BREAKING: Buhari Approves Extension Of Eased COVID-19 Lockdown By Four Weeks

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.

Continue reading “BREAKING: Buhari Approves Extension Of Eased COVID-19 Lockdown By Four Weeks”

Nigeria’s debt to hit N33trn as FG plans fresh N4.28trn loan

Nigeria’s debt burden will hit N32.91trillion as the federal government has notified the National Assembly of a fresh plan to borrow N4.28 trillion to fund the 2021 budget.

Continue reading “Nigeria’s debt to hit N33trn as FG plans fresh N4.28trn loan”

Oil rises for a fourth day, buoyed by OPEC supply plans

Oil rose for a fourth session in a row on Monday buoyed by the prospect that top exporter Saudi Arabia will push OPEC and may be Russia to cut supply towards the end of this year.Brent crude futures were up 24 cents at $67.00 a barrel by 1000 GMT, while U.S. futures rose 38 cents to $56.84.

“Oil prices continued to recover … (as) the market will be watching closely for the possible impact of a (supply) cut,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of Indian energy consultancy, Trifecta.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, is pushing for the group and its partners to reduce output by one million to 1.4 million barrels per day to prevent a build-up of unused fuel.

“It appears that the market takes a production cut for granted. We’ll see if it is right after the next OPEC meeting on December 6.

“It is not unreasonable to anticipate stable prices until then,” PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said.

Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, said on Monday that Russia, which is not an OPEC member, planned to sign a partnership agreement with the group, and that details would be discussed at OPEC’s Dec. 6 meeting in Vienna.

Despite Monday’s gains, Brent is almost 25 per cent below early October’s 2018 peak of $86.74, as evidence of slowing demand has materialised and output from the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia hit historic highs.

A U.S. decision to grant waivers to some of Iran’s oil customers, who faced the prospect of a drop-off in supply from sanctions that came into force in early November, has also helped soothe concern about availability of crude.

A trade dispute between the United States and China is one reason investors are a lot warier about the outlook for oil demand growth next year.

Fund managers cut their bullish exposure to crude futures and options to the lowest since around mid-2017 this month.

Weekly exchange data shows money managers hold a combined net long position equivalent to around 364 million barrels of U.S. and Brent crude futures and options, down from over 800 million barrels two months ago.

“The main trend remains bearish as investors no longer believe in a risk of supply tightness for crude,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said.


Cover Photo: Oil refinery. Photo: The Guardian.

Shiites confirm attacking Buhari in Abuja

The Islamic Moment of Nigeria (IMN), also referred to as Shiites group, has confirmed that its members attacked President Muhammadu Buhari last Friday at the National Mosque, Abuja.

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The group said they attacked the President because of his continued refusal to release their leader, El-Zakzaky for over two years now.

It said during a peaceful protest of the detention of their leader yesterday in Abuja, that it was forced to confront President Buhari at the National Mosque to press home their demands.

The group noted that the Federal Government was still holding El-Zakzaky in captivity even as his health continues to deteriorate due to gunshot wounds.

A member of the group, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa told The Guardian that their peaceful protest was gaining momentum due to Federal Government’s injustice and the Nigerian Army’s high handedness against their leader.

“As we speak, El-Zakzaky is blind in one of his eyes and the other one is almost becoming blind. He has several bullet wounds in his stomach and he even suffered a mild stroke in early January this year before they allowed his personal doctor to attend to him.

“We have been protesting for two years now, we have been teargased, and many have been killed by the police including Sheikh Umar Sokoto and we have held over 80 protests.

“This is why last Friday, we met the President at the mosque and told him you ‘are a criminal, a tyrant, and an oppressor.’ All Nigerians should come out and push out this person otherwise he will push us into a civil war,” he said.

A female member of the group who identified herself as Aisha, said it was wrong for the President to continue to detain El-Zakzaky for no reason, adding that even the courts have ordered that he should be set free, so why is he still in detention?


SOURCE: The Guardian, Nigeria

Nigeria deports Cameroonian Separatist Leaders

Nigeria deports Cameroonian Separatist Leaders


THE Nigerian government on Friday deported 12 Cameroonian separatist leaders who were arrested earlier this month, their lawyer said Monday.

Nigeria deports Cameroonian Separatist Leaders
Ambazonia protest. Photo: Premium Times


Julius Ayuk Tabe and 11 others were arrested at Nera Hotels Abuja on January 6 and were detained at the Defence Intelligence Agency, said Femi Falana who has been providing legal support for them.

The detainees were largely held incommunicado, which included denial of access to their lawyers, doctors and family members.

However, the deputy representative of the office of United Nations Commissioner for Refugees to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Brigitte Mukanga-Eno, was allowed to visit them in detention last week, Mr. Falana said.

The treatment prompted the lawyer to file a fundamental rights suit to enforce the rights of their clients.

The Buhari administration was criticised for arresting the leaders in a defiant departure from Nigeria’s longstanding policy of being sympathetic towards freedom fighters.

Nigeria was widely praised for its support for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Mr. Falana told PREMIUM TIMES that the Nigerian government was ashamed to announce the deportation, which is being celebrated by Cameroonian authorities as a major victory in their clampdown on Mr. Tabe and other leaders of the self-proclaimed Ambasonia state in English-speaking parts of Cameroon.

About 39 other Ambasonian separatist leaders who were detained in Taraba were also reported to have been sent back to Cameroon on Friday by the Nigerian government.

Cameroonian authorities said they have the men and vowed to put them through a thorough trial for their alleged offences.

“The group of 47 terrorists, among them Mr. Ayuk Tabe, has for some hours been in the hands of Cameroonian justice, before which they will answer for their crimes,” Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement reported by Reuters Monday.

Mr. Falana condemned the deportation as “contemptuous of the proceedings pending before the Federal High Court.”


SOURCE: Premium Times

'Niger Delta Militants' protest in Ondo

‘Niger Delta Militants’ protest in Ondo


A large number of youth claiming to be former armed militants in the Niger Delta area of Ondo State on Friday protested in Akure, the state capital, over their non-inclusion in the extended amnesty program.

'Niger Delta Militants' protest in Ondo
Former Niger Delta militants protesting. Photo: Premium Times

The youth, numbering about 500, also threatened to return to the creeks to bear arms against the government if they were not properly captured and included in the program.

The protesters stormed the office of the State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), in Oba-Ile, Akure, set up bonfires and prevented free flow of traffic along the expressway.

They also prevented employees of the commission from entering the office.

According to the protesters, the government conducted a fake amnesty programme for them.

Mobile policemen were deployed to disperse the protesters, using teargas.

The protesters, who were led by their respective camp leaders, alleged that the amnesty window opened between November 9 and 21 last year was a sham.

The respective camp leaders who addressed themselves as generals, include Deji Williams (United Sea-wolf Avengers), Seamaco(Awaja Camp), Ebiee(Niger Delta Militant Vanguard), Mayowa (Dragon Camp) and Bbanju (Lion Camp).

They alleged that the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, was using the amnesty program to build his political structure rather than using it to achieve peace in the region.

Speaking on their behalf, Mr. Williams said they regretted laying down their arms, as the Ondo State government deceived them into believing that programme was genuine.

“Right now, many of us are regretting the action of laying down our arms and ammunition because we could see a complete deceit and fraud in the Amnesty Program,” he said.

“So, we are no longer interested in dealing with the Ondo state Amnesty Committee Program having lost confidence in them since the politicians in the state have hijacked all the slots.”

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, however, dismissed the allegations of the protesters, saying most of them were not recognised ex-militants.

He described them as a “group of jobless and disgruntled elements masquerading themselves as ex-militants.”

Mr. Olowolabi said the number of ex-militants captured during the biometric exercise were 4000, saying the number of forms from Abuja was only 1000.

According to him, the leaders from the various camps were invited, and after deliberations, “harmonised and distributed the forms among themselves.”

He said the amnesty program of the state government had received commendation from other Niger Delta states, insisting that majority of the protesters are not ex-militants.


SOURCE: Premium Times

House of Reps order banks to unblock Patience Jonathan’s accounts

House of Reps order banks to unblock Patience Jonathan’s accounts

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has directed six commercial banks to free accounts operated by former first lady, Patience Jonathan.

House of Reps order banks to unblock Patience Jonathan’s accounts
House of Reps

The committee chaired by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (Abia-PDP), gave the directive on Tuesday in Abuja at a hearing on a petition by Mrs. Jonathan.

The affected banks are Union Bank, First Bank, EcoBank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank and Skye Bank.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had directed the banks to freeze the accounts over allegations of corruption in the sources of the funds.

Officials of Union Bank, led by a lawyer, Kenneth Otowo, had told the panel that the bank placed Mrs. Jonathan’s account under a ‘precautionary restriction’ following a directive by the EFCC.

“We received a communication from EFCC to put a precautionary restriction on the account. The letter was dated March 21, 2016, so we had to act based on that,’’ he said.

But, the committee deplored the action, saying the bank could only take such decision if EFCC proved that it had obtained a court order to that effect.

“Until EFCC proves otherwise, I’ll ask you to remove the precautionary restriction on the account. Let me tell you, whatever you’ll do, you must follow the law. A bank can’t hold a legal entity to ransom.

“I want to order all other banks that all the accounts that have no specific pending order from the courts, please release them,’’ the committee chairman said.

The counsel to EcoBank, Afam Osigwe, said Mrs. Jonathan’s account could not have been on restriction because there was no court order to that effect.

He later said that the bank would cross-check its records and get back to the committee.

As for Diamond Bank, Mr. Jonathan’s lawyers said three of her accounts were frozen there.

However, Unoma Ndulue, who represented the bank, said two out of the three accounts were fully operative, while one was closed.

On Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers said they did not have a direct issue with the bank, but that it was through the EFCC.

Officials of First Bank and Skye Bank were not present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the committee has given Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC acting Chairman, up to October 4 to appear before it or have arrest warrant issued against him.

Similarly, the panel asked Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to reconcile their positions on an alleged tax default of over N10 million.

FIRS had said that Aridolf Resort Wellness and SPA, owned by Mrs Jonathan, failed to pay taxes in spite of serial reminders.

However, her lawyers insisted that they had paid all their taxes to the agency.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Premium Times

Deployment of soldiers, violation of civil rights: Osita Chidoka assembles lawyers

Deployment of soldiers, violation of civil rights: Osita Chidoka assembles lawyers

The former minister of aviation Osita Chidoka has decried the ‘heavy’ deployment of soldiers and weapons to various states in the south-eastern part of Nigeria.

