today.

We will equally continue implementing the ease of doing business reforms – starting a business, property registration, tax payment, e-GIS/ Smart  City project, continue to encourage investments in Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Badagry Deep Sea port and the Eko Atlantic project.


We will remain steadfast in our responsibility to make the State safe and secure for all our citizens. We will continue to invest in Security. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all our Local Governments and LCDAs.


A key focus of the budget for the 2017 is road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Our government will focus on roads that will open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the State and reduce travel time. Some of these projects will include:

  • Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road from Oshodi.
  • Agric-Isawo-Owotu-Arepo Road in Ikorodu
  • Igbe-Igbogbo Phase II- Bola Tinubu Way in Ikorodu.
  • Ijegun Imore Phase II Amuwo in Ojo axis.
  • Oke-Oso-Araga-Poka in Epe.
  • Epe-Poka-Mojoda in the Epe axis.
  • Completion of the Abule-Egba, Ajah and Pen Cinema flyovers.

Our administration shall enter into PPPs for the following projects;

  • Oke Oso-Itoikin dualisation Project in the Epe axis.
  • Okokomaiko-Seme Road Project in Badagry axis
  • Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu Ode Road Project in Ikorodu axis

We will commence the Phase II of the 114 Local Government Roads project and the Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017.


In the course of the 2017 Financial Year, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year.


The State government will embark on the Urbanisation of the Marina axis, Waterways Channelization, establishment of more Parks and Gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.


We will fully implement the Medical Health Insurance Scheme and deploy e-Health/ e-insurance Health Service solutions; and complete the on-going upgrading and extension work in the State General Hospitals and Ayinke House in Ikeja. Work will commence on our Medical Park in the 2017 fiscal year.


With the aim of making Lagos State the next technology frontier in Africa, we will invest in Digital Libraries (e-Libraries) as well as Code Lagos projects to prepare our younger ones to meet the new workforce demands, harness the benefits of technology and communicate in the language of the future.


Our administration is committed to various projects in the area of Tourism. Our vision is to create a Tourism Hub around the Onikan-Lagos Marina Axis. We will also develop the Epe and Badagry marinas to harness the tourism potentials of these areas. We will establish Museum for Art and Culture in Ikeja, construct 5 Arts/Culture theatres in Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja with a 400-seater hall in each of them.


We will accelerate the food expansion programme with a special focus on rice production, animal husbandry and root crops. We will intensify our collaboration with other States in the development of a commodity Value Chain specifically for food commodities. We will invest more to boost fish production in the State, by improving the production capacity of Ayobo Fish Farm Estate in Alimosho area in addition to providing employment opportunities for the youths.


The Employment Trust Fund has commenced financial support to our youths and entrepreneurs and this will be intensified throughout next year.


In the area of environment, we will improve water supply through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and increase the capacity utilization of water treatment plants, ensure efficient waste management system by increasing the number of Transfer Loading Stations from three (3) to fifteen (15), mitigate the effect of climate change through the conservation of the natural environment and promotion of biodiversity, as well as minimizing flood through effective erosion control.


Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, in our bid to ensure that Lagos works for all, we have presented an all-inclusive budget. However, we are constrained by rising inflation as well as limited financial resources.


We seek the cooperation and understanding of all residents in prompt payment of taxes and for the information of our citizens, the State Government has embarked on extensive revenue collection reforms. We will soon introduce more effective multi-pay channels to improve the administration and collection of Revenue. Our Central Billing System and efforts to fully automate revenue collection for ease of payment have reached an advanced stage.


The successful implementation of this budget   depends on all Lagosians. We all have a huge responsibility to ensure that it succeeds as we cannot just afford to fail even at this critical period of economic recession.


As we approach the end of the year, we implore all citizens to be conscious of their environment and take all preventive measures as appropriate. We will continue to ask for your support at all times as we continue to build the Lagos that works for all.


I wish you all, a prosperous and more fulfilling Year ahead.


Thank you for listening.


Itesiwaju IpinleEko, Lo Jewalogun!!



Governor of Lagos State

November 29, 2016

Osun PDP Suspends Sen Iyiola Omisore

A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State has suspended a former Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities.

This suspension of Omisore and other PDP chieftains is contained in a statement issued on Friday and signed  by Chairman,  Mr. Soji Adagunodo and the Secretary, Mr. Bola Ajao.

Apart from Omisore, the Adagunodo-led executive also suspended the chairman of the other faction of the party, Dr. Bayo Faforiji;  Bunmi Jenyo;  Chief Ojo Williams and  Bade Falade for the same offence.

The statement read, ” The state executive committee received recommendation  from  various wards to local governments and senatorial districts,  to suspend the following  PDP members : Dr. Bayo Faforiji,  Senator Iyiola Omisore,  Rev. Bunmi Jenyo,  Chief Ojo Williams and Hon Bade Falade.

“In accordance with the provisions of the PDP constitution,  and inherent powers vested on the the State executive committee of the party,  the said individuals are hereby suspended as recommended.”

The Adagunodo-led faction said Omisore should go and clear his name from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before seeking to participate in the affairs of party.
Although Omisore could not be reached for his immediate reaction but one of his allies told our correspondent that the suspension was a joke , adding that the former deputy governor would react soon.

But a faction of the PDP loyal to Omisore had on Thursday expelled  the national secretary of the PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo and  Adagunodo.

The factional chairman of the party, Dr. Bayo Faforiji, who made the announcement  during a congress at the PDP secretariat located along Osogbo/Gbongan Road on Thursday also expelled the immediate chairman of the party, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa as well as Secretary of Adagunodo-led executive, Bola Ajao.

Faforiji alleged that the expelled PDP leaders were involved in instituting the suit which nearly prevented the PDP governorship candidate in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede from participating in the election.

I Can’t do Without “Garri’’ and Dried Fish – Lagos Senator

Sen. Solomon Olamilekan (Lagos West Senatorial District) on Thursday said that having soaked “garri’’ and dried fish as a meal gave him more satisfaction than any other food.

Olamilekun, a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that garri and dried fish was his favourite food.

“I don’t know why I just like garri and dried fish, it gives me the kind of satisfaction I can`t describe, I just feel good after having it. “Some people would ask me, why would a senator like garri and not all these expensive stuffs? and the answer I give is that it makes me feel great.

“It is so amazing that sometimes when I am having stomach upset, and I take garri everything disappears within minutes. I think garri is best suited for my body,’’ he said.

Olamilekan stated that he preferred mostly local foods to foreign delicacies. Speaking on his political career and speculations that he intends to contest for the governorship position of his home state Ogun in 2019, Olamilekan did not give a direct answer.

“I am from Ogun state. I visit and interact with my people. It will be an honour to serve them. But we would not make any announcement for now.

“At the right time, we would come out and tell the people. The concentration is on the Senate right now. We are waiting on God to determine our next move,’’ he said.


OBJ, IBB, Abdulsalaam, they shouldn’t be paid salary arrears. – MURIC

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Wednesday expressed disappointment with General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), General Abdulsalaam Abubakar (rtd) and General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) for expecting payment of their salary arrears as ex-heads of state when workers have not been paid for months in some states.


Recall that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had revealed that the federal government has not paid the former Nigerian leaders including Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari allowances since January this year owing to the none availability of funds for the service-wide votes for their salaries.


But MURIC, in a statement issued by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, regretted that the ex-presidents, who it described as “overfed”, cannot voluntarily forgo their entitlements particularly in Nigeria’s trying period, and called on the government to withhold the arrears of former heads of state until the country gets out of the current recession.


Akintola went on to ask the former heads of state: “What exactly do you want to offer this country in these troubled times? What are you prepared to sacrifice? Who among you is a pauper today? Who among you is not a billionaire? Who among you is ready to declare his assets as they stand at the moment? Do you really need these arrears before you can survive?”


According to the statement, “This is how Nigeria is being bled nearly to death. There are too many yawning drainages. It is most unwise for this country to continue to throw scarce resources down drain pipes. This culture of waste must stop.


“Twenty one (21) ex-governors are currently in Senate. They get salaries, houses, vehicles, staffers, etc from their states as former governors. The vehicles must be changed every three years. This is parliamentary fraud. They are collecting full salary as senators and pension entitlements as ex-governors. Nigeria is indeed adept at wasting resources. This country is being scammed.


“Enough is enough. ‘Monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’. The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. The middle class has long been eliminated and the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider every day. Too many people are hungry. Too many people are starving and somebody is talking about paying arrears to ex-heads of state.


“Nigerian workers are overworked, underpaid and overtaxed. Their take-home pay cannot take them home. We are just being patient with FG because we have faith in the Buhari administration. We have seen how prudent FG has been since Buhari took over. That prudence must be maintained. We therefore say capital ‘NO’ to salary arrears for overfed ex-presidents.”

Protesters clash in Edo state over N300m houses for ex-gov, deputy

There is a clash between civil society organisations and pro-government protesters over the provision of N300m worth of houses as pension benefits for the immediate past governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu on Tuesday in Edo State.

The confrontation occurred at the Ring Road area in Oredo Local Government Area of the state .

Details later…


Moses: I Want To Improve In Every Game For Chelsea

Nigeria winger, Victor Moses has vowed to keep improving after picking the man of the man of the match award in Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Sunday.

The former Wigan player put up a fine performance as the Blues moved to the top of the table with a win courtesy of a first half strike by Diego Costa.

“I’m happy I got into the starting eleven and I want to improve in every game, ” Moses stated in his post match interview.

“I have been on loan three times, but we have a good manager here who wants to give youngsters an opportunity.

The 25-year old also heaped plaudits on his team for protecting their lead in the face of spirited fight back by their hosts in the second half.

” In the second half, Boro came at us, but we were very strong at the back. The big man here (Cahill) was dominating,” Moses added.

“I think we showed great character today from the start. We had chances in the first half and we should have taken them.

“We have to keep working hard to make sure we stay at the top until the end of the season.

” It’s very tight from the fifth to the first.The league is hard this season, we want to take each game as it comes.”

US senator pushes to abolish electoral college after Trump win.

A California senator introduced legislation Tuesday to rid the United States of its electoral college, the system that allowed Donald Trump to win the presidency despite Hillary Clinton’s lead of nearly one million votes.

The measure comes amid calls for reform following last Tuesday’s presidential upset, but is a long-shot.

“This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency,” said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who introduced the measure.

The US Constitution specifies that the electoral college ultimately decides the presidential election, not the popular vote.

Each US state is given a number of electors, which corresponds to the size of the state’s population.

In 48 of 50 states, rules require all of a state’s electors to cast their votes for whichever candidate wins the popular vote there, in a winner-take-all system.

Under these rules, the winner of the electoral college vote does not always correspond to the candidate who won the country’s popular vote.

“The electoral college is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts,” Boxer said.

Although Clinton received nearly 800,000 more votes than Trump, according to the latest partial results, she lost in the electoral college.

The electoral vote is at 290 for Trump and 232 for Clinton, although one state has yet to be called. No matter its turnout, they do not have enough electors to bring Clinton a win.

More than 4.3 million people have signed a petition on the website asking the college’s 538 electors to elect Clinton on December 19, when their votes will be officially counted.

But because 26 states legally mandate that electors vote according to the rules and it is almost unprecedented for the remaining states’ electors to disobey, there is little possibility of a Clinton presidency.

Clinton’s popular vote performance brings to mind the 2000 election, when Democrat Al Gore lost the White House despite taking 48.4 percent of the popular vote to George W. Bush’s 47.9 percent.

Hundreds of Constitutional amendments have been proposed over the decades concerning the electoral college, but none has succeeded.

Amending the Constitution requires the agreement of two-thirds of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

Trump himself had strongly criticized the electoral college in 2012 calling it a “disaster.” On Tuesday, however, he changed his tune.

“The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!” Trump tweeted.

You Must Join A Bigger Club! Rohr tells Troost-Ekong

Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has told defender William Troost-Ekong, to move to a bigger club in a bigger league in Europe, to improve his game.

Troost-Ekong, who currently plays for Gent in Belgium, put in another fine performance, as Nigeria defeated Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 World Cup qualifier last weekend .

Rohr believes a player of his quality, should be plying his trade in one of the top leagues.

“Ekong just have to change club. He must play at a higher level. He wants to go to a Belgium club, but he just has to play at a better level. He just finished a season in Norway, but his game has outgrown the club he intends going to, and I think we have to help him get a club at higher level to improve his game,” Rohr told newmen.

“We have to do it quietly because it is not official work of a national team coach, but I know clubs in the higher leagues would be willing to give him offer. Ekong and Balogun have impressed me in their partnership in the Eagles central defence. So we must find ways to help them improve better.”

Rohr continued: “I am satisfied with the two central defenders that played against Algeria and I believe they can only improve with time, but I will be going to search and monitor players in Europe to strengthen the Eagles defense ahead of the World Cup qualifiers next year.”

Nigeria Will Enjoy its Best Christmas Period Ever – IG

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has said the nation will enjoy its best Christmas period ever, giving the drop in crime rate.

Idris stated this at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, after returning from Indonesia, where he attended the 85th Annual Conference of International Police (Interpol).

He said: “From all indications, we are having the best Christmas period this year because the crime rate seems to be under control.”

On the outcome of the conference attended by 193 countries, Idris said they deliberated on enhanced collaboration to curb transnational organised crimes such as corruption, human and drug trafficking.

Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, Director General, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, Commissioner of Police Interpol Subair Olusola and Interpol System Consultant Chikwe Udensi were part of Nigeria’s delegation to the conference.

According to Idris, the conference deliberated on the disturbing trend of cybercrime, corruption, drug related offences, terrorism, foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) and exploring ways to check the funding of terrorism.

Idris said: “Chiefs of Police in West Africa had a crucial meeting and resolved to revive the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO). Although the chairmanship of the committee is held by Liberia, they requested that Nigeria should host the next general meeting.

“We are going to see how we can finalise so that we can hold this meeting. This is a forum we believe can tackle these crimes, if we work together.

“Also, we had a strategic meeting with the high command of the Interpol and discussed the general applicability of i-24/7 in Nigeria. At the moment, the i-24/7, which is the tool used by National Centre Bureau (NCB) of the Interpol in connecting member countries is restricted to the police only.

“It is a data base for wanted persons, stolen vehicles, arms, artefacts and missing persons, among others. So, with the meeting, major law enforcement agencies like the NIS, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and facilities such as airports and seaports would be connected.”

Ondo 2016: Buhari, Osinbajo, Tinubu, Aregbesola absent at APC rally

The crisis rocking the Ondo State All Progressives Congress came to the fore on Thursday as top officials of the party including President Muhammadu Buhari were absent from a scheduled rally.


The rally was organised by the Ondo APC to flag off the campaign of Rotimi Akeredolu, its candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.


As predicted by PREMIUM TIMES, apart from Mr. Buhari, other notable absentees were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, and governor of neighbouring Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola.


The event commenced on Thursday morning at the Democracy Park in Akure, the Ondo State capital.


Introducing the dignitaries present in order of protocol, the National Organising Secretary of the APC, Osita Izunaso, said Mr. Osinbajo was represented by his Chief of Staff.


Some serving ministers are also present at the rally.

NUPENG Vows to Resist Another Fuel Increase

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has restated its determination to resist any increase in the price of petroleum products in the country

The President of NUPENG, Mr. Achese Igwe, said that the union was partnering with the Indepedent Petroleum Marketers Association and other stakeholders in the sector to prevent scarcity and increase in the price of the products

Igwe made the comment while speaking with journalists shortly after the opening ceremony of the of the 2016 NUPENG National Education Seminar in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “I would say there is no increment for now, N145 is the price. We have said clearly that any increment would be resisted by us.

“It is a rumor for now, that is why we are also working very hard to partner with IMPAN and all necessary stakeholders in the depot environment and depot community to see that scarcity of petroleum products is abated, and also the issue of fuel price increase is also abated.”

Igwe who also commented on the issue of pipeline vandalism in the country called on the Federal Government to return contracts for the protection of the pipelines to those who handled it under former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the NUPENG President, the people who made promises to the President to protect the pipelines and who were awarded the contracts lacked the capacity to secure them.

No More Environmental Sanitations in Lagos State

Lagos Appeal Court has nullified the monthly environmental sanitation in Lagos State, stating that it is illegal and ordered the Lagos State Government not to restrict people’s movement on such days.

The court judgment over the weekend banned the state government from restricting anyone’s movement within Lagos State at any time or day whatsoever on the basis of environmental sanitation as there is no written law to that effect.

Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, held that in the absence of a written law prescribing the same, the governor’s directive for people in Lagos State to stay at home and not to move about thereby restricting movement of persons in Lagos State within the hours of 7.00am to 10.00am on the last Saturday of every month was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

The suit was brought before the court by a citizen, Faith Okafor (Appellant) against the Lagos State Government (Respondent). The court restrained the Lagos State Government and its affiliates from further arresting anyone whatsoever on the basis of a purported environmental sanitation offense or trying anyone in the Special Offences Court without conforming to the dictates of the Constitution.

Budget Padding: Officials Sanctioned by Buhari Resume Work – Report

Despite sanctions threatened by President Muhammadu Buhari on officials that smuggled foreign items into the 2016 budget and caused both national and international embarrassment, the officials are back to work.

Economic Confidential reports that the officials removed from the Federal Ministry of Finance have since resumed duties in the same Ministry without the highly publicized punishment the President promised while speaking to Nigerians resident in Saudi Arabia.

Apart from the removal of Director General of Budget Office and deployment of several directors and senior officials from the Ministry, President Buhari also merged the budget office with the Ministry of Planning.

About 15 senior officials from other Ministries and Departments were posted to the Budget Office to replace the sanctioned officials that were recalled to Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

Other Ministries involved in the scandal include but not limited to Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Education, Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, Trade and Investment, and Interior Ministry.

Meanwhile, Economic Confidential learned that there has been an unhealthy rivalry between the Ministry of Finance and the Budget and Planning Ministry which are under the supervision of Kemi Adeosun and Udo Udoma respectively over who should superintend over budget processes and implementations in the country.

The development has no doubt created frictions between the two ministries and lack of the needed synergy required by both to put up a forward looking national budget.

In view of these concerns, some departments have been created by the Federal Ministry of Finance that play critical roles in budget implementation.

The departments include: Cash Management, Special Projects, and Technical Services, bringing the total departments in the Ministry to more than 10. Some of the sanctioned officials are said to be performing strategic roles on the nation’s economy in these departments.

Buhari had in February this year while speaking in Saudi Arabia threatened to punish all those who were involved in the padding of the 2016 budget.

He said the alterations, which he described as embarrassing and disappointing, made the document, which was debated in the National Assembly, completely different from what was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

In a statement, then by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke in Riyadh while addressing the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia.

He regretted that the unauthorized alterations had completely changed the document from the one he presented to the National Assembly.

The President, however, gave the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, a clean bill of health, saying he did a good job.

Buhari said, “The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.

“Never had I heard the words budget padding. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team.

“The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it.

“What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished.”

Source:  Nigerian Eye


Governor Ganduje of Kano sponsors students to study in Egypt.

His Excellency Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR the Executive Governor of Kano State on Sunday (6/11/2016) visited Kano State Students that are studying in October 6 University in Egypt sponsored by the state government. He was received by the Vice Chancellor of the University, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and other top management officials of the University.
The Governor is in Egypt to see for himself the academic performance of the students, their wellbeing and overall situation they are in. There are 40 students in this institution that are studying Medicine, Pharmacy & Radiology most of whom are in their 400 level.
Governor Ganduje expressed his satisfaction on the condition he found the students to be in as well as their academic performances which the school management disclosed are excellent with 80% of the students having distinction in their results. He also stated that despite the economic hardship back in Nigeria and in Kano in particular due to the decline in revenue from the federation account, his administration will continue to settle the huge debt he inherited of their fees till they graduate.
Governor Ganduje urged the students to remain focused on their studies so that they will graduate with flying colors and return home to render their services so as to fill the vacuum in the health sector of the state, especially now that the governor is determined to complete the 2 abandoned hospital projects of Zoo road and Giginyu.
On their part, the students who spoke through one of them Isiaku Umar Faruk thanked the Governor for the visit which he said showed that his Excellency is concerned about their situation but most importantly the Governor’s efforts in settling their outstanding fees and allowances and also appealed to the governor to settle the outstanding payments.
The school management and the students gave his Excellency a plaque each, to honor him for his exemplary leadership in the education sector. 
Governor Ganduje was accompanied by the Deputy Ambassador of Nigeria in Egypt His Excellency Mohammed Abdulkadir Maccido, Hon Abubakar Uba Galadima representing Bebeji Local Govt in the state Assembly and also the chairman House committee on Higher Education, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Higher Education Hon Jarma and the Executive Secretary Kano State Scholarship Board.

Nigerians No Longer Need Lawyers to Register Their Businesses – CAC

The Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Bello Mahmud, has said Nigerians no longer need a lawyer to register their businesses with the commission.

