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NAF Air Strikes Killing Innocent Villagers, Claim Zamfara Chiefs

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:14am


Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, the Emir of Bungudu on behalf of chiefs in the council, says the air strikes by the Nigerian Air Force are killing innocent villagers.

Attahiru made the disclosure in Gusau, after an emergency meeting of Zamfara Council of Chiefs on Thursday, to address the state of insecurity in the state.

The council said it is receiving reports from some local governments that some of their villages are being hit by NAF's misdirected airstrikes.

NAF had claimed that it destroyed eight bandit camps in Doumborou, Sububu, West Malamawa, Baturia Pond, Kagara Forest, Kamarawa, Kunduma and Rugu Forest areas of the state.

Addressing newsmen, Attahiru said: “The Council noted that airstrikes undertaken by the military do not hit the main camps of the bandits.

“Reports from Mutu in Gusau and Tsafe Local Government Areas, Tangaram in Anka Local Government and Dumburum in Zurmi Local Government Area, among others, are that the areas shelled were not the actual hideouts of the bandits and the victims were innocent civilians.”

Noting that the attacks by insurgent groups in the state would increase if the Air Force fails to hit the camps of the bandits, he said “the main camps of the bandits are taken over and security personnel stationed there for a considerable period of time".

“This will deprive the bandits' territory, mobility and supply routes, thus securing all surrounding areas," he added.

The Council of Chiefs also responded to claim by Mansur Dan’Ali, Minister of Defence, that some traditional rulers are working with bandits in Zamfara.

They challenged the Minister to immediately name the rulers working with the bandits, stating that "failure to do this will make his statement false and an attempt to tarnish the image of the traditional rulers and thereby making them scapegoats for the inability of the military and other security forces to end the scourge".
 

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NAICOM Boss, Kari, Invited By CCB Over Non Declaration Of Assets

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:12am


The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has invited Mohammed Kari, Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), over failure to declare his assets.

The CCB's invitation to Kari is the result of a petition in which he was accused of not declaring his assets upon his assumption of office as Head of NAICOM.

Invited alongside Kari are Sunday Thomas, Deputy Commissioner for Insurance (Technical) and George Onekhena, Deputy Commissioner for Insurance, Finance and Administration.

They were to appear before the commission on Thursday, but they all failed to honour the invitation.

The letter addressed to the trio was titled: 'Investigation Activities: Re: Breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers', and read: “I am directed to refer to the Bureau’s letter no CCB/HQ/II&M/007/1834, dated 1st April, 2019, on the above stated subject matter, and to inform you of the scheduled date for your interview as follows: Thursday, 11th April, 2019. Time: 11am prompt (for Kari) Venue: Conference Room, 5th Floor, Annex 3, Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama, Abuja.

“The aforementioned schedule supersedes our earlier invitation for an interview on 10th April, 2019. Kindly accept our apologies, please.”

In Nigeria, every public officer is under a legal obligation to declare his assets after the assumption of an office.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Kari as Deputy Commissioner (Technical) on March 31, 2014, while President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as Commissioner for Insurance/CEO of NAICOM on July 31, 2015.

Kari risks spending time in jail as stipulated by law or payment of fine if found guilty.

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33 Nigerians Accused Of Dealing In Illegal Drugs Face Deportation From Kenya

Sahara Reporters - 12 April 2019 - 12:06am


Nigerians arrested in Kenya

Nigerians arrested in Kenya Citizen Digital

The Police in Kenya have arrested 33 Nigerians, who are staying in the country illegally and are also involved in drug deals.

They were arrested during a raid of Kasarani by the Police.

The Nigerians allegedly disguised as students to serve as cover for their drug businesses.

According to Peter Kimani, Commander of the Police Division in Kasanrani, the suspects have been operating secretly around the “United States International University-Africa (USIU) as well as the Kenyatta University (KU) with the intention of selling drugs".

The Nigerians, along with an Eriterian, were also linked to a series of bank robberies in Kenya.

The Police also said it arrested the owner of a popular club behind the Thika Road Mall (TRM), alleged of assisting the immigrants.
 

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Taming The Xenophobia In The Rainbow Country By Tony Ademiluyi

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 12:32pm


In June 12 1964, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to violently overthrow the Caucasian dominated government. Alongside his comrades most notably Govan Mbeki, Thabo Mbeki’s father, he was sent to Robben Island to live the rest of his days in anguish. 

The campaign for the release of Mandela became a worldwide rallying cause as genuine agitators and hustlers all found a common cause in crying that the world’s most famous prisoner should be set free. Nigeria played a vital role in the destruction of apartheid. As Africa was the centre piece of our foreign policy in the hey days of military rule, the ‘Giant of Africa’ spearheaded the throwing open of Robben Island and financed some of the activities of the banned African National Congress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was particularly vocal in the Mandela cause and was known to have brokered peace deals between Frederick De Klerk and Mandela when he was eventually released using his African Leadership Forum platform. 

