Crashes Are Caused By Drivers’ Negligence, Not Ember Months- Oyeyemi

Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said in Lagos on Monday that many crashes were caused as a result of disobedience to traffic rules and regulations by road users, not the ember months.

Oyeyemi made the remark during the official flag-off of the Ember months campaign of the FRSC, Lagos State Command.

Oyeyemi, who was represented by Mr Austine Aipoh, Zonal Commanding Officer, Osogbo, said that there was no supernatural thing about the ember months, saying that crashes were caused mainly by human disobedience to regulations.

“Today, we have come to demystify the belief and situate the mindsets and our actions for veritable safety on our highways.

“The truth is that nothing is supernatural about the ember months, road crashes are caused due to disobedience of rules and regulations by road users,’’ Oyeyemi said.

According to him, increase in socio-economic activities during the period engenders inordinate traffic surge that stretches the road transport system.

He said that most motorists throw caution to the winds under the complex traffic situation, and embark on speeding, overloading and wrongful overtaking.

Oyeyemi added that speed limit violations by drivers had become a critical risk factor which accounted annually for a significant loss of lives.

The FRSC boss, therefore, advised that motorists and stakeholders should rise to their responsibilities by playing a part towards achieving a crash-free season.

Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor, represented by Mr Anofiu Elegushi, Commissioner for Transport, said that the ember months campaign were a strategy to reduce crashes.

Elegushi said that the aim was to elevate the consciousness of motorists during and after the festive season.

“The ember months campaign as a component of the FRSC strategic engagements is aimed at elevating the consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road traffic crashes and its implications.

“Nigeria, as a developing country accounts for 91 per cent of road fatalities, which are colossal to human capital and material losses, with frightening implications on the health system and sustainable development,’’ he said.

The commissioner appealed to Lagos residents to consider their safety as utmost, especially during the end-of-year festivities.

According to him, the road is not a race track and it is not a place for competition, hence drivers must stay away from speeding, drunk driving, dangerous driving and use of mechanically deficient vehicles.

Mr Tajudeen Agbede, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), represented by Mr Ifeoluwa Adenusi, said that the association has advised its members to drive safely during the season.

Agbede noted that members have been encouraged to go through medical check-ups before embarking on their journeys.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ember months campaign tagged “Crash the Crash: Speed Kills,’’ was sponsored by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).

Credit: NAN

Yuletide: AIG Warns Policemen Not To Mount Road Blocks

Officers and men of Zone 6 Police Command have been ordered to conduct only stop and search on vehicles and not to mount road blocks on the highways at Yuletide.

Mr Abubakar Marafa, Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Zone 6, Calabar, gave the directive on Wednesday during a familiarisation tour of the Cross River command.

Marafa said crime fighting was more effective through intelligence gathering and not by mounting road blocks which impede smooth flow of traffic and used to extort money from motorists.

He reiterated that mounting of road blocks by the police was illegal.

“We are in a digital era, and crime fighting has gone beyond the confines of blocking the road to collect money from drivers and also slowing movement on the road.

“Stop and Search is a more effective way of combating crime because it is based on intelligence report’’, he said.

Marafa said a lot of people would be on the road travelling to different locations during the Christmas period, hence the duty of the police was to safeguard their lives by providing them with appropriate security.

“We have to do our best to safeguard the lives of the people travelling during the Christmas period and not to slow down their movement by extorting money from them’’, he said.

He urged policemen not to act beggarly but to be courageous while confronting suspects during their stop and search operation.

Mr Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, Commissioner of Police in the state, said the command had put necessary measures in place to ensure a crime free Christmas in Calabar and also during carnival.

Credit: dailytrust

Why FG Patronises Foreign Contractors, Not Local Ones– Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has blamed Nigerian engineers for creating the vacuum that made the Federal Government patronize foreign contractors.

Mr. Fashola said this on Tuesday in Abuja when a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) led by its President, Otis Anyaeji, paid him a courtesy visit.

He said that the failure of Nigerian engineering firms to bid for government projects was responsible for the patronage of foreign contractors.

“If there was no vacuum, there would not be foreign engineering consultants and contractors in Nigeria.

“Unless we honestly stand up and accept that there is a vacuum, we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we honestly do not like what we see, it will not change.

“I can tell you from experience when I was a state governor, that when I advertised for rail project, no Nigerian firm bidded for it.

“Government will not stop the development of the country, if you are not ready.”

According to him, while we point a finger at government, we must also point the same fingers at ourselves because foreign companies doing business in Nigeria are privately owned.

He advised Nigerian engineers to accept their deficiencies and build their capacities to be able to compete with foreign firms.

Meanwhile, the minister decried what he called the over legislation of procurement process and called for a review, to enhance speedy development of infrastructure in the country.

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Chibok Girl’s Baby Not For Boko Haram, Report Says 21 Released Girls Were Not Sexually Abused

One of the Chibok schoolgirls that came back with a child was already pregnant before she was abducted along with 219 other girls by Boko Haram gunmen on 14 April 2014.

A source close to negotiations to free the remaining schoolgirls told newsmen that there was no truth whatsoever in stories making the rounds that the girl was impregnated by one of her Boko Haram abductors.

The informed source clarified that contrary to some media reports, the girl had conceived before her abduction after being properly married.

“The girl and her parents have confirmed this. The child is not a Boko Haram Child,’’he said. The source also debunked stories that one of the girls came back pregnant, with some reports specifically saying one was four months pregnant.

“None of the girls released was sexually harassed or abused while in captivity by their abductors,” he said. “The current state of the girls is a source of joy as they are receiving the best medical, psychological and other forms of support from the authorities as directed by the Federal Government “All groups including the families, The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) and Chibok Community are happy with their condition as medical experts work to address their health conditions.

“The girls have been visited by members of International Committee of the Red Cross, which played a great role in getting the girls freed. “It is obvious to everyone that having been in captivity, the girls were traumatised but since their release, they are showing signs of recovering well,’’he said.