He said on Thursday at the second presidential economic communication workshop in Abuja.

Mahmud stated that the commission had made the process of registration easier as entrepreneurs can register by themselves at their offices.

“We have reduced the cost of registering a business by 50 percent. You don’t need a lawyer to register your business for you anymore.

“You can ?now do it yourself. The process is easy now.

?”You can now register your business anywhere at our offices in Lagos, Kano and Enugu,” he said.

FG Rules Out Online Application for Poor, Most Vulnerable Nigerians

The Federal Government on Thursday ruled out the need for the poorest and vulnerable Nigerians to apply online before they can benefit from the monthly N5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s media office.

The statement was responding to some misleading reports in the media regarding the implementation of the N500 billion Social Investment Programmes of the Buhari administration.

It reads: “While we understand the need for an ongoing public discussion of this unprecedented budgetary allocation in favor of the Nigerian people especially the poorest and the most vulnerable, it is not correct to claim any form of mismanagement or marginalization whatsoever.”

“There has not been any disbursement from the allocated fund not to talk of any kind of mismanagement at all. While it is true that funds are being released for the social investment programmes, it is rather preposterous for now to say there is no evidence where the funds have gone to.

“As an administration noted for its transparency, we intend to fully keep Nigerians posted on all financial expenditure in line with extant laws of the country.

“Of the series of social investment programmes we have outlined, only the job creation scheme-N-Power requires an online registration from unemployed graduates and non-graduate youths.”

But the statement justified the requirement for online registration for the hiring of 500,000 unemployed graduates.

“It is important to explain, again, for the benefit of clarity, that the requirement for online application for the N-Power job scheme makes absolute sense considering that all together the Federal Government is planning to hire half a million unemployed Nigerian graduates.”

“We are all witnesses to the calamity that occurred in the past when a manual effort was made to hire large number of Nigerian youths. It led to needless deaths and outright chaos.” It added

On the allegation that Borno State is not online and the people of the state will be discriminated against in the N-Power process, the statement, said such a claim simply flies in the face of the fact.

It added: “Almost 15,000 Nigerians from Borno State applied in the first application series of N-Power schemes online.

“It is also not tenable to argue that people in Maiduguri for instance which today plays hosts to tonnes of international NGOs cannot apply online or are denied internet access.”

The statement disclosed that the selection process for the first batch of 200,000 Nigerians to be engaged in the N-Power process has now been completed, and that their official engagement is now awaiting the completion of BVN verification so that they would be paid directly.

On how the selection was done, the statement said “Presidency officials collaborated actively with the Ministries of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Health and other government agencies all through the process. There were no foreign consultants involved, nor is one needed.”

It added that selection of the first 200,000, were based on three criteria including 40% selected based on the number of applications per state, a special mark-up for the 6 states of the Northeast and a discretionary addition for states with low numbers of applicants.

US Election: Vote Clinton For Me, Obama Tells Americans

How do you gift your popularity to someone else? As Barack Obama rolls up his sleeves to ensure Hillary Clinton succeeds him in the White House, his argument increasingly boils down to a simple message: Do it for me.

With approval ratings almost unheard of for an outgoing leader — 54 percent, according to the latest Gallup average — the Democratic president is hitting the trail full-time to help Clinton lock in crucial battleground states in the final stretch of the race.

Obama’s time this week is devoted almost exclusively to drumming up the vote for his former secretary of state in a marathon that started Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, heading Wednesday to Raleigh, North Carolina, on to Miami and Jacksonville, Florida on Thursday and finally back to North Carolina’s Charlotte on Friday.

His stump speech is well-rehearsed. It starts with an avalanche of compliments for Hillary, summed up thus: “There has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”

And it includes an arsenal of pointed attacks on her rival Donald Trump, in a nutshell: “The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president.”

But Obama — who is well aware that Clinton struggles to whip up passion in the electorate — also regularly takes the conversation into more personal territory, linking her political future to his own legacy.

“I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me,” he urged supporters in his address to the Democratic National Convention in July.

A few weeks later, America’s first black president went further by urging African Americans to mobilize for Clinton — telling them he would “consider it a personal insult” if they fail to rally this time around.

– Turn out the black vote –

Black voters traditionally lean heavily Democratic in the United States — and more than 90 percent voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The crucial question facing the 69-year-old Clinton is whether she can draw anywhere near the historic turnout levels among black voters seen for Obama.

And so the president is flooding the airwaves in the homestretch of the race, hammering home the point Wednesday morning on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a radio program whose audience is largely African American.

Obama cited the data coming in from early voting states, and issued a wake-up call: “I’m going to be honest with you,” he said. “The Latino vote is up. Overall vote is up. But the African-American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be.”

It is not unknown for a serving president to dive into the campaign for his succession, but the intensity of Obama’s involvement has no equivalent in recent American history.

“(Dwight) Eisenhower stressed continuity with (Richard) Nixon in 1960 and so did (Ronald) Reagan with (George H.W) Bush in 1988, but no other president has been quite so personal in his appeal before,” said Larry Sabato, a political analyst from the University of Virginia.

On Tuesday night, as he addressed a packed, youthful crowd at Capital University in Columbus, Obama urged the electorate that carried him to power to “work as hard for her as you worked for me.”

“She made me a better president and she didn’t ask for credit,” said the president, campaigning in shirt sleeves and plainly savoring the heady campaign atmosphere that will soon be behind him.

“I am asking you just what I asked you eight years ago. I am asking to believe in your ability to bring about change,” he said, urging the crowd, in an echo of his history-making 2008 campaign, to “Choose hope!”

Federal Government approves 8 new universities.

The federal government has approved the establishment of eight new private universities.

Anthony Anwuka, minister of state for education, disclosed this while addressing state house correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s federal executive council (FEC).

Anwuka said the ministry of education had sought for approval after the NUC made recommendation.

The universities are Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos; Arthur Jarvis Akpabuyo University, Calabar, Cross River; Clifford University, Owerinta, Abia; Coal City University, Enugu; Crown Hill University, Kwara; Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo; Kola Daisy University, also in Ibadan; and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State.

Repaying $30bn Loan Won’t Be Difficult – FG

The debt management office (DMO), which is under the finance ministry, says Nigeria will easily repay the loan of $29.9 billion in 30 years if it succeeds in getting it.

In a statement on Tuesday, Festus Akanbi, spokesman for the minister of finance, said Abraham Nwankwo, director-general of the DMO, provided clarifications on the proposed foreign loans while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV live program.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari sent the proposal to the national assembly for approval, but the senate rejected it on Tuesday.

Nwankwo explained that the loans, which will cover a period of three years, would help in addressing the biting infrastructure deficit in the country.

“When you are in this kind of economic situation, you have to decide where you want to start addressing the problem,” he said.

“You then come to the conclusion that the most critical point to start is to deal with infrastructure problem. If you deal with infrastructure problem, the cost of power will be lower, the cost of transportation will be lower, and the cost of most other services will be lower.”

According to him, one of the features of the proposed loan is the low concessionary nature of the interest rate, which is fixed at 1.5 per cent.

He said this arrangement differed from previous loan arrangements with the Paris Club of creditors, which came with floating interest rates as high as 18 percent.

He also explained that the facility would help to revive infrastructure like railways which will smoothen movement of heavy goods across the country.

He said tackling infrastructure deficit would force down costs of goods and services in the long run, emphasizing that the development would have a significant impact on the price level in the economy.

“That impacts the economy by bringing down the general price level, (they call it the consumer price index, which is a classical measure of the price level and the rate of inflation.),” he said.

“When you do this, the Central Bank of Nigeria will set the monetary policy rate low, because all over the world, the central bank knows it has to put the monetary policy rate high enough to catch up with inflation rate, otherwise we will be talking about negative real rate of interest which destroys the economy.

“So the way to go about it is that you have adequate infrastructure, power road, transportation ICT. All these make the cost of production in the economy much lower and when this happens, the cost of goods and services will be lower and then inflation will start coming down. And if inflation comes down, the monetary policy rate will be lower and this will translate to a lower lending rate. That is the sequence.”

He said, “the $30bn was actually for a three-year-period and that it would run from 2016-2018, and to be repaid in 20-30 years time.”

He said, “with this arrangement, it will not be difficult for the country to repay”.

Speaking on how the $30bn would be spent, Nwankwo stated that $10bn would be spent per annum for three years  and that it would be targeted at building infrastructure in all states of the federation, adding that the main focus would be on power generation, rail and road renovation, and construction.

SON to check production of substandard blocks.

Worried about the persistent building collapse in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has resolved to deploy the use of block testing machines to check production of substandard blocks in the country.

The Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that block moulders play a very critical role in economic development, saying that the agency is strengthening its collaboration with block moulders in the country by rolling out these machines in large numbers to give block moulders the opportunity to test their blocks while also complying to standards.

The SON boss during a courtesy visit by block moulders to the agency’s operational office in Lagos, said: “This meeting is to keep up the collaboration we have been having with block moulders. We believe their job is very important and we cannot tolerate the incidence of substandard blocks that will lead to building collapse in the country. This menace is a threat to any society, a drain to the economy and danger to the lives of people and properties.

“We have a programme to train the block moulders in the six geographical zones, we have done three, we have three more to complete and in addition to that, we have just commissioned a made-in-Nigeria block testing machine. We are going to collaborate with them to roll out these machines in large numbers to assist them in testing the blocks and complying with standards.

“I have heard about the robust collaboration you have been having with SON, which I commend. In our efforts to diversify the economy from a single product, I came across your organization’s activities and this has given me the strong will to restate my support to the association. The task of building the economy is a collective responsibility.

“The menace of building collapse is very worrying. It is not rocket science to know that the actual people we will work with to address this menace is the block moulders at the grassroots. We are in the process of deploying about 55 locally made block testing machines. This is part of our efforts to increase the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods as against the imported ones. This will go a long to help your association get the right and quality blocks.”

He however called on block moulders to insist on producing blocks that meet the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) regardless of the current state of the economy, stressing that the value of human life cannot be quantified.

“There is no doubt that the economy is in recession, but at the same time, we must not compromise standards and anybody that falls short of the standards, will have to face the wrath of the law. You need to put more effort in sensitizing your members and collaborate with our field officers to certify the blocks you produce.

“This is going to be a continuous task. We will keep training and retraining people and also sensitize people about complying to standards, because the block moulders play a vital role in national development.

“We are here to support you and if there is another way you need our support, please do not hesitate to say. As you come to register with us, we will create a database so that we can have all the accredited block makers who comply to standards under one umbrella,” he added.

Earlier, the National President, National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria, Rasheed Adebowale, (NABMON) said, “We are here to meet with you to bolster our collaboration with the agency to assist us in producing quality and standard blocks in the country. We believe this synergy is critical to address building collapse in the country.”

“I am so happy with this move by SON to deploy block testing machines, if we have this support from SON, it will go a long way to address the issue of quality. Although, we have a mechanism to check against substandard,” he added.

According to him, the association plays a major role in economic development in terms of employment, employing about 10 million people in the country with a membership base of over 45,000 producing blocks.

The Chairman, National Planning Committee, Block Makers of Nigeria, (NABMON), Segun Banjoko, tasked SON to establish a database of all block makers in the country to check production of sub-standard blocks.

Lassa Fever: Lagos launches Operation kill Rats, make More Money

The Lagos State Government will not relent in its effort at making the state the safest place to live in by providing a safe environment, the Commissioner for The Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare has said.

Adejare made the assertion at the official flag-off of the Lagos State Market Deratisation Programme, aimed at ridding the state of the Lassa Fever vector at Obalende market on Thursday.

The government is collaborating with Phosguard Fumigants, an NGO, to promote the programme through “Kill rats, make more money in Lagos’’.

Under the programme, the residents are encouraged to kill rats in their environs which the programme implementers, Phosguard will buy at a yet-to-be determined price for proper disposal.

The commissioner said the government was resolved to make Lagos State one of the safest places in spite of its increasing population.

“As a bourgeoning global urban agglomeration with a population of over 22 million people and daily waste generation of 13,000 metric tons, Lagos requires proactive environmental management to control pest and by extension diseases.

“Lagos is a mega city with the highest population which is still growing though in terms of landmass it is the smallest state in the country.

“According to a UN report, our nation still ranks among the countries with the highest number of infant mortality, hence we need to look inward to know how we can control this.

“In lieu of this, we are looking at how we can free Lagos from diseases, pestilence and infestations. We talk about mosquito control, pest control and other dangerous animals in our society.

“The administration of Gov. Akinwumi Ambode is committed to ensuring that we have the safest place to live in not minding anywhere we are in Lagos,’’ he said.

Adejare said that to provide a safe environment for the people, vector control remains the ideal strategy. “The mega structure of the state has, however, provided the opportunity for transmission of pathogens between animal species and humans which are heightened by the unprecedented increase in the movement of people.

“No doubt, the alluring feature of our state exposes it to a number of threats that if unchecked can spell doom for the wellbeing of the residents in general.

“The environmental and health hazards that vectors present to our people can therefore not be ignored. Therefore, to protect the population from epidemics, such as Lassa fever, vector control remains the way out.
“Vector control is a means of eradicating mammals, birds and other arthropods collectively called vectors which transmit disease pathogens,’’ he said.

Adejare said that the government was using the most environmental friendly vector control intervention with no known side effect.

“To take advantage of the many benefits of vector control, less illness, safety of homes, building and markets, the government is delivering effective deratisation through the use of tested technology.

“It is noteworthy that all over the world vector management has grown to become an economy on its own; we wish to take advantage of the enormous economic opportunities.

“Therefore, as beneficiaries of this initiative, it is our responsibility to cooperate with the agents of government going round to rid our markets of rodents and other disease vectors.

“The vector control programme is in line with our goal of regenerating the environment to make it liveable for all and for certain, we all have a role to play in the proper sanitation,’’ he said.

The sole administrator of Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Goke Ona-Olawale, lauded the government for the initiative and pledged the council’s cooperation for its success.

“We are lucky to have the flag-off of such an epoch initiative starting with our council. Obliviously, this council has so many important features to qualify it as first.
“Most of the past presidents of the country lived in this community and we are also privileged to have two main barracks, Dodan and the Police barracks sited here.

“We will ensure that all hands are on deck to ensure the success of the programme aimed at providing a safe environment for us all to live in. “The people have also pledged to give the government the necessary support because this is a programme that will directly benefit them and they are well aware,’’ he said.

The Iyaloja of Obalende, Alhaja Jokotade Logun, thanked the state government for its efforts at providing a safe environment for the market women and also pledged their support.

“This is a good thing coming to us, it shows that we have a government that is fully committed to our welfare and we will not disappoint, we will provide the necessary support.

“For our markets to be free of filth, we have also evolved a plan within ourselves to compliment the government efforts, and I have the backing of our members toward achieving it.

“We have been discussing about how we can improve on the sanitation within the markets and now that government has taken a bold step at helping us, we will also make sure we do not disappoint,’’ she said.

NAN reports that the government has provided two Toyota Hilux vans and other logistics for the hitch-free implementation of the programme. Also, the field officers from Phosguard Fumigants demonstrated how to bait for the rodents and evacuation of the dead rats.

Cross River Governor Appoints 1,106 New Advisers

The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Tuesday appointed 1,106 persons into various positions.

The positions were in the categories of special advisers, special assistants, personal assistants as well as the chairmen and members of boards, commissions, departments and agencies.

The governor had, in a parley with journalists in August, reiterated his decision to appoint over 1,000 political appointees for poverty alleviation in the state.

So far, there are 28 commissioners in addition to 65 special advisers and over 100 special assistants, personal assistants and community relations officers.

A breakdown of the latest appointment shows that 799 were appointed into various boards, commissions and agencies, while the remaining 307 appointees were categorised into special advisers (six), senior special advisers (30), special assistants (75) and Personal Assistants (25).

Others are personal assistants to paramount rulers (16), representatives of each local government in the state food bank unit (90), liaison officers for the 18 local government area and three senatorial districts (21), special assistants on religious affairs (18) and permanent secretaries (26).

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, the governor said the appointments would take effect from November 1, 2016.

But reacting to the development, a former Special Adviser to Ayade on Strategy and National Contact, Mr. Ray Ugba-Morphy, said the appointments were unnecessary.

Ugba-Morphy, who resigned from Ayade’s cabinet, said, “He is a governor who understands all the appointments that he is making. But considering the lean purse of the state, it is not necessary because those already appointed have not been properly settled.

“The wages of political appointees are fixed by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission as stipulated by the law, but he (Ayade) has not met those requirements.

“It is right if the appointments are meant to settle political scores, but economically, it is not viable. He should create opportunity for people to have skills to earn a living.”

BUA Group’s Abdulsamad Rabiu is Industrialist of the Year at the 2016 All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

Billionaire industrialist and Executive Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, has emerged winner of the 2016 West African Industrialist of the Year at the prestigious All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) held in Lagos recently.


Rabiu was recognized as Industrialist Leader of the Year – West Africa at a regional ceremony for his enormous and consistent contributions to the growth of the Nigerian/West African economy as it aims at spreading across other African countries. CNBC Africa has pioneered All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) since 2011  to salute and recognise bold leaders and change-makers of business in East, West and Southern Africa, who through strength, innovation and foresight induce positive changes in an evolving corporate Africa.


On accepting the award, Rabiu expressed his appreciation to the organisers for the award. He went further to thank his wife for her support and tolerance despite the demanding nature of running a large business. He also thanked the staff of BUA Group for their passion, dedication, commitment, hard work and the confidence reposed in him which had made the recognition possible.”


Abdulsamad Rabiu further added that the Group’s strategic focus remains to diversify to business areas with greater potential for export where most of the materials needed for production can be sourced locally, creating jobs, and cutting costs to ensure our people and continent remain the chief beneficiaries in our business, whether they are our workers or consumers.” He further encouraged other investors to come into the country at this time


Under Rabiu’s leadership, BUA Group – which he founded 28 years ago, has grown to be ranked among Africa’s largest food and infrastructure conglomerates, remaining a pivotal player in the sugar refining, cement production, real estate, steel, logistics and port operations sectors of the continent. Industry watchers say Rabiu’s win at the keenly contested AALBA awards are an indicator to his business acumen and knack for juxtaposing tactical expansion with a strong sense of dogged determination, foresight and a dedication to innovation.


The BUA Group has over the past few years embarked on a series of strategic acquisitions, which has seen its business portfolio expand to include the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Edo/OBU Cement, BUA Sugar Refinery, BUA Ports and Terminals, and BUA Estates, amongst other agribusiness holdings.


Notably, in 2008, the Group set up the second-largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an installed capacity of 720,000 metric tonnes. It’s second 720,000 metric tonnes sugar refinery in Port Harcourt is set to come on stream in 2017.


Most recently, the conglomerate opened talks with China’s Sinoma to build a steel plant in Nigeria and two cement plants in East Africa for $1.9 billion, a signal that greater dominance – and jobs – for Nigerians and Africa’s business climate is in the offing.


The CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Award is fast becoming Africa’s most prestigious business awards. Winners of the AABLA  exemplify the best in African leadership. They epitomize the core values of a successful leader, strength, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight – values that are imperative to carving out powerful business in a Pan-African and global economy.

Justice Okoro’s allegations unfounded & baseless – Amaechi

My attention has been drawn to a letter purportedly written by Honourable Justice Inyang Okoro JSC, Justice of the Supreme Court, one of the Learned Justices recently arrested by the Department of State Services as part of its investigation into the allegations of massive corruption involving some officers of the Nigerian Judiciary. Given the level of mischief in the Social Media, I would ordinarily have ignored the letter because the allegations contained in the said letter are wild, baseless and unrelated to the issues in contention between the Honourable Justice of the Supreme Court and the Department of State Services, to that extent I had grave reservation if this letter could have emanated from His Lordship.

However, for the avoidance of doubt, let me say clearly that I have never discussed any matter pending before the Supreme Court of Nigeria with my Lord, Honourable Justice Inyang Okoro JSC, in his house or anywhere else, Period. I make bold to also state that the first and only time I have ever spoken with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Honourable Justice Mahmud Mohammed GCON was at the Commissioning of the Abuja-Kaduna Railway Project on the 26th of July 2016 at Idu in Abuja.

The letter by Honourable Justice Okoro is a poor attempt to politicize what is clearly a serious National tragedy and shame. I believe that the issues of corruption at the highest levels of our judiciary should be addressed objectively. It is to say the least demeaning and childish of a Justice of the Supreme Court to imply that the security operatives of our nation will arrest a Justice of our Supreme Court for no reason other than the instructions of a Minister. Those faced with serious allegations should treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves and stop trying to court public sympathy and trivialize what is clearly a national tragedy.

I have directed my lawyers to contact my Lord Justice Okoro and take whatever legal steps as may be necessary to clear my name of this baseless allegation.

