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Workers Forced To Trek Long Distances As Police Take Over Anambra Assembly

15 November 2018 - 5:52am

Policemen have taken over strategic areas leading to the Anambra State House of Assembly, as the lawmakers are expected to resume sitting.

On Tuesday, Rita Maduagwu, Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, was impeached. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Anambra Speaker Impeached Over 'Financial Impropriety' 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

According to NAN, the policemen were stationed at Ekwueme Square, NULGE Secretariat Junction. They also barricaded roads leading to the complex with patrol trucks.

Workers in the Anambra Universal Basic Education Board, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the High Court, all within the assembly area, were forced to disembark from commercial vehicles and walk.

Those in private vehicles were thoroughly screened to establish their identities and destinations, while some vehicles were diverted from the area.

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AT A GLANCE: The DSS Breakdown Of How Politicians 'Bribed' Oshiomhole In Dollars

15 November 2018 - 5:47am

As exclusively reported by SaharaReporters on Thursday, the Department of State Services (DSS) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to prosecute Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for allegedly receiving at least $55million in relation to the nationwide primaries of the party.

Asides the presidency, the DSS also forwarded its findings to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Total $55 million is what Adams is alleged to have received. Some party chieftains claim it is $80 million,” a source aware of the contents of the report had told SaharaReporters. See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: DSS Asks Buhari To Prosecute Oshiomhole For ‘Making Millions Of Dollars’ From APC Primaries 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

According to report, $17 million is what Oshiomhole allegedly received as bribe from Zamfara: $10 million for him, $7 million shared between Farouk Adamu, former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; Niyi Adebayo, former Governor of Ekiti State; and other party chieftains. 

“Adamu was the collection coordinator,” said the source. “Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State, gave $3 million; Rochas Okorocha, Governor of the state, offered $500,000 but it was rejected; Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate in Ogun State, paid $5 million. The DSS also said some of the money was paid into Oshiomhole's niece’s account.” 

At a glance, below, is a table showing those names confirmed by SaharaReporters to have been listed by the DSS report as paying or attempting to pay bribes, in millions or hundreds of thousands, to Oshiomhole and his cronies.

Source Position Amount Zamfara  --- $17 million​​ Hope Uzodinma APC Governorship Candidate, Imo State $3 million​ Rochas Okorocha Governor of Imo State $500,000​ (Rejected) Dapo Abiodun APC Governorship Candidate, Imo State $5 million​ Others --- Unknown  TOTAL   $55million/$80 million


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It's Disrespectful For Anyone To Call Himself The 'New Fela', Says Seun Kuti

15 November 2018 - 5:29am

Seun Kuti, one of the sons of Afrobeats maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, has said it is disrespectful for anyone to call himself the 'New Fela'.

In an interview with Cool FM on Wednesday, Seun Kuti said in Jamaica there is respect for Bob Marley and “you don’t see people coming out to say they are the new Bob Marley”.

”Fela's legacy belongs to his family. It is disrespectful to call yourself the 'New Fela'. We the kids are told that we can't be our father and outsiders are trying to take that. No! You can't go to Jamaica and hear people calling themselves the next Bob Marley. They wouldn't disrespect him like that," he said.

On October 15, 2018, Seun Kuti had taken to his Instagram page to too many people wanted to step into his late father's shoes, but for the wrong reasons.

His words: "People will never understand you without going through the education you have tried to promote. Every Tom Dick And Ashy is the new Fela just because they want to smoke Igbo and chase women. How about the sacrifice? How about duty? They want to be Fela and at the same time be the darlings of all the oppressors. All these new Fela’s and those possessed by his spirit hobnobbing with white supremacists.

"They think you are great because rappers mention your name; they don’t know that rappers mention your name so they can feel greatness. What do they know about sacrifice? What do they know about the trauma that first-hand violence has inflicted on our family? The blind leading the blind listening to the deaf speak! Happy 80th. The struggle intensifies!!!"

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What DSS report says about Oshiomhole

15 November 2018 - 5:21am

The depth of filth in the APC primary election can contain a tsunami. The “inglorious” exercise and its resulting attrition betray the anti-corruption sloganeering of the Buhari administration.

A lot has been said about the alleged involvement of Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, in the corruption shin-dig.  But what is the position of the DSS? The secret police interrogated Oshiomhole, and really did ask him to resign over allegations of bribery.

Was it right in making this demand of him? What effectuated the agency to toe such a controversial and unpopular path? 

Well, the DSS has submitted the report of its investigations to the presidency, and it recommended the prosecution of the APC chairman. The new DSS chief is said to be a man of integrity and unbending principle, and will not brook any compromise.

The case against Oshiomhole is that he allegedly received a total bribe of $55 million, some of which were allegedly remitted into proxy accounts, one of them his niece’s. Though some party chieftains claim it is $80 million. The DSS report contains, much, the details of the transactions. He has strenuously denied these allegations, though.

But why does the presidency appear lethargic in this matter? Why is there no reaction at this point? 

I believe this is a test, which if flunked would pooh-pooh whatever credibility this government has left. Though President Muhammadu Buhari seems resolute about allowing Oshiomhole face the law, there seems to be counter forces within the presidency and in the APC against his resolve.

Can Buhari prevail? Will Buhari prevail? Or will this be another Babachir Lawal?

There is a sore argument that the case is a party affair; hence should not be the subject of a security probe or prosecution. But does the APC exist on Mars? Is the party a law onto itself? Does it exist outside Nigerian laws? If a crime has been supposedly committed the offender must submit to the law of the land, and not the APC law.

Really, it is a mockery of the anti-corruption war if the presidency succumbs to pressure and ride with the current on this issue. It will be another own goal. In fact, if the APC government deodorises the alleged corruption in its own house, it cannot fumigate it elsewhere.

The silence of the presidency is deafening. It must realise that this case has gone beyond the party. It is now an issue of state interest, and should be treated as such.

But will the presidency ride against this tide?

Fredrick can be reached on Facebook; Fredrick Nwabufo; Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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EXCLUSIVE: DSS Asks Buhari To Prosecute Oshiomhole For ‘Making Millions Of Dollars’ From APC Primaries

15 November 2018 - 5:00am

The Department of State Services (DSS) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to prosecute Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for allegedly receiving at least $55million in bribes before and after the party primaries all over the country.

In October, SaharaReporters had reported how Oshiomhole and his cronies received up to N50million in bribes to award last-minute tickets to undeserving members of the party. The DSS subsequently grilled Oshiomhole last week, with reports emerging that the former labour leader had been asked to quit the office. 