Rumours, speculative reports about the state of the 21 released Boko Haram captives, are said to be creating stumbling blocks to further talks with the insurgents. The insurgents were said to be angry with Government for breaching some understanding reached with them when the 21 girls were being handed over 13 october.

However, government sources have denied any link with various speculative reports, especially in the social media.



May Says Brexit Vote Will Not Undermine Northern Ireland Peace Deal

There is no reason Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union should undermine a 1998 Northern Irish peace deal, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and Irish nationalist parties oppose Brexit, saying it could undermine the 1998 Belfast Agreement and reinstate a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

“I don’t believe there’s any reason to believe that the outcome of the referendum will do anything to undermine the absolute rock-solid commitment of this government and the people of Northern Ireland to the settlement that was set out in the Belfast Agreement,” May told parliament.

“There is, and remains, a strong support for the entirely peaceful future for Northern Ireland that has been determined by democracy and consent … We remain committed to that.”

Read More: reuters

No Plan To Increase Petrol Price, NNPC Tells Nigerians Not To Panic

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Muhammad Garba-Deen, has said there was absolutely no plan by the Federal Government to increase pump price of petrol above N145 maximum level.

He said a statement people were referring to was made within the context of technical explanation, not within the context of downstream operations.

According to him, if there is going to be anything like a price hike, the agency responsible for fixing the price of petrol, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), will definitely sensitise Nigerians on it and give reasons for the hike.

He added that at present, there was no subsidy on petrol, and that the long-term contracts entered into by the NNPC with buyers and suppliers had addressed the issue of foreign exchange volatility.

“As per this moment, there is absolutely no plan to do that and no need to do that, because we have more than enough supply; we have very robust stock of product in our custody.

“ In addition to that, we also have long term procurement contract with our suppliers.

“The usual reason that would necessitate a review of price at the moment had been taken care of. We have long term procurement contract with our suppliers.

“We have more than enough supply to last us throughout the ember months and beyond,” he said.

Also, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, on Wednesday began investigation into some depot owners in Apapa who sold fuel to marketers above the official ex-depot price of N133.28.

Dorothy Bassey, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, DPR, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the agency would sanction depot owners found guilty.

According to Ms. Bassey, there is no reason for any depot to sell petrol above the official ex-depot price.

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Fani-Kayode Must Not Die In Detention– PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has said a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, must not be allowed to die in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The PDP said the arrest of the former Spokesperson for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation was what it described as the latest in a series of plans designed to further harass and intimidate its members and supporters using the security and intelligence apparatus of the Nigerian State.

Spokesperson for the former ruling party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adeyeye alleged that since his arrest, the former minister had not been able to take his medication.

He said, “What is not common knowledge is that at the time of his arrest, Fani-Kayode was ill and taking medication.

“Since his arrest, he has been denied access to his medication and medical doctors who are
conversant with his medical history.

“As of the time of writing this statement, officials of the EFCC have continued to deny Fani-Kayode access to his medication.

“The only conclusion that can be reached is that the All Progressives Congress- led Federal Government and EFCC want Fani-Kayode to die in detention.”

Adeyeye accused the EFCC of detaining “an obviously weak and ill man.”

He alleged that the the action of the commission violates the constitutional rights and freedoms of the Nigerian people, and called on the government to halt such action.

“The Federal Government cannot, and must not, be allowed to continually infringe on the rights of the very people it swore to uphold,” he added.

The former minister of works called on all well meaning Nigerians to urge the Federal Government to desist from what he described as “its path of human rights abuses.”


Goodie Ibru Not On The Run, Says Family

The family of Mr. Goodie Ibru yesterday described the recent public notice issued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declaring Goodie wanted over allegation of capital market fraud, money laundering and diversion of funds as scandalous, misleading and unfortunate.

It pointed out that Ibru is not on the run.
The Ibru family in a statement signed by Akpofure Ibru, described the EFCC’s appeal to members of the public to furnish them with information on Ibru’s whereabouts as an unfortunate expression that he is on the run.

The statement said the fact of the matter was at variance with the impression created by the EFCC.
“The truth of the matter is that the EFCC as at July 19, 2016, invited Ibru for an interview. On July 25. Ibru replied through the law firm of Babalakin & Co that he would not be able to honour the invitation until his planned return in the first week of November 2016 as he was in the United Kingdom undergoing medical treatment.

According to the statement, the law firm in the said response, had stressed that as their client “is a law abiding citizen who has no interest in foiling the administration of justice, we assure you that he will appear before your commission as soon as he recovered from his illness and return to Nigeria.”

The statement said as there was no further word from the EFCC, the understanding was that the promise to keep the November date had been accepted by the commission.

“It is therefore scandalous to read the EFCC notice of October 12, purporting that Mr. Ibru was on the run,” it added.
Furthermore, it decried what it regarded as “creeping bias” into an investigation that in the main “centres on family misunderstanding and boardroom politics.”

Read More: thisdaylive

BBOG Protesters Not A Security Threat, Soyinka Replies IG

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, warned against the use of force against the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners, saying that the group should be given their space to protest.

He also noted that protests by the group could not be too much as long as the Chibok girls remained Boko Haram captives.

Soyinka said this at a symposium to start the 20th anniversary programme of Halifield Schools, Maryland, Lagos.

The social commentator, who delivered the keynote address, added that  peaceful demonstration was a democratic right which could not constitute threats to national security and public order.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had on Wednesday, warned the BBOG campaigners against continuing with their street processions, which he said constituted a security threat to public peace and order.

He stated that the police “will not sit on the fence and watch such a scenario unfold.”

But Soyinka, while reacting to the IG’s comments at the occasion, noted that it would be dangerous to forget the missing Chibok girls, saying that it could boost their morale and teach pupils in the country the need to stand up for their rights.