Finally, let me advise His Lordship Justice Inyang Okoro to be objective in dealing with the issue at hand and not whip up unnecessary sentiments against innocent public officers. I remain focused on my assignment at the Federal Ministry of Transportation and I have no control over Department of State Services

US Election: Trump Invites Obama’s Half Brother To Debate.

The final live US presidential debate is to be given extra spice after Donald Trump invited Barack Obama’s half brother along to the event.

As a Trump supporter, Malik Obama has already told US media the tycoon “can make America great again”.

And in an Interview with the New York Post, Mr Trump said Malik Obama “gets it far better than his brother”.

The previous live events were vitriolic affairs – and this clash at the University of Nevada is likely to be just as tense.

Current polls put Mrs Clinton ahead leaving the billionaire businessman with a tough battle to win over undecided voters.

Ahead of the debate, Mr Trump has faced claims of sexual misconduct from a number of women, including a former contestant on the US version of The Apprentice.

He has denied the claims, saying they are “outright lies” and his wife, Melania, has defended him in a recent interview accusing the claimants of being attention seekers making “damaging and unfair” accusations.

Mr Trump has also claimed the 8 November election will be rigged in favour of Mrs Clinton, saying: “The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president.”

This prompted Mr Obama to tell the Republican to “stop whining”.

“If you start whining before the game’s even over; if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job,” he said.

Mrs Clinton’s campaign has also been hit by controversy over her use of her private email while Secretary of State, which Mr Trump has branded a scandal “worse than Watergate”.

The 90-minute debate will be hosted by Fox News’ Chris Wallace and will cover six topics – debt and entitlements, immigration, economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hotspots and fitness to be president.

Boko Haram ready to negotiate the release of 83 Chibok girls – Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammdu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday announced that the Boko Haram insurgents have expressed willingness to negotiate with the Federal Government on the release of 83 more Chibok girls.

Recall that the insurgents had on Thursday released 21 of the Chibok girls after over two years in captivity.

Reports filtered in yesterday that the group may give the government two conditions for the release of the girls.

Affirming the report, Shehu, in an interview with Reuters Foundation, said a faction of the Islamic sect released the girls to assure the current administration that they had them.

According to Shehu, “These 21 released girls are supposed to be tale bearers to tell the Nigerian government that this faction of Boko Haram has 83 more Chibok girls.

“The faction said it is ready to negotiate if the government is willing to sit down with them.

The Presidential media aide, also disclosed that the remaining abducted Chibok girls were with the Shekau faction of the terrorist group.

Boko Haram group was reported to have been factionalised, following the appointment of Musab Al-Barnawi by the deadly Jihadist group, ISIS, to head the sect in August.

However, the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau had dismissed Al-Barnawi’s appointment, insisting he remains the leader of the extremist group.

BREAKING: Footballer Ched Evans found not guilty of rape.

Footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of raping a young woman, following a re-trial.


The jury took around three hours to reach their verdict in the re-trial, which came after an original guilty verdict four years ago was quashed by the Court of Appeal.


The 27-year-old had always denied raping a teenager at a Premier Inn hotel near Rhyl in North Wales five years ago.


Evans said he walked into a room at the hotel to find fellow footballer Clayton McDonald having sex with the woman.


The Welsh footballer had told Cardiff Crown Court that McDonald asked the woman whether he could join in,
to which she looked up at him and replied: “Yes”.


Evans said he had consensual sex with the complainant before getting up and leaving after realising he was cheating on his girlfriend.


Prosecutors had tried to prove the complainant was too drunk to consent to sex and awoke hours later confused and alone in the room.


But Evans had told Cardiff Crown Court the woman was no more drunk than him or McDonald.


More follows…

Beyond My Shanty Hood: A Session with Tunde Awoyemi – by Ogunojuwo Damilola

For so many years I had assumed my hood to be that shanty type that encouraged nothing but an uncivilized society with mirage of early pregnancies, dropouts, smokers, thieves, bunkers and touts.  It never for once dawn on me that one could ever reach the top except one relocated from the area. Although, I came across few exceptions but to me nothing good will from this Nazareth proceed.

This same Nazareth crushed my near cousins into visible and invisible sexual endeavours; and my parents into becoming alcoholics. My siblings also had their shares as they grew to become incubated touts. Life in the hood is a composition of acute extremes fleshing defects as opium of escape from an economically, politically, socially, and culturally disadvantaged society. But knowing bro Tunde today changed everything. In fact, bro Tunde is the irregular testimony of my regular hood.

I remember Tommy and Bolu’s comment earlier in the day that ‘that bro Tunde is a normal guy. He was on an Okada when we saw him. He’s just like every other guy in the hood.’

Sometimes, the simplicity of who we imagine others to be limit our discoveries about their potentials which in most occasions serve as the necessary potent we require to get better. Bro Tunde, currently is pursuing a PHD degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and his dissertation is summarized as the next generation wireless technology.

According to him, ‘this technology is far above 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, in fact, what he is working on is a sophisticated cognitive wireless radio technology that can survive many generations’. He earlier highlighted that this work is a sort of development for the mobile wireless satellite technology he worked on during his master’s classes in the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. For him, nothing would have worked if not because of God.

His seeming dimpled smile baked my focus as he took us back in time to how he started up from the hood up until where he is right now. He told us that his parents were the regular low middle class types, that is, his dad was a principal in a local secondary school and his mum a teacher in a public primary school. He revealed to us how the impoverished environment of his primary school made his dad transfer him to a better primary school. He was emphatic about sitting on the floor to receive lectures. His high school days passed by with him carrying unprocessed cassava proceeds from the mini farm his father had in  Government college in other to sustain the family.

I remembered him saying, ‘I really didn’t like doing that kind of job’ but he did it. His amazing story from Government College, Ikorodu would not have had a force on his audience if the influence of Gbenga Salako, his best friend, was pulled out of it. He told us how he borrowed his friend’s notes and text books and slept over at his place on unnumbered occasions. His cherished sister Seyi to him was a figure of adoration.

In fact, he said ‘I wish to have a girl child as my first. Sister Seyi was just too awesome.’

He snappishly moved over to his experience at the Federal University of Technology Akure from where he told us about his studying Electrical Engineering.

Brother Laolu, my elder brother, could not hide his gregarious motivation as he said ‘Tommy too is a student of FUTA. He’s a three hundred level student of the Department of Physics’.

‘Wow, that’s a tough Department…I remembered when I was there’ bro Tunde responded as he continued his story.

Post graduate life was more of a miraculous journey that seemingly started roughly but in the long run, is about ending successfully. He recounts his teaching experience at Albert Aluko schools, Ikorodu and his post graduate scholarship for master’s programme at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

He told us about times when things didn’t work out, that point when he almost gave up and God came into the picture. According to him, the planes of life are not always smooth but most rough paths are assuring indexical when the God factor is there leading all the way. The clues we seek most times are near us than the answers we get because a Holy Spirit conscious Christian is always informed and not deformed. This agrees with his testimony about his PHD programme in University of Pretoria where he told us how he heard God told him who his supervisor was.

He said, ‘I just heard Prof. Maharaj. Send an email to him, that’s what I heard. I don’t know him. I have never heard or seen him before.’

It was a clumsy experience sending a message to someone he didn’t know. Bro Tunde didn’t delay his direction, he went online, got his information, and then sent Prof. Maharaj mails. In South Africa, for you to enroll for a PHD programme you must have gotten a supervisor. No supervisor, no admission. Prof. Maharaj is a miracle indefinable because he got the message and replied the mails, accepting to be bro Tunde’s supervisor. A lesson that stroked me was the truth about bro Tunde sending emails; I had never for once valued my email because all I did with it was to receive messages from others and not myself sending to them. He wasn’t sure about acceptance yet he continued sending.

Bro Laolu wouldn’t allow this pass by as he told us about a guy who out rightly declared his intention of having a meeting with Bill Gate and eventually he did.

Like he said, ‘this guy had to send unnumbered mails, invites, likes  and followed Gate on every (social) event he could, he attended most programmes related to him and finally, he was able to have a coffee with him. That was fantastic.’

Sometimes, the length at which we can go to achieve what we so wish for is the closest to achieving them. Success is not a product of lackadaisical engagement; rather, it is a deliberate act of pulling our admired wishes nearer our unrelenting zeal of owning our item of admiration.

He continued his story of the initial five PHD students turning three. He told us how two of his colleges were frustrated out of their research programmes. He was very explicit on his being undirected about his finding a problem for the first one year.

‘A research is all about finding a problem or advancing a former discovery,’ he said.

He didn’t give up; he continued still until he gained the greatest rhema to his quest which is, ‘investigate the effect of theta!’

At this point, I felt lost because my joy of learning math wasn’t fueled enough beyond simplification, algebra, deviation, and quadratic equation. For him, math was life and life, so far as it could be expressed has a solvable equation. I really didn’t follow up the discussion not until he summarized everything to me saying ‘i got my long searched problem’, and within nine month I was way ahead my other colleagues.

Although, I am still working on the project and getting massive sponsorships form various international organisations bro Tunde said, yet my thanks go to God for His indefinite grace upon me and the influences of my mentors on me in all aspects of my life. The industrious roles of mentors in one’s life not only polish and cultivate a desire and willingness to grow in one; they also shorten the distance of time between one’s wishes and the realities of the wish. They do.

I think, I have to take a break here.

My hood is and can never be a limitation for me anymore rather it will make me focus better on my plans of becoming great in life. In fact, I am going to make another hood of success for myself right in the greater world just like bro Tunde who saw and is still seeing beyond my shanty hood.

Of Peace, Conflict Resolution & National Cohesion – Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr

“My Son, we are better together than separate. What we need is the will to make right our union, and Statesmen whose motivation is to bequeath a fair Country to posterity” – Elder Chris Nwaokobia Snr (1939-2003).

Every so often serious issues of state dominate the intellectual sphere as well as the regular space, I find a unanimous call for peace, a concord that belies the anger in the land, a concord that belies the ethnic bend of leaders and the led, a concord that belies our regional and religious bigotry, and sadly a concord that fails to interrogate the reason there are internecine conflicts across the land.

Crises and conflicts are naught but natural occurrences that test our candour, our civility, our composure and our maturity. They are oftentimes man-made, they are products of our actions or inactions, and they are problems that a willing people can attempt and solve.

I write to stimulate a new thinking. I write to remind you my Compatriots that if nations have triumphed over racism, over apartheid, and over troubling dichotomies of Colour, WE CAN. I write to inform you my Countrymen and women that at some point in this union every Tribe, Creed or Clan has hurt each other, and have also at different times benefited from each other. I write to inspire the emergence of patriots and Statesmen who are willing to build a nation where Justice and Equity is prime. And I write because I agree with my father, that we are better together than separate.

May our debates interrogate the reason we are where we are, and may our drive prefer the highway of Peace, of Justice, of Equity, of Love and Patriotism over partisanship. To the Bridge, Dear Friends.

Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr

“I Do Not Encourage Coup Plotting”, Gulen Speaks On Rumours Of Second Coup Attempt In Turkey

Fethullah Gulen’s Message regarding Rumors Circulated in Turkish Media about a Second Coup Attempt

Once again, the Turkish media, under government control or government pressure, is circulating horrific rumors, this time about a supposed second coup attempt in the works, supposedly prepared by my sympathizers with the backing of the United States.
Such rumors are unfounded and irresponsible.

As a victim of four military coups in the past, I reiterate my conviction that democracy cannot be achieved or protected through military interventions. Even if elected political leaders persecute me and the participants of Hizmet movement by trampling over fundamental human rights, I never approve their removal through anti-democratic means.

I strongly condemn the efforts to portray me as the architect of the treacherous July 15 coup attempt, despite the fact that I condemned it in the strongest terms while it was in progress and I repeatedly and clearly have denied playing any role in it. If some people who appear to be sympathizers of Hizmet were involved in the treacherous coup attempt, they betray my ideals and should face justice.

I believe that the rumors of a second coup attempt are being circulated in Turkish media deliberately to set a trap against our citizens, and especially against Hizmet participants. Already, declarations appeared in media by irresponsible individuals who suggest moving prisoners to solitary confinement in order to make it easier to execute them. The spread of these horrific rumors and suggestions by pro-government mass media generate an atmosphere of hate that paves the way for further atrocities.

Once again, I condemn the failed coup, any attempt to stage a coup and even the consideration of such action. I also condemn spreading rumors to defame a peaceful social movement to justify ongoing persecution of its participants.

About Fethullah Gülen
Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate, whose decades?long commitment to education, interfaith dialogue and altruism has inspired millions in Turkey and around the world.

Nigeria Gets N16Bn From Germany To Resettle IDPs

The government of Germany said the fund is aimed at tackling the root causes of displacement of refugees and their quick resettlement.

Nigeria has received a commitment of €47.6 million (N16.23 billion at the official exchange rate of N341.14 to one euro) from Germany to support the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

The Leader of a German delegation, Mrs Renate von Boddien, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, October 7, during a meeting of the Nigeria-Germany Consultations on Development Cooperation.

At the meeting, which was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Boddien stated that the commitment is part of bilateral technical cooperation and special project initiative aimed at tackling the root causes of displacement of refugees and speed up their integration under the ‘One World No Hunger Green Innovation’.

She said this will also strengthen Germany’s support for the Green Innovation Centre for Agriculture and Food Sector.

Breaking down the funds, Boddien explained that €22.6m is earmarked for bilateral technical cooperation and special funding lines; €19.9m for special initiatives to tackle the root causes of displacement/reintegrating of refugees; and €6m for special initiatives for the ‘One World No Hunger’ project initiated to strengthen its support for the Green Innovation Centre.

According to her, Germany is committed to engaging the priority areas of sustainable economic growth, Nigerian energy support programme and technical cooperation.

“Technical cooperation is being implemented through the pro-poor growth and employment promotion programme in Nigeria, which was inaugurated by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and is co-financed by the European Union.

“The objective is to increase employment and income generation for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the three states of Niger, Ogun and Plateau,” a statement from the Ministry of Budget quoted her as saying.

Speaking further, she said that other areas the government of Germany is planning to commit funds include humanitarian support in the North-East, the fight against polio disease and to support technical and vocational education.

Godwin Okpene: New Strategy Needed For The Petroleum Industry Bill

By December this year, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would have clocked sixteen years and eight months in the making, and more than eight and half years since it was first presented to the National Assembly. That would have been two hundred months of several committees constituted for the purpose, of countless stakeholder consultations and engagements, of endless back and forth between the executive and the legislature.

By then, according to a Policy Brief recently published by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the PIB would have gone through four presidents, five presidential terms and five legislative tenures – without resulting in an overarching petroleum industry law.

Given the importance of the petroleum sector to Nigeria’s economy and the enormity of the problems that has plagued the country’s oil and gas industry over the years, there can be no justifiable excuse for the embarrassing impasse on the PIB. Add to these the fact that Nigeria’s oil industry does not exist in isolation but operates in a global environment that is constantly shifting in favour of countries with the most competitive instruments, it becomes obvious that the country has continued to wallow in the kind of luxury that it can ill afford, especially at a time like this.

The global market is changing rapidly, exacerbating old threats and creating new ones. The world’s largest consumers have become top producers and top importers have begun to export.

But the new threats do not however lie only in far away Alaska or the South China Sea. They are also showing up on our very door step. Two months ago, Ghana passed its Petroleum Production and Exploration law. According to Ghana’s energy minister, “the new law would create an attractive environment for potential investors by providing certainty and transparency in the ground rules for operations”.

If the pool of investment dollars was limitless, such development would hardly merit a glance. But it is not. According the NEITI Policy Brief (titled The Urgency of a New Petroleum Sector Law), international oil companies are increasingly channeling investment funds to “other viable oil and gas projects across Africa including Ghana Senegal, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania etc.”

The sad tale around the PIB rigmarole is not just the sixteen years that it has languished in limbo. The real story is that every additional year of waffling on the bill compounds the losses and worsens the problems of the sector and Nigeria’s economy. NEITI estimates that more than $200 billion has been lost in planned investment and projected returns on investment in the last eight years of delay on the PIB, as well as thousands of jobs. These figures appear very conservative. Other estimates, including a recent study conducted by the Natural Resource Charter, a policy think tank, put the losses at more than twice the figure.

Whatever the numbers, there is no question that Nigeria’s current economic problems would have been avoided if the opportunities were taken in the relevant sectors of the economy, including (and especially) the oil and gas sector. Most estimates of loss of investment due to the delay in enacting a petroleum industry law relate to the upstream sector. But the volume of domestic economic activity lies in the downstream and midstream subsectors. According to OPEC data quoted by NEITI, Nigeria has the least contribution of oil to total GDP ratio among OPEC member countries. This corresponds with data on the country’s refining activity as a ratio of total crude production. Only 3% of Nigeria’s oil is refined domestically.

Appropriate legislation to incentivise midstream and downstream investment would have reversed this massive imbalance. The fact that legislation did not happen has produced huge consequences. In five years alone (2011 – 2015), Nigeria spent more than $26 billion importing refined products. The double effect of lost domestic production and acute import dependency forms a significant part of the explanation for the country’s current economic troubles.

Swift action on the PIB would undoubtedly catalyse Nigeria’s recovery. Continuing to delay the passage of the PIB not only robs the country of this important opportunity, it would ensure that the bleeding continues.

The comparative swiftness with which Ghana produced its petroleum industry legislation should serve as both reminder and a warning. In less than two years after the bill was presented to the Ghanaian parliament, it was signed into law. Ghana became an oil producing nation in 2010, one whole decade after Nigeria initiated the process that produced the PIB. Ghana may be a relatively less complicated case, but a petroleum industry law is not the genome project. It is simply a political process. Politics is supposed to be about negotiation and consensus, not about endless stalemate.

Nigeria’s weakening global competiveness and the current recession should provoke a sense of urgency and rouse the political actors to action. So far, it has not.

The lack of progress on the PIB has been attributed largely to differences over issues like the host community benefits, the powers of the minister, the fiscal provisions etc. But the fact that these disagreements have been allowed to weigh down the PIB is because there has been lack of political leadership to moderate these differences and to drive the bill from conception through legislation. Due to the absence of political leadership, the different political actors have engaged in a manifestly unproductive contest over control of the process. Rather than focus on the core objective of petroleum industry reforms, the actors have resorted to endless political gamesmanship to secure the greatest advantage for their respective constituencies.

These were never the objectives of petroleum industry reforms. In the end both the nation and its constituent parts have suffered the consequence of stalemate. The zero-sum approach has yielded no winners.

Current attempts to revive the PIB do not look promising. For one it is not clear who is leading the process, or even that the executive and legislature are working in concert, with several bills being mentioned. It is hard to see how this enhances the chance of success.

Fortunately, everyone agrees that the petroleum sector in is desperate need of reforms, and that the PIB is a crucial piece of legislation. But, experience has shown that this is not sufficient. A more important consensus at this point would be to agree on what should be done differently this time. According to the NEITI policy brief, all actors first need to remember that corruption, lack of transparency and accountability and general poor governance of the sector were the main reasons for reforms in the first place. Secondly, precious time is being needlessly expended on starting the process from the scratch every time a new regime decides to revive the process.

But most importantly, the president should take charge of the process, not just because his position confers on him the responsibility to do so, but because his political mandate, secured on the platform of transparency and accountability, stands him in good stead to rally stakeholders around the core objectives of the PIB. There can be little contention in this regard.

NEITI proposes a formal instrument for facilitating this consensus. The publication also called for a clear roadmap and a communication strategy.

But the strategy is not the only thing that needs to change. The process has to be conducted with greater haste. The costs are mounting, and the the impact increasingly more severe.

Price volatility in the oil market is an ever present reality. But this up-and-down swing need not always translate into a boom and bust cycle for the economy. A petroleum industry law, complemented with relevant reforms in the management of oil revenue, can and will help ensure that it does not.

And the law does not need to be perfect, or a panacea. It just needs to be passed, and with the urgency that it demands.

* Okpene is the SA to the Executive Secretary of NEITI

75,000 Children Could Die In Nigeria In 2017 – UNICEF

U.N. Children’s Fund warns that about 75,000 children will die next year in Nigeria. The horrible prediction is based on famine-like conditions created by Boko Haram if donors don’t respond quickly. The Fund stresses that’s far more than the 20,000 people killed in the seven-year Islamic uprising.

Arjan de Wagt, nutrition chief for UNICEF in Nigeria, notes that the severity of malnutrition levels and high number of children facing death make the humanitarian crisis confronting northeastern Nigeria perhaps the worst in the world.

De Wagt explains that most severely malnourished children die of secondary illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory infections.

The expert says: “But with famine, you actually die of hunger. Globally, you just don’t see this. You have to go back to places like Somalia five years ago to see these kinds of levels. Nearly 260,000 people died in Somalia between 2010 and 2012 from severe drought aggravated by war.”

On Thursday UNICEF doubled the amount of its appeal for Nigeria, saying $115 million is needed to save children. However, only $24 million has been raised so far.

