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Comrade Oshiomhole: What Next? By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

22 September 2020 - 3:59am

The gubernatorial election in Edo State had come and gone (last weekend) with the victor and the vanquished emerging. The incumbent Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes across the 18 local government areas of the state to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who scored 223,619 votes according to the figures announced by the INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh.

The Edo guber poll was not only controversial and acrimonious but dramatically suspenseful all along leading to the Sept. 19 D-Day. Many things were at stake prior to the polls: godfatherism, ego, political survival and prostitution etc. The election was made even more pessimistically interesting given the political figures involved and the issues bothering on superiority complex involved as well.

While Governor Obaseki remains the greatest beneficiary of the guber battle the overall loser happens more to be Comrade Adams Oshiomhole than Pastor Ize-Iyamu. The former Governor of the state and fallen National Chairman of the ruling APC had taken the Edo poll as a 'war', one he waged with relentless determination and desperation as if his entire political life depended on it.

But in a way his political life and future depended to a large extent on the final outcome -- one that has become disafavourably a source of nightmare and depression. The victory of the PDP represented a huge blow to the Comrade's huge ego and psyche. But it was not surprising given the circumstances. There was no better way of demystifying a vindictive man.

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BREAKING: DSS Asks Journalist, Masara Kim, To Retract Publication Exposing Plans By Herdsmen To Attack Plateau Communities

22 September 2020 - 2:55am

Masara Kim

The Department of State Services has asked journalist Masara Kim to retract a publication he made revealing plans of coordinated attacks on farming communities in Plateau State by herdsmen, SaharaReporters can confirm.

Kim honoured an invitation extended by the secret police on Friday, September 18 when he was asked to retract the report, according to a source.

Masara Kim

“My knowledge is that he has been asked to sign a document and retract the story or face severe consequences. He was asked questions and you know we now have a way to get these things done, I cannot really say but when we have your details and your family and other things,” the security source said.

When asked if the alleged perpetrators of the attacks in the story published by the journalist had also been arrested and questioned, the security agent told SaharaReporters, “No”.

The journalist last Friday published a story on his website reporting the killing of a mobile police officer and a civilian in Malul, Daffo Village of Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The policeman, who was on special duty and one Sati Bulus were ambushed on a motorbike around 8:30pm on Thursday. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: DSS Invites Journalist, Masara Kim, Over Report Revealing Plans By Herdsmen To Attack Farming Communities In Plateau State 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

As part of his story, Kim revealed meetings held by Fulani groups in the state to purchase weapons and resume hostilities on farming villages, information he attributed to his sources.

The DSS in Plateau State recently extended three similar invitations to Obadiah Mailafia, former Central Bank Deputy Governor, over comments he made about the alleged sponsors of insecurity in the country. 

He has since cried out that his life was in danger.

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Ex-Nigerian Minister Arrests Hotel Staff, Strip Them Naked For Allegedly Stealing N5,000

22 September 2020 - 2:48am

Kenneth Gbagi

A former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, who is currently nursing a governorship ambition in Delta State in 2023 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, has arrested and charged four of his staff working in his hotel to court for allegedly stealing his N5,000, SaharaReporters has learnt.

It was reliably gathered that Gbagi last week Friday arrested the four staff working in Signatious Hotel, Warri, Delta State, after they were striped naked and photographed inside the hotel before handing them over to the police.

Our correspondent gathered that after dehumanizing the four staff, a male and three females, they were taken to the Ebrumede Police Station to be remanded in custody.

Speaking in confidence with our correspondent, a staff of the hotel revealed that his colleagues were arrested by the former minister over the alleged theft of the said amount.

He said, "My boss, former Minister of State for Education and owner of Signatious Hotel, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, arrested four of my colleagues working for him over the stealing of N5,000 from the hotel when actually the N5,000 was given as a gift to them by a guest because of their good behaviour."

While giving the names of the arrested colleagues as Gloria Oguzie, Victor Ephraim, Rosslyn Okiemute and Achibong Precious, the source said, "Before they were arrested by the police on Friday last week at the hotel, the four staff were stripped naked while they were photographed in the presence of the police. 

"We learnt that the dehumanising treatment was instructed by our boss."

It was further gathered that the hotel management forcefully made some withdrawals from the bank accounts of the four staff through their ATM cards before the police took them away in a waiting van.

The four staff were charged before a magistrate court sitting in Effurun after four days of detention.

In a five-count charge, the police accused the suspects of conniving among themselves to steal monies ranging from N156,000, N110,000, N5,000 and N2,000 owned by Signatious Hotel and committed an offence punishable under section 516 and 390 (9), of the criminal code Law Cap21C Vol.1 Law of Delta State.

The four staff, it was learnt, were granted bail on Monday through the intervention of some anti-corruption and human rights activists, who decided to take up the matter.

Warri-based human rights lawyer, Omemiroro Maxwell Ogedegbe, who confirmed the story, said that the four staff were granted bail by a magistrate court sitting in Effurun, Delta State.

Kenneth Gbagi

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God-wins, Edo And Lessons Learnt By Reuben Abati

22 September 2020 - 2:43am

Reuben Abati
Reuben Abati

The pundits who had predicted the outcome and the nature of the Gubernatorial election in Edo State got it all wrong. The Edo 2020 election may well prove to be a turning point in the management of elections in Nigeria, and if not, there are certainly lessons to be learnt from it. It was in every sense a rude awakening for both the actors in the drama and the community of observers who witnessed and monitored the election. Pundits predicted that the election would end up as war, a do –or die affair and that there would be blood-letting in all the state’s three Senatorial Districts. That didn’t happen. An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was shot in Etsako Central LGA, another person was macheted and given a cut on the face. In Orhionmwon LGA, a person was killed. In Egor, Ovia South West, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo LGAs there were reports of skirmishes involving vote buying, and physical assault, but on the whole, the election went on peacefully. There were fears that voters would stay away from the polling stations, out of fear and anxiety, for indeed, before election day, September 19, campaign rhetoric was febrile, hate speech dominated political talk. The people had every reason to be afraid. 

Reuben Abati

Still about 25.2% of registered voters ventured out to exercise their right of franchise. Out of a total of 2.210,534 million registered voters, about 483, 000 did not pick up their voters’ cards, leaving behind a total of 1.7 million accredited voters. Out of these, barely 537,407 voters took part in the exercise, just enough to cover the event with a toga of legitimacy. There were fears about the readiness of INEC for the election. It was an off cycle election. It was a COVID-19 season election. INEC promised that it was ready and that it would do a good job. The Commission didn’t do too badly after all. Unlike what obtained in the past, ad hoc staff got their allowances. Concerns about the late arrival of election materials and the failure of card readers in some local governments were promptly addressed. INEC had insisted that voters should observe COVID-19 protocols. Many voters wore face masks, quite alright, but INEC was totally incapable of enforcing physical and social distancing. That was a major minus. Nobody should be surprised if there is a sudden spike in COVID 19 cases in Edo state after this election. 