Oshiomhole responded by saying the DSS did not hire him, hence couldn’t demand his resignation from office. But SaharaReporters can now confirm that not only is the DSS asking for Oshiomhole’s removal from office, the agency is asking the presidency to prosecute him. 

SaharaReporters can also confirm that the figures mentioned earlier are nothing compared to what the DSS documented in a report it forwarded to the presidency and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) some days ago.
“Total $55 million is what Adams is alleged to have received. Some party chieftains claim it is $80 million,” a source aware of the contents of the report told SaharaReporters.

According to report, $17 million is what Oshiomhole allegedly received as bribe from Zamfara: $10 million for him, $7 million shared between Farouk Adamu, former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; Niyi Adebayo, former Governor of Ekiti State. He received from other party chieftains, too. 

“Adamu was the collection coordinator,” said the source.

“Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State, gave $3 million; Rochas Okorocha, Governor of the state, offered $500,000 but it was rejected; Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate in Ogun State, paid $5 million. The DSS also said some of the money was paid into Oshiomhole's niece’s account.” 

It is unclear if Buhari will follow the recommendation of the DSS for Oshiomhole’s prosecution, as SaharaReporters understands there is pressure from Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the APC, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to give the former Edo State Governor a soft landing.

“Their thought is that with the 2019 election so close, such upheaval will not be in the interest of the party’s aspiration for victory,” the source said.

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Losing Sleep Over The Economist, Other Predictions By Azu Ishiekwene

15 November 2018 - 4:27am

It matters a lot to our politicians what the foreign press or agencies say about them, especially about their electoral chances. If foreigners, particularly those in London or New York, say something nice, our politicians take it to heart and repost as far and wide as they can. If not, they get mad.  

In recent times, forecasts about the outcome of the 2019 elections by the Economic Intelligence Unit of The Economist of London, and the United States Institute of Peace, have been hotly debated. In its two forecasts so far, The Economist favoured former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to win.

The newspaper said its predictions were based on the promise of Atiku to re-invigorate the economy with pro-market policies. Also, it said the election might favour Atiku because of the failure of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver on its promises of jobs, as well as growing poverty and insecurity in central Nigeria.

The Atiku camp promptly seized on the predictions as endorsement of sorts and, clinking glasses in a mock celebratory toast, smiled to one another in excitement that victory might be closer than once thought.

It wasn’t long before the Buhari camp also got something to cheer – or so it would seem. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) issued a report on a survey in Nigeria focused on preventing electoral violence. Unfortunately, those eager for an answer to The Economist, put a spin on the USIP report to suggest that it predicted likely victory for Buhari next year.

But seriously, there’s nothing in The Economist or USIP or a dozen other electoral predictions by the foreign press or agencies that we should be taking too seriously. We may not dismiss the reports as nonsense, but I think we must grow up and stop treating them like gospel.

How was it that these same editorial oracles didn’t see the 2007-08 financial crises coming? In fact, if some of the forecasts at the time were to be believed, the world was going through its most glorious era ever.

It was boom, boom, boom and the global financial system was supposedly awash with enough credit to meet every need and to spare. Yet, just when everyone thought it was peace and safety, the bubble burst, leaving the world in one of the worst financial crises in decades.

Two years ago, the oracles bit the dust again, big time. It happened in the political arena in the US, right inside the oracles’ shrine. Donald Trump was supposed to be a joke. That was virtually what all the forecasts said and even those in Trump’s campaign believed it and sometimes treated one another like jokers. Hilary Clinton was going to be the 45th President of the United States of America, shattering the last vestiges of the glass ceiling in a historic landslide.

Well, it didn’t happen, and the oracles conveniently invented the angry white middle class voter as the reason. Not that this effigy ever went anywhere in the eight years of Barack Obama. It just happened that the oracles couldn’t figure it out.

They still can’t. If you watched CNN, the result of the mid-term elections in the US was not supposed to be a shellacking for Trump, the eventual beginning of the end. But it’s looking a bit like the end of the beginning of another mis-hit.

The Economist may say what it likes about Nigeria, but it won’t vote in February. We were here when the newspaper called out the buffoonery and incompetence of the PDP government in 2014, and it was right. But that was the best it could do; it was up to us to vote out that government and we did.

We were also here when a US think tank predicted that the 2015 election might signal the end of Nigeria as we know it; but the forecast came to nothing.

Let’s get this straight. The 2019 presidential election is going to be one of the most hotly contested. It would also be a potential nightmare for the oracles. The default template of north-south, Christian-Muslim, majority-minority, which is the favourite hot button of the West, is absent this time. Buhari and Atiku are as northern, as Hausa-Fulani, as Muslim, and as majority as any two frontrunners have ever being in a contest in the history of Nigeria’s party politics.

So, the oracles have to look elsewhere for a forecast that makes sense. And saying, like The Economist did, that the battle will shift to the south, does not sufficiently explain the likely outcome of the vote.

The rise in deadly conflicts in large parts of the north central in the last few years could play in the poll, but there are still large pockets of Muslims in these areas with strong sympathy for Buhari.

Also, just like the closet effigy of the white middle class male voters that the oracles failed to account for in the last US general elections, there remains a considerable politically active mass of Buhari followers in the north, unreached by and completely indifferent to the press or its extensions on social media.

It’s correct that a number of the generals who played an active role in returning Buhari to power in 2015 have fallen out with him and are now actively supporting Atiku. This group is still quite influential and its support valuable – that was why Atiku went to extraordinary lengths to court them. Yet, it was the coincidence of the common threat that they face in a Buhari re-election that made their reunion inevitable.

The rich among the generals are maddeningly rich and still, well, dangerous. But there is also the risk of over-estimating their influence. Since 1999, there has been a steady decline in their power and influence, a process instigated and ferociously pursued by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Their influence has waned progressively to the point where military generals have been exposed and a number of them are standing trial for allegedly diverting funds meant for the war against Boko Haram.

There is yet another army whose pro-Atiku motive was not fully accounted for in The Economist forecast. That army is corporate Nigeria. In almost every election since the Obasanjo days, corporate Nigeria has continued to play a prominent role in deciding who becomes president. The Economist is correct that this group tends to be more comfortable with Atiku, but to attribute that to his pro-market lip service is to be economical with the truth.

Atiku is weak, very weak, on corruption; he is our own version of Jacob Zuma, and The Economist may pretend not to know, but that’s why the corporate Nigeria likes him. Before Zuma came across the word, “state capture”, the Obasanjo-Atiku government had launched a privatisation regime which was as audacious in its attempt to liberalise the economy as it was capricious in its corrupt enrichment of the Obasanjo fans club – a club in which Obasanjo and Atiku were major actors and beneficiaries.

