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I'm Not Buhari, I Keep My Promises, Says Atiku

Sahara Reporters - 16 January 2019 - 12:36am


Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of failure to deliver its 2015 campaign promises.

The former vice president said this on Tuesday in Osogbo during the presidential rally of his party, which held at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo. 

His words: "This government came and said they were going to give you jobs. Have they given you the jobs? They said they were going to grow the economy. Have they grown the economy? We are in recession. In fact, we are the headquarters of poverty in the whole world. That is where they took us to.

“They said they were going to secure our country. Instead of securing our country, we have insecurity in three to four zones of the country. Have they delivered on all these three? Why should you then vote for them?

“Now, listen to this very carefully. We have information that INEC has been giving uncollected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the APC governors. So, if a voter comes to your polling booths and you don’t know him, don’t allow him to vote because they want to steal your votes.

“I promised restructuring. In five to six months, I will start that and I mean it. I said I am going to give youth 40 per cent of my government and I mean it. I said I am going to give women 30 per cent of my government and I mean it. Mark my words, I am not Buhari.” 

Atiku also paid homage to Oba Gabriel Aromolaran, the Owa Obokun of Ileshaland, and Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, at their palaces.

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BREAKING: Thousands Of IDPs Leave Rann For Cameroon Border After Boko Haram Attack

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 1:27pm

Thousands of Iinternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have fled their tents following gun duel between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram insurgents in Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State, SaharaReporters has learnt.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that at least 10 persons were killed and dozens wounded in the crossfire on Monday night after the insurgents stormed Rann.

It would be recalled that several houses, including a military base and a United Nations hub, were razed by the militant group.

Tuesday witnessed an exodus of displaced persons their homes to Cameroon border to take refugee, with thousands already in Gamboru-Ngala.

“It was a pathetic situation,” the source said. 

“We have about 50,000 displaced persons living in the camp at Rann. They were helpless; thousands of them said it was better for them to leave Rann for Cameroon than to stay back in Rann and get killed.”

A rescue worker told SaharaReporters: “The situation in Ngala is so worrisome; thousands of our people are really going through tough time. Imagine, in this harmattan, children and women are there without anything to cover themselves. It is a really pitiable situation.” 

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CONFIRMED: Onnoghen Not Arrested As Reported On Social Media

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 12:54pm


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied claims that its officers arrested Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Onnoghen is standing trial over allegations of fraudulent declaration of assets. He was scheduled to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, but was absent in court. After his defence team, led by Wole Olanipekun (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), challenged the jurisdiction for hearing, the case was eventually adjourned till January 22, 2019. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Till January 22 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

According to the anti-graft commission, it never extended an invitation to the CJN, nor was his house invaded.

A statement by EFCC on Tuesday read: "The attention of the EFCC has been drawn to the falsehood being spreading on the social media that the EFCC has arrested the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

"This is a figment of the imagination of the purveyors of the fake news. For the record, the EFCC never went to the house of the CJN for arrest neither was invitation extended to him."

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'It's All Cheap PR' — Ogoni Youth Set Bus Of Oil Cleanup Agency Ablaze

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 12:17pm


As tension rises in Ogoniland area of Rivers State over the ongoing cleanup, some irate youth have burnt down a mini bus belonging to Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), the agency saddled with responsibilities of the cleanup exercise.

The incident occurred at K-Dere community of Gokana Local Government Area. The motive behind the latest development is not known, but there has been some discontent in some quarters over the manner the project is being handled.

On Monday, the Gbo Kabaari Ogoni, the Ogoni Elders’ Forum, said the ongoing cleanup in Ogoniland of Rivers State is “opaque” and geared towards "scoring cheap public relations“ by the Nigerian Government.

Bennett Birabi and AlubaBari Desmond Nbete, Chairman and Secretary of the forum, respectively, stated this while briefing journalists on Monday at Ernest Ikoli Press Centre in Port Harcourt.

The group expressed sadness at the process so far, noting that nothing had been done about emergency measures.

A statement by the group read: "We consider it very sad that, as we speak, not only has nothing absolutely been done about any of these emergency measures, the national and international visibility of the Ogoni issue has been fraudulently exploited to score cheap public relations benefits at every opportunity. In this respect, we recall that the cleanup was flagged-off in the glare of local and international press since 2016 and till now nothing practically has been done on the ground.

