Putin Calls For Syria Ceasefire As #Aleppo Evacuations Continue

A nationwide ceasefire is the next step to restore peace in Syria after the recapture of Aleppo in the country’s north, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at press conference in Japan on Friday.

As he spoke, thousands of civilians and rebel soldiers continued to flee Aleppo in convoys as the second day of evacuations within an agreed ceasefire began on Friday.
Up to 9,000 people have already been taken out of the besieged city in nine convoys since Thursday, including 108 wounded, according to Russian and Syrian state media.
For many of those leaving, their destination will be the rebel-controlled Syrian province of Idlib — likely the Bashar al-Assad regime’s next target.
An activist working inside the city broke down talking to CNN reporters on Friday, saying he wasn’t sure if his children would ever return to Aleppo.
“We waited for the international community and the United Nations to punish the criminal and not the victims (the people). Unfortunately the punishment was for the people. They have displaced us from our land,” he said.
“Honestly I don’t know if we can return back someday to our land or if it is going to be like the fate of the Palestinians.”
Read More: CNN

Trial Of Ex-Naval Chief, Others Continue Today

Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday adjourned to tomorrow for further hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd).

Shortly after the counsels have entered their appearances, Jibrin’s counsel, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, the document used in the transaction of the property allegedly acquired by his client was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

He invited the court to order the prosecution to provide same as stipulated by law.

Maikyau, also prayed the court for the release of the international passport of his client to enable him travel abroad for medicals.

However, counsel to EFCC, Joseph O. Uzor, wanted the defence to indicate the time his client is embarking on the trip and how long his is staying, should the court is inclined to grant his application.

He also urged the court to enforce the return of the passport immediately the applicant returns from the trip.

In granting the application, Justice Umar ordered the defence counsel to indicate the time his client is staying and ensure the return of the passport to the court when he is back.

Jibrin and his co-accused are standing trial alongside Habour Bay International Limited, a company linked to the first defendant, on a 4-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The naval chiefs whilst in office allegedly bought a house worth N600million from the account of Naval Engineering Services without the said purchase contract being captured in the budget.

It was also alleged that, the documentation for transfer of ownership of the property was done such that a private company owned by the family of the first defendant (Jibrin) became the buyer.



Recession: London Companies Will Continue To Do Business In Nigeria

Mr Carl Woolf, International Trade Adviser at the United Kingdom(UK) Department for International Trade on Tuesday said that London companies would not be discouraged by Nigeria’s current economic recession.

Woolf told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a ‘Market to Nigeria’ trade mission to Lagos that London companies would continue do business in Nigeria.

“London companies will continue to see Nigeria as a country with 180 million population with future huge opportunities.“Economic recession or not, London companies strongly believe in the huge investment opportunities in this country, Nigeria.

“It is even better for us to be here during this current Nigeria’s economic recession for us to really know what the future holds for our companies here,’’ he said.

Woolf, who led a mission of London companies to Lagos, said that the companies were visiting Nigeria to establish long-term business relations with Nigeria.

He said that the mission was being part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to enhance the competitiveness of London SMEs in international markets.

The UK International Trade Adviser said that the companies were interested and would be providing a wide range of products, services and expertise to Nigeria’s energy, infrastructure, agriculture and education sectors.

Woolf, however, said that it was imperative for Nigeria to examine her recent World Bank’s low ranking in Ease-of- Doing Business.

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I Will Continue To Blame My Predecessors For Nigeria’s Woes– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said despite the criticisms of many, he would continue to blame his predecessors for Nigeria’s woes.

He said passing the buck, which people have been frowning at, was important in order for Nigerians to know what went wrong with the country.

Buhari spoke at an event tagged, “The Conversation: An evening with creative youths,” held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The event, attended also by the President’s wife, Aisha; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo; as well as governors and other top government officials, had “Creative youth as drivers of the change agenda” as its theme.

Buhari said, “I am going to bore you with what we met. I know that I am being accused in the papers of passing the buck, but passing the buck is sometimes absolutely necessary to remind people who take things for granted.

“When we came in, I screamed to high heavens because I had promised a lot while seeking votes.