The full story of Pentascope and Transcorp – both whited sepulchres from the that era – may yet be told some day.

It’s also interesting that the newspaper thinks that the election will be a two-way race. I doubt it. With 29 other presidential candidates in the race a number of them fighting tooth-and-nail for every single vote, the combined effect of their presence could affect the outcome in the tight race ahead.

My forecast is that, once again, the oracle has its humble pie already cut out for it. No need to lose sleep.


Ishiekwene is the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Global Editors Network


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Alleged Buhari Double And The Spirit Of Public Inquiry By Jideofor Adibe

15 November 2018 - 4:23am

This week’s reflection is on a trending story that began when Buhari returned from his 104-days of medical treatment in the UK in 2017. Many were surprised that on his return,  Buhari, who was a subject of several extremely negative rumours during his medical sojourn in the United Kingdom, came back looking younger and more boisterous. So not unsurprisingly, his return triggered several conspiracy theories: is this really the sick Buhari that we were told was brain-dead or are we being fooled? Some of the theories to explain the ‘new’, younger and more boisterous Buhari included that he was being propped up daily with heavy dosage of steroids and that the ‘new’ Buhari is actually a man called Jubrin from Sudan, not the Buhari who was elected President in 2015.

The ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ narrative has echoes from the ‘Birther Movement’ in the United States. During Obama’s campaign for the US presidency in 2008 (and even throughout his presidency), there were several efforts to de-legitimize his candidacy and presidency respectively by groups who falsely claimed that he was not a ‘natural born’ American as demanded by Article 2 of the country’s constitution, and therefore was not qualified to run for the presidency of the country in the first place. The ‘conspiracy theories’ promoted by the Birther Movement’  ranged from allegations that Obama’s published birth certificate was a forgery to suggestions that his actual birthplace was not Hawaii but Kenya. Other allegations included that Obama became a citizen of Indonesia as a child (and therefore lost his US citizenship in the process) and that he was born a dual citizen (British and American) and hence not a natural born as defined by Article 2 of the US constitution.  Some of the Birthers even went to court to get a ruling that would declare Obama ineligible for the office he was seeking (and eventually held for eight years)  or wanted the courts to grant them access to certain records which they argued would help them to prove their case against Obama.  All their efforts failed. I will not be surprised if the ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ narrative gets to court, if not for anything, to further dramatize it.

It is instructive that despite the fact that Obama released his official Hawaiian birth certificate before the 2008 election and also released a certified true copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth in April 2011 (and equally released contemporaneous birth announcements published in Hawaii newspapers), polls conducted as late as 2010 (before the April 11 release) suggested that at least 25 per cent of adult Americans said they doubted Obama’s US birth. Mitchell Obama, in her recently released biography, Becoming, was quoted as saying that she would never forgive President Trump for being one of the brains behind the Birther movement. That will tell us how much such a campaign got to them and how much it impacted on the Obama presidency.

Are people simply stupid or gullible to believe stories such as the ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ narrative? Not really. While for many it is just a satire – something that adds colour and suspense to the whole political process – there are quite some who actually believe in the story, or at least not sure what to believe any more - because history is littered with stories of grand deceptions, including unimaginable political decoys.  Consider the following:

In the UK in the 1950s, one ‘Dr Carl Kuon Suo’ was peddling a manuscript called Third Eye. Just before the manuscript was published by Secker & Warburg in 1956, its author changed his name to Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. In the book, which turned out to be an instant best seller globally, the author claimed to have been a lama (a teacher of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism) in Tibet and narrated a purported experience of growing up in a monastery there from the age of seven. Dr Rampa also claimed that during that period a small hole was drilled into his forehead, which aroused his ‘third’ (or ‘inner’) eye, giving him very strong powers of clairvoyance.

The spirit of critical inquiry forced Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer and Tibetologist, to hire a private detective, Clifford Burgess, to investigate Dr Rampa and his claims. The detective was able to unmask Dr Rampa as Cyril Henry Hoskin, an Englishman who was born in Devon, and whose father was a plumber. It was also found that contrary to claims in the book Mr Hoskin had never been to Tibet and spoke no Tibetan. Caught red-handed, Dr Rampa did not deny that he had been born as Cyril Hoskin but claimed that his body was now occupied by the spirit of Lobsang Rampa. Curiously as an undergraduate in Nigeria in the 1980s, Lobsang Rampa’s Third Eye was a sort of fashion accessory to a certain category of students who claimed to be seeking spiritual enlightenment. And this was some thirty years after ‘Lobsang Rampa’ had been unmasked as a fraud in Europe!

Political decoy (also known as doppelganger) are also not uncommon forms of deception. For instance Joe R Reed, an undersecretary for the US Army from 1993 to 1997 was reported to have claimed  that a number of figures around the world - including Manuel Noriega of Panama, Fidel Castro and  George W Bush - have or have had decoys.  Of Noreiga’s alleged four decoys Reeds reportedly said: “They were good. They practised his gait, his manner of speech and his modus operandi – what he did during the day and night.” It was also rumoured that the Russian strong man Josef Stalin had a ‘twin’, Felix Dadaev who replaced him during certain situations. It is claimed that Dadaev in 2008, at the age of 88, eventually confessed to being one of four impersonators of Stalin. In essence, it is not beneath politicians to play games of illusions with the masses.

For Buhari’s political opponents the aim of playing up the ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ story is simple: if the Buhari that is in office now is not the same Buhari that was voted to office, and if in fact the person we call our President is a Sudanese, then there are legal and legitimacy questions about the ‘new’ Buhari’s right to rule. Even if they do not succeed in removing him from office on the basis of such a narrative (as they are most unlikely to be able to do), it is part of de-legitimating his candidacy for the 2019 election.

Buhari’s handlers have generally dismissed the ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ story as a non-issue that is not worth being dignified with a response. I feel such a strategy is wrong. For as long as such a story raises doubts in the minds of some people, it can be said to be succeeding. As pointed above, in the US, despite the papers presented by Obama to rebut the conspiracy theories from the Birther Movement, polls showed in 2010 that as many as 25 per cent of adult Americans believed in one or more versions of the conspiracy theories. You will then imagine how many people would have believed such if Obama had simply ignored the Birther Movement and their ‘weird’ theories.