"Also, in 2017, the then Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed, similarly at an impressive public event that was widely reported in the press did a so-called 'ground-breaking' ceremony of the Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre at the School-to-Land Farm in Bori, a site that is now overgrown with bush.

“Rather than commencing the implementation of the UNEP recommendations with the proposed emergency measures, what we have come to observe, and much to our chagrin, is that after each tranche of funds release by the oil companies on the clean-up project, the expenditure pattern has not only been opaque, but also done in such a manner that not only undermines the smooth implementation of the project, but is completely out of sync with the UNEP recommendations.

"In this regard, we recall that after the first announced release of the sum of $10million by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), it became known that about N1billion contract was awarded to each of three consultancy firms of doubtful profiles and pedigrees and in a manner that looks more like patronages.

“Similarly, the recent announcement of further release of funds from the IOCs has been followed by a spree of clean-up contract awards that, amongst other things, debase and negate the concept of local content. In our view, the extreme politicization of the contract awards, resulting in the exclusion of competent indigenous contractors from Ogoni and other parts of the Niger Delta, is as insensitive as it is unacceptable to our people. It is, therefore, not surprising that the award process has sparked off a considerable wave of discontent throughout Ogoniland capable of derailing the project."

The forum also took a swipe at the Nigerian government for the presence of soldiers in the region, just as they called for improved efforts aimed at ensuring development in the region.

The statement continued: "In a desperate attempt to ostensibly stem the tide of anticipated protests over the exclusion of competent indigenous contractors, the Federal Government has taken umbrage under an ill- advised decision to draft soldiers to Ogoniland ostensibly to provide 'security services' for the clean-up and remediation project. We make bold to say that the best security that can ever be provided for any project in our community, and indeed anywhere else, is to fully involve the affected people in the implementation of the project.

"It is for this reason that we had, by our letter dated 19th November, 2018 to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, requested a reversal of the decision on military deployment so as not to justify any fears that the planned militarization of the area is only a ploy to spark-off violent crisis in the area as an excuse for a force majeure on the clean-up project.

“Based on credible information available to us that the current clean-up exercise is only but a preliminary phase intended to show that something is being done, we wonder why it has been given priority over the emergency life-saving issue of provision of potable water. As stated earlier, observing that Ogoni communities were daily consuming water contaminated with benzene and other carcinogenic materials in concentrations over 900 times above the acceptable maximum as stipulated in the WHO guideline, UNEP had recommended that the provision of alternative safe drinking water to the communities, amongst other measures, be undertaken as a priority emergency measure before anything else.

“As our people are still condemned to drinking, bathing and fishing in the heavily contaminated water, we wonder if the current exercise is not a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. Or worse still, if the health and lives of our people are not being sacrificed on the altar of ‘political exigencies’ and patronages to certain privileged few!

“In the light of the foregoing, believing that the current clean-up exercise is a genuine effort at addressing the age-long environmental degradation of our land, and not a mere political bill- boarding, we fervently demand that these issues be addressed in order to ensure that the project is not delivered dead on arrival!”

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493,000 PVCs Still Uncollected In Adamawa — More Than Bindow's Total Votes In 2015

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 12:13pm


One month to the general election, 493,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have yet to be collected in Adamawa State, SaharaReporters can report.

In 2015, Jibrilla Bindow scored just 362,329 votes to emerge winner of the bitterly contested governorship election, a figure below the number of PVCs currently uncollected, as revealed on Tuesday by the Independent National Electoral Comission (INEC).

Kashim Gaidam, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Adamawa State, disclosed the figures while interacting with religious leaders in Yola.

Gaidam further disclosed that youth in the state form 51 per cent of voters, with women and the elderly sharing 2 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

"These are startling figures because the youth component of the electorate is good enough to decide the winner in any election in The state," he said.

"That is why we must collectively develop the right strategy to reorient the youth so that they do not succumb to thuggery. As religious leaders, you have a very crucial role to play, and I'm glad you honoured our invitation."

He, therefore, asked religious leaders to consider themselves critical stakeholders and intensify the message of peace during the election period.

Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), led other Christian leaders, while Muslim clerics were led by Abubakar Magaji Sahabo, Chairman of Muslim Council in the state.

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Imohimi To Continue As Lagos CP Till Further Notice After 'Order From Above'

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 11:05am


The official handover ceremony of the Lagos Commissioner of Police has been halted.

According to a directive from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Edgal Imohimi will continue as Lagos Police Commissioner.

