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Soyinka To Nigerian Youths: Organize Ahead Of 2023 To Take Over Leadership Roles

8 July 2019 - 4:49am


Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has charged Nigerian youths to begin mobilization to take over the reins of leadership of the country in 2023.

Soyinka made the comments at the wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the death of Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election.

He said, “Sometimes I refer to this generation of youths in which one places so much hope, as a ‘gaseous’ generation because they are so full of gas.”

“But when it comes to action, you are astonished because they keep calling out names like where is Wole Soyinka? Where is Joe Okei-Odumakin? Where is Femi Falana?

“They keep churning out the same names, same expectations, they do not organise themselves for action.

“This is what we had hoped to happen in the last elections when we called the public to jettison the two major political parties and for the youths to recognise that they actually have a powerful bloc vote and they should exercise it in a progressive way.

“Well, it didn’t work the first time, it’s a new concept to them, so, nobody should place so much expectations.

“But one hopes that in advance, 2023, the youths should begin to organise themselves, they must not wait till the last minute.

“They should begin right now in manifesting their expectations and the possibility of the realisation of their expectations of taking up leadership positions.”

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Soyinka: RUGA Internal Colonisation, Nigeria Can't Survive Another Upheaval Like Biafran War

8 July 2019 - 3:19am


Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka and Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, have joined forces to call on Nigerians to defend their ancestral lands in the wake of plan by the federal government of Nigeria to establish RUGA settlements for nomadic herdsmen in the country.

The move which caused public outcry has been suspended by the federal government. 

The duo made the call after a meeting on July 4 in Abeokuta, Ogun State. 

The communique at the end of the meeting read, "The colonial contraption known as Nigeria cannot survive another upheaval in the nature of the civil war of Biafran secession. All efforts must therefore be made to anticipate and douse socio-political flare-ups that advance the chances of a recurrence of such a conflict, no matter how reduced in scale, its devastating effects on Nigerian humanity, and erosion of the prospects of continuance as a cohesive entity.

"Among such issues of urgent import are the ongoing insurrectional movements that derive from religious fanaticism and intolerance, exemplified by Boko Haram and allied tendencies, as well as aspects of commercial enterprise, in which some groups consider themselves especially privileged, singular, and above laws and entitlements that are binding on other vectors of commercial and industrial undertaking.

"We have in mind destructive forms of social transactions that characterize groups such as nomadic cattle herdsmen, and their umbrella groupings in the nature of Myetti Allah.

"We confess ourselves increasingly distressed and appalled, that the hitherto harmonious cohabitation, even routine collaboration, among the productive arms of society that Nigerians have taken for granted even from pre-colonial times, have deteriorated to unprecedented levels of barbarity, contempt for human lives and a defiant trampling on the civic entitlements of other productive vectors such as farmers, the providers of both food and cash crops.

"This abhorrent, yet consistent pattern of sectarian, and homicidal arrogance is obviously not merely counter-productive but inhuman, criminal and divisive.

"We must stress that the present development is not new, nor has it lacked warnings. Numerous times, voices have been raised, and resistance mounted against the evolution of internal heirs to external colonialism, be this manifested by a military elite or by religious or economic groupings which flaunt their scant recognition of, or respect for human dignity, civic rights and sanctity of human life. The state has cultivated the art of looking the other way – until forced to confront reality.

"We re-affirm out commitment to the rights of every individual, every community, every collectivity of human beings as primary, and pre-eminent over and above all other parameters of human development or formal associations.

"In this regard, the recent ultimatum delivered by a sectarian order to the president of this nation to set up the so-called RUGA cattle settlements across the entire nation within a stipulated time, despite national outcry, should be acknowledged as entitlement under the bounty of freedom of expression. In return, we exercise ours, and call upon Nigerian nationals across state demarcations to defend the sanctity of their ancestral lands. This birthright has never been annulled, not even under colonial occupation.

"We call on the Nigerian people to recognize that the internal colonization project is ever recurrent, that there are backward, primitive, undeveloped minds that have failed, and continue to fail to overcome delusions in this antiquated belief in sectarian domination as the key to social existence, a belief that despises peaceful cohabitation that is based on mutual respect, a spirit of egalitarian apportionment, and recognition of the dignified existence of others, including their antecedent modes of material production of the means of existence.

"We pledge our commitment and the commitment of institutions to which we belong, and with which we identify, to the protection and advance of our own enduring faith in a common humanity, a respect for the rights of others, but also declare an uncompromising embrace of responsibility for the defence and protection of the rights and egalitarian entitlements of our indigenous communities.

"We call on all occupants of the nation space known as Nigeria to adopt all the foregoing as guiding principles for mutual co-existence and to transmit the same to their offspring and wards as foundation blocks for their very social awareness.

"We charge the Nigerian people, both on state and community levels to convoke a series of frank encounters, across various interests and concerns, to debate and determine in full freedom the future structure of their nation, most especially with a view to attaining a genuine, decentralized functional governance arrangement. 

"We propose a structure that enables the constitutive parts to progress at their own pace, determine their own priorities, and encourage creative exploitation of their resources for the benefit of their peoples. Such encounters will simultaneously address the numerous anomalies that plague the nation – from youth unemployment, infrastructural decay, insecurity and ethical collapse, to the untenable aspects of the protocols of the present constitution that supposedly bond the nation as one.

