NCAA okays helicopter operations on Abuja route

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) yesterday cleared all duly certified helicopter operators to commence operations in and out of Abuja henceforth.

Spokesperson of the regulatory body, Sam Adurogboye, said letters have been dispatched to all concerned to resume operations and enable air connection to Abuja.

The Guardian yesterday reported that several commercial helicopters deployed for operations in and out Abuja remained stuck at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja despite the reversal of the ban.

Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) penultimate Friday banned helicopter operations in Abuja, citing security concerns following the closure of the NAIA for repairs on the runway.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, however said yesterday that the ban had been lifted following reports of the economic implications of such order.

Meanwhile, except for last minute change, workers in the aviation sector will today picket Arik Air over alleged failure of the new management to re-instate sacked union leaders and other unresolved welfare-related issues.

The workers under the aegis of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), threatened to shut down operations of the airlines nationwide, commencing from today.

General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, said the decision to picket Arik was informed by the new management’s intolerance to unionism.

Abioye alleged that the new management through a circular recently warned the workers not to join the unions and had refused to address all the pending issues as they affect the staff in the airline.


Source: The Guardian

FG To Embark On Construction Of Four New Runways

The Federal Government says four new runways will soon be constructed at four international airports in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Lagos.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Tuesday when he led the Minister of Information around facilities at the Kaduna International Airport.

The Minister added that the expansion of the runways at the four airports would offer more direct local and international flights, as well as eliminate delays often experienced in the course of landing and taking off of aircraft.

“There will be a second runway in Abuja. Hopefully within the next 24 months, we would have a new runway.

“And then there is a second runway in Kano (the military runway), a second runway in Lagos and a second runway in Port Harcourt,” Mr Sirika said.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, on his part briefed reporters on the Federal Government’s plan of a complete makeover on some of the airports across the country.

“As a government, we’ve put in place to the best of our ability, arrangements that will ensure security and also guarantee safety of operation both on tarmac and off tarmac, and on route,” he said.


Source: Channels TV

Grief as 4 children drown in Galadimawa River, FCT.

Four children, Jinkai Hakila, 10, Bridget Ibrahim, 11, Precious Ezra, 14 and Azumi Daniel, 16, were on Saturday found drowned in Danko River, Galadimawa Community, FCT suburb.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited the community, reports that residents were thrown into mourning following the ugly incident.

NAN reports that the four deceased together with other children were washing at the river before the incident occurred.

Some eye witnesses told NAN that the incident happened at about 11a.m. when the children were still washing in the river.

Miss Blessing Elisha, 14, an eye witness, told NAN that they were together at the river washing while others were playing.

She said several efforts made to stop the children from playing in the water yielded no result before the incident.

“I actually did not see them entering the water because I was busy washing, suddenly I was called that three of them had entered the river.

“It was then I looked up and saw the fourth one going in and an attempt made to rescue her looked like I was getting drowned.

“Then I left her and ran to call for help,” she said.

Mr Alhassan Abdulwahab, one the first people that responded to the distress call, said it took about three hours to get their corpses out of the river.

He said the information gathered from other children at the scene showed that the youngest of the deceased, Hakila was the first to enter the river.

He said other children were drowned while attempting to rescue their colleagues.

“We came to the scene of the incident immediately we got the information, and it took some time before we discovered their corpses because our nets were already in the river for fishing.

“It was after I pulled out my net with a very big fish in it that I saw the four corpses in the same area with their stomach not swollen,” Abdulwahab said.

NAN reports that the four corpses were buried by the river side in line with the tradition of the community.

Source: NAN

IG Idris deploys 350 armed police officers to Kaduna-Abuja road

The Inspector-General of Police on Friday announced the deployment of 350 armed personnel to provide security along Kaduna-Abuja Highway.

Muazu Zubairu, Commissioner of Police in Niger, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna.

He said that the deployment was to protect lives and property of road users and residents.

Mr. Zubairu said that a comprehensive operational order was issued to commissioners of Police in Abuja, Kaduna and Niger commands, on securing motorists along the way.

The commissioner said that police officers deployed were well equipped to tackle any form of security threat along the highway.

“We are even ready to confront cattle rustling, kidnapping and activities of armed bandits especially in the North Central region.

“The IGP stressed that police personnel nationwide have been mandated to flush out criminals and ensure their prompt prosecution,’’ he said.

He solicited the support of Nigerians in the task of ridding the nation of criminals.

“It is the civic responsibility of all citizens to provide adequate information to security agencies to track down and curtail all forms of criminal activities,” he said.

He urged traditional rulers to mobilise their subjects to embark on community policing and remain security conscious, to reduce criminality.


Source: NAN

UPDATE: See photos of the officers sentenced to death over Apo Six killings

An FCT High Court has convicted and sentenced two out of five policemen accused in the extrajudicial killings of six Apo traders in 2005 to death.   The accused Ezekiel Acheneche and Emmanuel Baba were convicted of homicide punishable by death under section 22 1a of the penal code while others were absolved of wrongdoing and discharged.

Justice Ishaq Bello while delivering judgment on Thursday held that that the action of the convicted men was condemnable because there was no evidence that the traders did anything to constitute a threat to police at the time they were shot dead.

Omojuwa.Com published the story as it broke earlier today. However, we have been able to lay our hands on the pictures of the convicted policemen.

See photos below:










#ABVClosure: Kaduna airport ready for 24-hour operations – NCAA

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated that the Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna is now ready for a 24-hour operations.

The General Manager Public Affairs of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, who made this disclosure in Lagos on Tuesday, added that the airport was ready for local and international flights.

The Federal government had announced that it would today shut the Abuja Airport to enable the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) carry out major rehabilitation of the runway at the airport.

Speaking on the development, Adurogboye explained that all necessary steps to ensure that the status of the airport as an alternative airport to the Abuja International Airport during the closure had been taken.

“The navigational aids have been well calibrated and fully functional to facilitate continuous smooth landings and takeoffs.

“Therefore, towards a seamless flight operations in line with Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) all relevant departments and directorates with full complement of staff have been redeployed to Kaduna”, he said.

Adurogboye added that the Regional Managers of NCAA for Abuja and Kaduna offices were on ground to allow for smooth integration of the additional staff coming to Kaduna.

Adurogboye said the Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP), Directorate of Air Transport Regulations (DATR), Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standard (DAAS) and Aviation Security Personnel were already at the airport.

The official named other agencies deployed as NCAA, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Nigerian Customs and Exercise (NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).


Source: Daily Post

12 years after, #Apo6 victims to get justice this Thursday.

A judicial drama that has lasted almost 12 years will reach a milestone on Thursday when Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, Abuja, is scheduled to deliver judgement on the infamous Apo Six killings.

The court was to deliver the judgement on February 13, but Justice Bello pushed it forward to the new date.

The case centres on the alleged extra-judicial killing of five young auto-spare parts dealers in Apo, a satellite town in Abuja, and a young woman by officers of the Nigerian Police on the night of June 7, 2005.

The victims, Ekene Isaac Mgbe, Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony and Augustina Arebu, were said to be returning from a night club when they were stopped at a police checkpoint.

The police had claimed that the victims, aged between 21 and 25 years, were members of an armed robbery gang that had opened fire on the officers when accosted at the checkpoint.

But a judicial panel of inquiry set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo found the police account to be false and recommended the trial of five officers for extra-judicial killings.

The indicted officers are Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdulsalami, now at large, Nicholas Zakaria, Ezekiel Acheneje, Baba Emmanuel, and Sadiq Salami. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But 12 years later, the trial continued to drag on in court.

The protracted trial has been hindered by institutional challenges, ranging from series of adjournments, problems over conveyance of defendants from the prison to court and difficulty in getting witnesses to testify.

Although the killings had caused a national outrage, after 12 years, the public has almost forgotten that the trial of the accused officers is still going on.

And the families of the dead have all but given up on justice.

The “Apo Six’’, as the youthful victims have come to be remembered in and outside Nigeria, had set out for fun and merry making that ill-fated night almost 12 years ago.

But Nigerians would later be riveted by the horrific news of their deaths at the hands of the police.

The public outcry that followed the incident prompted then President Obasanjo to order an official inquiry.

The five officers accused of the killings and eight other police witnesses eventually testified before the panel of inquiry that Mr. Danjuma Ibrahim, the most senior of the accused officers, had allegedly ordered the killings of the youth.

According to the report of the panel, the victims were at a nightclub located at Gimbiya Street, Area 11 in Abuja that night of June 7, 2005 when they had a face-off with Mr. Ibrahim after the only female among the victims, Augustina Arebu, turned down romantic advances of the senior police officer.

Mr. Danjuma had allegedly stormed out of the night club to a police checkpoint at the end of the street and told the officers on duty that he had sited a group of armed robbers in the area.

According to the panel’s report, which forms the bulk of the evidence in court, when the six unwary young people later arrived at the checkpoint in their car, Mr. Ibrahim allegedly had the car blocked and ordered the officers to shoot at the occupants.

Four of the six died on the spot, but two of them, Mr. Ozor and Ms. Arebu, survived the initial onslaught.

The report had it that Mr. Ozor had immediately called to alert his friends after surviving the burst of gunfire. It was the last time they would hear from him.

According to a NAN report, the police officers later testified at the criminal trial that the two survivors were later taken to a location outside town where they were executed.

The officers allegedly later planted guns on the six bodies and had photographer take pictures of “armed robbers” killed in an exchange of gunfire with the police.

NAN reported that the photographer was later to raise an alarm and released the pictures.

In a curious twist, Anthony Edem, one of the officers close to the case, died after testifying to extra-judicial killings.

An autopsy report from the National Hospital Abuja confirmed that Mr. Edem died of poisoning and is one of the numerous exhibits before the court.

The pictures of their mangled bodies of the victims cannot be published due to their gruesome state.

“There is nowhere else to look except at the bodies. There is a close-up of a face, gaping exit-wound at the temple,” Amobi Nzelu, lawyer to the families of the victims, was quoted in a BBC article of May 9 2005.

“Limbs and torsos covered in blood. Dead eyes stare upward. This is a human being, look what they did.”


Source: Premium Times

Only one foreign airline agrees to use Kaduna airport as Abuja airport is closed

Only one foreign airline has agreed to use the Kaduna International Airport, as the Nigerian government officially announced the closure of the Abuja International Airport on Monday.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told journalists that so far only Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to use the Kaduna airport as an alternative.

The government said the Abuja airport will be closed beginning from 12 a.m. Wednesday.

The closure will last for six weeks to allow a comprehensive maintenance of the airport runway.

The decision to close the only airport in the federal capital has been criticised by aviation experts, and several international airlines warned they will not operate the Kaduna route.

Mr. Sirika said observations made by acting President Yemi Osinbajo who was in Kaduna Airport on Friday had been “taken care of”.


Source: Premium Times

Acting President Osinbajo inspects Kaduna Airport ahead of closure of Abuja Airport

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo is currently inspecting the Kaduna Airport to see its level of preparedness ahead of the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Osinbajo, who was accompanied by Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is at the airport which will serve as an alternative following the planned closure of the Abuja Airport.

The Abuja Airport will be closed for six weeks beginning from March 8, to enable the authorities fix its faulty runway.

How we repelled armed men who attacked Abuja community – Police

The police have confirmed that one person was injured during an armed robbery attack on Thursday night in a community in Apo district of Abuja.

The Abuja police spokesperson, Anjuguri Mamza, who confirmed the incident on Friday, told PREMIUM TIMES that the police swung into action immediately they received a distress call.

“Yes it was a robbery attack. Some armed robbers came into the community. Immediately we received a distress call, our men mobilised and stormed the area.

“The robbers were repelled and forced to abandon their operations”, Mr. Mamza said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the story of the attack late Thursday night when a resident, Ebere Emeka, raised an alarm druing the attack at Pigba Sama area of Apo.

Another resident, who gave his name as Chimezie, also confirmed several gun shots within the area.

The police spokesperson said the robbers made away with some property and injured one resident.

“Some properties were stolen and one person was injured. The injured person was taken to the hospital by the police and he is responding to treatment.”

Mr. Mamza, however, said no arrest has been made.

“Nobody was arrested. Our men have been on the trail of the robbers throughout the night and we are actually closing in on them,” he added.

The Senate Committee on FCT orders evacuation of hawkers, beggars.

The Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has directed security agencies in Abuja to clear the city of beggars, hawkers and commercial sex workers.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the evacuated persons would be taken to a rehabilitation centre in Bwari before they are sent to their respective states.

“We also (last week) summoned the Commissioner of Police of the FCT, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps because we are (as a committee and the Senate, we are appall with the security situation in Abuja.

“We are very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja.

“You have beggars, destitute and commercial sex workers spread across every nook and cranny of the city.

“We have also asked the FCT to immediately put in order, the rehabilitation camp in Bwari that has been specifically and specially built for those arrested on the streets,” the lawmaker said.

Senator Melaye also announced plans by the committee to transfer the maintenance of street lights and environmental cleaning to banks and corporate organisations.

He noted that the banks are to take over the cleaning of streets in the city centre, as well as maintaining public facilities as part of their corporate social responsibility.


Source: Channels TV

We have too many prostitutes, beggars in Abuja – Dino Maleye

Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT has called on the police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to stop prostitutes and beggars from parading themselves on the streets of Abuja.

Addressing newsmen, Melaye, said “We are also very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja. We have beggars, the destitute and commercial sex workers spread across every nook and cranny of the city.

”We have issued an order to the Commissioner of Police and the Commandment of the NSCDC, and we have also instructed the FCT to provide logistics for the immediate evacuation of all beggars, including those little boys, who claimed they are helping you to clean your car’s windshield. By so doing, they are adding additional dents to your car.”

BREAKING: Protesters besiege MTN office in Abuja over Xenophobic Attacks

Disheartened by the continuous attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, some protesters on Thursday attacked and vandalised the head office of South African owned telecommunications company, MTN in Abuja in apparent retaliation, an MTN spokesman said.

“They are protesting against the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. It’s our regional head office in Abuja. That’s where we have our customer care center,” the MTN spokesman said.

“They vandalised equipment, stole customer phones and iPads. Some customers too were attacked.”

A South African government source described the attack as serious. “This wasn’t just some people on the street throwing stones. They broke into the building and stole things and broke things,” the source said.

The attack happened just as MTN’s chairman Phuthuma Nhleko is on a visit to see Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Early this week some South Africans issued threats to Nigerians living in the country, few days after at least 20 shops believed to belong to immigrants were looted.


Source: YNaija

“How I was almost kidnapped”, Abuja resident narrates his scary ordeal [Video]

With the recent uproar over the increase in kidnapping incidents in the metropolis of Abuja, it will seem like very little is being done by appropriate security agencies in curbing this growing menace.

After weeks of the release of the 3 kidnapped friends in Wuse, a Twitter User Mustapha Ramalan took to his Twitter Account yesterday to reveal how he was almost kidnapped by a painted Abuja taxi driver, accompanied by a mobile police officer and another man.

Mustapha recounts his ordeal in the hands of the men in what seems like a failed kidnap attempt.

Mustapha wrote:

I will share a horrific experience that I went through right in the heart of Abuja today. The incident occured on Obafemi Awolowo, Jabi right beside Briscoe Motors.

At about 1200 hrs while I was driving home from gym, a green scruffy looking taxi stopped me on the middle of the road. The taxi was a green Toyota model Abuja Taxi, with no number plates. It had a car dealer ‘DKD’ number sticker.

Out jumped two men, one in mufti and the other in mobile police uniform directing me to STOP. The taxi driver sat.

I noticed the policeman’s uniform did not carry his names which is very odd. Still, I didn’t question their motives.

The man in mufti moved to my passenger window & demanded I park and because I was making a call. He was right so I obliged. I apologized but he seemed angry & insisted that I enter their car  & said; “you must come with us to a mobile court”.

At this point i resisted and demanded identification from him. He went berserk, started shouting & threatening me.

Shocked and suspicious, I placed a call for help. He became angrier, saying I am a “stupid Northern boy” & a “monkey”.

He began to deflate my car tyre. I decide to record him in this action because at the time there were no witnesses.  Then he threatened to “put me in their car booth”. I reacted, he hit the phone of my hand & it turned physical.

The police man panicked & began to query his own accomplice. At this point I really became suspicious of these people.

I was angry, I resisted & braced for a duel with this psycho who seemed to me not only dangerous but a bigot.

To my shock, he went into his car, carried a bottle & attacked me. I dodged but got slightly hit for my troubles. He hit me with a bottle of Star. I am lucky, at least I am not blind.

By now, a huge crowd was gathering but this guy wasn’t done, he brought out a scissors from his car & threatened to kill me.

Luckily for me, people were now around & disarmed him. By this time, the man in police uniform had disappeared.

He tried to enter the taxi & drive off but was stopped by a huge number of people that had converged on the scene.

I told the people that I had placed calls & a police formation are on the way to carry both of us to the Force HQ.

Again he ranted & tried to enter a passing tricycle, but was again detained & by now the people kept surveillance on him

Minutes later I realized the taxi man had drove off. So the man’s driver and his ‘so called’ police pal had absconded. Even still, I did not realize these people might be dangerous criminals. I assumed the police man ran to save his job and I assumed at the time that the taxi man left because “well, he didn’t care”.

From nowhere, two female traffic wardens appeared and requested to hear both our stories. He told them “I was on the phone, he stopped me, I abused him” He even claimed “I tried to stab him with a knife”.

I didn’t have to speak as everyone there saw what transpired from the moment he hit me with a bottle, so people spoke for me.

The two police ladies are stationed on Obafemi Awolowo Way by Briscoe Motors junction almost everyday. They pleaded with me to allow the matter & let him go. One of them used the words “I am old enough to be your mother”.

I obliged. I patted my potential kidnapper on the back, made my way home with my bloodied eye and a headache. Now, it was only after I entered my house that it dawned on me… this may have actually been a kidnap attempt.  I became extremely stressed by the mere thought. This man seemed so aggresive & showed genuine hatred and violence.

I am 100% certain this man & his pals were not real police men. He did tried to run away twice but was detained. What if they took me? He was ready to break a bottle on me & stab me in public. I Imagined what he will do in private?

In hindsight, there was even a road safety team parked less than 50 meters from the incident. He didn’t call them over. My crime was using a phone to make a call while driving. He did not report to the standby road safety. Of course, I regret letting him go. I strongly believe these criminals will make more attempts on unsuspecting citizens.

Indeed soon after I entered my house, real police men appeared. They consoled me, I compensated them and they left. What’s going on as it relates to kidnaps is scary. I am lucky not to be the latest kidnapped face being shared here.

This Government is NOT dealing with the matter as it should. On kidnappings, they are sleeping, pure & simple. I am sharing my ordeal so that we are more vigilant, more careful and so that we protect ourselves. Threat is real!

Allah has protected me today. May He protect us all. Aameen

“Government agencies rejecting us”, Abuja corps members lament

Some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members deployed to Abuja say they are being rejected by federal government agencies where they were posted for primary assignment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected corps members are from the 2016 Batch B (Stream II) that just ended their three-week orientation.

The corps members said the major reason for their rejection was lack of funds to pay their monthly allowances.

Ojodomo Ogu, a graduate of Kogi State University, said the agency where he was posted flatly turned him down and based its decision on the lack of provision for corps members’ stipends in its 2017 budget.

Expressing his frustration, he said there was no need for the NYSC scheme to continue if government institutions could no longer accommodate corps members.

Chioma Agbasi, a University of Jos graduate, said she was rejected on the “flimsy excuse” of lack of vacancy.

Julie Andrew, who graduated from the University of Lagos, observed that the rejection was not limited to government institutions.

“I was posted to a micro-finance bank in the Central Area of Abuja which rejected me, citing lack of vacancy after they kept me waiting for two days. Thereafter, I returned to the NYSC office which re-posted me to a government agency located in the Central Area of Abuja, but the story was the same.

“To make matters worse, most employers do not provide accommodation for corps members, and this has made life difficult for those who do not have families and friends in Abuja.”

Narrating his ordeal, Adewale said he was first posted to a private firm operating in his area of specialisation, but was turned down on the excuse of re-organisation.

Aisha Hamza, a polytechnic graduate, said she was rejected simply because the organisation was accepting only university graduates.