Deployment of soldiers, violation of civil rights: Osita Chidoka assembles lawyers

Chidoka raised concern over military’s operation with the code name “Exercise Egwu Eke II” (Python Dance II) in the region which is resulting to avoidable loss of lives.

The former minister in a statement signed by his campaign’s media director Viola Okolie said the reported cases of human rights abuse by uniformed men in the region is uncalled for.

Okolie said the Osita Chidoka’s campaign office will leave no stone unturned regarding the military’s operation in the region.

The statement said: “While we call on all our citizens to be peaceful and law-abiding, we will definitely not accept any deliberate act of provocation, harassment or infringement on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of our people by uniformed men, and for this we demand from the military high command, assurances of utmost professionalism and strict observance to international best practices and approved rules of engagement.”

Okolie said the Osita Chidoka Campaign office has also set up a machinery to monitor the activities of the military in the region to ensure that the rights of the people are preserved.

She said the office has employed the services of lawyers and activists – on pro bono – who have volunteered to ensure that any infringement on the peoples rights are documented and subsequently acted on.

“Already, we have lawyers and human rights activists who have volunteered to work with us on pro bono basis to ensure that any act of infraction against the constitutionally guaranteed rights of any of our people is immediately taken up through legal and constitutional means.

“In the light of this, our citizens are availed of our campaign website (www.ositachidoka.com.ng) and mobile app (ositadinma2017 on playstore) to upload pictures and videos, and report any infringement on their rights. They can also make use of phone numbers on our website, mobile app and fliers to share useful information accordingly,” the statement said.

Okolie said the sole aim is of the monitoring is to ensure that the safety and well-being of innocent and law-abiding citizens are ultimately guaranteed.

“On this, we are ready and willing to work with all relevant government agencies as well as well-meaning individuals and groups.

“The Osita Chidoka Campaign and our great party, the United Progressive Party (UPP) believe in the people.

“We believe in their dignity and will therefore do all, without fear, to ensure that their rights as individuals under the constitution are not infringed upon.

“We are aware of the enormous confidence our people repose in us and we will not let them down, even as we work hard to ensure the success of the candidate with their mandate, Chief Osita Chidoka in the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election,” the statement said.

Chidoka while receiving the flag of the UPP – the party which he will be contesting for the Anambra governorship election – said an end of an irresponsible government for the people of Anambra was near.

The former minister also said UPP is focused on restoring the voice of Nigerians of Igbo extraction without running the state aground like previous administration.

He further cautioned the federal government and the security agencies on the use of force on residents in the state who are genuinely exercising their right through various agitations.

Diezani stole more money than Abach did – Magu

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu says the funds allegedly stolen by Diezani Alison-Madueke, surpasses that of the late military head of state, Sani Abacha – as only 15 per cent of her loot has been recovered.

Diezani  Alison-Madueke

Mr Magu said the agency was already making moves to facilitate the extradition of the former minister and to recover the rest, which will take some time.

“We are working on the process of Diezani’s extradition. But we have to allow them (the UK government) because we are collaborating,” he told Punch.

“There is the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service in London, and our colleagues, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America. We had cause to meet in London. I was there myself for about a week. We are working not only on the Diezani case, but the Diezani case has become a test case.

“It is even more notorious than the so-called Abacha loot because we have not seen anything yet. I’m sure what we have seen is not more than may be 15 per cent. I think it is going to be a long time. That is why sometimes I think we should appeal to the looters to return the loot. Come and tell the government, ‘This is what I have stolen.’ Since you have voluntarily complied with the instruction to bring back the loot, then the government will take a decision. I think it is the best way to go about it, otherwise, the monies would be wasted.

“Diezani has a lot of people who are well connected, like (Jide) Omokore who are international businessmen. They have private aircraft and you can’t see any of them in Nigeria. They went and kept them in Ghana, some of them.”

Magu added that the EFCC is in collaboration with “almost all law enforcement agencies in the world” to recover loot stashed abroad by Nigerians.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Punch/YNaija

As long as Nigerians cannot afford 3-square meal, Nigeria is still in recession

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has said recession is not over until Nigerians can eat three square meals.

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He said this while responding to a report by the NBS that the nation has exited recession.

In a series of tweets in Wednesday, Atiku said although the news was a good one, inflation was still high.

He wrote, “As a Nigerian, investor and employer of labour, the news of Nigeria’s official emergence from the recession is most welcome.

“The news is surely a boost for Nigeria — it tells investors, local and foreign, that our economy is worth investing in.

“While we rejoice, it’s also important to recognise that economic weakness at the bottom of the pyramid remains. Inflation is still high.

“We must continue working hard to expand economic opportunity for all Nigerians.

“When all Nigerians can eat three square meals, that’s when the real recession ends. We have work to do.”


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/YNaija

Nigerians will feel the impact of end of recession – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president has said Nigerians will soon feel the impact of coming out of recession.

The President made thi known through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who quoted him as saying this on Tuesday in his country home of Daura, Katsina State while receiving the president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou.

He said the real gain should be improved conditions for Nigerians.

Responding to questions from journalists, Buhari said, “Certainly I should be happy for what it is worth. I am looking forward to ensuring that the ordinary Nigerian feels the impact.’’

Buhari added that more work needed to be done to improve the growth rate.

“Until coming out of recession translates into meaningful improvement in peoples’ lives, our work cannot be said to be done,” he said.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/YNaija

Boko Haram have killed 400 since July – Amnesty

Boko Haram has killed 381 civilians in Nigeria and Cameroon since the beginning of April, rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday, a testament to the militant group’s deadly resurgence.

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The Nigerian military has repeatedly said Boko Haram has been “defeated”, But in recent months, it has carried out a string of lethal suicide bombings and other high-profile attacks on towns and an oil exploration team.

The number of deaths since April 1 is more than double that for the preceding five months, Amnesty said.

Boko Haram has killed 223 civilians in Nigeria since April. The forcing of women and girls to act as suicide bombers has driven the sharp rise in deaths in northeast Nigeria and northern Cameroon, said Amnesty.

“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty’s director for West and Central Africa.

In Nigeria, the deadliest attack was in July, when the militants abducted an oil exploration team with staff of the state oil firm and a university while they were travelling in a military convoy. Boko Haram killed 40 people and kidnapped three others, Amnesty said. [nL5N1KL0F8]

Boko Haram suicide bombers have killed 81 people in Nigeria since the start of April, said Amnesty.

In Cameroon, the Islamist insurgency has killed at least 158 people in the same period. That is also linked to a rise in suicide bombings, the deadliest of which killed 16 people in Waza in July, the rights group said. [nL8N1K4261]

More than 2.5 million people have been displaced or become refugees in the Lake Chad region – which includes Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad – while 7.2 million people lack secure access to food because of the conflict with Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.

The insurgency has left more than 20,000 people dead since it began in 2009.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist.BBC/Amnesty International/Reporting by Paul Carsten; editing by Andrew Roche

President Buhari signs new bilateral agreement

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed the Instrument of Ratification for a number of agreements covering Anti-Corruption, Tax Admin & Intellectual Property Protection.

The President disclosed this on his official Twitter handle.

He noted that it was an important step, in line with the delivery of our Anti-Corruption & Economic Diversification Vision.

The President added that he has directed all relevant Government agencies and bodies to commence immediate implementation of these Agreements.

Why did New Heads of Agencies appointed by Osinbajo declined his directive to resume work?

The new heads of some agencies appointed by Prof Yemi Osinbajo while he was Acting President have declined his directive to resume their portfolios pending the Senate’s confirmation.

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Vice President Osinbajo directed the new heads of the ICPC, CCB and PenCom to take up their roles and report to their offices on Monday, 21st August, 2017. This message was countered by the Senate last week which made it clear to the new officers that they were to await their approbation first before assuming their roles.

The agencies for which new heads were appointed are under the Presidency, but it is the belief of the Senate that its constitutional duty of giving assent to the appointments made by the Executive does extend to include those made for agencies under the Presidency.

This argument has become necessary following the insinuation by Prof Osinbajo, in line with Femi Falana’s opinion, that the EFCC Chairman did not need to be screened and approved by the Senate. It has been a particular point of disagreement for both arms of Government, with neither party backing down.

Finding themselves in the middle of the loggerheads between both, maintaining their status quo of non-deployment proves to be the more pragmatic choice, to avoid being in contempt of the legislature. The ICPC and CCB are particularly sensitive agencies, with some politicians as their targets; Senate President Bukola Saraki only just got off the hook from the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s inquisition. The ICPC secretary has resumed, but the CCB officials have held off the temptation to jump on board.

Rather than take the acting roles that would have made them play to the will of the Executive while anticipating the decision of the Senate, the politicized nature of the Magu example is perhaps the masquerade that has scared them away.

On arrival, here is what Buhari said to security chiefs

Here is what Buhari said to security chiefs On arrival

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday directed security chiefs to ensure the unity of Nigeria just as he stated in his nationwide broadcast on Monday.

On arrival, here is what Buhari said to security chiefs

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, disclosed the presidential directive to State House correspondents after a meeting Buhari had with the nation’s security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari had in his broadcast to the nation said, “Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.”

Highlights from what Olonishakin said:

  • The President asked them to ensure they follow what he said in his address.
  • Buhari said Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.
  • Security Chiefs must ensure that lives and property are very well protected.
  • Troops abroad should carry out their jobs effectively.
  • All security threats were treated one after the other, ranging from “terrorism to kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers clash, to IPOB issue.”
  • “On the Boko Haram issue, you all know it is an asymmetric warfare. It is not that the Boko Haram has stepped up their game. It is just the issue of the suicide bombing that has been the problem and of course, we also working with the security agencies and the intelligence agencies to make sure that we address that menace.”

BREAKING: President Buhari returns to Nigeria after much pressure

The sickened Nigerians president on Saturday, the 19th day of August 2017, returned to Nigeria after over 100 days in an unknown London Hospital.

President Muhammadu Buhari who had been in London where he is being treated of an unknown sickness arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja Saturday afternoon.

On the ground to welcome him include the minister of information and communication, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, His media aids and host of other APC members.