I believe it is not enough for Buhari’s handlers in particular and the APC in general to dismiss the ‘Buhari is Jubrin’ story with a wave of the hand. I feel they ought to have rebutted it strongly. Though rebuttals will never be able to convince everyone, it would have stemmed the spread such that the story would not have gained as much traction as it has done today. I believe the APC made similar mistakes in the run-up to the 2015 election when several negative stories about Buhari were circulating and gaining ground, and rather than strongly rebut such stories with counter-narratives, the party resorted to grandstanding and threats only to turn round to accuse people of being ‘Buhari haters’ when such negative stories had been allowed to gain ground and acquire the toga of truth. There is a reason politics is called war without bloodshed or ‘the art of the possible’.  Only those who can take the heat dare get into the political kitchen. You don’t stand akimbo and believe your candidate will be spared from political missiles because of his assumed integrity.  Campaign strategy 101 is that you never   allow your opponent’s negative definition of you to stick. Politicians will normally deliberately put up fake news or alternative facts or lie with statistics -  just to put their opponents in the defence and gain momentary political mileage. It is all allowed in politics. And if you cannot effectively and convincingly rebut any of such charges, it becomes part of the truths held against your candidate.



Twitter: @JideoforAdibe.

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Nigerians Are Frustrated; We Want Something Different, Says Falz

15 November 2018 - 4:00am

Nigerian Music Artiste, Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz, has said Nigerians are "quite frustrated" as a result of "the millions of problem they are facing".

According to Falz, now is the time for the populace to work towards ensuring "change".

He made this known in an interview featured in the second edition of Africa’s Finest, a magazine by Guaranty Trust Bank.

Speaking on his recent hit single, 'This is Nigeria' and the reactions, Falz noted that the time had come for more young people to take interest in the nation's polity.

His words: "Socio-political consciousness has always been in my music. Initially, that consciousness wasn’t very pronounced because it was laced with a lot of humour because before the time of 'This is Nigeria', there were tracks like 'Senator', 'My People' and 'Wehdone Sir'. So, yes, consciousness has always been a part of my brand.

“Everyone has a breaking point and I think Nigerians are getting to that point — we’re quite frustrated with the millions of problems we’ve been facing. So, now we want to see something different, we want to see a change which means that the perfect time to talk about it is NOW.

“There is a serious need to eradicate apathy especially with the youth. When you talk about politics, a lot of young folks could care less, but I feel that if we all want to see that Nigeria that we dream of, the one with a bright future, then we can’t afford to have that sort of mindset.

“People usually steer clear of these topics because they’re quite sensitive issues and they want to be careful. However, I feel it is important to talk about them because if we don’t, we’re just going to keep sweeping the dirt under the carpet. We need to talk about these things in order to let the culprits know that their actions are unacceptable and that there are consequences.” 

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Nigeria's $2.86bn Eurobond Oversubscribed Three Times, Says Finance Minister

15 November 2018 - 3:44am

The Federal Ministry of Finance has said that its 2018 Euro bond, which is the sixth since 2011, was three times oversubscribed.

A road show facilitated by City and Standard Chartered bank, had kicked off on Monday in London, to promote the bond offering.

The three-tranche bond was sought after to the tune of $9.5 billion, according to the statement from the ministry on Wednesday.

In October 2018, the National Assembly had approved the issuance of $2.786 billion from the International Capital Market to partly finance the 2018 budget.


The statement read: "In a demonstration of confidence in Nigeria’s economy, the $2.86 billion Eurobond road show in London was oversubscribed three times from leading global institutional investors with a peak combined order book of over $9.5 billion.

"The Eurobond oversubscription is owed largely to Nigeria’s successful engagement with the Fitch Rating Agency. The agency had changed the outlook on Nigeria’s sovereign rating from B+ (negative) to B+ (stable), based on improving macro-economic fundamentals.

"The notes comprise a $1.18b 7-year series, $1b 12-year series & a $750 million 30-year series. The 7-year series will bear interest at a rate of 7.625%, while the 12-year series will bear interest at a rate of 8.75% and the 30-year series will bear interest at a rate of 9.25%.

"At a cost considerably lower than many other countries across Sub-Sahara Africa, this oversubscribed Eurobond further demonstrates the confidence of international capital market investors to invest in Nigeria."

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From Anyone But Jonathan (ABJ) To Anyone But Buhari (ABB): A Nation In Trouble By Modiu Olaguro

15 November 2018 - 2:41am

Modiu Olaguro

“You do not disorganize a society, however primitive it may be, with such an agenda if you are not determined from the very start to smash every obstacle encountered.”—Frantz Fanon.

When ex-president Goodluck Jonathan assumed office only to further ruin the lives of Nigerians, the democratic machine was set in motion, with the people rising from varying states of self-imposed hysteria to show him the way out. While the efficacy of the machine so deployed remains in the very infant state, one thing we cannot but acknowledge is the result it produced.

Seeing how the people rose in unison to demand that he be made acting president upon the vivid incapacitation of Umaru Yar’adua, Jonathan saw himself as invincible. Unthinkingly, he did not bother himself with questions that would have kept him on his toes, for the people who queued behind him in 2010 did not do so based on his brilliance or track records but due to their yearnings to have the laws of the land respected and the newness his ascension to the highest office represents.

Had he reflected on the motivations that caused him to be rooted for in 2011, he would have done all he could to remove Nigeria from the ditch all of his predecessors intentionally put her. Instead, he rolled in grand delusion, thinking he could buy the souls of the people with the same money he ought to have deployed to protect and better their lives. With such a misplaced thinking, he set out for re-election by dollarizing the entire country, north down south, east through west, four cardinal points complete. Riding into office with massive goodwill having made millions of hitherto uninterested persons to register to vote, Jonathan combined the worst of mediocrity with the crudest form of indiscipline to put the nation on reverse peddling.

By the time he was done with the country in five years, he had succeeded in consolidating the tyrannical legacies of Olusegun Obasanjo; the feeble and unauthoritative leadership of Umaru Yar’adua; and more damningly, the vivid incompetence and felonious provincialism he embodies. If he was not seen dancing on the graves of victims of mass killings in the north, his minister of petroleum would be caught carting billions away from the national exchequer, or his wife heard on TV throwing missives on the same people he canvassed for votes. In one fell swoop, Jonathan increased the pump price of fuel by over a 100%, forcing citizens who were already victims of elite profligacies to further bear the brunt of the wasteful government he presided over.