"We consider it a primary imperative of nation existence that the constitutive parts of the nation take steps to preserve and enhance their distinct cultural identities, including tested and relevant pre-colonial values, their spiritual apprehension of phenomena and worship, all without detriment to the principles and ideals of mutual co-existence. 

"To this end, we undertake to create state-of-the-art ethnic museums for our people both at home and in the Diaspora, where present and future generations can access their histories and cultures vividly, as living expressions of their very humanity, not simply as relics of eras vanished for ever or irrelevant to the present. 

'We pledge ourselves to join hands with others in fashioning a realistic, functional, and sustainable charter of development for the welfare and progress of our peoples, culturally, economically, and spiritually, where every individual freely obtains access to the means of his or her chosen path of development, and the fulfilling knowledge of valuable contribution to the well-being and advance of the overall community, and of humanity."

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Boko Haram, ISWAP Recruit 8,000 Children In Nigeria - UNODC

8 July 2019 - 1:51am


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, (UNODC), says at least 8,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) since the terrorist groups began onslaughts in Nigeria.

In a statement by Sylvester Tunde Atere, National Project Officer, Outreach and Communications of UNODC, the children were used as combatants and non-combatants missions. 

They also raped and forced girls to marry as well as committing other grave violations.

He said: “Recruitment and exploitation have a long-lasting impact on children’s lives. Today, rehabilitating and reintegrating these children poses significant challenges, not only in view of their number, but also due to the intense and lasting traumatic effects.

“In June, UNODC organised a consultative workshop to address the situation of children recruited and exploited by terrorist groups under the EU-Nigeria-UNODC-CTED Partnership Project.

“UNODC gathered all relevant stakeholders in Abuja, including representatives from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development as well as a representative of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

“Others are Federal High Court, National Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative, prosecutors, social workers,  and civil society organisations, as well as UNICEF, OHCHR, IOM. The Chief Judges of Borno and Yobe State High Courts were also in attendance.”

In 2014, the abduction of 276 girls from their school in Chibok attracted international attention, unmasking the brutality and disregard these groups hold against children.

A 2017 report by UNICEF found that the use of children to carry out suicide attacks had become a defining feature of the conflict.

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Why Buhari Finally Signed AfCFTA Agreement After Persistent Refusal To Do So

8 July 2019 - 12:49am


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari says that Nigeria will sustain its strong leadership role in ensuring the implementation of the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The president said this in a statement released by Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser on Media and publicity, just after he signed the free trade area agreement, in Miami, Niger, on Sunday.

President Buhari refrained signature on the agreement last year, stating that he needed more consultation.

However, the President signed the treaty at exactly 10:47 am in the presence of African Heads of States and Governments, delegates and representatives from the private sector, civil society, and the media attending the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the AU Launch of the Operational Phase of the AfCFTA.

According to the statement by Adesina, the President declared that Nigeria’s commitment to trade and African integration had never been in doubt nor was it ever under threat.

He told the Summit that Nigeria will build on the event by proceeding expeditiously with the ratification of the AfCFTA.

The statement reads: "Nigeria wishes to emphasize that free trade must also be fair trade. As African leaders, our attention should now focus on implementing the AfCFTA in a way that develops our economies and creates jobs for our young, dynamic and hardworking population.

"I wish to assure you that Nigeria shall sustain its strong leadership role in Africa, in the implementation of the AfCFTA. We shall also continue to engage, constructively with all African countries to build the Africa that we want."

Buhari also congratulated Ghana on being selected to host the Secretariat of the AfCFTA.

President Buhari went on: “I have just had the honour of signing the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), on behalf of my country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"This is coming over a year since the AfCFTA Agreement was opened for signature in Kigali, Rwanda, at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU, on 21st of March 2018.

"In fact, you will recall that the treaty establishing the African Economic Community was signed in Abuja in 1991.

"We fully understand the potential of the AfCFTA to transform trade in Africa and contribute towards solving some of the continent’s challenges, whether security, economic or corruption.

"But it is also clear to us that for AfCFTA to succeed, we need the full support and buy-in of our private sector and civil society stakeholders and the public in general."It is against this background that we embarked on an extensive nationwide consultation and sensitization programme of our domestic stakeholders on the AfCFTA.

"Our consultations and assessments reaffirmed that the AfCFTA can be a platform for African manufacturers of goods and providers of service to construct regional value chains for made in Africa goods and services.

"It was also obvious that we have a lot of work to do to prepare our nation to achieve our vision for intra-African trade which is the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.

"Some of the critical challenges that we identified will require our collective action as a Union and we will be presenting them for consideration at the appropriate AfCFTA fora.

"Examples are tackling injurious trade practices by third parties and attracting the investment we need to grow local manufacturing and service capacities."

President Buhari noted that Nigeria’s signing of the AfCFTA and its Operational Launch at the 12th Extraordinary Summit was an additional major step forward on the AU’s Agenda 2063.

With Nigeria and the Benin Republic signing the Agreement at the Summit, 54 out of 55 African countries have signed the world’s largest free trade area deal, encompassing 55 countries and 1.2 billion people.

Eritrea is the only country yet to sign the agreement.

Twenty-six countries have deposited instruments of ratification, with Gabon being the latest after depositing hers during the Extraordinary Summit.

The AfCFTA Agreement entered into force on May 30, 2019, 30 days after having received the 22nd instrument of ratification on 29 April 2019 in conformity with a legal provision.

