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Time To Interrogate Internet Fraud In Nigeria By Seun Awogbenle

17 September 2020 - 5:25am


Seun Awogbenle

Cybercrime and advanced fee fraud is growing at a very disturbing rate almost everywhere in Nigeria. I read recently in the news that two lecturers of the Kwara State College of Health Technology were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged involvement in Internet fraud. 

Matter of factly, what I consider fundamentally wrong is how Internet fraud has become normalised and institutionalised at the family and community level, so much that they now provide cover for them, goad them on and aid them in the most obnoxious manner. While, it is true, that Internet fraud is perhaps not new to our national lives, it is impossible not to be astonished by the way Nigeria’s young people now go about it unabashed and unperturbed.

Seun Awogbenle

Well, to think internet fraud used to attract public opprobrium and condemnation, it is now completely sad to see how people now hail and cheer fraudsters, like it is some heroism of sort. They flaunt and display unexplained wealth particularly on social media unrestrained, they move freely, own their ‘hustle’ and rub it in our faces like a badge of honour.

It has never been this bad, our values are collapsing before our very eyes. What happened to our creed of dignity in labour? When my brother Rilwan Bello said that the absence of real economic values led to the near collapse of moral values, I felt that strongly. I reckon that ours is a deeply unjust system, that serves the interest of only the elites, rich and powerful. We are sitting on a keg of gunpowder if the only hope young people can find is internet fraud and cybercrime, government has failed its young people and I am afraid that the outcome may soon begin to unravel before our eyes.

Where there is injustice, poverty, unemployment, inequality and lack of real economic opportunities it is not unlikely that internet fraud will be a popular crime, but if we do not interrogate this current system that is promoting fraud and cyber crime, it may be the end of all of us. Aside, from the damage it has done to our national image, it is also the major  reason for the constant undermining and stereotyping of our nationals across the world. Sadly, our educational system which should promote moral probity and character development is almost as good as non-existent.

For me, I believe the challenge at the moment is for young people to re-engineer the political system so that it can work for their interest and not just a few who have proximity and access to political power. Those who have access to economic opportunities should never be the norm, everyone must have a fair chance at real economic opportunity and empowerment, provided they have the requisite skill and ability.

We must also focus on revitalising our education so that it can provide our young people with emerging skills. The future of jobs and skills is fast evolving, our educational system must reflect these changes if we would be able to provide jobs and employment opportunities for our young people. Beyond the skills, our education must also establish character development as an important aspect.

To save our country from what has become a national embarrassment, we must therefore redouble our fight against Internet fraud and clampdown on all the criminals who are involved. Lack of economic opportunity will never justify this wave of obsession for fraud and resort to cybercrime.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Seun Awogbenle Disable advertisements : 
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AAC Intensifies Mobilisation For October 1 Mass Protest

17 September 2020 - 5:10am


National Chairman of the African Action Congress, Mr Omoyele Sowore, has admonished all state chairpersons of the party to intensify mobilisation towards the October 1 mass protest.

In a zoom meeting widely attended by state organs and leaders of the party on Wednesday, extensive deliberations were made on possible ways to strengthen activities ahead of the national protest.

Far-reaching resolutions were made on the imperative to sensitise and mobilise the Nigerian people against the hike in fuel price, electricity tariff, insecurity, human rights abuses, among other issues.

The party restated its commitment to pursue rigorously all demands
of the #Revolution campaign until the country became a place that works for all.

Sowore said, “Go all out and don’t be afraid. Having spent five months in detention, I came out and I am still here. Our comrades in Lagos, Osun, Kano and other parts of the country were detained and they have become more courageous than ever. They saw the system for what it is: rotten.”

Sowore applauded the efforts made so far by the state chairpersons, revealing that the AAC now commanded huge respect among Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora.  

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UNILAG Visitation Panel Submits Report

17 September 2020 - 5:00am


The Special Visitation Panel set up by the Nigerian Government to look into the management crisis at the University of Lagos has submitted its findings to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

Chairman of the panel, Prof Tukur Sa’ad, submitted the report to Adamu in Abuja on Thursday.

“The visitor of the university, after due consideration of the report, will take a decision on the matter as appropriate in order to restore peace and conducive learning atmosphere in the University of Lagos and the university system as a whole,” the minister said while receiving the report.

The government had set up the panel to look into the crisis rocking UNILAG, following the removal of its Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by its Governing Council led by Dr Wale Babalakin.

 

See Also Education Suspended UNILAG Student Activist Asks Visiting Panel To Order Reinstatement 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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Group Asks United States To Confiscate Properties Of Nigerian Politicians, Slam Visa Ban On INEC Officials Involved In Rigging Elections

17 September 2020 - 4:23am


A group, Leadership and Accountability Initiative, has asked the United States of America to seize properties of Nigerian politicians involved in rigging elections in the country.

SaharaReporters recall that the US Government on Monday announced that it had imposed visa restrictions on some individuals for their actions during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, said action had also been taken against some persons in the run-up to the September and October 2020 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.

Reacting to the development, the group in a statement by its Head of Mission, Nwazuruahu H Shied, and Head of Electoral Matters, Momodu Abraham, said such restrictions should be extended to electoral and security officials.

The statement reads, “Therefore, the news of the US Government’s decision to place travel bans on those involved in these anti democratic practices come as great news and a breath of fresh air for our electoral process and we sincerely thank you and hope that these measures would serve as a deterrent to other individuals especially in the upcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states and future elections in Nigeria. 

“We also wish that you would extend to their families and to security and electoral personnel who actively participate in these undemocratic actions, and also consider confiscating their assets in the US, thereby sending a strong signal to Nigerians and the world on the United State’s stand against corruption.”

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FG-ASUU Impasse Becoming Too Expensive To Ignore By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

17 September 2020 - 4:12am


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

If only Nigerians are fully aware of the damage being done to the nation’s tertiary education sector, especially its universities, with this impasse in negotiations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, perhaps there would have been a concerted approach to resolving the problem. 

Right now, Nigerian public universities are in a very delicate shape and require a careful handling so that they don’t crumble into pieces. In fact, this current stalemate may usher in the total demise of our public university system if nothing is done, and urgently too. For those that can still remember the grace to grass history of our public primary school system, it started exactly like this. The public primary school system ran averagely well until the early 1990s when incessant strikes by teachers to protest being paid by local governments, signalled its death knell. Of course, state governments later found a way around the problem as they opened an account jointly controlled by states and local governments for teachers’ salaries, but the solution came rather too late. The very foundation for the development of sound primary education system as laid down by the Ashby recommendations of 1960 had been totally destroyed while these incessant strikes lasted.

Now, primary school teachers’ salaries are removed and put into a special account before allocation from the federation account is disbursed to the LGs. That is why there seems to be a semblance of sanity in our public primary schools now. Never mind that constitutionally, the local governments are empowered to run primary schools. But any attempt to implement this provision of the law to the letter will lead to another wave of agitation. One can hardly blame the teachers. The local governments have been highly irresponsible; they never met their obligations to the teachers in terms of salary and other welfare packages. 

Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Nevertheless, Nigeria’s lack of commitment to the development and preservation of its primary school system led to the emergence of mushroom private primary schools that we see all around us today. The private sector has taken over the responsibility of providing basic primary education to Nigerian children. Unfortunately, since many of these school owners cannot hire trained teachers, they make do with what they can afford. So, we end up compromising the quality of education that Nigeria’s future leaders should be having right from the primary school level. This nation may never recover from this terrible damage done to its children. 