Seeing how easy it was for Mr Jonathan to sink the nation, the masses turned to General Muhammadu Buhari, a reality that has proved to be a consequence of shallow thinking by all whose frustrations at the cluelessness of the Ijaw man made them chorus ‘Anyone But Jonathan (ABJ)’ only to restrict their choice to a member of the old brigade whose long absence from power had made way for all sorts of charlatans to build mythical images around him—a consequence of the people not coming to terms with the grim fact that since independence, countrymen have been made to bear the agony of a nation that spirals exponentially down south; and the country, the misfortune of being run by elements who have been demystified as beholden to their tribes and tongues, individuals lacking in self-restraints as to confuse their private dealings with public good. With a leadership recruitment process throwing up elements who are either faces of their tribes or religion, a nation whose strategic geography and rich cultures undoubtedly place her atop her peers is seen struggling in every sphere of human endeavour.

From health through education to security, Nigeria grabs the headlines on issues less endowed nations take for granted. Like organised religion which has found a home in Africa as a result of the sordid fact that a completely hopeless people will cling onto any fantasy however absurd to stay alive, Nigerians believed the mythical Buhari, propagating the lies built around his persona to advance his ambitions of governing the country. Faced with the existential challenges exacerbated by the cluelessness and corrupt antics of Jonathan, the ‘Anyone But Jonathan’ anthem closed in on Buhari whose sigil was already adorned with the marks of decisiveness and accountability.

Seeing how desperate Nigerians were to get rid of the sodden hatman, economic leeches like Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki whose clash of interests with the Jonathan administration caused them to long for the centre joined the Buhari train, deploying the press, (Lagos-Ibadan especially) already in their payroll to further the propagation of the Buhari mythology. With that, the myth that was hitherto confined to the sterile minds of many core northerners was spread down south, causing an already disenchanted populace to latch on the voices of anticorruption and security echoed by the septuagenarian.

But in less than four years since he mounted the saddle, the chant of ‘Anyone But Buhari (ABB)’ has found its way on the lips of the people. While Jonathan rode into office with massive and widespread goodwill, the masses were not as trusting of him as they were of Buhari, no thanks to the myths built around the latter. An example suffices: when Jonathan raised the pump price of fuel in 2011, the nation tottered on the brink. Millions of Nigerians went on protest until the price was slashed. Fast-forward to 2016 when President Buhari pulled the same plug, the citizens tarried, dousing the tensions soaked up amongst themselves in the hope that the sufferings such an action would bring was temporary.

Alas, such a hope has proved to be a mirage, for President Buhari has shown an incapacitation at doing things differently. From the very first day he assumed office, he has found it difficult to exhibit an iota of quality that distinguishes a 21st century leader from a Palaeolithic relic. In both his mannerism and dealings, our president appears to be losing the battle to wrestle his soul from the lifelong inclinations of command and control, a complete antithesis to the approach the buoys representative democracy whose practice is solely responsible for letting him have another chance to rule the nation.

Like the ABJ anthem that unthinkingly restricted our choice to the APC (what some pundits called the ‘lesser evil’), the people are again deludingly restricting their justified repudiation of President Buhari to an embrace of the new ‘lesser evil’, the same Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who in 2015 was tagged the ‘great evil’, thinking that with a single pronouncement, the many failings of the Buhari administration will change the magnitude of evils the PDP and its poster boy embody. With an embrace of the hopelessly indiscipline PDP in just three years after it was stopped from completely destroying their lives, Nigerians appear to be entangled with the Sisyphus spell, foraying into a realm that got them into the pitiable conditions they helplessly long to exit.

The move from ABJ to ABB is testament to the feebleness and vulnerability of the democratic machine. It confirms that democracy can be as willing a tool in the hands of the corrupt few as any other form of government—rogue or otherwise. Atiku Abubakar resonates loudly amongst the populace because nationals appear incapable of forming opinions on matters of grave importance. Had this not been the case, Nigerians would have shuddered at the reality of staging a comeback for Atiku who as vice president for eight years was instrumental in the despoliation of the country and the carting away of its resources. Having made a living as a Customs officer, the citizens are not asking him how he succeeded in building a university and the few businesses he claims so pompously as consequences of his ingenuity and business acumen. Without inheriting a fortune or innovating a rarity, the PDP candidate has some explanations to make on how he became a billionaire as a worker in the civil service many retire in abject squalor.

Nigerians should not make the mistake of going into the 2019 elections as a people afflicted with short-term memory, for they are yet to escape the bitter consequences as carried out in 2015. Buhari has to be shown the way out having failed to forge a way for the nation in over three years but not at the price of returning a member of an administration who carved the country in his own damning image. A consensus has already been established on the Obasanjo presidency as an embodiment of failures and harbinger of retrogression. Removing Atiku from such agony is a testament to how troubled our judgment as Nigerians is.

Progressive thinking offers a fresh array of untainted alternatives from the present order of corruption and backwardness both Buhari and Atiku evince in complimentary ways. The question remains whether Nigerians will adopt the messages the genuine few amongst the new entrants (Omoyele Sowore and Tope Fasua especially) into politics preach or choose to dance to the malodorous symphonies of these expired men.

Either way, we shall all live to experience the consequences of our decisions.


Modiu can be reached on 

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Nov/Dec SSCE: NECO Announces Change In Exam Date

15 November 2018 - 1:31am

The National Examinations Council (NECO) on Wednesday announced that its November/December 2018 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) earlier scheduled to commence on November 15th, has been shifted to November. 19th.

This was contained in a statement released in Abuja and signed by the Acting Registrar, Mr Abubakar Gana.

“Candidates are hereby requested to download the new examination time table on the NECO website: and the e-mail used for the registration,” the statement read.

“Please note that this information supersedes the earlier media publication on the commencement date for the examination date,’’ the statement said.

According to the Registrar, “NECO expressed regrets over any inconveniences the change might have caused candidates.”

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Over 160,000 Bags Of Rice Donated To IDPs By China 'Rots Away In NEMA Stores’

15 November 2018 - 1:22am

Despite the widely-reported cries of hunger by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north-east and the acute malnutrition ravaging their children, 162,696 bags of rice donated by the Chinese government to the IDPs have been abandoned and left to rot in stores belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), according to an online medium, The Cable.

In June 2017, the Chinese government had donated and shipped a total of 6,779 metric tons of rice, which is 271 trucks and approximately 162,696 bags of rice into the country’s seaport meant for distribution to IDPs in the north-east as food assistance.

Government agencies, like the ministry of budget and national planning, ministry of agriculture, ministry of finance and NEMA were tasked with different responsibilities of receiving, clearing, storage, transportation and distribution of the consignments to the IDPs.