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Police Rescue 4-year-old In Nigeria Two Weeks After Being Kidnapped

8 July 2019 - 12:45am


A four-year-old Khidijat Rilwanu kidnapped two weeks ago, has been rescued from the residents of her kidnappers by the Kano State Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The little girl was rescued and three of her suspected abductor were arrested. 

Parading the suspects, Police Commissioner Ahmed Iliyasu, said: “On 4th of July, 2019, a team of Puff Adder detectives arrested one Ibrahim Musa of Ungwar Rimi quarters in Kaduna. On interrogation, two female suspects of the same address were arrested and a victim, one Khadijat Riliwanu, four years old of Wailari Quarters, Kano was rescued at the residence of the female suspects, while an investigation is in progress.”

Iliyasu said 10 other suspected bandits were intercepted at Koki Quarters in a Toyota Hiace Bus, heading to Badawa Quarters.

When the vehicle was searched, they were found to be in possession of 22 various dangerous weapons, including long knives, short knives, a large number of hard drugs, and intoxicating/hallucinating substances, with new weapons of violence, known in local parlance, as ‘fate-fate tsitaka and barandami'.

Iliyasu said 61 suspects were arrested at various criminal hideouts, while one Aminu, who graduated from Kano University of Science and Technology, currently undergoing a Master's Degree programme at Bayero University, Kano (BUK), was arrested, alongside his accomplice for stabbing a night guard at the university and was found to be in possession of 15 stolen laptops.

He said six armed robbers and kidnap suspects were arrested, while Bashir Sani of Rimin Kebbe Quarters, Kano was apprehended in possession of a single barrel gun, loaded with 15 rounds of cartridges, adding that during investigation, another one locally-made gun, one chemical/pepper spray, one jackknife, one walkie-talkie, one handcuff, and a police belt were recovered from him.

Iliyasu said, over 122 suspects, who were arrested and paraded two weeks ago have been charged to various courts of law within the state for prosecution, adding that those, who have just been arrested would be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.

Items recovered from the suspects include 15 laptop computers; 26 parcels, as well as 250 wraps and other large quantities of Indian hemp; three stolen motor vehicles; 18 live ammunition; 16 live cartridges; eight cutlasses; 32 clubs; 43 knives, 32 sachets of Diazepam tablets and 220 bottles of Suck-and-die

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Police Arrest, Arraign Ministry Of Power Director For Passport Racketeering

8 July 2019 - 12:41am


Maikudi Haruna, a Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, has been charged to court for forgery and international passport racketeering.

He was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja on a three-count charge brought against him by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

He was charged with “conspiracy,” “making a false statement for the purpose of procuring Nigeria passport,” and engaging in “forgery.”

The prosecution, led by the Head of Prosecution, NIS, Collins Obilor, alleged that Haruna forged the official identity card of his ministry and signature of the Minister on a letter he issued to a friend, Abubakar Mustapha Bida, for whom he procured an official passport, after collecting N250,000 from him.

The accused pleaded not guilty, following which the court granted him bail at N250,000.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo commended the NIS and the Comptroller General for their diligence in the prosecution of cases. See Also CRIME Senior Nigerian Government Official Arrested For Passport Racketeering 0 Comments 22 Hours Ago

He adjourned until September 27, 2019, for trial.

The charge read: “That you Maikudi Haruna, (M), of The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Maitama, Abuja, on or about the 10th day of May 2018, at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja did commit an offence to wit: forgery, by fraudulently making official identity Card of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for Mr Abubakar Mustapha Bida and signing a letter of introduction for him, on the letter headed paper of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing purporting same to have been written and signed by the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, for the purpose of procuring Official Nigerian Passport for Abubakar Mustapha Bida supposing him to be a Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing and submitting forged documents in that regard to the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“That you Maikudi Haruna, (M), of The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Maitama, Abuja, on or about the 10th day of May 2018, at the Federal M1mst1y of Power, Works, and Housing Maitama, Abuja did conspire with one Mr. Henry Canton, (now at large) to procure official Nigerian passport for one Mr Abubakar Mustapha Bida, who you know is not a senior government official and who is not entitled to hold the Federal Government of Nigeria official passport after he paid you the sum of N250,000 only.

“That you Maikudi Haruna, (M), of The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Maitama, Abuja, on or about the 10th day of May 2018, at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing Maitama, Abuja, did commit an offence to wit: Knowingly making false statement for the purpose of procuring official Nigerian passport for for one Mr Abubakar Mustapha Bida by introducing him to be a Special Assistant to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and submitting forged documents in that regard to: the Nigeria Immigration Service, knowing that he is not an eligible government official.

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Nigerian Women Attempt Suicide Than Men -Psychologist

8 July 2019 - 12:38am


Titi Tade, a clinical psychologist and Deputy Director, Medical Social Services at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), has said more women than men in Nigeria attempt suicide. 

She stated this while delivering a lecture titled, ‘Depression, vis-à-vis Suicide Rate in the Country, at the July Congress of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos State Chapter.

Tade also noted that this was so because women were more prone to depression than men. 

She said depressed women were more likely to seek help than their male counterparts.

“More women attempt suicide than men and more women survive suicide attempt than men because the method they adopt or substances they take for suicide are usually milder than that of the men.

“Out of five women that attempt suicide, four have the tendency to survive, while only one out of five men that attempt such survive,” she said.

According to the psychologist, over 90 percent of suicide cases are caused by depression.

Tade said 78 percent of suicide cases globally occur in the underdeveloped countries while the developed countries record only 22 percent.