More details soon…

#ResumeOrResign: Presidency reacts to attack on Charly Boy

#ResumeOrResign: Presidency reacts to attack on Charly Boy

The Presidency on Wednesday reacted to the protests that rocked Wuse market in Abuja describing it as ‘ethnicised’ and selfish.

#ResumeOrResign: Presidency reacts to attack on Charly Boy
Charly Boy during the #ResumeOrResign Protest [Photo Credit: The Guardian Nigeria]
It also criticised the #ResumeOrResign group led by Charles Oputa, popularly called Charly Boy, for taking the protests to a sensitive spot like the Wuse market.

The protesters were attacked by persons believed to be supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari leading to injury to some including police officers who tried to maintain peace.

The market, the largest in Abuja, was subsequently shut down and was only reopened on Wednesday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, addressed a pro-Buhari group from the Niger-Delta region which staged a separate rally in Abuja on Wednesday, to counter the #ResumeOrResign protesters.

The #ResumeOrResign protesters are calling for the resumption or resignation of the president.

Mr. Buhari has been in London for medical treatment of an undisclosed ailment for 100 days

Dozens of pro-Buhari protesters gathered at the Unity Fountain at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday and concluded their rally with a solidarity march to the junction of Presidential Villa where they were received by the presidential media aide and his colleague, Garba Shehu.

The protesters were chanting ‘Sai Baba Sai Baba’ and were accompanied by security operatives down to the Presidential Villa where they demonstrated their support for Mr Buhari.

An inscription on one of the placards the protesters carried read ‘Buhari Was Only Sick Not Corrupt.’

Mr. Adesina, while addressing the protesters on behalf of the presidency, condemned the Wuse market protests.

 

“We are not for ethnic cleavages, we are for one Nigeria. Anybody that attempted to ethnicise protests failed. Because everyone has a right to protest and ethnicity is not something that should be introduced to protest.”

“Taking a protest to the market in the first place was wrong, so whoever took the protest to the market place was the one that attempted to make it get out of hand,” he added.

Mr. Adesina added that the presidency noticed that “some people have made efforts to create ethnic cleavages in the country but that what the people from the Niger Delta region did today has reinforced faith that Nigeria will remain one.”

He said the message of his audience would be conveyed to Mr. Buhari.

“Just over the weekend we were with him in London and he told us that he has been following events at home very keenly. We want to thank you very much and urge you to keep this spirit of patriotism.

“This is our country, we have no other one. Whatever we make of it is what we get,” Mr. Adesina added.

“We the youth from the Niger Delta are coming to let every Nigerian know that the president has our total support and he has done well for us.

“Those people protesting for the resignation of the president are anti-party people, they are people that are being sponsored by the opposition party,” Mr. Michael said.

NLC supports ASUU indefinite strike, says FG not doing enough

NLC supports ASUU indefinite strike, says FG not doing enough

The Nigeria Labour has said it supports the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).\

NLC supports ASUU indefinite strike, says FG not doing enough

General Secretary of the NLC, Dr Peter Ozo-Esontold Punch that the Federal Government has the responsibility to honour its agreement.

He was part of the team that negotiated the 2009 agreement on the side of ASUU.

He accused politicians of not caring because their children school abroad.

He said, “When an employer enters into a collective bargaining agreement, it is expected that both parties will honour the terms of the agreement. The 2009 agreement was entered into. Incidentally, I was a member of the negotiating team.

“I negotiated that agreement on the ASUU side and it took a long time for a decision to be reached. Initially, government backed away, then it reconstituted and gave authority to the Onosode committee and at the end, the agreement was signed, but government has failed to fully implement it.

“In 2013, when there was a problem, the NLC had to broker the condition that led to the signing of the MoU. Government again has reneged on its own side of the bargain. So when we say ASUU has gone on strike so many times, we need to put it in perspective to say government has consistently failed to honour its own side of the bargain.

“They (government) do this so brazenly and so easily because most of their children do not attend universities here. They are abroad. And that is where the citizens come in. Citizens must be able to hold these people accountable by insisting that their own children have a right to uninterrupted education too and therefore force government to do what is correct so that education can be without interruption.”

Abubakar Shekau

Abubakar Shekau releases new video, mocks Buhari, Jonathan and Buratai

Days after troops in the northeast were given 40 days to get Abubakar Shekau alive, the leader of a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group has released a video.

Abubakar Shekau
Abubakar Shekau. Photo: The Cable

In the video, Shekau reportedly mocked President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

Shekau also mocked the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, who issued the order to get Shekau within 40 days.

Shekau, who is currently being searched for by troops, mostly spoke in Arabic language in the video.

Ngerian military has reportedly declared that it has enough evidence that Abu Shekau, the leader of a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, is dead.

The report quoted The New Telegraph as saying that the military headquarters however added that there seems to be many Shekaus in existence.

The report said John Enenche, defence spokesperson, who spoke with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, said though Boko Haram has been defeated; there cannot be total peace in the north-east.

Buhari’s doctors don’t want to let him go | Here are what we learn from the last visit to London

President Muhammadu Buhari should be back to Nigeria now if only his doctors will let him.

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That is discernible from the statements that have emerged from the recent visit of the Presidential aides to Buhari in London. Buhari’s doctors are supposed to give the clearance for him to be able to leave Abuja House – where he has been for close to 100 days – for Abuja.

Buhari’s health has been among the most trending issues in Nigeria throughout the year, but moreso in the last three months. The object of his ailment remains a tightly held secret despite the pressures from several quarters, local and international, for the President’s ailment to be revealed. As has been defended by his aides, more recently Lauretta Onochie, President Buhari has enjoyed the usual patient-doctor confidentiality that guarantees the matter of his health to be unknown to the public.

Besides, patient-doctor confidentiality, there are other aspects of the relationship between a doctor and a patient that are instructive to note. With the return of the President now tied to the “green light” of his doctors, it is worthwhile to revisit the words of Buhari’s former physician, Prof Sadiq Suleiman Wali.

In an interview with the Daily Trust in February, Prof Wali enumerated the four principles guiding the relationship between doctors and patients.

“There are four ethical principles, namely:

Autonomy, where a doctor has to explain any action he intends to take with its advantage and disadvantage, possible harms and benefits. The patient has the right to accept or reject the recommendations.

Then there is Beneficence, where all actions and procedures should be of benefit to the patient.

In the case of Malfeasance, it’s ‘do no harm’.

Then there is Justice, when benefit to the patient and community should be assessed. If there is a danger to the community, the doctor can override the wishes of the patient like Lassa fever, Ebola disease and so on. In such cases, the doctor is obliged to report to appropriate health authorities.

Of the four, the matter of deciding whether he is well enough to return to Nigeria or not would appear to be under the principle of autonomy. It is expected that the doctors would respect the decision-making capacity of individuals to make choices that are rational. Again, if the doctors determine that it would be in Buhari’s best interests to remain for a while longer in London, it would be in subscription with the principle of beneficence. As it appears, the President has chosen to do whatever his doctors say.

That would be hoping it does no malfeasance to Nigerians, many of who have not held back showing their frustrations with the elongated absence of the President for the undisclosed illness.

Blood day as unknown gunmen invade church in Ozubulu, killing many worshippers

The death toll is on the increase as the injured and the dead bodies have been taken to NAUTH Nnewi.

Today being Sunday, August 6th 2017, all the Doctors and pharmacists attending mass in the hospital have retired to the theatre and casualty units for surgeries and treatment.

According to a source who confirmed the story t\no The Bloomgist, St. Aloysius Cathedral, Ozubulu came under attack in the early hours of today by unknown gunmen. On entering the church, the gunmen started shooting sporadically, killing both elders of the church, and other members of the church.

Among the dead and the most injured are women and children who came for the Sunday worship.

See photos below:

Details soon…

Nigerian Army says no Boko Haram Attack in Pulka

Soldiers allegedly burn 15 houses, wound several others in Rivers

Residents of Touma community, Bille Kingdom, Degema local government area, Rivers state, are currently in a state of panic following the invasion of the area by armed men believed to be Nigerian soldiers.

Nigeria army

According to the news reports, the armed men were allegedly operatives of the Joint Military Task Force(JTF).

On Monday, July 24, they stormed the community burning a total of 15 houses and leaving several residents injured.

Vanguard says that four days after the incident, residents of the community are still on the run for fear and there had been reports that the attack would resume again.

The invasion is said to a reprisal attack following an attack by unknown gunmen in the week of July 17 on an Army House Boat stationed in Touma that led to the death of two civilians and a military man.

Mr Akpoebi Dino a resident of the community who had to run away, had this to say: “It was around 10 a.m., on Monday when we saw over seven gunboats arrive the area. When they got to our community, they started shooting into the community.

“They wounded many people and burnt down over 15 houses. Hoodlums who are not from our area attacked one of their camps around our community.

“Because of that, they (Army) said our community connived with the criminals to attack them. We don’t know what they mean by that.

“We have been living happily with soldiers in the area, we don’t know the cause of the sudden change. When the unknown gunmen attacked the military base, the community helped to take those who sustained bullet wounds to the hospital and deposited about three corpses in the mortuary.”

The chairman, Community Development Committee, Asatubo Kemuel, and the youth president, Obirabi Sylvanus of the Bille Kingdom, in a statement on Thursday, July 27, in Port Harcourt, described the invasion as unwarranted and expressed fear over reports of further attacks by the military.

The statement said:“Residents of Touma community are forced to flee for safety and at present, many persons are reportedly missing.

“At least, one person, Mr. Profit Joseph, a resident of Touma community sustained bullet injuries from gunshot by the soldiers.

“It is alleged that there are also plans to invade and burn down other communities in Bille Kingdom, namely Jike-ama, Kirikama, Gogobo-ama, Opu Bille Bokoama, etc.

“We wish to put it on record that Bille people, and Touma in particular, have not and will never attack any Army or other security personnel.

“We, therefore, strongly condemn this unprecedented attack and maltreatment of innocent civilians, and wanton destruction of properties.”

The Nigerian army is yet to comment on the issue.

4 female suicide bombers died in attempted Borno attack

Four female suicide bombers have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at Mandirari Village in Kondugu Local Government, Borno.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that an official of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Malam Bello Danbatta, confirmed that the attack occurred late on Wednesday.

Boko Haram: 10 kidnapped as fighters attack Borno Community
Nigeria Military on watch in one of the Northern states

He said that the agency had since deployed its rescue team to the village.
Boko Haram2
Danbatta said that the team had also evacuated people, who sustained injuries in the attack to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital for medical attention.