“At the end of the day, I had to accept serving in a secondary school in Bwari without payment, and where there is also no decent accommodation,” Hamza lamented.

Dada Rabihu, managing director of an engineering company, explained why most corps members are rejected by organisations.

“Most times, we reject corps members because what they studied in school is irrelevant to the organisations’ areas of operations. For instance, last year, a corps member who studied Hausa Language and Literature was posted to us.

“We felt since he could not contribute anything meaningful to the growth of the company, the best thing was to reject him. It is not only in our interest but also for his own good.

“When you take into consideration the fact that the corps member needs to gather work experience that is related to his field of study you will accept our position.”

Abuja, Bayelsa, Borno, pay highest prices for diesel in January.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that Abuja, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross Rivers recorded the highest average price of N240.52 for diesel in January 2017.

A report released Wednesday by the NBS said the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil, known as diesel, increased to N240.52 in January 2017 from N196.20 in December 2016.

The increase, the bureau said, represents 22.56 per cent on the basis of year-on-year and 50.06 per cent on month-on-month basis.

Further analysis revealed that states with the highest average price of diesel were Abuja and Bayelsa where consumers paid N270, followed by Delta (N256.77) and Cross River (N256.36).

Meanwhile, states with the lowest average price of diesel were Enugu (N230.78), Adamawa (N230.50) and Lagos, Oyo, Taraba were consumers bought the product at N230 in the period under review.

The NBS also said on Wednesday that average price paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol increased by 35.7 per cent year-on-year in January.

This is contained in “Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch for January” released by NBS in Abuja.

The report stated that Petrol increased by 35.7 per cent year-on-year and 1.35 per cent month-on-month to N148.7 in January 2017, from N146.7 in December 2016.

It noted that states with the highest average price of petrol were Borno, which sold the product for N164.09, Oyo; N161.00 and Ebonyi N156.47.

“States with the lowest average price of petrol were Kogi, which sold at N144.67, Ekiti and Imo, N144.64; and Abuja which sold at N144.20?

The states with lowest average price sold the product below the recommended price of N145.

Fuel prices are collected across all the 774 local governments across all states and the FCT from more than 10,000 respondents and locations.

The report reflected prices households actually bought fuel together with the prices reportedly sold by the fuel suppliers.

The average of all these prices is then reported for each state and the average for the country is the average for the state.

Pro-government rally disrupted by security agents in Abuja.

A rally held yesterday in Abuja in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was disrupted by over 100 security personnel.The protesters, comprising young and old people, had converged on the Unity Fountain in Abuja, from where they later marched to the Presidential Villa to register their support for the government of Buhari.

The development underscores the support of many Nigerians the president still enjoys despite the protests against his administration across the country last week over the state of the economy.

The protesters were, however, stopped just before the first gate of the villa by heavily armed security agents who insisted the rally must not go beyond the vicinity of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) where they were forced to stop.

Shortly after, they made a return to their takeoff ground at the Unity Fountain where a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu addressed them.

Shehu had not completed his solidarity speech when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal also arrived at the scene, apologising for the action of the security personnel.

While addressing the rally, Lawal said: “President Buhari will outlive those wishing him dead.” He attributed the anti-Buhari protests to those who looted the nation dry and are now bent on causing confusion despite the president’s efforts to redirect the country on the path of genuine development.

“The government of the day is encouraged by such support from patriotic Nigerians. With such solidarity, the government is being gingered to do more in the interest of all.”

He told the people that Buhari did not anticipate the degree of the current challenges bedeviling the country, expressing optimism that Nigerians would start reaping the full dividends of democracy in every form in a year’s time, even as he called for more support for the government to fight corruption to the finish.

The convener of the rally, Moses Abdulahi described the gathering as the most patriotic stance taken by those present, saying it couldn’t have come at a better date. Abdullahi attributed the current economic hardship to the level of corruption witnessed under the previous administration.

Abuja airport closure: NAMA upgrades Kaduna navigation aids

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, said it has commenced the upgrading of navigational facilities at the Kaduna airport, ahead of the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for repairs on the runway.

Mathew Pwajo, the NAMA General Manager, Safety Management Systems/Quality Assurance, made the disclosure at a news conference on Sunday in Lagos.

He said the Abuja airport is scheduled to be shut for the six weeks repairs on March 8.

Mr. Pwajok explained that the upgrade was to absorb the increased volume of traffic to be diverted from Abuja to Kaduna airport.

He added that “toward this end, we are deploying both equipment and personnel to strategic areas of need to ensure seamless flow of traffic at the airport during the six-week period.”

The NAMA general manager said the agency had commenced the installation of a digital Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Kaduna airport.

“This facility would undergo flight calibration along with Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) already installed to ensure accuracy.

“NAMA is also currently conducting safety assessment of the entire Kaduna airport to ensure that it conforms to international safety standards, just as new equipment are being procured for the control tower under construction.

“A mobile control tower will also be deployed to the airport to support the old control tower already in use.”

Mr. Pwajok added that while the Abuja radar would be used to provide surveillance of traffic moving in and out of Kaduna and also provide safety and efficiency of flight operations, new generating sets would be installed.

“The facilities will provide secondary power supply to the navigational aids, as cooling systems will also be installed soon.

“Other facilities already deployed at the station include a low level wind shear alerting system and other cooling systems.

“The Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures for satellite-based navigation capability have been published for aircraft that are equipped to use for approach and landing, rather than ground aids.

In the area of personnel, he said various categories of personnel would be deployed to the airport to complement available manpower in Kaduna throughout the duration of the Abuja airport closure.

According to him, they include Aeronautical Information Services (AIS), Communications, Air Traffic Control and Engineering officers.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of NAMA, Fola Akinkuotu, who recently inspected the facility upgrade at the airport, expressed satisfaction with the level work.

He said the sophisticated nature of facilities being installed meant that Kaduna would be an excellent alternative to Abuja airport.


Source: NAN

Abuja airport closure: Nigeria to deploy sniffer dogs to Abuja-Kaduna highway

The Nigeria Police Force said it would deploy K9 Dog trailers to the Abuja-Kaduna highway and other strategic areas in Abuja for crime control.

Charles Ugomuoh, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Animal Branch, disclosed this at the inauguration of the K9 Dog trailers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mr. Ugomuoh said that other areas the dogs would be deployed included Abuja international airport, Force headquarters, National Assembly, National Defence College, Federal Secretariat and other black spots.

He said that the trailers would also be deployed to escort peaceful protesters and processions.

He said that the k9 sniffers would be used to detect IEDs, narcotics, arms and ammunitions, and crime prevention and detection.

Mr. Ugomuoh said that the acquisition of the technology was one of the many efforts of the Inspector-General of Police to re-strategise the police force for better service delivery.

He said the technology consisted of six compartments kennels with factory fitted air conditioner for the deployment of sniffer and general purpose patrol dogs.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, directed the deployment of more dogs to the Abuja and Lagos airports to track drugs and other airport crimes.

In a related development, the Nigeria Police Force has officially enrolled into the Integrated Personnel Payroll System, IPPIS.

Mr. Idris said that the system would enhance the welfare of police officers and help to ascertain the numerical strength of the force.

He said that it was mandatory for all personnel of the force to enrol, noting that it was one of the most transparent systems of payment.


Source: NAN

Friends abducted during birthday freed after ransom payment.

The three friends– Veronica Otogo, Bisola Mohammed and Damilola Oribuyaku–abducted around a creamery in Wuse II, Abuja, have been released after their families parted with some money.

Although the exact amount paid in ransom was not disclosed, PUNCH Metro learnt that the kidnappers collected millions of naira from the families.

It was gathered that the three friends, who were seized on Friday, January 27, were dropped off along Kubwa Road.

Our correspondent had reported that Veronica, who marked her 24th birthday on the Friday, and Mohammed had gone to the creamery – Cold Stone – on Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, around 6pm.

They met with their friend, 29-year-old Damilola Oribuyaku, at the place before they were all abducted.

A car owned by 29-year-old Damilola, was reportedly found near the place with a broken windscreen, which gave an impression that the three friends had met and were abducted at the spot.

Mohammed was said to have travelled from Lagos, where she lives, to visit Veronica in Abuja.

A family friend of Oribuyakus, Alhaja Adeola Agoro, had written on her Facebook page that the assailants demanded $300,000 ransom from the family, a claim Damilola’s sister, Jumoke Oribuyaku, debunked.

She had written, “…The abductors are demanding $300,000. Engr. Oribuyaku is a hard-working man who has built his businesses with clean money. He doesn’t have that kind of money.

“Please, join us in praying for the safety of these young people in the hands of these criminals. May God let us find them alive and in one piece…”

Jumoke, who spoke with PUNCH Metro on the telephone on Tuesday, said the victims called with their phones, which were given to them when they were released, adding that they were found by the roadside on Sunday.

“Damilola is still in a hospital. He was not injured; he is having a checkup. He didn’t offend anybody. They (the kidnappers) were just looking for money,” she added.

Asked the sum collected from the family by the abductors, she said, “I can’t tell you how much they collected. I am not going to say anything about that.”

Veronica’s elder sister, Geraldine Otogo, said the victims were given some money by their captors after releasing them, adding that a Highlander driven by Veronica that day had not been found.

She said, “They were found on Sunday and they are fine. They were dropped off along Kubwa Expressway.

“They kept on asking for money; nobody responded, and they could see there was so much pressure on them. They just released them, gave them money and let them go. For now, nobody has been arrested.”

When requested to speak with the friends, Geraldine said, “I am not with them now; call me in two hours’ time.”

However, subsequent calls to her line indicated that the line was not reachable.

The Police Public Relations Officer for the FCT Command, ASP Anjuguri Menzah, had yet to reply to a text message sent to his phone.


Source: Punch

South African Airways to suspend Abuja operations during runway repair

South African Airways yesterday said it plans to suspend its Abuja operations during the six weeks period of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport runway repair.

The Guardian learnt that the airline, in a letter to the authorities, said the measure became imperative following its decision not to fly to Kaduna Airport, designated to serve all Abuja-bound aircraft during the closure.

The implication of the temporary suspension of operations is that passengers of the airline can only board in Lagos and contend with limited flight options, while paying more for travel expenses.

President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bernard Bankole, warned that allowing the airlines to suspend operations would be a bad omen for the sector, with effects lasting longer than the six weeks duration.

Bankole said instead of South African Airways and other foreign airlines suspending operations, the Federal Government should rather divert foreign traffic to Lagos, while domestic operators go to Kaduna airport.

South African Airways said its last flight into Abuja would be on March 6, while the Federal Government will close the airport on March 8.

It was gathered that the airline has already sent the notice of its position to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. The letter to Sirika, from South African Airways by its Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Aaron Munetsi, said the operations to Abuja would resume on April 18, 2017.

According to Munetsi, “SAA commends the Nigerian authorities concerning the planned repairs of the NAIA runway. However, due to network and fleet operations planning, SAA regrets to advise that the airline will suspend its Abuja operations with effect from 6th March until the 18th April, 2017,” the letter read in part.

The airline said it would be in constant touch with the Nigerian aviation authorities as the repair work progresses in order to establish its readiness for revised operations in accordance with its work schedule.

President of NANTA, Bankole said that the civil unrest in Kaduna worries the foreign airlines and their affiliated travel agencies, leaving none satisfied with the security provision of the Federal Government.

He said it would not augur well for the international carriers to divert to Kaduna. And to prevent them from suspending operations, the option of diverting foreign airlines to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, should be considered.

In his words, “The international carriers will not joke with the lives of their passengers. Most of the airlines arrive at night and will not risk night travel by road anywhere in the country.

“The danger of them leaving us for six weeks is much. With the way airlines run, they will not take off their plane and allow it idle for six weeks. Rather, the planes will be redeployed to other routes and they may just not come back to Nigeria.

“Instead of loosing the slots and carriers, it is better to allow them fly to Lagos in the interim, while domestic airlines partner with the foreign ones to redistribute their passengers to Kaduna and other places,” Bankole said.


Source: Guardian

Abuja council workers unpaid for four months – Staff

Staff of Kuje Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have decried non-payment of four months’ salary arrears owed them by the council.

Ibrahim Kabi, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Kuje Chapter, who spoke on behalf of the workers, appealed to the council chairman to pay the arrears.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Kuje that non-payment of salaries had exposed the workers to hardship.

“We understand that the present administration incurred a lot of liabilities from the past administration, but there are measures that can be taken to address the situation.

“Some workers received their October salary last year, while some are yet to receive three months salary.

“We demand that four months’ salary be paid to the workers to alleviate their sufferings,” Mr. Kabi said, adding that workers’ welfare was paramount in the development of any organisation.

The NULGE chairman noted that though execution of development projects was necessary in every administration, it should not be to the detriment of workers welfare.

“The monthly allocations are reasonable enough to ensure that salaries and other allowances are paid to workers.

“If salaries are paid as at when due, I think by now the council chairman should have paid all arrears and allowances owed workers,” he said.

Reacting to the concern raised by the NULGE chairman, the chairman of Kuje Area Council, Abdulahi Galadima, appealed to the workers to exercise patience, saying plans were under way to pay salary arrears owed them.

Mr. Galadima, who stated that his administration inherited huge financial liabilities from the previous administration, assured that he would do his best to address all the challenges facing the council.


Source: NAN

REPORT: What Went Down At The #IStandWithNigeria Protests

Today marks the somewhat beginning of the #IStandWithNigeria protests which has become one of the most publicized civil protests after #OccupyNigeria in 2012.


There were several stumbling blocks which made so many Nigerians doubt the eventual possibility of the protests. Recall that some days ago, Tuface Idibia who was the face of the protests backed out at the very last moment. However, that and the subtle threats by the Police did not deter Nigerians from trooping out in their hundreds to protest against bad governance.


People trooped out in the early hours of Monday morning in Lagos to converge at the National Stadium in Surulere while those in Abuja converged at the Unity Fountain to later move to the Aso Villa with placards, chanting anti-government songs and slogans.


Heavy police presence was seen at Gani Fawehimi park, Ojota, Lagos as protesters were prevented from gaining access to the park to gather and protest.


Despite the huge presence of security forces in strategic locations, Nigerians were not intimidated from carrying out their civic rights by making public their disdain for bad governance.


At the moment, protesters in Lagos have started leaving from National Theatre, Iganmu, after being addressed by Charly Boy, Seyi Law, others. Organizers thanke the police for providing security while it lasted. Protesters mill out and head their separate ways.


While in Abuja, the protesters are back to Unity Fountain, leaving behind the pro-Buhari group who also came out to show support and loyalty to the government.


Reports reaching us has it that Port Harcourt protesters were ‘not allowed’ to converge. According to Channels Television, police dispersed protesters in Port Harcourt, making it impossible for them to gather — or even protest.


While in Ibadan, Femi Aborisade, human rights activist and lawyer, addressed the crowd as protesters in Ibadan, Oyo state, started their march at the University gate and ended it in Bodija market.


Only time will tell how impacting the protests have been.


And from the outlook of today’s protests, according to Charlie Boy, “Nigerians will march again in March”.

BREAKING: Pro-Buhari groups take to the streets to protest in Abuja.

Two groups comprising those in support of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and those demanding a better deal from the government are currently at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.


Those protesting against the current economic situation are under the aegis of #ISTANDWITHNIGERIA, while their counterparts are of the Buhari Volunteer Network.


The pro-government group says it is out to sensitise the populace on the achievements of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.


But Chidi Odikalu, former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, who is on the side of those protesting against the current economic situation, said he was at the Unity Fountain to demand good governance.


More to follow…

Why I stopped going to Abuja – Governor Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has explained that he stopped going to Abuja in the last four months due to the ‘excessive prevalence of lies’ at the Federal Capital.Speaking while flagging-off the second phase of the reconstruction of Port Harcourt township roads, the governor said,  “The Federal Capital Capital has been enmeshed in political falsehood and deception, which negatively impacts on development.”

According to him, “I have not travelled to Abuja for more than four months because it is a centre of lies. Let them continue to lie in Abuja.“As they suffer economic downturn in Abuja, we shall continue to make progress in Rivers. They lie too much in Abuja, so there is no reason to listen to them. Here, we make promises and we keep to our promises.”

The governor also explained that the second phase of the reconstruction/rehabilitation of Port Harcourt township roads would enhance the economy of the densely populated areas.He noted that his administration contracted Julius Berger Construction Company for the second phase of the project because it believes there is need for durable jobs in the suburbs.

The governor urged the contractor to employ youths from the state capital to be involved as they execute the project. “I am doing this for the township because you people stood by me all through the electioneering period.  This is a symbiotic relationship,” he said.

NAN: Abuja Residents resort to Charcoal, Wood amidst Gas, Kerosene Price Hike.

Some Abuja residents are now using firewood and charcoal for cooking following the astronomical increase in the price of kerosene and cooking gas.

A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in the Nigerian capital on Wednesday revealed that the residents resorted to seeking other options because they could not afford the cost of kerosene and cooking gas.

NAN gathered that some residents have abandoned their gas cookers and opted for charcoal pots, whose prices have also been increased as a result of high demand.

A 12.5kg of gas initially sold for between N3,500 and N4,000 now goes for N6000 to N7000, while 5kg initially sold for between N1,700 and N1800 now goes for N3000.

Also, the price of kerosene per litre has risen to as much as N400 in many markets and other retailers’ outlets.

A resident of Gwagwalada, Juliet Uzoagba , said that with the high price of gas, she could no longer afford the product, adding that she has opted for the use of coal.

She said that she has a large family and cannot cope with buying the gas at N7, 000 which would not last for 2 months.

“I cannot cope with the recent price of gas; the product keeps increasing on daily basis. I have resorted to the use of charcoal and firewood.

“I have enough space in my compound where I can use them. Although it is not convenient for me, I have to manage in order to attend to other family needs’’ she said.

Nelson Odega, a civil servant, said that since January, he has moved from the use of gas to charcoal as a result of increase in price of the product.

He said that initially he was using gas and electric cooker but with the poor state of electricity in the county, he had no choice but to resort to the use of charcoal.

Mr. Odega, also complained that the price of charcoal is gradually increasing as a result of high demand for the product by the residents.

Maryam Abubakar, a house wife, said that the economy of the country has pushed her to the use of charcoal which she would not ordinarily ever think of using.

She lamented the time and energy spent in making the charcoal, adding that it was not convenient and healthy for her.

“I do not like the use of charcoal; it is too stressful and can make the house dirty. But I have no choice because of the economic situation in the county.

“I pray things get better; life has become so hard for many people in recent times. I pray our Government look at the sufferings of the masses and find a lasting solution to it,” she said.

Meanwhile, a check on the price of charcoal shows that the price is still very high as result of high demand.

Pius Ofoegbu, who sells dried fish, said that the price of charcoal has increased tremendously compared to what it was in 2016.

He complained that the increase in the price of charcoal has affected the price of his commodity.

Mr. Ofoegbu said that a bag of charcoal which was sold for between N1400 and N1500 as at 2016 now sells above N2, 500.


Source: NAN

Court orders police to release detained Abuja publisher, Inuwa Bwala.

A Borno State High Court has ordered the immediate release of Abuja based publisher, Inuwa Bwala, who was two weeks ago arrested by the police and detained in Maiduguri for alleged attempted murder.

Justice Hadiza Jos of the Borno State High Court Number 14 said it was unlawful for the police to detain an accused beyond two days without trial.

The judge also faulted the police for detaining Mr. Bwala despite his health condition, saying that the matter for which he was being charged does not warrant such treatment.

The publisher, who was detained alongside his driver, was in court to challenge the police for breaching their rights, for which they are demanding a N2 billion compensation.

Mr. Bwala, a former commissioner for home affairs, information and culture, was picked on his way to his office in Abuja by a police squad deployed from the Borno State command; and taken to Borno where he was detained without trial.

The Borno State police commissioner, Damian Chukwu, said Mr. Bwala was arrested in connection with the attempted murder of the state deputy governor, Usman Durkwa, who was attacked during the 2015 election when he was serving as a commissioner.

Mr. Durkwa was beaten to stupor by a mob that left him unconscious.