On Sunday, after a meeting at the Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi's redeployment to the Force headquarters in Abuja, as the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Explosive Ordinance Unit was announced. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Lagos Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohimi Redeployed 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

Imohimi was to officially pass the baton to Kayode Egbetokun as incoming CP and the handover ceremony was scheduled for 3pm at the Lagos Force headquarters on Tuesday.

However, Imohimi addressed the press after the meeting, stating that they are working based on an "order from above".

“You all know that our first job is about to order and direction; we were about concluding the handing and taking over procedure when we were instructed by our bosses from Abuja to suspend action for now. So, there will be no change of guard for now. Of course, we would keep the press briefed about any development," he said.

Imohimi used the opportunity to throw a jibe at journalists present at the handing over ceremony saying: “Gentlemen of the press, are you here for the handing over and taking over? Are you here because you love me or you are eager for me to leave?"

He, however, appreciated the journalists, stating that he considered it an honour for them to come to witness the handover ceremony. He also referred to the incoming CP as an “old timer in the command”.

Meanwhile, Egbetokun, who came to the command with his chair and other personal effects and staff, left the command immediately.

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ADP Unveils 'Beyond Ordinary Governance' For Lagos

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 11:01am


The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has presented the 'Beyond Ordinary Governance' as its plan for Lagos State.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Adelaja Adeoye, ADP Publicity Secretary.

The party commended Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi for his performance during the Lagos Gubernatorial Debate, organised by 'The Platform', a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre.

The debate had four governorship candidates — Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Jimi Agbaje of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Owolabi Salis of Alliance for Democracy and Gbadamosi — present.

Commending Gbadamosi after the debate, Adeoye expressed his readiness to serve the state, noting that “ADP is prepared to serve the people of Lagos State because its governorship candidate is ready to give power back to them through what it termed as 'Beyond Ordinary Governance'."

“Gbadamosi knows the problems militating against the state, and the solutions to them," he added.

Speaking of Gbadamosi’s plan for the state, Adelaja said: "Gbadamosi has presented a 'Lagos Regeneration Plan', which bothers on mass housing, education, security, traffic management, wealth creation, power, rail, water and road networks, healthcare, better remuneration package for civil servants, supports open governance initiative among many others".

He urged Lagosians to support the party with their votes, and also called for support for all candidates vying for positions at the Senate and House of Representatives.

ADP tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all stakeholders involved in electoral exercise to ensure they conduct credible elections that will reflect the desire of the people.

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'Transmission Transmission' And Six Other Reasons Ex-IGP Idris Won't Be Forgotten In A Hurry

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 10:57am

Life, they say, comes in phases. The truth in this age-long aphorism must have dawned on Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (pictured left), the 19th indigenous Inspector General Of Police, who joined President Muhammadu Buhari in drawing the curtain on his tenure of Tuesday by decorating Abubakar Adamu as the next IGP.

There had been speculations before Tuesday that the former Inspector General’s (IGP) tenure might be extended. However, contrary to most people’s expectations, the President announced the name of a fellow northerner to take over from Idris.  See Also Police CLOSE-UP: First Black African To Become Interpol Assistant Director — Who Is New IGP Abubakar Adamu? 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

With the era of IGP Idris now over, here are seven of the many things he will be remembered for.

Controversial Appointment Over His Superiors

Until 2015 Ibrahim was just a Commissioner of Police with many senior police officers many rungs over him on the ladder of the police profession. However, on assumption of office by the incumbent president in 2015, Idris's promotion was fast-tracked and he leap-frogged many senior officers. He was first promoted after the elections to Assistant Inspector General (AIG) and a couple of months later, he was named the acting Inspector General of Police to take over from Solomon Arase, his predecessor in office. Many people still believe his promotion was a reward for the role he played when he supervised the security apparatus in charge of the controversial Kano election in 2015. It will be recalled that Buhari polled almost two million votes in Kano.

Refusal To Relocate To Benue

In the wake of the grisly pogrom that happened in Benue, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief (CinC), ordered the IG to relocate to Benue, the scene of the butchery, to ensure law and order in the land. The presidential order was flagrantly flouted and, on top of that, Jimoh Moshood, his mouthpiece, resorted to name-calling. Moshood called the distressed Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, “a drowning man”.

Insubordination To Osinbajo         

While Buhari was on medical vacation, the IG treated Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Acting President, as though he was one of his subordinates. He reportedly, unilaterally, withdrew Osinbajo’s police aide-de-camp without first informing him or seeking his consent.