Speaking about the whole society De Wagt stressed: “Of 4 million people in desperate need of food are about 2.2 million people trapped in areas where Boko Haram is operating or in newly liberated areas that still are too dangerous to reach by road. Among them, 65,000 are living in famine-like conditions.”

In their turn aid group Doctors Without Borders states: “The crisis has reached catastrophic levels for people who have sought refuge in towns controlled by the military but who are entirely reliant on outside aid that does not reach them”.

However, de Wagt admits that the agency continues to deliver some therapeutic food by helicopter and to train local health workers to treat malnourished children living in dangerous areas.

Doctors Without Borders state that the highest levels of starving children are in camps in Maiduguri, the northeastern city free of conflict where aid workers have been active for two years: “The mortality rate is five times higher than what is considered an emergency, with the main cause being hunger”.

Rather Than Sell National Assets Revise The Budget, Cross River Speaker Tells FG

The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. John Gaul-Lebo, has advised the Federal Government to revise the 2016 Appropriation rather than sell national assets.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Wednesday, Gaul-Lebo said national assets should not be sold to raise funds to bail the country out of its current recession.

He suggested that rather than sell the national assets, the Federal Government should revise the 2016 national budget from N6.06 trillion to N4 trillion. He said that the suggestion became necessary following the present economic recession and the challenges of funding the 2016 Budget.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to work with the National Assembly on the need to revise the budget for optimal implementation.

“If the economy is in recession and then the budget that we have is N6 trillion, the first thing to do is to revise the budget to an amount that is realisable.

“Mr. President should do a budget priority and identify those projects that can be funded. He should look at those projects that can re-engineer the economy and fund them adequately.

“If our budget can go down to N4 trillion that we can realise and spend, then it will be better. We should revise the budget rather than sell our national assets,’’ the speaker said.

Waziri Adio: Recession as Opportunity for Reversing Resource Curse

And, sadly, it came to pass. It is well predicted that most countries blessed with natural resources, even in the best of times, perform worse economically than countries not so endowed; and that, when times are tough, countries that are dependent on natural resources come to an assured grief. There is a popular name for this strange but common condition: resource curse. It sounds metaphysical, it seems counter-intuitive even, but it is a position supported by enough evidence. And there can’t be better evidence than this: a Nigeria that is in the choke-hold of economic recession right after fifteen years of consistently high oil prices and over N70 trillion of oil revenues earned by the federation.

A recession might be a dramatic inflection point, but the brutal fact is that our country has never really been in sound economic health. A long spell of rising oil prices in much of our over four-decade addiction to oil had put us on a permanent high, masked the hollowness of our economic well-being, blind-sighted us to the dangers dancing in plain sight, and induced a costly work-avoidance in our leaders. Now that we are at this terrible pass, it will be tempting to just focus all our energy at getting growth back to positive zone. Without a doubt, getting out of recession should be the first order business. But doing only that will show us up, again, as a people eternally incapable of learning. This should be the time to finally wean ourselves of the unhealthy dependence on crude oil for most of our exports and government revenues; a time to reset the foundations of our economy and even of our politics; a time to get a permanent cure for what deeply ails us.

Clearly, natural resources do not come embedded with supernatural curses, as the positive experiences of Norway, UAE, Malaysia and Botswana have shown. But it is also clear how natural resources end up as blights, and not blessings, just as it is clear what to do to reverse the curse. So the problem is not lack of knowledge. The problem is that resource-endowed countries either do not do enough to prevent the sad prophecy from fulfilling itself or do not do enough to ‘cure the curse’ after it has manifested. And these countries fail to take both preventive and curative measures because countries blessed with natural resources are prone to certain risks and disposed to certain choices that create delusions, dependencies and distortions, which inexorably turn natural resources to impeders, rather than enablers, of development.

One known risk is that the prices of natural resources fluctuate. This creates revenue instability for countries that depend on resource rents to fund their budgets. Since this is known, the sensible thing would be for such countries to save enough when the prices are up as insurance against when the prices are down, and to use the windfall to create other more stable streams of income and to invest in the productive capacities of their people. But most resource-dependent countries rarely do that, as a surge of easy money induces the delusion of everlasting riches. Such countries get unreasonably high when prices of their natural resources are high and set themselves up for an inevitable fall when prices inevitably tumble.

Three episodes in four decades of our history provide good illustration. In 1972, a barrel of crude oil sold for a yearly average of $1.82. By 1974, oil price leapt to $11 per barrel, then to $29.19 in 1979, and then to $35.52 in 1980. But by the time the price of oil marginally dropped to $29.04 in 1983, our economy was already in trouble. It is important to look at the figures again: we were not in trouble when oil was $1.82 in 1972, but we were in a deep mess eleven years later when oil was $29.04.

A second episode: at the outset of democracy in 1999, oil sold for less than $20 per barrel (in actual fact, our Brent sold for a monthly average of $15.23 in May 1999) . In the 15 years between 1999 and 2014, oil prices rose steadily (except for 2008/2009), soaring to almost $150 per barrel at a point. However, by the time oil prices fell just below $100 in September 2014, we were on the way to distress district, close to the dark place we were just thirty years earlier. It is important to underscore this again: when oil was selling for $20 per barrel we got by but when it started selling for a little below $100, it was another season for weeping and gnashing of teeth, with most states and even the federal government struggling to pay salaries. What happened with the two episodes is that we got deluded into thinking high prices would last forever, we stretched public finances to breaking point, and we saved little for the rainy day.

But there is a third episode: oil prices tumbled from a high of $147 in June 2008 to $38 in December 2008. Yes, the dip was short. But we survived that slump largely because we had reserves in excess of $60 billion, which tied us over that bust time. Interestingly, the savings were largely accumulated at a period when oil never rose above $70 per barrel, when our oil supply was constrained on account of militancy in the Niger Delta and when $12 billion was paid to get debt forgiveness. But crude oil per barrel sold for an average of $77.38 in 2010, $107.46 in 2011, $109.45 in 2012, and $105.87 in 2013. However, by the time oil prices slipped to yearly average of $96.29 in 2014 and $49.49 in 2015, we did not have the kind of cover we had six years earlier not just because we didn’t save enough but also because we had also over exposed ourselves, as will be illustrated shortly. If the time between the first and the third episodes is long enough to induce amnesia, the space between 2008 and the onset of the current slide in oil prices is short enough to remind us of the risk we are constantly exposed to. But we failed to learn.

Another known risk that turns natural resources to curses is that resource-rich countries are prone to corruption, low levels of accountability, and high incidence of profligacy. Because of the nature of resource rents, it is easier for those in authority in extractive economies (as opposed to tax economies) to corner and capture public resources and expend them anyhow. Beyond the predisposition to graft and the wastefulness, resource rents concentrate and consolidate public resources in a few hands, nurture a ruling elite more interested in private gains than the common good, foster a rentier, patronage, and predatory political ethos, fuel intense competition for power, conflicts, poverty and inequality, inverse the relations between citizens (the principals) and those in authority (the agents), and distort the interaction between state and society. All these conduce to opaque and unaccountable management of the revenues from natural resources. Even before the ongoing revelations and probes, reports by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had provided more than ample evidence of the mind-boggling mismanagement of Nigeria’s main source of revenue.

The other well known risk that resource-rich countries are exposed to is a dependency condition called the Dutch Disease. It manifests this way: massive inflows of foreign exchange on account of the high price of a natural resource raise the comparative value of the local currency and turn the economy into a high-cost one. This means that other sectors, like manufacturing and services, that the country can earn foreign exchange from become uncompetitive and are crowded out; and imports also become cheaper, eventually knocking off local industry. A double but dangerous dependency is thus created: the country depends solely on the natural resource for foreign exchange; and depends on imports for almost all its needs. While consistently high prices will mask the trouble, onset of low prices will burst the bubble. This is where, sadly, Nigeria has found itself today. The 1,851% increase in the price of oil between 1972 and 1980 infected us with the Dutch Disease, so much so that we depend on crude oil for 85% of government revenues and about 95% of exports. And we import almost everything, including, shamefully, refined petroleum products (which constitute about 40% of forex demands.)

This composite picture should show why Nigeria is in trouble today: little savings from a long boom time, and a 75% plunge in the price of a product that accounts for more than 80% of government revenues and foreign exchange in a country where so much revolves around government and in an import-dependent economy; fall in monthly forex earnings from $3.2 billion to about $400m sometime this year; decline in oil production from 2.2 million bpd to a little over 1 million bpd; and the growth in monthly import bill from N148.3 billion in 2005 to N917.6 billion in 2015 (519% increase). While it can be validly argued that recession could still have been averted, the oil and dollar dependence created a downward spiral: fall in the value of the Naira, cost-push inflation (since most things including industrial inputs are imported), drop in disposable incomes, which is compounded by the fact that most states are owing salaries, and the resultant negative impact on demand and ultimately on production. True, oil and gas sector now accounts for only 9% of our GDP, but our unhealthy dependence on it for government revenues and foreign exchange imbues the sector with a disproportionate heft. This we need to fix in a systematic and sustainable way.

We can easily spend our way out of this recession or bump up production in high growth areas. Oil prices and production may even rise again, making the get-out-of-recession task easier. But all these will not cure us of the oil curse. Hopefully, the present pain will permanently bury doubts about the need for a robust stabilization fund and the imperative of strengthening transparency and accountability mechanisms like NEITI. But we also need to permanently puncture the lie that we are a rich country just because we have oil. It is a trite fact that the wealth of nations is not buried under the soil. Countries become rich when their people and their companies produce value-adding, highly-sought, cutting-edge goods and services. But beyond fixing the defective structure of our economy, we also need to reinvent our politics. A governance model that is defined by extraction, sharing and consumption surely cannot lead to development. And by the way, development doesn’t happen: it is created. Rahm’s Rule should thus be our article of faith: “you never want to let a serious crisis to go to waste.” The crisis of this recession has thrown a massive opportunity our way, the opportunity for a total reset. It will be a shame if, again, we fail to seize this chance to heal our country.

* Adio is the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)


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FG Implementing infrastructure Roadmaps to Curb Recession – Fashola

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has highlighted the specific steps being taken in the infrastructure sectors to reenergize the economy, saying the measures were meant to correct the mistakes of yesterday and move the country from economic stagnation.

Fashola, who spoke at the Wilson Centre in Washington DC, USA, while presenting a paper on “Leadership and Politics of Reform In Africa: Lessons from Nigeria,” said the immediate and long term solution to the problem of economic recession lay in massive investment in infrastructure which, according to him, has already commenced.

The Minister, however, explained that it did not mean that Nigeria lacked infrastructure but that what was available was insufficient for the population and that although the past administrations failed to utilize resources of the oil boom period to make the needed investment, the present administration was determined to turn the situation around even with the lean resources available to it.

Speaking specifically on the sectors under his Ministry, Fashola, who reiterated that most of the problems, especially in the power sector, were not technical but man-made, added that his Ministry had evolved clear roadmaps that were already being implemented to achieve sustainable solutions to the problems in the three critical sectors.

In the Works Sector, especially roads and bridges, Fashola, who said the Ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, added, that the roadmap consisted of identifying and prioritizing on heavy traffic bearing roads that convey essential goods and services across the country.

The Minister declared, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports, roads that drive our energy for now, roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from South to North and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos-Ibadan road to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko- Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made , because this is a period of hard choices trying to do more with less”, he said.

According to the Minister, “Those are the choices that we have made, they are not esoteric choices; they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on have been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration, over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads so where you put your limited resources is in those areas”.

Reiterating that the problem in the sector was also man-made, Fashola said the problem lay in under-budgeting which, according to him, resulted in contractors not being paid for three years, lack of project supervision and discipline to manage 206 road contracts that were not budgeted for or if budgeted for, were poorly funded.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5 trillion and this administration is taking them in batches starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country”, he said.

In the Housing Sector, Fashola said the roadmap comprised the designing of houses that would respond to the diverse cultures and climatic conditions of the citizens living in the six geopolitical zones of the country adding, however, that this has been resolved by developing two broad categories of designs comprising blocks of flats for the Southern states and bungalows with courtyards for the Northern states.

Saying that the process of standardization of the house fittings has been concluded, Fashola reiterated the government’s decision to source all the fittings, including windows, doors, hinges, tiles, plumbing and electrical appliances locally in order to stimulate production by medium and small enterprises.

In the Power Sector, the Minister, who said the problem was that of insufficient power to distribute, listed some of the projects currently being implemented to increase power to include the 450MW Azura Power Plant in Edo State, the 700MW Zungeru Hydro Power Plant in Niger State, the Gurara Hydro Power Plant in Kaduna, the Kashimbilla Plant and the 115MW Kaduna Plant.

The Minister also listed areas where transmission expansion projects are currently ongoing to strengthen transmission to include the Eastern Axis where the Ikot-Ekpene – Alaoji Transmission project takes off up to Enugu from where it would boost power all the way to Makurdi adding that the local issues that earlier hindered work had been resolved.

The Three Kidnapped Landlords and Their Fitness Trainer Released

The three landlords at Oshorun Heritage Estate, Isheri Kennedy Ucheagwu, Dr. Omololu Bello, Fidelis Esang, who were kidnapped last Saturday along with their trainer, Coach Oni by gunmen dressed in Military camouflage while they worked out near Lekki Garderns Estate have been released.

The gunmen who initially demanded N300 million as ransom for each of them later reduced it to N20 million.
The alleged kidnappers who are said to be young boys have been reportedly tracked through the phone number they used in contacting the victims’ relatives with. Their messenger has also been
identified as Mary.

Spokesman for the Estate Association who confirmed the release of the victims, he said:

“We thank God. They have been released. They got home late. I don’t have much details now”.


“Panda” Hitmaker Desiigner Stars In Mini-Documentary “I Am Def Jam”

Desiigner wants to make a difference. The “Panda” hitmaker shares this hope in his new mini-documentary, “I Am Def Jam: Desiigner.”

“I can’t sell no drugs,” he explains in the three-minute clip. “I sell music. Music definitely saved me and took me out, man. Music definitely saved me. My community is rough out there. My job is to come back to my community and change it.”

In the video, Desiigner is joined by his mother and other family members while he explains their importance.

There’s plenty more things to change,” he adds. “Having this, these jewels, all this, it’s about nothing. It’s all about keeping your family strong, staying strong, and keeping focus.”

Recently, the “Tiimmy Turner” hitmaker was arrested after an alleged dispute on the road. Since then, he’s been released and some of the major charges have been dropped, including a felony gun charge and a felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell charge.

“I heard ni**as say we had to sell pills?” Desiigner later said on Instagram. “We don’t gotta do that shit no more, baby. We don’t do this no more, baby…Out here, man. Back in the city.”

Next up, Desiigner is readying his Halloween-themed short film, Zombiewalk, which he directed.

Things You Should Never Do in Public Bathrooms

No one likes using public bathrooms, but everyone has to at some point. But it doesn’t have to be a shitty experience. Well, except for in that one way.

Follow this code of conduct and make life better for you and everyone who follows.

Skip washing your hands

It’s dirty in bathrooms, probably because of all the poop and pee. You may think you didn’t touch anything gross, but you definitely, 100% did.

Fake-wash your hands

You were probably that kid who ran his toothbrush under the faucet, weren’t you? Mom’s not here to check your breath, but come on, you’re going to touch other people with those hands eventually. You’re a grown-up now, presumably.

Text at the urinal

We get it! You’re “totally addicted to your phone!” You’re a big important person who can’t spend 30 seconds disconnected or the entire global economy will collapse! When people have their junk out, it’s not appropriate to be handling a device that has a camera.

Use the urinal or stall right next to someone when others are available/clean

You probably recline fully and manspread on every flight, don’t you?

Choose the hand dryer over paper towels

Using a hand dryer after washing your hands is an excellent way to fling poop particles everywhere. It also does a terrible job of drying your hands. A recent study shows that using a regular hand dryer can catapult 60 times the amount of germs than using paper towels does, and don’t even think about those fancy-ass jet dryers — they blast 1,300 times the amount of germs.

Flush with your foot

Touching the handle of a toilet is vile, and you don’t want those germs on your hands. Is flushing with your foot any better? Not really. You’re going to wash your hands anyway after using the restroom (RIGHT?!) and using your foot means that you’re basically putting germs on the bottom of your feet, which you might eventually track home to your own floors. You’ll also leave all the germs you tracked in there on the handle for the next person, who’s probably a fake hand-washer.

Go into a single bathroom or stall as a group

It may seem like doubling or tripling up in a crowded bar is the considerate thing to do, but multiple inebriated people in a small space slows the line down even more.


Sitting on a toilet seat with your bare behind, especially a public toilet seat, is gross, right? While it may seem more sanitary to hover over the seat or cover it with toilet paper, you don’t have to. The average toilet seat is cleaner than things like cutting boards or dish sponges, and you’re more likely to make a mess if you hover.

Fail to flush

You know that feeling when you open a stall door and see something sitting there that you will never be able to unsee? Don’t cause that for someone else.

Camp out in a stall

We know there are so many fascinating Trump thinkpieces out there to read and so little time, but it’s no excuse for forcing discomfort upon your fellow bathroom patrons. Do what you came to do, and move on.

Linger when someone is camping

If you stand right in front of a camper’s stall, that person’s entitled to camp. On principle.

Talk to anyone you don’t know

Fine, if you suspect you might be having a heart attack you are allowed to politely request assistance. But do it briefly — you’re having a heart attack!

Flood the counter around the sink

How does this even happen? Are you washing your clothes in public bathrooms?

Talk on the phone

Hearing other people’s poop noises is somehow actually less awkward than hearing their bathroom phone conversations. Whatever it is, it can wait.


Don’t do heroin anywhere. But please, especially not in public restrooms.

7 Ex-Convicts who became Heads of State.

While it easily can be argued that they are all not saints, the sacrifice made by these people has to be respected. These modern-day Josephs, driven by love for their country or ambitions, risked their lives to secure a better future for their people.

Here are seven presidents who rose from prisoners to becoming the leaders of their nations.

1. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi [India]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state


The first and only female Prime Minister of India, Indira was the daughter of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. She first served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977, before losing her seat to the Janata alliance.

She later won a bye-election in 1978 but was arrested along with her son Sanjay Gandhi by the Janata government on some trumped up charges but was released after the collapse of  the Janata coalition.

In 1980, Indira Gandhi once again became Prime Minister but was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984 for ordering the storming of the Harmandir Sahib as a countermeasure to the Punjab insurgency.

2. Fidel Castro [Cuba]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state


The son of  his father’s maid, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz and his brother Raul were captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison, after their group “The Movement” staged a failed attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953.

Released in 1955 they traveled to Mexico, where they met Ernesto “Che” Guevara who helped them mount a series of successful military campaigns, that eventually led to the collapse of General Fulgencio Batista’s government in January 1959.

Manuel Urrutia was then installed as president while José Miró Cardona became  prime minister. But after just a month Miro resigned, and Castro was sworn in as prime minister at the age of 32.

3. Dilma Vana [Brazil]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant, Dilma Rousseff joined various guerilla groups which fought against the dictatorship in 1964 before she was captured, tortured, and locked up between 1970 and 1972.

The Mensalao corruption scandal in 2005, saw her become the Chief of Staff of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and in March 2010 she resigned to run for president.

Dilma Rousseff became Brazil’s first female president in 2010 and was re-elected again in 2014, but was suspended by the senate for six months on 12 May 2016, before she was finally impeached on 31 August 2016.

4. Kim Dae Jung [South Korea]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Referred to as the “Nelson Mandela” of Asia, Kim Dae-Jung was arrested in 1980 and sentenced to death. But the intervention of the United States and the Pope John II, saw his sentence changed to 20 years in prison, then to an exile in the US.

In 1985, Kim returned to South Korea and was once again put under house arrest, before losing the first transparent elections held in a long time by dictator Chun Doo-hwan after succumbing to pressure.

Finally, after trying four times, Kim Dae-Jung defeated Lee Hoi-Chang and was sworn in as the eighth President of South Korea on 25 February 1998.

5. Nelson Mandela [South Africa]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

A lawyer by profession Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela joined the ANC in the late 1940s, co-founded its Youth League and before being appointed President of the ANC’s Transvaal branch.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1962 for conspiring against the state after his militant group Umkhonto we Sizwe, launched a sabotage campaign against the government but was freed in 1990 after serving 27 years.

In 1994 Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after winning a multiracial general election. A true statesman, he only served one term before handing over the reins to Thabo Mbeki.

6. Patrice Lumumba [Congo]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Hailed by Malcolm X as the most impressive black man to ever walk the African continent, Patrice Lumumba was handed a 69-month sentence in 1959 for his anti-colonial fight but was released after serving only nine months and became the Prime Minister at the young age of 34.