Mr. Durkwa sued five persons including Mr. Bwala as those that wanted to kill him.

Mr. Bwala, who insisted that he was not in his hometown, Marama, when the attack on the deputy governor was carried out at the place, denied the allegation.

The health condition of the former commissioner, a diabetic, reportedly relapsed while he was locked up in the police cell and denied access to his medication.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the lead council to Mr. Bwala, Zanna Hamza, said the publisher and his driver, Muhammed Audu, are asking the court to compel the police to release them, apologise and grant them a N2 billion compensation for damages.

“The application was filed on the 24th of January, 2017 and it was taken on Friday, because it was an exparte”, the lawyer said.

“And then this morning Her Lordship granted order ordering the police to release the applicant, that is Inuwa Bwala and his driver, Muhammed Audu, pending the hearing of the originating of the originating summon which is for 7th of February, 2017”.

“The applicants are seeking to impose their fundamental human rights. The police went to Abuja and bundled him and his driver, they brought him to Maiduguri, and put them in a police cell, they denied him access to his medication, because he is diabetic and hypertensive.

“While in their custody, Mr. Inuwa’s hypertensive state shot up to over 200 plus; while his diabetic symptom went to 8 plus.  He was almost collapsing, when the police doctor rose alarm that ‘this man will die in our hand; lets rush him. They took to the state specialists hospital, they said there was no bed space, and then they had to rush him to the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital.

“As we are speaking right now, Inuwa Bwala is still on the hospital bed where he is getting medication, and managing the diabetic crisis, due to the long period of time he could not take his medications, which the police denied him.

“One of the reasons Her Lordship ordered his release was because of his ill health”, Mr. Hamza said.

“We are coming back on the 7th of February for the hearing of the substantive application, and among what we are demanding is a declaration by the court that his arrest and continued detention for this period of time without framing charges was unconstitutional, illegal and null.

“We are also seeking for an apology to him from the authority and also a damage of N2 billion.

Mr. Bwala and his driver, were not in court as at the time the court pronounced the order for the police to release them.


Source: Premium Times

9 Arrested As Police Break Up Shiites’ Protest At National Assembly Complex

The Police and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shia group), on Wednesday, clashed at the entrance of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. Members of the Islamic group had gone to peacefully protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, but were tear-gassed by policemen.


The placard-wielding protesters, in their hundreds, arrived the main gate of the National Assembly Complex singing anti -government songs and calling on the government to obey a court ruling directing the Federal Government to release their leader. Sheikh El-Zakyzaky has been in the custody of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for over a year.


The Police had earlier appealed to the protesters not to proceed beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex, claiming that the rally constituted a threat to the public.


But the plea was ignored, with the protesters heading towards the main gate of the National Assembly Complex while chanting: “Free Zakzaky”.


The rejection of the plea not to take their rally beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex made the Police to literally use tear gas to disperse them.


The protesters responded by picking up expended canisters of tear gas to hurl back at the policemen.  Some of the protesters resisted policemen who attempted to make arrests.


The situation was stopped from degenerating when the police elected to use watercannon to disperse the protesters.

Abuja Light Rail 84 per cent complete – Official

The Acting Secretary of Federal Capital Territory’s Transport Secretariat, AbdulHamid Suleiman, says Abuja Light Rail is 84.33 per cent complete.

Mr. Suleiman made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja on Tuesday.

“The total length of the completed double track as at today is 45.245 kilometres.’’

He said the project was awarded on May 25, 2007 to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation for the final construction of Lots 1 and 3.

He said the cost of the project was $841. 645 million with completion period of 48 months.

“This consisted of approximately 60.67 kilometres of standard gauge double railway track and associated permanent way within FCT.

“In Aug. 2012, due to deficiencies noticed in the estimations, the scope of the contract was varied to $823, 540 million for the final design and construction of Lots A1 and 3.

“The project has attained about 84. 33 per cent completion as at Dec. 2016,” he said.

The acting secretary stressed that the total length of double tracks of 45.245 kilometres has reached 98 per cent completion.

Mr. Suleiman said 12 stations had reached 75 per cent completion, 50 culverts 100 per cent completion, nine pedestrian overpasses had also reached 85 per cent completion.

He said 13 railway bridges were 100 per cent completed, 15 flyover bridges 80 per cent completed, locomotive and rolling stone stock depot also reached 85 per cent completion, communication 67 per cent and signalling at 87 per cent completion.

Mr. Suleiman said “the projected date of the completion of the project is Dec. 2017.

“The feasibility study and conceptual design for the remaining lots 4, 5 and 6 are under procurement.

“These lots are available for concession under a Design, Build and Operate (DBO) basis,” he said.



Nigeria cuts diplomatic relations with Taiwan, closes Abuja office.

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it would no longer recognise Taiwan as a country but rather pledged support for One China.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this while answering questions after a joint news conference with the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.

Mr. Onyeama said Nigeria had withdrawn all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, adding that Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut down and be relocated to Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria has communicated Taiwan and they are moving to Lagos as soon as possible.

“Taiwan will stop enjoying any privileges because it is not a country that is recognised under international law and under the position we have taken internationally we recognise the people of China.

“Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff.

“Chinese Government does not oppose trading with Taiwan as long as there is no formal contact with the Government that will suggest recognition of Taiwan as sovereign country,” he said.

According to him, China does not oppose relationship with Taiwan in the level of trade but not on government to government level.

The minister, however, said that Nigeria was not pressurised to take the decision, noting that the development was a bit of anormally on the side of Nigeria

He said Nigeria recognised the People’s Republic of China as country because Nigeria was one the leading African nations that fought for China to reclaim its seat at the UN Security Council from Taiwan.

He said the step being taken was to right the wrong that one could not specifically say how it came.

“It was not very clear how it got into Nigeria system – an arrangement for the Taiwan for a trade mission.

“And in grating the right of the trade mission it did not accurately reflect the nature of relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan,” he said.

Mr. Onyeama said the country took the decision to remove any iota of doubt in the mind of the Chinese people.

He said on the issue of building trust, the international community had embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue.

The minister stressed that Nigeria would adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.

He said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realise the One China Policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well being of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Onyeama, China is one of the countries that have been in full support of reforms in the UN that would see Africa having two seats at the UN Security Council, as such deserved to be supported in her unification drive of One China.


Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, is expected to meet today with the leadership of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association Of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN).


The meeting is expected to trash out disagreement between the unionist and oil companies over staff welfare.


The federal government is mediating on the matter as it did in 2016.


After Wednesday’s meeting, it would then be determined whether to proceed on the strike action as a follow up to the three-day warning notice earlier issued by the union.

Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria ponder flight suspensions over planned 6-week closure of Abuja airport

Foreign airlines are considering suspension of their services over government’s decision to close down Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway for six weeks due to planned construction work.

The Guardian learnt that the option by some of the major European and American carriers was in lieu of the plan to divert air traffic to Kaduna Airport considered as “very unsafe for foreigners.”

And should the airlines carry out their threats, concerned stakeholders said that inbound and outbound travellers would be faced with lesser flight options, hike in fares and loss in revenue to government agencies.

Bankole said instead of foreign airlines suspending operations, the Federal Government should rather divert foreign traffic to Lagos, while domestic operators go to Kaduna airport.

Head of Operations at the Abuja office of a popular European carrier, who preferred not to be mentioned, said their consular office was already working out a better option.

The operator said: “All I can say is that safety is paramount to us and I’m sure it is a primary consideration for our counterparts too. From what I heard from our home country, our aircraft would not fly to Kaduna, come what may.

“In some days to come, the final decision would be taken on the matter. A temporary suspension of Abuja operations is tough, but it will be a sacrifice for the safety of crew and passengers,” the source said.

Aviation Security Consultant, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd.) had said that with the security issues in the northern parts of the country, none of the foreign airlines would want to fly to Kaduna.

Ojikutu said: “For them (FG) to want to use Kaduna for foreign airlines, I have my doubts that the airlines will go there. It is for security reasons. The way security is built in the north is different from how we have built it here.

President of NANTA, Bankole said that the civil unrest in Kaduna worries the foreign airlines and their affiliated travel agencies, leaving none satisfied with the said security arrangement of the Federal Government.

In a related development, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has disclosed government’s plan improve on electricity and fully address power outages in all the Nigerian airports with 2017 budget.

This is against the backdrop of the increase power outages witnessed in most of the airports in recent times, disrupting airline operations.

Sirika said that government was exploring alternative power supply for the airports and ensure improved power generation.

Government urged to regulate ‘greedy’ Abuja Landlords, seeks ban of “2 years rent”.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has been asked to take bold steps to make laws restricting payment of one or two years rent in Abuja by tenants.

The Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office in the office of the Head of Service (HoS), Yemi Adelakun, stated this at the weekend while responding to questions by The Guardian in Abuja on ways to free the civil servants from paying one or two years’ rent to Abuja landlords.

Adelakun said that the FCT administration should take a cue from Lagos State government that recently made such laws in addressing the lingering practice of pre-paid rents.

“The government, through some persuasions, can get landlords to be more humane in their demand of rents from tenants.”

Besides, Adelakun said the success of providing affordable housing to Nigerians primarily depends on availability of land because it constitutes 30 to 40 per cent of the total cost of a house.

He further said: “So, if Nigeria must deliver affordable houses to her teeming population, we have to liberalise the Land Use Act of 1978, make it available to the people or to the various schemes that are coming up daily for mass housing. They could be given these lands at a very low price or even free to serve as government’s contribution to free and affordable houses for the people,

“Land title has also become a major obstacle to quick realisation of affordable houses for the people. There are people who are interested in building or sponsoring affordable housing in Nigeria, but because land titles are not easily available in Nigeria, they cannot support it.”

“Abuja is filled with insurgents”, says arrested Boko Haram suspect.

Usman, a Boko Haram suspect arrested in Utako market in Abuja, has warned of pending attacks in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, saying a lot of “colleagues are out there in the city to unleash mayhem”.


According to a statement by Kinglsey Madaki, spokesperson of the AMAC Marshal, the security agency that “arrested” Usman, the suspect was found at Utako market with a “Qur’an and a chaplet on his neck while trying to lobby people in the market.”

Madaki said AMAC Marshal was recently established by the Abuja Municipal Area Council.


He said the suspect had been handed over to the army at the Mabila Barracks. He called on residents to be watchful every time and report suspicious movements to security agencies to ensure the safety of live and property.


Insurgents have been reported to have fled Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold, following an invasion by the Nigerian army. One suspect was also arrested in Lagos.

DSS Alleges Plot To Disrupt Activities In Abuja By Wike Supporters

The Department of State Services (DSS) has alleged plots by some protesters, suspected to be sponsored by Rivers state governor, Nyesome Wike, to disrupt activities in the Federal capital.
Accordinf to a statement signed by one Tony Opuiyo of the DSS, the Service has “uncovered a sinister plot by the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to disrupt machinery of governance in strategic Federal Government agencies by provoking a violent breach of peace in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, yesterday, 22nd December, 2016.
“To achieve this, the Governor had secured the services of one Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, a Personal aide to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to mobilise some hoodlums to execute their plan.
“The aim of the plot is to cause mayhem, a complete breakdown of law and order and cast the security agencies and the Federal Government in bad light. It is also intended to divert public and international attention from the ongoing Police investigation into the unwholesome role played by the Governor and some of his cronies in the violence that trailed the re-run election in Rivers state which resulted in the gruesome murder of civilians including the beheading of DSP Mohammed Alkali and some of his colleagues as well as the brutalization of INEC staff who failed to do the bidding of the governor.”
The DSS also alleges that “in furtherance of this plot, protesters are to besiege the National Human Rights Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Assembly, the Nigerian Army and Police Headquarters as well as British High Commission, US Embassy and the UN Secretariat, Abuja; all in an effort to raise false alarm that Rivers state was under siege of security agencies during the elections.”


Christmas: Police bans use of fireworks in Abuja.

Ahead of the Christmas and New year celebration, the Police have banned the use of fireworks over security issues in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.


The FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Muhammad Mustafa said the Police Command has put in place adequate security measures that will see to the seamless celebration of the Christmas and New Year.


He called on residents to be vigilant and partner with the Police by reporting all suspicious movements around them to the nearest Police formation or call the command emergency helplines on: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883.


The Commissioner of Police, tasked parents, guardians and residents of FCT to ensure their children and wards do not engage in the use of fireworks and Knock-outs as it ‘creates unnecessary panic, heightens tension and provide a conducive atmosphere for criminal activities.


He said, “All Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers have been directed by CP Muhammad Mustafa to ensure a strict compliance to ban on the use of fireworks and knock-out in the Federal Capital Territory.


“Those arrested for violating the ban will face the wrath of the law.”

36 year old man rapes 11-year-old boy in Abuja

A 36-year-old man, Idris Ayuba, was on Tuesday arraigned in a Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, for allegedly defiling an 11-year-old boy.

Ayuba is facing a charge of unnatural offence.

The prosecutor, Mr. Adeniyi Oyeyemi, told the court that one Kelechi Agba of ECWA church, Kogo, Bwari, reported the matter at the police station on November 29.

He alleged that the defendant called his victim to his room and defiled him.

“Ayuba had sexual intercourse with the boy through his anus,” he said.

Oyeyemi urged the court not to grant the defendant bail arguing that the offence was not bailable.

He said, “The police had refused to grant him administrative bail on the grounds that he will abscond.”

The defence counsel, Mr. Ezenwa Ojum, however, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.

The judge, Mr Umar Kagarko, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100, 000, with one surety in like sim, who must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

Kagarko adjourned the case till March 9, 2017 for mention.

FG to shut Abuja airport for 6 weeks to repair damaged runway – Minister

Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, says the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, will be closed for six weeks between February and March 2017.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Sirika said the closure was to allow Julius Berger carry out total reconstruction on the badly damaged airport runway.

He said while the runway would still be put to use under the six months of rehabilitation, the six weeks would allow the mid-section of the runway to be reconstructed.

Sirika said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the reconstruction through the emergency procurement procedure for work to commence.

This, according to him, is because of the centrality, economy and the importance of Abuja to the general administration of the country.

He said government could not afford to close down Abuja airport for a long time as palliative repairs had been ongoing at the runway in the last three months.

“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway almost throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed,” he said.

“That is when we are going to do the mid-section of the runway. The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for than 10 years on completion early next year.”

Sirika said Abuja-bound passengers from any part of the world would use Kaduna airport as alternative during the six-week closure to passengers.

He said arrangement had been finalised with Kaduna, adding that while the federal government would provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, the state government would provide security.

According to Sirika, it will cost government substantial amount of money “but we think that palliative approach is wrong because three years down we will come back to do the same repairs.

“Therefore, we decided to go for the bigger option, which is to do structural repairs of the runway which will take about six months to complete.”

On the bilateral air agreement with other countries, Sirika said government had signed BASA with 18 countries that Nigerians frequently visit and do business with.

The MOUs, he said, would give Nigeria the opportunity to operate air services with 18 countries.

“With this, we have the freedom to fly and land safely in other air space and this will assist in opening our market,” he said.

Suspected One Chance Dupes Man Of N.2m In Abuja

Some suspected ‘one chance’  fraudsters operating in an unmarked taxi at the weekend duped a man, Solomon Ishaku, of the sum of N235,000 near Karmo forest along Gwagwa road, Abuja.

A witness said the incident happened at about 4:23p.m. when the victim boarded the taxi at Gwarinpa junction on his way to Dei-Dei.

He said the victim, who went to cash the money at a bank in Jabi, boarded the taxi with two other passengers already inside, adding that on his way, close to Karmo forest, one of the gang members removed a pistol and forced the victim to handover the money he had.

“The taxi driver pretended as if his car was faulty when he suddenly stopped at the forest and opened his car bonnet and one of the gang members drew out a pistol which he pointed at him demanding that he handed over that money he went to withdraw from the bank,” he said.

According to him, the taxi driver zoomed off immediately they snatched the money and pushed the man out of the car.
Read more: dailytrust

Truck drivers block Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway to protest N10,000 tax

Protesting truck drivers have blocked the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highways since the early hours of Monday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The drivers are protesting the N10,000 daily tax imposed by the Kogi State revenue Service.

The state government, police and the Federal Road Safety Corps were, however, taking measure to ensure free flow of traffic.

No official reaction yet from the state government but the state police Commissioner, Badulahi Chafe, is currently in a meeting with the leadership of the truck drivers to end the blockade.

One of the motorists trapped in the gridlock, Isaac Ighure, said he had remained on the same spot on the road for over three hours .

Mr. Igure described the development as bad for the state and the country, especially when it is happening few days to Christmas.

The gridlock has stretched to over 30 kilometres as at the time of this report.

The meeting with officials of the truck drivers is holding at the state police command headquarters.

The Police Public Relations Officers, ASP William Aya, who confirmed this to NAN said that the issue would be resolved soonest in order to ease the hardship on motorists and the travelling public.

Aisha Buhari Donates To Christian Community in Abuja

Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, donates some bags of rice and cartons of liquid milk to the Christian community in Abuja for Christmas.


In her address on the occasion, she said that the donation was to support the Christian families of the First Baptist Church in FCT, Abuja.


Aisha Buhari, who was represented by Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice-President, said the kind gesture was done out of passion and love.

Don’t protest in Abuja, Police warn Shiite IMN members

The police have warned the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, not to embark on any protest in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command said it had been informed of a planned protest by the IMN.

The police warned the group to desist from embarking on any protest.

“The attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to the plan by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to carry out mass protest at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja on Wednesday, 14th, December, 2016.

“The Command wants to state unequivocally that the action of the group is illegal as they have neither written to notify the Command of their planned action nor have they secured any approval from the Commissioner of Police go on with the planned protest.

“It is sequel to the above that FCT Police Command is warning members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to immediately stay action on their planned protest or be prepared to be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate sections of the law,” said the statement which was signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Manzah Anjuguri.

Despite court orders rulings that have shown that Nigerians do not need a police permit to embark on protest, the police have always insisted on such especially for protests considered unfavourable to the government in power.

In a reaction to the police statement, a leader of the IMN said the group has no immediate plans to embark on such protest.

The Secretary General of the Academic Forum of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the matter, said his members have not protested since a court ruling ordering the release of the Shiite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

“We took the case to court. And the court ruled in our favour and said that they should release our leader in 45 days. What sense will it make if we start protesting before that time. We have not protested and we will not protest till the 45 days elapses; if he is not released,” Mr. Musa said.

“Although I heard that a group protested yesterday, but I am telling you that we, the Shiite members whom I speak for, have not protested and will not protest now,” he said.

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on December 2 ordered the release of Mr. El-Zakzaky.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered the Nigerian government to release the cleric within 45 days, from December 2.

Mr. El-Zakzaky has been detained without trial since December last year after over 300 members of the IMN were killed by soldiers in controversial circumstances in Kaduna.

N1tn Abuja Land Scam: EFCC Seizes 12 Properties From Bala Mohammed, Son

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized at least 12 properties from a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, and his son, Shamsudeen Bala.

It was learnt on Tuesday that the seizures were part of investigations into a controversial land swap deal carried out by the minister to the tune of N1tn between 2010 and 2015.

“So far, we have seized about 12 properties from Bala Mohammed and his son, who he used in buying many properties. However, this is just a tip of the iceberg because we found out that there are still a lot of properties to be recovered’’, a source in the EFCC said on Tuesday.

“After investigations, we will arraign Bala (ex-minister) before an FCT High Court while his son will be arraigned before a Federal High Court anytime from now, the source added.”

Mohammed, who has been in EFCC custody for over six weeks, is alleged to have entered into some controversial land deals and allegedly gave some landed properties to his cronies for the construction of malls.

The source said, “We have evidence that the ex-minister diverted funds from Internally Generated Revenue. He also gave land arbitrarily to friends without following due process. Some of the land had even been allocated to other people but seized from them unjustly.”

Already, the commission has grilled a former Chairman of Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni, who was also the Chairman of ASO Savings & Loans Plc over the purchase of the N7.5bn ASO Grove Estate at the Maitama area of Abuja by the bank through the ex-minister.

