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APC Won’t Shield Corrupt Members From Facing Trial – Keyamo

7 December 2018 - 3:07am


Spokesman of the President Muhammadu Buhari Reelection Campaign Organisation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not shield its members who are accused of corruption from facing trial. 

Keyamo made the declaration while speaking in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, during a one-day anti-corruption symposium, organised by Rivers Unity House (RUH), an advocacy group within the APC. 

He said: “Unlike during the previous administration when there were calls from the presidency to EFCC chairmen to hands off investigation of party loyalists, President does not do that. Once you have a case of corruption, no matter how close you are to the President, he never interferes.” 

The APC Campaign spokesman stated that the federal government has recovered the sum of N7.8billion, $32million and €280million through the whistleblowing policy of the federal government. 

He said that a total of N780billion had been abandoned in several bank accounts while about 407 mansions and 290 automobiles have been seized from their owners by the EFCC through the policy. 

The legal practitioner disclosed that the abandoned monies were lodged in accounts that were opened with fake names and without bank verification numbers (BVN) using passport photographs of deceased persons, pointing out that such accounts are always opened in connivance with bank officials. 

He said: “The monies were abandoned in bank accounts that were opened with fake names and without BVN. Some were opened using passport photographs of dead people. People who opened these accounts work together with officials of banks.” 

In his paper presentation, a senior lecturer of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Eme Ekekwe, said the war against corruption in the country should be a collective fight and not just for President Muhammadu Buhari alone. 

Ekekwe said: “Nigerian state was built on corruption and on corruption we strive. First election conducted by the British (colonial master) in Nigeria was rigged, the first census in Nigeria was also manipulated.” 

He maintained that the problem of the country is leadership and lack of well to fight corruption, saying: “Political leaders will not fight corruption because they protect themselves against us.” 

On his part, another senior lecturer of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Steve Okodudu said: “Corruption from day one have always been the problem of Nigeria, the Kaduna Nzeogwu to Abacha coup, all gave massive corruption as the reason for the coup.” 

Earlier in his welcome remarks, convener of Rivers Unity House, Kingsley Wenenda Wali, said there is no challenge in Nigeria that does not have its roots on corruption.

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Ebonyi Varsity Sacks 63 Lecturers, Staff For Forgery, Sexual Harassment

7 December 2018 - 3:03am


About 63 lecturers and other staff of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) have been relieved of their duties for alleged certificate forgeries, sexual harassment and extortion. Also sacked were adjunct lecturers of the school who have over-stayed in the university. Most of the staff sacked were said to have obtained their West African School Certificate Examination (WAEC) before their First School Leaving Certificate.

They were also said to have falsified their age, certificates and other relevant credentials. Their sack followed audit report submitted by a committee set up to verify credentials of workers of the institution. There were reports that over 300 persons were affected by the sack, but the management of the institution stated that only 63 were dismissed.

Some of the lecturers sacked for alleged sexual harassment are – Chinedu Ogah of the Department of History and International Relations and Dr. Egbo of Faculty of Education. Some other lecturers are being tried for same offences. Public Relations Officer of the university, Patrick Itumo, confirmed the sack of the lecturers and other staff to our correspondent He said: “That is the reason for the action we are talking about; the disengagement. They are not over 300 as being speculated. As I speak to you, they are 63 in number that have been disengaged.

“There is this audit report that was brought out from where these people were disengaged, 63 of them. Some of them have age discrepancies in their records. Some people obtained doubtful First School Leaving Certificates; some obtained their WAEC before their First School Leaving Certificates. “There are people who should have retired at the age of 65 or 70 years and they are still in service and also some adjunct professors who come from various places whose contracts have been reviewed up to five times.

As of now, nobody among these people has been reinstated. “Students are encouraged to come up with report of sexual harassment so that the school will look into it. They should talk to the authorities and they will be protected if they are afraid to make an open report on it.

They should send message to the VC’s phone, to me or their course adviser; they will be protected. “Recently, Chinedu Ogah of the Department of History and International Relations was dismissed for sexual harassment and extortion. Also Dr. Egbo of Education Faculty was also dismissed for sexual harassment. Other cases are still ongoing and as soon as they are determined, they will be published.”

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BREAKING: Buhari Chairs Special FEC Meeting

7 December 2018 - 3:03am


Sahara Reporters Media

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently chairing a special session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The meeting is taking place in Abuja.

According to the presidency, the FEC meeting is a special session to discuss the 2019 budget.

More to follow...

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Iya Kabiru And Other Stories By Reuben Abati

7 December 2018 - 3:01am


“Iya Kabiru must be the luckiest woman in Nigeria today”

“Who is that? I don’t know anybody so-called”

“You don’t know Iya Kabiru? But you know Baba Kabiru?” 

“Do they know me?”  

“This is the problem with you. You only think about you, you, you. I am sure when I tell you now who Baba Kabiru is, you will jump up and say you know him” 

“Look, just say what you want to say. I have too many things to worry about other than this your D.O. Fagunwa story about Iya Kabiru. Today is a busy day for me not a day for idle talk”

“Hey, don’t get worked up, chill, my friend. Iya Kabiru is the wife of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the comrade Governor of Osun State who is leaving office today after eight years in office. Kabiru is their first son. He got married last year. Many people who know the Governor call him Baba Kabiru.”  