According to her, suicide is a mental case and it kills about one million people daily, while youths and children of about five years are also involved.

“Suicide occurs in every 40 seconds and about 20 to 25 people attempt it, but do not succeed.

“The second highest cause of suicide is failed relationship, while others are terminal or physical illness, genetic factor, cultural factor, social isolation, bereavement, unemployment, amongst others,” she said.

Tade advised Nigerians to reduce stigmatization, discrimination on mental health issues, over spiritualism and improve communication as well as school mental health programme.

She also urged the government to address the issue of shortage of mental health professionals while the media should desist from its sensational reporting of suicide cases towards curbing the menace.

Mrs. Adeola Ekine, Chairman, NAWOJ, Lagos Chapter, lauded the psychologist for mentoring the association’s members and sharing from her wealth of experience.

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Kano Anti-corruption Agency To Investigate Civil Service For Overpaying Staff

8 July 2019 - 12:36am


The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission says it will investigate the excess payment of salaries to civil servants.

Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado, chairman of the commission, said this while addressing participants at a symposium on the commission and its laws.

He said they suspect foul play in the way and manner salaries are being paid to workers in the state, hence the need to investigate. 

Rimin Gado said the commission discovered cases of overpayment of salaries to some workers in the state recently. 

He said, “A lady working with the commission recently received an alert of over N400,000, which was more than her salary. Another staff of the commission attached to Gezawa Local Government also received an amount higher than his salary. Both staff have already returned the excess money to the government’s coffers. 

“Apart from these two instances, the commission has heard about similar cases in various government ministries, agencies, and parastatals. So, the commission is going to investigate the processes of payment of salaries in order to stop this. 

“Who knows? There could be a motive for doing this unnecessary overpayment and by the time we investigate the processes, we will know why it happens and who is responsible and why he or she is doing it. It is our responsibility to ensure transparency in government activities at both state and local government levels.” 

The anti-graft agency chairman added that unless Nigerians support the anti-corruption agencies in the ongoing fight against corrupt practices, Nigeria will not progress. 

He lamented that the future of the upcoming generations and indeed the country would not be bright if corruption was not tackled. 

Rimin Gado said corruption was seriously threatening the progress of Nigeria and Nigerians must arise against it.

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BREAKING: 19 Feared Dead In Nigeria's Auto Crash

8 July 2019 - 12:23am


File photo

File photo

At least 19 people have been confirmed dead in an auto crash at Dinyar Madiga in Takai Local government area in Kano state.

The incident which happened on Sunday was confirmed by Malam Datti Musa Shawu, chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW), in the area.


Details later.

 

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NLTP: The Human Face Of A Savage Scheme By Ifedayo Babalola

7 July 2019 - 11:51pm


 

Psychologists suggest that our fascination with hybrid creatures stem from the fact that inside of us, our politics, our governments, and our institutions exist simultaneous potentials for savagery as well as tenderness. This split personality theory inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - a fictional work about a well respected doctor who sometimes manifested as his own evil alter ego.
It is no wonder, therefore, that legends exist in all parts of the world about hybrid creatures. As children, their stories filled you with such dread that you feared to be alone in the dark. And even beyond childhood, the possible existence of half-human half-animal beings continue to fascinate mankind.

Greco-Roman mythologies gave us many of them. Egyptian and Indian mythologies too.

Coming closer home, the late D. O. Fagunwa, in his classic, Igbo Olodumare, brought Ojola Ibinu (Python of Rage) to our consciousness. The man-eating snake was as deadly as they come - a character made even more deadly because at the end of its huge elongated body was a human face. Ojola Ibinu talked like man, and with its body out of view, you'd have no hesitation in accepting from it a dinner invitation oblivious to the fact that you are on the menu.

Like mythical creatures, like hybrid governments. Perhaps, more than anything else, the mishandling of Nigeria's malignant herdsmen crisis exemplifies the duplicitous nature of the present administration.

Much has been written and said about RUGA in the past weeks.As such, I do not intend a rehash of the evil schemes of its sponsors. My objective rather, is to warn that its suspension should only be cautiously celebrated at best. Make no mistake about it. RUGA (Rural Grazing Area) is still alive and in social media parlance, loading. What the government has done is to slap on it a human face in the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

As has been announced, NLTP has two basic components:
One is the humanitarian aspect comprising compensation and resettlement of persons affected by the herdsmen crisis. This is the human face that has been slapped on RUGA as bait, and it is the aspect that RUGA proponents were willing to circumvent had they succeeded in dry running their abridged version down our throats.

The other component is ranching. It is quite obvious that the present NLTP ranching initiative has Fulani pastoralists as its focus. To be fair, and that it may not be seen merely as RUGA with a make-up, it needs to be clearly stated and promoted with equal fervour that the government also plans to support states and private investors that are interested in setting up non-Fulani-populated ranches. What is good for the goose, they say, is good for the gander.

Shall we then be very terrified of this government? Should we, really be wary of a government in which, like Igbo Olodumare, the snail is bigger than the tortoise - a government where special assistants and acting permanent secretaries unilaterally take such far-reaching actions 'without the knowledge' of the highest two elected representatives of the people? Should we at least wonder why, if Mr. President and his VP are sincere, no erring government functionary has been sanctioned over the RUGA contraption?