As it is, getting sound education at the primary and secondary school level has become the preserve of the children of the rich. And since every good parent would like to leave an inheritance for their children, they also struggle to get money anyhow and by any means to fulfil this desire. That’s why you can hardly get anything done in Nigeria without being forced to pay a bribe. These people need all the money they can get to fix their children in good schools. Am I justifying graft? not at all! The point being made is that people are desperate to raise money via illegal means because there is no responsible government in charge. Citizens whose governments provide basic amenities and access to good health, education and housing are likely to be less desperate. As we speak, public school teachers are being owed in many states; the learning environment in many public schools is nothing to write home about; teachers’ commitment and dedication to duty is zero in many instances.  Yet, our leaders are not ashamed to tell us that they value sound education.   

Now, the big problem is that unlike primary and secondary education that could easily be provided by private enterprises even if substandard, private university education cannot be provided by just anybody.  The cost of running private universities is huge; hence many Nigerians may never smell the four walls of a university if we allow these public universities to die.  For example, one of the criteria for establishing a private university, according to the National Universities Commission, is bank guarantee of funds to the tune of N200m from a reputable bank and a minimum land area of 100 hectares. Not only that, sponsors are expected to  put  in place the required infrastructures including access roads, power, water,  laboratories, workshops, libraries etc,  not to now talk of assembling the faculty that must include senior lecturers and professors and all of that.  How many private businesses can afford to do that? And for those who are able to scale the NUC 14-step to starting a university, how many are sure of getting candidates to enrol and for how long are they going to wait to start getting the money  required to run the university effectively, embark on  research, etc.? How many Nigerians would be able to send their children to such universities?    Aside faith-based universities in Nigeria which naturally enjoy patronage from members, a lot of private universities set up by individuals are really struggling. Where are the students? Not so many parents can afford to send their children there. 

 If we allow our public universities to die like the public primary and secondary schools, some private institutions may be forced to lower their quality in order to make the cost affordable.  Imagine a nation with substandard primary, secondary and university education! Some private universities are probably doing that now. We are gradually getting to the point of collapsed public universities. I shuddered at the sight of pictures circulated in the social media of toilet facilities at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The condition was terrible! If the public university system totally crumbles, good private universities will become extremely expensive and unaffordable. Mushroom varsities will grow like the mushroom primary and secondary schools that are everywhere now.  Is this what Nigerians want?

Without education, this nation is doomed. In fact, we are where we are today because many of our so-called leaders had dysfunctional education. Imagine someone getting admission to a unity school with a score of 7 over 300; getting university admission with less than 150 over 400 and getting employed above other better qualified people all in the name of federal character and quota system. These are the people taking critical decisions on behalf of the rest of us and we are still wondering why the country is in a mess. The truth is good governance is predicated on sound leadership. And any nation that thinks that leadership positions should be the preserve of some people born to rule will end up being ruled by nonentities.

 In countries where things work, leaders are groomed. These leaders are not just educated, they schooled in the best of schools. The first female chancellor of Germany and one of the architects of the European Union, Angela Merkel, studied Physics at the University of Leipzig, earning a doctorate degree; President Donald Trump of the US attended Fordham University for two years and got a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. President of Finland, Sauli Vainamo Niinisto, is a lawyer by profession, Boris Johnson is a product of both Eton College, often described as “the chief nurse of England’s statesmen,” having educated 20 prime ministers; and Balliol College, Oxford. I can go on and on. None of these leaders had questionable certificates and their academic qualifications were never subjects of controversy.  No wonder, they approach governance with a sense of purpose and deliver quality services. People can only give what they have.

If there are truly lovers of education in this country, this is the time to speak in unison and demand an end to the impasse between ASUU and the Federal Government. I am afraid that if we all keep quiet, this situation will continue and the university system will crumble totally. If the pronouncements by the national body of ASUU are anything to go by, the union is not likely to call off its seven-month strike unless government attends to its requests, chief among which is the reversal of the Integrated Payment Platform System (IPPS) and implementation of past agreements on funding and enhanced salaries. And if I can read this administration correctly, I doubt if it is going to bend over backward to meet ASUU’s demands. Looking at its antecedents, this government appears deaf and dumb. Is there anything that Nigerians spoke against that has ever been reversed by this administration? Nigerians  complained about hike in fuel price and what they got in return was further increase;  there are general complaints about poor living condition, high cost of food items and so many other things, has anything changed? This government has consistently displayed contempt, impunity and disdain for the concerns, fears and the will of the Nigerian people.

If ASUU remains adamant and the Federal government sticks to its guns, is this how we will all watch until these public institutions totally collapse? I pity Nigerian youths. The only thing they are probably enjoying in Nigeria today is this free university education, although I don’t know how sustainable this can be if we are really serious about good university education. But that is a topic for another day. For now, suffice it to say that we keep what we have before it slips away.  No one needs a soothsayer to predict what will become of Nigeria in another decade if we allow these universities to die.   It’s time for whoever cares about the present and future of this country to call on both ASUU and the Federal Government to sheathe their sword. Both parties should reach a workable agreement for the sake of Nigeria’s future. This impasse is becoming too expensive to ignore. 

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is the editor-in-chief, franktalknow.com and member, Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

 

Re: It’s time to run Nigeria’s tertiary institutions as business ventures

Dear Madam,
I am happy you are getting the round to what we have shouted forever as a union.
Please let me add that if you are in the sciences, you have to spend from your meagre salary to make it possible for project students, especially undergraduates, complete their projects. I had to buy a generator a while back to make this possible for my students and fuel it too.
I am sure if the same subject of your write-up had been accused of sexual harassment, it would have been a hot topic on the floor of the National Assembly, popular with CSOs/NGOs and talk shows (especially female talk shows) on TV and radio.

Why is this sacrifice-financed invention not attracting same delightful attention?
I laughed at the title of your write-up because Nigerians, especially parents, have no idea what we sacrifice to keep the system running. Many of us are no longer willing to continue with such sacrifices.  I am confused why parents who paid hundreds of thousand per term at primary and secondary schools will assume paying 25,000.00 service charge per session (since tertiary school in Nigeria are tuition free), will provide Harvard standard University education. Talk of inverted logic. I wonder how much UI will pay monthly now, with the new energy charge.

Madam, I am so sorry, but we are not ready to have, honest conversation about university education in Nigeria. We are more interested in crucifying and insulting a union, not made up of saints but of people, willing to make more sacrifices if only the school owners, who in actual fact are parents, through the government, will just pay attention to their decaying and disappearing investments, i.e. decaying and disappearing future of Nigeria.

Thank you.
Akindayo A. Sowunmi, Ph.D
Hydrobiology and Fisheries Unit, 
Department of Zoology, 
University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria.
https://sci.ui.edu.ng/content/dr-aa-sowunmi

 

I read your well-informed opinion on Nigerian universities in Sahara Reporters today. I am so much impressed.

May God bless you as you continue to impact our society.  More power to your elbow.

Kings,
Lecturer, Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

I have read this article and tried sending my comment but the post on my device was not active. Madam has been in the forefront fighting what I will describe as a guerrilla war with her penchant for academic orientation in digitization of teaching and learning. Many times I differ from her in opinion and sometimes I agree with her. 

In this regard, it was obvious that she made a complaint and also proffered the necessary answers. Why should anybody think that the academicians are reluctant in carrying out research? Did you expect them to expend their salaries on research? All over the world, including the USA, UK where she has mentioned, no individual lecturer spend his or her money on research; it is the sole responsibility of the government to fund research. 