“So, what has that got to do with all the serious issues of survival that Nigerians are worried about. You know you should be more responsible. You can’t go about gossiping about other people’s lives.” 

“I don’t gossip. I am trying to say something very serious. By the time I am done, even you will learn one or two things. Essentially, I am trying to review the eight years of Aregbesola as Governor in Osun State.” 

“I tried to follow his stories. The man says he did not collect salary as Governor, even though he ate government food, used government cars…Good for him. But as for me.. I don’t like the role he played in the last Gubernatorial elections in Osun State. He practically imposed his own successor on the people of Osun State. We can’t have outgoing Governors behaving like dictators and insisting that they will hold the future of the state in their palms. And to think he is a Comrade like Adams Oshiomhole.” 

“That is not what I am talking about. Osun state people are not protesting. I can’t come and be weeping more than the bereaved.”

“I know. But I thought you wanted an assessment of Baba Kabiru’s eight years in office. So, let us do it, since today is effectively his last day in office”

“Yes.”

“For example, he says he has no bank accounts anywhere. He has no money and he has only the house that he built before he became Governor. He is happy that he was able to transform the lives of the people of Osun State.” 

“With Opon Imo. The tablet of knowledge. Ogbeni Till Daybreak. Let me help you. He also says he is leaving a state behind that has the lowest poverty incidence rate and the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria.”

“He built roads and schools.” 

“I know. I know. But what are the people of Osun themselves saying? What is the impression of the civil servants who were denied salaries for months? I will prefer to hear from the average man on the streets of Osun. But that is not what I want to talk about.” 

“You want to talk about Iya Kabiru”

“Yes. I want to congratulate her. And I say, Iya Kabiru, e ku oriire o.”

“What of the Governor himself? You don’t want to congratulate him on his successful completion of two terms in office?”

“I will leave that to people like you. My big take-away from the exit of the Comrade Governor is the statement he made about his wife, Iya Kabiru. He told the people of Osun State that he has been an absentee husband for eight years. He was so busy as Governor, he had no time for his wife. He wants to go back to Iya Kabiru and “enjoy each other”. He doesn’t want to go to the Senate like others in his shoes, he just wants to go home and spend time with Iya Kabiru.” 

“And how does that affect you?” 

“You don’t get the point? This is the era of women empowerment. Our Governors should not get to office and become absentee husbands. That is an abuse of human rights and a violation of the integrity of the other room! If I had my way, I will recommend immunity for wives from the absenteeism of husbands. If there was more time, I would recommend that Mrs Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President, should lead a movement to defend the right of women who are married to politically exposed men in office, not to lose their rights of access and enjoyment with their husbands. Public service should not interfere with the rights of wives!” 

“You always like to trivialize things.”

“No. When Comrade Aregbesola was asked what his regrets could possibly be, and I consider that an important question, his memorable response was that his being Governor did not allow him to enjoy his wife for eight years. He now wants to go and enjoy his wife. For me that was the most profound thing he said.” 

“How profound! I thought you would raise serious questions. Will his successor become his stooge? Will Aregbesola continue to rule over the state of Osun and treat Gboyega Oyetola as his proxy? Is Aregbesola now a Godfather pulling the strings from the corner? Will the new Governor Oyetola be his own man? Is Osun going to revert to its constitutional name, that is Osun State, or will it still bear the strange name: The State of Osun?” 

“Why should those things bother me? The one that I want to reflect upon is the absenteeism of Aregbesola as husband for eight years! And I identify with Iya Kabiru on this special occasion, marking the return of her beloved husband to full-time husband duties.”

“It is not your duty to intrude into other people’s privacy. What are you driving at? What the man says about his wife is not our business. He probably was talking more about truancy rather than absenteeism.”

“Na you sabi. I am saying congratulations to Iya Kabiru, all the same. As an advocate for women empowerment, I congratulate her on the many good things ahead: this special honeymoon that awaits her, in the loving hands of Baba Kabiru. And I say Iya Kabiru, e ku amojuba. E ku oriire, lopo lopo. In nine months, please invite us for a rice-and-soup-very-plenty-naming-ceremony. Triplets by the Grace of God!”

“You are very ridiculous. You are off limits”

“My friend, don’t be hypocritical.  If our father, the Iku Baba Yeye himself, the Alaafin of Oyo, at 80 plus  is still celebrating the arrival of babies, not just babies, multiple twins, Baba Kabiru must show proof of his own statement in nine months as a true son of Osun.” 

“You are absolutely incorrigible. Who told you the only way a man can show affection to his wife is to put her in the family way. Is that what you call empowerment” 

“I am just very happy for Iya Kabiru. I am overjoyed. Politics turned her husband into an absentee husband. Now, out of office, her husband says she will now be her project. Alihamdulilali!”

“I don’t see how Aregbesola can leave politics. Politics in Lagos and Osun. He will still be busy.” 

“But with Iya Kabiru fully attended to. And by the way, Aregbesola should leave Lagos politics alone. He should stay in his own state of Osun.”