I could go on and on about what boggles the mind over this contrived, stalemated crisis. But that will not be necessary because for the most discerning, it is becoming increasingly impossible to deny that the summation of all that may lead Nigeria, and more importantly the south, down the dark tunnel is the role of the nation's Vice President. And what an irony that is! For he is articulate and highly cerebral. Add to that the deep bow he takes each time he is introduced to high tables, Professor Osinbajo has indeed endeared himself to many across board.
There is no doubt that he has served the country well. The problem though is that he is serving his principal and the cabal he represents too well. His revisionist statements on restructuring and his recent trip to Washington DC where he made light of the menace of killer herdsmen exemplify his penchant for deploying his human and political capital in furtherance of the cabal's selfish purposes.

This government's charming face in person of our amiable VP has again been effectively utilized to douse the RUGA fire. With such pedigree however, it will be foolhardy for anti-RUGA campaigners to entirely lower their guards simply because our likable son is in charge of NLTP.
Already, some are drawing Afonja parallels; but I will refrain from going that far just yet. My reason for holding judgement is that as a politician, he might simply be tagging along, hoping that to serve the cabal well is to have a chance for the ultimate prize in 2023. Another possibility is that, knowing the serpentine and wily nature of the power center, he has by now been so inexplicably sucked in that no other choice exists than play ball. 

Yet, there is a third scenario. Maybe the pastor is just being himself, as access to absolute power has the capacity to unravel the lies concealed beneath the most sanctified of veils.

I will conclude this by tapping up the wisdom of medieval artists. In 'The Fall of Man' paintings of that era, the devil is depicted as a snake with a human head. It was that duplicitous appearance and the sugar-coated promise of emancipation that gave it leverage over Eve. Suffice it so say that Satan's overall philosophy of engagement remains the same till this day: Evil is more potent whenever it wears a human face.

-Ifedayo Babalola, satirist and commentator sends this piece from New York City.
(ifebabs@hotmail.com)

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Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation Commends Busola Dakolo, Urges More Victims To Speak

7 July 2019 - 4:24pm


The Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation has urged more victims of sexual violence in Nigerian not to cover up the crime but report quickly to law enforcement agents so that justice can take its course. The group also commended Busola Dakolo for speaking out and motivating other victims to do so.

Dakolo was allegedly raped by the Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation founded by the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu. The group made the call in a statement on Sunday, titled, “Broken voices: a call to action to end rape in Nigeria.”
The statement partly read, “Beyond the mixed reactions and responses that trailed the rape allegation, it is important we understand the nature of sexual violence and why too many cases either go unreported or not legally handled when reported. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual violence is “Any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic or otherwise directed against a person's sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work”. As captured by the world’s apex health body, there are many forms of sexual violence with rape being the most common.

“Sadly, yet again, this problem disproportionately affects women and girls just like most other global development concerns. In 2015, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) reported that one in four girls and one in ten boys in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. The victims in question are not so far away when you look more closely, they are the same young girls and boys we see every day in our communities. Another report stated that almost 32% of girls in Nigeria said that their first sexual encounter had been raped or forced sex of some kind. Approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex (forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) at some point in their life.”

The group noted that it was unfortunate that as alarming and shocking as the problem might seem, perpetrators have grown from being first-time offenders to serial rapists, adding that they present themselves in various forms-father, uncle, brother, cousin, neighbor, etc.

It said the fear and shame attached to speaking up and coming out to report cases of sexual abuse are undoubtedly the banes to finding a perfect solution to the problem. The statement added, “Even with the best legal framework in place to put offenders behind bars forever, it is still ineffective if victims do not speak up, especially those who can. We must commend Busola Dakolo, whatever the case may be, for speaking up despite what was at stake and how it may affect the flourishing musical career of her husband.

“Her act of bravery has raised a lot of awareness on the several faces offenders may wear and has indeed given millions of other victims the courage to speak up. In less than 24 hours of releasing her story, social media went buzzing with many other stories previously untold unveiling themselves one at a time. More victims came up with their cases and boldly spoke about ways of avoiding rape without fear of public victimization or shame. This is exactly what movements like #MeToo and unbroken.ng have tried to advocate for, in a bid to curb the age-long menace. While there are several other ways of preventing sexual violence in our society, including effective legal framework to prosecute all offenders, strengthening community security, increased awareness among women and girls, public enlightenment on the Nigerian Criminal Code as it affects sexual violence, however, the ability to speak up when it happens remains the first and most vital step to solving the problem.

“There are many advantages to speaking up. According to Nwafor (2019), sexual violence victims should not only report cases but must also present early so that adequate evidence can be collected. That voice, however, broken, must not go mute because it can be made to sing again. Every woman, girl or boy who has been a victim of sexual violence must speak up. Speaking up is the first phase of recovering from the trauma. It can also prevent other associated health issues such as infectious diseases including HIV, teenage pregnancy, depression and mental illness, suicide and many more.

“Finally, everyone must join hands to end sexual violence in Nigeria. We must support victims who speak up and end all forms of victimization. The government, civil society, NGOs, religious groups, traditional rulers, business and corporate world, organized women groups and the media must synergize to achieve a collective and robust approach to solving the problem. The advocacy community while providing victim safety and offender accountability, and most importantly in preventing sexual assault, must not isolate itself from other relevant stakeholders. It must be emphasized that we want to see many more Bukolas springing up from their shadows across the nooks and corners of Nigeria, making bold to share their stories and demanding for justice.