Surce: Bloomgist/Ynaija

Commotion in National Assembly as Youth Protests 'Not too young to run' bill

Commotion in National Assembly as Youth Protests ‘Not too young to run’ bill

A group of youth on Tuesday protested at the National Assembly to demand the passage of the ‘not too young to run’ bill.

protesters

Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman human rights commission, while addressing the protesters said the youth were the future of the country.

“We are in a country with median age of 19 but people who want to save Nigeria’s unity have an average age of over 60,” Odinkalu said.

“Who are they saving the country for? People are being invited across the country as leaders of thought, who are they thinking for? At our age, average age of the Nigerian youth given our life expectancy, we are already in the middle age and life expectancy for women is 51 and falling, for men it’s 49 and falling.

“So if you are in your 20s, you are in your middle age people like me are already in injury time and people like us should be seeking to replace ourselves with the kind of people who are leading the not too young run movement.

“Because we are going to die and life expectancy is short, we must replace ourselves with better people, when I look at young Nigerians I’m reassured that this country has a future. That is one promising thing about us. So today let us go and take the national assembly asunder if we must.

“We need to create inconvenience, if we don’t create inconvenience, nobody knows you are demonstrating. Let us cause some inconvenience, let Nigerians know young people matter. For the sake of this country, we need young people in office, we need young people in power, we need young people taking control.”

Jonathan and his team increased Boko Haram activities in North East

In reaction to Sambo Dasuki claim that the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan cleared the Northeast of Boko Haram terrorists to make elections possible in 2015, the Presidency says the former president only increased the “monster of terrorism”.

04a8c-dasuki-sambo

“The truth, as a matter of fact, is that the monster of terrorism got bigger and more daring due to the incompetence and misgovernance of the last administration and no amount lies and fiction can change that,” said Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity.

Shehu said the claim was “another unfortunate attempt by inglorious Nigerians to rewrite the history of our country in such a way as to cover the sins of the past. We will have to read the entire text to offer a full and adequate response.

“As a public relations goon for the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, the author did not surprise anyone by dismissing the acclaimed successes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the fight against Boko Haram, claiming that this government simply took the glory for the achievements of the previous government in the war against terrorism.”

Shehu said as of the time elections were held in March 2015, a number of local government areas in the Northeast were completely under the control of Boko Haram “to the extent that elections in those areas had to be moved to safe areas. The residents of areas such as Gwoza, Banki, Kukawa, Monguno, Bulumba, Baga, Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Mafa, etc., were able to vote, not in their hometowns but in refugee camps in other parts of Borno State, under special arrangements made by INEC.”

He said since President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration came into power, many of those residents had returned to their homes “and Boko Haram eradicated from their areas. In many of these areas, institutions such as schools, police stations, markets and courts have been reestablished or in the process of being re-established.

“Despite Mr. Dasuki’s attempt to rewrite history, Nigerians could not have forgotten the embarrassing stories of failed weapons that plagued our country’s military during the previous administration, when unserviceable weapons, expired ammunition and fake armored vehicles caused untold grief to our valiant armed forces on the battlefield, with arms exploding willy nilly and guns failing to fire.

“It is for trespasses like these that the Buhari administration is determined to get to the bottom of the $2.1 billion arms procurement scandal and ensure that no single one of the culprits go scot free.”

Maiduguri suicide attach: 12 people confirmed dead, 18 injured

The Police have confirmed that 12 persons were killed and 18 others injured in multiple suicide bomb attacks on the outskirts of Maiduguri on Monday.

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FILE PHOTO: A scene of Boko Haram attack. Photo: Premium Times

The Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, told newsmen after the attack in Maiduguri that the death toll included four female suicide bombers, NAN reports,

Chukwu said that soldiers deployed to Mammanti and Cimeri area foiled an attempt by three other female suicide bombers to penetrate Maiduguri metropolis.

He said that two of the attackers were intercepted and killed by soldiers at about 11:59 p.m., on Sunday at Mammanti village in Konduga local government area.

Chukwu said that the military also intercepted and killed one suicide bomber who tried to enter Maiduguri at Cimeri area of Mafa local government.

He said that the fourth suicide bomber denoted the explosive strapped on her body at a mosque at about 4.30 a.m. in London Ciki area on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

“The suicide bomber detonated IED, blew herself up and killed eight persons.

“Security operatives have foiled three of the attempted suicide bomb attacks while only one of them carried out the attack and all the four suicide bombers were killed in the attack.’’

Chukwu added that all the attacks occurred on the outskirts of the metropolis.

According to him, those wounded in the attacks were rushed to the University of Maiduguri, Teaching Hospital for medical attention.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/YNaija

Osinbajo off to London to see President Buhari

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday left Abuja for London to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, according to an aide.

Buhari and Osinbajo

Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this on his twitter handle on Tuesday.

According to him, Osinbajo will return to Abuja immediately after meeting with Buhari.

Akande, whose office initially denied the Acting President’s trip to London today, posted on the twitter page: “Acting President Osinbajo meeting with President Buhari in London today, and returning to Abuja immediately afterwards.”

Aisha Buhari, wife of the President on Monday restored hope to Nigerians of their leader’s imminent return from London where he is currently recuperating.

Aisha Buhari posted on her Facebook page a vivid picture of hope for the nation to have its President back on seat.

Her post which was predicated on that of Senator Shehu Sani is a clear indication that God had answered Nigerians’ prayers for the quick recovery of her husband.

“God has answered the prayers of a weaker animal; the Hyenas and Jackals would soon be sent out of the kingdom.

“We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals; long live the weaker animals, long live Nigeria,’’ she posted.

NAN also reports that Aisha’s post was a direct response to that of Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central).

The senator said while “weaker animals” were praying for the return of “Lion King,” those he called “the hyenas” and “the jackals” were scheming based on the assumption that the “Lion King” would never return.

“Prayer for the absent Lion King has waned. Until he is back, then they will fall over each other to be on the front row of the palace temple.

“Now, the hyenas and the jackals are scheming and talking to each other in whispers; still doubting whether the Lion King will be back or not.

“Now, the Lion King is asleep and no other dares to confirm if he will wake up or not.

“It is the wish of the hyenas that the Lion King never wakes up or come back so that they can be kings.

“It is the prayers of the weaker animals that the Lion King comes back to save the kingdom from the hyenas, the wolves and other predators.”

President Buhari left Abuja for London on May 7 to see his doctors for follow-up medical checks.

EXPOSED: Ali Ndume reveals true 'sponsors of Boko Haram',

Nigeria government knows the sponsors of Boko Haram – Senator Ali Ndume

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who was recently cleared of terrorism charges, has said he is thinking about suing the Federal Government for trying him unfairly, claiming that they know “who the sponsors of Boko Haram are.”

On July 4, 2017, Justice Gabriel Kolawole of an Abuja Federal High Court acquitted the Borno state senator of charges of being a sponsor of deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram.

While speaking in Maiduguri on Sunday, July, 9, Ndume said the government’s prosecution was a malicious witch hunt that unfairly targeted him.

He said, “For six years the federal government put me on trial without any evidence to prove their false allegations against me.”

He went further to also accuse the media of unfair treatment, saying, “After six years the court said they had no case against me so they have to acquit me. But the media wasn’t fair; the spirit with which they reported my arraignment has not been matched with the reports published on my acquittal.”

The senator went ahead to blame his trial on a witch hunt campaign by the government, claiming they willfully ignored other suspected Boko Haram suspects and focused on.

He said, “For six years I was restricted, I could not travel, I could not move an inch, I was subjected to emotional torture when all the while the government knew that there was nothing against me and they know who the sponsors of Boko Haram are.

“Could you imagine the arrested Boko Haram spokesman mentioned some other persons but it was only me that was taken to court?

“That shows that I was the only person that the government wanted to fight.

“But I will still ensure that my voice is heard and my side of the story is told as well; because there are so many things that the world needs to know.”

The senator said he has been encouraged to seek compensation from the government for his trial that abused his rights and privileges, saying he was considering suing.

According to him, “I am yet to decide on whether to go to court and sue the federal government for damages or speak to the media so that my own story too would be heard.”

The former majority leader was arraigned by the federal government in 2011 and re-arraigned in 2013 on a four-count charge of sponsoring the terrorist group.

The senator argued that the contact he had with the terror group was established after his appointment into the Presidential Committee on Security Matters to negotiate for peace with the group.

He also argued that he disclosed all the information he got to then Vice President, Namadi Sambo and then Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS).

In the no-case submission filed by the senator, his counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN) argued that the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

He was acquitted by Justice Kolawole who upheld his no-case submission dismissed the case.

Gunmen demand N70m for the release of abducted Ondo perm sec.

Gunman kill NTA reporters in Benin | All you need to know

A reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Benin, Mr Lawrence Okojie, was allegedly shot dead by gunmen on Saturday night in Benin.

Gunmen demand N70m for the release of abducted Ondo perm sec.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okojie was said reported to have been killed around Ogunola Junction, off Siluko Road.

The spokesman of the State Police Command, DSP Moses Nkombe, who confirmed the report, said one person had been arrested in connection with the incident.

NAN gathered that the late Okojie, who was dropped off by NTA staff bus at Ogunola Junction around 8: 00 p.m. on Saturday, had called his wife on phone and informed her that he was on his way home.

It was, however, several hours later that the wife, after repeated calls to his phone without any response raised an alarm that her husband, who was supposed to have arrived home could not be reached.

It was gathered that some of his colleagues at NTA joined by some family members on a search mission, discovered his corpse in a morgue in Benin on Sunday night.

As at the time of filing in this report, the circumstances surrounding the death of the reporter are still sketchy.

The police have, however, promised to thoroughly investigate the matter.

NAN reports that Okojie’s death brings to five the number of journalists killed in the state in the last six years.

Evans, Nigeria’s infamous billionaire kidnapper disappears

Evans, Nigeria’s infamous billionaire kidnapper disappears

There are speculations that Nigeria’s infamous billionaire kidnapper Chukwuduneme Onwuamadike a.k.a. Evans has escaped, or dead, Saturday Sun reports.