In past elections, across Nigeria, there were complaints about security agencies and their performance. We have witnessed spectacles of policemen, soldiers, and other security agents constituting themselves into a nuisance on election day and after, acting, as it were, on orders from above, in an absolutely partisan manner. In Edo State on September 19, the various security agencies tried their best to be neutral. Nobody reported the usual story of uniformed men snatching ballot boxes and helping the ruling party to thumbprint ballot papers. There were no disturbing reports of police brutality or accidental discharge by soldiers. In Kogi, in November 2019, the Nigeria Police deployed helicopters to intimidate the people. A prominent female politician was set ablaze, and till date the case rests in a cold file that may never be opened. On September 19 in Edo State, Nigerians witnessed a most unusual election. Political actors respected the restriction of movement order. For an election that was presaged by serious tension and anxiety, that was quite an achievement. 

As it turned out, incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki who had crossed from the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to enable him seek a second term in office after he was rejected by powerful forces in the APC, emerged victorious.  He scored 307, 955 votes and won with a margin of 84, 336. His main challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 223, 619 votes. There were 14 political parties in the September 19 election, but it was basically a two-way horse race between the PDP and the APC.  It was as if all the other 12 political parties did not exist. Their votes taken together did not quite amount to 10, 000. One of the gubernatorial candidates was said to have been at home in Lagos on election day. She didn’t even bother to show up in Edo State. Democracy allows all sorts. Nonetheless, history was made. Obaseki is the second Governor in Nigerian history to win election within the space of four years, back to back on two different political platforms: the APC in 2016 and the PDP in 2020. Before him, there was in this regard, Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, who became Governor as an APC  candidate in 2015, and as a PDP candidate in 2019. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Edo 2020 key challenger, will also be remembered as having lost Gubernatorial elections back to back on two different platforms: PDP in 2016, and APC in 2020. 

Governor Godwin Obaseki has every reason to enjoy the taste of his victory. He was incumbent Governor but he was the underdog in the 2020 election. He was abandoned by the APC, the same party that presented him as flag-bearer in 2016. He was not allowed to take part in the same party’s primaries on the grounds that his academic credentials are fake. The campaign against him was led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the same man he served as  economic strategist and who in 2016 sold him to the people of Edo State as the best thing since the invention of fluoride toothpaste. Oshiomhole did a 360-degree volte face and abandoned Obaseki. He turned 360 degrees and embraced Pastor Ize-Iyamu, the same man he condemned in 2016. Obaseki had other enemies: the absentee 14 lawmakers of Edo State -  Oshiomhole’s loyalists who wanted Obaseki out of office. There were other local gladiators, including all the major 2016 Godfathers who now chose to turn against him. Captain Hosa Okunbor, a prominent businessman and a major stakeholder in Edo State who had supported Obaseki in 2016, an otherwise self-effacing Captain Okunbor walked out of the closet and threatened to spend his “last kobo” to remove Obaseki and make Ize-Iyamu Governor.

In the larger community, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the APC sponsored a video on television in which he advised the people of Edo State to reject Obaseki. Asiwaju Tinubu is a powerful political figure and Godfather. In Edo state, he teamed up with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and others to throw Obaseki into the dustbin of history. His loyalists and godsons relocated to Edo State to join the Ize-Iyamu campaign. The national anti-Obaseki team was led by the Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Ganduje. I still can’t figure out how anyone would appoint such a controversial man as head of a campaign team. Locally, 42 members of the Obaseki administration resigned and abandoned him. Obaseki’s enemies had the Federal machinery behind them. They control the institutions and powers of the state. But today, they all have dust in their eyes. Obaseki, in a noteworthy re-affirmation of his name, won. God wins! What exactly happened?

Beyond the easy resort to a spiritual explanation and how man proposes and God disposes, or the omnipotence of the God factor, I think the result of the September 19, 2020 election in Edo State can be explained in 5 ways. Number one: the intervention of the United States and the United Kingdom on the eve of the election so to say, made a huge difference. The US issued a statement to say that it will impose and had already imposed restrictions on the visas of Nigerian politicians who committed electoral offences in the November 2019 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and who have behaved in similar fashion in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial elections, on September 19 and October 10 respectively. The UK Mission in Nigeria followed suit by announcing similar measures with the addition that assets of Nigerian electoral offenders in the UK will be seized, and such persons will be prosecuted under international law. Thank you, US and UK. I am of the firm belief that the political actors who would otherwise have misbehaved in the Edo Gubernatorial election had to restrain themselves because of your intervention. They don’t want to be restricted. They don’t want to lose their visas. They need access to US and UK hospitals whenever they fall ill. They don’t want to be named and shamed. The Nigerian Government has complained about sovereignty and the right to fair hearing. I don’t know what that is all about. What we saw on September 19 was that there was no useless “order from above”. What we know is that the President of Nigeria was the first person to congratulate the re-elected Governor of Edo State.

Number two: the intervention of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Captain Hosa Okunbor, and the desperate anti-Obaseki campaign launched by the APC ended up working in Obaseki’s  favour Equity may not favour the indolent but it often favours the underdog. The all-powerful APC machinery was so targeted at Obaseki that unwittingly, the APC scored an own goal against itself. Days before the election, the people of Edo state began to ask questions. Adams Oshiomhole as Governor in the same state had campaigned against the influence of Godfathers. He practically drove Chief Anthony Anenih of blessed memory out of town. In 2020, Oshiomhole found himself in fits of self-contradiction as he repudiated everything that he ever stood for. He spoke from every corner of the mouth. He apologized to the people and the chiefs of Edo that he made a mistake in 2016. Did they believe him? I don’t think so. The same man could show up in 2024 and tell fresh stories. Obaseki’s victory is an outright rejection of Oshiomhole’s brand of politics. The people of Edo also rejected Asiwaju Tinubu’s busy-body intervention. This in fact inspired Edo nationalism. The people proclaimed: “Edo no be Lagos”. “Obaseki no be Ambode”. To this extent, the Edo Gubernatorial election was a protest against Godfatherism and an affirmation of Edo nationalism. The Edo people rejected the idea that anyone at all could dictate to them. They stood by whatever mistake anyone thought they made in 2016.  Very instructive. 