1994 was an epochal year for the Rainbow country as the first truly democratically elections were held with Mandela declared as the winner. Many African nationals saw the country as a goldmine and rushed in to take advantage of her numerous opportunities. Many Nigerians were not left out as they trooped in large numbers to become partakers of the new renaissance African State. 

The end of apartheid merely transferred political power from the whites to the blacks. The real economic power still largely resided in the hands of the whites. This led to some resentment by the hapless blacks as they lacked the skills and education to compete in the jet age. Activism had given way to administration and they clearly lacked what it took to consistently bring home the bacon. 

The black South Africans now saw their new adversaries in the hardworking African nationals of other African nations who were honestly eking a living without or with little governmental backing. The waves of killings started and the media did its best to downplay it so as to give the impression that all was well in Mandela’s country. The conspiratorial role of the white dominated media was made more pronounced by the fact that the whites weren’t happy with the progress that these other black nationals were making and they advocated running a more closed economy with high barriers to entry. 

The media suppression was short lived as in 2008 about sixty-two people were brutally murdered in a wave of xenophobic attacks. Many Nigerians were included in that horrible number. Subsequent attacks went on and on with the most recent being a few weeks ago when two Nigerians were killed. 

Nigerians are nicknamed ‘kwere kwere’ and are particularly hated by South Africans because of the former’s penchant for hardwork and the uncanny ability to squeeze juice out of stone. Their ladies are said to prefer the more aggressive Nigerians to the rather laidback South African men which only increases the hatred for them. The erstwhile apartheid fighters are allegedly envious of the loud swagger of their Nigerian guests and would do anything including cutting short their lives to cut them down to size. 

It is tragic that Nigeria is yet to take an official position to defend the interests of her nationals in that country. It is a well known fact that Nigeria is home to many South African companies from MTN to Shoprite amongst many others. These companies make the bulk of their profits in Nigeria and remit it back home without any disturbance from the Nigerian government. Nigerians don’t have the time to haunt down and kill South African residents in the country as we have a rich culture of accommodating our guests even when they don’t reciprocate such to us. 

The xenophobia seems to be somewhat state sanctioned as the King of Kwa Zulu Natal, Goodwill Zwelithini was quoted to have said “We are requesting those who come from outside to please go back to their countries. The fact that there were countries that played a role in the country’s struggle for liberation should not be used as an excuse to create a situation where foreigners are allowed to inconvenience locals.” Given his position as a first class monarch, the pro-xenophobic backers would have taken it as a cue to spill the streets with raw blood. While South African businesses flourish in Nigeria, there are deliberate policies to stifle African owned businesses in that country. One recalls the attempt of a well known Nigerian media house that went there to set up shop in 2004 only to be frustrated out barely a few years later. 

There is need for the government to take a tough stance against the xenophobia that our nationals suffer in that clime. It was our terrible public policy that resulted in avoidable hardship that led these Nigerians to go there in the first place. Due to no fault of theirs, they are being hacked like rams with our government doing practically nothing to alleviate their needless suffering. How can the citizens of the so called ‘Giant of Africa’ be treated worse than dogs in another country in the African continent? 

The onus of ending the xenophobia should also be extended to the stakeholders in South Africa as well. For instance the South African King should have been severely sanctioned for promoting hate speech. We recall the punishment that was meted out to the Rwandan politicians who promoted hate speech on radio in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide which lasted for three months. Hate speech shouldn’t be taken lightly at all as the after effect of it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. 

Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah would turn in his grave as his vision for African unity which led to the formation of the Organization of African Unity now African Union in 1963 as he didn’t envision the killing fields that Africa has now become. He wanted an Africa bound in love and unity. Xenophobia clearly had no place in his dreams. 

The African Union should live up to his billing by being a rallying point for love and solidarity among the fifty countries that make up Africa. Appropriate sanctions should be meted out to countries that directly or indirectly tolerate xenophobia. 

The Nigerian government should also speak up and be more vocal in defending the interests of our citizens in South Africa. Our embassy should be a safe haven for our citizens to feel protected and loved. Our foreign policy should be rejigged for us to play a Big Brother Role in Africa whose citizens would be respected the continent over. 

The South African government should educate its largely illiterate black population so that they have the appropriate skills to contribute their quota towards nation building and not to turn to innocent Nigerians to slaughter rams.

The killings must stop; Enough is Enough!

Ademiluyi wrote from Lagos.  

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‘You’re A Walking Corpse’ — Twitter User Threatens To Kill Kadari Ahmed For 'Converting To Christianity'

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 11:51am


A Twitter user with the name ‘Amb Abdularahman Yahaya’ has said that journalist Kadaria Ahmed does not deserve to live after "converting from Islam to Christianity" — although SaharaReporters can confirm that Kadaria is actually a Muslim. 