“It is noteworthy to add that social media is gradually changing the Nigerian society and will continue to do so in years to come. As little as a video released on the internet can go viral in a matter of seconds largely influencing and dictating the outcome of vital issues that affect our well-being as a nation. We must be able to leverage this technology to increase awareness of rape and other sexual violence acts against women and girls. Victims can easily share their stories and be heard on platforms such as #Metoo or unbroken.ng. May I add that unbroken.ng was created by BusolaDakolo to share her story to the world and give other victims the opportunity to tell theirs too. Irrespective of the outcome of her case in the court of law, she has indeed set herself free from the bondage of the silent agony of reliving her sad experience for the rest of her life and also given other victims the strength to do so. That broken voice must be heard again; this time, it is no longer restrained in the shadows."
 

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HEDA Gives Buhari 14-day Ultimatum To Prosecute Goje Or Face Legal Actions

7 July 2019 - 4:15pm


 

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre has given President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria a 14-day Ultimatum to immediately revive corruption case against Danjuma Goje or prepare for court action.

SaharaReporters has exclusively reported how President Muhammadu Buhari quashed the case in a bid to convince Goje, now a Senator, to drop his Senate Presidency bid. 

The Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) was trying Goje for stealing N5bn between September and November 2010, after forging a document titled, 'Resolution authorizing His Excellency the Executive Governor of Gombe State to acquire a loan of with Ref. No: GM/HA/RES/VOL. 1/17. 

The Nolle Prosequi by Malami came after the trial judge was summoned to sit at 6pm on Thursday evening. 

HEDA had previously maintained that many Nigerians have the reason to suspect that transparency is being sacrificed on the altar of politics and horse-trading in the interest of the election of principal officers of the National Assembly.

Reacting to the quashing of the case, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman of HEDA, said that the withdrawal of the case cannot be justified and it only solidified claims by providing more evidence that the corruption fight of the President has been compromised.

He said, “The action of the FG confirms the suspicion that Goje trial has been waved aside because of his decision to step as the Senate President for President Mohammadu Buhari's prefered candidate, Senator Ahmed Lawan. 

“This withdrawal has no justification except to confirm the rife speculations that the case was compromised to meet "political considerations” as in previous cases taken over by the AGF office.

“The AGF had set "bitter precedents" that the fight against corruption is selective depending on the political camp the suspected culprits belong.”

Suraju stated that HEDA would seek all legal means and inform international organizations of the subversion of rule of law going on in the Buhari’s administration.

"The withdrawal is in bad taste and this group will deploy all the constitutional legal means to defend public interest in this particular case”.

“The international community would be notified of this subversion of rule of law and justice by the present regime.

“Bilateral laws and agreement between Nigeria and other foreign nations will be explored to exposed both the government and the suspect. Constitutional provision on Nolle Prosequi is not to pervert justice but protect public interest”, said the organisation’s Chairman.

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Sexual Assault Of Minors: Lagos Police Record Worrisome Number Of Cases

7 July 2019 - 4:13pm


Sexual Assault suspects

Sexual Assault suspects

 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested four men for sexual assault against minors.

According to Bala Elkana, spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command,  the men were arrested at different areas of Lagos State for offenses bordering on rape and molestation.

One of the paraded men is a 68-year-old Yisah Showunmi, who allegedly raped his 15 years old daughter and her friends.

The 15-year-old reported the incident at Imota Police Station in Ikorodu, on June 27.

She alleged that her father has been having sexual intercourse with her for the past three years, stating that when her two friends (Names withheld) ages 15 and 16 came to stay in their house, her father also had sexual intercourse with them.

She said that the last incident happened on June 23, 2019. 

In another similar incident, one Akin Olatilu was arrested for sexually abusing his step-daughter.

According to the police, Olatilu has been assaulting his step-daughter for five year when she was only 14 years old.

But on June 14 the lady approached the Police to make a report.

She alleged that she reported the matter to her mother but her mother did not take any action. 

She further stated that the abuse did not stop until she turned 18 years old and that the suspect also had sexual intercourse with her in the month of March 2019.

Another case was reported at Igando Police station by a mother who claimed that her daughter was assaulted by her guardian, one Pastor Popo Paul, who lives at 10/11 Aminu Street, Ishuti road, Egan Igando, Lagos.

The mother, who lives at Akure in Ondo state, had brought her daughter to Lagos, in 2017, to live with Paul's wife.

She stated that, she noticed her daughter was pregnant sometime in June, 2018 and that when she interrogated her, she mentioned the name of the suspect. 

According to the pregnant girl, Paul started sleeping with her in January 2018. She gave birth to a baby girl in April 2019.

In a related development, One Aliyu Ali Mohammed was arrested for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 14 years old girl inside an uncompleted building in Peace Estate Iba area of Lagos

According to Elkana the case was reported by one Harrison Chukwerueke, who caught the suspect.

All the suspects have been charged to court.
 

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Nigerian Government Has Concluded Plan To Assassinate My Father, El-Zakyzaky's Son Cries Out

7 July 2019 - 3:48pm


Ibraheem El-ZakyZaky

Ibraheem El-ZakyZaky

 

One of the surviving sons of the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN )  popularly known as 'Shiites' , Mohammed Ibraheem Zakzaky has said that the Nigerian government has finalised the arrangement to assassinate his father , Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky. 