Donation Of SUVs To Aisha Buhari And NIPSS

In a swift attempt to redeem himself and curry favour with the President who was angry with the way he treated his second-in–command when he was away in the UK for medical treatment, Idris bought four Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). He donated two of these vehicles to the First Lady and the other two to the National Institute Of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State. He later debunked the claim that he bought the vehicles for the First Lady by saying the vehicles were for the First Lady’s police security aides and not the President's wife herself. 

Isah Misau's Allegations

Nobody gave the former IG more troubles than the senator representing Bauchi Central senatorial zone, Isah Misau. A former police officer himself, Misau exposed all manner of corrupt practices being allegedly perpetrated by the IGP. Chief among the allegations of corruption levelled at the IGP was his failure to account for over N10billion he earned monthly from special security postings of over 100,000 policemen assigned to individuals and corporate bodies. The senator also accused the IGP of having improper sexual relationships with junior female police officers. In fact, he claimed he secretly married one these junior female police officers, impregnated her and unethically promoted the woman from the rank of Sergeant to an Assistant Superintendent of Police within 12 months as an undeserved reward for the sexual affair.

The Senate Snub

Three times he was invited by the Senate and the same number of times he spurned their invitation. He was invited to come and explain the arrest of one of the lawmakers and the reign of lawlessness across the country, but the chief police officer could not just be too condescending to honour the Senate’s invitation. Once, he sent his deputy to the senators, but they refused to grant him audience.

'Transmission Transmission'

Perhaps, the legacy of the ex-chief police officer that will stand the test of time and even be recounted to posterity is the video of him struggling to read a speech and constantly repeating “I mean transmission... transmission transmission..." The faux pas would later earn the IGP the sobriquet “Mr Transmission”. Though some ascribed the gaffe to dyslexia, the event will occupy pride of place in the list of legacies bequeathed by the former Inspector General of Police to Nigerians. This is because the hopeless struggle and the helplessness evinced in the video that went viral will forever be etched in the memories of many Nigerians.

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EIght Years After Arrest, ICC Acquits Laurent Gbagbo Of Crimes Against Humanity

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 10:25am


Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Cote d'Ivoire, has been acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crime charges.

According to Reuters, Gbagbo's acquittal was announced at the court in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Gbagbo was accused of causing violence in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011 after he refused to accept defeat by his political rival, Alassane Ouattara.

He eventually was forced out of the presidency and slammed with charges, which led to his arrest by the ICC.

He faced four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during post-electoral violence.

Cuno Tarfusser, the presiding judge, said the prosecuting team failed to prove the accusations against 73-year-old Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé, aged 46, a former political youth leader, stating that "there is no need for the defence to submit further evidence as the prosecutor has not satisfied the burden of proof".

Gbagbo and Goudé shared a hug at the court and are scheduled for release after procedural hearings.

Emmanuel Altit, lawyer for the defence team, said his client was “relieved and happy".

"He is happy to have put his faith in the justice process," he said. "It is too soon right now to comment on the future and where he will go, but you can imagine he is very attached to Ivory Coast."

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APC, PDP Supporters Renounce Cultism In Bayelsa

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 10:19am


Twenty young people from Town Brass Island in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have renounced their membership of various cult groups.

The youth also distanced themselves from political violence in the area ahead of the 2019 elections.

The youth, who were members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, called on other youth involved in the political violence in Brass Local Council to give peace a chance.

The decision by the youth was part of the initiative of His Royal Majesty Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Chairman of the Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council and King of Twon-Brass, and his wife, Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff.

The royal family of Brass Island also proclaimed the last Sunday of November as annual thanksgiving day for citizens of the kingdom.

The prayer session at the event was attended by the king, the queen, pastors, elders, chiefs and people and the kingdom.

The programme also offered supplications for deliverance, peace and God’s blessings on the land with a dedication service on December 22, 2018.

"It was indeed an amazing ceremony and God did accept our prayers as calm has since returned to our kingdom. To God be all the glory and praise as we give Him thanks for His great mercies to us as a people, a race and a kingdom. A few days after the event, the rival party stewards had a meeting with the opposition party members and spoke about building peace in the kingdom," Queen Josephine said.

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CLOSE-UP: First Black African To Become Interpol Assistant Director — Who Is New IGP Abubakar Adamu?