Yahaya, who weets @cardinalabdul, made the comment on Thursday morning, as part of a series of expletives he has directed at the journalist since the weekend when she described AbdulAziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State, as “the most useless Governor in the history of Nigeria”.

Kadaria Ahmed had so described Yari while addressing pressmen in Abuja during a protest against the ineffectiveness of both Zamfara State government and the Federal Government in halting the spat of killings in the state.

Since then, Yahaya has dedicated his Twitter account to hurling abuse at the journalist.

In one tweet, he wrote: “Kadaria, you called our beloved governor useless, you're the most idiot, selective, undesirable journalist in the history of Nigeria [sic]."

In another, he wrote: “KADIRIA AHMAD. YOU'RE CORRUPT JOURNALIST IN D HSTR. There was no anger from u!whn over 1000 Ngs including woman's and children were killed in zaria in 2015.why you didn't called el'rufai useless.That's the reason why I called you.selective,journalist in the history of Nigeria [sic].”

And in yet another, he wrote: “Corrupt journalist,bias,selective, senseless.why you no called out the useless Barno governor in 2014 where got over 200 girls kidnapped!!kadiria ahmad I against u. You're corrupt journalist [sic].”

And, the most disgusting tweet of all, he wrote: “Kadaria, you converted to Christianity in London. I was appalled when I heard her describing herself as a passionate citizen of Zamfara. By Islamic tenets, Kadaria is a walking corpse. She is supposed to have been killed as an apostate. She’s a condemned soul [sic].”

This particular tweet attracted public opprobrium to Yahaya, with many Twitter users calling for his arrest by security agents.

Kadari herself has responded to the tweet, writing: "I have reported this account for threatening my life even as I refused to dignify his allegation with a response. No one should have the right to call for anyone's death. If anything happens to me, this is the man to hold.”

When SaharaReporters contacted Asia Ahmad El-Rufai, Kadari's immediate younger sister and wife of Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of kaduna State, to ascertain her religious status, she said: "Kadaria has never been a Christian; nobody in my family is a Christian. She has always been a Muslim. She is still a Muslim; she has never for one moment converted to another religion.

"What is happening is that when you tell people who they are, and they know this is the truth about themselves, they always want to get back at you. And if they can’t get back at you directly, they try to instigate other people to do the dirty job for them.

"Kadaria is a Muslim; she was born into a Muslim family; she is a direct descendant of Shehu Usman dan Fodio. She has never and would never change her religion. As far as we are concerned, it doesn’t even matter what religion one follows. She married someone who is from a Christian family, but he had to convert to Muslim before the consent was given to her to marry him; he became a Yusuf. He became a Muslim before he was allowed to marry her."

Asia also told SaharaReporters that Kadaria's family was consulting with lawyers on the available options to seek redress over the matter.

Kadaria,you called our beloved governor useless,you're the most idiot,selective,undesirable journalist in the history of nigeria. pic.twitter.com/5QOSrpgqBH

— Amb Abdulrahman Yahaya (@cardinalabdul) April 7, 2019

KADIRIA AHMAD. YOU'RE CORRUPT JOURNALIST IN D HSTR.
There was no anger from u!whn over 1000 Ngs including woman's and children were killed in zaria in 2015.why you didn't called el'rufai useless.That's the reason why I called you.selective,journalist in the history of nigeria. pic.twitter.com/llO4a12BKR

— Amb Abdulrahman Yahaya (@cardinalabdul) April 7, 2019

Corrupt journalist,bias,selective, senseless.

why you no called out the useless Barno governor in 2014 where got over 200 girls kidnapped!!kadiria ahmad I against u. You're corrupt journalist. pic.twitter.com/y4S8KE8bPf

— Amb Abdulrahman Yahaya (@cardinalabdul) April 8, 2019

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Buhari Seals Liman Ibrahim's Appointment As Head Of Federal Fire Service

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 10:49am


President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Lima Alhaji Ibrahim as the new Controller-General (CG) of the Federal Fire Service (FFS).

The appointment took effect from March 29, according to a  statement signed in Abuja on Thursday by Al-Hassan Yakmut, Secretary Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board(CDFIPB).

Ibrahim's appointment was made following the retirement of his predecessor, Engr Joseph Anebi.

The appointment is for an initial term of four years and is subject to the extant rules and regulations governing retirement in the public service.

Until his appointment, Liman Ibrahim was the Assistant Controller General in charge of Policy, Regulatory and Inspectorate.

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Italian Investigators Alert Magu: Dan Etete Bought A Private Jet With $56m From Shady Malabu Oil Deal

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 10:40am


A private jet owned by former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Dan Etete, was purchased with illicit funds, global corruption trackers said on Tuesday.

The jet is said to be worth $56million as of the time it was purchased.

In the petition addressed to Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the anti-corruption fighters said the jet was purchased with proceeds of corruption relating to the fraudulent sales of OPL 245. 