Today, Rwanda was not mentioned as an indicator, but I like to tell you that the salary of a Tutorial Assistant (Graduate Assistant) in University of Rwanda is equivalent to that of Lecturer 1 in Nigeria, ditto at the Sweden University of Agriculture (those are places I have worked and can give you first hand information) with other incentives. There is no country in the world where university manufacture brands or  do mass production of equipment or product. What they do is to produce prototype and manufacturing companies take over through synergy and cooperation supported by government. But that synergy does not exist in Nigeria if at all the manufacturing companies are also there. Therefore, all the blames should go to the government rather than seeing the hapless university lecturers as warrigals. 

Several universities including ABU, Zaria have in the past launched one thing or the other. Department of Mechanical engineering, ABU, manufactured a complete made in Nigeria car not too long ago; nobody is taking it from them. A young engineer in Jos manufactured a prototype ventilator after he had repaired three at the Jos University Hospital; he gave the estimate of the amount that will construct a complete functional ventilator, till today nobody, not even the Governor of Plateau State talked about it. How do we develop with this attitude? Why should all the blames always go to the lecturers? Today, TETFUND is withholding billions of research fund on account of technicality, but when you apply for research funding from TETFUND, it will take two or three years before you can get approval and another several months before a fractional part of the fund is released. How do you expect the researcher to keep following a single research for two or more years?

Before I left Nigeria, as an agriculturist, I have carried out research on the causes of mass destruction of Irish potatoes in 2012 - 2013 in Plateau State. Many farmers suffered severe loss due to the outbreak of what we later discovered to be late blight. I discovered that the blight is virus infection, and to control it, one has to eject a new seed in to the market. I applied to TETFUND for potato seed production as a research. During the interview, the chairman of the panel was a known academic foe and a public administrator; his questions were not scientific with no direct bearing on the study. He questioned the modality and possibility of what I was about to do. He did not allow the research to scale through the first stage of scrutiny let alone the financial committee.


In conclusion, I hope the fight or probably the struggle will continue but for effective and successful winning, it must be directed to the appropriate channels.

Thanks.

Professor Durotimi Folutile John,
Department of Irrigation and Drainage,
School of Agricultural Engineering,
University of Rwanda

 
This is a detailed and constructive evaluation of the subject. You kept wondering in this write-up why we prefer to go for the products manufactured by others to those developed by us. Very simple and obvious answer: attitude. 
Average Nigerian, irrespective of status or religious mentality is selfish, corrupt, and appreciates imported things to home-made things. Is it not cheaper to fund home-based 0.3M naira project than to import robots at several millions of naira? But if such is done, will there be any room to inflate contract and steal several millions of Naira? Nigerians need aggressive orientation. But who will lead the exercise? It is well. Have a great day.
Lecturer, 
University of Uyo,
Akwa Ibom  State.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Olabisi Deji-Folutile Disable advertisements : 
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Femi Adesina Concocts Salacious Lies In Defense Of Dictator Muhammadu Buhari By Bayo Oluwasanmi

17 September 2020 - 3:54am


Bayo Oluwasanmi

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, in a piece titled “Soyinka Slams President Buhari, Says Nigeria Divided Like Never Before Under Him” published by SaharaReporters, Tuesday, Soyinka explains why Nigeria has never been so divided in our history like under General Muhammadu Buhari. 

1. “Does anyone deny that it was this president who went to sleep while communities were consistently ravaged by cattle marauders, were raped and displaced in their thousands and turned into beggars all over the landscape?”

2. Was it a different president who, on being finally persuaded to visit a scene of carnage, had nothing more authoritative to offer than to advice the traumatised victims to learn to live peacefully with their violators.”

3. “And what happened to the police chief who had defied orders from his Commander-in-Chief to relocate finally to the troubled spot - he came, saw, and bolted, leaving the ‘natives’ to their own devices. Any disciplinary action taken against ‘countryman’? 

4. “Was it spokesman for some ghost president who chortled in those early, yet controllable stages of now systematised mayhem, gleefully dismissed the mass burial of victims in Benue State as a “staged show” for international entertainment?”

5. “Did other half of the presidential megaphone system not follow up - or was it, precede? - with the wisdom that they, the brutalised citizentry, should learn to bow under the yoke and negotiate, since “only the living” can enjoy the dividends of legal rights?”

Speaking on Channels TV program yesterday, Femi Adesina, Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, debunks the testaments of truths by Soyinka: “As at 2015 when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly divided; divided along ethnic, religious, and political lines; divided along language; divided hopelessly and terribly,” says Adesina. What a salacious lies!

Bayo Oluwasanmi

Soyinka didn’t contest the fact that Nigeria is a divided country. The whole world knows Nigeria is a divided country. What Soyinka said was Nigeria has NEVER (emphasis mine) been so divided like under General Buhari. None of the above five listed instances which further divided Nigeria and widen our differences happened on President Goodluck Jonathan’s watch. Policies, statements, action, and inaction of General Buhari are voluminous enough for a non-fiction book award. However, one or two comments about Adesina’s consistent and constant lies in defense of a brutal dictator will be in order.

Adesina is the least honest, least humble, and least professional media adviser who is overwhelmed by Buhari’s political suicide. Adesina lies so often that anything he said in defense of Buhari and his regime is greeted with derision and laughter. He constantly lies and every Nigerian can see through his lies, especially when his version of events and statements are contravened by Buhari. “To some people,” says Adesina, “Buhari ... he’s the greatest crowd pulling politician the country has seen for some time, and may yet see for a long time to come. True.” Absolutely false! 

Adesina praises his boss effusively, spread dubious claims about Buhari. “Nigerian Leader is venerated, and held in high esteem by the international community,” says Adesina. This is the same Buhari who President Trump described as “lifeless president.” Adesina chastised “angry youths, religious leaders, political analysts, newspaper columnists, news reviewers, so called activists” for not seeing anything positive done by Buhari. “It is all about insurgency, banditry, killings, joblessness, corruption, lack and deprivation. True? False!” Deacon Adesina, this is true. All these evils define and determine Buhari’s regime. 

One more lie from Adesina. “Nigeria which other nations had mocked and ridiculed for so many things that were wrong is today progressing at a pace reflecting its size and potential.” Adesina performs for the audience of one - Buhari. Where was Adesina when Buhari’s Nigeria was declared both the world poverty capital and corruption capital? Where was Adesina when Nigeria was ranked as the saddest country to live in? As to his lies, there’s no end!

Adesina lies, exaggerates, hypes, and shaded the truth at every opportunity. He lies, punts, and disgraces himself and degrades his honesty every time he defends the evils of Buhari’s reign of terror. Adesina is vindictive, tone-deaf, and struggles between lies to defend a lie, dishonoring his post. And most importantly, his lies establish a record on which to judge Buhari’s presidency. 

Adesina inflicts self detriment and damages his boss through his gratuitous attacks on Nigerians especially critics. He fails to realise that as media adviser for the executive branch, he has a nobler calling than being a pit-bull propagandist and a mindless cheerleader for a repugnant dictator.

Adesina should learn to conduct himself in a dignified manner. He should see himself not just as a champion for Buhari, but as spokesman for the Nigerian Government. He can use some sense of history.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Bayo Oluwasanmi Disable advertisements : 
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Gani Adams Raises The Alarm Over Influx Of Terrorists Into Oyo Communities, Other South-West States

17 September 2020 - 3:51am


Gani Adams

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has raised the alarm over the influx of terrorists into the Kishi area of Oyo State. 

Adams said the terrorists have also taken over the old Oyo National Park, noting that their invasion posed a great danger to the security of the South-West region. 

He disclosed this in a statement by his media aide, Mr Kehinde Aderemi. 