“I said where is the saving? There was no saving. There was no infrastructure, power, rails, roads, there was none. What did we spend the money on? I was told buying food and petrol.

“Where were the billions going? We conducted a study and found out that the oil marketers were committing fraud on at least one third ?of what they were importing, which is about 25 per cent of our foreign exchange.

?”The youth must watch our elite, especially with the condition we found ourselves. It is unpatriotic for anybody to pretend that economically we have no problem.

“I have bored you with this long explanation because there are things that could be hidden from you by those that have mismanaged the country in the last 16, 17 years.”

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FG Suspends Sack Of Resident Doctors, Negotiations Continue

The federal government wednesday suspended the sack of members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) pending the conclusion of the ongoing negotiations on the matter. This was part of the resolutions reached at the mediatory meeting initiated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, between the federal government delegation and leaders of NARD.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was quoted to have suspended the sack as part of the decision taken at the mediatory meeting with NARD.

According to Adewole, “We will do everything humanly possible to implement all the decisions arrived at in this meeting including the fact the circular sacking Resident doctors be ignored by all the parties concerned.” At the meeting, it was reported that the “Ministry of Health was to come up with list of those entitle to skipping and the amount and when they will pay  them in one week. Forty two institutions that have not been implementing skipping should be asked to commence implementation immediately. 

“Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) to meet in one week and implement skipping by June and any CMD that is unable to pay should appear at the next meeting on July 14. The judgment of the Industrial Court must be executed.

“That by first week of July, guidelines on Residency Training will be made available.”

Part of the resolutions also include “entry point for House Officers should be from Commess 9 step 4. Or 1 step 1. It should be implemented immediately by the CMD. They should also start implementing pensions immediately Resident Doctors Association to make available records of all those sacked unfaily to the ministry of Health. Minister of Health should issue circular to CMDs to review the issue of those sacked unfairly without recourse to the earlier circular detailing the template to be followed. Circular to be send out on June 22, 2016, by the minister to all health institutions and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) running the Residency programme.”

The issue of FMC Owerri, Imo State, was also revisited, as NARD “appealed to minister to take a second look at it since doctors did not declare strike abinitio.”

The government also wednesday appealed to members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to return to work as there was no need to embark on the strike given that negotiations were still ongoing.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, in a statement argued that the decision by JOHESU to strike did not followed all procedural channels before such could be taken.

Credit: Thisday

Zimbabwe’s First Lady To Get Wheelchair For Mugabe To Continue Governing

Zimbabwe’s first lady says she plans to get a “special” wheelchair for her 91-year-old husband so can continue to rule.

Speaking at a political rally on Saturday, Grace Mugabe told supporters that she would get a wheelchair for her husband, President Robert Mugabe, to use.

In the televised speech, Mugabe, 50, vowed to push the wheelchair herself, taking a swipe at critics who say her husband is too old to govern.

Mugabe told supporters she would ensure her husband remains in power as long as he can still speak.

Credit: AP

Pro-Biafra Activists Continue Protests In Aba

Worried by spate of protests by pro-Biafra groups, seeking self determination for the people of South East and their neighbours, Imo State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha yesterday said he had taken steps to arrange a meeting of governors and chieftains of the Ohaneze Ndigbo “to discuss the matter.”

The move came on the heels of continued protest by pro-Biafra activists under the aegis of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Aba. The groups had staged a miniature rally on Saturday to protest the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government.

Credit: Guardian

El-Rufai Vows To Continue Demolition Until All Illegal Plots Are Recovered

The Kaduna State governor, Ahmed El-Rufai has vowed to continue the demolition of structures that ille­gally encroach on pub­lic places like schools, hospitals among others until the plots are recov­ered.

He said this to State House correspondents in an interview on Thurs­day night after meeting with Vice president Yemi Osinbajo.

He said that besides working to restore aes­thetics in the state, his administration intends to develop a new layout for Kaduna residents.

Explaining his reason for demolition, El-Rufai said, “We found on taking over that large portions of land meant for schools, hospitals, libraries and other public buildings have been encroached upon, carved out and sold to very important people thus, depriving the organ­isations the opportunity for future expansion.

“Our population is growing and we need to build more classrooms and hostels”.

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