He only lasted three months as Prime Minister before being ousted in a military coup fronted by Mobutu Sese Seko but orchestrated by the US, England, and Belgium their former colonial lords.

Lumumba’s believed to have been shot multiple times, before his body was dissolved in acid, by the Belgian military in a bid to cover a full-scale investigation. Belgium later apologised in 2002 for its role in his death.

7. Olusegun Obasanjo [Nigeria]

7 ex-convicts who became heads of state

Credited with bringing the civil war to an end, Olusegun Obasanjo first became the President of Nigeria after the death of Murtala Mohammed in the failed Dimka coup.

In 1995, Obasanjo an outspoken critic of the Abacha regime was arrested on trumped up charges of plotting a coup but was released after the sudden death of Abacha in June 1998.

After his release, Olusegun Obasanjo contested for and won the presidential elections held in 1999, under the Peoples Democratic Party and also won a second term in 2003.

Sixth Zika Case Confirmed In Philippines

The Philippine health department confirmed on Monday that a 45-year-old woman from central Philippine city of Iloilo has tested positive for Zika virus, the sixth case recorded in the country.

Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo told a news conference that the Zika-infected woman, whom he did not identify, has no history of travel abroad, adding that she probably acquired the virus locally.

He also said the disease does not pose a public health risk at this point, adding that the department has not confirmed any local transmission.

He said this could be a case of sporadic transmission. The woman’s husband has yet to be tested for the virus, he added.

“As of now we have no confirmation of any local transmission,” Bayugo said. Nevertheless, he said the government is closely monitoring the situation.

The health department has monitored at least five Zika-infection cases since 2012.

“These (five cases) did not convert into an outbreak. And we hope that this (new) one is sporadic that will not translate (into an outbreak) similar to what is being experienced elsewhere,” Bayugo said.

The Philippine government over the weekend issued an advisory, urging Filipino travellers “to take extra precautions” while staying in Zika-infected countries.

The Philippine Bureau of Quarantine is also continues to screen arriving passengers for signs of fever, one of the symptoms of Zika-infected person.

It has urged all arriving passengers to fit-out a health declaration checklist upon arrival and to report or visit any government health facility if they become ill with unexplained fever within seven days from arrival.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial has also advised pregnant women to avoid travel to countries with reported Zika case and transmission, adding that it is very risky for pregnant women to get infected with the Zika virus as this has been linked to birth of babies with severe brain and other neurological defects including microcephaly.

Zika virus is acquired through bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue and chikungunya. Common symptoms include fever, skin rash, joint pains and conjunctivitis, the advisory said.

There is no available vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne virus. But medial experts said the symptoms of Zika virus could be treated with common pain and fever medicine, rest and enough water intake.

Fake Products Contribute to Economic Recession – SON

The Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Paul Angya, has disclosed that the unbridled influx of substandard products into Nigeria contributed to the current economic recession in the country.

While addressing journalists and other stakeholders during a-two day Capacity Development Retreat for media executives in Lagos, Dr Angya said the country was facing the most supreme challenge of economic downturn, facilitated by continual spread of substandard goods across the Nigerian market.

He said: “These substandard products are like weeds growing up among a farmer’s crop. It has been a major challenge for us at SON even though we have a lot of initiatives to get to the heart of these imported products. 90% per cent of them come in mainly through the seaports of this country. We are not allowed to operate at that port and by the conspiracy of a segment of our society; who are benefiting from the importation and circulation of these substandard products. They even mount a campaign against SON. So any attempt to communicate with the appropriate quarters on the need for SON to be repositioned to deliver on its mandate is resisted vehemently by the community that is controlling especially importation of sub-standard products.

“The resistance sometimes is violent. I personally and a lot of my staff have been subjected to intimidations, blackmail and outright open threat. This community of people we are talking about form less than 1% of the population, these people who have destroyed the economy control the importation of substandard products. They determine whether our economy can grow or not.”

The challenge, he said, does not stop at illegal ease of entry in that it contributes to the repression of mainstream sectors of the economy including manufacturing, agricultural among others.

Since the substandard products appear cheap to obtain, local producers with quality injected goods are relegated in competition with such goods, thereby leading to the closure of firms unable to cope with the overwhelming pressure of fake products.

“If they were able to do to our thriving manufacturing sector, enterprising climate what they have done to cripple it, they can still do the same for any initiative and investment that we can attract in Nigeria,” DG said noting that Nigeria’s current situation as a less producing economy is more endangered. But to stem it, revamp the economy and establish an atmosphere to safeguard investments of genuine manufacturers, the government needs to approve SON’s operation at the port,’’ he said.

It was however revealed that the thorns in the flesh of SON were numerous as the war against circulation of substandard goods cannot be treated in isolation of other accompanying bottlenecks. In as much the restriction of operating at seaports remains, the resolve to deploy means of checking the movement of the goods from the seaport.

According to the DG, rather than verify the authenticity of these products right at the seaports, the organization is compelled to hunt the innumerable spread of illegal operatives with a limited staff base of 1,500.

He said: “The whole of SON has a population of 1,500 country wide and we have offices in the 36 states of the federation. We are supposed to be manning all the border post which are about 400; we are supposed to operate laboratories in all the critical zones of the country; we have inspector who are going through the factory as a routine. On a daily basis we inspect production, audit management processes, and we have the administrators. If we only post like 4 or 5 people to each of the border post which are about 400; when you multiply four by 400, we don’t have anybody to work with.”

I’m Afraid My Constituents May Stone Me On The Street – Dino Melaye

A senator, Dino Melaye, on Sunday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take measures to remedy what he described as a “debilitating economic malaise” that is drifting Nigeria towards a “dangerous precipice.”


Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi State, said the time to take “drastic” measures to save the economy has come.


To stabilise the economy, Mr. Melaye, a member of President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, asked the president to dismiss the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele.


Mr. Melaye’s recommendations came in an update on his Facebook page Sunday afternoon. He accused two of the ministers of “gross incompetence.”


The Finance Minister has not only displayed gross incompetence on the job, she also lacks the basic and rudimentary grasp of economic fundamentals necessary to run a critical sector of the Nigerian economy like the Finance Ministry.


It is time for her to go now and pave way for a qualified and experienced person to steer the Nigerian economy away from the dark woods it has sunk presently under her stewardship,” Mr. Melaye said.


In Mr. Udoma’s case, Mr. Melaye said the former senator was a fine gentleman who lacked requisite qualifications to manage Nigeria’s budget and planning tasks.


It is akin to saddling a carpenter with a tailor’s responsibility,” Mr. Melaye said.


Mr. Melaye, a close ally of embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki who is being tried for false asset declaration, said he was calling for Mr. Emefiele’s head because he had allegedly committed a series of “policy flip-flops, summersaults, and inconsistencies as clear evidence of gross incompetence in the management of the nation’s fiscal and monetary policies.”


The Kogi Senator, who recently courted controversy when he allegedly threatened to beat up a female senator, said he was compelled to release the statement because he feared the hardship Nigerians are grappling with has reached a level that had never before been witnessed.


As I walk the streets of my constituency these days, I constantly harbor a foreboding that I could be stoned by my angry constituents for the failure of Mr President to fulfill his campaign promises and expectations to Nigerians,” Mr. Melaye said.


The hunger in the land is real, pervasive, widespread and debilitating for the poor masses,” Mr. Melaye said. Mr. Melaye, however, said his faith in Mr. Buhari’s ability to turn around the situation remained strong.


While there is a lot of hunger, anger, anguish and despair currently in the land, I have a firm belief that the situation is not beyond redemption for Mr. President, hence my call for urgent and drastic remedial action now,” he said.


Calls have continued to mount for President Buhari to fix the nation’s economy, which officially entered recession last Wednesday after months of low crude revenues and inflation.

Black Eyed Peas Releases “Where Is The Love 2.0” Ft 60+ Celebrities

As promised, the Black Eyed Peas have re-released their hugely popular noughties single, ‘Where is the Love?‘.
Using the same icoonography of the red question inside a square box, the quartet appear in between a range of other artists who’ve contributed to the topically-updated track and accompanying video.
Cameos include A$AP Rocky, Jaden Smith, DJ Khaled, P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, The Game, Kris Jenner, Nicole Scherzinger, Winnie Harlow, Lance Bass, User, Ty Dolla $ign and geez, so many others than we are physically struggling to keep up.

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The song uses images of countries currently torn apart by war and refugees fleeing their homes, and also speaks heavily on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and the ongoing issue of police brutality against black people in the US (one of the people featured is Sandra Sterling, the aunt of police brutality victim Alton Sterling).
While the opening image of young asylum seeker Alan Kurdi flashing up seems a little too abrupt to perhaps be in good taste (but obviously intended to ‘shock’ the viewer into empathetic action), and the self-promotion of DJ Khaled yelling ‘LOVE IS THE KEY‘ also feels slightly off, the general sentiment of the song is just as heartwarming as it was back in 2003.
See for yourself:

Victoria Beckham Writes Letter To Her 18yr Old Self, Admits To Being Drunk When She Met Husband David

Businesswoman, fashion designer, former singer and mother of four, Victoria Beckham who stars on the cover of Vogue magazine’s October issue has written an emotional letter to her 18 year old self in which she revealed she was drunk when she met her footballer husband, David Beckham. She writes in the new October issue of Vogue:

“I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls. You have bad acne.

“You think the Principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)”

She continues:

“You are going to have so much fun with your clothes – PVC catsuits; chokers that say absurd things; weird spiky blonde hair. It will never occur to you that you appear ridiculous. You will turn up at awards ceremonies resembling a drag queen. But I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to another. I love the fact that you will feel free to express yourself.”

 “Learn more about football, especially the offside rule. And yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge – although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy.

“While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. (He’s not even in the first team at this stage – you are the famous one.)  And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you. He’s going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it.)”

David and Victoria Beckham went on to marry in 1999 and share four children; sons Brooklyn, 17, Romeo, 14, Cruz, 11, and five-year-old daughter Harper.

Dear FCT Minister, this Centre no Longer Holds!, By Gimba Kakanda


I was dissuaded from writing to you, from alerting you to things you are likely too busy to see. The main reason given for this was that writing to you is futile and, in some cases, there was the added collateral argument that you do not exist. My stubbornness is informed by my having seen your photographs hanging on the walls of several offices in this Abuja, enough to object to the mischief of They who shall remain nameless. I know it’s not easy serving as escort to a jet-setting President, accompanying him to the airport whenever he travels and receiving him there on his return. When I brought this up, They dismissed even that tasking role as a proof of your existence and love for us. They refused to see that you’re Agent Double O Seven, protecting the President with whom we are still in love. In fact, and forgive me for saying it, They said you’re a ghost worker. I have no interpretation of this other than your perception – by them, that is – of you as ceremonial administrator.

I gather that the FCT Budget for the 2016 fiscal year has just been signed by the President. This has moved me to point out some of our problems you don’t seem to have acknowledged. I want you to see the things we see the way they are, this city’s gradual fall unto ruin under your watch. Over the years, we dealt with the horrors of the city’s urban slums, how such monstrous poverty managed to find an incubator in this city of limitless wealth and billionaire policymakers. Outside the city were even more dehumanising evidences of poverty fed fat by years of elitising public policies. Aside from Abuja Municipal, which was fixed to serve as paradise of our criminally rich politicians, the other five Area Councils – Abaji, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Bwari and Kwali – have been an eyesore.

As a man of piety, to which those who know you have testified, the de-elitisation of public policies and reforms is expected from you. Even though your background as former head of an organisation tasked with managing religious activities, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, was cited in your early days to question your capacity, I am indifferent to such an allegation. But it’s devastating now to see you not only seem to lack plans for the five neglected Area Councils but further seem incapable of keeping Abuja Municipal in shape. You have to prove us wrong, Sir.

The metaphor of the decay of this capital of Nigeria, once proclaimed “the fastest-growing city in Africa” by a drunkard I’m yet to identify, came to me around 5 PM, on August 26. The epiphany happened in Maitama, arguably Abuja’s most beautiful district. In the course of the day’s rain, Nile Street attempted to become the river it was named after. The street was flooded from up to the Nile delta at Alvan Ikoku Street. And the message I got was a loud cry for intervention, for simply a working drainage system. I assure you it’s worse elsewhere. It should frighten you that rain causes flooding, damage and safety risks even in Maitama.

You may want to go for a lone tour of FCT. You don’t have to fear for paparazzi or kidnappers, since you’re really not known outside your office. Do this at once and see what this city looks like when it rains. Do so at night too, and see the dysfunctional streetlamps. My cousin assures me that half of the streetlights between Berger and Kubwa do not work. Go out for a walk in the afternoon and note that there are no signposts to alert your citizens to the death traps that are the missing manhole covers along our streets. Sewage runs across the street regularly in Garki and Utako. Sir, there’s far more to city management than taking over the role of Mr. President’s Head of Protocol.

Yet, you’re a lucky man. You seem to be under no pressure to deliver because your office isn’t elective, and is thus protected from the outrage of a disappointed electorate. But no matter what, there should be a channel for communicating your development plans and how you seek to take us by surprise by outperforming even your worse predecessors. You’re appointed to serve the people, and isn’t it weird there are no explanations for these perpetual risks of flood, health hazards from open sewers and traffic mess as a result of malfunctioning streetlamps and stray herdsmen who, some have said, mistake the city for Federal Cattle Territory?

A friend once observed that it’s the “dormant” chairmen of FCT Area Councils that made your own inactivity too obvious, and I’m wondering why there seems to be no communication of the reasons our five other Area Councils look like big villages of a country emerging from a decade-long recession. These people are economically downtrodden, denied basic social amenities, and forsaken. I was once a part of an NGO that navigated places with no motorable roads, no healthcare centres and poorly equipped schools, in this Abuja. The pupils couldn’t even afford books and uniforms. Isn’t it disgraceful that small NGOs build boreholes and schools for communities just a thirty minute drive from your office?

If you’re ever allowed to join the President’s jet to one of his trips overseas, how would you respond to questions around the state of the nation’s capital by potential investors? Because it will be sheer fraud to deny, in Washington DC or London, that Abuja is neither dysfunctional nor even convenient for investment or habitation. An existence threatened by flood, traffic lawlessness, power outage, sanitation systems not maintained, disorganised and unreliable intra-city transportation, amongst others, is too much baggage for any serious investor seeking to migrate to Nigeria’s supposedly most organised modern city.

Malam Mohammed Bello, Abuja residents don’t have to wake up and find themselves floating in water before you intervene. While you’re deciding what to do with the budget, respond to these collapsing features of the city. At least, embark on fixing the drainage system, restore the missing manhole covers, have streetlamps fixed at strategic places, stop the shit from getting on the streets and make the placing of signposts a priority of your administration. Be creative, court private partners. These things don’t cost a fortune. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter

Mariah Carey’s HIV-Positive Sister Arrested On Prostitution Charges

The sister of pop star Mariah Carey was arrested on prostitution charges in upstate New York. The Daily Freeman of Kingston reported that 55-year-old Alison Carey was arrested in Saugerties on Friday as a result of an ongoing undercover investigation at a hotel there. Local police said Carey solicited money in exchange for sex from an undercover police officer posing as a possible client.


Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told the newspaper that Alison Carey identified herself as the sister of superstar performer when she was arrested. He said an internet search confirmed her claim. He said Carey was a visitor to the town and had advertised her sexual services online, on the adult section of a local website.


According to the Freeman, one such ad, posted at 6:18 p.m. on Friday, contained two photos of Carey and stated, “I’m a pretty lady looking for guys who are looking to have some fun and get into a world of pleasure that other woman just can’t provide to you. Woman with the ability to make the earth move for you and to get you to see stars. Oh, yeah, with me its, ‘It’s such a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby. When I close my eyes, I come and take you on and on.’”


The quotation echoes the lyrics to Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit, “Fantasy.” Neither the hotel where Alison Carey was working nor the website on which the ads appeared were identified.


Sinagra told the Daily Freeman that “based on other stories” found online reporting that Carey is HIV positive, people who had sexual encounters with her, particularly if it included unprotected sex, were urged to contact their doctors.

Carey is due in Saugerties Town Court on Aug. 30. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on the charges. Mariah Carey has not commented publicly about her sister’s arrest.

Dilemma of the Nigerian Youth, By Gimba Kakanda

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These past weeks, I’ve had reason to reflect more on the place of the Nigerian youth in politics and public service. The inspiration for this was the hypocrisy I witnessed all the times our gerontocratic political establishment opened its door for the young join to them. The strangest dilemma is this: the youth advocate inclusion in governance and participation in politics yet any time a young person is offered an appointment, the first argument is over his or her “lack of experience”. Further, how an “experienced” person ought to occupy such an office. “Experience” has always been a code for age, it is gotten by years and not competence or experience. Just be old enough, ergo, you are garlanded with “experience” as well.

This near predictable trend of reaction was witnessed most recently with the appointment of Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority. The loudest and, to me, the only known, critics of her appointment were members of her constituency: the political youth. She was portrayed as not only a creation of opportunism, but one lacking requisite experience and age to manage an organisation that complex.

One may then wish to know what our generation means by advocating inclusion in government. How is that a logical demand when one of us is suddenly seen as unqualified, by us, on the basis of her age? One may also wish to know whether those older were chosen based on track records earned in an extraterrestrial world. I mean, whether those older have always been older. It didn’t matter to them that Hadiza has had fair experience working with the current Governor of Kaduna State, and has been involved in some of the nation’s most effective administrative reforms and political and social advocacies. This is what some of her detractors chose to miss—that she understands the architecture and intricacies of the Nigeria the same youths have been furiously asking for.

Some of us who support the “Not Too Young to Run” bill and campaign aren’t doing so in agreement with the view that the youths are (potentially) smarter administrators or possess extraordinary traits no longer exhibited by the older generation. A friend of mine, in the period running up to the 2015 presidential election, promoted Candidate Muhammadu Buhari as the most qualified, citing age as his reason. I dismissed that as an affront to younger Nigerians, because such insidious and dangerous thinking only justifies the very gerontocracy our generation is allying to demolish.  One may be tempted to ask the youths to come together and form a strong political alliance or a party in a bid to restate their relevance, size and actual capacity to govern. The youths, according to a National Bureau of Statistics data, make up 70% of the nation’s population. But the same youths that ought to champion a campaign for good governance, inclusion and relevance are divided in defence of their oppressors on social media and various fora, virtual and offline. The same youths are betting to meet at Sofa Lounge for fisticuffs!

It’s hard to determine the ratio of conscious youths to the nonchalant. Our problems require strategic and gradual alliance and inclusion to eventual correct this systemic exclusion. The advocacy shouldn’t be that the youths are smarter, but that they are capable, and shouldn’t be wasted as inconsequential errand boys, which is what some of these PAs, SAs, SSAs are. Because if youth comes with exceptional vision to lead, the newly independent Nigeria, managed by youths, would’ve been a good foundation for us. Similarly, if old age means a thing in governance, Nigeria would’ve been a model nation, from the youths who took over from colonialists to today’s grandpas.

We may allow the idealists to go with their divergent theorisation of the youths as sharper visionaries or as symbols of new new idea. What we know for a fact is, past attempts to unify the youths and establish a strong force in our political equation have failed. Woefully. Today, we remember promising youth groups and advocacies we once embraced as our salvation, with troubling nostalgia. From 20MillionYouthsFor2015 campaign to Generational Voices, the hope was high, and down it came crashing.

Dazzled by the composition and vision of Generational Voices, I wrote then: “I’m happy that I was not a distant witness of Generational Voices. Having been closely involved, and in deep thought, I see a movement about to be built on the foundations of OccupyNigeria, that deferred revolution. But as beautiful as its grand visions are, we have to resist ideological indoctrination and correctly understand that GenVoices is not OccupyNigeria. This is where our task commences.”

Unfortunately, like all before it, it didn’t go as anticipated. Perhaps we were too hungry to recognize its essence. Perhaps our partisan allegiances frustrated its growth into required force. Whatever, we need to restate our political will by overcoming this seemingly genetic political skepticism. Affirmative action from the Establishment may be frowned at by some, but that, and not our polarization, is really what we need, to defeat perceived marginalization of the youth. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda On Twitter


Two Nuns Brutally Stabbed To Death At Their Home

Two nuns have been brutally stabbed to death at their Mississippi home, it was reported last night.

The bodies of Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held were discovered on Thursday when they didn’t turn up for work at a nearby hospital.

Police said there were signs of a break-in at the property in Durant, Holmes County, and that their vehicle was missing. The nuns worked as nurses treating patients at the Lexington Medical Clinic, in one of the poorest areas of the state.

“They were two of the sweetest, most gentle women you can imagine,” Reverend Greg Plata told the
Clarion Ledger.

“Their vocation was helping the poor. It’s so senseless.”

Church officials said the sisters also regularly distributed books, school supplies and other items to the poor.

The women were found dead at around 10.30am on Thursday after a co-worker went to check on them.