Gani Adams

Apart from threatening the peace of the community, Adams alleged that the armed group had started kidnapping residents for ransom in the region.

He said, "I have received numerous reports from Kishi, North-West of Oyo State and these range from ceaseless kidnapping, rape and a threat to the lives of Yoruba people in the Oke Ogun area with Kishi as the present hub of terrorist attacks.

"The records are there. The recent intelligence report from Kishi is too frightening because terrorists have taken over the area with the number of victims growing by the day. 

"We need to react to these senseless killings because of the timing and exigencies. I have sent the report to the Oyo State governor, Eng. Seyi Makinde. 

"I have also alerted the Director-General of Amotekun in Oyo State. I have also informed the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, through a message to Alaafin's Personal Assistant, and I have informed the Okere of Saki."

While noting that it was his responsibility to alert security agencies of such threat, Adams said he decided to raise the alarm because the region was becoming a den for armed bandits and terrorists masquerading as herdsmen. 

He warned that if the criminal activities of the group was not quickly curbed, the South-West might be sitting on a keg of gun powder. 

"The Aare in Council had earlier raised the alarm on the infiltration of terrorists and killer Fulani herdsmen in the region.

"Over 500 power bikes and assorted armour belonging to the terrorists have been physically sighted along the abandoned Lusada route moving towards Sokoto, from Igbo Ora in Oyo State.

"With the present situation, I think there is an urgent need for the state government to address the spate of insecurity in the area. 

"We are ready to support the government in keeping the terrorists at bay with the approval of the Oyo State Government and other relevant security agencies."

Adams promised to mobilise all Yoruba interest groups to join hands with the security agencies to flush out the criminals, who have also been invading the state's forest reserve and national park.

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CBN Governor, Emefiele, In Import Duty Scandal, Offers Waiver To Family Member Against President Buhari’s Directive

17 September 2020 - 3:10am


CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has recommended import duty of five per cent and levy waiver to Sonia Foods, a company owned by one of his relatives, Nnamdi Nnodebe, to import tomato concentrate for the next two years.

SaharaReporters gathered that the move by Emefiele was against the tomato sector policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

Buhari had in 2017 through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment banned the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate and increased the tariff on importation of tomato concentrate among others from five to 50 per cent in order to revive the tomato sector.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

According to operators, the value of imported tomato paste in Nigeria was about $170m and $50m spent on triple tomato concentrate.

“Increase in the tariff of the tomato concentrate and other concentrates (HS Code 2002.90.11.000) from five per cent to 50 per cent and additional levy of $1,500 per metric tons with the objective of increasing the current tariff from five per cent to 50 per cent (35 per cent +5 per cent+10 per cent) and an additional levy of US$1,500 metric ton. Restriction on the importation of tomato concentrates to the seaports to address abuse of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation scheme (ETLS) and inclusion of tomato production and processing in the list of industries eligible for investment incentives administered by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC),” documents seen by SaharaReporters read.

DOCUMENT: CBN Governor, Emefiele, In Import Duty Scandal, Offer Waiver To Family Member Against President B... by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

But in a letter to the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Emefiele asked for import duty of five per cent against 50 per cent approved by Buhari on tomato concentrate for Sonia Foods. 

“The honourable minister is hereby to consider and approve the concessionary import duty of five per cent and waiver of levies of 35 per cent and $1500/ton on imported tomato concentrate for SONIA Foods Ltd and advise the Controller General of Customs and Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service accordingly. The request if granted will be for a two (2) year period to enable the company to produce enough tomato fruits to service its factories,” part of the letter seen by SaharaReporters read. 

A top official of the apex bank accused Emefiele of padding his pockets through his cronies by sabotaging all policies of the Nigerian Government against food importation.

“While pretending to support agriculture, Emefiele is padding his pockets through his cronies by sabotaging the policies of the Federal Government against any food importation. He first started by giving exclusivity to his friends as sole importers of powdered milk into the country under the guise that they are investing in setting up cattle ranches. This has now resulted in explosive rise of powdered milk by more than 300 per cent.

“Thereafter, he gave another set of his business associates exclusive waiver to import thousands of tons of maize to curtail maize shortage without a single ton given to the Nigerian Poultry Association, without the knowledge of the Minister of Agriculture and the approval of the President. It was a very great embarrassment to President Buhari that he had to seriously scold the CBN governor during last weeks FEC meeting in the presence of all Ministers. He was said to have apologized profusely to the President with the promise not to repeat such act of economic sabotage.

“But the CBN Governor is still unrepentant as he has now moved to sabotage the Tomato Policy by recommending a duty reduction and levy waiver to allow his brother and owner of Sonia Foods to import tomato concentrate for the next two years after giving him N2bn to set up a tomato factory while still refusing to release funds to tomato farmers for this year’s tomato growing season.

“By so doing, he’s on one hand saying Nigeria will soon attain self sufficiency in tomato production going by the recent newspaper publication by the CBN and at the same time denying farmers funds for tomato production so that he and his brother can make big money importing tomato concentrate into the country.

“This attitude of his only serves to destroy all the measures the Buhari government is putting to food importation and make Nigerians grow enough food to feed itself,” the official said.

 

See Also Breaking News CAUGHT ON TAPE: How Central Bank Governor Emefiele, Deputy Adamu And Top Officials Discussed How To Cover-Up N500bn Which They Stole From The CBN 0 Comments 1 Year Ago

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Saraki Calls For Speedy Passage of Electoral Act, Tasks Youth, Politicians on Awareness

17 September 2020 - 12:33am


Ex-Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has called for speedy passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

He also tasked Nigerian youth and politicians across the country to create awareness for its importance ahead of the 2023 general elections.

He disclosed this during a special webinar on 'Electoral Reforms and Democracy' to mark International Day of Democracy organised by Center for Advancement of Civil Liberties.

He said nothing threatens democracy more than faulty electoral process. 

Saraki said rigging of election was an invitation to chaos, adding that for any country to claim to be practising democracy, electoral process must be transparent, free, fair and credible.

He said, "In all the fight against the threat to democracy across the world, it is the youth that take the lead. So, it is encouraging that Nigerian youth are playing that role too. 

"This should be the case because socio-economic development presents a bright future for the youth in our country, where there are job opportunities as well as security of lives and property. All these can only be achieved when we have stability in our democracy.

"One would have expected this initiative to have been spearheaded by political parties, politicians, elected and appointed officials who should recognise that the issue of having a credible electoral reform is very important."

He called on civil society groups, politicians, youths, professional groups, market women and other stakeholders to create awareness and mobilise their members on the need and importance to have a credible electoral reform. 

He stressed that ballot box must remain the outlet for ventilating legitimate grievances and changing of government.

"However, instead of our democracy to be maturing and for the process to be getting better, certain ugly developments have shown that we are now beginning to have elections that are devoid of the tenets of representative democracy.

"The last time we were in this same situation was in 2007 and you all saw what happened. 

"The election was largely unfair. So, if we do nothing, from what we saw in the election adjudged of 2019, the tell-tale signs we are seeing preparatory to Edo elections, 2023 elections could be worse."

The former Senate President therefore urged the National Assembly to ensure the quick passage of the Electoral Act in the interest of Nigerians.

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Whoever Wins Between Obaseki And Ize-Iyamu, Godfatherism Will Still Dog Edo By Fredrick Nwabufo

17 September 2020 - 12:24am


Fredrick Nwabufo

The campaigns of the first-tier contenders in the Edo governorship election have been largely ensconced in the agitprop of godfatherism.