Four international anti-corruption crusaders, Chairman, Human Resource Development Centre (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju; Corner House Director, Nick Hildyard; Re:Common Director, Antonio Tricarico and Co-founder Global witness, Simon Taylor signed the joint petition sent from Italy calling for the retrieval and forfeiture of the jet by the Nigerian authorities. 

The four anti-corruption crusaders attended the court proceedings in Milan.

The petitioners said their position was strengthened by findings from the ongoing international corruption case taking place at the court.

The investigations focused on the sale of OPL245 to Eni and Shell. It also involveved the grievous allegations of corruption linked with several serving and former company managers, including Nigerian politicians.

Prosecutors in Milan were told by a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, Debra LaPrevotte, and Ten. Col. Alessandro Ferri, both involved in the investigations, that $56 million of proceeds of corruption was used by Dan Etete for the purchase of a private jet in Oklahoma City, USA. 

The specific tail registration number of the aircraft was given as M-MYNA.

They state: "What we heard from testimony in the court confirmed the information enclosed in a table produced by the FBI, and already disclosed as a public document in the court case, Crown vs Malabu Oil and Gas, which was held at Southwark Crown Court in London, UK, namely that proceeds of the OPL 245 deal were used to purchase a Bombardier Global 6000 private jet with the registration number M-MYNA.

"This aircraft is listed as registered to Tibit Limited (BVI) and registered in the Isle of Man. The FBI table notes that the aircraft purchase was made from Insured Aircraft Title Services, Oklahoma City, US. We note that the company appeared in a 2010 investigation by the US Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations, regarding their role in the purchase of aircraft by PEPs."

They added that the individuals connected to Tibit Ltd, a BVI company involved in selling several Bombardier 6000 jets, have been the subject of a court case with the Australian Tax Office" adding that the report related to the Panama Papers has also raised questions about the bombardier sales."

It noted that the aircraft’s most recent flight, according to public aircraft tracking websites, was from Paris to Dubai airport on the 7th June 2017. The aircraft appears to have remained in Dubai since. 

It said that there is therefore reason to believe that the jet is still in Dubai airport and could be frozen by competent authorities as possible proceeds of crime.

"We kindly urge you to verify this information and take appropriate steps, including asset freezing and forfeiture, where possible, under the 2018 Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Nigeria and United Arab Emirate."

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Food Vendor Found Dead With Charms In Her Home In Ondo After Calling 'Alfa' At Exactly 1am

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 10:09am

A 36-year-old estranged house wife simply identified has Toyin has been found dead in Akure, the Ondo State capital, SaharaReporters has learnt

Toyin, a food vendor, was found dead in her one-room apartment on Thursday morning by her neighbours.

The mother of three was found lifeless at her No 24, Tipper Garage residence in Isikan after it was discovered she was not yet out in the morning as was her habit.

Some neighbours who confirmed the death of the woman told journalists that she normally wakes up very early daily to sell food on the street to her customers.

One of the neigbours said the owman decided to divorce her husband due to his numerous extra marital affairs. 

"By 6am, she would have come out and started selling food to the people, but we did not see her early this morning," she said.

"We decided to check her room, and knocked the door but she failed to open. So, we broke the door. It was then we discovered her dead body with two calabashes containing some concoctions and charms near her lifeless body in the room.

"One of us was meticulous enough to quickly check her mobile phone; we discovered she called a number saved as 'Alfa' at 1am of midnight."

In a related development, a 50-year-old woman known as Iya Dunsi has been murdered at Ikarem Akoko by suspected ritualists.

The woman, who is also a palm oil seller, was killed near her house at Odiolowo area of Arigidi in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area.

The two breasts of the woman were removed while some parts of her body were tied with charms.

Femi Joseph, the spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, also confirmed the gruesome murder, saying: "The woman was returning home from a trip to the North and it was already late in the night.

"Unfortunately, she had come down from the vehicle and had nearly got to her apartment when this evil men struck and killed her for rituals."

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Court Postpones Judgement Day For Saraki, Dogara And Other Defectors

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 9:56am


The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday suspended its reserved judgement on a suit seeking an order to declare vacant the seats of Bukola saraki, Senate President, and Yakubu Dogara, Spaeaker of the House of Representative, and 52 other members of the National Assembly who defected from their original parties in the build-up to the 2019 elections.

According to Justice Okon Abang, the presiding judge, the decision to suspend judgement on the suit was taken upon pleas from the defendants who had asked for more time to file their defence in the matter.

However, the judge condemned the reaction of the lawmakers to court summons, having refused to participate in the proceedings and failed to file their defence in the suit despite being served with the plaintiff's suit and the court's hearing notices.

There was an intense argument between Ede Uko, the plaintiff's counsel, and Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the legislator's lawyer, when the court resumed hearing on Thursday about whether the court should proceed to deliver its judgement or not.

After the argument, the judge held that the court could not overlook the processes filed by the defendants, but he commended the plaintiff's lawyer for proper articulation of the eforts of the lawmakers to frustrate the proceedings.