Read More: punchng

El-Zakzaky: Protest In Abuja Over Court Judgement

A group of protesters stormed the Abuja division of the Federal High Court  against the judgement  of Justice Gabriel Kolawole that the detained leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky be released unconditionally.
Operating under the umbrella of the Coalition on Good Governance and Change Initiative (CGGCI), they aggrieved protesters condemned the judgement describing as  “a dangerous precedence would have on law enforcement, security, anti-terror fight, terrorism, extremism and secessionist movements in Nigeria.”
 National Chairman of the group, Okpokwu Ogenyi, said the judiciary has dealt a fresh blow to the future of Nigeria by legalizing terrorism while leaving the rest of the people at risk of losing our lives.
Ogenyi who described  the judgement as ridiculous, wondered how the judge could order the release of a person believed to be a security risk to the society through his extreme brand of foreign-backed Islamic radicalization programme.
“Nigerians are ever ready to do the needful in safeguarding the future of our dear nation and hence would demand that Justice Kolawole be investigated by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
This could have only been in keeping with fulfilling obligations entered into for less than honourable considerations even as we cannot rule out a judiciary that is taking its pound of flesh from an executive arm that has exposed the sleaze on its soiled bench.
“If the entire judiciary has activated its vendetta against the security agencies that they see as the executive arm, the precedence set by Justice Gabriel Kolawole took things to the ridiculous by awarding N50 million of tax payers’money to finance IMN’s radicalisation programme while also asking that the police further deploy its personnel to protect a man whose sect members would invariably kill like they had killed soldiers and policemen in recent past.
This judge also failed to realize the weight of his utterance that has basically ordered the government to build a new headquarters for a proscribed group – we do hope he will keep himself on the bench for when other terror groups approach to demand for the government to build them headquarters.
“The house demolished in Gyellesu, on which the directive to build a new one for this demagogue, originally belonged to Alhaji Ismail Gwarzo the DG NSO under late General Sani Abacha. El-Zakyzaky was given the seized house by Gen Abdulsalam because people of Babban Dodo had at time also rebelled against IMN occupation which made them to burn his initial hub after he was released from another arrest for insurrection.”
The group said Justice Kolawole had murdered sleep with his ruling adding that he did this confidently because security agencies under obligation use taxpayers’ money to protect him and other judges who do not know the magnitude of the threat that terrorism poses to citizens.

Aggrieved workers chase Julius Berger officials

Aggrieved workers of Julius Berger residing at Berger Camp, Kubwa, on Thursday, chased out a team of security personnel sent by the management of the company to disconnect utility services in the camp.

Kenneth Ekekwem, one of the leaders of the workers, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the security team was led by Ojo Samuel, security supervisor in Julius Berger.

He said that Mr. Samuel drove into the camp at 8 a.m. in a white Golf Julius Berger car (JB B2741) to remove electrical installation including refuse bins used by workers living in the camp.

Mr. Ekekwem told NAN that representatives of the workers on Wednesday met with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition.

“We went there to defend the petition we sent to the committee; the management of Julius Berger was also there.

“The committee ordered that Julius Berger should stay action on its plan to eject the workers today (Thursday).

“It also ordered Julius Berger to cancel whatever action it intended to carry out today; members of the committee say they will visit the camp by 12 noon on Monday next week.

“The committee directed that the Managing Director of Julius Berger should also be at the camp.

“The committee said it will look into conditions in the camp and condition of the workers residing in the camp.”

Mr. Ekekwem said that the workers were shocked when they saw a crane belonging to the company, a refuse van and two articulated vehicles drive into the camp as early as 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“The vehicles were driven to the Generator House to disconnect and remove electric parts including transformers.

“One of the transformers was donated by Bwari Area Council, but Julius Berger management refused to connect it for our use.

“The transformer currently in use in the camp was bought by the workers who contributed N5,000 each,” he said, adding that the workers mobilised and chased the drivers and their vehicles from the camp.

Mr. Ekekwem said that when the workers prevented Mr. Samuel and his team from cutting off their electricity supply, he went to the Nigeria Police Mobile Unit to report that there was riot at the camp.

“Officers of the mobile police immediately rushed to the camp battle ready, but they met us sitting peacefully.

“We told them we are not rioting but fighting for our right; they left and urged us to remain peaceful.

“We called and informed Musa Dikko, the Bwari Area Council (chairman), who immediately dispatched the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his team to the camp.

“We told the DPO and his team what transpired and they also urged us to remain calm and peaceful,’’ Mr. Ekekwem added.

NAN recalls that in 1999 the management of Julius Berger sacked 7,200 workers without paying them their terminal benefits.

On June 16, this year, the Coordinating Secretary of the workers, Sunday Gbangbala, told NAN that the workers approached an Abuja High Court which gave judgment in their favour.

Mr. Gbangbala added that dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the management of Julius Berger approached the Court of Appeal and also lost the case.

“The matter is already at the Supreme Court which is yet to deliver its judgment.

“On June 13, 2016, Julius Berger approached a Wuse Magistrates’ Court to evict us from our apartments, but the court ordered the company to maintain the status quo,’’ Mr. Gbangbala said.

On November 23, a delegation of the workers visited the chairman, National Human Right Commission to file a petition.

Their visit coincided with the visit of members of the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights to the commission.

Edward Pwajok, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, promised that his committee would investigate the issues raised by the protesters.

“It is not proper for people to treat Nigerian workers in our country anyhow; we will ensure there is justice in this matter.

“We came here to see what the commission is doing and coincidentally met this issue of foreign companies treating Nigerians with impunity.

“Thank God we are in a democracy; we will fight this cause on your behalf; I urge you to remain law abiding Nigerians.

“You are here to seek redress and redress you shall get,” Mr. Pwajok assured.

BREAKING: Ex-Minister, Bala Mohammed, gets bail

An Abuja High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed.


Mr. Mohammed was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on October 24, on allegations of fraud.


He remained in the custody of the commission despite an earlier administrative bail granted him by the EFCC.


Justice Hussein Yusuf had on November 25 adjourned hearing of an application for Mr. Mohammed’s bail.


The former minister’s lawyer, Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday that the court granted the application.


“The bail was granted this afternoon, with the same conditions in the administrative bail. He is expected to produce two sureties; who must be of the directorate cadre in the Nigerian Civil Service.


“They are also expected to have landed properties in Abuja,” said Mr. Uche.


Efforts to reach the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, to confirm the bail and whether the commission would release Mr. Mohammed once the conditions are met, were unsuccessful. His telephone line was switched off.


Mr. Mohammed was Abuja minister in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.


Sources in the EFCC had told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission is investigation several petitions accusing the former minister of hundreds of billions of naira land fraud while in office.

National Carpentry & Furniture Summit Set To Hold In Abuja Dec 17

In a concerted effort to address the current unemployment challenges in Nigeria and to reposition the carpentry and furniture industry, Dazzle Carpentry Training Limited leads the industry to host the first NATIONAL CARPENTRY Camp, FURNITURE SUMMITS (NACAFS) in the Capital City, Abuja, Nigeria under the supervision of Africa’s leading event and business promotion company Azariah Transnational Synergy limited.

Speaking with the convener, Oji Chukwuemeka, he said the summit, which is the first of its kind in Africa, will provide veritable platform for industry enthusiasts, practitioners, stakeholders, government and its relevant and regulatory agencies to meet and explore relationships that will reposition the industry in Nigeria and thus provide job opportunities for Nigerian youths which is one of the goals of the platform.

He further stressed that the summit will create opportunities for the most important exhibitions in the wood, furniture and furnishings industry: office furniture, home furniture, Industrial furniture, kitchens and bathroom furniture, upholstered furniture, furnishings, lighting fixtures and equipment, woodworking machinery, major appliances, textiles, doors, components, manufacturers, architects, lighting designers, consultants, engineers, hospitality industry professionals, government officials, international entities and more with the sole purpose to promote efficient Carpentry and furniture innovations.

He reiterated that the National Carpentry and Furniture Summit will offer a unique program of plenary and knowledge sessions designed to shed light on the latest development in the furniture and carpentry sector.

He further assured that the summit will give all the practical resources needed to be up to speed with the latest trends in the carpentry and furniture sector, make practitioners’ business even more competitive, and facilitate companies’ expansion into new markets in Nigeria.

The National Carpentry and Furniture Summit 2016 is committed to promoting the Nigerian private sector and offers fortunate participants the unique opportunity to share the vision and experience of very high-profile contributors who are on the cutting-edge of woodwork, furniture and carpentry business issues while providing a platform for exhibition for industry practitioners.

He also highlighted the objectives of the summit as follows; Amongst other desirable achievements such as improving the economy of Nigeria, providing job opportunities and creating enabling environment for SMEs.

He states that the summit will be: “1. A birthing place for advanced applications of technology and innovation to Carpentry Camp; furniture practices.

“2. A meeting point for professionals and start-up entrepreneurs to engage in the pedalling of ideas and create useful interactions that will further position the sector in Nigeria.

“3. A place of unique understanding for investment in carpentry and furniture sector.

“4. A first step in exposing the opportunities in the carpentry camp; furniture sector in Nigeria and campaign for quality and innovation in the sector to encourage local and international patronage

“5. A platform to showcase the creativity and innovation of Nigerian carpenters and furniture practitioners to investors in Africa and around the world.”


Reps orders FCT to stop demolishing small shops in Abuja

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, to commence the review of Abuja master plan to reflect the current social, economic and demographic realities.

The House also urged the Minister to direct the FCT Development Control to stop the demolition of small and medium businesses within the capital city, pending the outcome of engagement with the House Committee on FCT.

The resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Rep. Nnenna Ukeje (Abia- PDP).

Moving the motion, Mrs. Ukeje said UN report a said that between 2000 and 2010, Abuja experienced 139.7 per cent growth, making it the fastest growing city in the world at a population of 3 million people.

According to her, further annual growth of 35 per cent due in part to urban drift, migration due to insecurity, economic and social migration has left the population of Abuja hovering at about 6.5 million people, projected to hit 10 million in 2018.

She said “there have been repeated calls for review of the Abuja master plan as stipulated, to reflect present day realities as the present situation has ambushed the city’s dream.

“Certain deviations to the original plan such as NNPC plaza, military barracks, Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Asokoro express way, drainage infractions in Apo area have significantly altered the Abuja master plan.

“These remain unchecked as they have been explained to be expedient at the time.

“We watch with dismay as small and medium businesses become focus of demolition exercise,’’ Mrs. Ukeje said.

She expressed concern that figures released this week by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country was moving from recession to depression following consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The lawmaker said that the Federal Government needed to create 30 million jobs to cater for the teeming population.

The House mandated its Committee on FCT to engage the Minister of FCT and relevant agencies of the ministry and report back to it in two weeks.

Touts have hijacked collection of taxes, levies in Abuja – Reps

Nigerian lawmakers on Thursday raised alarm over indiscriminate collection of taxes and levies by unscrupulous individuals across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, warning undiscerning residents not to fall prey to swindlers.


These dubious elements, the lawmakers said, have taken over the role of FCT Internal Revenue Service and now parade themselves as genuine staff of the tax collection office.


The awareness was contained in a motion of urgent national concern raised by Emmanuel Oker-Jev at the resumed plenary Thursday.


Mr. Oker-Jev, from Benue State, said fraudsters have been collecting revenues from Abuja residents for several months.


The lawmaker said the crooks have become so brazen in their rackets that they now write tax and levies invoices to residents. In some cases, those who fail to pay bills are being thrown out of their property by the touts.


Mr. Oker-Jev said the perpetrators of the brazen illegality are exploiting a 2015 approved list for tax collection around the nation’s capital to carry out their trade.


“The act pretends an affront on the FCT Inland Revenue Service Act and Tax Laws of the Federation,” Mr. Oker-Jev said in his prepared motion.


Other lawmakers who contributed to the motion blamed the FCT revenue office for failing to set up additional departments recommended by the House for collection of taxes and levies, giving the touts an opening to impersonate revenue officers.


Speaker Yakubu Dogara ruled that the motion was adopted and urged the House’s FCT Committee to find out why the city’s revenue office did not implement previous resolutions by the House on the matter.


The committee is expected to submit its report within four weeks.


In the interim, the House passed a resolution for residents around the FCT to disregard taxes and levies from the questionable individuals.

President Buhari returns to Abuja after Malabo summit

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday night returned to Abuja from Malabo, Equitorial Guinea, where he participated in the 4th Africa-Arab summit.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Buhari while in Malabo participated in the opening ceremony and working session of the Summit, on Wednesday.


NAN reports that during the summit, Nigeria and other African countries received a pledge of $2 billion from the Kuwaiti government to fund key development initiatives in agriculture, youth empowerment, education and support to fight terrorism.


Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, confirmed this development in a statement.


“At the 4th Africa-Arab Summit, jointly organized by the African Union Commission and the League of Arab States, the Kuwaiti government said the amount would be released to African countries as soft loans to promote the development of the continent.


“The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) will release one billion dollars for the support of the fight against terrorism, youth empowerment and boosting agriculture, while another one billion dollars will be for strengthening educational systems in Africa,” he said.


The statement said Kuwait had in 2013 made similar facilities available to some African countries “to diversify their economies, particularly in sectors that directly impact the lives of citizens.”


President Muhammadu Buhari led the Nigerian delegation to the summit, which was attended by African Heads of State, and prominent leaders from the gulf.


NAN reports that Morocco and some Arab countries staged a walk-out of the fourth Africa-Arab World Summit in Equatorial Guinea in protest against the presence of a delegation from the Polisario Front, a group seeking the independence of Western Sahara.


Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Yemen as well as Somalia also left the one-day summit in solidarity with Morocco.


Morocco had made an official request to rejoin the African Union (AU), more than four decades after leaving the union in protest against the membership of Western Sahara.


“The country withdrew from the AU in 1984, when the mineral-rich and sparsely populated Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), commonly known as Western Sahara, was accepted as a member.”


The Kingdom of Morocco, however, officially submitted a request to accede to the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act, and therefore, become a Member of the Union.


Morocco annexed Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in 1975.

Nigeria to deploy 150km/hour locomotive on Abuja-Kaduna rail

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, says the corporation will soon deploy a 150 kilometre per hour locomotive on Abuja-Kaduna rail gauge to meet passengers’ demand.

Mr. Okhiria, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Abuja, said engineers were currently in China for the final factory acceptance test.

He said once the design specification was confirmed by the engineers, the corporation would start making arrangements for its shipment and subsequent deployment.

According to him, the second locomotive for the rail line is also expected to be on track in the next two weeks since the engineers have also gotten the parts.

He added that “very soon, we will get the 150km per hour locomotive being shipped, engineers have just gone for the final factory acceptance test.

“We received information that it has been done and for the second locomotive that is coming in the next two weeks, we will put them on track.

“We are proactive, some of my engineers are already in China and they are going to come back with the pack for the second locomotive next week,’’ he stated.

The NRC boss said that railway stations were always far from the heart of the cities to allow people to move closer to the station in order to help create and expand the city.

He noted that the measure was to avoid demolishing people’s houses and paying compensation, adding that the out of town station encouraged development of towns and cities.

According to him, it is advisable to locate train stations away from city centres, saying the old Kaduna station that is now in the city was originally outside the city.

“However, within the next two years, the station you called out of town would be a major centre of activities.

“It is always like that because we don’t want to demolish houses because we cannot pay money for compensation.”

Okhiria said Nigerians had accepted the railway system, especially the Abuja-Kaduna line, adding that there had been continuous increase in passengers traffic on daily basis.

He assured that more locomotives and coaches would be deployed to the rail line in the coming year for passenger service, noting that NRC was developing the freight angle.

A passenger, Halima Saidu, a businesswoman based in Kaduna, commended the corporation for effective service on the Abuja-Kaduna line.

Ms. Saidu, who said she was travelling on the train for the first time, described the train movement as smooth and fast.

She called on the Federal Government to develop more of the kind of Abuja-Kaduna rail line in every state for easy movement of people.

According to her, if more railways are provided, the pressure on the roads will reduce and the number of road accidents will also reduce.

Innocent Ajiji, the Deputy President, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, who also rode on the train, said it was smooth to ride on light rail unlike the narrow gauge train.

According to Mr. Ajiji, it is faster and it moves smoothly because it doesn’t make a lot of noise like the narrow gauge train.

“If Federal Government can change the system into standard gauge, I think we will have a better rail system,’’ he said.

Abuja, Lagos new terminals to take extra N5bn – Sirika

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has faulted the locations of the new terminals simultaneously under construction at two of the busiest airports in the country, describing them as wrongly sited.

Sirika, who was short of describing the projects as a waste of fund, said the new terminal in Abuja alone would require the sum of N5billion to sort out the mess created by the error in location.

In a related development, more stakeholders have bought into the plan to have airports in the country concessioned to private investors for improved efficiency and profitability.

The minister, who spoke to stakeholders earlier in the week, explained that the current administration was almost at a dilemma on what to do with the terminals at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed International, Lagos.

This may not be unconnected with their obstructions of other facilities at the two airports. While the terminal in Abuja is directly blocking the control tower and fire station, that of Lagos is sitting on heavy cables that are servicing the entire area.

Recall that the last administration approved the construction of the two terminals, along with two others in a 2003 China and Nigeria loan deal, put at $500million. The projects are handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and ought to have been delivered since March 2015.

Sirika, who was clarifying the status of the Lagos new terminal, said the terminal is part of a loan of $400 million from China and $100 million counterpart funding from Nigeria.

He said: “The Abuja terminal that is nearing completion is blocking the control tower and fire service station. Because it has been built, we need to knockdown the N3billion-worth of control tower and also knock down the fire station, which will cost about N2billion. Same problem with the Lagos terminal that is sitting on heavy cables. That is the situation we have found ourselves.

“If I have that $500 million, I will use it to develop the Murtala Muhammed Airport as hub of aviation in Nigeria and West Africa,” the minister said.

Also recall that the international terminal at MMIA, Lagos, had lately been experiencing power outages, which the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) kept blaming on construction work at the nearby new terminal.

But while the government continues to mitigate effects of the terminals’ poor siting, more stakeholders, except the workers’ unions, have continued to queue behind efforts to reposition the aviation sector, primarily centred on airport concession.

Concession will concede the operation of the airport to a private entity under an agreement with the government.

Latest to endorse the plan are industry players like veteran pilot and Managing Director (MD) of Aeroconsult, Capt. Dele Ore, MD of Med-View Airlines, Muneer Bankole, and his counterpart at IRS Airlines, Ishiaku Rabiu Ishiaku.

Ore, who led the flurry of buy-ins, said that Sirika is now listening to what they had asked for years and quite commendable.

His words: “We can see that you (Minister) are looking at the recommendations that we have made in the past and are implementing it, but it is not being done totally and we urge you to go back and look at our recommendations and totally implement it.”

Bankole, who looked at it from the aspect of service provision, said all that the airlines wanted was good service and if it takes concession of facilities to achieve it, then so be it.

“In my capacity and on behalf of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), all we want is service. I speak on behalf of my colleagues. Most of us have been out of the country and know what entails in terms of service delivery.

“We do not get that kind of service here because of the way things are. We need to let you all know that out there, service is provided and if it would take concessioning of airports for us to get the kind of service that would make us at par with others then by all means concession because the status quo is nothing to write home about,” he said.

Ishiaku, on his part, said that the concession plan was an opportunity for Nigeria, as a country, to finally get it right.

He noted that aviation has moved ahead of the country in leaps and bounds, adding that concession, to address the infrastructure deficit, are the way to go, as only then would the country take its place among the comity of aviation nations.

A Public Private Partnership (PPP) expert, Dr. Chukwuma Katchy, however, attributed the failure of previous concession agreements to lack of proper knowledge on how such agreements work.

Katchy observed that some of the concessionaires, who are in the private sector and saw the knowledge-gap on Nigerian side, were smart enough to write the terms of agreement that in most cases favoured them on the long run.

NDLEA seizes 5,000kg of cannabis in Abuja.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Friday said it had seized 5,000kg of a substance suspected to be cannabis sativa.


The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Peter Adegbe, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja said the seizure was made in Abaji.


Agbede also said some traffickers and two trucks conveying the substance were also arrested.


He said the traffickers and the trucks were heading to Kano and Jos through Abuja when they were arrested on Tuesday.