He disclosed this in a press statement issued at the end of a press conference addressed by Sheik Mukhtar Abdul-rahaman Auwal on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that he visited his father at the detention facility where he has been kept by the security operatives on Saturday 6th of July 2019 but was shocked to see his father in deteriorating health conditions. 

According to Ibraheem " This Saturday the 6th of July 2019, I met with my father and my mother.  My father was found to have unusually excessive and life threatening concentrations of lead and cadmium in his blood. 

"This has always been an assassination in progress, and it is almost done. And the assassins are clearly determined to see it through.

"When we met aside from what could be visibly seen of their deteriorating condition such as my fathers teeth which in the space of a month has turned from dark brown to virtually jet black, my father also informed me of how his condition has been worsening since the last time we met.

He said that all efforts  made by the family to ensure that his father get a proper medical attention were deliberately ignored and frustrated  by the government. 

He explained that his condition has worsened beyond redemption adding that any effort to save his life now has become futile.

 He pointed out that his mother  started showing signs of stroke in  January 2018 as a result of intermittent attacks of chronic pain . He said the pain has  become a daily occurrence now due to lack of  proper medical intervention

His words " My mother on the other hand, whose numerous medical issues were well known since before, has similarly received none of the care that was recommended. 

" The frequent attack of chronic pain which she had been suffering on average on a monthly basis has now turned into a daily routine. And to date none of the underlying medical issues causing these attacks has been addressed "

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Everything Is Messed Up In Kwara State, Decay Will Take Years To Fix, Gov AbdulRazaq Laments

7 July 2019 - 3:45pm


 

AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara state, has lamented the decay bequeathed to him by his predecessor in office, Abdulfatha Ahmed.

AbdulRazaq said he has been trying to fix the alleged decay since his assumption of office.

The governor made this known when he spoke during the commissioning of new ultra-modern library complex in Kwara state University (KWASU), Malete, Moro local government area of the state.

He said, “Everything is messed up in Kwara state, the decay will take years to fix but we are convinced that we will succeed if everybody supports us. We are starting on ground zero.

“We are faced with criminal breakdown of basic infrastructure across every sector in the state, especially in the education and health sectors.

“Just last week, we had to pay N250 million to offset two months’ salaries the state government owed workers across the state colleges of education.

“We also paid an additional N50 million to secure re-accreditation for two of the colleges.

“We still have a backlog of arrears to pay these teachers. We have promised to steadily offset these backlogs with an appeal to the workers to return to work after many months of industrial action to protest the neglect of the schools by people elected to serve the public.

“The decay in the infrastructure across our primary and secondary schools is better imagined.

The more any patriot sees such a thing the sadder he becomes because it points at a bleak future unless something urgent is done.

“It was so bad that funds meant for upgrades of facilities at the primary schools were diverted with serious consequences for the state.

“Our government is determined to raise a generation of children who are able to cope with the education needs of the 21st century.”

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Four Students Expelled From Kebbi College For Engaging In Lesbianism

7 July 2019 - 11:32am


 

The Kebbi State College of Science and Technology in Jega has expelled four female students for engaging in lesbianism.

Confirming the incident to journalists, the Provost of the institution, Alhaji Aminu Dakingari said the female students  were caught red-handed by the school's security personnel and cleaners.

It was further revealed that  two of the students are from Kotangora in Niger State while two others are from Kebbi and Sokoto respectively.

However, the four students owned up to indulging in lesbianism and were  eventually expelled from the institution.

“The students confessed to the committee that they committed the crime and we just have to expel them from the school”,  Dakingari said.

“They resorted to threatening my life through text messages but the security agents were able to rescue me from them,” he added.

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COZA: CAN Makes U-turn, Says It Is Investigating Rape Allegations Against Fatoyinbo

7 July 2019 - 11:12am


 

The Christian Association Of Nigeria has said it is investigating rape allegations against Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo by celebrity photographer, Busola Dakolo.

The body made this known on Sunday in a statement by its Acting General Secretary Joseph Daramola.

CAN had earlier said the matter was outside of its jurisdiction and hence could not act on calls by Nigerians to get to the matter.

Making a u-turn however, CAN said: “Since both Pastor Fatoyinbo and Mrs. Timi Dakolo are Christians, the leadership of CAN is already seeking ways to address the issues in order to heal every wound already inflicted on the parties concerned and the body of Christ in general.

“It is our hope that steps which will exacerbate the current damages already done will be avoided.

“As we seek the help of CAN Elders and the Holy Spirit in resolving the current problem, it is our prayer that both parties will sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of the Church and for the greater glory of God.”

“The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is seriously concerned about the disturbing situation concerning Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the General Overseer  of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly  (COZA), one of our leading Pastors in the country, on whom allegations of rape has been leveled by one of our daughters, Mrs. Timi Dakolo.

“It is disheartening how some commentators and columnists have been insulting the Body of Christ in Nigeria as a result of this incident.

“Like we have earlier stated, it doesn’t matter who is involved, rape is ungodly and reprehensible. But we have resisted the temptation to jump into any conclusion since a body like ours will be expected to have uncovered the truth about any matter before making public statements and not base its position merely upon media reports.

“Although we have disclosed that Pastor Fatoyinbo’s Church has not been an active member of CAN, that does not put the Church outside the spiritual watch-care of CAN.

“CAN is the umbrella body for every Christian and Church in Nigeria. Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church does not turn back anyone that comes to Him and CAN also does not.

“The Ministry of the Church, according to Jesus Christ, is the Ministry of Reconciliation, which is centered on true love and forgiveness of those who repent.