Their bodies have been taken to a state crime lab for autopsies, Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard said.

Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption Invites Jibrin To Make Presentation On Allegations Against Dogara

Former Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation ans self styled corruption whistle blower, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been invited by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption to make a presentation on the allegations of budget padding and abuse of office levied against Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House.

The invitation follows a petition by Jibrin to the committee headed by Professor Itse Sagay SAN on allegations raised against Speaker Dogara,  Lasun, Doguwa, Ogor and 9 other members concerning his involvement in the padding of the 2016 budget and mismanagement of the finances of the House of Reps.

The letter signed by Executive Secretary of the Committee  Prof Bolaji Owasanoye which was made available to reveals Jibrin will make a comprehensive presentation before Committee on Wednesday 31st August in Abuja. In addition, Jibrin will discuss strategies with the Committee on how to tackle the institutionalized corruption in the House.

Recall that Jibrin began his series of revelations on the 2016 budget padding scandal in July after resigning from his position as Chairman of Appropriation Committee.


“It’s Good Night For The PDP” – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the recent crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has shown that the party’s era had come to an end.


Mr. Obasanjo disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists in Jalingo, the Capital City of Taraba, during a tour of some projects in the state.


When asked to comment on the ongoing crisis in his former party, the PDP, Mr. Obasanjo simply said “in the part of the country where I come from, there is a saying that you cannot say ‘good night’ and come to say ‘good evening’ in the same place.


“So for me, it is good night for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that’s all,” he said.


Mr. Obasanjo. who was one time Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, had torn his membership certificate before the 2015 election denouncing the party in its entirety.


Recently when a picture and story went out in the media that he was at a PDP event at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, he also made it very clear that he was done with the party and with partisan politics.


Attending PDP Event


A wrongly captioned photograph by NAN had set tongues wagging and the rumour mills busy as to the mission of the former leader, who in 2015 tore his membership card of the PDP.

NAN can confirm that the former leader did not go near the ceremony inaugurating the National Convention Committee of the PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.


Rather, Mr. Obasanjo was at the centre to take part in an agricultural stakeholders meeting, Zero Hunger in Africa-Nigeria chapter


Some news reports had gone ahead with speculations that the former president was making political realignment for 2019 elections.


The PDP event was meant to inaugurate the party’s national convention and financial committees.The party convention, downgraded to be non-elective after a court ban, held on Aug. 17 in Port Harcourt.


According to a statement by Tunde Arosanyin of the Zero Hunger in Africa in Abuja on Saturday, it was just a coincidence that the two meetings were holding at the same venue.


”He came for zero hunger in Africa-Nigeria chapter meeting with commodity Association stakeholders.


”At closing, some PDP members came to greet him at the boardroom of the hunger meeting venue,” Mr. Arosanyin said.

#HelpSeun: Stranded In India After Successful Kidney Transplant, Seun Adeyemi Needs Your Help

On Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, the Punch Newspaper published the story of Mr Peter Seun Adeyemi asking well-meaning Nigerians for financial assistance to undergo a surgery abroad. Mr Peter Seun Adeyemi is a 38-year-old Applied Chemical Scientist married with two lovely kids.

In September 2014, Seun felt there was a need for him to go for a medical check-up at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria not knowing this would mark the beginning of another phase in his life, at the hospital he was diagnosed of Chronic Renal Failure (popularly known as Kidney Failure) where he was immediately prescribed necessary medications.

Sadly, in July 2015, the General Hospital at Gbagada, Lagos, Nigeria later confirmed that his condition had deteriorated and the only way to save his life was through a kidney transplant (i.e. a surgery to change his kidney) as the two kidneys were completely damaged.

Due to his critical and terminal condition, he was required to fly to India for treatment, unfortunately, his family could not raise the funds needed for the treatment and the trip, therefore, pending the time they would source for the money and donor and secure the Visa to travel to India, he began dialysis at Dialyzer Specialist Hospital, Arowojobe, Lagos, Nigeria. His family had to pay (millions of naira) through their nose for the dialysis which ran for three sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and lasted till 15, February, 2016.

Unable to find a donor, Seun’s kind and generous 69-year-old father decided to donate his kidney in order to save his son’s life. With the support of family, friends and well-meaning Nigerians and organizations (including The Punch Newspaper), out of the USD28,000 needed for the entire trip to India for treatment, USD18,000 was raised and immediately deposited at the hospital. This catered for preliminary investigations, screenings and operations.

After the initial operation (which lasted for two days), Seun and the kind father developed complications. The father had to receive further treatment, and for a longer period, before he could be stabilized while Seun had to undergo new rounds of surgery. Fortunately, after the numerous surgeries, their conditions stabilized and they have been recuperating ever since. The father returned lately to Nigeria leaving Seun with his younger brother, Segun Adeyemi, who also serves as the Chaperon in India.

The new surgeries conducted led to extra charge by the hospital and in addition to the initial USD10,000 owed at the hospital, an extra USD21,000 has been incurred which brings the total amount of debt owed to the hospital to ?2,073,397 rupees (USD31,000 / N10,000,000) as at 8 August 2016. Due to their financial inability to make the outstanding payment, they have been unable to fly back to Nigeria, as a matter of fact, their visas have expired and have been quizzed by the Police, but the hospital will not discharge them until they offset all medical bills.

Sadly, the longer they stay there, the higher the bill accrues and it is for this reason that they are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to support them financially in making the outstanding payment needed at the hospital so they can return to Nigeria and Seun can continue a peaceful recovery process.

Segun Adeyemi, who is currently with Seun in India, can be reached on +918268696181

Thank you as you express your generosity and we pray that God will bless you richly and you will not have any cause to experience this kind of dilemma in life.
Below are the bank details of Mr Seun Adeyemi


Bank: FirstBank Plc

Acct No: 2011052296

Also, find below the details of the hospital where they have been admitted for verification purposes

Global Hospitals, Dr Borges road, Parel, Mumbai, India

Mobil: +917506403832
Email: international.mumbai@







Kidnappers who killed and buried their victim after collecting N5m ranson nabbed in Anambra

Two members of a kidnap gang were caught by a combined team of policemen, local vigilante and hunters. According to Abia Facts Newspaper, the kidnappers identified as Obiora and Livinus, natives of Umuanu in Ndia Agu kidnapped a grandmother, killed and buried her in the bush after collecting the sum of Five million naira from her family. No further details were given on the victim




Photo credit: Abia Facts Newspaper


Massage chair user in Japan tweets for help and alerts police after falling asleep and getting locked in store

A massage chair user in Japan had to make use of Twitter to plead for help after he slept off in an electrical store while enjoying his massage and woke up to find the store locked and the shutters lowered.

The man, identified only by his Twitter handle @_Asphodelus, tweeted, “Oh man, I’m locked in!”

He included photos, dated 15 August, of the locked doors, which appear to show that he was stuck inside an appliance store known as Ks, operated by Ks Holdings Corporation.

According to the Twitter user, he was freed to go home after an alarm alerted the police and he had to be checked by ten police officers to ensure he didn’t steal any goods.

The store owner then apologized for not checking to be sure that no one was around before he locked the store.

“Seems the store workers [w]ere sleeping on the job,” a commenter with the handle-name Mocheake posted on JapanToday, an English language digest of Japan-related news.

Another user, Peter Qinghai, said: “Staff must’ve thought he was a test dummy, HA HA!”

Nigeria Army’s Three Wanted Friends, By Gimba Kakanda


Last week, the Army declared three people it suspected of having “links with the Boko Haram” wanted and this became a subject of intense debates especially as the trio—Mr. Ahmed Umar Bolori, Mr. Ahmad Salkida and Ms. Aisha Alkali Wakil—promptly expressed their shock. The military institution, they wrote, knew them and how to contact them yet they hadn’t been informed or invited in any way before the public notice.

On Facebook, not long after the declaration went viral in the online media, stirring up divisive interactions on social media, Ahmed Bolori published a screenshot of his SMS correspondence with a top military officer. “Salam General,” read the text. “This is Amb Ahmed Umar Bolori. I got the news that I and other 2 are declared wanted (sic). I’m bringing myself. Where do I come to? Thanks.”

The General asked him to report to “Provost Marshal Army (sic)”. His next Facebook updates, later that day and the following day, was of his 10 AM appointment and struggles to be attended to by the Army. It’s amusing that someone declared wanted, purportedly a threat to national security, was literally pleading to have an audience with his supposed hunters.

Ms. Wakil released a statement to confirm her relationship with the security agencies, and that she had had meetings with the Chief of Army Staff and had even given the Army conditions for her involvement in any dialogue between the terrorist group and the Federal government. “(T)hey know where to find me,” she wrote in her own expression of shock at her declaration as wanted person, and then “but wonder why I had to be declared wanted on national news even mentioning my husband’s name alongside (sic).”

The most popular of them is the journalist Ahmad Salkida who, for fear of his safety, has long been in exile. Salkida had reported extensively on the activities of the terrorist cult, being a witness to their emergence and evolution into the nation’s deadliest group. Some of the nation’s exclusive reports and breaking news on the Boko Haram were presented to us by Salkida. His publication of the Boko Haram’s video of the abducted girls of Chibok instigated the hunt.

Writing from his Dubai base, Salkida noted his contributions to reporting terrorism in Nigeria. “Clearly, my status as a Nigerian journalist who has reported extensively, painstakingly and consistently on the Boko Haram menace in the country since 2006 is an open book known to Nigerians and the international community,” he stated.

This got us to the obvious question: why declaring citizens who weren’t on the run wanted? What’s wrong with an invitation being sent first before, if declined, publishing such damaging notice about people who were previously not tried for a crime in question? This and similar unprofessional conduct by our security agencies are piling up, day by day, and it was the same recklessness that got the EFCC operatives going after the blogger Abusidiq without notice. They are yet to even publish what exactly he did wrong. The risk of declaring somebody wanted without any established evidence of his culpability or invitation to hear from him or her one-on-one is grave in a country where jungle justice is an everyday tragedy. I’m sure the Army itself is aware of this, and yet it went ahead.  Somehow, it has succeeded in putting the lives of these people in danger, and somehow a misinformed mob might spot them and move to lynch them in their own understanding of patriotism. All for a “crime” yet to be determined.

Our security agencies need to restore professionalism in their dealings with civilians. Showmanship seems to stimulate them, but obsession with this approach to crime prevention and control will only embarrass them and ridicule what they stand for. The two home-based citizens have already submitted themselves to the military, and inferring from the Channels TV interview of the Spokesman of Defence Headquarters, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, the declaration was hasty and misleading.

“Declaring them wanted was not our intention,” he was reported to have said on Channels TV. “We are inviting them to come and shed more light on Boko Haram so that collectively we can achieve the desired goal.”

This is the essence of civic vigilance. But this retraction isn’t enough. Their hurriedly prepared and dispatched blunder has already jeopardised the lives and prospects of these people. What’s expected is a clarification through the very medium it employs in damaging the trio. Seeking partnership, which is what the spokesman means by “collectively” by declaring your would-be partners wanted is akin to publicly harassing a woman and then asking for her hand in marriage.

One is tempted to agree with the conspiracy theory drawn by the popular public affairs analyst, Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde. He sought to see a link between the media trial of Ahmad Salkida and General Tukur Buratai’s Dubai property scandals. When the Army said the Boko Haram were responsible for the leaks of Buratai’s ownership of properties in Dubai, he pointed out that the convenient inference was Salkida would be roped into it. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda on Twitter

News Of Death Of 1,005 Kwara Pensioners Is False And Misleading – APC

The All Progressives Congress in Kwara State has said media reports that claimed 1,005 pensioners died in Kwara State is false and misleading.

In a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Sulyman Buhari, the party advised journalists to demand verifiable and credible documents from interviewees when interviewees make wide and false claims.

As a government and party, we are always in close interaction with the leadership of labour unions in Kwara State. There is no such record that 1,005 pensioners died since April 2015 as a result of unpaid pension allowances. The report is utterly false and misleading.

The entire public should also note that the Kwara State Government is up to date with payment of salaries and entitlements to State workers and pensioners.

Between the period of April 2015 and August 2016, some workers who were not owed a dime had died. Would it have been right to link the circumstances of their deaths to issues pertaining to salaries?

As a party, we are aware that the local government administrations are struggling to meet financial obligations especially to some pensioners but it doesn’t warrant such falsehood as being promoted by some pensioners.

We wish to assure the pensioners that the Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed is working with chairmen of local councils to resolve the issues relating to entitlements of retirees.

Adejoh Idoko Momoh: It Should Matter Who Heads Our Ports

In no other period of Nigeria’s history has it mattered more who heads its Ports Authority than this period when the country battles an ailing economy, declining oil prices, militant activities and a dangerous level of decay in all its critical sectors.

The role of the Nigerian Ports Authority as the biggest maritime revenue earner in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized; afterall Nigeria looks to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. That and the fact that according to the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, the authority earned some N162bn in 2015 alone but remitted only N2bn to the Federation Account.

The thought of having someone as forward thinking as Hadiza Bala Usman as its Managing Director is indicative of the will to reposition the authority for effective revenue generation, this will is at the centre of restoring Nigeria’s continuously receding economy to the path of recovery and ultimately greatness.

I have worked closely with her for over four years and my respect for her intellect and strong will to get things done remains unwavering. It is the ease with which she performs multiple seemingly difficult tasks that appeals the most to me.

One particular memory I am fond of is how she set up the Kaduna State Bureau of Public Service Reforms. You see, two to three weeks’ worth of work had gone into setting up the agency, but there was very little progress. Not until she stepped in, demonstrated leadership and gave very precise instructions.

Seeing her instructions implemented and the bureau coming into shape, I had never been more proud.

As with most things Nigerian, her appointment has been faced with resistance largely surrounding yardsticks such as age, gender or ethnicity as opposed to hard work, competence and responsibility, all things that can actually judge competence.

What these people who see age and gender as pointers to her inability to effectively carry out her responsibilities do not acknowledge is the fact that her appointment is a victory for both Nigeria’s women and its youth; both populations that have being largely underrepresented.

You do Nigeria a disservice if you adjudge appointments so, the country painstakingly strives to move beyond these yardsticks that are at best prejudicial and constitute no real basis for measuring ability. We must judge her appointment based on capability, performance and work ethic that has been witnessed first-hand. As one who has spent all these years benefitting of her tutelage, I know that her appointment will do Nigeria good.

In my experience working under her, she has mostly referred to me as colleague: an equal of sorts even when we both know her towering career experiences and achievements by far dwarf mine. I probably would have corrected her if I did not immensely enjoy the feeling of self-worth that single compliment gave me.

She spearheaded reforms as Kaduna’s Chief of Staff and contributed to the cost cutting measures that have drastically reduced the cost of governance in the State. I saw as she took very significant pay cuts and rejected certain allowances due to her office just so some resources are available and can be re-allocated to more pressing concerns.

Her passion for girl child education and issues affecting people living with disabilities is phenomenal. She backs this by reminding everyone who will care to listen ‘I have seen family members deal with disability; I know they require a lot of support and the least we can do is provide this support’.

Beyond these, her public service record in Kaduna is one of dedication founded on providing equal access dependent on skills, capabilities and competence as opposed to ethnicity, religion or flawed ideology. I cannot imagine anyone more suited to manage our nation’s ports or its resources than Hadiza Bala Usman.

One realization we must make is that it will take nothing less than hard work to reform our ports for efficient operations, increased revenue generation and rid it of all those who seek to take advantage of the country’s inability to monitor maritime operations effectively and Hadiza Bala Usman is a woman who comes ready with the work ethic and skills required to do this work.

Adejoh Idoko Momoh writes from Kaduna, Nigeria. He can be reached on and tweets from @Adejoh

Gbajabiamila Gears Up For Takeover As 250 Reps Sign Up For Dogara’s Impeachment.

The budget padding scandal rocking the Federal House of Representative has continued to gain momentum, as 250 Reps members were revealed to have signed up for the impeachment as at Tuesday to impeach the House Speaker Yakubu Dogara in the lower legislative chamber, WDNewsreports.
The alleged plot to unseat the embattled Speaker over the budget padding allegations levelled against him by his former political ally and the ousted Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin created a palpable tension in the House of Representativeson Monday
According to a report, the incensed lawmakers who are currently on recess were forced to rush in their number from their vacation spots to meetings in Abuja where the alleged plot was discussed.
WDNews exclusively reports that there was a clandestine meeting, which took place in Abuja on Tuesday, where the 250 signatures were gathered for Dogara’s immediate removal and the meeting was presided over by the Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to investigation, the 250 lawmakers were given between this week and next week as a deadline to remove Dogara so that Gbajabiamila’s takeover will be announced by next week Thursday.
The soon-to-be hatched plot has left Gbajabiamila’s camp basking in euphoria, as the House Leader gears up for a takeover, and the success of the alleged plot will necessitate the emergency sitting of the House on Thursday next week with a view to inaugurating the new leadership of the House.   
It was reported that Mr. Gbajabiamila, who had kept sealed lips over the crisis but broke silence on Monday when he doused the tension among factions by urging members to have faith in the leadership of the House under Dogara, as ploy to exonerate himself .
His reaction came on the heels of the report that some persons in the House in a text message that members of the House received on Monday accused Gbajabiamila of siding with Jibrin to remove Dogara because of his silence.
“This group disseminated a text message among members, alleging that there would be a change of leadership in the House.
The text message read, “Plot to destabilize the leadership of the House of Reps has taken a new dimension as the Attorney-General of the Federation, working with Gbajabiamila, Jibrin and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has drafted charges to arraign and detain principal officers of the House so that the Transparency Group, who recently met with Tinubu’s wife, will effect a leadership change with Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Jibrin as the Deputy.
“This is why Jibrin did not mention Femi (Gbajabiamila) in his allegations. The 8th House won’t be anybody’s rubber stamp. We will resist them like the Senate resisted them.”
In a swift move to counter the allegation, Gbajabiamila communicated to members via text message that, “Since the budget controversy that engulfed the House about a week ago, I have pointedly maintained a dignified silence. I did this for the sake of the institution that I represent and which I have laboured hard to grow and protect, knowing that whatever I say could be impactful both within the House and outside it.
“I was determined to keep in place the glue that holds an otherwise fragmented House, protect its integrity and at same time avoid eroding the little confidence and vestiges of hope Nigerians have in us.
“Unfortunately, the controversy has now taken a different turn following the rather strange text making the rounds among members about my complicity in this rather sordid matter. I am being dragged into an arena I tried very hard to stay out of for the good of the House.
“The speakership election has come and gone. The election was divisive and acrimonious, but I have worked hard to heal the wounds, some of which still fester among members on both sides. It is my responsibility to bring together all tendencies in the House and I have worked well with the Speaker and all other principal officers in the interest of the institution and the country.
“The text message, which desperately seeks to finger me in some macabre plot to destabilise the House, is a throwback and echoes our dark post-speakership election history. The resurfacing of the faceless text messengers will not help us as a House, and let me quickly add that it will fail.
“My strongest critics and biggest political adversaries in the House cannot deny the fact that my commitment has always been to strengthen the legislature and its processes and our democracy as a whole.
 “I consider everyone a friend and colleague and urge that as we collectively work towards a stronger legislature and strive to deepen our democracy, we do not pull back the hands of the clock or lose sight of the enormous responsibility placed upon us by providence as members of a critical arm of government.”
On Jibrin’s budget padding allegations, Gbajabiamila noted that judgment could not be passed on any official based on mere allegations.
He stressed that before the law, an accused remained innocent until proven guilty.
 “It is clear that our budget process needs radical reform. Allegations have been made, but I strongly believe that judgment should not be passed based on allegations.
“We operate a constitutional democracy and we must at all times submit to its dictates and ethos. All parties are innocent until otherwise proven. “This should be our guide. I plead with all members; the mudslinging must stop,” Gbajabiamila added.
Inside sources who spoke to WDNews on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that the agenda of the meeting was how and when to remove Dogara as the Speaker.
The source said, “The plot to remove Dogara has already been hatched in that meeting and that was where the 250 signatures were gathered. The truth is that Dogara can’t survive this well planned impeachment.
“I also believe that more House members are likely to submit their own signatures to strengthen the process so that there will be no way out for the embattled Speaker. 
“The Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has already started gearing up for the speakership position and he is not contesting it with anybody.”
In the same vein, WDNews gathered from another source that this is the real handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has allegedly been scheming to take a stranglehold on the National Assembly in order to bring the President to his knees and make him pander to his whims.
Findings have revealed that the 250 House members who have signed up for Dogara’s impeachment were given offers they couldn’t refuse. They were promised juicy positions and cash offers if they successfully effect a leadership change in the lower chamber.
Also, it has been gathered that the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun may go down with Dogara as he was not spared in the Jibrin’s allegations of budget padding scandal.
This will likely pave a way for Mr. Mohammed Tahir Monguno to be enthroned as the Deputy to Gbajabiamila is who will become the Speaker.
Mr. Monguno who is representing Jere Federal Constituency of Borno State and Gbajabiamila have been Tinubu’s preffered candidates for the Speakership and Deputy Speakership respectively.
The embattled Jibrin has been hell-bent on dragging Dogara’s name into the mire and ensure his removal and prosecution.
His rift with the embattled Speaker reached its crescendo when he paid a visit to the anti-corruption agencies on Monday to officially submit a petition for Dogara’s probe.
Sources have reported that Gbajabiamila’s camp which has been pitching insidious tent against Dagara has quickly cashed in on the saga, using the aggrieved Jbrin as their stooge to embarrass the Speaker and relegate him to a political oblivion.
Source: WDNews

The Hadiza Bala Usman They Didnt Tell You About

The recent appointment of Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) created a media furore, particularly the over -hyped Nigerian social media community. This may not be unconnected to her been inconspicuous in a world dominated by rabble-rousing politicians and overbearing opportunists. Her name may not ring a loud bell among such familiar amazons; but behind it is a sufficiently astute, forthright and outspoken woman whose thundering voice always echo in challenging the perennial rot in our body politic. It is believed that some of the greatest individuals who left remarkable traces wherever they have a stint are little known to the public. This was the case with Hadiza Bala Usman!
An amazingly fearless woman, Hadiza is a scion of the erudite scholar and unrivalled historian late Dr Yusufu Bala Usman, whose name resonates with a vibrating sound whenever it is uttered in both academic and political spheres of this country. Born on 2nd January, 1976 in Zaria, Kaduna State, Hadiza started her education at Ahmadu Bello University Staff Primary School and rose with her insatiable quest for knowledge that saw her off to the University of Leeds in United Kingdom where she obtained an MA in Development Studies.