While Godwin Obaseki, incumbent governor of the state, claims he is wrestling against the forces of recidivism who have held Edo down and who want to keep lording it over the state as godfathers, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his challenger, struggles to shake off the tag of being a flunkey of these ‘’patrons’’.

According to Obaseki, his re-election will end godfatherism in Edo. In fact, the governor said his cardinal mission in the state is to end godfatherism. But what is the plausibility of this noble quest? Will Obaseki’s re-election really sever the pharynx of godfatherism in Edo? Is he sincere about interring the remains of this atavistic scourge in our politics? Or will there be a re-alignment with the godfathers from the party on which stump he stands?

On Ize-Iyamu, I think he knows he runs with a baggage. He is like a sprinter who goes into a race with heavy locker-room chattels in tow. He grapples with a credibility crisis. His proponent, Adams Oshiomhole, is his Achilles heel; so, he swedges against himself and his promoter, seeking redemption from the burden of Oshiomhole.

Fredrick Nwabufo

Most of Ize-Iyamu’s public statements have been on the defensive. He never ceases to remind everyone that “the only person who is really my godfather is God himself”. In his desperation to shake off the soiled garb, he said on a programme on Arise TV in August that Oshiomhole was his "staffer".

He shrieked: “...So, for somebody like me to now describe him as a godfather or say Oshiomhole is my godfather…. On what basis? We have had history of robust engagement.  We have disagreed and come back together; so, what you see is mutual respect. Oshiomhole is working for me; he is campaigning with me because he is also passionate about his party winning Edo and you can’t take that away from him.”

But one thing stands clear: Obaseki cannot end godfatherism in Edo and Ize-Iyamu cannot wash himself clean from the stain of godfatherism even if he uses hyssop. They are both products of the same primitive political system and bastions of the same order.

Our political process is cannibalistic; it is dog eat dog. National interest succumbs to group and individual interest in our brand of politics. It does not reward rebels or people of independent disposition. To chance on political office, you must contort your principles and personal integrity to fit into the agenda of the keepers of the political platforms, notoriously regarded as the "godfathers". The godfathers control these political platforms. They hold the reins of political progression.

It is the reason I believe Obaseki cannot end godfatherism in Edo. In fact, he has only switched godfathers. Those who offered him the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket on a limb – after he was rejected by his former party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) -- did so at a great cost. It is obvious to a neophyte of political readings that the "owners" of the PDP did not offer their platform to Obaseki to run for a second-term in office without some trading. The owners of the party will certainly seek to recoup their investment. The insularity of interest is supreme in our anachronistic politics.

And to aver that godfathers must be localised within a state or a political entity is minimising the vulgar tentacles of godfatherism. Godfathers are like colonialists; they exist even on the fringes but with proboscis deep into the guts of every state, country, sector and institution. It is really ludicrous -- Obaseki’s campaign theme of extirpating godfatherism in Edo as if a godfather(s) must come from Edo or be resident there.

Interest is not locational and godfatherism defies religion and ethnicity. The alleged godfather of Oshiomhole, Obaseki’s predecessor who is catholic, is a Muslim from the south-west, and he has been since the former APC national chairman was governor in 2008 -- after his political platform, the Labour Party, entered into an entente with Action Congress Party which gave him a solid structure and backing to achieve his ambition.

So, Obaseki should save himself the twaddle of ending godfatherism in Edo. I believe he has projects to show for his first term in office. He should campaign on them. Latching on the godfatherism trope betrays his performance vacuity. The people of Edo want good governance – beyond replacing an old obnoxious order with a new one.

Really, as long as the present political ecosystem subsists, godfatherism will remain in Nigeria. This is why we have to fight as people to liberate ourselves from the noose of these troglodytes. Whoever wins the Saturday governorship poll in Edo, the status quo will remain unchanged.

Yes, I am pessimistic. I have my reasons.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist

Twitter@FredrickNwabufo

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Nigeria: A Failed State? By Abdullateef Ishowo

17 September 2020 - 12:05am


The above title and my decision to write this piece weren’t unconnected to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent outburst, sermonizing that Nigeria is drifting towards a failed state. In his words, “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state, economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country”. 

In our usual character, many Nigerians have come out to condemn the former President and the Presidency in its response referred to him as the “Divider-in-Chief”. This response on its own is an acknowledgement and an admittance of Obasanjo’s assertion. Mr President’s handlers didn’t refute the statement but rather placed the Ebora of Owu as a better divider than their boss. Interesting!

However, before I fully delve into analysing the authentication or otherwise of the statement, let me quickly glean through the character, record and reputation of the messenger. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has always been living in contractions—from autocrat to a democrat, from a politician to a ‘theologist’, from a ‘conservatist’ to a modernist, from an idealist to a realist, from a socialist to a capitalist and to so many other contradictions that would make it pretty difficult for an analyst to lucidly analyse the man without running into contradictions. 

But like or hate him, he has always been very strong on his views and one of the few Nigerians that usually speak up even at precarious moments.

OBJ might be failing to speak truth to self or work on his image damaged by his own funny character, but he has a fantastic record when it comes to fighting governments failing to deliver good governance to Nigerians. 

We will recall how he excoriated Shagari’s government for its nepotism and gross mismanagement of the nation’s resources; in spite of his role in the man’s emergence as the first elected president of the country in 1979. That the government was toppled by General Buhari three months into its second term in 1983 was a confirmation of Obasanjo’s foresightedness. Buhari had hardly spent a year in office when OBJ dismissed his government as having noting tangible to offer the country. Few months later, General Babangida toppled the draconian government of Buhari. IBB received Obasanjo’s bashings throughout his blatant eight years of mesmerising the country and as dangerous as Abacha was, he didn’t spare him of his tong-lashing. When he kept harassing Abacha by asking when he would vacate power and gave democracy a chance, the ruthless ruler provided a free accommodation for the troublesome Obasanjo in prison. He was lucky to be released by General Abdulsalam shortly after Abacha’s sudden death.

He was eventually elected and became Nigeria’s president 20 years after voluntarily relinquishing power to a democratically elected president. He spent a two-term of 8 years in office and boasted to have fixed the economy, fought insecurity, created employment opportunities, stabilized the country by uniting the peoples and fought corruption to a standstill; Nigerians however knew better. They are the judge. In the same way Obasanjo advises and sermonises Buhari now, he did same to late Yar’adua and Jonathan who were his god-sons. In fact, his letter to Buhari on 31st March 2015, Obasanjo advised his former junior in the army to embark on institutional reform. So, it has become his trade-mark.

With this rich experience of his, I would’ve been disappointed if he had referred to Nigeria as a failed state (as wrongly reported in some quarters), because the country is not and Obasabjo is well informed on this; which I’m sure courteously guided his choice of words. He’s therefore right by referring to the country as a failing state. For a country to be categorized a failed state, it must be unable to perform the two fundamental functions of the sovereign nation-state: if it can no longer project authority over its territory and peoples, and it can no longer protect its national boundaries against external aggressions. Some of the countries in the typology of failed states are: Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, etc. But that the 2019 edition of the Fragile States Index ranked Nigeria as the 14th most fragile state in the world and the ninth in Africa testifies to Obasanjo’s position on Nigeria being a failing state. His message did not only resonate with the external image of the country among the committee of nations, it represents pinions of majority of Nigerians who’re becoming pessimistic on the perpetual un-futuristic status of the crippled giant of Africa.