But one year later, after the food items were cleared from the port, they have not reached their destinations – even after another N161 million was said to have been spent on transportation, delivery and logistics.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria is still facing a crisis of global magnitude with 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the north east.

In April, while testifying in company of an official of the Nigeria Customs Service before the house of representatives ad hoc committee on emergency and disaster preparedness, Mustapha Maihaja, director-general of NEMA, denied that the rice was missing.

Maihaja told the committee that the first batch was cleared from the ports and stored in a warehouse in Maiduguri, Borno state, and Yola in Adamawa state.

However, the state governments where the beneficiaries are have denied receiving any single bag of rice from the consignment purported to have been delivered and distributed to the IDPs by NEMA.

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Faulty Microphones: Reps Adjourn For Third Time In One Week

15 November 2018 - 1:06am

The House of Representatives on Wednesday adjourned plenary over failure of the public address system in the chamber.

The technical itch, which has persisted for about three weeks, had forced the House to adjourn plenary three times within one week.

The lawmakers had earlier adjourned on Wednesday last week and on Tuesday this week.

The audio system attached to more than half of the seats in the chamber had been malfunctioning, making members who wanted to speak to relocate to other seats with functional microphones.

After saying the opening prayers on Wednesday, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, announced that the chamber would have to adjourn sitting to Tuesday, with the hope that a temporary solution would be put in place.

Dogara noted that the system was manufactured in Germany and only the producer could supply a new one to the chamber. He also noted that the system was installed in 1999.

He said, “We are still grappling with the problem relating to the public address system and unfortunately, up till now, we have been unable to fix the problem.

“The technical department has done all within its power. I have been told that the row (section) on my right to the isle; the microphones from the first row to the sixth row are not functioning. And if we have want to sit there, almost all the rows there will be empty and the entire people at the front will have to vacate their seniority on the floor and move backward.

“We will take the two matters of urgent public importance and then, we will have to adjourn the House so that the technicians can make an improvisation relating to the public address system.”

“By the time we reconvene, hopefully Tuesday next week, all the reports from the heads of the committees should be ready for presentation.”

Dogara thereafter asked that only items listed on the Order Paper, which did not require debates, should be treated.

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Court Orders Abaribe, Others To Produce Kanu Or Pay N100m

15 November 2018 - 12:51am

The Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja varied the bail conditions upon which the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu was admitted.

Justice Binta Nyako made the variation in a ruling on the conditions of the bail she had granted Kanu in April 2017.

Nyako therefore held that the three sureties, including Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, were compelled to within two months, pay N100 million each for their inability to produce the missing IPOB leader.

The three sureties had been made to sign a bail bond of N100m each which was backed by their landed assets whose documents were deposited in court.

The judge said with this amendment, the sureties were now required to deposit cash of N100 million into the court’s bank account.

“The order directing the sureties to pay the money is an order of interim forfeiture’’, she said.

The sureties had argued that Kanu’s disappearance was not unconnected with the invasion of his home by the military and not orchestrated by them.

The military had in a special operation clashed with IPOB members in Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, in Abia State, on Sept. 14, 2017 leading to Kanu’s escape from the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Kanu and three others are been tried on charges of treasonable felony.

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Nigeria Moves To Manufacture Helicopters Locally

15 November 2018 - 12:42am

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has concluded plans to begin the manufacture of helicopter in the country.

To actualise this objective, NASENI has decided to partner the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to provide relevant guides on the plan to produce made-in-Nigeria choppers.

In addition to this effort, NASENI has also placed an order for a Dynali H3 easy flyer sport ultra-light helicopter for the purpose of reverse engineering.

Executive Vice- Chairman/CEO of NASENI, Prof. Muhammed Sanni Haruna, spoke in Lagos yesterday during a courtesy visit to the NCAA headquarters where he was received by the Director General of the agency, Capt. Mukhtar Usman.

Haruna disclosed that in line with the agency’s mandate on aviation and aeronautics technology, the agency reached out to potential partners and manufacturers of helicopters.

He said the agency is considering working with the helicopter manufacturing company, Dynali Helicopters, which is willing to partner NASENI.

Haruna explained that Dynali Helicopter was selected because its technology is easier to copy, learn, domesticate and modify.

“They are willing to build the capacity of our staff for maintenance, repair, assembly and manufacturing of helicopters in Nigeria”, he said.

He assured that before the end of 2019, staff of the agency would have mastered the art of building the helicopters, adding that the agency had in the past produced unmanned aerial vehicle (drones).

He said, “Research and Development is not one or two – day affair but we have facilities for reverse engineering.

“In fact we have a centre which we call rapid prototyping centre. Any machine that you want to reproduce, we have facilities, advance manufacturing equipment for that matter on how to give us something fast but then aviation is a high safety and security industry that certain things, we must wait for certification from here (NCAA) before we proceed further.”

NCAA’s Director General, Captain Usman, assured that the regulatory body would partner with the agency to provide guidance in line with global standard and recommended practices in aviation.

“As you know aviation is highly regulated, it is international in nature and that is why the NASENI came today for us to partner and work to ensure that international standard and recommended practices are maintained because aviation is high precision industry, it involves safety and security,” he said.

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Senate Uncovers NNPC’s Fresh $1bn Illegal Withdrawals From NLNG Account

15 November 2018 - 12:26am

The Senate Committee on Gas Resources, yesterday, uncovered fresh multiple illegal withdrawals from the dividend accounts of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The fresh illegal withdrawals was about $1 billion, is however, different from the $1.05 billion the Group Managing Director of (NNPC), Maikanti Baru admitted earlier when he appeared before the 15-member Senate ad hoc Committee on alleged $3.5 billion subsidy under recovery fund three weeks ago.

The unraveling of the fresh illegal withdrawals by the NNPC through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was as a result of the ongoing probe by the Gas committee on the $1.05bn, the NNPC GMD said was withdrawn to bridge the gap of shortfalls in differentials between landing cost of imported fuel and the pump price of the product in the country. Baru had claimed that the NNPC was suffering heavy losses on landing cost of imported fuel, which he put at N185 per liter while the government regulated pump price is N145.

The Senate had mandated the Committee headed by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East), two weeks ago to probe the $1.05 billion NNPC with drew from the account in April this year without authorisation by the National Assembly. The Gas Committee, based on information at its disposal, ordered the NNPC and the CBN to submit documents on withdrawals made from the NLNG dividends account within the last two years.