Hadiza started her working career as a Research Assistant with Center for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) Zaria, and then worked at the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), until October 2004 when she was hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) as Special Assistant to the Minister of the FCT on Projects Implementation, and later on Physical Infrastructure. In 2008 Hadiza served as Executive Director of Abuja Enterprise Agency, in charge of promoting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises in the FCT. She was also the Director, Fund Raising and Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G).
Having drank from the fountain of her imperishable radical father, Hadiza made a dramatic foray into the murky waters of Nigerian politics and social activism. She was the candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for the House of Representatives seat for Musawa/Matazu Federal Constituency in her home state of Katsina.  She served as Member and Secretary of various committees including the CPC Renewal Committee (2011); APC Strategy Committee (2014); North Central Gubernatorial Elections Screening Committee (2014); APC Elections Planning Committee (2014); APC Presidential Campaign Council (2015); Presidential Inauguration Committee (2015), among others.


In July 2015, she was appointed the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State, the active position she held until her recent appointment. A wild jubilation within government circle in Kaduna greeted her recent appointment, ironically, not because she has has gotten an elevation, but because the woman who ensured the enforcement of due process was now gone and, business will return as usual.
Hadiza was a co-founder of the global movement Bring Back Our Girls, which has been demanding for the rescue of the 219 young school girls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok Secondary School in Borno State.


Her indefatigable energy shot her to limelight and prominence. Without mincing words, she is a woman of resilient spirit, mental and creative energy with unmatched ability to get things done. It was her involvement with the Bring Back Our Girls campaign and other patriotic campaigns behind the scenes that practically set her apart culminating into her winning international awards and recognitions. She bagged the Financial Time’s (FT) Most Influential Women Award of 2014; the CNN’s Most Inspiring Woman Award of 2014 and; Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Women in the world.
Certainly, Hadiza merited her new appointment, and the NPA is very lucky to have her as the new captain. Her vast experience, shrewdness and agility will surely be of immense benefit to the transformation of that transportation sub-sector.
Musa Azare wrote in from Abuja

Zayyad I. Muhammad: Unpaid Salaries; What Governors Should Do

Despite the bailout fund from the federal government, many states in Nigeria still struggle to pay their workers’ salaries; some do not even pay. The dwindling federal allocation; poor innovation on internally generated revenue (IGR); bloated workforce and fraud-riddled workers’ payroll are the main reasons behind the inability of many states to promptly settle their workers’ salaries.
This is a critical situation that requires critical measures. Governors have to look at ways to generate revenue other than over-depending on the declining federal allocation. We must admit that many states do not have flourishing economic activities that are profitable and easy to tax without upsetting common people.
One trend in most states is, once IGR is mentioned, most states cast their mind to their old method of taxation – but our tax system in Nigeria has history of corruption and inefficiency, thus most Nigerians are sceptical of their states’ taxes and levies administration.  States can generate new revenues and wealth through levies and taxations, but states need to move away from the ‘rocket-science’ approach to tax collection.
States should introduce a modified system of awarding ‘tax collection rights’ to investment firms. This should be modeled according to each state’s economy, culture, needs and environment – a state can enter into agreement with a firm to give government monies in advance for taxes from a certain sector, while the firm will collect the money by operating as a tax agent- the famous tax auction. For example, if it is projected that revenues from taxis, buses and lorry services in a certain local council can generate one million naira a month. An innovative investment firm will agree to give a state government, let say 800,000 naira in advance.
Then the firm will collect taxes for taxis, buses and lorry services in the local council for that particular month. This type of arrangement can be implemented in many sectors of the economy of a state using what operations researchers call reductionistic approach- monthly, quarterly on yearly basis. A good investment firm will make the tax collection efficient and fair- by reaching agreement with tax payers on how to pay and enjoy incentives too. This type of arrangement can assist states to have  tax efficiency and tax fairness- government will relieve itself from the burden of tax collection, it will have the needed revenues in advance ( could be up to 10 years advance payment) to help states temporarily relief themselves the burden of unpaid salaries.
Apart from innovation in taxes, states and even the federal government can look into leveraging from the assets they have. In many states, there are thousands of unserviceable vehicles, farm implements and many types of electrical equipment. Governments can make money by auctioning such items. Furthermore, many states have abandoned building- completed and uncompleted, fenced and unfenced plots of land.  These   assets are commercially viable. They can be leased or sold. Funds can be generated from the arrangement.
In addition, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) should discuss with regulatory agencies, CBN, quoted companies and pension fund administrators on how government can utilize unclaimed dividends, pension fund and CBN’s many intervention funds.
For States and LGA chapters of Labour unions, this situation calls for their creativity and sacrifice- the union and states governments should sit and design a model on how each worker will get at least, some parts of their salaries every month- critical situation requires critical measures. Instead of no pay every month, government and labour unions should design a formula on how each worker will get something from the meager funds available. Something is better than nothing, even if it is half salary.
With the current hard situation many workers are facing, questions are being asked about the monthly dues workers pay? If these monies were being invested; then this is the right time for the labour unions to make use of the profit being generated to assist their members. But if the monies were not invested- a big lesson has been learnt.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs at
 Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates 

Shocking! Egypt’s Minister Refers to Other African Representatives at UN Conference as “Dogs and Slaves” | Read Memo

It was at the United Nations Environmental Assembly according to an informed source. The bone of contention appeared to be an issue with a resolution on Gaza. We have now accessed a document going within diplomatic circles on what really transpired. You can also see the tweet from one James Smart who appears to have been at the session or is in on what really transpired. Below is the text of the memo sent by Yvonne Khamati, the Chair of the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee.




To:             Dean of the Africa Diplomatic Corps

Ambassador Kelebert Nkomani


  1. Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Amb. Amina Mohammed


  1. African Diplomatic Corps (ADC), Nairobi Chapter


bcc.            Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Amb. Monica Juma


From:          Chair of the ADC Technical Committee

Ms. Yvonne Khamati


Date:           29 May 2016



  1. I wish to take this opportunity in my capacity as the Chairperson of the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) Technical Committee, to brief you, Dean, honourable Cabinet Secretary and the entire African Diplomatic Corps, Nairobi Chapter on Egypt’s undiplomatic, irresponsible, uncivilized and insulting behaviour during the Second Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.


  1. During the closing session of UNEA-2, 24 resolutions were adopted by member States, which was a triumph for most countries, especially African countries. However, divisions evolved when the resolution on Gaza was not adopted due to procedural issues, that is, a lack of quorum because most delegations had left. As a result, a few African delegations consulted with the delegation of Morocco, in their capacity as Chair of the Arab League and Egypt, with the view to dissuade them from nullifying the resolutions that had already been adopted before the issue of quorum was raised.


  1. During our consultations with Egypt, the head of the Egyptian delegation and current President of AMCEN dismissed our concerns by informing that they would speak in their sovereign capacity and to that extent, referred to Sub-Saharan Africa as DOGS AND SLAVES, in Arabic.


  1. We wish to emphasize that, the African Union was founded on the premise of the principles of equality and non discrimination, be it on colour, creed, race, sex, religion etc.


  1. Therefore the utterances of Egypt expressed by the Office of the President of AMCEN and the head of the Egyptian delegation have no place in the unity of Africa. They are uncivilized, undiplomatic, degrading and insulting of the fabric of Pan-Africanism and undermine these principles.


  1. Furthermore, we believe that the utterances made by Egypt have the potential to undermine UNEP and Africa as its host. Moreover this shows their lack of loyalty towards Africa.


  1. Africa has lost trust and faith in their leadership and we do not believe that they have the moral standing to represent the interest of Africa in ANY


  1. In view of the forgoing, and following an informal post-mortem of the meeting by the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee, we are therefore recommending the following:

(a) That the Arab Republic of Egypt, at the highest level, unreservedly apologize to Africa of the utterances made by the office of the president of AMCEN

(b) That they should not negotiate or take any leadership position on behalf of Africa

(c) They should resign as president of AMCEN with immediate effect

(d) This issue should be raised to the Permanent Representative Committee in Addis Ababa, New York, Vienna, Geneva and subsequently to the Heads of State Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in July, 2016.


We feel that these uncivilized, racist, discriminatory and vindictive utterances do not advance the vision of the 2063 African Agenda and the Pan-Africanism that was advocated by the founding fathers of the African Union.



Ms Yvonne Khamati

Chair of the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee (on behalf of the African group) “


It remains to be seen what position will be taken by the copied parties or whether Egypt wound consider an immediate apology to the obviously shocked ministers and their individual countries.


Returning PDP Members Should Be Stoned Like Satan In Kaaba – Gov. Shettima

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has berated members of the state Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who left when there was an internal crisis only to return when peace has being restored.

Shettima said this during the distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Maiduguri, the state capital, by the National Logistics Committee on Distribution of Relief Materials.

According to the governor, “The politicians who left us to our troubles in the last five years only to come back when peace has returned to the state to tell us that Jonathan’s administration was better than the present, should be stoned just like the Satan is stoned at the Kaaba.”

The governor also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking proactive measureS in to end Boko Haram insurgence in the state.

Richard Tayo: Stellar Hypocrisy On Show: Letter To Senator Ben Murray Bruce

I am particularly compelled to write you this letter sir knowing that the Senate is currently riddled with plethora of controversies that your ‘Common Sense’ campaign is yet to address. Your ‘Common Sense’ crusade have addressed almost every prevailing situations in this country save that of the Senate. Reason I can’t just help but remind you of the stellar height you have taken hypocrisy to.

Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral and saying you’re moral is not the same as acting morally. Pardon me sir but I have never believed your ‘Common Sense’ campaign abinitio. To me leaders with ‘Uncommon Sense’ is what we need in this country at this critical time.
My major grouse with your ‘common sense’ campaign is how selective the application is and the fact that you lack it prior to this time. I am particularly not buying your ‘common sense’ catch phrase for obvious reasons;

Issues that makes you take to Twitter and Facebook to croak all day long are issues that have plagued our country long before the advent of the current administration, so why do you just started croaking about them now and making it sound like we just found ourselves here?
There is such thing as sounding like a broken record sir. And unfortunately that’s how you sound each time you come up with your ‘My name is Ben Murray Bruce and I Just Want To Make Common Sense’.

Infact, it is profoundly insulting, degrading, scornful and contemptuous that the legislative arm of government you belong to is the most controversial and the most riddled with corruption charges yet no commonsensical talk has emanated from your podium to address this anomalies plaguing it.

What is keeping you sir from taking your common sense crusade to the floor of the Senate? The President sent two bills to the Senate since January. They are; The money laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill 2016 and The mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal matters Bill. These bills are still pending in the Senate yet you and your colleagues in the Senate insist on making Laws that will help your colleague evade justice and decriminalise Code of Conduct laws. This bill passed 2nd reading within 48hours and that isn’t ‘common sense’ Oga senator.

Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy and that is why you only make sense in the minds of those gullible and misinformed enough to think that you are sincere with this little catch phrase of yours. For us who are  far thickskinned and enlightened we can’t be fooled by your hypocrisy on social media. The bigwig Senators are reported to have appropriated N1.6 billion each to themselves in “constituency projects” inserted in the budget. Another N200 million was set for ordinary members. Sir what have you said to condemn this? Yet you vilify the President because of fuel queues and not for lack of fuel.

Sir, I know that every politician is a hypocrite, and every hypocrite, a politician but you took hypocrisy to another level when in June last year in a series of tweets you made a caricature of the governor of Osun state because of his inability to pay his state workers. You promised to donate your share of the controversial N8.64b NASS wardrobe allowance to unpaid workers of Osun State. In the 3rd series of the tweets you said “We are starting with Osun, but we will not end there. I will do as much to help workers who’ve not been paid in other states” when over 75% of the workforce in Bayelsa your home state have not been paid salaries for for over 5months and reports have it that some are owed as much as 10months.

In your write up ‘Wailing on the Economy’ Mr Ben you said in the article: “I buy majority of the books I read online. So you could imagine my shock when I tried to purchase some leadership and management books from a foreign bookshop (emphasis mine) online only to find that my account, which is well funded, would not work! Then I got an email from my bank explaining to me that due to the realities of our economy, my ATM card is being restricted. I was shocked!” Senator sir, what happened to our bookshops or we don’t have good enough leadership and management books in our bookshops in Nigeria? You can’t be crying for your candy when you just said candy is bad for the tooth.

The Senate has started taking delivery of 108 Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) it ordered for members at the cost of N3.8 billion. Personally I am waiting for your big announcement since you love any display intended to excite admiration or applause that your own Toyota Land Cruiser Sport Utility will be donated to the unpaid workers of your state.

Sir, I must say that your messages will only make sense if you no longer insult our intelligence with your “my name is Ben Murray Bruce and I just want to make common sense”
My name is Richard Tayo and I just want to make an Uncommon Sense.

Prince George’s Bathrobe Sells Out After Obama Meeting

Once again, little Prince George is a trendsetter!

A white and blue trimmed gingham bathrobe the 2-year-old son of Prince William and Kate Middleton wore when he met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has already sold out. The little prince’s parents had hosted the U.S. leader and his wife for dinner at their at Kensington Palace home Friday.

The robe was offered for 27 pounds (almost $39) at the online British retailer My 1st Years. However, you can pre-order the same item, which comes in a variety of trim colors and can be personalized to bear a child’s name.

“We can’t believe Prince George wore our robe to meet President Obama! Doesn’t he look adorable?!” read a message posted on the store’s Facebook page early Saturday. “You guys have gone crazy for it & it’s already sold out, but you can find your very own personalized royal robe.”

George had also worn navy velvet Little Boston Plane Slippers from Trotters Childrenswear and Accessories. The shoes, which are embroidered with red biplanes, are also sold out. They were offered for 12 pounds ($17).

George was allowed to stay up 15 minutes past his bedtime to meet the president and first lady. During their visit, he rode a rocking horse they gave him for his first birthday. A plush dog toy resembling the Obama’s pets Bo and Sunny, the couple’s gift for the boy after he was born, was also seen on a coffee table.

Outfits George has worn have sold out soon after he debuted them. Among them: A swaddle blanket he was wrapped in as his parents left the hospital with him after he was born, a blue cardigan he wore when William brought him to visit Kate and his newborn sister Princess Charlotte at the hospital last year and denim overalls he wore when he was 1. Kate, known for her chic styles, has also often spurred her own outfits to sell out quickly after she debuts them.

Nigeria Police Force To Deploy Officers To North-East

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday said the deployment of policemen to liberated communities in the North-East to restore civil authority was on course.


The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja.


Kolawole said that all equipment and personnel needed for the smooth operation in the communities were on ground in the affected communities.

“All equipment have been deployed to the liberated communities, the men are on ground there, we are only waiting for the commissioning, “she said.

Kolawole, however, did not disclose when the commissioning would take place.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recently inaugurated operational vehicles for the deployment of policemen to liberated communities in the North-East.

NAN reports that the vehicles inaugurated included 200 Toyota Hilux double cabin vehicles; springbuck armoured personnel carriers and 15 Mercedes Benz troop saloon cars.

Others are: nine water tankers; 50 Toyota salon cars; 20 Toyota hilux armoured vans; five Camry salon cars; three ambulances; assorted communication and power generating items and tents.



NCAA Directs Airlines To Forward All Unremitted Funds In Full

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday directed all domestic and charter airlines operating in the country to immediately forward in full unremitted funds accruable to the agency.
The Director General, NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, handed down the directive at a meeting held with the airline operators on the non-remittance of five per cent Ticket, Cargo and Charter Sales Charges (TSA/TCA) in Lagos.
According to Usman, the directive was with regard to the five per cent TSA/TCA collected at source from the air passengers by the airlines, on behalf of the federal government.
He said the sales charges were to enable all aviation agencies carry out their responsibilities of providing safe, secure and efficient regulatory services for the overall benefit of all aviation stakeholders.
Usman noted that it was important that all unremitted funds be forwarded in full to the NCAA immediately.
“The airlines must desist from using these funds ‘held in trust’.
“The ongoing five per cent Ticket/Cargo/Charter/Sales Charges automation of payments which offers real-time transparent transactions must be completed within two months.
“This will remove endless reconciliation of data and the reduce high debt profile of Airlines to NCAA. Reconciliation of all outstanding debts must be completed within 60 days.
“Henceforth, the five per cent Ticket/ Cargo/ Sales Charges must be On Gross Ticket excluding VAT and Passenger Service Charge (PSC) only.
“All airlines must provide to the NCAA the breakdown of the recently introduced taxes plus fees component on all passenger tickets, which include the amount due to each government Agency.
“These include, the FAAN-Passenger Service Charge (PSC), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS)- five per cent VAT; and the NCAA’s five per cent TSC,” he said.
Usman said henceforth, any add-on charge, surcharge such as fuel surcharges or any other miscellaneous added on passenger ticket must be approved by it before applying these charges on passenger tickets.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the airline operators, who were led by Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, reached an agreement with the NCAA on the issues raised.
The operators however, asked for adjournment till April 27 to enable the airlines hold further consultations on the timeline and its implementation.
In attendance were top officials from DANA Airlines, Azman Airlines, Medview Airlines, Chanchangi, and Overland Airways.



Legislative Rascality: SERAP Drags Senate To UN Over CCT Amendment

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights asking him to “use your good offices and position to urgently request the National Assembly of Nigeria, specifically the Senate, to withdraw amendments to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal Act which if passed into law would seriously weaken the act, undermine the fight against corruption in the country, exacerbate extreme poverty and violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

In the petition dated 15 April 2016 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organisation expressed “serious concern that the Senate of Nigeria will any moment from now pass amendments to Public Officers Protection Act; Administration of Criminal Justice Act; Code of Conduct Bureau Act and the Code of Conduct Tribunal Act with the political objective of securing a soft-landing for the Senate President Bukola Saraki who is facing corruption charges.”

The petition copied to Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption reads in part: “SERAP considers these amendments to be in bad faith, patently an abuse of legislative powers, politically biased, and demonstrably unjustified in a democratic and representative society governed by the rule of law, and incompatible with the country’s international human rights obligations and commitments particularly the UN Convention against Corruption, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which Nigeria has ratified.”
“SERAP also considers the amendments to amount to “legislative rascality”, as they are not legitimate exercise of legislative power, and if allowed can exacerbate extreme poverty and violations of the right to an adequate standard of living of Nigerians and other human rights.”

“The amendments also threaten the injunction that government must be accountable, responsive and open; that public institutions must not only be held to account but must also be governed by high standards of ethics, efficiency and must use public resources in an effective manner.”

“SERAP is concerned that while deserving bills have been left to languish at the bottom of their legislative programmes, the Nigerian Senate has fast-tracked the passing of these obnoxious amendments. The drafters of the constitution would not have foreseen that the Senate would use its legislative power to encourage corruption and to undermine rather than advance constitutional guarantees and principles.”
“SERAP argues that limitations to the legislative powers of the Senate can be implied not only from the chapters two and four of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended) relating to the obligations of all organs of government to promote transparency, accountability and combat corruption and recognition of citizens’ fundamental human rights but also by voluntary acceptance of international human rights obligations by Nigeria.”

“SERAP believes that a good government is one that rules according to the law, not according to the whims or caprice of parliamentarians.”