"The right to be heard is a fundamental right," he said.

The judge fixed Friday for hearing of the defendants' motion as they are expected to file their defence between now and then.

Legal Defence and Assistance Project, a civil society group, had filed the suit in September in the wake of the gale of defections that swept across the National Assembly. The suit is urging the court to compel the affected legislators not only to vacate their seats in the National Assembly but also to refund all allowances and remuneration they had received since their defection.

The suit is also seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral  Commision (INEC) to conduct by-elections in the constituencies the legislators are representing.

Filed on September 18, 2018, with number FHC/ABJ/CS/996/ 2018, the suit  was targeted against 17 senators and 37 members of the House of Representative who defected from the parties that sponsored their elections to the National Assembly.

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BREAKING: Senator Ogunlewe's Son Moyo Abandons Him In PDP After Losing Election

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 8:53am


Moyo Ogunlewe — son of Adeseye Ogunlewe, Minister of Works during the regime of Olusegun Obasanjo and former senator — has abandoned his father in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Moyo, a lawyer, contested on the platform of the PDP to represent Kosofe 1 Constituency in the Lagos State Assembly in the just concluded general election.

He ascribed his resignation from the PDP to the failure of the leadership of the opposition party to handle the crisis that has now engulfed the party since the 2019 general election.

He announced his resignation in a letter date April 11, addressed to the Chairman of the PDP in the state.

"I, Moyosore Ogunlewe, hereby resign my membership from the Peoples Democratic Party with immediate effect," read a part of the letter.

"I want to thank all my supporters and well-wishers across the state for the support and steadfastness. God bless you all."

Moyo, who is in his 30s, was one of the youngest candidates to contest in Lagos state. Babjide Obanikoro, son of Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, of the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency, and  Jimi-Lai Mohammed, son of Lai Mohammed, the current Minister of Information, are other young candidates who contested and won.

This will the second time Moyo would be defeated by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2015, he contested for the same post and lost to Bayo Osinowo, who is now Senator-elect for the Lagos-East Senatorial District.

His father, the senior Adelewe, was elected a senator on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 representing the same Lagos East constituency, before he defected to the PDP, where he has remained a key figure ever since.

While in PDP, he was appointed Minister of Works by Obasanjo, lasting in office from July 2003 to March 2006.

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Victory For Over 5,000 Jakana Residents As Army Reluctantly Returns Them To Base

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 8:24am




The Nigerian Army and camp management officials at the Bakassi IDP camp in Borno State have begun the relocation of thouands of residents of Jakana Town in Konduga Local Government Area to their orginal place of abode.

More than 5,000 residents of Jakana were forcefully ejected from their homes on Monday night, a military source telling SaharaReporters that the evacuation was done in the overall intrest of the villagers because "we have reliable information that they shelter terrorists".

The residents had kicked against the move, and one of them told SaharaReporters: "We are not going to stay here. Why are we being treated like animals in our own country? The Federal Government should call the Army to order. 

"They came and said we were harbouring Boko Haram in Jakana but we told them that we did not have any Boko Haram member in our midst. The next thing, they came back with trucks and forced us to come here; this is not acceptable. We were not allowed to come along with any of belonging."

On Thursday, SaharaReporters gathered that the decision to return them to Jakana was made after the larger number of them declined to stay at the IDP camp. "Only less than 600 of the over 5,000 Jakana people stayed back at the camp," a camp source told SaharaReporters.

The Military, though, said the evacuation was being done because operations to flush out the insurgents in the area had been rounded off.

The relocation will commence with the movement of women, children and the other vulnerable groups. Thereafter, men would return to the communities.

Food and non-food items are being mobilised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for distribution to Jakana community to reduce the effect of the disruption of economic activities as a result of the evacuation.

Meanwhile, just before the Army announced its plan to return them home, the United Nations appealed to the Nigerian government to provide humanitarian assistance to all the people forced to flee Borno State in the wake of continued attack by insurgents.

Edward Kallon, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, called on the Nigerian government to "provide humanitarian assistance to and protect up to 10,000 women, men and children, who were forced to relocate to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, from a town 40 kilometers away".

 

“The entire town of Jakana was emptied, and people were forced to move to Maiduguri with very little time to collect personal belongings. Some people said they arrived in Maiduguri with nothing, not even with shoes on their feet,” Kallon said. 

“The United Nations is urging the government to urgently provide safety, shelter, food, water and medical care to the displaced civilians, in addition to information about when they will be allowed to return home.”

The statement continued: "The United Nations and its humanitarian partners call on the Government of Nigeria to take all possible practical measures to ensure the protection of civilians and full respect of the rights of individuals in accordance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law as well as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

"The United Nations reaffirms its commitment to support national and local efforts to ensure that civilians affected by the conflict in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states can access the humanitarian assistance and protection services they require."