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 9:00am

It is now official: Mohammed Abubakar Adamu is Nigeria’s new Inspector-General of Police (IGP). Born on September 17, 1961 in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Adamu is fondly called ‘Lafia’ — the capital of Nasarawa State — by his intimate friends. 

Education And Early Career
Adamu started his primary education in 1968 at Dunama Primary School, Lafia, and finished in 1974. He proceeded to Government Secondary school, Obi, in Nasarawa State in 1975, and obtained his West Africa School Certificate(WASC) in 1979.  While awaiting admission into a tertiary institution, he attended School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University for a pre-degree programme. He was offered full admission into the same university in 1980, and he graduated with Bsc (Hons) in Geography in 1983.  

After completing of his tertiary education, he did his compulsory one-year national service at Government Teachers College, Wamba — formerly in Plateau State but now in Nasarawa — where he taught Geography. Immediately after the national service, he gave full-time teaching a try. He was employed as Geography tutor at Government Day Secondary school, Gunduma, Keffi, Plateau State, in 1984 and within a period of two years he was promoted to the post of Vice Principal of the school. He left teaching for the Nigeria Police Force in 1986.

Police Career
He joined the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1986 and trained at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos. After being fully commissioned, he had his baptism of fire as a ‘fledgling’ when he was posted to Imo State to work as the Divisional Crime and Administrative Officer at the Mgbidi Police Station, Mgbidi, Imo State. Between 1988 and 1989, he served as the officer in charge of general investigation at the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Zone 6, Headquarters, Calabar, Cross River State.

In 1990, he was transferred back to Lagos to serve as detective for about seven years at the fearful but legendary Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos. Together with a team that comprised the cream of the profession, they dispassionately resolved many criminal cases. He became the Director, Peacekeeping and Training NPF Headquarters Abuja, FCT.

Adamu became the Deputy commissioner of Police (DCP) in Ekiti State in 2010. He was transferred to Kaduna to serve in the same capacity in 2012. In 2014, he moved a rung higher on the professional ladder of the Police Force and became the Enugu State Commissioner of Police. He assumed the exalted office in the one of the biggest cities in the south-east at a time when kidnapping and other heinous crimes were rife. However, through the strategy of collaboration and neighbourhood watch he was able to, to a very large extent, stem the tide of kidnapping and other dastardly acts in the state.

However, what would have been a remarkable tenure as a Commissioner in the state was marred by the grisly murder of a boy, named Chinedu Nnaji, by his men. The killing occurred as a consequence of a land dispute between the Umuneshi and Umunewu-Ukwu communities of the state.

Chinedu’s death led to a legal tussle in which ‘Lafia’ and his men were alleged to have been paid by prominent and influential sons of the rival community in the land dispute to pervert the course of justice. The rival community felt that Adamu and his men deliberately released the suspects in their nest. But Adamu cleared the air on the matter during an interview in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. “The false accusation against me of murder is just to tarnish my reputation,” he said.

As if that was not enough, his name was also mentioned in the face-off between the then outgoing Governor Sullivan Chime and the faction of 15 lawmakers led by Speaker, Honourable Eugene Odo.  Hon. Odo alleged that the Governor was using the Commissioner of Police against him.  The Honourable speaker believed Adamu, on the orders of Governor Chime, was responsible for the withdrawal of security personnel attached to him.

After successfully completing his course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, he was made the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 5 Benin. The Zone 5 comprises Bayelsa, Delta and Edo state commands. He served in the Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France as a specialized officer in Economic and Financial Crime directorate, where he rose to become the first black African to be the Assistant Director in the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France. He later became the Vice-President of Interpol.

Abubakar, married and blessed with children, was awarded the most outstanding community policing command/commissioner of police in Dubai, in 2014. 

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Gashua’s Plague Of Renal Failure By Isa Sanusi

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 8:06am


What is happening in Gashua now sounds similar to the substance of Albart Camus’ 1947 novel “The Plague.” Just like the town at the centre of the plot of Camus’ work Gashua is also facing a plague. Not fictional but real and devastating. Renal failure appears to be on rampage in Gashua town. 

Much of what is known about Gashua, an urban town in Yobe state is its remoteness, harsh weather and its infamous prison. That prison was used by the then military regime in late 1980’s and 1990’s to incarcerate famous activists. Late renown lawyer and activist Gani Fawehinmi had times in Gashu’a prison. But there is more to Gashua then these. It is a town blessed with large and long stretch of Yobe river. The river provides life. Fishing, irritation farming and bustling business activities have been thriving in this town for ages. The people are hardworking and enterprising - making the town attractive all those who want to thrive from across the country and beyond. Gashua is a mini centre of business on northward part of Yobe state. 