Number three: Obaseki was helped further by the PDP machinery. The PDP cashed in on the failure of the APC in Edo state and took maximum advantage of it. The party which claims that Edo is a PDP state, simply grabbed a rejected Governor of the APC and offered him everything that he wanted: a golden offer that accommodated his Deputy. It was a deft political move. The PDP used Obaseki’s defection from the APC to strengthen its base in Edo State. It countered every negative move by the APC by deploying its own aggressive campaigners, led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state. Others on the ground included the PDP members from Edo state who are members of the National Assembly and the local House of Assembly. Together, they deployed high-grade propaganda to shape public perception. The APC rejected Obaseki.  He found a new family. Big loss. 

Number five: Obaseki’s victory can also be linked to the politics of 2023. Unknown to many, some key figures in the APC worked for him. Edo became a battle ground for the Presidential politics of 2023. Those who do not want Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu to determine the fortunes of the APC and Nigeria in 2023 moved in and checkmated the process. Realpolitik. 

The big take away in all of these is the prompt acknowledgement of Obaseki’s victory by President Muhammadu Buhari and his congratulatory message. Pastor Ize-Iyamu and the Edo branch of the APC have refused to congratulate Obaseki. They should take their cue from the President’s message who in this case, has done something that is quite uncharacteristic. Ize-Iyamu and his supporters claim they want to study the results. They are free to do so. But they should conduct themselves after the fashion of gentlemen and sportsmen. In the past, the APC got controversial rulings from the judiciary in election matters including the notorious case of Imo State where the Supreme Court elected a Governor from the Bench through dubious arithmetic. The judex should be careful. They need to read the press statements by the US and the UK.  They may be privileged but they are also not above international law!. 

President Muhammadu Buahri has advised Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory. He should take that to heart. Before the election, he had threatened to deal with Oshiomhole. He doesn’t need to deal with anyone. Oshiomhole banished the Godfathers that disturbed him from Edo State. He doesn’t need to be served a dose of his own medicine. Even those who promised to spend their last kobo on the September 19 election should be accommodated. Obaseki got a second term by defeating those who tried to play God in the affairs of Edo State. He himself must resist the temptation to act like God. The people of Edo State have reposed their confidence in him by giving him the opportunity of a second term in office. He must not betray their trust. He has promised to Make Edo Great Again. There are unresolved issues and uncompleted projects, and MOUs. He will be better off focusing on that. No man must play God. 

As for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, let him be reminded that “except the Lord builds the House, they labour in vain that build it…” (Psalm 127: 1). Pick your phone, make that call and congratulate your brother, Godwin.

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REVEALED: How Buhari Spent Five Years Repeating Same Lies About Oil Price And Production

21 September 2020 - 10:55pm

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to conjure fake figures of the country’s oil production during his tenure and the average price of a barrel of crude oil during the tenures of his predecessors, despite numerous fact-checks of his false claims.

Some of the variations of the president’s erroneous claims have appeared in his written speeches and offhand remarks.

During his closing speech to his cabinet at the ministerial retreat at the Presidential Villa last Tuesday, Buhari added one more dubious claim. He said the country’s oil production nosedived to one million barrels per day due to attacks from militants.

Buhari’s first recorded claim came in July 2015.

“He then talked about the impact of the collapse of the oil prices, which averaged about 100 US Dollars from 1999 to 2015, saying that its fall to about 30 dollars a barrel some weeks ago was shocking. ‘I would have been in a coma if not for the fact that I was in oil (sector as a past minister) for three years,’” Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity wrote about what Buhari told the Niger Delta Dialogue and contact group led by King Alfred Diete-Spiff during their visit to Presidential Villa in 2015.

Again, in his Democracy Day speech the following year, Buhari updated his claim about the average oil price during the tenures of his predecessors.

“The past years have witnessed huge flows of oil revenues. From 2010, average oil prices were $100 per barrel.”

While addressing the country on October 1, 2016, he made the same false claim about the average oil price, adding that militant attacks had reduced Nigeria’s oil production in his tenure to less than a million barrels per day.

“Oil price dropped from an average of hundred USD per barrel over the last decade to an average of forty USD per barrel this year and last,” he said. “Worse still, the damage perpetrated by Niger Delta thugs on pipelines sometimes reduced Nigeria’s production to below one million barrels per day against the normal two point two million barrels per day.”

In November 2016, when graduates of the Senior Executive Course 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State, came to the Presidential Villa to present a report on poverty reduction, Buhari repeated his favourite lie.

“For 16 years and eight consecutive governments of the other party, you know that there was unprecedented revenue realised. The oil projection, which can be verified, was 2.1 million barrels per day. 1999-2015, the average cost of each Nigerian barrel of oil was $100 per barrel. When we came (elected), it fell to less than $30 per barrel and is now oscillating between 40 and 50.”

In his 2017 Independence Day speech, Buhari said, “We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999-2015 when our country happily returned to democratic rule.

Despite oil prices being an average of $100 per barrel and about 2.1 million barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered, and the country’s social and physical infrastructure neglected.”

Interacting with members of the Buhari Support Organisation in 2018, he said, “I challenge anybody to check from Europe, America and Asia; between 1999-2014, Nigeria was producing 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day at an average cost of 100 USD per barrel and it went up to 143 USD. When we came (elected), it collapsed to 37 – 38 USD and later was oscillating between 40 and 50 USD.”

Both Buhari and his speechwriters have continued to disseminate fake news while attacking the media and unleashing the Department of State Security on Nigerians over claims of hate speech and misinformation.

Forgetting that whatever he says is generally considered as news, the president continued with his dubious claims while addressing his cabinet at the first-year performance ministerial retreat held last Tuesday in the Presidential Villa.

“I want the Nigerian elite, please encourage them to judge us fairly. From 1999 to 2014, the average production was 2.1m barrels a day. The average cost was a hundred American dollars per barrel. When we came it collapsed to 37 and 38 dollars per barrel, you know it. The militants were unleashed on the administration, and the production went down to half a million barrels a day.”

Despite proving that Buhari’s claims about average oil price have been false, the president has refused to back down from spreading incorrect information.

Using the price basket compiled by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dubawa, a fact-checking news outlet, found that the average cost of a barrel of crude oil from 1999 to 2014 was about $61.

Both Dubawa and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) have separately found that only between 2011 and 2013 did crude oil price ever averaged above $100.

Also, the president’s claim that Niger Delta militants forced oil production down to half a million barrels per day when he came into office is false.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) started publishing monthly financial operation data in October 2015. In the first month of each year, it states the average daily production per month for the 12 preceding months of the previous year.