According to Adegbe one Ubale Hashim, driver of one of the trucks and Sanusi Ibrahim, his conductor were arrested with 80 bags of sativa cannabis popularly called Indan hemp, weighing about 734.7 kilogrammes.


The second truck laden with about 3,750 compressed sativ?a cannabis weighing about 3,934 kilogrammes was impounded after the occupants abandoned on sighting the agency’s officials.


He said that about 872.7 kilogrammes of the substance was also been seized by the command’s team at Gwagwalada in October as part of the onslaught on drug traffickers, especially at this time of the year.

Man abducts his friend’s 5-year-old son to sell in Abuja.

A 42-year-old farmer accused of child trafficking was paraded on Wednesday by the Benue state Police Command.


The suspect, identified as Unogwu Agbese, was arrested after he abducted his friend’s five-year-old son, to sell off in Abuja.


Parading the suspect in Makurdi, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu said: “The father of the abducted five-year-old, Emmanuel Edeh at Apa-Agila reported the case to the police.


“He had reported that his son was, last week, abducted by his friend from the village and taken to Abuja without his parents’ consent.


“However, he ran out of luck and was arrested and the child recovered from him unhurt.”


After much interrogation, Unogwu confessed that he abducted his friend’s son to sell but returned the boy to his parents after he could not find a buyer.


He said: “The boy is my friend’s son. I actually took him to Abuja to sell him, but I couldn’t find any buyer or anyone that could connect me to a buyer. So I brought him back to the village and his parents arrested me.”


Also, a 41-year-old man, Raphael Igye, who claimed to be a pastor, was arrested for alleged human trafficking.

Police says device found in Abuja not bomb, begins seizure of Okada, Keke.

The FCT Police Command has said that after its investigation, it has discovered that what was found around Jabi Lake on Thursday was not a bomb.


ASP Anjuguri Manzah, Police Public Relations Officer, in a statement said findings by the Command Explosive Ordinance (EOD) unit reveals that the device in question was an ultra sound flow metre used in measuring the volume of water that passes through a pipe.


“The device was deployed by a team of engineers handling the Federal Capital Territory reduction of non-revenue water project.


“The Commissioner of Police FCT, CP Muhammad Mustafa enjoins residents of the Federal Capital Territory to discard the rumours and go about their lawful businesses as the Command has put in place adequate security measures to protect them.”


Meanwhile, the Command has warned violators of the ministerial ban on the operation of Commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (keke Napep) in the City centre to desist forthwith.


It said All Divisional Police Officers in the Command have been directed to arrest all violators of the directive and prosecute them accordingly.


“The Command also wants to remind passengers on ministerial ban on the operation of motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (keke Napep); they are also warned not to encourage the violators of the directive by patronising them.”

“Sugar Mummies” In Abuja Decry Discrimination By Society

Some women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday criticised discrimination by the society on their decision to marry younger men, why applauding the men for doing similar act. Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, some of the women alleged that they have been discriminated, judged and labelled “Sugar mummy” for their decision to marry men they were older than.

Mrs Esther David, a businesswoman, said she was five years older than her husband, who is also into the same provision business with her. David said her decision to marry her husband was borne out of love, admiration and respect she had for him, and not because she was desperate to get married as alleged by some persons.

“Our society tends to judge women negatively for marrying younger men, even if that relationship was born out of love and respect for each other. “But the same society see nothing wrong if a man marries someone that he is old enough to even be her grandfather,’’ she lamented.

According to her, she faced a lot of challenges from her in-laws due to their age differences before she was fully accepted as his wife, despite performing the traditional, Christian and even the court wedding. Similarly, Mrs Bose Ade, a mother of two, said even though she was eight years older than her husband, whom she has been married to for over a decade, said it does not change the love, affection and respect they had for each other.

“At first, it was very difficult for me to accept his marriage proposal because I was far older than him with over eight years.

“But I was later convinced by his persistence and support from his family that he was not dissuaded by our age differences,’’ Ade said.

However, she added that even though she was accepted by her in-laws she still faces discrimination due to their age differences from some of his relatives and the neighbourhood they reside. According to her, she ignores all those subtle attacks on her person, urging other women that are facing similar challenges to ignore gossip and concentrate on building their home.

“I don’t have problem with my in-laws, it is just some distant relatives of his and people in our area still gossip and call me names like old woman, and all sorts because he looks younger than I do.

“I choose to ignore them and make sure I exhibit love and affection for my husband just to spite them,” she said.

However, Miss Fatima Musa, an unemployed graduate said she cannot marry a man she was older than because the society would see her as “desperate’’ and she would not get the respect she deserves from him. Musa also added that women naturally look older physically than the men, so the age difference between an older woman and her much younger husband would be too glaring, particularly when the woman starts giving birth to children.

“Women naturally look older than men. So if you marry someone younger in age, one might end up looking like his mother or elder sister than his wife, especially when she starts bearing children,’’ she said.

On his own part, Malam Idris Samaila, said there was nothing wrong in a woman marrying a man she is older than, as long as mutual trust, respect and love was between them.

“Age is just a figure that people put so much emphasis on. It does not matter if a woman is older than her husband or the husband is older than the wife as it is commonly practiced in our society.

“The main issue we should be concerned about is how to build our homes within the tenets of our religious believes, as well as sharing love and understanding.’’

Samaila said the fear of marrying a younger man by some women, whom feel the age difference might bring disrespect between them, was uncalled for, as respect was earned and not deserved.

“When some people claim that marrying a younger man would make him disrespectful to them in the future is a flimsy excuse because I have seen instances, where a matured man marries a younger one like his daughter’s age mate and she still does not have respect for him.’’

He therefore appealed to the society to shun any form of discrimination against men or women, who marry much younger spouse and encourage the sanctity of marriage within the religious or traditional belief so as to reduce the rates of illegitimate children in the society.


Police discovers suspected IED near Abuja shopping mall.

Report reaching us has it that the Nigerian Police anti-bomb squad, just found a parcel suspected to be an Improvised Explosives Device, IED, under the Jabi bridge, near the Shoprite shopping mall, Abuja.


Access road to the bridge has now been blocked, while police operatives are redirecting commuters.

The Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, Don Awunah, could not confirm the report when contacted because he was not on seat.


“I’m currently not available. I traveled for a burial, but I will get back to you after I establish contact with the FCT Command,” Awuna said.


Details later…

“I will find a national assignment for you in Abuja”, Buhari tells Oshiomole.

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Benin City, commended outgoing Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for a job-well done, assuring him that the rule All Progressives Congress (APC) would find an important national assignment for him when he leaves office.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said Buhari spoke at the Palace of the new Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, shortly before he embarked on the commissioning of several projects in the state.

The statement quoted the president as saying that the country would be the loser if the APC failed to utilise the people’s governor’s wisdom, skill and energy.

“It will be a pity to waste his energy by him retiring. I hope there will be a higher assignment for him to do more for the nation.

‘‘I congratulate the governor for his hard work; Oshiomhole is a hard working governor. We will need his services in Abuja.

‘‘Thank you for inviting me, most especially during this time in the country.
‘‘You have served two terms and you are about to leave. You deserve a place in history. I hope the APC will look for a place for you because your service for the country is far from over,’’ the president said.

Buhari also congratulated the Oba for successfully ascending the throne of his ancestors and extended the support of the Federal government to his Royal highness in his bid to improve the lives of Edo people.

The Oba in his speech, expressed delight on the president’s visit, noting that it was the first since his recent coronation.

‘‘We believe this is a sign of better things to come. I appreciate your contribution to my coronation,’’ Oba Ewuare II said.

The royal father who commended the president for appointing Edo indigenes into positions in government appealed for the establishment of an export and import processing zone for agro-allied industries in the state.

He said the venture would stimulate the nation’s economy and create jobs.
After paying homage to the Oba, Buhari who is on two-day working visit to the state, inaugurated the renovated Central Hospital in Benin.

The medical facility which was established in 1902, was rebuilt by the state government under Oshiomhole.

At the event, Buhari praised the state-of-the art facility rebuilt by the Governor, noting that he had the choice of using the available money for his comfort by building a new government house but he opted for a hospital to help the people.

President Buhari also inaugurated the Upper Siluko Road in Benin City, which he described as “no ordinary type of road.’’

The president inspected the Queen Ede Gulley erosion site and inaugurated the Samuel Ogbemedia College rebuilt to ‘world class standard.’

Buhari commended the quality of infrastructure built by the outgoing Governor, noting that the history of Edomaruse state will not be complete without his name.

Rivers ALGON alleges plot to move fake result sheets printing suspects to Abuja

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in Rivers State, has alleged plots by the Rivers State Police Command to transfer the suspects arrested in connection with the alleged fake election result sheets printing syndicate to Abuja.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of ALGON in the state, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, who made the allegation while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the motive behind the plot is to water down the allegations against them and release them.

Nwanosike said, “We are aware that there are pressures to transfer the matter from Rivers State Police Command to Abuja, to enable them water down the evidence and release the suspects.

“As ALGON, we have met and looked at all the issues and we insist that the matter cannot be swept under the carpet. We call on the Commissioner of Police to know that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

“No matter the pressure from Abuja, he must do justice to this issue that has to do with the will of the people of Rivers State. Emma Chinda, the former commissioner for Agriculture under former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, does not have immunity. Dakuku Adol Peterside, the director-general of NIMASA does not have immunity.

“The commissioner of Police should arrest them immediately. Let the public see that they were arrested, investigated and tried. We, the people of Rivers State are saying, enough is enough. We want these men arrested.”

I Need Oshiomhole’s Services In Abuja– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will find an important national assignment for the outgoing Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, when he leaves office.
Buhari said this yesterday at the Palace of the new Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Nku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, before he embarked on the commissioning of several projects in the state.
He said: “It will be a pity to waste his energy by him retiring. I hope there will be a higher assignment for him to do more for the nation. I congratulate the governor for his hard work; Oshiomhole is a hard working governor. We will need his services in Abuja.
‘‘Thank you for inviting me, most especially during this time in the country. You have served two terms and you are about to leave. You deserve a place in history. I hope the APC will look for a place for you because your service for the country is far from over.”
Buhari also congratulated the Oba for successfully ascending the throne of his ancestors and extended the support of the Federal Government to his Royal highness in his bid to improve the lives of Edo people.
The Oba expressed delighted on the president’s visit, noting that it was the first since his recent coronation.
‘‘We believe this is a sign of better things to come. I appreciate your contribution to my coronation,’’ the royal father said.
The Ewuare II, who commended Buhari for appointing Edo indigenes into positions in government appealed for the establishment of an export and import processing zone for agro-allied industries in the state.
Buhari who is on a two-day working visit to Edo commissioned the renovated Central Hospital in Benin. President Buhari also commissioned the Upper Siluko Road in Benin City,  inspected the Queen Ede Gulley erosion site and commissioned the Samuel Ogbemedia College rebuilt to ‘world class standard.’
Credit: dailytrust

Recession: FCTA to create 10,000 jobs by 2020.

In line with one of the cardinal policies of the present administration, which is job creation and poverty reduction, the FCT Administration said that one of its targets is to create 10,000 jobs by the year 2020.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the entrepreneurship and skills development programme, organised by the administration in conjunction with the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in Abuja at the weekend, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said the gesture would reduce the high rate of unemployment and minimise the level of poverty in the territory.

According to him, “As an administration, our target is to create 10,000 jobs by the year 2020. In creating these jobs, we will support our people to generate wealth; thereby reducing the high rate of unemployment and minimizing the level of poverty in the territory.

“This stand is also in line with one of the cardinal policies of the government of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, which is Job creation and Poverty reduction.”

Represented by the managing director of the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Tukur Arabi, Bello also reiterated the commitment of the administration to improve the living standards of the residents of the territory by creating jobs and providing the desired enabling environment.

The minister who noted that the importance of the programme, stressed that empowering the citizens with relevant vocational skills would ensure that they gain technical know-how to operate their businesses and entrepreneurial skills.

The minister said that the training given by the facilitators whose in-depth knowledge in the various fields of entrepreneurships development have been imparted into the participants in the last two weeks will go a long way in making the beneficiaries to be productive in their respective trades.

Earlier in his remarks, the managing director of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Dr. Shettima Aji–Ali, said the foundation was established in 2009 by friends, relations, associates and well-wishers of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Premier of the defunct Northern Region and Sardauna of Sokoto in collaboration with governments of the 19 northern states of Nigeria to promote the exemplary ideals and legacy of the late sage.

Dr. Aji–Ali on behalf of the board of trustees, advisory council and the management of the foundation, thanked the FCT minister for being one of the great supporters of the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation and the smooth take off and success of this training.

Zakzaky’s followers teargassed in Abuja.

The police on Wednesday released tear gas canisters while preventing followers of Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), from gaining access to the federal secretariat in Abuja.

Members of the Shi’a sect, who embarked on a protest, displayed placards with inscriptions such as ‘Free Zakzaky’, ‘PMB’s Change Mantra Genocide and Crimes’.

They also chanted solidarity songs.

In a statement signed by S. Ahmad, coordinator of the group in the federal capital territory (FCT), said despite the arrest of Zakzaky and “gruesome human right violation”, the movement still remained peaceful.

“The world is aware of the gruesome murder of over one thousand brothers and sisters of the IMN under the dynamic leadership of his eminence Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky by the Nigerian army between 12th to 14th December, 2015,” the statement read.

“In the attack, many were burnt to death including a biological sister Shaikh Zakzaky and his nephew. Worst still is that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were shot several times and incarcerated while legal proceedings to gain his freedom is being frustrated by government.

“Despite this gruesome human right violation, the brutal crackdown on innocent citizens, the arrest of Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and hundreds of other brothers and sisters, destruction of properties, perpetrated by the Nigerian army in Zaria under the watchful eyes of the government and the propaganda instituted by army and the government, seeking to cover up their crime against humanity, the movement still remain peaceful and chooses to follow legal processes.

“The 1999 constitution expressly gave citizens the right to worship and association. In addition to that there are other regional and global protocols guaranteeing such rights.

“We can recall that brothers and sisters of the movement give the highest blood donation in Nigeria. The NBA awarded Shaikh Zakzaky for that. Why the massacre of peaceful students and Nigerian citizens despite their profound contributions in the country?

“The academic forum of the IMN hereby calls on the national assembly to facilitate the immediate and unconditional release of the ambassador of peace, Shaikh Zakzaky, his wife and other brothers and sisters detained unjustly in Kaduna and Plateau states including primary school pupils and a university female lecturer.”

Man Begins Trekking From Lagos To Abuja To Support Sheriff

A trekker, Muhammed Isa, 32, has once again embarked on a walk from Lagos to Abuja in solidarity with the Ali-Modu Sheriff’s Peoples Democratic Party faction.

Isa, who started the walk from Berger footbridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, told newsmen before departing at about 9.12 a.m. that youths of the party support Sheriff as the Chairman.

“I am on solidarity trek from Lagos to Abuja to show my support and the support of youths to Sheriff as the authentic national Chairman of PDP,’’ he said.

The  internal leadership squabbles had factionalised PDP with Alhaji Ahmed Markafi leading the other.

Isa, a graduate of Psychology, claimed that the youth felt that Sheriff was the best person to manage the affairs of the party.

“I want to make something clear, Ali-Modu Sheriff is someone who is honest and listens to grassroots politicians; he has been working tirelessly to ensure that PDP regains its lost glory.

“This is the type of person we need as a leader to move the party forward,’’ he said.

The indigene of Borno said he hoped to finish the trek within 23 days.

“I have already planned my journey, I will be trekking from morning to evening, wherever dusk meets me, I look for an accommodation there.

“After morning prayers, I will resume trekking,’’ he said.

Asked about the security measures he has in place, Isa said he had none but believed God was with him.

“I believe with Allah on my side, no evil will befall me because I am not doing something that is bad or injurious to the country,’’ he said.

Isa also trekked when former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat on March 28, 2015 President Muhammadu Buhari.

Then, he trekked from the same Berger area of Lagos to Abuja with the reason that Jonathan made a great sacrifice for the unity of the country.

“The fact that I am a Muslim does not mean that I should not celebrate Jonathan for the sacrifice he made for this country by accepting defeat.’’

Isa, who expressed optimism that he would meet the President and present him an award then, however, said that “if I did not see him, I don’t care.

“If I die on the road, I still believe that I die for what is right,’’ he said during the trek that began on May 6.

Credit: NAN

Scammers impersonated police officer, duped victims in Abuja.

The police on Thursday arraigned three men before a High Court in FCT, Abuja on a six-count charge bordering on impersonation and advanced fee fraud popularly called 419.

Stanley Onwuka, Henry Ushi and Moshood Stephen allegedly impersonated Donald Onwuma, a Police Public Relations Officer attached to the peace keeping unit and duped unsuspecting civilians and police men.

They allegedly collected various sums of money electronically from civilians and police officers with a promise to send them to police foreign mission in Sudan.

They all pleaded not guilty to the offence.

The Counsel to the first defendant, Mr Benjamin Nwanokenye, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail because the offence was bailable.

But, the prosecuting counsel, Mr David Igbodo, opposed the bail, citing public interest.

He said that there was cause to believe that if granted bail the defendants would commit another offence.

“Their statement of account before the court shows their antecedent as that account was opened to defraud Nigerians because they do not go to the bank but use ATM to collect the money.”

Igbodo argued that although bail was at the discretion of the court, the court was enjoined to exercise the discretion judiciously.

He also said that Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 spelt out what the court should look out for in considering bail.

The prosecutor urged the court to refuse bail and rather order accelerated hearing of the case.

Justice John Tsoho ruled that it would amount to mere speculation for the prosecution to say that allowing the defendants their liberty would make the society unsafe.

“There is room for revocation of bail when it is breached rather than to out rightly refuse it based on speculative fear.”

Tsoho granted only the second defendant, Ushi, bail in the sum of five million and one surety in like sum because only he had served his processes on all counsel.

He ordered that the surety must reside and own a property in the FCT and must be willing to submit the title of the property to the court if need be.

He also ordered both defendant and surety to provide two recent passport photographs to the court in addition, Ushi should deposit his travel documents with the court.

Tsho adjourned consideration of the bail application for the other defendants and continuation of trial till Nov. 7.

Why I’ll Embark On Another Trek For Buhari, Man Who Trekked From Lagos To Abuja Explains

Abuja- Mr Suleiman Hashimu, who trek from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 general elections, is to embark on another trek for the president.

Hashimu, however, said on Friday that this time around, he would not use his legs but vehicles in touring the 36 states and FCT.

He said he wants to showcase the achievement of the president so far.

“I will be embarking on another trek for President Muhammadu Buhari. This time, my trip is with a vehicle, not my usual trekking. I would tour the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“This is to showcase achievement recorded by this administration so that they will appreciate the achievements recorded so far. “President Buhari has achieved a lot in security and anti-corruption crusade. People that are untouchable in this country are answerable to the law of the land.

“Another big achievement recorded on Thursday was the rescue of the 21 of the over 200 kidnapped Chibok school girls. This is no doubt a great achievement.

“I will like to tell Nigerians to continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve all the promises he made during his campaign for the presidency,’’

Read More:

Shiites to storm Abuja over detention of El-Zakzaky

Group under the aegis of Save Zakzaky Life group has said that following the expiration of a two week ultimatum given to the federal government to release its leader, it will now storm the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and stage a peaceful protest to demand the immediate release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

Recall that the group had issued a two week ultimatum followed by a one week ultimatum for the federal government to release its leader or they will storm Abuja in peaceful protest.

According to a statement released by the national coordinator of the group, Bashir Marafa, yesterday, the group said, “We would now storm Abuja in millions, for a peaceful and well organised protest and sit around.”

The statement reads in part, “Two weeks back, we had given an ultimatum to the Nigerian government, under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, to release our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, who has been in detention since nine months back, with his wife Zeenatu, while his children as well as over thousands of his armless followers were massacred by the Nigerian army unjustly.”

Additionally, over 200 of his followers are still in detention in Kaduna prison.

“We can recall, immediately after the massacre, and the sporadic shooting against Sheikh Zakzaky and his arrest, he has been in DSS detention until now, several calls were made to the Nigerian government by well meaning individuals, within and outside Nigeria, to release him, since the DSS testified that he is not guilty whatsoever. According to them, they are only given him protection against some people attempting to harm him.