Evans, Nigeria’s infamous billionaire kidnapper disappears
Bloomgist gathered that the kidnap kingpin had been moved out of the Lagos command headquarters

However Bloomgist gathered that Evans is not dead as his family now fears but has been moved from the Lagos police command headquarters cell by about 30 heavily armed men at midnight few days ago to an undisclosed destination. Some senior police officers in the know said he was moved to Abuja.

Indeed, in the last few days, a palpable silence seemed to have enshrouded the Evans phenomenon. Where is Evans? It is a question the police is not prepared to officially answer right now. A man who hitherto divulged the details of his criminal life to the public almost on a daily basis is suddenly no longer accessible to even the press corps.

Reporters who visited the state police command was told was that Evans is no longer allowed to talk to the press till further notice. The secrecy surrounding his whereabouts in the official quarters baffles those who have closely followed his story since his arrest.

After days of sniffing around the Lagos police formations to get information on Evans whereabouts, it was gathered that the kidnap kingpin had been moved out of the Lagos command headquarters days ago by heavily armed policemen and is yet to be returned.
Police had last week said they had got a court order to detain him for three months to give them enough time to complete their investigation. This followed two suits filed by Evans lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, at the High Court seeking   his release and claiming N300m damages from the police.

Some senior police officers expressed fears that Evans might not make it to the court. They argued that he might plot his escape from prison, or get across to some of his members who are still on the run. Their concerns are not farfetched, given that several inmates in the past had reportedly committed much heinous crimes even while in prison.

Some of the officers confirmed that Evans was no longer in the police cell in Lagos. “He has not been returned since he was moved out. Evans is a broken man; police can’t resort to extra-judicial killings at this point. He is cooperating, and he is ready to help return all his ill-gotten wealth as soon as possible”, one of the officers said.
Another reliable source at the police command said “Evans is not an ordinary criminal. I guess that they took him out for further investigation but I don’t know why they are yet to return him to his cell.” The source further assured: “No one is planning to kill Evans. I believe that they will return him later. He could be in any good cell in the state for security reasons, but I can assure you that he is not dead yet. Even if anything happens to him, if he dies in custody, it will be as a result of cancer which he claims  he is suffering from.”

Yet another senior police officer who preferred anonymity assured that Evans is okay. “He is okay and seriously cooperating with the police in its investigation. From the look of things, he might not spend up to three months in detention before he’s charged to court. As for his location, I assure you that he is in a protective custody somewhere out of town.” The officer who reinforced fears within the police circle, said that “a criminal is always a criminal,” adding that, “with the number of robbery cases and kidnappings to his credit, he is well known among criminals.”

He said “Within the short period that he spent in our cell, he is already controlling inmates in the cell. They fear and respect him; we do not want to run the risk of allowing him to form another notorious group which is common amongst them.”
On why his family is yet to get access to him, the officer said that they are yet to approach the police. “A lot of his family members benefitted from his ill-gotten wealth, so they are afraid to come close to the police station.

Evans confirmed that he bought a car for his father and also gave him N3m. The police will recover such money and properties.

We will soon get a warrant to pick his father up and possibly his mother, who also benefitted.”

Calls and text messages to both the Lagos Police Spokesman, Olarinde Famous-Cole and the Force PRO, Moshood Jimoh on the official position of the Police on Evans’ whereabouts were neither answered nor responded to as at 10pm yesterday.


This story was first published on the Saturday edition of the Sun Newspapers. Read original version

You can miss anything, but not this speech by Osinbajo 

Like you, we often find it impossible to explain what it is exactly about Professor Osinbajo that makes him seem so dependable.

It could be anything from the way he chooses to approach any issue first by dialogue to the fact that you can be sure he won’t be found throwing shades at his absent principal – even though the man throws punchy shades. It could also be the way you know that though he may surprise you from time to time by showing up in a white or brown attire, his grey and black two-pieces are all time favourites.

Today, after getting a hold of the speech Professor Osinbajo delivered yesterday at the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 39 of the Armed Forces (Command and Staff College) in  Kaduna, we think we may have cracked the first set of codes to figuring it out.

In the speech, the Acting President did not just address the graduating class, he addressed the whole nation. And on the issues that are most pressing to us. His admiration for the role of the military did not hinder him from sending a subtle message about the finality of our dictatorial years – an apt nod to the recent murmurs about a coup in Nigeria.

His seemingly off-base discourse on ethnic divisions in Nigeria and the real reasons they exist also played well to show off the single mindedness of a man who does things with the intention to see them through completely.

After spending a whole week consulting with stakeholders in a bid to put an end to the embarrassing ethnic rancour that has played out nationally through “quit notices” lately, it was only befitting that the Professor deemed it fit to share his final and conclusive thoughts on the matter on Friday, before men of the Force who will now bear the responsibility of ensuring the security of lives and property of all Nigerians regardless of tribe.

Still, in the 5-minute-long speech, the Acting President managed to leave the timeless message of living with a global mindset irrespective of whatever platform – virtual or physical – one finds themselves in our constantly evolving world.

Read the meat of the speech belw


The occasion of the graduation of the elite corps of our Military, armed services, intelligence and Foreign Service members is one that offers an opportunity for reflection on national issues. 


 We are the identifiable public service elite of our nation, paid for with taxpayers money, and so we must be its foremost think-thank. So, permit me to address you for a short while on the subject — We can build a new Nigeria.

In these past few years, more and more, we began to hear expressions such as Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities; we began to see more identification by race and geopolitical zones, Ndigbo people, Arewa people, the Yoruba people, South-South, North-East, South-West, North-West and South-East; and other parochial descriptions that were hitherto unknown.

The rise of ethnic chauvinism rode on the wings of several agitations. The narrative of most agitations centres around alleged marginalisation and fears of dominance of one faith over the other.

In the 2015 elections, the ruling party repeatedly tried to cast the opposition as a party of Islamists determined to islamise Nigeria. The expression Janjaweed party took root.

Most ethnic agitations are centered around getting a larger share of the national cake or more favoured placement in the food chain because they were essentially elite claims: the vast majority of the populations of the ethnic groups that win some concession or the other never really benefit.

So, the mere fact that a South-South person became President did not necessarily translate to prosperity for the tribe, neither was it the case when a President from the North-West emerged, nor one from the South-West.

Aside from a few individual beneficiaries of some appointments or the other, there is usually nothing to show for the ethnic group of those who emerge in Nigeria’s numerous ethnic contests for power. Yet,the contests of the tribes are heightened by the elite, usually for personal political or commercial ends.

When you hear a person say that my tribe has been marginalized usually what he is saying is “appoint me“. The ethnic card is an effective bargaining tool.

A major drawback of ethnic chauvinism is the way that it is used to mask wrongdoing and promote impunity. Notice that when people are charged with looting public funds they quickly find a counter narrative. It is because I am Yoruba, Fulani or Igbo; or the Christians or Muslims are after me.

Appointments in the public service are no longer even judged on merit. The question is how many are from my own ethnic group. A terrible affliction, when you consider that what we are looking for are men and women of integrity and talent to run our economy and create a future for our children. Why is that when we want to win at football we don’t ask which ethnic group the players are from?But perhaps at its most extreme and dangerous are hate-filled agitations for secession or autonomy.

In the past few weeks we have as a nation witnessed the escalation of such agitations usually couched in deliberately intemperate and provocative language.The reckless deployment of hate speech and the loud expressions of prejudice and hate, name calling of those of other ethnicities and faiths is a new and destructive evil in our public discourse.But even more divisive words, expressions, and actions calculated to create fear and uncertainty have also been freely used.

Young people in the South-Eastern states under the aegis IPOB, issued a stay at home order as part of actions to prove support for their agitations for secession. In the Northern states young people under the aegis of the Arewa youth, issued an ultimatum to Igbos living in the Northern states to vacate before the 1st of October.

The problem with hate-filled and divisive speech is that they tap into some of the basest human instincts, bringing up irrational suspicions, fear, anger, and hatred and ultimately mindless violence. People who have lived together as neighbours and friends suddenly begin to see each other as mortal enemies.

The tensions that led to the killing of over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus, considered Tutsi sympathizers, in the Rwandan genocide, were roused by hate media. The most notorious was the Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC), which became immensely popular as a young, hip alternative to the official voice of the government. It played popular music, and encouraged the public to phone-in and participate in radio broadcasts. Amongst its listeners, RTLMC attracted the unemployed youth and Interhamwe (Canadian NGO). The station also became notorious for its covert and overt naming of Tutsi individuals who it claimed deserved to be killed.

General Romeo Dallaire, the commander of the UN peacekeeping operation in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, said: “Simply jamming [the] broadcasts and replacing them with messages of peace and reconciliation would have had a significant impact on the course of events.”

Fortunately the purveyors of this tragic hate media did not escape unpunished. The ICC in Arusha eventually sentenced the owners of the hate radio stations and newspapers to long prison terms.

Some of our youth groups urging secession already are deploying hate media, using radio and social media. The language on those media are inciting, provocative and insulting to the individuals who are named, and to the beliefs of others.

While we must remain irrevocably committed to freedom of expression and the tenets of a free press, we must draw the line between freedom that conduces to healthy democracy and that which threatens and endangers the entire democratic enterprise. It is an important balance that we must strike. Failure in any way will be tragic.

The truth is that our nation and national unity is worth preserving and protecting. We are the pre-eminent power in Africa today in terms of population, size of our markets, natural resources and economy.

We are a factor in the geopolitics of the world and no one can ignore a nation-state that is home to one in every four black persons. Smaller is weaker not stronger today.

Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, history and experience has shown that countries can alter their destinies. Italy, India and Nigeria — to use just three examples, share one thing in common: at one point early in their existence people questioned their viability as nation-spaces; spoke of them in terms of being no more than mere geographical expressions.

Indeed not many Nigerians seem to know that the often quoted line about Nigeria being a “mere geographical expression” originally applied to Italy. It was the German statesman Klemens Von Metternich who dismissively summed up Italy as a mere geographical expression exactly a century before Nigeria came into being as a country. Churchill describing India said it was no more a nation than the equator, (which is just an imaginary geographical line.)

But what fate saddles a country with, and what that country makes of itself, we have since learned, can be two very different things. India for example has over the last couple of decades built itself into a technology and software powerhouse, and has also made impressive strides in nuclear and space technology. It has successfully created alternative narratives to a narrative of ethnic and religious division.

Italy on its own part has made its mark on the world in fashion and in automobiles; so that when people think of it today they are more likely to think of its venerable cuisine and fashion houses than its still-very-real fault lines.