Now let’s excuse the messenger and focus on the content of the former president’s message to see if the message worth being debated. While delivering a speech titled, “Moving Nigeria away from Tipping Over” on Thursday 10th September 2020 at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum in Abuja warned that Nigeria is slowly becoming a failed state (not a failed state yet) and a basket case that urgently needs to be pulled from the brink of collapse. Apart from the fact that the contextual environment where the statement was made called for it, the assertion is full of truth.

Be that as it is, as a Nigerian, is Obasanjo not within the confine of his freedom of expression to comment on the situation of his country? If the presidency and some Nigerians now say the statement shouldn’t have come from Obasanjo because he equally divided Nigeria and a misfit to advise on Nigerian economy as a failure on the subject matter too, who is in a better position to advise a failure than someone who has experienced failure too? Besides, was Nigeria not better under Obasanjo in terms of his swift actions on economic policies and security matters? Is Obasanjo not more of a nationalist in his approach to national issues than many who appear and act like ethnic jingoists even when saddled with national responsibilities? Didn’t Awolowo refer to Nigeria as a mere geographical expression? Didn’t Amodu Bello refer to the amalgamation of 1914 as historical mistake? Didn’t Tafawa Balewa refer to Nigeria as a mere British experiment? As Wole Soyinka, Obasanjo’s chief enemy, not come out to support the latter’s assertion in spite of their differences? Is Soyinka wrong too? Is Nigeria not more divided under Buhari than ever before? Has President Buhari made concerted efforts to unite the nation? Is the country not drifting towards an abyss under Buhari? Haven’t well meaning Nigerians complained bitterly on his lopsided appointments of his security chiefs, indicating nepotism and division? Truth is sacrosanct, no matter when and where it is stated.

It is quite unfortunate that whenever President Buhari’s spokesmen are offered the ample opportunity of justifying their salaries and fat allowances by polishing the image of their paymaster, they end up rubbishing him the more. Instead of calling the thick-skin Obasanjo names, they would’ve done well by ignoring the messenger, focus on the message and rollout the positive areas of Buhari’s administration. After all, both Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina are experienced journalists pulled from the stream of the country’s fourth estate of the realm. However, no matter the amount of letters Obasanjo writes now or may pen in the future, he is equally culpable in the basket case Nigeria has become. They all appear same in the mirror of governance.

Abdullateef Ishowo, an author and public affairs analyst, writes from Ilorin
 

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CSO Launches Document To Tackle Fake News, Hate Speech Without Violating Citizens' Rights

16 September 2020 - 11:44pm


A non-governmental organisation,  Center for Liberty, has launched an alternative democratic solution to tackle fake news and hate speech without violating citizens’ rights to freedom of expression in the country.

The group said the proposed democratic solution was capable of combating the problem of fake news published on the Internet from anywhere in the world. 

Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja during the public presentation of the documents, Co-Convener of the group, Adebayo Raphael, said there was need to employ democratic and civilised approach in dealing with fake news.

He called for the creation of rebuttal unit to counter false publications emanating from social media platforms.

He said, "The government should form a Rapid Response Unit charged with the responsibility and duty of countering fake news. 

"This unit will, among other things, be saddled with creating a website for rating news platforms and mediums of disseminating information; publishing rebuttals to inaccurate information, and proving beyond reasonable doubt the reliability and trustworthiness – or otherwise of any public information so that the public may know what is true, verifiable and reliable.

"The government can partner civil society organisations in coming up with media literacy initiatives that will help amplify awareness and equally educate the citizens on fake news and how to be better communicators."

The group also called on the Nigerian Government to work with social media companies by providing verified, credible and authentic information against fake news and false publications to enable these companies to flag down false statements and fake news.

According to Adebayo, in order to stem the m spread of false statements, false declarations and harmful contents, the UK Government set up a rapid response unit within the cabinet office to work with social media firms to remove fake news and harmful contents from their platforms. 

"The unit works to knock down misinformation and disinformation which undermines genuine information and expert information very quickly," he added.

CFL therefore called for the withdrawal of social media bill, adding that it was unfit for a democratic country like Nigeria.

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Kaduna Governor, El-Rufai, Signs New Law To Castrate Child Rapists

16 September 2020 - 11:35pm


Kaduna State Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai



Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has signed into law the Penal Code 2020, which recommends castration of child rapists.

According to a statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, the law, the first of its type in Nigeria, also provides for bilateral salpingectomy for female convicts. 

This involves the removal of the woman’s fallopian tube.

Kaduna State Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai

The law amends the penal code No.5 of the state, which was passed in 2017.

It also includes punishments of surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy for male and female convicts of child rape and death.

“Following Mallam el-Rufai’s assent to the amended law on 11th September 2020, the new law has come into effect in Kaduna State. It introduces stricter punishments than the previous law which carried a maximum penalty of 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a child.

“Under the amended law, the punishment for the rape of a person older than 14 years will include surgical castration or removal of fallopian tubes, but the death penalty shall not apply. In cases where the rape convict is also a child, the court shall order an appropriate punishment under the Children and Young Persons Law Cap 26, Laws of Kaduna State 1991.

“While commending the members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly for passing the amendments, the governor stated that these drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from a serious crime.

“The Kaduna State Penal Code (Amendment) Law 2020 amends the Penal Code Law (No.5) of Kaduna State, 2017 by substituting section 258 as follows:

“Whoever commits rape of a child below the age of fourteen (14) years shall on conviction, be punished with Surgical Castration and death. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a male child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and death.

“Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the court shall punish the accused with Bilateral Salpingectomy and death. Where the victim is above fourteen years, the court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment.

“Where the convict is a child, the court shall order as appropriate under the Children and Young Person Law Cap 26 Laws of Kaduna State 1991. Where the victim is a child, the Court shall in addition to the conviction, order that the convict be listed in the Sex Offenders Register to be published by the Attorney General.

“Where the court is trying the offence of rape involving a child below the age of fourteen years, corroboration of a medical report shall be necessary.”

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Edo 2020: You're Not A Democrat, Angry Nigerians Tell Tinubu Over Attack On Obaseki

16 September 2020 - 11:24pm


Bola Tinubu

Nigerians have lambasted the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, following his attack on Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, in a viral video. 

Tinubu had on Tuesday asked the electorates in Edo to reject Governor Obaseki, who is seeking re-election in office. 

Speaking in a video aired on TVC, Tinubu said the people should vote out Obaseki in Saturday's election. 

Bola Tinubu

Obaseki is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 19 election. 

Tinubu accused Obaseki of being a dictator in Edo, noting that the governor also lacked the rule of law and respect for the people of the state. 

He said, "I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election. I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime that today we are enjoying in the country.

“Then, Godwin Obaseki didn’t participate in any aspect of the struggle to enshrine democracy in the country.

"Therefore, he could not understand the value and the pains associated with this democratic struggle.

“He does not deserve any democratic ballot paper. Don’t vote for him, I appeal to all of you.

“Obaseki demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you, the people, who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in." 

Reacting on Wednesday, many Nigerians said Tinubu's utterances on Obaseki was uncalled for and should be condemned. 

They explained that the APC National Leader cannot tell the people, who to vote for during elections in the country. 

One of them, Prince Zephaniah, described Tinubu as a non-democrat for attacking Obaseki in the viral video, noting that the people can no longer be deceived. 

He said, "We saw the democratic struggle that turned him to Lagos landlord. The generation that was deceived in this country is dead. You can't deceive this generation again."

Akorede Oladipupo said Tinubu needed to be aware that the Nigerian people were now wiser. 

"I'm not for any political party because they are the same, but how could someone that called himself a democrat ask people to reject someone. So, he is not a democrat. 