“As we always enquire: why has the Nigerian government failed to release Zakzaky, since it testified through its agent DSS that he is not guilty? Why has this injustice persist against him, despite the fact that, he is desperately in need of absolute and complete special medical care? Why is the Buhari “Junta” government interested in the continued detention of an illustrious Nigerian citizen, peace lover, with sense of humanity and foresight? Why is Zakzaky being humiliated in such a way that his children were shot dead at his presence?

“Indeed, it seems the massacre of Zakzaky’s followers, killing of his six children within one year by the Nigerian army, and the destruction of his Hussainiyya, his house and many more, are calculated and well planned by the Nigerian government with zeal to fulfil the mission it co-sponsored against him.

“Even though, Sheihk Zakzaky’s life group of Nigeria were pessimistic from the beginning of the ultimatum given to the Buhari government that the allies within the government would never restore to justice, yet we thought Buhari in person, as the Nigeria’s master propagandist will think twice, and release him unconditionally since he is not guilty, so that he will rush for an immediate perfect medical attention. Unfortunately as the ultimatum expires today, (Monday, 3th October), there is no sign of his release.

“At this point, Shaik Zakzaky’s life group would find a suitable time, to storm Abuja in millions, with our children, in what we call: A peaceful and well organized protest and ‘sit around’, we will never leave the city until our leader is released. Moreover, we are extending invitation to local and international human right organizations, human rights activists, media, as well as all other individuals with sense of humanity and love to witness and observe a peaceful move, to save the life of our oppressed leader.

“Let us at this juncture make it clearer that; Sheikh Zakzaky, for almost 40 years of his struggle to salvage humanity, has never taught violence. He is a peace lover. He thought peace, love of humanity and gave helping hands to the communities among others.

“So, as millions of his followers are coming into Abuja, we are not violent people, we are armless, our protest and ‘sit around’ is peaceful. We are Nigerians, and we have the right to show our grievances and concerns in peaceful manners.

“The police, soldiers and all other security agencies should take note. They should never harass, or intimidate us. Our slogan is free Zakzaky, our mission in Abuja is to seek the release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. Nothing, but that!”

Shi’ites Threaten To Occupy Abuja If Zakzaky Is Not Released In Two Weeks

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) under the umbrella of the ‘Save Zakzaky’s Life Group’ has threatened to occupy Abuja in thousands if their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky is not released.

The group in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Malam Bashir Mafara also accused the Buhari-led government of conspiring with foreign and international allies to wipe out the movement.

The group further observed that there is a deliberate and calculated delay by Nigerian Government to release Zakzaky, who has been in detention without trial since December 2015, after the clash between the Nigerian Army and the IMN.

He added, “at this point, SHAIK ZAKZAKY’S LIFE GROUP OF NIGERIA, after a carefully and sensitive analysis,  has realised that,  Buhari’s government is deliberately frustrating the life of Shaik Zakzaky in custody, with its worrisome hidden agenda; if not,  why not release him to go for a proper medical examination; why not take him to the court of law; why are you violating the rule of law?”

The group called on President Muhammad Buhari’s government to release Zakzaky unconditionally within two weeks from today, adding that, “at the expiration of the deadline and without the release of Zakzaky, members of the movement including men, women and children, would storm Abuja,  Nigeria’s capital,  for a peaceful and well organized “SIT AROUND”, and we would not leave until our leader, Zakzaky is unconditionally released.”

Credit: dailytrust

Man Walks Naked to Earn N10,000 Bet in Abuja

Many residents of Kabayi, Maraba area of Abuja were left stunned when a man, believed to be in his 30s, was seen walking about naked solely to earn N10,000.

According to a report by Daily Trust, the man whose identity drama is yet to be disclosed, started attracting attention when he decided to prove to his friends that he could do anything for money.

It was further reported that after being challenged by his friends, the man accepted the challenge and stripped himself of all clothing materials to walk about naked.

An eyewitness reportedly said: “I couldn’t believe it but it is real. I saw people running to have a
glimpse while others, maybe scared, stayed away.”

After the parade, the man reportedly got his N10,000 prize money and walked away even as residents watched him in dismay.


Source : Pulse

Details of Salkida’s arrest at the Abuja airport by the DSS

The Department of State Services has arrested Ahmed Salkida, a journalist, who was declared wanted by the Nigerian Army last month.

It was learnt that Salkida was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday afternoon shortly after his flight landed.

The suspect, who is based in Dubai, is one of the three persons declared wanted for their alleged link to Boko Haram.

Salkida, a female lawyer, Aisha Waliki; and Ahmed Bolori were declared wanted by the military after Boko Haram released a video showing some of the Chibok girls it abducted on April 14, 2014.

A security operative, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, said, “When we declared him wanted, he said he was willing to return to Nigeria but only on the condition that we send him a flight ticket.

“His Nigerian passport had expired but the Federal Government instructed the Nigeria Immigration Service not to issue him a new passport because he could run away after getting the passport. So, he was given an Emergency Travel Certificate, which allows the holder to travel only to his country of citizenship.

“With nowhere to run to, he had no choice but to return. So, immediately he boarded the plane from Dubai, we started waiting for him at the airport.”

It was learnt that the suspect had been taken to the office of the DSS, where he would be debriefed.

It was unclear if he would be transferred to the Nigerian Army’s custody.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said that he had not got any information that the Directorate of Military Intelligence had arrested Salkida.

He promised to call on the development whenever he got information on the issue.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 1,500 members of Boko Haram have surrendered to Nigerian troops in the troubled North-East.

Investigations revealed that some of the Boko Haram members surrendered to troops at Buni Yadi, Yobe State, last week while others surrendered at various battle fronts in Borno State.

It was learnt that those who surrendered to security forces recently were over 700, bringing the total number of those who had surrendered between April 2015 and August 2016 to 1,500.

The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the figure on Monday, had earlier said 800 of the insurgents surrendered to security forces in April 2016.

Abubakar said the 700 insurgents, who surrendered recently, were undergoing security profiling and documentation.

He said the military was encouraging the Boko Haram fighters to abandon their struggle and surrender to security forces.

Abubakar said, “In the North-East, the operation is going on well and so many Boko Haram fighters have been suffering.

“For now, over 1,500 have surrendered to troops. It used to be 800 but because of the increasing number of those who are surrendering, we have over 1,500.

“I believe so many of them will come out too and we are encouraging them to come out, they shouldn’t continue to suffer.

“We are encouraging those who are still hiding to come out and abandon their unholy struggle. They are undergoing proper security profiling and documentation.”

“We Shall Take Up Arms If The Government Tries To Displace Us Again” – Abuja Indigenes

Ten years ago, Bala Iyah and his family left their home in the Nigerian capital of Abuja never to return. He says the Nigerian government forced him and hundreds of families to leave their ancestral homeland.


They resettled in another neighbourhood of the capital, Kpaduma. There was no running water and no electricity, but Iyah and the others had to make the place habitable.


We were never compensated [for our land],” the 49-year-old farmer says. “[The government] just told us to go, and that’s why we are here now.


Iyah and the Kpaduma community dwellers are among the indigenous people of the Nigerian capital. Nine ethnic groups, numbering at least a million, claim Abuja as their ancestral homeland.

Abuja was designated as the new Nigerian capital in 1976, replacing Lagos, which had become highly congested and over-populated. It was considered an ideal alternative because of its central location and the fact that it did not belong to any of Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa-Fulani. As such, it was perceived as a neutral area that wouldn’t cause any unrest.

Bala Iyah, a 49-year-old farmer, says Abuja is his ancestral land

Not a no-man’s land


But thousands of the original inhabitants of Abuja were displaced to make way for the construction of Nigeria’s new capital. Many of these people are angry at the way the only home they’ve ever known has been portrayed as a “no-man’s land”.


Under Nigerian law, the government can revoke land ownership from its citizens. Abuja indigenes say they are frustrated by what they see as an injustice.


After pressure from the residents of Kpaduma, the government provided them with electricity, which, according to locals, is intermittent. Open sewage runs through their yards, and rough dirt roads rise and fall on the crevices of rocky hills.


There is no hospital, the primary school is falling apart and the community is pleading with the government to build a secondary school. The community’s older children must trek several kilometres outside of Kpaduma to attend the nearest secondary school, crossing busy roads en route.


At least three youths from Kpaduma have died this year in road accidents on their way to school. Iyah says that the number of children in Kpaduma who have been hit by cars in the past decade is too many for him to remember.

‘Ready to take up arms’


Abuja indigenes pride themselves on their non-violent culture. They refer to themselves as a “peace-loving people”, but say that their ongoing displacement means they must become more aggressive in their protests.

It’s now clear that the federal government has never given attention to unarmed citizens,” says Yunusa Yusuf, the spokesman of the Coalition of the Federal Capital Territory of Indigenous Groups.


Now, our people have sworn due to the continuous marginalisation, deprivation and exclusion from the government, our people are ready to take arms if that is the only solution for dialogue.

Five Injured In Abuja As Police Breaks Traffic Rule

No fewer than five persons were seriously injured on Monday in an accident that occurred when a police bullion van driver broke traffic regulation.

A witness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the accident occurred on Sani Abacha barracks road involving a police vehicle’s driver.

He said the driver of the police bullion van, “roforce” number NPF 2647D, Agada Daniel of the police FCT commands, allegedly drove against the traffic.

“The driver of the bullion van decided to take one way and with the rate of his speed, it rammed into an Abuja painted taxi marked Kaduna, DKA 601XA.

“As a result of the speed, the driver collided with the oncoming vehicle; another painted taxi driver,’’ he said.

He said four of the injured are staff of the Halogen security company in Area 3, FCT.

According to him, driving against the traffic has become norms for the police and the military, mostly on Maraba axis.

“It is so unfortunate that the law makers are the law breakers in this Country,’’

Read More:

President Buhari Reopens ABUJA Airport Runway After Renovation.

The federal government has reopened the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the landing of all kinds of aircraft.


The minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who stated this yesterday, while inspecting the airport, said the runway was opened after the successful completion of the renovation work that had been going on there.


While calling for the return of full business to the airport, the minister noted that with the completion of repairs in the airport, the runway was now open for any kind and size of aircraft to land.


He, however, lamented that the airport runways, which were constructed in 1982 and meant to last for 20 years, were over stretched, and emphasised the need for a second runway which would serve as alternative in the times of repair.


Nnamdi aziikiweee abuja airport


The minister, while speaking on the challenge of aviation fuel, noted that, “I’m sure you are aware that the country is in trying times and part of the challenges that affects aviation as an entity and a business, as a means of transportation is the recent challenge that we are having on aviation fuel popularly known as Jet A1.


“The minister of petroleum is here and he is making every effort and he is on his way to certain negotiations to ensure that the product is very much available for our country and for our use.


“I thank the president and the country for giving us the opportunity to head these aspects of our national calling and I thought it is wise to use this medium to appeal to users and operators within the industry for the situation we find ourselves in. It is not only squarely on the shoulders of the ministry petroleum, they are doing their best to discharge their responsibility but some of the challenges are also domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria for the scarcity of foreign exchange and that is also being addressed and the CBN governor is doing his best and what affects us also, we are doing our best.


On the way forward, the minister of state, petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu said, “like you know, we have substantially liberalised the sector and in fact, the importation of Jet A1s products are largely in the hands of the private sector, it is not really an NNPC driven thing but given the situation that we find ourselves, we are doing all that we can.


NNPC is doing all it can and the new GMD is working round the clock on this and I am doing all that I can to look at countries where there are immediate availability of JET A1 to just solve the intermittent problem.


“Long term obviously, we are also looking at repairing some of our Jet fuel producing facilities in the refinery and I know that the GD refining and the GMD are working hard to do this. We are trying to put funds to do that quickly but we should be able to try and get solution to this very quickly so that at least we can sort it out in the short term period while looking at the systemic issues of funding, logistics, and all that and seeing how that is impacting on private sector ability to deliver Jet fuel A1. So we are working collaboratively on this.”

Buhari Approves Funds For Abuja Airport Runway

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved funds for the repair of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, runway.

The Federal Government said the repair would be handled by local contractors after the conclusion of a bid process.

The runway, which was designed and built in 1982 and expected to last for 20 years, is yet to witness any repair about 34 years after it was designed.

Speaking in Abuja after an inspection of the runway, Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika said: “Government has responded and Mr. President has approved that funds be released for major repairs in the interim before a complete overhaul and rehabilitation of the runway is carried out.

“We have gone to BPP and sought their approval to short-circuit the system to address this national emergency. They have given approval and we have invited local contractors we can mobilise quickly to the site to carry out the repairs. The contractors that were invited include but are not limited to Julius Berger, PW, CCECC, Dantata and Sawoe, CGC, Reynolds and CRGC.

“The contractors came and were given access to the runway; they carried out research, inspected with a view to bringing their quotation from which we will select the best that can give us the best to restore the runway to a good degree that it can be used before major repairs and overhaul would be carried out.”

The minister noted that the repairs will give more strength to the runway.

Credit: Nation

President Buhari Officially Commissions ABUJA-Kaduna Railway (Pictures)



abujakad rail 1




I am delighted to be here today to commission the Abuja – Kaduna railway track and flag-off the Abuja-Kaduna train services (Passengers & Freight) on Nigeria’s first ever Standard Gauge Rail track to go into operation. This project was conceived by a previous administration, started by the last government and I am pleased to complete and commission it.


2. It is on record that between 1963 and early ‘80s, Nigeria had a vibrant rail system which conveyed agricultural and livestock and solid mineral resources to Lagos and Port Harcourt sea ports from where they are exported to other parts of the world. It is our vision and hope that those good old days will soon be back with us and indeed in a more prosperous way with the restoration of rail transport system which today’s occasion symbolises.


3. The construction of the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge rail track commenced in 2009 and happily, sixteen years after, we are on the threshold of presenting to Nigerians a Standard Gauge Railway Train Service that will be safe, fast and reliable. The Abuja-Kaduna train service will provide the much needed alternative transport link between the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna State, a corridor which has a huge potential for industries, agricultural activities and a growing labour force.


4. The Minister of Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and his team have put great efforts in the last few months to ensure the successful completion of this project under this Administration. Completion and Commissioning of this project is indeed in keeping with our vision of bringing about the desired change to make life easier for the generality of Nigerians through the development and provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure.


5. In this regard, I wish to assure Nigerians that most State capitals and major commercial and production centres will be linked with railway system as a way of bringing about rapid socio-economic development and improving the quality of life of the Nigerians and promoting social & regional integration.


6. Furthermore, I wish to also reassure Nigerians that due attention will be placed on pursuing the 25-Year Strategic Railway Master Plan which is aimed at rehabilitating the existing 3,505km narrow gauge rail line and developing and constructing new standard gauge rail lines across the country.


7. As we celebrate the symbolic return of rail service today I wish to reiterate the commitment of this Administration to pursue with greater vigour and determination rehabilitation and construction of other rail lines including the major Lagos-Calabar and Kano-Lagos lines.


8. As we get down to work, I look forward to flagging off many more lines outlined in our transport policy programme.


Thank you, and safe journey to all our travelers.


See some of the pictures at the commissioning below:


abujakad rail


abujakadunarail buhari




bukola amaechi


Buhari in train

Sheriff’s Removal: Abuja High Court Never Gave An Order

Facts have emerged that the Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Valentine Ashi last Wednesday never gave an order for the removal of the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as it only nullified the 2014 PDP Constitution Amendment.

Besides, the National PDP Chairman was not joined in that suit which according to a top member of the PDP, Dr. Christopher C. Ousala who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday said  Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff still remains the National Chairman of the Party as the High Court Ruling has nothing to do with him or his position as National Chairman of the party.

He said:  “Ali-Modu Sheriff is not a party in the said suit, neither was his name mentioned anywhere in the ruling. There was no consequential order in that ruling to warrant the attendant insinuations as the law does not take implied effects on people”.

According to him, the court merely voided the processes leading to the amendment of the PDP constitution in 2014, while Sheriff’s emergence was not covered by the amended section of the constitution in 2014 but the PDP constitution of 2012.He said that if there was any procedural error in introducing new clauses or amendments to existing ones, the court would only void the new amended version not the entire constitution of the PDP of 2012.

Given an insight of what happened, he said a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere had some time ago, taken the party to court to challenge the 2014 PDP Constitution Amendment. He said nowhere in the suit is Modu Sheriff joined or his name mentioned and that it is a misnomer to impute that “Sheriff has been removed  as he is not part of the case”.

Credit: Leadership

Abuja Centenary City Project Will Stimulate $18bn Investment- Senate

Senate committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has revealed that the Centenary City project initiated in 2014 by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan will stimulate $18 billion foreign and domestic investment and, also, create 250,000 jobs.
According to a report of the committee, which probed the legality or otherwise of the project and signed by its chairman, Dino Melaye, due process was followed in the allocation of land for the project, as well as other sundry issues.
There have been allegations and counter-allegations over claims that the allocation of the 1,264.78 hectares to the developer of the Centenary City project, Centenary City Plc, did not follow due process.
Following the uproar, the Committee on FCT, convened a public hearing where the various parties involved, including the FCT Administration and Centenary City Plc testified. The committee’s final report, a copy of which was obtained, indicated there had been a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding and misconception about the project.
“There is no gain saying the economic benefits are huge, the social benefits immeasurable, and the political benefits cannot be imagined.”
“We make bold to say that agencies of government should endeavor to come to terms with the fact that governments do not “supervise” private sector projects; government only regulates them. To discourage a project of this nature for any reason is a great disservice to the nation,” a part of the report said.

Credit: Sun

Nigeria Police Launch Forensic Lab In Abuja

The Nigeria Police Force has set up a forensic laboratory and digital resource center in Abuja to aid the activities of its criminal Intelligence and investigation department.

The facility, which include technologies for identification of crime suspects through features like the Iris and facial recognition, possible identification marks, multiple and extended finger prints, among others, are aimed at hunting down hoodlums, armed robbers, kidnappers, and their likes in the society.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, said the establishment of the centre would help the Force tackle the challenge of identity conflict and denial of evidence by suspects in courts of law.

“With this equipments we hope to put in the past instances where suspected culprits deny that statements or evidences they gave during interrogation do not belong to them,” said Mr. Arase.

He added that the facilities, which will compliment the efforts of the forensic department in Lagos, will also make it possible for the force to meet the presidential directive that all data capturing government agencies should harmonize personal information captured before the end of 2016.

“Unfortunately, the Nigeria Police Force has over the years been grappling with week forensic capacity which has been a major factor in our inability to manage complex criminal situations.

“With this systems, the Nigerian police is set to meet the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, to capture and remit to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, all the biometrics of suspected persons arrested by the police.

“It will also put the police in a position to key into the presidential directives that all data capturing government agencies should harmonize and integrate personal identities captured by such agencies, on or before the end of 2016”, Mr. Arase said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

$200 Billion Loot: EFCC Raids Dubai Firm’s Office In Abuja

As part of the ongoing probe of the laundering of over $200billion loot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by former political office holders, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) yesterday stormed the office of a Dubai property firm, The First Group Company,  in Abuja.

The company is also being investigated for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians by luring them to invest in real estate in Dubai.

A prominent Nigerian lost about $402, 000 (N136.6m) in a phony real estate transaction with the company, it was learnt.

Two officials of the company were arrested. They were undergoing interrogation at the anti-graft agency’s office last night.

Some documents and a Central Processing Unit (CPU) containing a list of high profile patrons were retrieved by the EFCC.

The EFCC team raided the company’s seventh floor office at the Bank of Industry building in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after obtaining a search warrant.

An EFCC source said: “Our operatives searched the office as a result of a plethora of complaints received through petitions from concerned Nigerians about the activities of The First Group Company, a real estate outfit incorporated in Dubai (UAE).

“We executed a duly endorsed search warrant and vital documents as well as CPU relevant to the facts in issue were recovered.

“They specialise in aiding and abetting money laundering and foreign exchange malpractices by top civil servants and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).”