‘‘I saw a report in a national daily that demonstrations on behalf of the Chibok girls pose a threat to national security and I thought, not again. My mind flew back immediately to another governor under whose democratic leadership, parents were tear-gassed for demonstrating peacefully about losing their children in a plane crash in Port Harcourt.

 “Democracy is not just about campaigning. It is exercising human rights. It is about helping to build the society. Demonstrations cannot be too much as long as those girls are missing. Demonstrations are an act of solidarity. Wherever they are today, when their mothers demonstrate on their behalf, their morale is raised.

“That is my message to security operatives who get scared of those who are agitating for a cause and fire tear gas at them. They must be treated with utmost respect and must be given their space. It is an act of solidarity for the children. Otherwise, when you stop these demonstrations, you are saying forget about the children,’’ he said.

Soyinka, who also urged the Federal Government and its agencies to speak with one voice, said Nigerians should express solidarity with the missing girls and their families.

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Once A Cheater Always A Cheater! Why This Is Not Always True

Once a cheater always a cheater? The experts say this may not always be the case. One therapist, Dr. Nancy B. Irwin, argues that since behavior is learned, it is possible to do a turnaround when it comes to cheating.

If you’ve ever been cheated on, your first instinct may have been to break up because you felt you could never trust the cheater again. But depending on the circumstances, you might have another shot at love with your partner. Here’s why.

Consider why your partner cheated

You may not think about this during the aftermath of the cheating, but the circumstances that led to infidelity could make all the difference. Teri Lynn Wilkins, a life coach specializing in infidelity, betrayal, and cheating, said the reason why your partner strayed may determine whether or not it’s likely to happen again. While it’s not an excuse, a reason can provide insight into what changes need to be made if you decide to stay in the relationship.

In addition, what the cheater sees as a positive intention may sometimes lead to a negative outcome when it comes to relationship needs. Sometimes, in an attempt to fulfill an unmet need (perhaps feelings of  loneliness), the cheater may reach out to someone outside the relationship. Irwin proposed a warped sense of what is right may be what is underneath it all. “No one does anything to deliberately be bad, or wrong, or even evil.  There is always a positive intent. In the clinic, we discover what the intent is, and find a healthy way to get that need met versus harming the self or others,” Irwin said.

 A second chance?

Being cheated on doesn’t feel good, so it’s understandable to feel like you should flee the relationship. However, Wilkins said, in some cases, it might make sense to give your partner another chance. If he or she is truly sorry and willing to try harder at resolving issues before they mushroom, it may be worth it. “A cheater should be given a second chance if they are wanting to mend the relationship. My definition of that is if they are willing to do whatever it takes (including professional counseling), to help their partner heal, for however long it takes,” Wilkins said. “If not, they probably don’t really want to be in the relationship to begin with and that is why they are cheating, so they will cheat again.”

Even if you do reconcile, let your partner know that cheating is not OK. Don’t allow your significant other to mistake your forgiveness for permission. Also do some soul searching to take stock of why you want in the relationship. Wilkins warns if your reasons are rooted in fear, you may want to reconsider your decision. “Cheating is a huge red flag that something is fundamentally broken in the relationship, and it requires much work to dig into those things and fix them. People should not stay together if they are only staying for fear of being alone or not wanting to deal with the grief of a relationship loss,” Wilkins advised.

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Argentina Begs Messi Not To Quit

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona and the country’s President Mauricio Macri urged Lionel Messi on Monday not to leave the national team despite his vow to quit after a humiliating defeat.

The Barcelona superstar left the field in tears after missing a spot-kick in the Copa America Centenario final shootout against Chile on Sunday.

He promptly told reporters he was quitting, throwing Argentine football into turmoil ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“He has to stay because he still has playing days ahead of him,” Maradona was quoted as saying by La Nacion newspaper online.

“He will go to Russia in form to be world champion.”

Messi, 29, is widely rated as the best player in the world, but Sunday’s loss was his fourth defeat in an international final for Argentina.

After an outpouring of disappointment by fans online, Macri joined the calls for the Barcelona superstar to stay with Argentina.

“He called him and told him how proud he feels of the national team’s performance and asked him not to listen to the criticism,” a spokesman for Macri told AFP by telephone.

Credit: Guardian

Buhari Has Not Allocated Any Oil Bloc– Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has clarified that President Muhammadu Buhari has not allocated oil blocs to any individual since he came into office.

The minister made the clarification on Monday in Uyo at the South-South region Town Hall Meeting organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

The minister who was responding to questions by some aggrieved participants from the region over alleged un-equitable distribution of oil blocs, said that the Federal Government would be fair and just in giving out such advantages.

“Since we came into office, the government has not allocated any oil bloc.

“The president has said that he will need to correct the mess created by the past administrations before we begin to think of giving out such advantages.

“The president has emphasised to us, the ministers that there should be no unjustifiable favour and any action we take we must be able to defend it.

“When the time for the oil bloc allocation comes, it will follow very clear due process,’’ he said.

Kachikwu stressed that he was one of those who believed that the South-South people should benefit from oil blocs because it would be part of “giving back to the chicken that laid the eggs.’’

He said it would go a long way to empower the people and make them to engage in genuine oil deals, rather than being contractors to oil companies.

The minister, however, reiterated that when government wants to consider the allocation, it would be given to those who have skills and the finance to develop the blocs.

Kachikwu said that the Federal Government had finalised the Integrated Power Project with Mobil Oil Company that would produce 500 megawatts of power as well as gas pipeline project in Akwa Ibom.

He said the total investment for the project, including provision of infrastructure in the area of locations, was seven billion dollar.

The minister promised that the Federal Government would locate oil depots and modular refineries in the state through private capital intervention.