Data gathered from its January 2016 monthly operation scorecard shows that the average daily petroleum production for 2015 was estimated at 2.13 million bpd. Only in June 2015 did oil production slip below 2 million bpd.

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NUPENG Vows To Resist Deregulation Of Petrol Price Based On Importation

21 September 2020 - 10:48pm

Secretary-general of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Afolabi Olufemi, says the union will not accept the federal government’s removal of subsidies on the petrol pump price, except the product is refined in the country.

Olufemi said the Jonathan and Buhari administrations had deceived Nigerians about using the proceeds from subsidy removal to refurbish the country’s refineries.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said during his opening remarks to his cabinet at the first-year ministerial retreat that the federal government was too poor to continue sustaining the subsidy regime.

The NUPENG boss, however, said the Jonathan administration had in 2012 promised to invest in repairing existing refineries with the funds from the negotiated subsidy cuts.

Olufemi said the Buhari government had made the same promise when it came into office in 2015 and altogether eight years later, from 2012, nothing had changed.

“Our position has remained constant right from inception,” he said. “We do not want deregulation based on importation.

“Since 2012, what has the government done to put our refinery right since 2012? In 2011, subsidy payment was N2 trillion-plus. In 2012, it was N1 trillion-plus. Now it has dropped to about N760 billion. In 2016, there was no subsidy at all. With the savings, we have made so far, what have we done with it and what is the state of our refineries?”

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in March 2019 commissioned Italian firms, Maire Tecnimont and Eni to carry out repairs on the Port Harcourt refinery.

The first phase of the project was to last for six months at the cost of $50m.

The NNPC promised last year that all the country’s refineries would be functioning at full capacity by 2022.

The Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, had in July of 2019, said that the three refineries would be ready before the beginning of 2023.

The corporation has since shifted the deadline, with several officials stating on different platforms that they hoped to get all refineries on stream by 2023.

While Tecnimont is expected to handle the engineering, procurement and construction of the two refineries in Port Harcourt, the corporation has yet to state who would take care of repairs in Warri and Kaduna.

Olufemi said the impending strike by the oil and gas workers is essential, as the government has repeatedly lied.

“They have deceived us; they have lied to us several times. Are we going to continue believing them? The argument in 2012 was that they were taking away subsidies to increase the local refining capacity and that we would be able to save money to increase local capacity if we reduce subsidy. For eight years, nothing has happened.”

Contrary to the federal government’s claim that it would not subsidise petrol prices; however, it has maintained a form of cost reduction on the retail price of the product through a currency subsidy.

NNPC is Nigeria’s primary source of foreign exchange. The corporation takes dollars at source to meet the country’s fuel needs.

With the refineries idle, the corporation exchanges the country’s domestic allocation of 445,000 barrels per day for refined petrol through a direct sale and direct purchase deal.

By this means, NNPC has been the sole importer of the product since 2017, meaning there is no competitive market for petrol in reality.

Explaining why organised labour’s intention to embark on a strike to protest electricity tariff increase for customers receiving 12 hours of power and above, Olufemi said the distribution companies had not put in enough investment to demand a pay rise per kilowatt-hour.

He said, “It is easy to put burdens on the consumer. Those who bought these assets from the federal government were supposed to have the technical competence and financial muscle, and they are supposed to have done due diligence, and they have failed at delivering all these. Why should the masses pay for their mistakes?”

Olufemi said the distribution companies should meter all its customers and show proof of service before demanding higher pay.

“In our electricity industry, it feels like if you are going to the filling station with your car, you have to bring your fuel pump,” he said. “They should meter all their customers and show that they are providing service before asking us to pay more.”

The industry experts have asked the Nigerian government to ease the burden on electricity customers by denominating the pricing of gas sold in the Nigerian market in naira.

This, they say, would help power generating companies to reduce their cost of production.

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Pastor Denies Attempting To Rape Nigerian Woman He Allegedly Trafficked To Lebanon

21 September 2020 - 10:43pm

Damilola Oyeyemi, 20, who was repatriated recently to Nigeria from Lebanon where she was trafficked, has accused her trafficker of attempted rape before she travelled out of Nigeria.

Her alleged trafficker, Anthony Afolayan, is a pastor with Christ Apostolic Church.

She said Afolayan convinced her mother and deceived her into travelling to Lebanon where she ended up working as a domestic servant to an abusive employer.

Oyeyemi said Afolayan told her she was scheduled for a test in Lagos as part of the procedures to secure her travel papers but unknown to her, the pastor’s wife was out of the house.

“His wife is a nurse,” she said. “She has one week off and one week on. I did not know that she was on duty that week. He came to my room at midnight. I had already slept. He woke me up and told me to come to his room and that he wants to sleep with me. I said if he tried that with me, I would tell everyone. That is why he left me alone.”

Afolayan denied Oyeyemi’s accusation.

“I am a pastor. In Jesus’ name, I would never rape anybody,” said Afolayan when contacted by SaharaReporters.

On how she travelled to Lebanon, Oyeyemi said Afolayan reached out to her mother.

“He told my mommy that he has a job offer for me in Lebanon. He told my mommy to pay N300,000, but we were only able to pay N200,000.

But Oyeyemi was not required to pay any money to travel because all the travel arrangements were usually settled by agencies in Lebanon that contract African women for domestic services in the Middle East country.  

She said when she arrived in Lebanon and found the job to be too tough; she requested to be sent back to Nigeria.

“When I called him to say I wanted to return to Nigeria, that the work was too difficult, he told me he did not have any business with me. He said I should make sure I send him his money.”

Oyeyemi, who was only 19 when she was told to clean ceilings and fans while standing on a ladder, said she did not make enough money to pay the pastor the remaining balance of N100,000 he demanded.

She said she worked for less than three months before asking Abu Hussein, the agent who purchased her to return her to Nigeria.

“When I returned to the office, he beat me mercilessly, he deprived me of food and locked me up for six months. I think it was during the COVID-19 lockdown. So, he decided not to find another madam for me.”

She said she was deceived by the agent, who sold her in Nigeria, that she was going to teach English. 

“I realised I was not going to be a teacher, day one of my time in the house of the first employer. My madam woke me up to come and clean. I was shocked. I told her I thought I was supposed to teach. I cried for two weeks and forced them to take me back to the agent’s office.”

Oyeyemi said she was first beaten to remind her that she needed to start performing her domestic duties.

“After beating me up, he took me back to my boss’ house. Later, I sustained an injury on my leg and told my boss to return me to the office. The agent beat me up again before finding medical aid for me.”

She said with the help of some NGOs in Nigeria, she succeeded in putting pressure on Hussein to return her to Nigeria, but by then, airports had been closed due to the pandemic. 