"But when he was in their party, he was holy then? You (Tinubu) are rejected already, Nigerians are waiting for you to declare your ambition," he said.

Akinyemi Opeyemi, one of those who also commented on the attack, wondered why Tinubu had refused to talk more on the issue of insecurity and the hardship being faced by Nigerians under the APC-led federal government. 

"He (Tinubu) is less concerned about insecurity and hardship in the country but how to expand his tentacles. Shame on those defending politicians like this. He is not a democrat," he said.

Mr Uche Wills, another commentator, said the former Lagos governor does not have the right to tell Edo people, who to vote for during Saturday's governorship election. 

"Edo people are wise. Edo State is not Lagos. Tinubu can't fool Nigerians again after he landed the whole nation in a mess. He doesn't have shame and can't tell Edo people whom to vote for," he said.

Also commenting, Ben Adeleye accused the APC National Leader of being greedy and selfish for asking people to vote against Governor Obaseki.

He said, "Can you imagine the level of his (Tinubu) greediness. When he (Obaseki) was in APC, they said Edo should vote for him. 

"Now, he is in a different party, they want the people to reject him. This is greediness and selfishness."

For Igbinovia Osazee, m the people of Edo State would surprise Tinubu during Saturday's governorship election due to his attack on Obaseki. 

"Thank you Tinubu for making us know how seriously you need to add Edo State to your colonies where you milk state resources.

"We are smart and alive to know your antics and if you like bring your bullion van to our state, after all, it's our national cake," he said.

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Gana’s Killing Won’t End Criminal Activities In Benue —Tor Gawan Yaro

16 September 2020 - 11:16pm


Tor Gawan Yaro

A human rights activist, Tor Gawan Yaro, has said Terwase Akwaza better known as Gana, who is alleged to be the most wanted criminal in Benue State, has links with top politicians in the state.

Akwaza, who raided Benue/Taraba axis, was killed at a roadblock mounted by the army along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi Road following exchange of gunfire last week.

The Benue State Government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 criminals including Gana, most of whom went back to the act.

Tor Gawan Yaro

Gana was later in 2017 declared wanted by the police while the state government placed a N10m bounty on him.

In reaction, Yaro described his killing as a conspiracy to cover up criminal activities of some politicians in the state.

He said, “The issue of Gana is very unfortunate. I’m familiar with his activities, initially he started as a hero defending the farms of the native against Fulani herdsmen. Later, some members of the Fade Benue political class think they can use him as a thing to achieve their aims.

“He then graduated to criminal activities such as killings, robbing and kidnapping. He had sponsors, he had paymasters. I think the attempt to kill Gana in this manner is a sort of conspiracy to cover up so many things. So, nobody should think the killing of Gana will end what’s happening in the state because the security operatives have not being able to tell us who are the sponsors of Gana. They know who are his sponsors cause they have all the fact. 

“They must tell us who are his sponsors, the killings of Gana is unfortunate but it has left a message for every young man to see that you must not allow yourself to be used by politicians. The security agencies know his sponsors.”

Video of They Just Needed To Silence Him, Gana’s Killing A Conspiracy And Won’t Stop What Is Going On —Yaro They Just Needed To Silence Him, Gana’s Killing A Conspiracy And Won’t Stop What Is Going On —Yaro WATCH VIDEO: They Just Needed To Silence Him, Gana’s Killing A Conspiracy And Won’t Stop What Is Going On —Yaro

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Bola Tinubu: A Veritable Comedian By Fisan Bankale

16 September 2020 - 11:08pm


Bola Tinubu

Mr. Democrat, e ku ise Sir! I am sorry, truly sorry,  that it is hard for me to allow Jagaban to go without commenting at two levels namely, your Person and your Ideas.

Once in a while I waka pass avoiding to pass comments on you but today, this speech by you won't let me waka pass. 

I see the need to comment on this speech of yours but first I wish to ask you to do a few things that will make less of the ogre image you project. Only a few, for now. When the need arises we shall dig deep and wide.

Bola Tinubu

Dear Jagaban, please, by yourself without any promoting initiate moves and review your pension downwards. It is rape to ask tax payers to pay for your house in Abuja for instance. It is a bad example, it is insensitive it is exploitative, an assault on the resources of the state. 

You were governor in Lagos not Abuja. It is corrupt practice for Alpha Beta to collect tax in Lagos and you don't CAMA to tell you that. A decent person will walk away from that deal. It is obnoxious in the extreme. It is greed and disdainful of Yoruba Omoluabi ethos.

Next, sir, please consider telling your boys to account for the Lagos Metroline and complete the project. Your fans say you are the architect of a famous Lagos Master Plan. I want to applaud you too except that I am trained to identify, trash propaganda and embrace concrete, impactful and efficiently achieved results. I see little to applaud. 

The light rail is recommended in cities whose population approach 6m. We work on a figure of 25 million for Lagos and yet all we have is the bus. So where is the famed Lagos Master plan.

Sir, you have vicarious responsibility to ensure the project's conclusion and it's running, far into the future. So please tell your 'boys', as the self declared  leader of all democrats, that it is tomfoolery not to complete that project. It is wicked not to. It is a sign of bad management not to. I don't live in Lagos, but I have family and friends there and each time I get caught in one of those impossible traffick jams, my mind goes to you and my spirit is gutted. 

Not concluding that project  reflects badly on a people whose more 'correct headed' leadership initiated a similar project 46 years ago. A people who were in the vanguard of development on a global level have become laggards.

Quickly let me refer to your speech to Edo people. First, am sure like most of us, you can improve your language and communications skills. You were neither inspired nor inspiring. We can deal with content, speech and poise, forever but we shall limit it today.  The wits you purveyed made you look too ordinary, to be 'leader of all democrats irrespective of political party'. 

By the way, I am trying to fathom what the heck that means. It is a most politically illiterate comment. It has no meaning even in basic political philosphy. Utterly bereft. 

The thoughts you expressed in that speech are indications of why you, in the first place, gave thoughts at all to forming a political alliance of 'progressives' in which a team of  irredeemable despots, tribal, religious jingoists  of the worst form, regular rapists of FUNDAMENTAL or INALIENABLE HUMAN RIGHTS, and Abacha acolytes are the chiefs. And you are so proud of it. 

Since when did fascists start becoming progressives. The hood has never a monk made. Certainly not. Your speech proceeded from a confusion of thoughts in political philosophy. So you want people to vote for your candidate. Then you bring Ganduje as your party campaigner and Mr. Oshiomole. Bad joke. 

 Clearly and not surprisingly, _e ko gbo oyinbo tara ninu egbe yin_ and you don't  understand the underpinnings of politics as art or as science. You know no philosophy and no matter how hard you try, a trained mind knows that you are not up to scratch. As a result, you have reduced many around you even intellectuals to your level which is palpably shallow and bereft in the most critical areas. 

I speak frankly, without malice, and truly I feel pain on your behalf that you are subjecting yourself, people around you and those among us who know a few  things about politics and governance to this level of ridicule. 

Your speech in this clip would be described by people with a modicum of depth and 'width' as 'rambling'. Depressing!!!!! Or ok, let me be more charitable, it is not spirit-lifting.

Awo would say, 'only the deep can reach to the deep'. I will add that visionary leadership belongs only to the deep and the deeper the mind the more visionary the man. You and your team have demonstrated a terrible lack of vision and so your strategies and tactics have failed  woefully.  

Sir, hasten to disband that group that you call APC for it has no basis in philosophy or in the art or science of politics. Well may be you cannot disband it but you can walk out of it.