Credit: Leadership

I’m Not On Exile- Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed a report that he is on exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

The report, published yesterday by a national newspaper, claimed that Dr. Jonathan had been given asylum in that Francophone country. His associates were alarmed at the report.

But Dr. Jonathan yesterday said it was all false. He said on the phone: “I’m not on exile. I have no cause to go on exile. It is a wicked and malicious report.

“I was Vice President for two years and President for six years. I did everything I could and I served my country very well. This is what they keep saying anytime I’m outside the country. I was in Ecuador; they said I was on exile. This is my second time in Cote d’Ivoire and I’m rounding off my visit.

“It is a wicked attempt to link me with the renewed Niger Delta crisis.”

Also yesterday, Dr. Jonathan told his former cabinet members that he was not on exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

He said he could not have been running away from any problem in the country let alone going on exile.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said although Jonathan had been implicated in all transactions under its investigation, the ex-President was not yet its target.

The Federal Government is said to be looking into the rumour.

One of the intelligence agencies is believed to have sent its operatives to Cote d’Ivoire to verify the report.

According to a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Suleiman Olanrewaju Abubakar, the ex-President spoke with him and others from Abidjan, following the report.

Abubakar said Jonathan was only in transit in Cote d’Ivoire being his second visit to the West African nation since he left office.

He said Jonathan actually spent his Christmas break in Cote d’Ivoire and his visit to “this country is not new”.

The ex-minister quoted Jonathan as saying: “I am not on exile, I can never be on exile, I am going to come back to Nigeria.

“I cannot run away from any problem, I am going to face whatever problem that exists in Nigeria.”

Abubakar added: “The ex-President assured me and others that he was only in transit in Cote d’Ivoire which he has visited thrice since handing over power to President  Muhammadu Buhari.”

Credit: TheNation

Rescued Girl, Serah Luka, Not On Our List– Chibok Parents

Campaigners on Friday questioned a Nigerian military claim that a second Chibok schoolgirl had been rescued, but the army maintained she was one of the 219 abducted by Boko Haram.

Yakubu Nkeki, the head of the Chibok Abducted Girls Parents group, told the AFP the military contacted him before an announcement was made on Wednesday about the discovery of the first girl, Amina Ali.

“We were able to identify her and then establish her parents,” he told AFP. But there was no call before Nigeria’s army announced late Thursday that a second schoolgirl had been rescued.

She was said to be Serah Luka, who was among 97 women and children rescued earlier that day in the Damboa area of the northeastern state of Borno.

She told troops and civilian vigilantes she was a Christian pastor’s daughter originally from Madagali, in neighbouring Adamawa state, and had been in Chibok to sit her exams.

Nkeki said his records showed only two girls with the surname Luka.

“These are Kauna Luka Yana and Naomi Luka Dzakwa. Among the list of parents we have only four priests and none of them is Luka,” he added.

“Among the girls none of them is from Madagali. They were either from Chibok, Damboa, Askira and Uba (all in Borno state). So I can say… that this girl is not among the abducted Chibok girls.

“We were never contacted by the military for verification of the girl’s identity before the announcement was made.”

A human rights activist in Mubi, Adamawa, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of his work, also said a Serah Luka was not on the list of the missing.

A senior Nigerian military source said it was “beyond reasonable doubt” that the schoolgirl was among the 219 held by the Islamists since the kidnapping on April 14, 2014.

“The military personnel who carried out the rescue operation and the civilian vigilantes who assisted them and those who know the girl confirmed that she is among those abducted,” he said.

“We can only change our position if the principal of the school or the government of Borno state come out and refute this established identity of the girl.”

Credit: AFP

Emefiele Does Not Use Private Jets– CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Saturday denied reports that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and members of his family flew private chartered jet to the burial of his mother.

The apex bank in a statement issued by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, said neither the governor nor any of its top official had engaged the services of chartered private jets since 2015.

It said while it had been a practice for its governors in the past to use private chartered jets when embarking on urgent national assignments, such practice was stopped by Emefiele when he assumed office in 2015.

It said Emefiele had taken the decision in response to the economic downturn which the country was suffering and also in line with the cost cutting stance of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The CBN in the statement said the governor and his family members flew a commercial Arik flight from Lagos to Benin for their mother’s burial.

The statement reads in part, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has, for several years in the past, used private and official chartered flights in making urgent travels to meet needs in remote, not-easily- accessible locations or in cases where timing might be critical to matters of urgent national importance.

This practice was in place long before the assumption of office of the current Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

“In fact it is on record that the past two CBN Governors actively used chartered private jet services to meet urgent national assignments.

“However in 2015, in response to the economic downturn and the cost-cutting stance of government, Mr. Emefiele ordered the stoppage of the use of chartered flights by the Bank.

“Since then, neither Mr. Emefiele nor any of the Deputy Governors has used the services of private chartered flights and the CBN has not paid a kobo for private jet services.

“Mr Emefiele and indeed other principal officers of the CBN have religiously maintained the modest disposition of using regular flights, including doing several trips by road to and from different parts of the country.

“It is also important to note here that no private jet was used by Mr. Emefiele, his immediate family, or indeed other principal officers of the Bank during the burial of Mr Emefiele’s mother.”

Credit: Punch

Suspected Cameroon Bomber Not From Chibok

The Chibok Community in Abuja on Tuesday said the suspected female suicide bomber that was arrested in Cameroon was not from their community, based on  information made available to them by the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the community, Tsambido Abana, said on Tuesday that the suspect had never attended a conventional school, noting that the minor, who does not speak English, was believed to be from Bama area of Borno State.

Asked if his group had seen the girl’s picture, Abana stated that it was not released to him or his community members, adding that the picture was given to Aisha Oyebode of Murtala Muhammed Foundation for verification.

He said he would not approach the foundation for the picture, noting that it was clear that the girl was not from Chibok, based on the information released by the government.