“The Bible states it clearly that “God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Roman’s 5:8,11).

“Having reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, God has committed to us the ministry of reconciling the world unto Himself and to one another. (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).”

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Senator Abbo Must Not Go Unpunished, Nigerian Women Insist

7 July 2019 - 7:08am


 

The National Council for Women Society (NCWS), FCT Chapter, has maintained that Senator Elisha Abbo must face the law to serve as a deterrent to other abusers.

The women group on Sunday said it rejected the apology of the Senator after he assaulted a woman who was nursing a baby in an adult toy shop in Abuja.

Mrs Hadiza Umar, FCT Chairman of NCWS, who spoke on behalf of the group also called on the intervention of international organizations in ensuring the Senator is punished for assaulting a woman.

Umar said, “I am here with my executives and members of NCWS FCT chapter for a peaceful demonstration on what an elected senator, who is suppose to serve us did to one of our women.

"We want to stop the barbaric habits on women either at home, in the markets, shops, workplace and everywhere in the country.

“We are women of integrity and mothers, we are not animals and we are saying no to violence against all women and the assault should stop with immediate effects.

"We reject his apology and we will do everything within the ambit of law to demand justice for our fellow woman who was assaulted.

Senator Abbo is facing another possible legal action after Photojournalist, Olumuyiwa Owolabi Tayo, came out to reveal how the Senator assaulted and brutalized him when he worked for him in Adamawa during 2015 elections.

He said the Senator refused to honour a contract signed by both parties and instead of paying him, beat him, got him arrested and threatened to kill him if he ever asked for the money.

Tayo has vowed to pursue the case legally and ensure he gets his money.

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Senior Nigerian Government Official Arrested For Passport Racketeering

7 July 2019 - 5:39am


 

A senior official of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, one Maikudi Haruna has been arrested in connection with forgery of the minister of the ministry in order to obtain the country’s international passport for his client.

Haruna was accused of obtaining the sum of N250,000 from one Abubakar Mustapha who he falsely processed the ministry’s identity card for after collecting the sum from him.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Immigration Service, Sunday James insisted that Haruna knew Mustapha was not a staff of the ministry and still went ahead to procure the identity card for him in order to obtain the international passport.

James said Haruna conspired to forge official identity card and signature of the minister of the ministry.

He explained that in order to serve as a deterrent to others still in the system, the service charged the suspect to court and appeared before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja where he was charged with “conspiracy,” making false statement for the purpose of procuring Nigerian passport and engaging in forgery.

He vowed that the service under Muhammadu Babandede, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service will not condone any form of forgery or related offences either from individual or groups.

The statement reads in part, “The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service advise prospective applicants seeking Nigerian passport to avoid false declarations, forgery and use of fake breeder documents, but follow due process by paying online, applying online and desist from patronising touts.

“Both the procurer and the applicant will be prosecuted in accordance with the provision of the law related to passport offences.”

It is however not clear if the signature forged was that of the immediate past minister of in the ministry, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.

Fashola was appointed the ministry in the ministry in October 2015 to May 28, 2019.

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Police Rescue 4-year-old Who Was Kidnapped Two Weeks Ago In Kano

7 July 2019 - 5:32am


 

Khidijat Rilwanu, a four year old girl who was kidnapped two weeks ago, has been resuced from the den of her kidnappers by the Kano State Commmand of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Three of her abductors were arrested in the operation.

Parading the suspects, Police Commissioner Ahmed Iliyasu, said, “On 4th of July, 2019, a team of Puff Adder detectives arrested one Ibrahim Musa of Ungwar Rimi quarters in Kaduna.

"On interrogation, two female suspects of the same address were arrested and a victim, one Khadijat Riliwanu, four years old of Wailari Quarters, Kano was rescued at the residence of the female suspects, while investigation is in progress.”

Iliyasu said 10 other suspected bandits were intercepted at Koki Quarters in a Toyota Hiace Bus, heading to Badawa Quarters.

When the vehicle was searched, they were found to be in possession of 22 dangerous weapons, including long knives, short knives, large quantity of hard drugs, and intoxicating/hallucinating substances, with new weapons of violence, known in local parlance, as ‘fate-fate tsitaka and 'barandami'.

Iliyasu said 61 suspects were arrested at various criminal hideouts, while one Aminu, who graduated from Kano University of Science and Technology, currently undergoing a Masters Degree programme at Bayero University, Kano (BUK), was arrested, alongside his accomplice for stabbing a night guard at the university and was found to be in possession of 15 stolen laptops.

He said six armed robbers and kidnap suspects were arrested, while Bashir Sani of Rimin Kebbe Quarters, Kano was apprehended in possession of a single barrel gun, loaded with 15 rounds of cartridges.

He added that during investigation, another one locally-made gun, one chemical/pepper spray, one jack knife, one walkie-talkie, one handcuff and a police belt were recovered from him.

Iliyasu said, over 122 suspects, who were arrested and paraded two weeks ago have been charged to various courts of law within the state for prosecution, adding that those, who have just been arrested would be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.

Items recovered from the suspects, include 15 laptop computers; 26 parcels, as well as 250 wraps and other large quantities of Indian hemp; three stolen motor vehicles; 18 live ammunitions; 16 live cartridges; eight cut lasses; 32 clubs; 43 knives, 32 sachets of Diazapam tablets and 220 bottles of Suck-and-die.

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