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Atiku Is A Miserable Wayward Chicken That Can Fly By Churchill Okonkwo

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 8:04am


Ordinarily, chickens in the traditional Igbo society are not expected to fly. Those who fly are scorned at, treated as wayward and termed “okuko-enu”. Such chickens are prevented from flying by the clipping of their wings. Chief Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential election is now a miserable wayward chicken that has been flying around and pooping after he lost an election. 

I may not know much, but I know chicken poop from chicken salad. Atiku’s flight to America to beg them to “dash” him the Nigerian Presidency is chicken poop. His wings should be clipped. 

When I heard that Chief Atiku has hired Bruce Fein at $30,000 over a 90-day contract to “…obtain official recognition from the United States that he [Atiku] is the authentic Nigerian President…." I remembered William Shakespeare's quote, "O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!”

For years, Atiku has been pursuing the Nigerian Presidency desperately and mischievously. From the onset, Atiku’s Presidential election was built on sinking sand. He chose to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut. His illusions were, therefore, confronted by reality at the polls. 

As the wise saying goes, if you want no disappointments, don't indulge in illusions. He who lives on illusions dies of disillusion. But, like a wayward chicken, Atiku has been unable to analyze his delusions. He has refused to understand, proverbially, that challenging Buhari is akin to stupid chicken challenging a wild cat.  

Proverbs are powerful, like this one: you can beat a fool half to death but you can't beat the foolishness out of him. Even after Atiku was beaten silly in 2019 Presidential election, the foolishness in him, stubbornly, refused to leave. 

From the announcement of fake results of the Presidential election that makes a mockery of his acclaimed business intelligence to lobbying to be recognized as Nigerian President, Atiku and his handlers appear to be stuck in the pothole of miserable thinking and actions. 

When you ask, you become a fool for a little while, but when you don't ask you become a fool for the rest of your life. Atiku failed to ask or find out why he lost the election. Instead, he is chasing the shadow of the Nigerian Presidency in the United States. After losing the 2019 election, Atiku, unfortunately, has become a shell, a shadow man, completely defeated, drowning in his own misery and illusions.  

Even before losing the election, Atiku and the Atikulated were living in a hermetically sealed bubble in which only their delusions are reinforced and an alternate reality reflected. Atiku’s illusions on the possible outcome of an election as reality was the most dangerous of all delusions.

When the Presidential election result became clearer, there was an initial denial and subsequent shock for Atiku and those in his cocoon. They were shocked that the country would not only reelect President Buhari but that it did so with a wider margin than in 2015. The greater part of Atiku’s mischief arises from the fact that he does not sufficiently understand that no matter how he tries, he cannot lick his elbow. 

Igbo proverb tells us that a man who does not know where the rain began to beat him cannot say where he dried his body. The problem for Atiku and his Atikulated fans is even more fundamental - they are still soaked and have vehemently refused to get out of the rain. 

What Atiku and his Atikulated people living in cocoon have done successfully, is creating their own media outlets, which became a bubble onto itself. After losing the election, they are still suffering from an era of on-demand reality. To get out of the pothole of misery, therefore, Atiku and his fans should stop spinning like tires clenched in a mud. 

A man is as miserable as he thinks he is. Atiku should have known one of the biggest lessons of life; happy people find a way to live with their problems, and miserable people let their problems stop them from living.

Atiku should not let his problems stop him from living. He should convince himself that he need not be the President to get Nigeria working again. Since it appears that the only source of his happiness is public service aimed at lifting Nigerians out of poverty, he could start small. For example, he can focus on using his millions of dollars to help re-orientate the mindset of the members and possible recruits of the dreaded Boko Haram at his ravaged backyard in Northeastern Nigeria. This will be therapeutic.

Atiku can try as much as he wants to flee his misery, but of course, he can never flee from the misery that is within him. To cure Atiku of illusion and misery, he shouldgive himself permission to be happy. He should top giving birth to mischievous deceit and vanity. He should allow himself to an experience of small pleasures - a hike to the top of Adamawa highland. This can provide both an escape from mischievousness.

Finally, Atiku should remind himself that it's OK to have fun, even though part of his life may be falling apart.The take away from this piece for Atiku is that hecan’t mend a broken egg.Atiku should stop running about like demented miserable chicken. He can crow the loudest but that does not mean that he lays the biggest eggs.

A smart chicken looks up when drinking water because what kills it comes from the sky while a wayward chicken hears things in the stew pot. Atiku should look up and stop thinking about the Nigerian stew pot – the money in the treasury. 

Chicken says that after someone sweeps him he can still excrete, but if someone beats him, bam! he dies.  The miserable-wayward chicken, Atiku, should stop excreting in order not to provoke the Nigerian government to beat him bam!

 

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

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Senate Confirms Buhari's Ambassadorial Nominees From Yobe, Delta, Benue

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 7:03am


The Senate has confirmed three career ambassadors nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Those confirmed are Christopher C. Chejina from Delta State, Bukar Kolo from Yobe State and Mabdul from Benue State.