When a wo/man is a democrat it has depth of meaning that you and many around you clearly don't understand. Just as when someone is called a republican. Terms such as liberals, social democrats, socialists, communist, labour, tory, rightists, leftists have meanings beyond the ordinary use.

For anyone schooled in the fine points of political philosophy, your party is a shameful congregation of illiterates and strange bedfellows which reflects badly, but wait a minute, it actually validates  the extremity of the lack of knowledge and thus it is better put when we suggest that it rightly, reflects on the quality of the minds of you and many in your team.

If you suffer any doubts about this assertion, the degree of dysfunctionality of the government at the centre  should dispel your doubts. People are dying from Fulanis Herdsmen invasion, you are asking for the cattle. People are being killed in Benue you say it is global warming. 

Now you must know that it is the extreme of bufoonery to want power for the sake of it. Very much as reflected in that song, 'Now that we found love, what are we gonna do with it? 

That is the fine point that puts an Awo out as a true sage. A leader envisions the end and chats the course. Awo you probably don't know was a master of the English language, written and spoken. He was a master of philosophy and of political thought, theory and practice. He was the epitome of democratic thought and practice. Am sure you know that you can't claim any of these capacities.

Awo beat a path for true democrats accross groups to follow in order to salvage Nigeria. Had you followed that path, our story would have been different today because _adie ati eye'le_ would not cohabit as your government represents.

But because that depth we talked about earlier was totally lacking in your wing of the party, you managed to believe that this ludicrous path would lead to any where other than the dysfunction and chaos we see now. _Isiro ni_ Sir! Simple 1+1=2 but you and your team wanted your own 1+1 to be 11. And so you _babararised_  (mystified) simple processes and landed us flush in fire. 

I wish you good luck but first you need to step back. You can't cope because you are punching way, way beyond your weight. At every turn you are wrong footed. This season and the future are beyond your ken.

In closing, lest you need reminding, you and most of your advisers, more than anyone else, are responsible for the birthing of this government and therefore for ALL the ills that the government has brought the people. Am sorry to say that you don't know democracy sufficiently to be a leader of or in it.

©Fisan Bankale

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Attack On My Convoy An Assassination Attempt, Says Ondo PDP Candidate, Jegede

16 September 2020 - 2:40pm


Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, has described the attack on his convoy on Wednesday as an "assassination attempt". 

Jegede spoke with journalists at his campaign office in Akure shortly after some armed thugs attacked his convoy in Oba Akoko town. 

He said he and his supporters were at the palace of the Oloba of Oba Akoko for a visit before their campaign when the armed thugs launched the attack on them. 

He said, "Suddenly,Attack On My Convoy Was An Assassination Attempt, Says Ondo PDP Candidate, Jegede

 we heard gun shots outside the palace of the Oloba of Oba Akoko which is close to the main road. 

"There were gunshots fired at all of us within the vicinity of the palace by a hoard of thugs who were in the APC campaign vehicles with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu leading the entourage.

"In the process, 15 vehicles in our convoy were destroyed while several people were also injured during the attack."

See Also Sahara Reporters BREAKING: Akeredolu, Jegede Supporters Clash In Ondo 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

He explained that he decided to halt his campaign billed to hold at Ayegunle in Oba Akoko due to the attack and in order to avoid bloodshed. 

Jegede said the PDP was in Oba Akoko town after the party got approval from the Commissioner of Police for the campaign to proceed. 

The PDP candidate added that the attack on his convoy had been reported to the state's Commissioner of Police and Director of the Department of State Services.  

He added, "This was a clear case of attempt on human life. We never believe that we would come this low in Ondo State and I personally haven't seen this type of desperation in my life. 

"If anything happens to me or any of our people in this state, I call on the public to know who to hold responsible for it. 

"But again, we would defend ourselves. It is not only important but imperative that we defend ourselves in this process."

He, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police to immediately investigate the attack on his convoy and bring the perpetrators to book.

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Buhari Inherited Terribly Divided Country From Jonathan, Presidency Replies Soyinka

16 September 2020 - 1:47pm


Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the President inherited a terribly divided country from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, in 2015.

Speaking during a Channels TV programme on Wednesday, Adesina described Nigeria as an inconvenient amalgamation, which has always been divided.

He was reacting to comments made by Wole Soyinka, playwright and Nobel laureate, who said that Nigeria was more divided than ever before.

See Also Sahara Reporters Soyinka Slams President Buhari, Says Nigeria Divided Like Never Before Under Him 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The President’s spokesperson said in a country of 200 million people, it would be impossible for everyone to agree and perceive things the same way.

He said, “Nigeria had always been divided right from amalgamation in 1914. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have kept at it and we have worked at it.

“And I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided. But then, we have kept at it and we are trying to make it work.

“As at 2015 when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly divided; divided along ethnic, religious and political lines; divided along language; divided hopelessly and terribly.”

The President’s aide said in 2015, Soyinka did not support Buhari but only tagged him as slightly better than Jonathan.

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Law Firm Volunteers To Assist Kano Government In Ensuring Killing Of Musician Accused Of Blasphemy Against Prophet Mohammed

16 September 2020 - 1:14pm




A Zamfara State law firm, Abubakar A. Ashat & Co, has volunteered to assist Kano State Government in prosecuting and ensuring the killing of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a musician alleged to have produced a song deemed to be blasphemous against Prophet Mohammed.

The law firm in a letter to the Kano State Attorney-General said it was acting on behalf of one Muhammed Lawal Gusau, who noted that he desired to render a “selfless service towards the advancement and upliftment of the goals and ideals of Islam in all positive spheres”.

Gusua stated that he was ready to dedicate all resources to ensure that the musician was hanged for blasphemy.

The law firm also condemned Fakhrriyya Hashim, a Muslim, who spoke against the death sentence of the musician.

“Our client in the discharge of his duties/obligations felt the need to provide/render support to the office of the Honorable Attorney-General morally and or in other spheres to ensure that the judgment is affirmed by Appeal Court.

“Our client desires that Yahaya Shariff-Aminu goes to the gallows in accordance with Islamic injunctions,” the law firm said.

Hashim has been receiving death threats from Muslim, who are apologetic to Sharia law.

She said her family members, who live in Kano, are being harassed.

Sharif-Aminu, aged 22, was on August 10, 2020 sentenced to death for committing blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam in a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

He was accused of committing the offence in March 2020 after which protesters burnt down his family house.

Appealing the death sentence in a suit filed on Thursday at the Kano State High Court by his lawyer, Kola Alapini, Sharif-Aminu said he was dissatisfied with the judgment of the Sharia court.

He described the Kano State Penal Law 2000 as unconstitutional, null and void, having grossly violated and conflicted with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended and has violated the Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights respectively.

 

See Also Sahara Reporters Musician Accused Of Blasphemy Chained In Underground Cell At Kano Prison, Denied Access To Lawyer, Family 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

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Workers Issue Two-week Ultimatum To Nigerian Government To Reverse Petrol Price, Electricity Tariff Hike

16 September 2020 - 12:08pm


The Nigeria Labour Congress has given the Nigerian Government a two-week ultimatum to reverse the recent hike in electricity tariff and the pump price of petrol or face civil unrest nationwide.

NLC in a communiqué by its President, Ayuba Wabba, said the ultimatum takes immediate effect, warning that at the end of its expiration on September 28, it would mobilise its members nationwide for civil unrest.

SaharaReporters recall that various groups have kicked against government’s decision to halt electricity and petrol subsidies.

They argue that the timing was not right given that jobs and livelihoods had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the country will save N1trn annually from fuel subsidy removal that can be used to improve the lives of Nigerians.

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