Development came with expansion - very rapid expansion, especially in terms of population growth and growing need for basic social services. 

As far back as 1960’s Gashua had an urbane and enlightened traditional ruler Late Mai Umar Suleiman who laid the foundation for successes in education, healthcare, business and farming. The reign of Late Mai Saleh Suleiman was also glorious. At a point, in the past Gashua had the best water supply system in the whole region. 

But this town is now confronted by a disaster. High cases of renal failure has been terminating lives and putting many at risk. The statistics are born jarring. Data collected shows that from January to October 2018 up to 467 cases were recorded in medical facilities across Gashua. At least 85% of people with cases kidney ailment at Yobe State Teaching Hospital are from Gashua. While 80% of those in Federal Medical Centre Nguru are also from Gashua. Governor of Yobe state Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam deserves commendation for providing world class medical facility that is Yobe State Teaching Hospital, which eased the pain of people suffering from renal failure - who in the past had to be shuttling all the way to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for routine dialysis. 

People and community leaders have been asking; what really is the cause? And how can lives be rescued? Finding answers to these question has started with a very impressive voluntary effort of a youths group called Bade Emirate Youths Initiative for Development. These young men have taken it upon themselves to reach out to elders, health specialists and other community leaders in trying to find a solutions to the problem. They organized a town hall meeting last month in Gashua - and brought together traditional rulers, community leaders, business men, medical doctors and other health workers. The gathering agreed on ways to address staggering rise in renal failure, assisting those already affected with medical care and devising a robust public enlightenment programme. The emphasis now is on prevention. The current Emir Mai Abubakar Umar Suleiman has been demonstrating leadership by supporting and making himself available in deriving this youths initiative to address the problem. 

The question is; why the rise in renal failure? How can it be tamed? The youths initiative to find answer to these crucial life-and-death questions is also thinking outside the box by emphasizing prevention and support for those already affected. This initiative involves bringing in Ulama and Imam’s of Juma’at Mosques; who will be enlightened by specialists on how they can educate their congregations on prevention. 

Wherever a plague breaks out as shown in Albert Camus’ famous 1947 novel “The Plague” there is always a ‘blame game.’ Some blamed lack of water for the problem. Other put the blame on lack of proper and empirical research to determine the causes. Others attributed high cases of renal failure in Gashua to use of deadly chemicals to rapidly ripen fruits. Some say the problem is rampant because some use pesticides to preserve smoked fish or beans. The speculations are many on the causes. But the good side of it all is that it is not all ending up with endless blame game. The people of Gashua are taking action. Young people have taken up the challenge to find solutions. Some are suggesting provision of rapid and sustained health outreach across Bade Local Government. For others part of the solution is in provision of dialysis facilities in Gashua. There are also calls for massive enlightenment on the dangers of wanton use of unrefined traditional and herbal concoctions. 

Again, despite growing impact of renal failure the people of Gashua and particularly the young men behind Bade Youths Initiative for Development who took up the challenge have shown resilience. Like the people of Oran in Albert Camus’ novel “The Plague” in 1940’s the people of Gashua are coming to grip with the rising renal failure - the people are now doing everything possible to fight the plague. What the people deserved now is support in terms of research, public health enlightenment and support for those who are currently grappling with the pain coupled with high cost of dialysis and drugs. 

 

*Isa Sanusi, is a Communication Specialist based in Abuja. 

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BREAKING: Buhari Convenes 'Extraordinary FEC Meeting'

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 7:51am


An extraordinary meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is ongoing in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who convenened the meeting, is chairing it.

No reason was stated for the extraordinary meeting, which comes 24 hours ahead of the regular FEC meetings traditionally held on Wednesdays.

Earlier on Tuesday, Buhari led activities for the commemoration of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, and also decorated Abubakar Adamu to replace Ibrahim Idris as the new inspector General of Police.

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Ibrahim Idris Joins Buhari In Decorating Adamu As New IGP

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 7:44am


President Muhammadu Buhari has decorated Mohammed Abubakar Adamu as Nigeria's new Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The ceremony took place at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday afternoon.