What the stories of these countries tell us is that we do not need to be a perfect union before we can be a great country and there is no better example of that than the United States of America — a country that thrives, not in spite of its diversity, but because of it.

It is my respectful submission that the responsibility for a similar kind of greatness here in Nigeria lies in our hands as the country’s elite. We must rise above unproductive ethnic and religious sentiment.

We must develop the emotional intelligence required to cope and adapt in a swiftly and constantly changing world. We must adopt a global mindset that seeks to learn from the experiences of other countries, far and near, so that we do not waste valuable time repeating mistakes that we should have learned to avoid.

One of those lessons is that today’s wars never really end. This should be a sobering lesson to us all in Nigeria, as we contend with the forces who seek to stoke violence and bloodshed in our country.

Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and closer home, the Central African Republic, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo; these wars have raged for years. Some of them have in fact gone on so long that they have been tagged as ‘forgotten wars’. Contemporary wars, we have learnt, are extremely easy to start, but difficult to end.

Another lesson is that in the 21st century the theatre of war is increasingly shifting to cyberspace. Terrorist organisations, purveyors of hate speech, all of these and many more who seek to destabilize the world are busy staking out territory on the Internet, and scoring significant victories and conquests for themselves. As members of the Armed Forces, with a mandate to protect Nigeria from all forms of internal and external aggression, you will increasingly be judged as much on the basis of your success online as on your successes on the conventional battlefield.

The Internet has altered or disrupted every industry we know of: Politics and Elections, Business and Commerce, Governance; and is changing the very nature of warfare. Websites teaching on how to make and use IEDs and other explosives are numerous.

Today a great deal of the threats facing Nigeria are being nurtured and cultivated in the vast spaces of the Internet. The rumblings of secession, the dangerous quit ultimatums to ethnic groups, the radio stations and blogs that spew divisive speech and exploit our fault lines; all of these are now to be found online.

This means that the military and its officers and men must itself devote resources and talent to these new battlefields, where mindless verdicts on the continued unity and existence of Nigeria are daily being delivered.

As you make your way out of the hallowed halls of this institution, into the ‘field’, as you would describe it, you have huge roles to play in the way Nigeria turns out in the years and decades ahead.

Even though the days of military rule are now well behind us as a nation, the role of the military is still as critical as ever — and not just in the traditional areas of deterring threats and protecting lives and property.

The Military of the 21st century must realise that it has a role to play in supplying reinforcement to the good side in the clash of ideas that today define the world: ideas of moderation, tolerance and sensibleness versus ideas of extremism, xenophobia, and terror. The Boko Haram terrorism is a perfect example of the types of scourges that the world faces.

The battle is not just to defeat the terrorists, the greater battle is to defeat the ideology and mindset that feeds the madness and to cut off its oxygen, money and publicity.

The great challenge and the wonderful opportunity for this generation of the Nigerian elite is to build a new Nigeria. Out of the rubble of cynicism, division and suspicions we can build a new nation.

A new nation built on trust, consensus, love for one another and love for our country is possible. A nation where the rulers do not steal the commonwealth, where every Nigerian is safe to live and work, where the State takes responsibility for the security of each and every Nigerian, where the state knows every Nigerian by name and can find and locate each one of us, a Nigeria where the Ibo or Ijaw man can live peacefully in Sokoto, and the Fulani man can live peacefully in the Niger Delta.

But building is an act of the human will. It is a practical, routine, sometimes dirty, sometimes frustrating enterprise. This is why no great nation was ever built overnight or without the sacrifice of group compromise, the pain of not getting all you want, the feeling that your ethnic or religious persuasion could be treated better, that is the sacrifice of nation- building, give and take; a little here, a little there. No one group can have it all.

Our leadership must be courageous. Courage means willingness to be abused and insulted by our own people. The humiliation of being heckled for making concessions is the price of the privilege of leadership. The greatest leaders are those prepared to take unpopular decisions or make compromises unpopular with their constituencies but crucial for long term goals.

Yes, they may be unpopular in the short run but their greatness eternally is guaranteed. Nelson Mandela after years in prison and decades of the inhumanity and oppression of apartheid, to the shock and amazement of his black constituency preached reconciliation. An unpopular move in the short term but no contemporary political figure is as revered as he is even in death.

The opportunity to go down in history as builders of the new Nigeria, now beckons. I trust that you will heed its call.

I pray that your road henceforth will be laden with favour and grace in Jesus name.

DSS uncover Terrorists plans to attack strategic areas ahead of Eid-el-Fitr celebration

The Department of State Services (DSS) said it had exposed a plan by suspected terrorists to stage series of coordinated attacks using explosives in different cities across the country during the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Boko Haram 2

According to Punch, the suspected terrorists’ plan was to hit populated places like markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres, as well worship areas.

The DSS said that the plan by the suspected terrorists was to attack Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna and Maiduguri.

A director with the agency, Nnana Nnochiri, who briefed journalists in Abuja on Friday, however, said Nigerians should not worry and go about their activities as usual.

Nnochiri said, “In the past few weeks, this service has uncovered a sinister plot by terrorist elements to stage series of coordinated attacks using explosives on different cities across the country.

“Their aim was to hit on soft targets such as markets, public parks, public processions, recreation centres, as well as worship centres especially the Eid Praying grounds and other densely populated areas during the forthcoming Eid-el-Fitr Sallah celebrations.”

Consequently, Nnochiri said that the service had arrested two suspects in connection with the foiled planned attacks.

“The man giving Igbo quit notice in the North lives in Lagos”

​Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said that Shettima Yerima, a leader of the northern coalition that issued a quit notice to the Igbo, does not reside in the north but in Lagos state.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the human rights activist described Yerima as a “Lagos man”.

“The man who is giving quit notice does not live in the north; he lives in Lagos. I am saying this, Shettima Yerima lives in Lagos. He is a Lagos man. So to live in Lagos and be giving quit notice is not the answer,” he said.

Falana also criticised Ango Abdullahi for backing the quit order, and urged Nigerians to “look at those things that tie us together and not those ones that the ruling class are using to divide our people”.

“Poverty is the same all over the country; injustice is injustice all over. So, there is no nation without challenges and there is no nation without problems. It is the ability of a nation to rise to the challenge that matters,” he said.

Falana called for a more concrete conversation on restructuring and federalism.

He said the vocal proponents of both issues are merely showboating and not really keen on them.

“Those who are talking about restructuring, many of them are talking in the air. We must concretise this now. You can’t have political restructuring without economic restructuring. If you are talking about restructuring, you can’t be selling the assets of the country to individuals,” he said.

“Those who are talking of restructuring and federalism are not interested in these areas. But we must all remind them that the Awolowos, the Ahmadu Bellos and the Azikiwes of this world addressed social services for our people. That is no longer the case. So, please this talk about restructuring and federalism must be concretised.

“You can’t be going to Abuja every month to take money and yet, you are talking of true federalism. True federalism means you must produce what you need in your area and then, we can ask everybody to pay tax.”

4 important takeaways from VP Osinbajo’s meeting with Governors | All you need to know 

​Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, concluded his consultative sessions in relation to recent ethnic agitations today with a meeting with State Governors.

Over the course of one week, the Acting President has met with traditional rulers from the North and the South East in a series of consultations on the issue of ethnic agitations, between the pro-Biafra groups and the Northern youth. He completed his consultations today with a meeting that had in attendance all 36 governors and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Security Chiefs and other senior government officials.

Here are 4 of the most important things we picked up from his remarks:

1. Our constitution guarantees freedom of expression. But we have to draw a line where conversations degenerate into hateful rhetoric.

That we can all express ourselves without feeling the need to spew hateful words about others. The letter written by the Northern youth demanding the eviction of South easterners from the north was not only disrespectful, it actually bordered on hate speech that incites violence.

2. The Constitution guarantees the equality of all Nigerians before the law, and their freedom to live and work anywhere in the country.

We already said this: the worst part about asking some people to vacate a part of Nigeria is not that it’s rude. It’s that it reflects the deep-seated ignorance of the persons demanding.

3. “Very importantly, we all agree(d) on the need to speak out, as leaders, more forcefully to counter divisive speech and warmongering.”

So we can actually expect that those arrests promised by Governor El-Rufai will happen soon.

4. Nigeria’s unity should never be taken for granted.

Preach sir!

The VP said in relation to recent ethnic agitations

Nine days after, police has not arrested the Arewa youths even after el-Rufai’s orders

​Nine days after Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State ordered the arrest and prosecution of some Northern youths that gave Igbo in the North a three-month ultimatum to leave the region, no arrest has been made by the police.

A coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, had on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 given all Igbo in the 19 states of the North till October 1 to leave the region or be forced out.

The ultimatum was handed down at a well attended press conference held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, and el-Rufai had ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of all signatories to the statement the next day.

The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to the statement issuing the ultimatum.

“We will not tolerate such irresponsible statements and conduct in our state. The statement issued by the “Northern youths” violates the laws of Kaduna State. Therefore, the Kaduna State Government has directed that its Ministry of Justice should prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens,” the governor’s statement had read.

But on the evening of Thursday, June 15, ASP M.D. Muhammad, the Acting Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Police Command, and also the Personal Assistant to the state police commissioner, Agyole Abeh, confirmed that the youths had not yet been arrested.

When asked why the youth had not been arrested, Muhammad said “efforts are in top gear” to make the arrests, but did not state why that was still the case after more than a week.

When the same question was put across to the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, he said, “The Commissioner of Police in the Northern state has been directed by the Inspector-General of Police (Ibrahim Idris) to make sure that those threats are not actualised. The IG insists that Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in charge of the zone and the command should ensure law and order are maintained and that the ultimatum is not actualised.

“The police will encourage people to live in peace. The protection of lives and property in Nigeria is paramount to us.”

He, however, refused to say more than that.

But a source in the police later told Saturday PUNCH that they had not made any arrests regarding the threats from the Northern youths and counter-threats from Niger Delta militants and some other groups in the South for fear of escalating the issue.

“The police are trying to maintain peace and order and if we arrest one group now, it may heighten the tension and escalate the issue and Nigerians might blame the police if that happens,” the source said.

The National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Yinka Odumakin, said it was obvious that the Northern youths had the support of the elite in the region before going ahead with the threat.