When evacuation flights began for other stranded Nigerians in Lebanon, Oyeyemi said she was booked to fly back to Nigeria five times, but Hussein prevented her from boarding.

She said along with other six Nigerians, Hussein insisted that they would spend one more year in the country before he would let them go. But she said persistent pressures from NGOs and Nigerian government officials finally led to their rescue back to Nigeria in August.

Pastor Afolayan, however, said that his sister-in-law, not him, facilitated her travel to Lebanon and denied ever asking her to pay him money.

“I’ve never asked this lady or her mother to pay me any money. All the money they paid I transferred it to my sister-in-law who frequents Dubai,” Afolayan said.

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As Insecurity Worsens, Nigerian Government Backs Airline To Start Abuja-Kaduna Flights

21 September 2020 - 1:04pm

Aero Contractors

The Nigerian Government appears to have given up the possibility of protecting commuters on the 185km Abuja-Kaduna Road as Aero Contractors got its backing to start flights on the route.

Dozens of travellers including federal lawmakers and top government officials have either been kidnapped or killed along the road despite assurances from the government and security agencies.

Aero Contractors

“I want to assure Nigerians that Kaduna-Abuja Road is now safe. We have cleared the road, we have arrested a lot of kidnappers and some of them were fatally injured during the confrontation we had with them.

“The road is now cleared for use by travellers and our patrol teams comprising combined security services are there constantly working each day,” Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, told Journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

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The airline, it was gathered, has deployed its Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft and now flies the route four days in a week for prominent people and government officials, who have shunned travelling by road due to potential security threats.

To reduce the risk of being kidnapped or attacked by robbers, a good number of travellers between Kaduna and Abuja have embraced the use of trains.

Reported attacks against passengers riding on trains have also raised concerns that the route might also not be completely safe.

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Lagos Residents Cry Out Over Policies Of Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu, Oba Oniru, Elegushi

21 September 2020 - 12:11pm

Some Lagos residents have accused the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of policies that have affected them negatively.

Also accused of cruel actions against residents are Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Gbolahan Lawal Oniru of Iru Kingdom, and Saheed Elegushi, Oba of Ikate-Elegushi.

According to some Lagos residents, who spoke with SaharaReporters, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the world in ways many never envisaged.

Despite this, they claimed Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu and other government officials are using the period of the pandemic to further torment and strangle residents.

“Policemen have increased extortion on many roads, land-planning groups have increased demolitions of legal properties and the government continues to create policies that benefit them to the detriment of millions. 

“It started with the ban of commercial motorcycles that witnessed approximately 20,000 residents lose their means of livelihood in February 2020. It got worse with no palliatives for residents despite the significant funding the government received locally and internationally.

“Furthermore, Governor Sanwo-Olu increased public transportation fare and many of his agencies such as LASAA have been harassing citizens for fees and taxes. In a state whereby many hundreds of businesses have shut down during the pandemic, there has been no financial break to residents but increased torment from the government,” a resident said.

Another resident accused Tinubu of publicly endorsing forceful eviction and demolition of properties in Lagos for private gains.

“Tinubu, known within the APC party as the party leader, said during a speech in August 2020 that the Supreme Court gave the planning constitution to the government of Lagos State and if they decide that all your designs and everything you are talking of real estate value is for either drainage, canal and all of that thing and they start demolishing some of it, you can do nothing.

“This blatant threat to all citizens from a master demolisher and crime king was spoken at the coronation of a king who many say was illegitimately installed by Tinubu and not legally a part of the royal family. Many allege that Gbolahan Lawal was simply a former bodyguard of Tinubu not chosen by the kingmakers nor through customary rights. In Tinubu's speech, it is evident that he has gotten away with establishing policies for his personal benefits for almost two decades.

“Millions are yet to recover from the illegal demolition and displacement of citizens from estates in Lagos such as Ajah, Otodo Gbame, Ikorodu, Elegushi and many areas across the state over the past years. Yet the torment has continued into what can be regarded as the worst year of the century for many.

“Lagos State has a motto that believes land money is oil money. Their process to wealth is to steal, displace, demolish and recycle land at the expense of millions of innocent citizens. This has gone on for two decades or more. From Lagos Mainland, to Lagos Island, to Ikoyi, Ajah and many areas across the state, citizens have lost their valued properties to government demolitions and illegal takeovers,” he said.

Recall that a resident of Ajah, Matthew Godwin, lamented recently that after his co-residents at New Era Estate struggled to gather funds to build roads and gates to secure their neighbourhood from armed robbery and other crimes, the government moved in to demolish the place without notice.

“We had hoped that our efforts will receive the commendation and support of the government but to the contrary, the government we looked up to were the ones frustrating our spirited and selfless effort to develop the estate,” he added.

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Boko Haram Terrorists Kill Nigerian Army Commander

21 September 2020 - 10:59am

A Nigerian Army commander identified as Colonel DC Bako, has been killed by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.

The senior military officer lost his life on Monday in an ambush set up by the insurgents, according to a report by HumAngle.

Bako was Commander of Sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole, the team combating terrorism in the North-East region of the country, before he was killed.

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Confirming the incident, Ado Isa, spokesperson for Operation Lafiya Dole, said the colonel died in a military hospital where he was receiving treatment after the ambush.

Isa said, “Operation LAFIYA DOLE wishes to intimate the general public of the demise of one of our gallant and finest war heroes Col DC Bako. It could be recalled that the professional, gallant senior officer who always led from the front and a patriotic Nigerian, led a patrol to clear Boko Haram terrorists from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10:00am on Sunday, 20 September, 2020. Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting to the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment.

“Sadly, however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment. The late senior officer was recuperating well after successful operation at the hospital in good spirit and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing at the hospital."

See Also Military Nigerian Soldier Fighting Boko Haram Commits Suicide, Leaves Letter For Wife 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

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Rejoinder To Award-winning Disaster Minister Sadiya Faruq's Op-ed: "Reward For Hard Work Is More Work" By Matthew Africa

21 September 2020 - 9:31am

Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Nigeria, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, was recently adjudged the best minister in twelve months of President Muhammadu Buhari's second term by Transparency Watch. Instead of rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the achievement, she humbly told me that it calls for more work and not celebration.

In her opinion, which appeared on TheCable online newspaper, Nneka Ikem in an article disingenuously captioned "Reward for hard work is more work" to analyze her paymaster as the best minister in twelve months of President Buhari's second term. A script given to her by those she is serving at their pleasure.