Also present at the event was the outgoing Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

Adamu was announced as the new IGP as Idris is scheduled for retirement from the Nigeria Police Force.

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'10 Killed', UN Hub Station Razed As Boko Haram Attacks Rann Again

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 7:33am


Suspected Boko haram terrorists on Monday have killed at least 10 civilians and set many houses ablaze in Rann, Borno State.

The attack started at about 6:20pm when the terrorists stormed Rann, the headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Area, for about two hours.

The source said many civilians were killed.

"We just received the news about 6:30pm and when we called back at 9pm, the attackers had razed down many houses, while scores were killed in the crossfire," he said. "There was confusion in Rann; sporadic shooting was going on."

SaharaReporters then confirmed on Tuesday that Boko Haram displaced the troops, who later received reinforcement from Ngala to snatch momentum from the insurgents.

A local official who was not authorised to speak to the press said many houses were burnt down, including the military base and a United Nations hub.

"They killed at least 10 people while many sustained various injures; many civilians had to flee to Ngala town. They set ablaze many houses, including government-owned structures and United Nations hub station in Rann," he said.

"The troops withdrew last night but reinforced this morning to claim the town back. The terrorists had left the town this morning before the reinforcement came from Ngala Local Government headquarters. Troops are in control of Rann now."

Rann has been attackd a few times in the last one year, with one of such prompting the United Nations to withdraw its staff from the place.

 

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Onnoghen All Smiles As He Meets Buhari At Armed Forces Remembrance

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 6:47am


In spite of the allegations of fraudulent declaration of assets levelled against him, Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria, was all smiles when he shook hands with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

The event held at the National Arcade, Eagle Square, Abuja.

Onnoghen is standing trial over charges related to alleged fraudulent declaration of assets, with the Presidency, despite denying it, being fingered as the hidden sponsors of the trial. See Also Corruption Nigeria's Chief Justice Onnoghen To Face Corruption, Assets Declaration Charges 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

The trial of the CJN commenced on Monday and Onnoghen was not present before the Honourable Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to answer the six-count charge. At the hearing of the case, Wole Olanipekun (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), who led the defence counsel comprising 42 other Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and dozens of other lawyers, said the reason for Onnoghen's non-appearance was because he wasn't properly served. After deliberations on jurisdiction, the court adjourned the hearing till January 22, 2019.

The petition on the CJN's false declaration of assets was submitted by a civil society group, the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), whose Executive Secretary is said to be an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari. See Also Corruption FLASHBACK: Five Times Onnoghen’s Accuser Proved Himself Buhari’s Main Man 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

However, at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, Buhari exchanged a warm handshake with the embattled CJN.

Also present at the event were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, among others.

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BREAKING: APC Shuns Presidential Debate On Corruption And Development

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 4:36am


The All Progressives Congress (APC) is conspicuously absent at the ongoing presidential debate organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).

Five candidates are currently taking questions on the strategies of the political parties to tackle corruption and ensure development for the country.

The event is taking place at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, with the APC box stark empty.

While introducing the candidates, Eugenia Abu, who anchored the event, said the APC was invited but didn’t turn up.

Present at the debate are Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC); Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation representing Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Tope Fasua, presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP); Olawale Martins, Publicity Secretary of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) representing Kingsley Moghalu, and Paul Isamade, National Secretary of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) represented Oby Ezekwesili.

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LIVE: Centre For Democracy And Development's 2019 Presidential Debate

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 3:24am


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Onnoghen: The Consequence Of Silence By Oke Umurhohwo

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 2:23am


Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

Obviously, the atmosphere is tense in Nigeria. The report that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, is being goaded to quit office is unsettling the polity few weeks to a crucial general election. Amidst the confusion the unfolding development is generating, I took a pause to understand the motivations for such awry experience in our fragile democracy and concluded that, this is the consequence of silence.

As I give the issue more thoughts, the word of Martin Niemöller, a pastor during the Second World War, and an unapologetic public adversary of Adolf Hitler, readily flows through my mind and reinforced my conclusion on the unpleasant situation that is confronting our country. His word goes thus; "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

This aptly answers agitated minds on the confounding fate that stares the nation's Judiciary. But just like most issues, it didn't just start now. Politicians have always used fear as a tactic, and that tactic is mostly targeted at a group of people to whip them in line or coerce supports. But somehow, we pretend not to realise the injustices those crude tactics bears until we become the victim of these injustices.