He said, “Only the naive will not know that this is the hand of Jacob and the voice of Esau. If those guys were not messengers for the real owners of the voice, why is it difficult to arrest them? I said it from the beginning that for them to have used the Arewa House in Kaduna to hold the press conference, and not a dingy hotel or a street corner, those youths were sent by their establishment to do what they did.

“Who opened the Arewa House for them? Will someone want to host a press conference at the Arewa House without the knowledge of the people at the highest level, even the Kaduna State Government? So even if the police want to pretend about it, they should have even invited them to make a statement, released them later and said they had cautioned them.

“Some of their leaders have backed them and even when the Arewa Consultative Forum condemned them, it still said it identified with their frustrations. So, it is only the dumb that cannot see through all this to know that the butterfly that is dancing on the surface of the river has its drummers beneath the water.

“It is clearly a conspiracy at the highest level of the conservative northern establishment and that is why the police cannot touch them. It is just like the case of Fulani herdsmen causing havoc on people’s farms and going about with AK-47s. It is as if there is a group in Nigeria that has prepared something it wants to test and is just trying to provoke a perfect storm for it to strike.”

Buhari’s death: this is what Lai Mohammed has to say

Amid speculations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s death, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo speaks with Buhari every day.

Buhari and Tinubu
El-Rufai, Saraki instigated Buhari not to pick me as Vice President – Tinubu

He said this in Lagos during an interview with Seun Okinbaloye of Politics Today on Channels Television.

According to Mohammed, Buhari has “so much trust” for Osinbajo and also enjoys his maximum loyalty and confidence.

Asked if President Buhari is in support of the meetings the Acting President is having with leaders of the North and South East amid growing tension in both regions, the minister said there is no concern about that.

He said, “The Acting President is daily in touch with Mr President so I am very confident that Mr President is in the full know of what the Acting President is doing and there is so much trust between the acting president and the president I don’t think there should be an area of concern at all.”

Buhari will return to Nigeria before June 11 Kalu 

The former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Sunday, said President Buhari’s health has improved when he visited him in London last week.

Kalu also assured Nigerians that the president would back in the country before June 11, urging Nigerians to desist from spreading messages of evil about the President’s health.

Speaking in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Kalu said, according to Vanguard, “I went to Washington to visit some business partners and from there stopped at London to see Mr President, who is recovering very fast.

“I am excited about the state of health of President Buhari despite the hate messages people were spreading about him. I am disappointed with the statement coming from some Nigerians about the health of Mr President”

“The messages some Nigerians have been spreading in the social media is unhealthy. I am calling on Nigerians to have a change of heart. Being a President does not mean, you cannot be sick, the hate messages are becoming too much. There must be a good sense of tolerance among the ethnic groups, we are all one.”

On the state of the nation, he said: “The government has done well, but there is a lot of suffering in the land. The masses are suffering, going through economic problems, the administration has done well, but must obey the laws of the land, by respecting judicial processes. The government must pursue the hardware and software of democracy that includes the rule of law and respect of the constitution.

Why Supreme Court upheld election of Abia Governor Ikpeazu - The Bloomgist

NJC orders Justice Ngwuta, Ademola, others to resume work next Wednesday

The National Judicial Council has directed six judges who were earlier suspended over corruption allegations to resume work next Wednesday.

NJC orders Justice Ngwuta, Ademola, others to resume work next Wednesday

In a statement on Saturday, the NJC said it had at its meeting held on June 1, 2017, directed the judges to resume duties following the failure of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), to charge five of the six judges with any offence.

The judges include Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court; Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal; and Justice Hydiazira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court.

Others are, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court; and Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

The statement said Justice Ademola, who was charged and prosecuted, had been discharged and acquitted by the trial court.

It added that only three of the judges were charged despite Malami’s promise to prosecute them.

Court says money found in Justice Ngwuta’s home ‘short by N22,000’ | Trial suspended

The trial of the suspended Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta, continued on Friday amidst a controversy over the actual amount of funds recovered from the judge’s residence.

DSS 2

Mr. Ngwuta is among seven judges whose homes were raided by operatives of the State Security Service in October 2016.

The SSS had explained that it carried out the raid as part of investigations into allegations of fraud perpetrated by the judges, and that it recovered large sums of money in local and foreign currencies.

An operative of the SSS, John Utazi, who testified in court regarding the recovered funds had told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the amount of money recovered was N35.3 million in local currencies while large sums in foreign denomination were also found at Mr. Ngwuta’s residence.

The judge, John Tsoho, had earlier ordered that the recovered funds be kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

When the matter was called on Friday, Mr. Tsoho drew the attention of the prosecution to the fact that the amount said to have been recorded as local currencies differed from what the court arrived at, after counting the money.

Mr. Tsoho said the money was short by over N22, 000 when it was counted following the order made by his court.

In an attempt to explain the reason for the difference, the prosecution counsel, Olufemi Fatunde, said she had had been told that the money was calculated using counting machines.

The witness, Mr. Utazi, however insisted that what he had stated to court, was what the SSS found.

The case was adjourned till July 3, for further hearing.

36 governors describe Osinbajo as a ‘system stabilizer’ | Budget updates, 77th NEC meeting, other issue

Nigeria’s 36 state governors were on Thursday full of praises for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, describing him as a system stabilizer.

Yemi Osinbajo 3

A statement by the spokesperson for the Acting President, Laolu Akande, said the governors made the remarks while making a presentation at today’s National Executive Committee meeting.

“At the end of today’s meeting, Governors lauded the Acting President,” Mr. Akande said in a statement emailed to PREMIUM TIMES. “Members of the Council lauded the leadership qualities of the Acting President, describing him as the “System Stabilizer.

“In a presentation by the Governors, the Acting President was told “this nation is very stable because of the role you play. God bless you our Acting President, thank you very much”.

“The Council then prayed that God Almighty should give the Acting President more strength to carry out the task of national re-engineering.”

Below is full statement by Mr. Akande.

NEC URGES STATES TO URGENTLY ACQUIRE TRACTORS TO BOOST AGRIC PRODUCTION

*Council commends Acting President, describes him as “system stabilizer.”

HIGHLIGHTS OF NEC (4TH IN 2017) 77TH NEC MEETING – THURSDAY, 25TH MAY, 2017

REPORT ON EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT BY ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION

The Accountant General of the Federation presented to Council, an update on the Excess Crude Account

He told Council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account as at 24th May, 2017 stands at $2,300,389,201.51.


UPDATE ON BUDGET SUPPORT LOAN FACILITY BY HONOURABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE

The Accountant General of the Federation informed Council that the current Budget Support Loan Facility will end in May 2017.

Council Decision

Council noted the concerns of States and directed the Minister of Finance to work out the modalities for the continuation of the programme.

COMMENDATION:

At the end of today’s meeting, Governors lauded the Acting President.

– Members of the Council lauded the leadership qualities of the Acting President, describing him as the “System Stabilizer.”

In a presentation by the Governors, the Acting President was told “this nation is very stable because of the role you play. God bless you our Acting President, thank you very much”.

– The Council then prayed that God Almighty should give the Acting President more strength to carry out the task of national re-engineering.


OTHER ISSUES:

INTERIM REPORT OF THE NEC AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF ECOLOGICAL FUND BY THE GOVERNOR OF KADUNA STATE

11-man Committee on Ecological Fund submitted an Interim Report

The Report of the Committee was presented to Council by the Committee’s Chairman, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai

The Committee informed Council that the revised sharing formula of the Ecological Funds as modified is as follows:

– FG – 1%

– States – 0.72%

– LGAs – 0.60%

That all States and Local Government Areas have got their share of the Ecological Fund, and that the only thing left is the Federal Government’s share of 1%

Of the 1% belonging to the FG, (which now stands at N33.6 billion) NEMA and Great Green Wall project are statutorily entitled to 20% and 15 % respectively.

Only 65% of the FG’s share is available for sharing

The report gave details of how the entire Ecological Fund has been utilized and noted that there is need to establish a clear criteria for sharing the 65% of the FG share among States of the Federation.

The Committee informed Council that 19 States plus Abuja are yet to benefit from the 1% of the share of the Ecological fund. These are Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, and FCT. Several other states had benefitted in the previous administration, in 2013, an action described as discriminatory.

Thirteen billion (N13 B) naira is now available for sharing to States, since N20 billion must be left in the account for unknown national emergencies.


Council Decision

Council applauded and appreciated the enormous and painstaking work the Committee has done, noting that it will await the final report of the Committee before taking decision.


REPORT OF THE NEC AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE REPORT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON LAND REFORM BY THE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, THE GOVERNOR OF BAUCHI STATE

On September 2016, the report of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR) Tagged “The Land Use Act (LUA) draft Regulations” was presented to the Council

The Council constituted an Ad-hoc Committee comprising 7 Governors to review the regulations.

The Committee considered the report, and today presented its findings and recommendations to Council

Highlight of the report includes:

a. the need to introduce systematic land titling and registration throughout Nigeria

(b) radically increase the existing dismal volume of land registration in Nigeria.

(c) substantially reduce the cost of securing land titles in Nigeria.

(d) set out standard guidelines and processes for land titling and registration in Nigeria

(e) to optimize the socio-economic benefits of land to both the Government and the people.

Council Decision

Council thanked the Committee for the comprehensive report and directed the Committee to further reflect the views and concerns raised by States, especially as it has to do with mining rights and the role of States, Local Governments and Communities for onward submission to the Council of States for consideration


PRESENTATION ON ADDRESSING SEVERE SHORTAGE OF TRACTORS IN THE COUNTRY BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

As the 2017 farming season enters its critical stage, the Minister of Agriculture, made a presentation, and charged Council to prevail on States Government to acquire more tractors, 100 at the very least per State to support the efforts of farmers in boosting food production in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He told Council that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to lend a helping hand to States Government in other areas of critical needs, including the provision of threshes, mini-harvesters, water pumps as well as the provision of loans at single-digit interest rate for farmers.

He informed Council that agriculture is still leading the path of GDP growth which stood at 3.5% in the second quarter of 2017, and that there is need to give greater impetus to agricultural production in order to speed up the country’s economic recovery.

Council Decision

Council urged States to step up efforts to acquire more tractors to boost agricultural production.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to President on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

May 26, 2017

Senate pass Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 

​Bloomgist can report that the Nigerian Senate has passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, the long-awaited legislation that promises broad reforms to the nation’s oil and gas industry.