Accordingly, while scrutinising the NLNG account documents presented to it yesterday by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Finance of the CBN, Babatunde Adeniran, the committee observed series of cash debiting from the account from November 2016 to June this year totalling $2.201 billion.

The breakdown of the withdrawals not supported by required approving documents as observed by the committee are $86.546,526 million withdrawn from the account on the 22nd of November 2016 allegedly being payment on Paris Club loans for the state governors, $1.05 bn withdrawn on the 17th of April 2018 as National Fuel Support Fund. Others are $650 million withdrawn from the account on the 7th of June this year for offsetting of Joint Venture Cash Call by NNPC, which ordinarily supposed to be budget item payment.

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Use Only Your Children As Thugs, Obasanjo Warns Politicians

15 November 2018 - 12:14am

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has taken a swipe at politicians who use other people’s children as thugs while shielding theirs from trouble.

The denunciation came amid concerns that parts of the nation may experience violence during the 2019 general elections.

Obasanjo made the condemnation yesterday while delivering a paper at the Inauguration of King’s College London Global Leaders Engagement Series in London.

Speaking on ‘Demystifying Leadership Capacity Deficit of African Youths: Our Future is in their Hands’, he declared: “Enough of using other people’s children as experimental subjects and keeping ours in safe havens; enough of using other people’s children as political thugs and ballot box snuffers, while we send ours to Ivy League schools; enough of thinking we know what is right for young people without their input or the courtesy of asking for their opinions.”

He noted that African youths must put their acts together and vie for political offices, despite obstacles such as expensive nomination forms and huge cost of political campaigns.

According to him, hope is not lost as he foresees a continent where the “creative energies, intellectual prowess and ingenuity of the youth are capable of leading Africa to the Promised Land.”

The former president said further: “Succession planning is a culture that Africa needs to imbibe. It increases the number of people who are capable and available to assume leadership roles when the incumbent is no longer available to do so. This is a deliberate process.

“We cannot continue to assume that by mere observation from afar, young people understand why we do what we do. We must introduce them to our networks and partners; set them up to represent us in important meetings while we can still guide and nurture them. An organisation should not go kaput because one person is no longer available to lead.

“If constitutional changes are required, let us begin now. If policies and political party structures have to change, let us begin now. Of what use is a law that allows young people contest for a particular office only to be confronted with the hurdle of outrageously exorbitant cost of party nomination forms and campaign costs?”

He added: “The young people must remember that the future is influenced by the present and the past. The present is a legacy of the past, handed over by the other generation. This legacy is a product of hard work, successes, failures and experience. It must be preserved. The youth must understand that today’s leaders are tomorrow’s seniors and the record of their leadership will also become a legacy to another generation.”

The admonition meanwhile coincided with a warning to youths to desist from life-threatening illegal migrations.

Many of the nation’s youths have embarked on dangerous journeys across the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea in search of better economic opportunities in Europe.

Acting coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South West Zone, Mr. Segun Afolayan, gave the advice yesterday when he received a fresh batch of 116 Nigerians repatriated from Libya. Their return was facilitated through a joint effort by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)/European Union (EU) and the Nigerian government.

In fact, with the general elections only about three months away, efforts at having peaceful polls have become more concerted.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that only politicians could stop the menace of vote buying.

National Commissioner Festus Okoye stated this yesterday in Katsina State at stakeholders’ meeting ahead of Saturday’s bye-election for the Ingawa/Kankia/Kusada federal constituency seat.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in the state, Salisu Yusuf Majigiri, had accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of vote buying during the last Katsina North senatorial bye-election, urging INEC to find a lasting solution to the problem.

But Okoye, who was represented by INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kano State, Prof. Riskuwa Arabu Shehu, insisted that vote buying was never the creation of the electoral body.

Also, the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) said that it was collaborating with INEC to ensure a successful election.

Mr. Rudoff Elbling, ECES Project Coordinator in Nigeria, made this known in Minna, Niger State, while inaugurating a two-day workshop for officials of INEC. “It is my hope that the zonal workshops will lay a solid basis for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in 2019. It will also sensitise participants to their expected roles before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Elbling, who was represented by Senior Election Expert at the centre, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, said that the exercise would familiarise functionaries of the commission with the structure and operational frameworks of the Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC).

He said the EMSC was a tool that INEC requires to effectively manage field assets, resources, constituencies and chains of electoral activities in organising elections.

The project coordinator said the measure was also an innovative way to monitor election plans and implementation of electoral activities that could assist INEC in evaluating its readiness for an election.

“ECES is delighted that INEC has taken a giant stride in the integration of the Election Project Plan (EPP) and Election Management System (EMS) for effective implementation and monitoring of election activities,” he said.

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Govs Adamant, Say N30,000 Minimum Wage Will Make States Go Bankrupt

14 November 2018 - 11:56pm

State governors Wednesday rose from their meeting in Abuja and restated their inability to pay the N30,000 new minimum wage recommended by the National Minimum Wage Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to review the N18,000 figure, which organised labour said had become inadequate and legally outdated.

They said the states would go bankrupt if forced to pay the new wage, warning that it might lead to retrenchment of workers.

In the alternative, they proposed that the federal government shed some of its revenue in favour of the states so they could be able to absorb the financial implication of the impending increased wage bill.

But labour would have none of it as it said last night that any governor, who could not afford the new figure, should resign or risk an industrial action.

The governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at their meeting last night in Abuja, frowned on the action of the tripartite committee, which it said failed to include their N22,500 submission in the final report sent to the president.

As a way forward, the governors raised a committee made up of eight of their colleagues to meet the president to further discuss the issue.

Members of the committee, nominated to see the president include, the governors of Lagos, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Enugu and Kaduna States.

Addressing journalists after their meeting last night in Abuja, Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of NGF, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, said asking states to pay N30,000 was impracticable unless labour would agree to a downsizing of the work-force all over the country or the federal government itself accedes to the review of the national revenue allocation formula.

Yari said the governors were not happy that their offer of N22,500 as new minimum wage was not factored into the final report the tripartite committee submitted to Buhari.

He said, “With N18,000, when the president assumed office about 27 states were not able to pay, not that they choose not to pay. So now you say N30,000, how many of them can pay. We will be bankrupt. So as Nigerians, we should look at the issues seriously.”

Yari said that a member of the committee and Governor of Kebbi, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, had informed the governors that the committee did not take their submission of N22,500 because it came late.

“I am surprised, how can you do this without the input of the states? The states are the key stakeholders in this business. So, a situation whereby our report is not taken or considered by the tripartite committee to present to the president then I don’t know how the committee wants us to work,” he said.