“I won’t bother to go and see the picture, because from the information given by the government, it is apparent that the girl is not from Chibok. Going to see the picture would create an unnecessary tension and expectation among the Chibok parents whose daughters are missing,” he said.

Credit: Punch

Biafra Is Ijaw, Not Igbo- Asari-Dokubo

Leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Front, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo has said that contrary to the perception in most quarters that the name Biafra which was adopted by the then breakaway Eastern region is Igbo, the phrase is Ijaw.

 He also noted it was an Ijaw man, who suggested the name at a meeting convened by the late leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu to decide on the way forward for the Eastern region after the 1966/1967 pogrom. Dokubo, who said this in a statement stated that the late Niger Delta activist, Maj. Isaac Adaka Boro affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six of his autobiography entitled: Twelve Day Revolution. He further said that the ties between Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups are inseparable, adding that It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, who first played the Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on May 30, 1967. His words: “Ignorance can be a terrible disease but it is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness. Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase Bia

 He also noted it was an Ijaw man, who suggested the name at a meeting convened by the late leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu to decide on the way forward for the Eastern region after the 1966/1967 pogrom. Dokubo, who said this in a statement stated that the late Niger Delta activist, Maj. Isaac Adaka Boro affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six of his autobiography entitled: Twelve Day Revolution. He further said that the ties between Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups are inseparable, adding that It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, who first played the Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on May 30, 1967. His words: “Ignorance can be a terrible disease but it is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness. Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase Bia

He further said that the ties between Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups are inseparable, adding that It was another Ijaw Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, who first played the Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on May 30, 1967. His words: “Ignorance can be a terrible disease but it is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness. Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase Bia fulo meaning not properly cooked. The Kalabari of Kula named the estuary of Santa Barbara Bia fulo because of the turbulence of the sea at the estuary. The Portuguese like they did to many other names, words and phrases which they could not pronounce properly named the area Biafra. Later the coastline from the estuary of River Nun to the coast of Gabon was named the Bight of Biafra. “The doyen of our struggle Isaac Adaka Boro clearly affirmed that Ijaw is BIiafra in chapter six, page 57 of his autobiography ‘Twelve Day Revolution’. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, before the declaration of secession, convoked an Eastern Nigerian consultative Assembly to decide on the direction and way forward for the Eastern Region after the 1966/1967 pogrom against Easterners in the north. The assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose Biafra which was put forward by Frank

“The doyen of our struggle Isaac Adaka Boro clearly affirmed that Ijaw is BIiafra in chapter six, page 57 of his autobiography ‘Twelve Day Revolution’. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, before the declaration of secession, convoked an Eastern Nigerian consultative Assembly to decide on the direction and way forward for the Eastern Region after the 1966/1967 pogrom against Easterners in the north. The assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose Biafra which was put forward by Frank Opigo an Ijaw.”

Credit: vanguardngr

Diezani Alison-Madueke Not Dead– Aide

Former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke is not dead as being speculated yesterday in the digital and social media, an aide, Mr Kevin Alanso has said.
Alanso who served as her adviserwhenshe was Minister, dismissed her death rumours in a text message to THEWILL.  The former Minister is undergoing chemotherapy in a London hospital for a malignant cancer.
Credit: DailyTrust

Zakzaky Not In Army’s Custody– Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai , said on Thursday that the arrested Shi’ite sect leader, Sheikh Ibrahim ElZak-Zaky, is no longer in the custody of the Army. Buratai said this when he met with a delegation from the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) at the Army Headquarters, Abuja. The Army chief, who was responding to the request by NSCIA to meet with the sect leader, said that El-Zak-Zaky had been handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution. According to Buratai, lawlessness must not be tolerated in the society especially when a part of the country is confronted with terrorism.

“As a responsible and law abiding organization, we will do all that we can to always safeguard lives and property. “As for the whereabouts of the Shi’ite leader, he is not in our custody; he has been handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution because we don’t prosecute. “What happened was avoidable and unfortunate, we followed the rules of engagement as enshrined in the constitution but what happened still happened,” he said. Buratai dismissed claims in some quarters that the Army was after members of the sect. He said that the army was only carrying out its constitutional duties.

He urged members of the public to disregard information and pictures contained in a section of the media, describing them as a false reflection of what happened. Earlier in his remark, the leader of the NSCIA, Prof. Daud Noibi, said the group was at the Army headquarters on a factfinding mission. Noibi expressed the concerns of NSCIA on the Zaria incident and reaffirmed the commitment of the council to return peace to the area.

Credit: DailyTimes

Zakzaky, Wife Rescued Not Arrested- Army

The Nigerian Army has debunked rumours that the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was arrested by soldiers at his residence and his wife killed.

The assertion was made by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, in company of the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police and other senior Army officers on Monday.

General Oyebade disclosed that the Islamic cleric and his wife were rescued alive during the bloody clash between the sect members and soldiers, adding that they were in the Army protective custody.

He narrated how members of the movement attacked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who was on his way to pay a courtesy visit to the Emir of Zazzau.

According to him, the Shiite members blocked the Army Chief’s convoy along Sokoto Road in Zaria, and attacked his vehicle with dangerous weapons.

The General stressed that all entreaties by some senior officers for the sect members to leave the road were resisted, a situation which he said prompted the soldiers in the convoy to apply minimum force against them.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Kano Igbo Not In Support Of Biafra– Ohanaeze

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Kano State Chapter, on Thursday, distanced itself from anything that had to do with activities of those agitating for the actualization of Biafra.

It also condemned the recent development which led to the torching of a mosque and the vandalisation of some vehicles at Sokoto Road, in Onitsha, Anambra state.

The President of Ohanaeze Kano Chapter, Chief Chris Chukwubuzor Azuka, said the Igbo people in Kano were not, in any way, in support of what was happening with regards to the agitation for Biafra. He said the move was politically engineered by some corrupt politicians to disrupt the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria and that those who are matching on the streets were criminals and enemies of the state and should be dealt with in accordance to the rule of law.