The confirmations followed the consideration and adoption of the committee on Foreign Affairs headed by Monsurat Sunmonu, the senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District.

Speaking on the confirmation, Sunmonu told her colleagues that all the nominees appeared before her panel for screening as required by the Senate.

She said based on the engagement of the committee with the nominees, they were qualified to occupy the positions.

Following Sunmonu's submission, the committee recommended their confirmation to the Senate.

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BREAKING: Sudan's al-Bashir Arrested, Coup-Plotters Announce Two-Year Military Rule

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 6:48am

Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese President for 30 years until Wednesday, has been arrested, Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf has confirmed.

Addressing the Sudanese people on Thursday afternoon, Ibn Auf said al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (CC), had been “taken into custody in a safe place”. 

He also announced a state of emergency for three months and a transitional period of two years, as well as a national ceasefire and the immediate release of all political prisoners.

"Despite all the suffering, despite all the lies, despite all the false promises, the Sudanese were patient, the Sudanese were tolerant, the Sudanese were generous," he said.

Ibn Auf also praised the youth of Sudan for "taking to the streets in a very peaceful way”.

The demonstrations started in late December by university students angered by the tripling of the cost of bread. 

When the ATMs ran out of cash shortly after, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) an umbrella group of doctors, lawyers and other activists, redirected the protests to call for the end of al-Bashir’s reign. The movement has since spread to nearly every state in Sudan, making it the biggest ever resistance effort against the government since al-Bashir became President in 1989.

As the number of protesters multiplied, state-led security forces cracked down on the civilians, firing tear gas during rallies, beating demonstrators in the streets, arresting them indiscriminately, and sometimes killing them. More than 65 people have died since the protests began.

While al-Bashir’s ouster continues to be celebrated, Sudanese activists have rejected Ibn Auf’s announcement of a two-year military council to oversee a transition of power. Instead, the activists are demanding the handover of power to a civilian government.

"This is a game on the Sudanese people, the street refuses totally the announcement by Ibn Auf," activist Omar Al-Neel said following the Defence Minister's televised address to the nation. "All of the Sudanese people are in the street and demanding the downfall of all the regime and not recycling the same people."

The SPA has called on citizens across the capital and regions around the country to converge on the army headquarters for more protests.

“The regime has conducted a military coup to reproduce the same faces and entities that our great people have revolted against,” the SPA said in a statement.

A former military commander, al-Bashir came into power after leading a bloodless coup in 1989. The ICC charged the 75-year-old in 2009 and 2010 with crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Darfur, where between 200,000 and 300,000 people were killed and at least 2.7 million others were displaced.

Despite the international travel ban stemming from his arrest warrant, al-Bashir has made diplomatic trips to South Africa, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Throws Out Appeals Of Tonye Cole, APC Against Exclusion From Rivers Elections

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 6:03am

The Supreme Court has struck out an appeal filed by Tonye Cole and and two more filed by his faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State against the party’s exclusion from the governorship and house of assembly elections in the state.

A seven-man panel of judges of the apex court led by acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed, struck out the appeals on Thursday for being incompetent and defective, saying the matters could not be heard by the court.

One of the appeals was filed by the APC, with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed among the respondents; the second was filed by APC, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents; and the third was filed by Cole, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents.

At the hearing of the appeals on Thursday, Jibrin Okutepa, counsel to the APC, argued that the Court of Appeal never affirmed the judgment of the Rivers State High Court delivered on the March 7. He claimed that the court only made a pronouncement that the appeals were academic.

But Emmanuel Ukala, counsel to the PDP, disagreed, informing the court of his preliminary objection challenging the competence of the appeals filed by the APC.

In the first ruling, Justice Muhammad upheld the PDP lawyer’s argument that the notice of appeal filed by the APC was defective. He made similar pronouncements on the other two matters.

The APC was barred from fielding candidates for the governorship and house of assembly elections, leaving the PDP to have a field day. Although APC entered an alliance with the African Action Congress (AAC), the PDP candidate and Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, won by an incredible margin.

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BREAKING: Ex-Bar Association VP Monday Ubani Released After 30 Days In EFCC Custody

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 5:38am


Monday Ubani, former 3rd Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has been released from the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after spending 30 days in custody.

Ubani and Senator Christopher Enai, former lawmaker, were invited and detained by EFCC operatives on March 19, 2019, for standing sureties for Ngozi Olojeme, who once served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund from 2009 till 2015.

Moses Enema, Ubani’s lawyer, confirmed to SaharaReporters that Ubani was freed after a ruling by Justice Oriji.

He added that Ubani was granted bail after provision of a surety residing in Abuja.

“There was a bail condition and it is for him to provide a Level-14 public servant resident in Abuja,” Enema said.

On March 26, Justice Silvanus Oriji granted leave to an ex parte motion filed by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) for EFCC to charge Ubani and Enai to court or release them on bail on or before March 28.