The report on the bill, produced by the Senate joint committee on gas, petroleum (downstream) and petroleum (upstream), was presented on Thursday by Donald Alasoadura, APC-Ondo.

After a clause-by-clause consideration, with few amendments, the Senate approved the bill, moving a step closer to making its ambitious contents law.

Amongst other objectives, the petroleum bill seeks to introduce reforms that would engender transparency, while at the same time making the oil and gas sector more business-oriented and profit-drive.

If eventually passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the president, the bill will restructure some organisations like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of Petroleum Resources, while setting up new ones like the National Oil Company.

The NOC, as proposed in the bill, will be an “integrated oil and gas company operating as a fully commercial entity and will run like a private company”.

The bill, which has spent years in the National Assembly, is to be sent to the House for concurrence before seeking presidential assent.

“I congratulate the 8th Senate with the passage of this landmark bill which has not been passed for many years,” the senate president Bukola Saraki, said Thursday.

Another big container-load of arms found in Lagos port

Another big container-load of arms found in Lagos port

Another container filled with arms has been discovered at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos, the Nigeria Customs said Tuesday.

Another big container-load of arms found in Lagos port

According to Premium Times, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Customs, Tin Can Island Command, Uche Ejesieme, confirmed the incident and said details would be made public later.

“We are still counting,” Mr. Ejesieme confirmed over the phone.

A source at the port said that everyone had been ordered out of the terminal.

“As I speak to you, they’ve ordered everyone to go out of the terminal and they have locked up everywhere,” the source said.

Details later….

Tears and passion as 81 Chiboks girls reunite with their 21 colleagues released earlier

Tears and passion as 81 Chiboks girls reunite with their 21 colleagues released earlier

The 21 Chibok girls who were released in 2016 have been reunited with 82 girls who recently gained their freedom.

Tears and passion as 81 Chiboks girls reunite with their 21 colleagues released earlier

The first batch of school girls were released by Boko Haram in October 2016 while another 82 regained their freedom two weeks ago.

They were freed after negotiations with terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Tears and passion as 81 Chiboks girls reunite with their 21 colleagues released earlier

The reunion took place on Saturday in Abuja where the girls have been kept by the government since their release.

The girls are part of the 276 girls abducted by the insurgents from Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno State in 2014.

Parents of 82 Chibok girls to be hosted by Federal Government today - Reports

Parents of 82 Chibok girls to be hosted by Federal Government today – Reports

The parents of 82 Chibok girls recently released by terrorist group, Boko Haram Willa arrive Abuja today.

Parents of 82 Chibok girls to be hosted by Federal Government today - Reports

According to the Nation Newspapers, the Federal Government has made arrangments to transport the parents to Abuja to see their daughters.

Father of one of the girls, Yama Pogu, revealed in a telephone coversation that the parents were told to meet in Mbalala on Thursday, where they would wait for government-sponsored vehicles that would transport them.

Pogu said: “We held series of meetings with our chairman, Yakubu Nkeki, then he asked us all to gather in Mbalala. That was where we waited for the buses that arrived early on friday morning.

“We can’t wait to see our daughters after three years. They have not told us if we will be accomodated or not, but we are hopeful.”

Another father of one of the girls, Samuel Yaga, lamented on how he and his wife were prevented from seeing their daughter.

He said, “ I have been contacted by our chairman Nkeki and told that they are on their way.

“My wife and I had gone to see our daughter on our own, but they sent us away.

“They asked us to go back and wait, to organise with the other parents before we can meet our daughter.

“So now we are waiting for the others to arrive, hopefully tomorrow.”

Acting President Osinbajo confirms the escape of another Chibok girl from Sambisa Forest

Acting President Osinbajo confirms the escape of another Chibok girl from Sambisa Forest

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday confirmed the escape of another Chibok schoolgirl from Boko Haram insurgents.

Acting President Osinbajo confirms the escape of another Chibok girl from Sambisa Forest

This comes barely 12 days after the release of the 82 abducted girls by their captors.

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja.

He said the recovery of the girl was announced by the acting president during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

“Yes, at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting, the Vice-President broke the cheering news to members of the cabinet and after that I have also spoken to defence people who confirmed it.

“The details are yet to fully unravel . But in terms of is it true- yes, it is true. I learnt she is already being brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her

He also dismissed the assertion that members of the Boko Haram sect had started regrouping in the Sambisa forest.

“One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises.

“So, if they are regrouping they will be flushed out again.

“I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping up process and I believe the mop up would be completed.’’

Herdsmen attack Niger state: death toll hit 29

The Niger State Emergency Management Agency has said death in the attack at Epogi community in the Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger has risen to 29.

fulani-herdsmen.jpg.jpeg

Director General of SEMA, Mr Ibrahim Inga, told reporters on Tuesday in Minna that 21 people were killed during the attack while three bodies were recovered from a river.

He added that three other victims died at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that 21 people were killed on May 14 when gunmen suspected to be herdsmen invaded the community.

Inga said the gunmen stormed the community at about 6am when Muslims were having their morning prayers in a mosque and killed 21 on the spot.


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He explained that there was an argument between one Alhaji Yakubu Yuguda, a herdsman who came to settle on a portion of land in the community, and some members of the community in 2016.

Inga said further that in the ensuing argument, a boy was killed and the matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Yuguda, who was later released.

He said that after the incident, the community enjoyed relative peace until May 14, when the village was attacked.

The director-general disclosed that the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr Ahmed Ketso, had visited the community and condoled with the victims.

He said an assessment had been carried out by SEMA to provide relief materials to victims, adding that normalcy had returned to the community.

Inga called on members of the community to return to their homes as security operatives had been deployed in the area.

Meanwhile, five persons were killed and six other injured in suicide attacks on Konduga, a town in Borno State, the police said on Tuesday.

The police, in a statement by its spokesman in Borno State, Victor Isuku, a deputy superintendent of police, said the incident occurred at about 9:30pm on Monday.

He revealed that the attacks were by three female suicide bombers who all lost their lives in the incident that also claimed two other lives and injured six others.

The statement read, “Information received from the District Police Officer Konduga, is that on 15/5/17 at about 21:30hrs, three female suicide bombers detonated IED strapped on their bodies at Shuwa settlement of Mandarari ward, Konduga, killing themselves and two others.”

Former governor Babangida Aliyu arraigned over money laundering

Former governor Babangida Aliyu arraigned over money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has on Tuesday, arraigned the former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, in a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on an eight count charge bordering on money laundering.

Former governor Babangida Aliyu arraigned over money laundering

The former governor was arraigned alongside his former Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, while both were admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, ordered that the two sureties could be business men or public servants; and where in the public service, must not be below a director.

The sureties must also own landed property in Abuja excluding the satellite towns.

Aliyu and Nasko are to also deposit their international passports with the court and must not travel without the permission of the court.

The judge, however, ruled that where the defendants could not perfect their bail conditions within 48 hours, they would be remanded in Kuje Prison until bail was perfected.

He adjourned the matter until July 6 and 7 to hear the preliminary objection and for trial.

The two defendants were accused of conspiring to launder ecological funds amounting to over N1 billion, released by the Federal Government to Niger government in 2014.

This is what the presidency want you to know “Based on Logistics”

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This is tiring.

It is one thing to go through your Twitter feed everyday hoping you won’t be confused by a phoney person or organisation trying to jump on a trend to promote a totally unrelated tweet.

For instance, why is Sterling Homes Lekki tweeting about a program called “Stop Paying Rent” with the #EdiZycsOnGQMagazine?

It is a whole different thing for the Digital Communications Office at the Presidency to do the same. And an entirely different matter altogether when that office does it completely worng. Yes, wrong is spelt worng just so you get a feel of how tiring the fact of this occurrence has made this writer.

So the Digital Communications office has this newsletter called the Aso Villa Newsletter you can subscribe to understand whatever stuff the Presidency has been up to. The latest edition covers everything from the FG’s version of improvement of quality of life in the NorthEast since 2015, that rice production has tripled in that time too, that on the culture scene, Nigeria is represented at the Venice Biennale this year for the first time ever, that Chibok Girls were released, that there’s some sort of incremental power plan, the Professor Osinbajo’s work on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and much more.

But the content is not the problem. Nor is the newsletter a problem. Far from it. The problem is why jump on the Based on Logistics trend popularised by prize winner of #BBNaija winner, Efe in a bid to get more clicks?

And why do it on a day when the thing was not even trending?

What is based on logistics about this newsletter? Beyond the opening note that defines “logistics” using two dictionary meanings?

Last month, the presidential aide, Mallam Garba Shehu tried the same thing after the Big Brother Naija show came to an end and Efe was announced the winner, He posted a tweet about President Buhari’s determination to fighting corruption, restoring security and the economy apropos nothing except the fact that “Based on Logistics” was trending.

So what is this about even? Are we all just going to go on doing everything just for the clicks?

JUST IN: Senate summons Rotimi Amaechi over $5.9bn Chinese loan

The Senate has summoned Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for the exclusion of South East projects in the $5.9bn Chinese loan.

Rotimi Amaechi2

Details later…

Those wishing Buhari dead should be arrested – NFD

The National Forum of Democrats has asked the national security adviser (NSA) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to identify and punish those behind the fake reports about President Muhammadu Buhari.

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It would be recalled that over the weekend there were false reports that Buhari had died in a London hospital.

But in a statement on Monday, president of the forum, Gambo Danbatta, said the website had evil intentions.

He said there should be global efforts to curb the menace of fake news which had now become a “growing international concern”.

“The persons behind the fake news site are deploying it for evil. They registered it from Scottsdale, Arizona, the US in October of last year and updated the site for this evil plot sometimes in April this year,” the president of the forum said.

“Thankfully, presidential aides were quick to calm Nigerians and assure them as the to the safety and health of Mr President.

“This has nothing to do with freedom of expression, which is not the same as freedom to lie, it is about criminals plotting to use fake news to destabilise the country.

“The office should work with the relevant stakeholders to shut down the fake site while creating an early warning system to identify similar sites that will proliferate in the days ahead and build the necessary alliances that would make it possible to shut them down within minutes.

“Our hope is that the real Metro newspaper would work with the British High Commission and the Nigerian authorities to track down those exploiting its name to commit crime.

“Those behind the fake news should be treated in this instance as no less than hackers who deserve to get the maximum punishment possible once identified.”