He remind the Igbo in the eastern part of Nigeria that they must realise the fact that the Igbo people were scattered throughout this great nation conducting legitimate businesses and living peacefully with their host communities that any wrong move taken over there like the attack on a place of worship and attacks on strangers or their properties could lead to reprisal attacks on the Igbo people living in other states, and, consequently degenerate into great crisis in the whole country.

Credit: DailyTimes

Why PDP Should Not Celebrate Akwa Ibom Tribunal Judgment- Umana

The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana, has said there is nothing for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to celebrate over the verdict of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that upheld elections in 13 out of 31 local government areas in the state.

Umana who was embraced by intimidating crowd at the Ibom International Airport on arrival to the state from Abuja weekend after the judgment of the election petition tribunal last Wednesday said it was not yet over for the PDP.

Reports gathered that the convoy and crowd that escorted Umana from the airport caused  a scare on the road as people cued along both side of the major roads in the city to wave  and welcome Umana.

Addressing thousands of APC faithful that gathered at the Nsima Ekere open ground along Edet Akpan Avuene, the APC governorship candidate said he was excited by the matured reception accorded him by the crowd.

“When I arrive the airport, I was confused and somehow someone told me that the good people of Akwa Ibom got to know that I will be coming on Saturday.  This response and expression that we witnessed is all spontaneous; it was not planned, not funded by me or the party.

“This has given me an indication as to the feelings of the people of Akwa Ibom State. I want to thank them for this level of solidarity and to assure them that we will not relent; we will pursue this struggle to free Akwa Ibom State,” he stressed.

Credit: Thisday

Oliseh, Musa Not Carried Away By 3-0 Victory Over Cameroun

Although the Super Eagles were imperial in their 3-0 defeat of eternal rivals, Cameroun, in a friendly game on Sunday, the team’s coach, Sunday Oliseh, and Captain Ahmed Musa say a lot still has to be done to get the team to the desired level. But they agree that the signs are good.

The team on Thursday lost 0-2 to Congo DR before bouncing back on Sunday with an emphatic 3-0 defeat of Cameroun.

Speaking after Sunday’s game in Belgium, Musa said the players showed they had the quality to achieve greatness, adding that they would gel as long as they continued playing together.

“It was a very good game for us. We did well and it served the purpose because we are gradually coming back to the team Nigerians want us to be, which we also want to be, we understand ourselves better being a new team. We all put in our best to achieve the result,” Musa said.

Read More: ngrguardiannews

Buhari, APC Not Dictatorial- Tinubu

A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday dismissed the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the APC-led Federal Government was dictatorial in nature.

Mr. Tinubu, who was fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said the president had been adhering strictly to rule of law.

According to him, President Buhari should rather be commended for stimulating the economy across the states of the federation.
“He was elected on a platform of democracy and he has adhered to rule of law so far.

“What is dictatorship about what he has done? He has helped to stimulate the economy in the various states and that is where the people are.

“So, what is dictatorship?.

“If they don’t have anything to say, they rather be quiet. They created what is wrong here today and we cannot sweep that under the carpet. There must be rule of law.’’

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Why Gov. Lalong Has Not Received Any Salary Since May 29

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State says he has not received a salary as the governor since he assumed office on May 29.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday, the governor explained that he decided not take any salary because his focus was to first settle the backlog of salaries owed civil servants incurred before he assumed the leadership of the state.

“We want to take care of the salaries of civil servants first before we look at ourselves,” he said. “We are yet to constitute the cabinet because we inherited a very huge debt. As soon as the debts are reduced we will constitute the cabinet.”


Chadian President Tells Nigeria Not To Negotiate With Boko Haram

CHADIAN leader Idriss Deby yesterday fueled the speculation that Boko Ha­ram leader Abubakar Shek­au is dead when he said the sect has a new leader who is ready to negotiate with the Federal Government.

Deby gave the new leader’s name as Maha­mat Daoud while address­ing the press in the capital N’Djamena on the 55th an­niversary of Chad’s inde­pendence from France. He however advised the Nige­rian government not to suc­cumb to pressure to hold talks with the militants.

“There is someone ap­parently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian gov­ernment. “For my part, I would advise not to nego­tiate with a terrorist,” the president said.

Controversy has dogged claims by the Nigerian mil­itary that Shekau is dead, as the sect had repeatedly claimed that the dreaded leader is alive. Shekau had always appeared in videos disparaging Nigerian lead­ers and the military.

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No. 1 Reason For NOT Finding a Love Relationship (& What You Can Do About It)

“How the hell is it possible that a fabulous person like me, who is very serious about finding a committed relationship – hasn’t found one, yet?”

How could this be? It makes no sense. Has the world gone crazy? Is there no God? Does someone need to channel Albert Einstein for an answer? If he can explain thetheory of relativity, maybe he can explain his theory on why you have no honey!

If you’ve been saying to yourself (and your friends, family, street people and anyone within listening range), “I’m tired of being single – when am I going to meet Mr. Right (Miss Right),” the planet Saturn may be trying to contact you with an urgent message.

And…it’s good news! When the planet Saturn transits the 7th House of Relationshipsin your horoscope, it may provide you with the answer to the perplexing question about why you are single and not in a relationship that would rival Romeo and Juliet. (See the end of this article to find out where transiting Saturn is in your birth chart.)

Saturn is affecting you if you’re feeling lonely, with a real “hole in your heart,” because you don’t have a happy love relationship in your life. Its planetary energies can make you depressed about being alone. (Even if you’re in a relationship you may feel like you’re alone, if your needs are not being met by your partner.)

If this is the case, the influences of Saturn can put you in touch with the limitations and restrictions that may be prohibiting you from finding the right relationship. In your attempts to find the right one, something maybe wrong in the way you’ve gone about it; so now is the time to ask yourself what it might be.