“SERAP notes that the Nigerian constitution 1999 (as amended) grants legislative power to the Senate to “make laws for the peace, order and good government”. SERAP believes that this power implies that the National Assembly including the Senate will serve as a crucial bastion of transparency, accountability, and the rule of law that are necessary to reduce poverty, establish a corruption-free society, and effective enjoyment of human rights.”

“Rather than be inspired by the spirit of public service by initiating legislation that promotes transparency, accountability and human rights, the Senate is legislating to encourage corruption and impunity, serving as both a shield and sword to advance personal agendas. SERAP argues that the state’s obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights inevitably creates a duty to develop effective anti-corruption legislation and not to promote corruption and impunity of perpetrators.”
“SERAP notes that the Senate does not enjoy unfettered, unconditional and absolute legislative powers and should therefore not be allowed to create or change laws on a virtually unrestricted basis.”
“According to the constitution, all power and authority of Government and its organs is derived from the Constitution. Nigeria also is obligated to observe international human rights obligations in good faith and to take appropriate measures including through legislation to promote, protect and fulfil human rights. The law-making powers which are vested in the National Assembly including the Senate by Section 4 of the constitution are therefore to be exercised in accordance with the constitution and international obligations.”

“Similarly, the supremacy of the constitution including on all organs of government, and the sanctity of international human rights obligations imply that the Senate has no power to ignore the conditions of law-making that are imposed by the instrument which itself regulates its power to make law.”

SERAP therefore urged the Special Rapporteur to:
1. Publicly express concerns about the proposed amendments to the laws that will weaken anti-corruption agencies, undermine the fight against corruption and thereby exacerbating extreme poverty and violations of human rights;
2. Put pressure on the Senate to withdraw the amendments to the anti-corruption laws and to ensure that a climate of legislative impunity and official corruption is not allowed to undermine the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to advance human rights and address extreme poverty;
3. Urge the National Assembly in particular the Senate to promote in its legislative duties transparency and accountability and observe human rights principles, and that the exercise of its legislative power complies with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments;
4. Urge the National Assembly to allow anti-corruption agencies in this case the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal to operate without any intimidation, harassment or interference whatsoever
“In charge number ABT/01/15, dated September 11 and filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Saraki is accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state.”

“The amendments which have passed the second reading just 48 hours after introduction indicate that Section 3 (c) and (d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act will be amended to alter the functions of the bureau. Also, the Code of Conduct Tribunal will no longer be able to try any accused public officer. The amendments also seek to put the anti-corruption agencies firmly under the control of the Senate, and to whittle down their powers.”

Source –

Hunter Kills Python At Students’ Hostel

A 13-foot python was killed in a building close to a male hostel at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, the Anambra State capital, last Saturday. Worried by the development, students are calling on  the management to ensure their safety.

This happened at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, the Anambra State capital, last Saturday when a python was killed in an uncompleted building close to a male hall of residence.

Being a weekend, majority of the students had gone out for extra-curricula activities; some chose to play football; others engaged in other games.

Few minutes past 9am, an unidentified man raised the alarm on sighting the python.  Those in their hostels thought it was a joke, until the python crawled out of the building.

Students ran helter skelter on seeing it. A local hunter, who lives in the building, chased the python with a cutlass, battling it for several minutes before overpowering it.

Students, who watched the scene from a distance, were stunned by his bravery. The brave among them joined the hunter to kill the python.

The students took the lifeless animal round the campus in a triumphant mood. As they went round, some students, out of fear that the python may come back to life, pulled back.

Reliving the incident, the hunter, who simply gave his name as Okey, said he found the python when he heard a strange noise in the building.

He said: “Out of curiosity, I moved round the building to know what was happening. I initially thought somebody was held in captivity within the building. But, what I saw was beyond my imagination. I saw the snake folded at a corner of a room. I quickly fetched my cutlass and an iron rod and moved to attack it before the students joined in killing it.”

The students wondered how the animal got into the campus.

A student, who gave his name as Iyke, compared the scenario to a “movie scene”. He said: “I was playing football with other mates as we do every weekend when we heard people shouting, “python”, “python”, “python”. We left the field to see what was going on and what we saw shocked us. It was like a scene in a movie. I never saw a snake as big and long as this. The length of the snake frightened other students, who ran away. We discovered that the hunter had already overpowered the python. We joined in killing the snake.”

Another student, Ebuka Ezeah, said: “When the hunter raised the alarm about the python, some brave students rushed to the scene with stones and sticks. They hurled stones at the snake, killing it on the spot.”

The students turned it all into a carnival, celebrating the python’s death. They sang and danced, carrying the python from one hostel to another and to various departments.

There was a drama when the school security officers came to the hostel and attempted to remove the python. But the students resisted, chanting: “bring back our snake”. The snake was returned to the hunter.

Credit: Nation

#BringBackOurGirls: How govt can negotiate Chibok girls’ release, by Shehu Sani

By Wale Ajetunmobi

A senator and former government negotiator with Boko Haram, Shehu Sani, yesterday said the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State two years ago by insurgents are alive. He said the recent video of the girls released by a Boko Haram source showed the veracity of their parents’ claims.

Sani, who spoke on CNN, said negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the girls remained frozen, given the military campaign against the insurgents. He cautioned the government on the terms of the negotiation to avoid the pitfalls which prevented the previous administration to secure the release of the girls.

On the negotiation, the human rights activist said: “Negotiation at this stage has been frozen, because of the military campaign emphasised by the government. And I believe there is a need to explore the option of negotiation to ensure that the girls are brought back home alive.”

“In the last three to four credible negotiations with the group (Boko Haram) on the issue of the girls, they were emphasising on the need to release their members that have been in detention for years. The issue of ransom came very late. What is important is to get these girls out.

“There are three ways to which we can get them out. One is to negotiate. And secondly is to use force, but the use of force comes with implication and consequences. Thirdly, it is to use force and continue to open the door of negotiation. I believe the third option is very much needed. We need to continue to use force to show it clearly to the insurgents that they can’t win militarily and also to open the door for negotiation, which will make it possible for the girls to be brought back home alive.”

On how the government can recognise the credibility of Boko Haram negotiators, Sani said: “We should be very careful at this time. But, the fact that we can get such a very credible video from some sources; it shows that those sources are elements that need to be used to achieve the goal of getting these girls out…

“I believe Nigeria should take this opportunity. The last government fell into the hands of many scammers, but I believe with such a very credible video, there is hope that these girls are alive. And the sources that provided the video should be used to get the girls out.”

Sani said President Muhammadu Buhari has confronted insurgency with a decisive action, noting that the present administration had made significant progress in ending the problem. He said there was more to do in routing the insurgents, but said the government should not abandon negotiation.

Sani hailed the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners for keeping the abduction on the front burner.

Teacher Commits Suicide Ahead Of Trial For Raping Pupils

A former elementary school principal awaiting trial on charges of raping possibly dozens of pupils has hanged himself in a prison in central France, sources close to the case said Tuesday.

Romain Farina, the 46-year-old former head of a school in Villefontaine near Lyon, was charged about a year ago, with testimony against him concerning around 60 children in various schools where he had worked.

Video clips found at his home supported claims that he blindfolded students and placed his penis in their mouths for them to “guess” what it was in a game he called the “taste workshop”.

Under French law, the offence of rape covers any act of penetration.

In June 2008, a court convicted Farina of downloading paedophile pornography and gave him a suspended six-month sentence and an order to seek psychiatric help for two years.

The court’s failure to bar him from future contact with children sparked a scandal, and prompted the education and justice ministries to improve communication on cases involving sexual predators.


How Nassarawa State House Of Assembly Was Turned To Boxing Ring

Members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly engaged in a free-for-all on Monday over the appointment of sole administrators for 11 local government councils by Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

The free-for-all occurred on the floor of the legislature barely two hours after the governor inaugurated the 11 sole administrators.

Glasses were shattered while tables and chairs were upturned in the violence that engulfed the House.

A faction that described the governor’s action as illegal was opposed by another faction that supported the action of the governor.

Some legislators sustained injuries during the violence while some had their clothes torn.

Briefing newsmen at the legislative complex, a member, House Committee on Information, Mr. Makpa Malla, said that seats and tables were broken during the fight.

Describing the appointment by the governor as illegal, Malla said the Assembly could not continue to watch the governor perpetrate illegalities in the state.

He said, “As you can see, this is the executive room of the state House of Assembly, where we sit down every morning to discuss matters which would bring development to the state and the country at large.

“Categorically, I want to state here that the division which caused this chaos was as result of the appointment of the sole administrators by the governor. As a responsible legislature with some of us as lawyers, we insisted that the right thing must be done.

“The Section 7 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – as amended – guarantees a democratic system of governance at the local government level. The provision of the constitution is explicit on how the local government structure should be run.

“That is why we are kicking against the appointment of the sole administrators. Sole administrators only existed during the military era and as respecters of the rule of law, we must ensure that the executive must also respect the rule of law.”

Malla, however, urged the people of the state to remain calm and be law-abiding as the law would take its course in the matter.

Also speaking during the press conference, Mr. Abubakar Kana, an All Progressives Congress member representing Kokona-West, said there was no provision for the position of sole administrator in the laws of Nasarawa State.

He said this was the reason why the lawmakers kicked against the action of Al-Makura.

He said, “Where would the sole administrators derive their powers from? Who determines the tenure and salaries of the sole administrators? Sole administrators are not known to Nigerian and Nasarawa laws.

“If the sole administrators commit any offence, under what law would they be tried?”

Reacting, the Deputy Speaker, Godiya Akwashiki, who is a Peoples Democratic Party member representing Nasarawa-West, condemned the action of those who opposed the governor’s action.

Credit: Punch

Human Rights Group Absolves Military Of Killing Innocent Nigerians In Ogoni

A human rights group, Citizen Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), has absolved the Nigerian military of killing of innocent citizens in Ogoniland, Rivers, on February 22.


The Executive Director of the group¸ Mr Frank Tietie, who made the group’s position known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, described the accusations as false.


Tietie stated that he discovered the truth after a fact-finding mission to Gokana, Yeghe, and Obori communities in Ogoni, Rivers, where the killing was said to have occurred.


“We have called this press conference to denounce certain notions that are inimical to national interest. What are those notions?

“The notion that the Nigerian military causes problem, kills and maims innocent Nigerians, which is so untrue.

“We needed to take the Rivers State re-run elections as a case study, and on that note, I personally went to those flashpoints particularly places like Gokana, Yeghe and Obori.

“We found out that what happened on Feb. 22 in an Ogoni community called Yeghe was actually an encounter between certain cultists, who were followers of one Solomon Ndigbara, who actually engaged the army in a shootout.

“My findings from the citizens, including the video evidence and other records that I made, showed that there were only three persons that they could prove to have died in the course of that encounter, whereas the military is said to have killed over 45 persons.

“Nothing could be more untrue. We must be very careful.

“If the only institution we rely on to guarantee human security in Nigeria would now be used as a scapegoat by political and cult elements, particularly in the case of Rivers State, where even human rights group like the Civil Liberty Organisation can make spurious statements just because they belong or are persuaded by one political divide or the other, we would be working against the national interest and it will demoralise the army.’’

Tietie noted that the military, by its operations through the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army had been the saving grace of the citizens in Rivers State.

According to him, the carnage planned by the political and cult groups in the state would have been unimaginable if not for the intervention of the force.

He corroborated the army’s claims that the violence in Rivers was an offshoot of the clashes between cult elements being used by politicians to pursue their selfish ambitions.

The executive director stated that CASER has decided to make the truth known to the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, which has launched a probe into the matter.

He added that CASER will urge the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute “all those, who have denigrated the Nigerian Army’’ through false allegations.

“The unwholesome, unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations made by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) against the Nigerian Army should be investigated.

“The CLO should also be prosecuted for claiming in a petition that the Nigerian Army committed “genocide” in Yeghe on Feb. 22, whereas, such an allegation, by CASER finding, is most unfounded.’’




NYSC Confirms Killing Of Corps Member During Rivers Re-Run Elections

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Monday, confirmed the killing of a corps member, Mr Okonta Samuel, during the Rivers State re-run elections held on March 19.


This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Bose Aderibigbe, NYSC Director of Press, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.


The statement said the deceased, who was an orphan, was shot dead by gunmen in Ahoada West Local Government area of the state.


It described the act as primitive, barbaric and ungodly, urging all well-meaning Nigerians to condemn it.

The statement said NYSC would work with relevant agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the act were caught and made to face the full wrath of the law.


According to the statement, Samuel’s death is a great loss not only to his immediate family but also the NYSC family and the nation.


It prayed that the Almighty God grants him eternal rest and give the family and the nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.


The statement said two other corps members who were with the deceased at the time of the incident had escaped through the help of security agents.


It said another corps member, Anana Udoetor, who was earlier reported missing had been found and was hale and hearty.



Alleged theft of N754m Fraud: Ex-NIMASA Boss, Akpobolokemi, Others Lose In Court

An Igbosere High Court, Lagos, on Monday dismissed a preliminary objection filed by a former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, challenging the jurisdiction of the court over alleged stealing of N754.7 million.


Mr. Akpobolokemi is standing trial on a 13-count charge of stealing.


He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alongside Captain Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Marine Nigeria Ltd.


Mr. Akpobolokemi had through his lawyer, Joseph Nwobike (SAN), filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.


He argued that by virtue of provisions of Section 251 (1) (a) and (3) of the Constitution, only a Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases pertaining to and or connected with the revenues of the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies.


Also, the 4th accused, Governor Juan, through his counsel, Ige Asemudara, also filed a similar application.


Ruling on the preliminary objections, Justice Raliat Adebiyi, dismissed all the objections raised by the applicants on the grounds that they lacked merit.

The court held that the applicants wrongly raised the issue of double jeopardy.

She also said that there was no connection between the two charges filed against some of the accused before the Federal High Court and the one before the High Court of Lagos State.


Justice Adebiyi held that the offence of stealing was clearly within the jurisdiction of the Lagos High court.

She added that it would be too early at this stage of proceedings to determine whether Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to determine the suit.


The judge held that the issue of jurisdiction could be raised at any stage of the proceedings.


The applicants had in their preliminary objections argued that the provisions of Section 251 (1) (a), (P) and (3) of the Constitution supercedes the provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and that of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004.


They also argued that the High Court of Lagos lacked the requisite jurisdiction to entertain criminal cases and matters arising from the revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

But the EFCC, in its counter-affidavit, urged the court to refuse the application in the interest of justice more so when the prove of evidence before the court clearly linked the applicants to the alleged offence.

The accused were arraigned on Jan. 25 by the EFCC over alleged stealing of N754. 7million belonging to NIMASA.


They pleaded not guilty the charges and were granted bail.


The case was adjourned to April 14 and 20 for trial.



Lagos Assembly Tasks Buhari On Naira Value

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to redouble efforts at strengthening the value of the naira.


This followed a motion jointly sponsored by 11 lawmakers and moved by Mr Rotimi Olowo, the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning.


It was seconded by the Chief Whip, Mr Rotimi Abiru.


The motion was titled ‘Need to control the continuous decline in the value of naira’.


The House called on the Federal Government to put necessary infrastructure in place to create enabling environment for increased local productivity, to strengthen the nation’s currency.


Several lawmakers took turns to share their views on the present situation and the way forward.


The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa said :” Federal Government should be concerned with policies that can make our local productivity improve. People should stop chasing dollars.

“Government must wake up to its responsibility so that people can patronise our schools, hospitals and goods such that we will not need to seek all these services from other countries.

“Let’s start patronising made in Nigeria goods.”


Obasa urged Nigerians to develop their own economy by changing their attitude to locally-made goods and services.


Also contributing, Olowo said: “Any nation that refuses to produce is exposed.


“Our import surpasses our export, so the demand for dollars has been presurissing the naira.

“If we increase our local production, demand for dollars will reduce.

“It is high time we limited ourselves to Nigerian foods and services. We must defend and protect the naira and value it.”


Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, the Chairman, House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure, said: ” we are already dollarising our economy and we can’t continue like this.”


Yishawu, who urged the FG to revive local industries with improved power supply, said that government also needed to look into interest rates.


Mr Tunde Braimoh, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, attributed the continuous fall in the value of naira to ‘ fancies and fantasies’ of Nigerians.


Also contributing, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance urged the government to move away from a monolithic to a diversified economy.


Ogundimu urged development banks to assist Nigerians on production activities.


The House resolved to call on Buhari to direct the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to intensify efforts to improve power supply across the country.


It said such a step would make key sectors like manufacturing achieve maximum productivity, which would help the economy.


The lawmakers also called on Central Bank of Nigeria to enforce compliance with the monetary regulations prohibiting indiscriminate use of dollars for domestic transactions.


The Assembly urged the Minister of Information to embark on sensitisation campaign on the need for Nigerians to patronise locally produced goods.



The House also passed for the second reading, a bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Customary Court Law, 2011 and for connected purposes.



INEC To Investigate Alleged Distribution Of Fake Result Sheets In Rivers Rerun

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will investigate alleged distribution of fake result sheets in some polling units in Saturday’s legislative re-run elections in Rivers.


The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this known in an interview on Monday in Abuja.


Osaze-Uzzi also said that the commission would also investigate other allegations raised during the conduct of the election.

He, however, insisted that there was no way fake election materials could have been distributed by INEC’s election officers.


“Was there really distribution of fake result sheets? How did the people know that they are fake?

“The allegation will be investigated, anyway.

“We are having a meeting on Wednesday with the Rivers Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monitors and Supervisors who went to the state for the election.

“This issue will be raised there; thereafter, we will issue a public statement on our findings.

“We will also investigate any allegation that has been raised and backed with fact,” Osaze-Uzzi said.


On when the commission would release the remaining results of the election, he said that decision on it would be taken at the Wednesday meeting.


“We are not going back to the state until the atmosphere is conducive to have a violent-free election.

“But I don’t want to pre-empt anything ahead of the Wednesday meeting.”


On update about electoral officers abducted during the Saturday election, Osaze-Uzzi said that he was yet to be briefed on the matter.


“I cannot speak categorically on that, but I was told that some of the people we are much concerned about have been released.


“But regrettably, I think we lost a youth corps member but I can’t state categorically,” he added.



Nigerians No Longer Happy, Drop In Global Happiness Ranking

Nigeria has been ranked the 103 happiest nation of the world, and 6th in Africa in the World Happiness Report.


The World Happiness Report 2016 update, which ranks 157 countries by their happiness levels, was released in Rome on Wednesday, in advance of UN World Happiness Day, March 20th.


As indicated by the report, Nigeria dropped from its 78th position in the World and 2nd in Africa in the 2015 happiness ranking.


Denmark emerged the world’s happiest place, while Algeria, standing at 38 at the global level, maintains its position as the happiest place in Africa.


Mauritius is now the second happiest country in Africa, followed by Libya, Morocco and Tunisia respectively. According to the report, eight sub-Saharan countries were among the 10 least happy places on earth to live.


The bottom 10 were; Madagascar, Tanzania, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi. South Africa and Ghana stood at 116 and 124 respectively on the Global happiness ranking.


The World Happiness Report, an initiative of the UN, is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness, aimed at influencing government policy. The report reviews the state of happiness in the world and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.


It reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as criteria for government policy.


According to the report, leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations.


Healthy years of life expectancy, GDP per capital, social support , perceived absence of corruption in government and business, freedom to make life decisions and generosity are some of the factors the report considers


The first world happiness report was published in support of the April 2, 2012 United Nations (UN) high level meeting on happiness and well-being. The report was prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Prof. Jeffrey Sachs is the head of the SDSN and special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


Credit : Vanguard

Customs Generates 1.07bn In Seme

The Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Monday said it generated N 1.07 billion revenue in February.


Comptroller for the command, Victor Dimka, disclosed this  in Seme.


Dimka said that the revenue for the period was N 172.6 million higher than N 899.8 million generated in the corresponding period in 2015.


“When I came to this command in January, one of the promises I made was that I would collect maximum revenue and suppress smuggling to its barest minimum.

” I am glad we have started achieving that; the command generated N 1,072,484,462.82 as revenue in the month of February.

“This is the first of its kind in the month of February since the creation of the command.

“We were able to achieve this in spite of the prevailing high exchange rate, the strike by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Customs in the Republic of Benin and protest on implementation of unifying ex-factory price,’’ he said.


Dimka added that the command made 55 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DVP) of N15.6 million and arrested six suspects during the period.


He attributed the achievement of the command to the commitment of the management team, stakeholders and the members of the community.

“It is easy to attain success, but not easy to maintain success, therefore all hands must be on deck to maintain and exceed the current record,’’ he said.


Dimka urged Nigerians to desist from smuggling and embrace legitimate trade, saying that there was no room for smuggling in the area.

“We are determined to eliminate all loopholes and block all revenue leakages which would translate to more revenue generation for us,’’ he stated.