The EFCC is working on clues that some former governors, ministers and top civil servants laundered money through the company to buy choice properties in Dubai, using such proxies, including their children and relations.

“Two employees of the company (an accountant and the senior client service/ legal executive) were arrested and are being interrogated,” the source said.

The investigation of the company is said to be in line with the agreement between the Federal Government and the UAE to trace about $200billion loot stashed away in the Emirate by ex-governors and ministers.

The source said the First Group Company was also being probed for allegedly swindling some Nigerians.

“So many unsuspecting Nigerians have fallen victims of their antics by parting with their hard-earned money running into millions of dollars. Investigations into the allegations are ongoing,” the source added.

Under searchlight for stashing funds or acquiring properties in Dubai are seven ex-governors, six former ministers, a former presidential aide implicated in the $2.1billion arms deals, ex-military chiefs under probe, agents / fronts of some of these public officers and about five chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are undergoing interrogation.

Credit: TheNation

Soldiers Arrests 92 Armed Herdsmen In Abuja

The Guards Brigade, Nigeria Army yesterday intercepted a group of 92 herdsmen while attempting to invade the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with arms and ammunition from different entry points, an officials statement said.

The suspected herdsmen, who claimed to be on legitimate movement to some parts of  the FCT, could not explain what the arms and ammunition found in their possession were meant for.

Captain Bashir Jajira, the Guards Brigade spokesman, who issued the signed statement, said the weapons found in the vehicles used by the herdsmen range from pump action rifles to to knives and assorted charms.

According Captain Jajira, “A group of 36 herdsmen in Diana truck and Toyota with registration number ABJ KUj 994 FX and Niger SUL 541 XA were intercepted and arrested at 177 Guards Battalion by Keffi checkpoints.

In the course of investigation by the soldiers at the checkpoint, the herdsmen claimed to be going to Nasarawa local government area of Nasarawa State.

After thorough checking of the vehicles, the following items were recovered: One pump action; 19 cartridges dane guns; 118 Cartridges Ammo; 28 cutlasses; 3 jack knives; 14 sticks; 7 torchlights; Certificate C of O; and assorted charms and hard drugs.

Also yesterday at about 4pm, the Guards Brigade spokesman said another 56 herdsmen were arrested in Dantata, Gwagwalada general area, carrying 26 cartridges dane guns, 49 cutlasses and knives.

When interrogated, the herdsmen said they were on the lookout for those that stole their cows.

Captain Jajiri said the suspects would be handed over to the police for investigation and possible prosecution.

Credit: Leadership

Area Council Polls: Police Restrict Movement In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory commissioner of police, Wilson Inalegwu, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement in the FCT between 7am and 4pm on April 9.

This is contained in a statement by the FCT Police Command spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, in Abuja on Thursday.

The statement said the restriction was to allow free and fair conduct of the rescheduled FCT Area Council elections.

“This is part of the security measures adopted by the Command to ensure safety and security during the elections,” Mr. Manzah, an assistant superintendent of police, said.

The statement said the restriction excluded vehicles on essential duty.

It assured FCT residents that the command had strategically deployed personnel and logistics to provide adequate security during the polls.

The statement further enjoined residents to be vigilant and cooperate with the police and other security agencies by reporting suspicious movements and activities.

NAN reports that the chairmanship and councillorship elections earlier scheduled for March 19 was rescheduled for April 9.

Credit: NAN

Ekiti Lawmakers Storm Abuja, Want Arrested Members Released

Members of the Ekiti state House of Assembly yesterday stormed Abuja the federal capital territory and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Department of State Services (DSS) to release four of their members detained by the service since last Friday.


The DSS operatives had reportedly invaded the state House of Assembly complex in Ado Ekiti and whisked away the four members to Abuja and said to be acting on the order from above.


Briefing newsmen at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, the Chairman, Ekiti House Committee on Information, Honourable Gboyega Aribisogan, said the call for the president to direct the release of the detained legislators has become imperative because the DSS would not embark on such action without presidential approval.


According to him, “Like we have maintained plotters of evil against the government of Ayodele Fayose and by extension the people of Ekiti State will not get our support.


Credit: Vanguard

PPMC Floods Abuja With 186,000 Liters Of Fuel

As a way of rescue to the current fuel scarcity in the country, the management of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, in line with the honourable minister of state for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s effort to provide an effective intervention, has flooded Abuja with 31 high capacity truck loads of PMS- each with approximately 60,000 litres- just as another 25 is expected tomorrow. The 31 intervention trucks that have arrived the city of Abuja have been deployed to areas of need. This became possible following the partnership between NNPC Retail and Capital Oil and Gas. In addition, 150 trucks have been provided by A. A. Rano, Azman, and Rahamaniyya. According to the MD, PPMC Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, these interventionist efforts will continue until the queues dissipate. Furthermore, despite not being a regulator, PPMC has made an extra effort to curb the effect of the fuel crisis on the general public by deploying staff to petrol stations across Abuja for round-the-clock monitoring. It is believed that with these measures, normalcy will return to Abuja and its environs in no time. Motorists are therefore advised for the umpteenth time not to engage in panic buying as this will encourage the activities of hoarders.

Credit: vanguardngr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: PremiumTimes

See Photo Of Gay Couple Whose Wedding Was Disrupted In Abuja

We reported yesterday of the disruption of a gay wedding last Saturday at a hotel in Jiwa Community of Abuja, King’s Land Hotel.

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command gave the names of the couple as Ibrahim Lawal (husband) and Umar Tahir (wife), added that the men were both from Kaduna State.

See their photo below:

Police Disrupt Gay Wedding In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has justified the disruption of a gay wedding last Saturday at a hotel in Jiwa Community of Abuja, King’s Land Hotel.

The FCT Police Command spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent of Police Anjuguri Manzah, said the command received an intelligence report and swiftly moved to the venue of the event to stop the marriage from holding.

He said, “We acted based on the provisions of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act signed into law in 2013.

“We received an intelligence report and acted fast by moving to the venue of the event to stop it.”

Manzah, who gave the names of the couple as Ibrahim Lawal (husband) and Umar Tahir (wife), added that the men were both from Kaduna State.

He said the police were investigating the case and would charge the couple and other persons involved in the ceremony to court.

Apart from the couple, Manzah said the police also arrested some other persons connected to the ceremony.

He said, “We also arrested the sponsors of the wedding and the owner of the hotel where the event was billed to hold.”

In 2013, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same-Sex Prohibition Act.

Parts of the Act read, “A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex: (a) is prohibited in Nigeria; and (b) shall not be recognised as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage.

Credit: Punch

Fire Guts NPC Headquarters In Abuja

A mid-day fire outbreak, yesterday, gutted  the headquarters of the National Population Commission (NPC), in Abuja.

The fire incident which was caused by a faulty air conditioner affected the training unit on the ground floor of the complex.

In a statement signed by Mr Simon Otene, director, public affairs, NPC, at the time of the fire outbreak, technical staff of the commission were undergoing in-house capacity building training.

He said some furniture items, office equipment and personal effects were lost in the fire incident.

Otene however commended the Fire Service Unit of the FCT for their quick intervention which brought the fire under control.

He said fortunately, there was no causality as all the staff were effectively evacuated from the building.

He added that the logistics and operational capacity of the commission to carry out its activities was not  affected by the incident as it remains poised to pursue its constitutional mandate.

Credit: Leadership

Abuja Rail To Commence Operation December 2017 – FCT Minister

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has said that the Abuja rail would begin operation in Dec. 2017.


Bello stated this while receiving the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachichwu, who paid him a working visit on Monday in Abuja.


He said the commencement of the rail operation would complement the present mode of public transportation and reduce traffic gridlock often experienced at peak periods in the Federal Capital Territory.


“The FCT Administration is assiduously working to make the Abuja rail system operational in the last quarter of 2017. When the Abuja rail comes on stream, it will revolutionise the transportation system, as the use of personal vehicles would become unattractive,’’ he said.


The minister said that the rail transportation would also go a long way to create employment for some residents of the FCT.


He, however, called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to build Mega Filling Stations in the six area councils of the FCT.

“Instead of only one earmarked for each senatorial district in the 36 states of the federation, a large population of the territory resides in the area councils and satellite towns. Citing mega filling stations in the area councils will definitely reduce pressure on the stations in the Federal Capital City,” he said.


Bello promised that he would provide good locations in the headquarters of the six area councils for the mega filling stations.


According to him, the FCT administration is prepared to go into partnership with the NNPC by giving it befitting and strategic plots of land for the stations, in exchange for equity share in the business.


Earlier, Kachichwu said the NNPC was planning to construct additional mega filling stations in all the senatorial districts of the country, in partnership with the states.


He said that 15 state governors had already indicated interest by providing plots of land for the project.


He called on the FCT Minister to key into the scheme by making available plots of land for the purpose.




Abuja Satellite Towns To Get Infrastructure As Reps Urge FCT Administration To Make Provision

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration to provide infrastructure in satellite towns and districts being developed around the capital city by private entrepreneurs.

The lawmakers made the request on Wednesday after a lawmaker raised the issue during plenary.

Mr Lovette Idisi said that the rate of infrastructural development in the FCT was not commensurate with the rapid growth in the city, as a result of business activities and massive influx of people into the city.

He said that residents at the areas were subjected to hardships from gridlocks, armed robbery and high rate of taxes, as a result of lack of requisite infrastructure.

Credit: ChannelsTV

How Lassa Fever Reached Abuja, Leaves One Dead

Nigerian health authorities have announced the death of a Lassa fever victim in Abuja, the first fatality in the nation’s capital since the latest outbreak in November 2015.

The minister of health, Isaac Adewole, made the announcement Wednesday evening at the National Hospital, the press director, Boade Akinola, at the health ministry, said in a statement.

The medical director of the hospital, Jack Momoh, who briefed the minister, said the patient was brought in unconscious from a private hospital in Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja, where he had been admitted for eight days.

The 33-year-old newly married lived in Jos, Plateau State, but travelled to see a family member in Kubwa because of his illness. He however died within 24hours of presentation at the national hospital.

The statement said the minister had directed that all primary and secondary contacts of the victim, including the staff of the private hospital in Kubwa, an Abuja suburb, where the deceased was first managed for one week before referral to National Hospital, be tracked.

He also advised that family members should report at the nearest hospital if anyone has fever for more than two days.

The minister, however called on the residents of Abuja not to panic but to maintain high level vigilance and present themselves for test if they feel unhealthy or they feel symptoms of Lassa fever which include high fever, stooling, tiredness, vomiting, etc., adding that self-medication should be avoided at this period.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Man Jailed For Wandering Around The Streets Of Abuja

A Kado Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced a 27-year-old man, Sunday Vincent, to three weeks imprisonment for public nuisance.

The judge, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, however, gave Vincent an option to pay N3,000 fine and warned him to desist from committing any crimes.

The convict, of no fixed address, was convicted for wandering around the streets and gave no satisfactory explanation on what he was doing.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Zeerah Doglass, told the court that the convict was arrested by the police patrol team attached to Ademola Adetokunbo street, Wuse two, Abuja, and taken to Kado Police Station Abuja, on Jan. 1.

She said that the offence is punishable under Section 198 of the Penal Code.

Credit: Vanguard

Medical Director Appeals To Health Workers To Call Off Strike

Dr Peter Alabi, the Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), has appealed to members of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses to call off their warning strike.


The union on Monday embarked on a three-day warning strike to press home its demand for payment of one year teaching allowance to its members on grade levels 7 and 8.


Alabi told newsmen that negotiations to resolve the issue was ongoing and called on the union to suspend its action.


“It is true that we owe them only one year allowance, but only nine staffers are affected. Knowing that there is no money in circulation, we have been able to meet two out of the three demands they made.


We have made efforts before this strike to dialogue with the union, but we were not able to get a good representation from them,’’ he said.


Alabi appealed to the public to bear with the management of the hospital as efforts were being made to ensure that things were brought to normalcy.


According to the director, health is a team work, adding that doctors on ground had been doing their best to ensure that health services are rendered to patients.


He called on the union to consider the sufferings of the populace, especially patients, who could afford private hospital bills and end the strike.




Abuja Airport Records Low Patronage Of Clients During New Year Celebration

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, recorded low movement of passengers as the world prepares to celebrate the New Year on Friday, in Abuja, on Thursday.

Mr Tony Ameh, Manager, Aero Contractors, said observed that both the departure and the arrival sections of both domestic and international wings of the airport were deserted unlike Dec. 24, when there was heavy traffic. that the rush associated with festive period was minimal, adding that the airline had recorded less number of passengers as against the previous years.

Ameh disclosed that the airline had more passengers during the Christmas period, adding that the airline had only five flights today compared to the 11 flights it operated during Christmas,also there was no fare hike during the season, explaining that the difference in ticket price was as a result of online booking and on the counter booking.

According to him, aside the fact that the economy is not too good at the moment, a lot of people that travelled to different parts of the country for Christmas are yet to return.

We have lesser number of passengers this year compared to last year’s and the previous years, and I believe it is due to the present economic situation in the country.

Like today, there is no fare hike unlike during Christmas when there was high demand for seats because if you are buying ticket over the counter you tend to pay more.

But when you buy your ticket online with some days’ interval, you enjoy cheaper fare but as you are approaching the flight, the fare goes up,’’ he said. However, optimism for a better and violence free Nigeria devoid of terrorism as much as better economic improvement in 2016.
I wish our esteem customers safe flights in 2016 as they continue to fly with us and I want to remind them that air is the most secured mode of transportation.

“We promise our customers better services, affordable fares, on-time departure and improved service delivery as we pray that God continues to guide us to maintain good safety records,’’ he said.

Credit: Dailytimes

Buhari Holds Meeting With Heads Of State In Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari is hosting the Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government to mark its 40th Anniversary.

The main item on the agenda of the summit will be the current political situation in Burkina Faso.

President Buhari has condemned the coup d’etat in Burkina Faso and called for immediate restoration of civil transitional authority.

He urged the Defence and Security Forces of Burkina Faso to keep faith with the agreed transitional programme for the return of the country to democratic rule.

It is also expected that global issues like climate change may be deliberated upon at the summit as a fall out of the global summit on climate change which attracted world leaders to France.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Information Minister Inspects Equipment At NTA Headquarters

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Monday inspected equipment destroyed by fire at the International Station of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Abuja.


Mohammed told newsmen after inspecting the facility that the “dehumidifiers” became too dry, resulting to a fire outbreak at the station on Sunday.


He, however, said that the fire from the equipment did not affect other transmission equipment in the station.


The dehumidifiers prevented the transmission equipment from damage.


The minister said NTA International had since resumed transmission after the incident.


On the way forward, the minister said: “We have to replace the dehumidifiers and look at long-term strategies to prevent a reccurrence in future.


“This thing should be expected in any system; it does happen. The important thing is to see that it does not repeat itself.’’

The minister urged the workers to be vigilant and ensure that there was no negligence of duty.




FCT To Sanction Owners Of Abandoned Structures

The Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has indicated plans to sanction developers of abandoned structures in the territory.


Mr Hamza Madaki, the Acting Director of the department, gave this indication at an interactive session with FCT indigenes and the media on Thursday in Abuja.


Madaki said that owners of such structures would soon be summoned and given a deadline within which to put their structures to use.


He said that the idea of abandoning structures was worrisome, considering the current challenges in the country.


“These abandoned structures are in two categories; those under construction and those already completed but not occupied for a long period of time.


“The first category has about 405 structures scattered across the territory, of which about 100 developers have already responded to our summons.


“For those that have been completed, we intend to summon their owners and give them a deadline to get them occupied.


“If they fail to comply, they will face appropriate sanction.’’


The director said that the reason for meeting with the traditional rulers was to ensure synergy, so that the spate of demolition of structures would be reduced.


“Our ultimate target is to reduce the spate of demolition of illegal structures in the FCT by frequently dialoguing with the grassroots and sensitising their leaders on the right steps to take.


“Though indigenes’ houses are usually excluded from demolition until they are properly resettled, they are not allowed to build houses and rent them out to tenants.’’


He said that the department would regularly engage the indigenous leaders of Abuja so as to minimise conflict and create harmony.


Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, Mr Jacob Garki, the District Head of Garki, commended the director for convening the meeting.


He said that the traditional rulers should serve as a link between government and the people and gave an assurance that they would always cooperate with government.


“If there is a gap, peace might not be guaranteed.


“We, traditional rulers, are like messengers who represent both the government and the indigenes and we will continue to represent all interests.’’


He advised the department to always liaise with them before carrying out demolition, so as not to wrongfully demolish indigenous structures.




NACA Uncovers 3500 Male Sex Workers In Abuja

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) yesterday has said it recently discovered and identified about 3500 male sex workers within the Abuja city centre.

The agency added that it is worried by these figures because over 60 per cent of these men are married,raising the concern of spouse HIV transmission.

At its maiden lecture yesterday to mark this year’s World AIDS day in Abuja with the theme- Strategies for Ending AIDS in Nigeria by 2030, the Director General of NACA, Professor John Idoko said the agency is now targeting hotspot areas in its drive to end the HIV epidemic.

He said, “We found that in Benue, 60 per cent of men who visited bars, restaurants and hotels were seeking sexual partners while 12 per cent of the females were seeking sexual partners and 9 percent of those who patronise these places are female sex workers.

“We also noticed substantial risk behaviour in rural areas. In Benue, 30 per cent of the unmarried men had visited a worker and 18 per cent had visited a sex worker within the last one month. But this was not the same across the state as some places were high risk areas.”

Credit: Leadership

DPR Supplies 294 Trucks Of PMS In Abuja

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said that 149 trucks loaded with petrol were supplied to Abuja and its environs on Tuesday.

Mr Mohammed Saidu, Head, Public Relations of DPR in a statement in Abuja, said that the supply brought the number of PMS supplied to Abuja between Monday and Tuesday to 294 trucks.

Saidu said the measure was to ease off fuel queues at filling stations in the city.

He added that 145 trucks wereearlier supplied on Monday.

Giving the breakdown of the PMS supplied on Tuesday, he explained that 99 trucks were supplied to Abuja city with Forte oil receiving four trucks, while Conoil received 10.

According to him, Mobil has eight trucks, as MRS gets seven, while Nipco and Oando have six and 11 trucks respectively.

He stated that Total plc received 14 trucks, while NNPC retail was allocated 34 as IPMAN had five.

He said that 50 trucks were dispersed to immediate and extended environment of the capital city.

It will be recalled that the DPR Director, Mordecai Ladan, had earlier warned petroleum products marketers against engaging in sharp practices.

He said any station caught would face sanctions,including N2 million fine and licence revocation.




Victorious Golden Eaglets Arrive Abuja Amidst Jubilation

Thousands of sports fans in Abuja on Wednesday converged on the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to welcome the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup champions, Golden Eaglets.


The Eaglets had won the title in Chile on Sunday after defeating Mail 2-0 in the final match, for Nigeria’s fifth title win.


The fans cheered lustily as the players and their officials disembarked from the plane which brought them from Lagos, where they had earlier been received on arrival from Chile.


The Eaglets were later taken in a motorcade on a road show on some major streets of Abuja metropolis.


Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, while welcoming the Eaglets at the airport, had said the players have further entrenched Nigeria on the world football map.


He said this was by Nigeria setting the record of winning the title back-to-back, after having won in 2013 in the UAE.


“The boys have put us above other countries in Africa and in the world, since they are the first country to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup back-to-back, and this is why we are celebrating.


“Nigeria is the best country and that is why we are celebrating this arrival,’’ Yakmut said.


He added that President Muhammadu Buhari, who returned to the country’s helm of affairs on May 29, has come with lots of good luck for the country.


“President Buhari is one president that comes with lots of luck for this country.


“In the last three weeks, it has been sports successes for us across the whole world in every sports Nigeria participated in, and we are looking forward to more,” Yakmut said.


He disclosed that the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalong, would host the Eaglets to a dinner later in the day at the Transcorp Hilton.


Yakmut said President Buhari would later receive the Eaglets on a date to be fixed later.



Diplomats’ Vehicle In Auto Crash In Abuja, 4 Injured

Four diplomatic corps officers from the Ethiopian Embassy were on Monday involved in an accident on Independence Avenue in the Central Business District in Abuja.