It is important that we note that the people she is doing the hatchet job for are largely responsible for most of today's ills in Nigeria and they are wholly responsible for the extreme poverty, ignorance and backwardness of the youths in this country whose passion to serve their fatherland is invaluable.

Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

As she wrote her article at the behest of her paymaster, she forgot to whisper into her ears that N-Power volunteers are yet to receive their pay for the month of June. Likewise, others being owed for months. Nneka didn't see anything wrong in withholding stipends of volunteers who have laboured in our public institutions for years. 

Those being owed for months Madam Minister claimed their accounts were flagged as a result of they earning from government agency, which is not entirely true.

Her conscience failed her. Her humanity didn't remind her that we all are interconnected and that what we do today when providence smiles at us will always be a reference point at every point in history especially as a public servant.

They are so detached that Nneka Ikem couldn't hold back to think twice that N-Power volunteers too are human beings and that they have families and children.

Nneka Ikem forgot to remind her boss that July stipends are unpaid and we are in September.

Nneka no matter how had you try to  remake your paymaster's image, history will be forged by her action and inaction.

So, why are you trying so hard to cover up the deeds of your boss through an uninspiring award?

History have been the best storyteller even when some people are scared of their own actions, thereby trying to rewrite it.

History will never forget Hitler, so will history never forget Mandela.
History will never forget Stella Adadevoh, Allison Madueke. History will never forget Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.

History will never forget Dora Akunyili, Sadiya Umar Faruq.

My advice to the minister and her media aide and the "powers-that-be" is that whatever we do that's void of empathy, compassion and humanity devalues a nation and such nation loses her dignity not just within but internationally.

Finally, Nneka claimed that her boss said the reward for hard work is more work. What happened to the labour of patriotic and passionate volunteers in their thousands whose hard work and story are invaluable in the line of duty? What's their own reward of service?

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EXPOSED: How Customs Officials On Illegal Duty Extort, Harass Motorists On Ore-Benin Road

21 September 2020 - 9:28am

The Uncompleted Filling Station

The Custom Okada Man

Cash Withdrawn

The Custom Team Leader

PoS Point At Akinjagula

The Eatery Opposite The Filling Station

The Custom Officer Car

A man, who identified himself as Adeniyi only, has explained how some officials of the Nigeria Customs Service in Efosa, a town along Ore-Benin Expressway, extort and harass car dealers and owners of fairly used vehicles.

The man also accused personnel of the Nigerian Army of conniving with the customs officials to extort members of the public along the axis.

He asked the Nigerian Government, Inspector-General of Police, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service and the National Assembly to investigate the matter and help stop the daily harassment of motorists by the law enforcement officials.

He said, “When corruption becomes open and robbery becomes legal, then a country is in a big mess. When drivers pass Ore heading towards Benin, at the army check-point directly opposite Levant Quarry at Efosa, you will see Nigeria Customs truck parked by the road side. The army guys there help customs officers stop motorists, a kind of joint venture between them.

“At that point, any car model between 2010-2012 is charged a minimum of 100,000 per car, 300,000 for car between 2013-2015 and minimum of 500,000 for 2015 and above. If you cannot afford the charges stated above at the army check-point, you are then moved to an uncompleted filling station about 10km from there opposite a particular eatery to meet their superior.

The Uncompleted Filling Station

“When the customs officer that drives the car parks your vehicle, he then hands over the car key to another officer known to be merciless. That is where the car owner's hell starts from. The officer will do his calculation and then claim that there was underpayment, from there he will bring a form asking you to sign for balance of the underpayment or claiming N1m and above depending on the year of the car.

The Eatery Opposite The Filling Station

“After much frustration, intimidation and delay, you are forced to part with valuable sum of money in the range of amount stated above,” he said.

Explaining the method of payment, Adeniyi said the customs officials have standby motorcycle ridere on the ground, who take those whose vehicles are seized to a PoS point as they won’t accept transfer or bank cheque.

“No transfer or bank cheque is allowed. Standby motorcycle ridere are on ground. In my case the guy carried me from the uncompleted filling station to PoS point which is about 5km away towards Ore at a place called Akinjagunla.

“I insisted I was not going to pay any money because the car was certified okay and cleared from Lagos, but at a point when it was getting to 7:00pm and I was the only person left with them, their leader began to threaten me and even pulled up his T-shirt up for me to see his pistol.

The Custom Team Leader

The Custom Officer Car

"When I wanted to leave for Ore to look for a place to sleep, he warned me not to move out of the filling station vicinity. At that point, I felt it wont be wise to continue standing my ground with them till dark hour, so I was assigned a motorcycle rider who took me to a PoS point.

The Custom Okada Man

Cash Withdrawn

“When I made some enquiry from the Hausa boy in charge of the PoS, he told me that he makes transactions for the customs officials running into several millions of naira daily. He said he only confided in me because I was from the North.

PoS Point At Akinjagula

“In order for the customs officials not to be noticed, they dont stop, delay or return any trailer/truck carrying container to the uncompleted filling station. This is a deliberate ploy to avoid peoples' attention. They also don't wear uniform to avoid being noticed as I suspect that they are on illegal duty there,” he added.

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The Limits Of Bullionvanism As An Effective Political Strategy By Rèmí Oyèyemí

21 September 2020 - 9:22am

Remi Oyeyemi

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
         - Frederick Douglas.

Bullionvanism is coined to define the concept of deploying a deluge of cash coveyed by bullion van(s) to influence the political process to determining the outcome of an election. The process would include the buying over of vote canvassers, the voters themselves, thugs and touts hired to intimidate voters, the official election umpires, election monitors, journalists covering the election, prospective election tribunal members, lawyers to handle cases and judges that would preside on particular cases.

The belief that money could turn "black to white" or vice-versa had fostered thiss mercantilist approach to politics where the welfare of the public takes the background and kleptomania clearly isolated as the main goal. Thus the bullionvanist had engaged in kleptomania in a weird combination of allopathic and homeopathic proportions, to creating bullionvanism as a political philosophy and strategy.

Extrapolated, it shows, as far as this philosophy and strategy of bullionvanism is concerned, that the man on the street does not matter. His needs, irrelevant. His feelings, discounted. His aspirations, disregarded. His dreams, deprecated. His desire, disesteemed. Bullionvanism presupposes that government power is meant to steal and loot all public resources, and shake crumbs to cronies who would lap them up like edacious dogs, and with gratitude. That way, the dogs, gifted with indescribable capacity to be loyal to those who feed them, would look up to the dispenser, the bullionvanist, for more. 