Saturn’s presence in your life at this time is to help you re-evaluate changes you might make that would bring you a love relationship. If you spend too much time by yourself (or at work), perhaps it’s time to get out and socialize with others. Why not join a social or professional organization where you can make new connections?

If you’re so critical that no one seems interesting, maybe it’s time a meet different people or reevaluate your standards. Or, maybe it’s time to come to terms with whether you actually want a romantic partner in your life. Saturn is there to encourage some change that will help you get what you want.

If you’ve been dating someone exclusively, seeking a long-term relationship, this can be a serious and intense time of deciding to have a committed love relationship in the form of marriage or living together. Or, it maybe time to be realistic and recognize that you are not in a relationship that will lead to the long-run commitment you want. Saturn’s message: review and re-evaluate your relationships (or lack of).

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Why FG Will Not Sponsor Delegation For 2015 Hajj

In his bid to reduce the cost of governance, President Muhammadu Buhari announced yesterday that there will be no federal government delegation to the 2015 pilgrimage in Mecca.

He said states should take the responsibility of appointing their delegation as the federal government will not get itself involved in the process, adding that the decision is for both procedural and economic reasons and not one aimed at any group or individual.

Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who revealed this in a statement yesterday, noted that Buhari is strongly convinced that the decision will save the country about one $1 million and N30 million in local expenses.

“The states can deal with that (meaning appointment of own delegations) but this year, at the centre, we will not be involved,” Shehu quoted the president as saying.

He noted, however, that government will carry out its duty to Nigerians on the annual pilgrimage by extending to them consular, medical and welfare support as is expected of it.

The presidential spokesman further said the president reassured that government would not fail in its obligations to the citizens on pilgrimage in spite of the absence of a government delegation.

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Dickson, Alamieyeseigha Not Sent Out Of Otuoke Meeting- PDP

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson and former governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, were never sent out of PDP Fact Finding Committee meeting in Bayelsa.

This is contained in a statement signed by the PDP National Vice Chairman, South-South and Secretary, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, in Abuja on Wednesday.

It stated that the clarification was necessary following false media reports that the two politicians were sent out of the party’s peace meeting at Otuoke, Bayelsa, on Aug. 1. “I, Ojougboh on the instruction of Dr Haliru Bello, the Chairman Board of Trustee (BOT), who is also the Chairman of the committee, hereby affirm that at no time were these two great party men asked out of the meeting.

“The committee met with the governor and State Exco on one hand, the former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the aggrieved party members on the other hand separately,” Ojogboh said.

It stated that the committee had a very good outing which resulted in the recall of the suspended and expelled party members in Bayelsa.

“The recalled members were pleased to return to the party.”

“The party wishes to state that this misinformation is the hand work of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as they are afraid of the outcome of the reconciliation in the party.

“We, therefore, urge the PDP Bayelsa, to discountenance these mischief makers, bind and bond properly as we move to retain Bayelsa in the forthcoming gubernatorial election,” it stated.

Credit: NAN

APC Southwest Chairmen Vow To Never Acknowledge Saraki, Dogara

Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the Southwest have vowed not to recognize the emergence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara until the crisis revolving around the National Assembly contest is sufficiently resolved by the party.

Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the party, Chief Jide Awe disclosed this yesterday as his counterpart in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke insisted that the two presiding officers of the National Assembly should apologise to the party to avoid compounding their problems.

The duo spoke in the wake of assertions that the Southwest caucus of the party may have decided to boycott activities of the party upon the crisis provoked by the failure of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to win the leadership contest and the subsequent resistance to his emergence as Majority Leader of the House.

Speaking on the development, Awe said: “I was at the NEC meeting but I did not go and salute the Senate President and the Speaker. This is because there are issues on ground that have not been resolved by the leadership of the party. This crisis has to be resolved. We are a third party to this crisis and a third party should not contribute to an existing problem, rather he should look for solutions.”

Read More: vanguardngr

Kim & Kanye Made Sure Their Next Child Was A Boy By Only Choosing Male Embryos

According to reports, a source claimed that Kim and Kanye made sure their new baby was a boy by choosing only male embryos.
From Us Magazine:

Reality star Kim Kardashian, 34, and husband Kanye West underwent an IVF gender-selection process this spring to predetermine baby No. 2’s sex. “She only had boy embryos implanted,” says a source close to Kardashian, who confirmed the gender on Monday June 21, after Us Weekly broke the news. During the procedure — which can start at roughly $17,000 — doctors isolate fertilized embryos of the preferred sex in a lab, then transfer them to a uterus.

“Kanye and Kim are so excited to complete their family,” says another source of the parents of daughter North, 2. “Kanye loves Nori more than anything, but to make his world complete, he wanted a little boy, an heir,” says a source close to West.

CCB Explains Why Buhari’s Assets Will Not Be Declared Publicly

The Code of Conduct Bureau says it will not make public the details of assets declared by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo due to limitations in federal laws covering such release, the office has said.

The presidency said those details will be made available after the Code of Conduct Bureau authenticates claims in the declaration forms.

There has been controversy following the inability of President Buhari and his Deputy Osinbajo to release details of their assets since their inauguration May 29, despite the promise to do so.

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Buhari Has Not Ordered Sale of 9 Presidential Jets, Says Presidency

Contrary to reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the immediate disposal of nine of the 11 VIP transport aircraft in the presidential fleet, the presidency on Friday denied knowledge of any such directive.

THISDAY newspaper had quoted unnamed sources as saying the president had directed the selling of serviceable and unserviceable aircrafts to cut maintenance costs in line with the government’s policy to drastically reduce its annual expenditure.

Eight of the planes in the fleet, including Boeing 737, two Gulfstream 550 jets, Gulfstream V jet, two Falcon 7X planes, the Hawker Siddeley aircraft and Augusta Westland chopper, the report said, are reserved strictly for the president’s movement.