The accident which occurred at about 2p.m. left the occupants of the diplomatic hilux vehicle with registration number 43 CD 01 corps diplomatique, badly injured.

An eye witness, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the vehicle hit a billboard and somersaulted when the driver could not control the vehicle.

“I saw the vehicle and heard the noise when the driver was trying to apply the brake but he failed to control the vehicle.

“I think the driver slept off or lost control and collided with a billboard, pulling it down and making the vehicle to somersault.

“We pulled them out from the vehicle and they were badly injured.

“The police had rushed them to the hospital,’’ the eye witness said.

A Traffic Officer, Mr Joseph Plangshak, blamed the accident on speeding and brake failure.

According to him, the victims have been taken to the National Hospital for treatment.

“My colleagues have taken the victims to the National Hospital, Abuja for treatment.

“We were called to come and access the situation and evacuate the vehicle to ensure flow of traffic along the busy road,’’ he said.

Credit: Vanguard

NNPC Reform: All PPMC Depot Managers Recalled To Abuja

Area Managers of all petroleum products depots across the country have been recalled to the headquarters by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) management.

PPMC is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC subsidiary in charge of marketing and distribution of petroleum products in the country.

In their stead, Chief Officers considered lower in rank to the recalled managers in the hierarchy of the national oil company have since been directed to take over the depots.

NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Ohi Alegbe, confirmed the directive to the Area Managers, pointing out that it was part of the on-going reorganization process in NNPC.

“Yes, the Area Managers were asked to return,” Mr. Alegbe said. “There is nothing unusual about it other than that is part of the on-going process by the management to unbundle the NNPC and its subsidiaries and make the organization function better.”

The new directive by the NNPC is seen as an attempt by the new administration to downgrade the position, which has hitherto been headed by personnel of deputy managers’ status.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kubwa Residents Urged To Store Water Ahead Of Impending 4 Days Water Scarcity

The FCT Administration has called on residents of Kubwa to store water to avoid hardship as the Water Board is set to repair its faulty facility.

This is contained in a statement signed by Muhammad Sule, Deputy Director/Chief Press Secretary to the FCT, made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement said there was a major pipe burst at Railway Terminal, KM 19 by Dantata Estate Town Developers, Kubwa.

The statement further said the Permanent Secretary of FCT, Mr John Chukwu, has directed its immediate repairs to ensure the continuous supply of clean portable water to all the residents of the territory.

“As a result of this unfortunate development, the residents of Kubwa Satellite Town will experience disruption of water supply from Thursday, Nov. 5, to Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015’’, the statement said.

It said Chukwu advised the residents living in Kubwa area to store water to avoid any hardship, as the authorities would work assiduously to restore normal water supply on or before Sunday, Nov. 8.

“The FCT Administration regrets the inconveniences this disruption may cause the residents of the affected area’’, the statement said.



AEPB Engages City Cleaning Contractors, Sweeping Machines To Keep Abuja Clean

Mr Shehu Lawan, Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said the board has appointed City Cleaning Contractors to ensure effective service delivery and keep the city clean.

Disclosing this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, Lawan said the intervention of city contractors had significantly improved the sanitary conditions of the environment.

He said that AEPB also set up machinery to reduce manual method of sweeping in the nation’s capital city.

“The contractors are to sweep all the highways with sweeping machines provided for them while the inner roads will be swept manually by the women employed on daily basis within the city.

“We have mandated all our contractors to ensure that the cleaners are effectively kited with caution signs, nose masks, proper uniforms, hand cloves, to protect them from incoming vehicles and dust.

“These are the things which we have put in place with the contractors as an agreement between the board and the contractors.

“AEPB, the contractors and the cleaners meet on a daily basis and we do instruct them to ensure they equip the cleaners with those kits provided for them.

“I am also warning those that are using machines, manual cleaners and those that are cutting the glasses on a daily basis to always equip themselves with the kits for protection and safety,’’ he said.

The director said that the board had instructed the contractors to ensure that the cleaners were not maltreated in any form.

He added that the board would start enforcing all safety measures put in place to ensure that workers are protected in the course of performing their duties.

Lawan also disclosed that the board had appointed supervisors to supervise different districts, where cleaners and the contractors work to improve the environment.

The director, who said each district has a leader, stated that the monitoring would help the board to identify any contractor that violates contractual agreement.

“The city contractors have really improve the environment and given the city a better shape; there is never a time this year Abuja is kept untidy because we have improved on the dump sites.

“The access to dump sites has been improved unlike the previous years when about 70 to 80 compacting trucks, filled with waste will be unattended to.

‘’The truck drivers were always waiting for the road to dry up before the waste will be discharge; this year our dump sites are properly managed.

“The drivers are now off-loading solid waste freely without any inconvenience that is why every district is clean.

“I want to also use this opportunity to urge Nigerians to keep their environment clean and AEPB will continue to be committed in ensuring that our environment is clean for safety of our health,’’ he said.



NEWS ALERT: Fire Razes Abuja Grand Square Shopping Mall (PHOTOS)

Popular Abuja shopping mall, Grand Square, is currently under fire.

The mall, which is located in Central Area in Abuja caught fire around 11pm. Security men guarding the mall speaking to our correspondent said that they first noticed the fire coming from the electronics section.

Shop owners who were alerted went to the mall  but were not allowed access into the mall because police men and other security operatives denied them entry to the mall.

So far, two fire service trucks are sighted at the mall trying to quench off the fire outbreak and NEMA rescue operatives are also at the burning mall.

See photos below:

image image image image

Fresh Plot To Bomb Abuja’s Wuse Market Thwarted

A plot by some suspected terrorists to plant Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the popular Wuse Market in Abuja has been thwarted by a special intelligence response team set up by Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase.

The elite team, made up of highly-trained intelligence and operations officers, has so far, arrested a total of five suspected terrorists who will be paraded before the media any moment from now and, thereafter, charged to court in the next few days.

It was gathered that the terrorists, who were planning to carry out their attack in various parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), were picked up from their hideouts at Karamajiji village behind the National Military Cemetery along Abuja Airport Road and Iddo village located directly behind the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Two others were picked up from a hideout at Dan-Asato village, in Suleja, while another was picked up at Gauraka village, also in Suleja, a satellite town in Niger State, near Abuja.

Items recovered from the terrorists, according to a top security officer, include various kinds of chemicals used for making IEDs numbering over 30, plastic containers and a registered motor vehicle licence.

The police special intelligence response team also recovered 15 bombs in the four locations mentioned, which suspects said were to be planted at strategic location in the nation’s capital.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Police Arrest 2 Female Suspected Bombers In Abuja

Plainclothes police operatives numbering more than 15 arrested two female suspected terrorists.

The incident occurred around 10.30am at the Gwarimpa Estate, CITEC end of the pedestrian bridge at the CITEC Junction Bus Stop, when the operatives stormed the spot where the two girls aged between 16 and 18, were standing as if waiting for somebody, and swooped on them in a bid to bundle them into their waiting vehicles.

The two girls wearing hijab, but not covering their faces, were waiting under the leg of the pedestrian bridge when the operatives arrived in two vehicles, a highlander with Lagos registration   number, AAA 419 BD and a Siena jeep whose registration number was not immediately captured.

Three of the operatives walked up to the girls and were showing them their Nigeria Police Force identification cards, asking them to move into the waiting vans.

Sensing resistance from the girls, more operatives, all plainclothes, rushed to the scene and   started forcing the girls to move. The girls were screaming and refusing to enter the vehicles.   Some car dealers who ply their trade at the scene and were not sure who the plainclothes men were tried to intervene to find out why they were taking the girls away.

The operatives warned the onlookers not to intervene and started bringing out their guns. About four of them brought out their pistols while some others brandished their AK-47 automatic rifles. They, however, did not fire any shots until they successfully bundled both girls into the Highlander and drove off, heading towards FCT metropolis.

One of the traders who saw the drama that played out said when he saw both girls standing for sometime under the bridge, he had an uncanny feeling that these ladies could be terrorists and so was not surprised when the operatives came and picked them up.

Read More: leadership

Photos From BBOG’s Rally In Abuja

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and Shiekh Nuru Imam joined members of the Bring Back Our Girls group in a peaceful rally to commemorate 500 days since the Chibok girls were abducted by Boko Haram members. The advocacy group also had a candle light session this evening. They tied red ribbons on some trees in Abuja to serve as a constant reminder that the girls are still not back. More photos below…

Arms Deals Panel Begins Sitting In Abuja

The 13-man investigative committee set up to probe the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces has started its sitting.

The committee has been meeting in the office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), a source in the Presidency said.

The source said, “I can confirm to you that the committee members have started meeting. They even started meeting before their appointments were announced. This is because they do not need any confirmation or any formal inauguration.

 “Available information showed that members are getting the needed assistance and support from interested parties.

“It is the government’s belief that a lot of ground would be covered by the committee in its desire to ascertain what went wrong in the past as far as the procurement of arms is concerned.”

Read More: punchng

$9.3b Not $6b Was Stolen By Jonathan’s Minister – Duke Abiola

Just as the dust raised by the statement credited to Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole over the $6 billion dollars allegedly stolen by a former minister in the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Another prominent Nigerian, Queen Zainab Duke-Abiola, the Akasoba of Kalabari land in the Niger Delta, has said she had evidence from the White House that a former Petroleum Minister stole $9.3 billion.

Duke Abiola, one of the wives of the late Chief MKO Abiola, in an exclusive interview with The Nation, said: “According to the information available to us, the minister stole more than $9 billion; not Australian dollars, but US dollars.”

“And what I am saying is that the money should be used to develop the Niger Delta. Use this to help the impoverished Niger Deltans,” she added.

On her ability to prove the allegation, she said she was in Washington DC during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit, and that she met with White House officials who revealed the information to her.

“My relationship with White House is over 30 years. Americans are very eager to make sure that the money gets back. They want Nigeria to use that money for education,” she said.

The former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party also insisted that Buhari’s delegation to Washington DC was aware of the exact amount stolen by the former minister.

“Oshiomhole said it’s about $6 billion. Information available to me states that the minister and her associates siphoned away $9.3 billion. I’m watching the game that they’re playing. If they don’t publish the evidence, I have document to support this,” she said.

According to her, members of the presidential delegation were focusing on the $6 billion allegedly stolen by a minister in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet, leaving out “the remaining $3.3 billion” because some people from a section of the country are involved.

“If Buhari is not sure of his fact and figures, he should go back to Washington DC. If I read in the papers that they say $9 billion, I would keep quiet. But why are they saying only $6 billion?”

“All I want is that this money should be used to help the less privileged, especially in the Niger Delta. Give these people fishing nets. Build some bridges for them. Clean up their rivers so they can fish once more, so they can have food on their tables once more. Build cottage industries for them. Put up little clinics as much as you can. In fact, we’re talking about $9.3 billion, so build a John Hopkins hospital. Build a UCH replica in the Niger Delta. If there’s some extra money use it to help other regions,” she said.

The Akasoba said she was shocked when she received the evidence from the White House.

“Some people said that much money couldn’t have been stolen, I was one of those who didn’t believe. When they gave me the document, I was shocked. I have sent it to the appropriate Niger Delta elders. So, we know that nobody is accusing anybody wrongly,” she said.

It will be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, alleged that a minister, who served under the former President stole $6 billion, quoting US officials to support his claim but did not name the particular minister.

“The man said even by Washington standard, that is earth-quaking.

“So, PDP is a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation; destroyed all our institutions; converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs; converted NTA to a party megaphone; destroyed the SSS; went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued into our holes; compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of; and elevated religion to a state affair.

“Under the party, Israel became a place you visit every week; they placed pastors against mallams, placed North against South, East against West – just to retain power; elevated Obas and Obis with dollars,” Oshiomhole said.

20 Persons, 25 Cows Die in Kogi Road Accident Caused By Robbers

No fewer than 20 persons were killed on Monday in an early morning crash around Irepeni, along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway. About 25 cows were also killed in the incident.

Vanguard gathered that the accident was caused by a road block mounted by armed robbers along Irepeni axis of the highway. The robbers were said to have fled the scene afterwards.

An eyewitness said a luxury bus with number plates KRD 799 LC, which was heading to Abuja from Lagos, suddenly ran into the road block mounted by armed bandits. As the bus was trying to avoid
the blockade, a truck, with number plates KTN 711 YZ, loaded with cows, reportedly rammed into it, killing several people on the spot.

The eyewitness said the impact of the accident caused the truck to separate from the trailer and compressed the front section of the bus with passengers and driver inside the wreckage.

He said scores of corpses and mangled bodies of some of the victims littered the road before men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, arrived the scene to evacuate them.

He said: “About six heads were severed from their bodies. FRSC officers, police and sympathisers all combined to gather body parts into nylon bags, which were conveyed along with the corpses to the mortuary.”

Vanguard also gathered that 25 dead cows were counted at the scene of the accident, while the surviving ones were seen milling around the scene of the accident.

The accident was said to have resulted in a traffic gridlock along the highway, as motorists had to take bush paths to escape the gridlock. When contacted, the state sector commandant of FRSC, Mr. Charles Abochi, who confirmed the accident, however put the human casualty figure at 12.

Long Queues At Abuja Petrol Stations Will Soon Disappear- DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources has said that fuel queues in Abuja will soon disappear as 3.2 million litres of petrol were released to the city from Suleja Depot on Thursday.

Mohammed Saidu, Zonal spokesperson DPR Abuja, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.

Saidu said the volume supplied on Thursday would bring fuel supply to the city within two days to 9.3 million litres.

He said that 6.1 million litres of fuel was lifted by marketers from Suleja Depot on Wednesday to meet the demand of motorists in Abuja.

He, however, expressed optimism that the situation would improve before next week.

Saidu warned marketers against hoarding or selling above the official pump price, adding that whosoever was caught defrauding or cheating motorists would face the full wrath of the law.

He said that the DPR would take decisive action against such marketers or filling station owners.

Meanwhile, queues at filling stations have reduced, especially at the NNPC Mega Filling Station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Central Area, as well as Conoil and Total filling stations opposite NNPC headquarters.

NAN reports that the major marketing stations mentioned sold products at the official pump price of N87 per litre, while black market operators sold between N120 and N150 per litre.

Credit: NAN

Former First Lady Storms Liaison Office In Abuja, Takes Away N100m Property Worth

Shocking details of a raid on the Benue State Liaison Office in the Asokoro area in Abuja by the former First Lady of Benue State Yemisi Suswam has been provided to newsmen.

Witnesses told SaharaReporters that the raid was conducted by associates close to Yemisi Suswam operating under the cover of darkness. These witnesses told our correspondent that Yemisi’s associates drove two large trucks to the Liaison Office in Abuja, with the intent to cart out and steal all the expensive furnishings.

It was learned that Yemisi Suswan and her sister received a contract from the Benue State government to furnish and design the Benue State Liaison Office in Abuja, which sources said was an unlawful government contract due to conflicts of interest. It was also learned that because the former First Lady and her sister furnished the office they knew the exact items to steal.

The night-time assailants–under the direction of Yemisi Suswan–stole everything they could fit into their trucks, especially pricey gadgets, electronics, and home-office accessories. The items removed included television sets, refrigerators, rugs, plates, pots, DSTV decoders, and bed sheets.

It has also been learned that the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have identified a Police Sergeant, Shola Adeniyi, and another unknown associate to First Lady Suswam, as suspects in this brazen raid and have began investigating these leads.

Read Moresaharareporters

22 Parties Regroup In Abuja

Twenty-two political parties on Monday regrouped in Abuja to review their performance in the last general elections. The parties used the forum to address the shortcomings that made them lose the 2015 elections.

The parties stated their commitment to improving the country’s electoral process and helping the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari with policy recommendations that can engender development.

Among the parties that were represented at the meeting are Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Labour Party, Alliance for Democracy (AD), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), United Progressives Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and African Democratic Congress.

Read More: PremiumTimes

President Jonathan Says Airport, Kubwa Expressways Uplift Abuja

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja said that the Musa Yar’Adua (Airport Road) and Murtala Mohammed (Kubwa Road) Expressways had improved the face of Abuja.

Jonathan said this when he inspected the roads which had been put to use although at about 98 per cent completion.

He said the roads would ease road transportation into the Federal capital City and thanked the contractors and the FCT minister for supervising the project. “Thank you for handling this project for government.

“I also thank the FCT minister for the effective supervision

“These projects have improved the face of Abuja tremendously and people who come to Abuja are full of praises because the roads are really making Abuja to look like a real modern city

“We are quite pleased with the progress of work.

“We will do our best to see that the commitments of government are met.

“You have done well; congratulations.”

The president promised the contractors that the outstanding bills would be sorted out before the end of the administration.

The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, described the roads as a flagship in national development which had reduced travel time. “As a politician, we want to really thank you for what you have done in terms of reduction of travel time from the places of work of Nigerians inside the city to the satellite areas of Abuja, Kubwa and Suleja, among others.

“The time has been reduced from two hours before to about 30 minutes.

“This project is driven by your grace with a robust financial plan that you bonded about N150 billion for the project and that is why the time line has been easy to comply with and we have been able to take it to 98 per cent.

“The only remaining portion that is not completed is the bridge behind the Aso villa.

“Otherwise, everything has been delivered and we are trying to look at the challenges of financing because we are owing the contractors about N10 to 15 billion on the two roads.”

The Airport road, handled by Julius Berger, is about 28.5 km while the Kubwa axis, handled by Dantata and Sowoe as well as CCECC of China, respectively covers a stretch of about 39 km.

Credit: NAN

Group Rejects Sitting Of Rivers Election Tribunal In Abuja

A non-governmental organisation, Society for Good Governance, has called for the relocation of the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal from Abuja, where it is currently sitting, to Port Harcourt.

The group’s coordinator, Mr. Tamuno Greg, said that there was no basis for the tribunal to sit in Abuja. Rivers State is among the four states whose governorship and legislative houses elections petitions tribunals are to sit in Abuja.

The other states whose election tribunals are to sit in the Federal Capital Territory are Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

It was learnt that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, decided that the tribunal for those states are to sit in the FCT for security reasons.

But Greg faulted the directive by Bulkachuwa, arguing that Port Harcourt was peaceful and that there was no threat whatsoever to the lives of the tribunal members.

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Maiduguri-Abuja Trekker Reaches Damaturu

A 45 year old Adamu Abdullahi who volunteered to trek from Maiduguri to Abuja the nation’s capital to plead with the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, towards ending the insurgency affecting the country has arrived Damaturu the Yobe State capital.

The explorer, who claimed that he had been an admirer of Gen Muhammadu Buhari for twelve years hails from Borno State but resides in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

According to him, his mission is to meet the President-elect and plead with him to end the insurgency bedevilling Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states which has claimed several lives and displaced thousands of people within and beyond the three states.

“Hashimu, who embarked on the Lagos-Abuja trip earlier, made his out of love for Buhari but mine is to plead with the President-elect to end the insurgency which has worsened development in the north east zone of the country,” the trekker said.

Adamu Abdullahi, who is a handset repairer in Kaduna, took a journey to Maiduguri to start his trip which commenced on Thursday (April 30) around 6:00 in the morning.

It took him 30 hours to cover the 134 KM Maiduguri-Damaturu road and the trekker says he hopes to reach Abuja in the next three weeks.

He said that in the course of the trekking, he had come across policemen, soldiers, Immigration and Customs men as well as civilians who have given him letters and various complains to present to the President-elect on how best to deliver the country from its numerous problems.

Adamu Abdullahi could not hide his appreciation for the people he has come across in the course of his journey.

“Much has been done to me in terms of company, provision of water and food as I navigate through the scorching sun of the arid region.

“I met lots of people with various problems ranging from joblessness, lack of water, orphans and widows problems as a result of this insurgency among several others which will be made known to the President-elect when I reach Abuja” Adamu added.

He called on Nigerians to pray for him to accomplish his mission of tabling some problems affecting the masses to General Muhammadu Buhari.

The road walk routes of Adamu Abdullahi will cut across six states of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna and Nasarawa. It will cover 868 kilometers from the Sahel region of the country through the Sudan savannah and will terminate in the Guinea savannah region where the nation’s capital is located.