Justice Oriji also gave an order of substituted service, after listening to the submissions of Ozekhome, counsel to Ubani and Enai.

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Buhari Meets With Security Chiefs Amid Rising Killings In The North-West

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 5:15am


President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting with serice chiefs behind closed doors.

The meeting started around 11am at the President's office at the Presidential Villa.

Top on the agenda of the meeting could be the increasing attacks by bandits in the north-western states, particularly in Kaduna State, and the spate of kidnappings in other parts of the country.

The upsurge in banditry in Zamfara, which the Government attributed to illegal mining in the state, among other factors, has already led to an order for the suspension of mining activities by both locals and foreigners in the state.

The meeting with the security chiefs was still ongoing as of the time of filing this report.

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BREAKING: Nigerian Government Threatens Atiku With ‘Dire Consequences’ If He Continues Seeking Self-Help

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 5:07am

The Nigerian Government has warned Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of the “dire consequences” to expect if he continues resorting to self-help in his bid to reverse the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, delivered the warning in Abuja on Thursday while briefing journalists in company of Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.

As reported by SaharaReporters on Tuesday, Atiku is currently lobbying the United States for support in his quest to challenge the outcome of the presidential election, and has paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract for a US law firm to provide “legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive” to wait on recognizing a winner of the Nigerian election until after the legal challenge is “impartially and independently resolved".

Controversial posters of Atiku have also surfaced in Abuja; and although the former Vice President has since dissociated himself from the sight, Mohammed warned Atiku to remember that the courts are the only permissible channel for challenging the result of the election. 

“As you must have noticed in recent times, posters bearing the picture of former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, with the inscription ‘THE PUKKA, H.E. ATIKU ABUBAKAR, THE REAL AND THE RIGHT’, have surfaced across major streets in Abuja,” Mohammed said.

“The appearance of these posters coincide with the media reports that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has hired a US lobbying firm to convince the United States not to recognize the re-election of President Buhari until the Supreme Court has ruled on the suit by the PDP presidential candidate

“The posters and the hiring of US lobbyists, the latest of such by the PDP candidate, have triggered questions about what Alhaji Abubakar is up to. Is he starting a fresh campaign after the elections have been won and lost?”

Mohammed wondered if Atiku had rescinded his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election in court, perhaps after realising that the results he claimed to have obtained from the INEC back server are cooked.

“Is he now going for self-help? What really is Atiku’s motive?” he asked.

“Gentlemen, we are aware of media reports that the PDP presidential candidate on Wednesday distanced himself from the posters that are circulating in Abuja. He also reportedly denied hiring US lobbyists, claiming tongue-in-cheek that the APC fabricated the report.

“If the media reports are right, it means that the former Vice President has suddenly realised the grave implication of his actions, hence has decided to beat a quick retreat before it is too late.

“As a self-avowed democrat, he should realise that the only lawful channel for challenging the result of an election is through the courts. Resorting to self-help, as he seems to be doing now, is an act of desperation and the consequences are dire.”

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BREAKING: After al-Bashir's Ouster, Sudan Releases All Political Prisoners

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 4:24am

The security agency in Sudan has granted freedom to all political detainees, following the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, President of the country, from office.

Al-Bashir, who has been President of Sudan since masterding a coup d'etat in 1989, stepped down on Wednesday. 

A brief statement by the National Security and Intelligence Service announced the freedom for political detainees but did not expressly indicate when the release would take place.

Nevertheless, this will be welcome news to tens of thousands of Sudanese who are celebrating al-Bashir's outster on the streets of Khartoum.

Washington Post, though, quoted Sudanese activists behind months-long protests against al-Bashir as saying hundreds who were detained over the demonstrations have already been freed.

The activists spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

Two senior Sudanese officials said the Army forced al-Bashir to step down but the circumstances of the apparent ouster remain unclear.

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BREAKING: British Police Arrest WikiLeaks Co-Founder Julian Assange At Ecuadorian Embassy

Sahara Reporters - 11 April 2019 - 3:28am

Julian Assange, computer programmer and founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks, has been arrested by British Police.

He was arrested on Thursday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

According to a statement issued by the Police, Assange was arrested "after his asylum was withdrawn".

Lenin Moreno, President of Ecuador, said it withdrew Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.

But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: "I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.

"I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law."

Assange had refused to leave the embassy, claiming if he did he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

Assange is set to remain in custody at a central London police station, before appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court "as soon as is possible".

Alan Duncan, UK Foreign Minister, said the arrest followed "extensive dialogue between our two countries".

It comes a day after Wikileaks said it had uncovered an extensive spying operation against its co-founder at the Ecuadorean embassy.

Assange, a 47-year old computer programmer, was granted refuge in 2012 while on bail in the UK over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden. 

At the time, Assange claimed that if he was extradited to Sweden he might be arrested by the US and face charges relating to WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

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