That is the unfortunate reality that has characterised our democracy for some time. Like a recurring decimal, cruel tactics are easily deployed at a group or individual with different views or political considerations, putting our democracy at an awkward evolution stage. There are instances of groups or individuals who are believed to be victims of crude tactics.

Take a look at the National Assembly, it has battled two criminal charges under the Muhammadu Buhari-led government. First, it was an alleged false asset declaration charge against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the other, an alleged tampering with the Senate Rules.

Look back and think– were we there to stand with the legislative arm of government and insist that the reputation of the institution should be spared from ridicule? Did we speak up against the perceived damage it would bear on our democracy? While both charges ran through Courts, there were clear warnings about how easily we could slide into a distasteful situation, but as usual, sentiments swayed us away from taking note.

Justice Onnoghen is caught up in the absolute misapplication of power. Otherwise, it beat any reasonable explanation on the rush to throw him out of the seat. Aside that the approach is utterly wrong, it's unexpected that anyone would contemplate a move to oust the head of the nation's judiciary at this dying moment into the general elections.

But this is not the first time the judiciary is being dragged to the spotlight, however, that of Justice Onnoghen seem to be too weighty and consequential that it has attracted debate from Nigeria. For example, homes of Judges were raided in late 2016 by security agents on perceived corruption, perhaps, the silence that trailed that incident may have emboldened the deliberate disregard for the provision of extant laws and established judicial precedent when the charges of alleged false asset declaration were made against Justice Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Undoubtedly, for most people, it is hard to imagine that legal precedent was ignored before filing charges against Justice Onnoghen at the CCT. As a judicial officer, and infact, the head of the nation's judiciary, Justice Onnoghen ought to be referred to the National Judicial Council (NJC) if he is found to have breached any rules or committed crimes, or worse, the National Assembly, who must play a role in his removal as CJN.

Since that is not the case, there is no justifiable reason for Justice Onnoghen to step down as CJN as he is being goaded, except he is surrendering to blackmail, which unfortunately, the unfolding scenario suggested. For the avoidance of doubt, below is the stipulation of the Constitution on processes involved in the removal of a judicial officer, including the CJN.

The 1999 Constitution (as amended), provided that:

292. (1) A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances –

(a) in the case of –

(i) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

(ii) Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State, 

Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(b) in any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

This was strengthened by a Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos, which held in a December 2017 judgement that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks the statutory powers to investigate or prosecute a serving judicial officer except such has been stripped of his/her office by the NJC, mandated by the law to discipline erring judges. Justice Obaseki Adejumo, who read the lead judgement for the appellate court, held that before a judicial officer can be prosecuted, he/she must have lost his/her judicial standing through the NJC, otherwise, any charges against a judicial officer still on the bench will be an exercise in futility.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the call for Justice Onnoghen to step down as CJN is ill conceived and clever tactics to push him out of office. It refreshed our memories of the unpleasant experience that our politicians’ lust for control has bear on our democratical institutions. As we educate ourselves on situations such as this one, which are not as critics and defendants as we like to believe, we must think about consequence of our silences. It may not be you now, but imagine if it were.

 

Oke Umurhohwo is a Political Analyst and Strategist as well as a member of the PDP. He tweets from @stalyf

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Nwosu Dares Action Alliance, Says He Will Continue To Support Buhari

Sahara Reporters - 15 January 2019 - 2:16am


Uche Nwosu, governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in Imo State, has insisted he will continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari and will ensure all members of the party in Imo vote for the President.

Nwosu stated this in response to the warning issued by Kenneth Udeze, National Chairman of AA, when the latter warned Nwosu against campaigning for Buhari in the state.

AA recently endorsed Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party as its presidential candidate.

However, Nwosu has dismissed his party chairman's threat, stating that: "We have made up our mind in Imo State chapter of the party to support President Buhari and nothing can change that. No amount of threat or blackmail can change our decision. The AA can decide what they want in other states, but in Imo we have made up our minds and nothing can change that.

“The support for President Buhari is far and above party or religious inclinations and it is a task I and other members of the Action Alliance are committed to and we must deliver."

Meanwhile, Udeze has expressed the party's decision to support Atiku.

His words: "We are for Atiku/Obi leadership and we are glad to work with all believers of true federalism and efficient administration of governance at all levels to accomplish this as we approach the forthcoming elections."

AA is part of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and has stated it will continue to support the adoption of Atiku as the presidential candidate of CUPP.

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