The dogs would then tie their own destinies to the fortunes or misfortunes of the bullionvanist. They become the defenders and justifiers of not just bullionvanism, but also the bullionvanist. In so doing, they discard all values, self respect and dignity. They become unashamedly, moral reprobates, leeches, wild locusts and scroungers. They cincture themselves from all feelings for others and their society, while they engage in destructive, self immolating, parasitic individualism.

Remi Oyeyemi

With bullionvanism, the idea is that when election comes, deploying several bullion vans of naira would make the bullionvanist victorious. With an electorate already povertized, pauperized, impoverished spoliated and squalorized, doting out few wads of naira, to inflict them with temporary amnesia to forget their woes, they would do the bidding of the bullionvanist. They would vote the way he wanted them to vote and install a new criminal either as a senator, a governor or what have you.

It is a political strategy devised by the most successful political mercantilist in the contemporary political history of Nigeria. First openly deployed in the weeks towards the Elections of 2019, by Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), it could be debated that this strategy has been the main one he had employed severally to install his cronies across the Yorùbá States, especially in Lagos State. Until 2019, when the culture of impunity had been accentuated to an ignominious crescendo, it has never been done so unabashedly and openly.

When the bullionvanist went to Osun State to boast at the Palace of one of the traditional rulers that he was richer than the State, he was alluding to his cash stuffed bullion vans with which he has buoyed the ambition of many of his cronies and destroyed the legitimate aspirations, dream and desire of millions of people across Yoruba States and other parts of the contraption called Nigeria.

His confidence in bullionvanism has been characterized as "impregnable" because, as a political strategy, he had used it over and over and over again with immense success. His success in dominating Lagos State has been ascribed to this strategy. His ability to help convince Nigerians to vote for a dullard as the President of Nigeria's Unitary Republic who has been earlier rejected three times at the polls, has also been ascribed to this strategy.

Bullionvanism was considered to have fortified him to the point he has come to see himself as a tin-god to be worshipped by all and sundry. It has caused him to denounce all Obas in Yorùbá Nation as "useless." It has caused him to even disrespect Olúayé, the Oonirisa of Ilé -Ife, refusing to stand on his feet as a mark of respect for the pre-eminent Oba of Yorùbá Nation. The effrontery displayed, he further stretched to obnoxious extent by sitting down to greet the Ooni! What a blasphemy!

Many Yorùbá sons and daughters were aghast wondering what could be going on. They were flustered and flabbergasted. They wondered what could have been the reason for such disgraceful behavior coming from someone who claimed to be a Yorùbá son! Some analysts felt that the reason why he actually behaved like that could be traced to his belief in the concept of bullionvanism - "I have more money than anyone and I am more important than anyone."

Analysts believe that despite observable variables pointing to what 2023 Presidential race would look like, the bullionvanist has been feeling so bullionvanistic to the extent that he felt 2023 would be a "walk over". It has been posited that he even believed that if he could personally spend mere 35 billion naira as alleged, to help install Mohammadu Buhari, he would be willing to dispose several bullion vans of naira for himself, to make himself President of the Unitary Republic of Nigeria.

With bullionvanism as his philosophy and adopted strategy, the successes he has had with it has continued to drive him to the point observers think he has been over valuing himself and over estimating the efficacy of his tactics. The bullionvanist has been reported to seldom listen to counseling as he visualizes himself as the "smartest politician" in the History of politics in Nigeria. One insider noted that the bullionvanist is crisis prone. He could hardly go two weeks before he landed himself in one trouble or another. The insider added that there had to be a fire brigade kind of committee set up around him to "put out these fires as they are lit." With palpable frustration he insisted, "We have to constantly save him from himself."

Set backs in Ondo and Kogi States have failed to bring him the reality checks he needed as he continued to gallivant around with highfalutin sense of himself. Several of his praise-singers also were carried away by the power of bullionvanism and harboured goutish and garish fantasies of being made rich through him. Some of them believe they could attain the height of their professions by worshipping in the courts of bullionvanist. With their shallow thinking, myopic projections, cinctured vistas, they, without any basis whatsoever, the lackeys, began to compare him with the great sage, the avatar, and the greatest Yorùbá son since Odùduwà, Obafemi Awolowo. 

The recent beat back in Edo State of the bullionvanist seemed instructive as to the limits of bullionvanism as a political philosophy and effective political strategy. The people of Osun State were positioned in 2018 to give this lesson as a study in the field of political science, but they got easily intimidated and cowed. The threats, real or imagined, of MC Oluomo, a tout imported from Lagos, bullied and badgered them. It coerced them into accepting with discombobulated equanimity, what they sought to reject through their votes.

The Edo experience opened a new vistas on the science and philosophy of bullionvanism. It established the rudiments of how to neutralize such a heinous political strategy that has sang the nunc dimittis of many Yorùbá States as it plunged them into poverty, squalor, want, social dislocation, political timidity and noxious docility. It has brushed up old lessons learnt in political struggles but treated with triviality and levity by contemporary political gladiators.

Those lessons would include:
(1) an electorate that is: 
a) very well educated;
 b) awesomely organized; 
c) very well at alert,  
d) bold, daring, not easily intimidated, and 
e) watchful and incredibly patriotic. 

(2) A contending leadership that is: 
a) on a mission with a vision
b) fairly honest and open; 
c) fairly capable and can deliver; 
d) translucently sincere and committed; 
e) bold, daring and cannot be intimidated and 
f) incredibly patriotic

While resources would be an important variable of all these, what the Edo experience taught us is that resources deployed  with a bullionvanistic philosophy could be rendered ineffectual by the populace or the electorate that is sufficiently educated and alert to their rights and aspirations. That is why loads of money bullionvanned to Edo produced no result for the bullionvanist and his sympathizers.

There are some other pecuniary variables that would still be relevant in this stead to neutralize bullionvanism and delineate its limits as a political strategy. The environment, political history, social milieu, economic climate, religious ambient among other variables would still have some impacts no matter how we look at it, but essentially, the points isolated above would drive the engine and drive the procedure of liberating the people and the process from the vestiges of bullionvanism and the bullionvanist.

Frederick Douglass had insisted that "The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." The same way, the functional effectiveness of bullionvanism is determined by those against whom it has been deployed.

© Rèmí Oyèyemí

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Mali’s Ex-Defence Minister, Ba N’Daou, Named Transition President, Junta Leader Appointed As Vice President

21 September 2020 - 9:10am

Colonel Assimi Goita, the junta leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) which overthrew Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was appointed vice president

Former Mali Defence Minister and retired colonel, Ba N'Daou, was named interim President on Monday while leader of the junta that seized power last month was appointed Vice President, the country's local media reported.

According to a roadmap backed by the junta, the new President is meant to lead the country for several months before staging elections and returning Mali to civilian rule.