Other aircrafts, including two Falcon 900 planes, the Dornier, the Cessna Citation, the Beechracft King Air, and two AugustaWestland choppers, are reserved for the airlifting of the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as visiting African heads of states.

But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, denied knowledge of such directive.

“The story of the order for the sale of aircrafts in the Presidential Fleet, about which so much interest is being expressed, is not known to us,” Mr. Shehu said.

Mr. Shehu said if anything like that was being contemplated, the Presidency would issue a statement through its official channels to announce it.


Okonjo-Iweala Vows Not To Pay Marketers

The federal government is spoiling for a fresh showdown with oil importers over subsidy payment.

This is coming as there is no end in sight yet for the current face off between the two sides that has grounded the nation for several days now.

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday accused them of submitting to government suspicious payment claims to the tune of N159billion in exchange rate differentials.

The payment claims, according to her, reeked of fraud.

She told reporters at a farewell meeting in Abuja that she would not approve payment of the claims unless verified by the relevant authorities.

“Marketers were asking for N159 billion for exchange rate differentials from the outstanding N200 billion. There has been so much fraud and scam so I have refused to sign for that money but have agreed that a committee be set up involving the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to verify marketers’ claims,” she said.

”Marketers just want to make Nigerians suffer,” she added.

The minister also slammed the marketers for allegedly blackmailing Nigerians and asked the people to resist.

Insisting that the current fuel scarcity has nothing to do with paying the marketers, she said: “They are making a lot of money from black market activities, people should rise up against the blackmail of oil marketers.

“I will not pay the N159 billion without verification, Nigerians should not allow themselves to be blackmailed.”

The minister said there was something curious about the supply of and payment for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Her words: “I cannot say that the problem is due to not paying marketers, the process of paying marketers is always a rolling process and there has never been a time government reduced its financial obligation to marketers to zero.

“In a year where so much effort has been made to pay marketers including prioritizing their payment as subsidy claims in favour of other financial obligation like paying contractors, yet fuel scarcity still persists at this  particular point in time suggests that something suspicious is happening.”

She responded to the claim by Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Jonathan administration will be leaving a $60 billion debt burden for   the in-coming government.

She said that Nigeria’s total debt indeed stands at $63.7 billion but it is the totality  of all the debts incurred by successive  governments since 1960.

“No $60 billion was accumulated under the Jonathan administration,” she said.

She added: “Current debt stock includes both federal and state governments debts made up of $9.7 billion external debt or 15 per cent of total debt stock and $54 billion or 85 per cent domestic debt stock.

“Nigeria is still repaying the multilateral loans it collected on concessionary terms with as long as 40 years maturity periods.”

The breakdown of the accumulated domestic stock is  $18.575 billion outstanding by 2007, $17.3 billion accumulated between 2008 and 2011 and $18 billion accumulated between 2012 and 2015.

“This is so because of something that happened in 2010 because of the salary increment under Yar’Adua administration which increased civil servants salaries by 53 per cent.

“Those bonds have been rolled over and government had to weather the difficulties because resources to fund such increase were not there,” she said.

She described Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio as one of the lowest in the world.

On the domestic debt stock, she said 20 per cent is owed by state governments with Lagos state having an external debt burden of N1.169 trillion while the balance of 80 per cent belongs to the federal government.

Reviewing her tenure, Okonjo-Iweala said she has no regrets in serving the country and declared that anyone called upon to serve Nigeria should consider it a privilege.

“Some people criticise from afar but some came home in spite of challenges to serve,” she said.

She faulted suggestions that the economy was mismanaged, saying: “The economy is reacting to the forces of demand and supply but there is hope for the country. Only that people will have to make sacrifices.

“The out-going government, she said, achieved a lot but she lamented that “there are very serious attempts to rewrite history.”

Meanwhile, there is still no respite for motorists and commuters across the country as the fuel scarcity persisted yesterday.

Most filling stations remained shut and only a few managed to sell but at exorbitant prices.

On the other hand black markets continue to thrive with operators charging as much as N350 per litre in parts of Lagos.


Missing $20bn: I Did Not Hire PWC For The Audit, Says Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has distanced herself from the audit firm, PriceWatersHouseCoopers, saying she should not be held responsible for its hiring to probe Nigeria’s alleged missing oil money, days after a widely-discredited report by PwC was released.

As finance minister and coordinator of the economy, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala played a leading role in 2014 when PwC as hired, as the government tried to counter an allegation that $20 billion oil money had been stolen. Former Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, who made the claim, accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC of diverting the money.

After efforts by the government and the Senate to reconcile the sum yielded no tangible results, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala recommended an independent forensic audit. She later announced the hiring of PriceWaterHouseCoopers.

The report containing the outcome of PwC’s investigation, was released Monday several months after the firm completed its assignment. PriceWaterHouseCoopers however said the work should not be relied upon, as it failed to meet international standards. In an unusual statement Thursday, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala sought to steer clear of the audit firm, although she said her response followed a lawsuit blaming her for the hiring.

A statement released by Paul Nwabuikwu, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s spoksperson, said the minister was responding to a lawsuit filed by a group of three accounting firms before a Lagos High Court, accusing Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala of violating federal local content law by appointing PwC.

The statement was issued before the minister received a formal notification of a suit, a rather unusual and prompt response seen as an attempt by Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala to comment on the PwC case. “The CME is astonished by the news of the said court action which is spurious in the extreme,” spokesperson Mr. Nwabuikwu said. “It is shocking that professionals of the calibre of the SIAO Partners can embark on this kind of legal action without taking the trouble to do the minimum amount of homework to confirm basic facts.” The statement said “Okonjo-Iweala did not appoint the PWC to carry out the audit”. The minister called on those behind the suit to immediately drop it or face her in court.