The Zamfara State governor also countered the insinuation that some governors were flying jets and living in affluence while complaining about poor revenue, saying that the governors’ actions are driven by necessity rather than bogus lifestyle.

Yari, who was flanked by Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, their Benue State counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom, said as things stood, only Lagos State could afford to pay the N30,000 being requested.

He said, “But we still say we want to pay but the issue is the ability to pay. If you say no, it is not about the ability to pay, just pay, I don’t know how this formula will work and I don’t know how we can get solution to the problem.

“The issue of government overhead cost put together with personnel cost cannot solve this problem. Like Lagos that is paying about N7billion as salaries, if you say it should pay N30,000 now, it will be N13 billion. From our calculation, it is only Lagos State that will be able to pay N30,000.

“As Nigerians, this is our country, there is no other country we have and we should be fair to this country.”

As for the way forward, Yari said the governors would continue to talk with labour, to let them see reasons why the states have difficulties.

He said the states have submitted their audited accounts to the tripartite committee to guide them in their negotiations with labour.

“Some of us have Internally Generated Revenue (IGR.). For instance, the money Lagos State is using to pay is not coming from Abuja. They have a way of getting their money from the IGR and that is why they can afford to pay. They get money through VAT. Apart from Lagos, even Rivers State cannot afford to pay. We have been crying out about this since 2011 but no one will listen.

“One critical example is that some states ration their salaries while some others put everything they earn on the table and ask labour to come and see and ask them to suggest how much should go for capital and personnel cost.

“Some say 70 per cent for personnel cost and 30 per cent for capital projects and yet the states cannot pay and they put the remaining as outstanding.

If you are talking about oil, the price is not what it used to be today, from last year to date, it is 20 dollar less from $75 to $55. So where is the money to pay?”

If You Can’t Pay Minimum Wage Resign, Labour Tells Governors

Organised labour reacted swiftly last night, saying any governor that could not pay should resign.

While reacting to governors’ insistence that states cannot pay more than the N22,500 they offered, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress ((NLC), Mr. Peter Essom, said the workers will not accept a renegotiation of the amount agreed at tripartite talks.

Essom, who spoke to THISDAY last night on telephone shortly after the governors made their positions known, said the only firm engagement labour will like to have with the state governors will be after the proclamation of the new minimum wage.

According to Essom, what workers are after is to have a minimum wage that takes care of basic needs.

He said that as soon as government proclaims the N30,000 minimum wage, the organised labour will move in to engage various state governments on the implementation.

The NLC scribe said, “What we are dealing with now is the issue of minimum wage and we stand by the N30,000, which is at the lowest fringe of what the workers need to meet the cost of providing service and still maintain some semblance of living. The tripartite negotiations are three legged structure, government, labour and private sector and state governors are part of the government team.

“The question of renegotiation does not arise. We will, of course after the promulgation of the minimum wage law, engage each state governor as to implementation. Those governors that feel that they are incapable of paying the wage, there are options; one of the governors has said that he would rather resign. We call on those governors not willing to implement the new minimum wage to so do, and resign.”

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Every Six Seconds, One Person Dies Of Diabetes, Says Consultant Endocrinologist

14 November 2018 - 12:28pm

Dr. Adenike Enikuomehin, a medical consultant, has said that at least one person dies every six seconds of diabetes globally.

 Noting that the situation is worrisome, Enikuomehin added that 700 people out of 1,500 admitted to the hospital recently have diabetes.

She spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at an event to make the 2018 World Diabetes Day, themed 'Diabetes and the Family'. 

She revealed that Ondo State is recording an increase in the cases of diabetes as a result of the number of patients in the hospital. She stated that 3,500 out of 8,500 patients admitted at the teaching hospital since January this year till date are diabetic.

“When you admit 40 patients in our hospitals, almost 30 out of them are living with diabetes," said Enikuomehin, a Consultant Endocrinologist at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital in Ondo.

"And this is more than two-thirds of admitted patients. This is worrisome and calls for attention and the support of all and sundry. The family has a major role to play in this aspect by giving the necessary support to all the people living with diabetes."

According to Enikuomehin, the main factors contributing to diabetes include high level of calorie intake, obesity rate and inducement of drugs.

Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, Ondo State Commissioner for Health, said diabetes has become a major global concern among the people. Adegbenro also observed that diabetes is so rampant that one in every five persons has the disease.

He, however, revealed that the state government has been doing much to create awareness to help nip the disease in the bud. He also advised people to shun self medication and avoid eating junk in order to have good health.

“Diabetes and hypertension are major diseases troubling the whole world and incidentally, two of them can go together in a person," he said. "We have a lot of specialists and facilities that can handle diabetes. However, people should stop eating junk and self medication."

Michael Ajayi, Secretary of the Diabetes Asociation of Nigeria in Ondo State, urged the people to always engage in regular checkup in order to know their status on time. 

"It is better for people to know their diabetic status on time because it would help save money and time," he said.

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EXCLUSIVE: Mimiko Quits Presidential Race... Now To Snatch Senatorial Ticket From His Anointed

14 November 2018 - 12:12pm

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
Dr. Olusegun Mimiko

Barring any last-minute change of mind, Olusegun Mimiko, the Former Governor of Ondo State, will jettison his ambition as the presidential candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

SaharaReporters learnt that Mimiko would, any moment from now, announce his ambition to contest as the candidate of ZLP for Ondo Central Senatorial District for the 2019 general election.

A source in the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) confirmed this to our correspondent, saying Mimiko made the about-face after an inner caucus meeting of members of his "think tank". 

"It's true, Iroko (Mimiko) is no longer vying for the presidential seat again because he has decided to change his mind by making u-turn after our meeting," said the source.

"He now prefers to contest for the Senate seat and would now be the candidate of our party for the Ondo Central Senatorial District."

Although, Gboye Adegbenro, the Commissioner for Works during the tenure of Mimiko, had also been gunning for same position under the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). 

It was gathered that Adegbenro's name had already been enlisted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a candidate of Ondo Central Senatorial District. 

A source told SaharaReporters via the phone that the sudden u-turn of Mimiko had also changed the political calculations in the camp of Adegbenro. 

"This same Gboye Adegbenro who was the Commissioner for Works during Mimiko's government got his blessings to contest as candidate of the ZLP for this same Ondo Central Senatorial District.

"It is unfortunate that Iroko [Mimiko] cannot change his skin, just like a leopard. He has again dribbled us and we know what to do next."

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