Colonel Assimi Goita, the junta leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) which overthrew Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was appointed vice president Reuters

Mali's ruling junta has come under intense pressure from its West African neighbours to return power to civilians following the August 18 coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Last week, West African leaders insisted that the interim President must be a civilian, while signalling they would accept a soldier as Vice President.

N'Daou and Goita were appointed by a group electors chosen by the junta. 

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REVEALED: How Katsina Government Diverted Millions Of Naira From State Security Escrow Account To Finance APC Candidate In Bye-election

21 September 2020 - 6:50am

Governor Aminu Masari

The Katsina State Government spent over N105m from the state’s security escrow account to finance the election of Mansur Mashi, the All Progressives Congress candidate in Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency supplementary election in 2018, document seen by SaharaReporters has revealed.

Recall that a resident of the state, Muhammad Mahdi Shehu, had in July asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate Governor Aminu Masari for alleged misappropriation and misapplication of over N52bn spent as security vote in the state from June 2015 to April 29, 2020.

Governor Aminu Masari

Shehu in a petition addressed to the EFCC said the daily attacks by bandits in the state calls for serious question on the sincerity in the security management by the state government. 

In a letter of request by the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, to the governor, President Muhammadu Buhari's visit during the poll will cost the state around N28,800,000. 

Also, N1,200,000 was budgeted for INEC headquarters while N34,900,000 was to be spent during the grand finale rally of the APC for the bye-election.

DOCUMENTS: How Katsina Government Diverted Millions of Naira From State Security Escrow Account to Finance... by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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Report Of Lagos Helicopter Crash Released By AIB

21 September 2020 - 6:36am

The preliminary report on the helicopter that crashed in the Opebi area of Lagos on August 28, 2020 has been released.

The report by the Accident Investigation Bureau revealed that the helicopter had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness while the pilot’s last medical examination was valid till August 6, 2020.

Pilot Being Extricated From Crashed Helicopter


— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) August 28, 2020

The report further stated that the crashed helicopter had no ability to empty aviation fuel.

All persons in the helicopter died while vehicles and part of the building it crashed into was destroyed. 

See Also Exclusive REVEALED: Crashed Helicopter Was Declared Non-airworthy Three Years Ago, Owners Tricked NCAA To Obtain Operational License 0 Comments 3 Weeks Ago

Video of Owner Of Building Where Chopper Crashed In Lagos Speaks Minutes After Tragedy Owner Of Building Where Chopper Crashed In Lagos Speaks Minutes After Tragedy WATCH VIDEO: Owner Of Building Where Chopper Crashed In Lagos Speaks Minutes After Tragedy

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Delta State Government Bans 41 Teachers From Supervising Exams For Three Years

21 September 2020 - 5:55am

Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa

The Delta State government has banned 41 teachers from supervising school examinations over the next three years. 

The punishment was dished out by the state’s Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Ukah, over alleged infractions by the affected teaching staff during the 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Ukah made the decision known in a statement, adding that the disciplinary measure was recommended by the Examination Ethics Disciplinary Committee of the state.

He said, “They are to suffer deferment of promotion by one year and banned from the supervision of any school examination for a period of three years.

“I have directed the Post-Primary Education Board to implement the deferment of promotions by one year for the 41 affected persons.

“Principals and examination officers of 13 public secondary schools and one private secondary school indicted for examination malpractice are to be issued with letters of warning by PPEB to desist from acts of negligence.”

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PDP Vows To End Godfatherism In Lagos After Obaseki's Victory In Edo

21 September 2020 - 5:23am

The Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos has promised to end godfatherism and imposition of leaders in the state by political leaders ahead of elections.

In a statement by the party’s spokesperson in the state, Taofik Gani, the PDP said it had drawn strength from Godwin Obaseki’s victory in Edo State in the face of ‘rumoured federal might.’

The statement reads“The PDP, Lagos State chapter, has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as Edo State governor.

“The Lagos State chapter particularly hailed the governor for his ability to garner the needed vote to be declared at the first ballot in the face of rumoured federal might.

“To us in Lagos State PDP, we have grasped from the well-deserved victory, the renewed commitment, and resoluteness to also win Lagos State to end godfatherism and imposition in Lagos politics.

“As a matter of fact, we are now more ever than before fired up to win Lagos State.”

See Also Politics My Victory A Triumph Over Godfatherism —Governor Obaseki 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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Imo Governor, Uzodinma, Rejects Edo Election Result, Says APC Will Win In Court

21 September 2020 - 4:49am

Hope Uzodinma

Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, has rejected the result of Saturday's governorship election in Edo State.

Uzodinma disclosed this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku.

Hope Uzodinma

He said the entire process in Edo State was marred by irregularities from officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who sabotaged the system, making it difficult for the APC votes to count.

The governor further described the conduct of INEC officials in Edo as 'shameful'.

“The governor also thanked the governorship candidate of the APC in Edo, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for his resilience and doggedness.
He also assured that the APC is already gathering evidence to proceed to the Election Petition Tribunal any moment from now, confident that the party will get judgment in due time.

“Governor Uzodinma urged all APC faithfuls and party State supporters to remain calm and law abiding, noting that what happened in Edo State was a sabotage to our hard-worn democracy in Nigeria,” the statement read.

See Also Politics I Don’t Understand Why APC Was Defeated In Edo —El-Rufai 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Obaseki winner of the contest.

He amassed 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas to defeat Ize-Iyamu, who polled 223,619 votes.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: APC Agent Refuses To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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I Don’t Understand Why APC Was Defeated In Edo —El-Rufai

21 September 2020 - 4:31am

Nasir el-Rufai

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said that he was optimistic up to three weeks ago that his party, the All Progressives Congress, would win the Edo State governorship election.

El-Rufai on Monday expressed shock at the election result because, according to him, opinion polls before the election indicated a win for the APC and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Nasir el-Rufai

The governor, who spoke on Monday morning while featuring on Channels Television, said the election was “reasonably decent”.

He said, “We (APC) would have loved to win and quite frankly, I was optimistic up to three weeks ago; the polls indicated that we were going to win. I don’t know what happened in the last three weeks of the campaign.

“As you know, a large number of voters make up their minds in the last two weeks of the election. Many voters decide no matter what happens, this is how I am voting but most people want to wait and make up their minds in the last two weeks.

“Three weeks ago, the polls clearly showed that APC was going to win but the result came out differently from what we expected. Obaseki has won, that’s it. You can’t go into an election without the possibility of losing.

“The election was reasonably decent. We were all worried about violence but there was very little violence or none at all.”

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Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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