“You are crazy. Did you drink anything this morning? Can we change this subject?” 

“On one condition”

“What condition?”

“You will congratulate Iya Kabiru”

“Okay, congratulations Ma. Thank you for standing by Governor Aregbesola through thick and thin. One yeye man in Lagos says you are the one we should congratulate”.

“Say it in Yoruba”

“Iya Kabiru e ku oriire o. E ku ti ipadabo Baba Kabiru o.”

“Only God knows how many women out there who have to deal with the challenge of having absentee husbands because their husbands are involved in the public arena. Such women are the true heroes of Nigerian democracy.”   

 “You know when you say that, what comes to my mind really, is the plight of the wives of the many soldiers who were killed recently by Boko Haram terrorists in Matele, Borno State. It is one thing to have a husband go to the battle-field, if he is absent, you at least know where he is and that he is busy, but to have him die on the battle-field, never to return, that is tragic. I feel for the widows of the fallen soldiers of Matele..”

“I am not satisfied with the way the Nigerian government has handled the matter. Obviously, Boko Haram has not been technically defeated. Has Alhaji Lai come up with anything yet?” 

“Alhaji Lai? No, please. I watched a video of the attack that was in circulation over the weekend. I was horrified. The Boko Haram terrorists caught the Nigerian soldiers off-guard. They ambushed them and mowed them down. Sad. Very sad. I later saw a social media tweet by someone who said he saw his father in the video and the family has not yet heard from the Nigerian military. I also saw a post by a woman who cried out over the loss of her husband. Each time a soldier dies at the battle-front, many lives are affected.” 

“118 of them. Just like that.” 

“The government is obviously overwhelmed.” 

“What really can government do? Terrorism is the new tragic reality of the age. It is the worst form of inhumanity known to man. It leaves governments in a bind; it drives society to the edge. It disrupts the order of values. 

“There is a lot that the Nigerian government can do.” 

“Please, this is not about politics. Don’t bring politics into this.” 

“Who is talking about politics? I am saying our soldiers need to be better equipped and better protected. When a man signs up to be a soldier, he knows that he has signed up to die for his country if need be, but that does not mean he must be served up like barbecue to the enemy. Why are our military bases so porous, so poorly defended? Why is it so easy for anyone to get a military uniform? When our soldiers fall at the battlefront, what are the protocols for informing their families and managing the communication process? We need to professionalize the Nigerian military. If we must rely on technical assistance from other countries, let us do so. When our soldiers die, there must be special grants for their widows and survivors, to be paid for life if possible.”

“I will add another point. Any service chief that is not ready to focus on the job should be changed. Nigeria’s security chiefs should stop attending political rallies and meetings. We want soldiers in uniform, whoever wants to do politics should remove his uniform and wear agbada.”  

“Anyway, the President has said that the loopholes that led to the fatalities will be blocked once and for all. I take that to heart.”

“Yeah, he spoke a whole week after the incident. I am surprised nobody is making an issue out of that.” 

“You never know. May be the President was busy at the time. And a President doesn’t just talk. He has to consult and be briefed.” 

“What is that? Busy doing what? Donald Trump talks every day. He is on twitter every morning, commenting on anything that catches his attention. He is involved.”   

“This is Nigeria. This is not the United States. We have our own way of doing things here, from the Presidency to the man on the street. The President could have been busy for example, preparing for the 2019 Presidential debate.”

“Which debate? You think he will agree to participate in a debate?” 

“Why not? I will like to see him in the debating hall, taking on issues with the likes of Omoyele Sowore, Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu, Tope Fasua, Donald Duke, Obadaiah Mailafia and of course Waziri Atiku Abubakar. Let him defend the “Next level” and let Ezekwesili and Sowore take him on.”

“I see you are not a nice man at all.”   

“How? There are things the President can and should talk about. You have been lamenting over the killing of soldiers, for example, but look at what the Federal Government has just done for policemen.” 

“And what is that?”

“Yesterday, the President approved more pay for Nigerian policemen. He approved the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment for policemen”  

“No wonder”

“No wonder what?”

“There is this policeman that I know. I saw him and his wife yesterday evening. The two of them were laughing like jackass. I have never seen them look so happy. I thought something was wrong. So, it is the salary increase?” 

“Let’s just say policemen deserve to be happy too. But it is not enough to increase their pay. Nigeria is heavily under-policed. We need more policemen. Like the military, the police should also be better equipped. They need better training. Clean uniforms. Decent barracks.  An average policeman should be a university graduate, not a primary school drop-out.”

“Why are you saying policemen should be graduates, when most of your politicians don’t even have secondary school certificates? Sometimes, I don’t get you.” 

“I know what I am saying. Every policeman should be a college graduate. You don’t understand.  It is a next level thing.   Nigeria can only move to the next level if we all begin to think out of the box.”

“Like your thoughts on Iya Kabiru eh”. 

“Ha. Iya Kabiru! A hero. Someday, she should tell her story: the story of the big sacrifice her husband made as Osun State Governor!” 

Column Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Reuben Abati Disable advertisements : 
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2019 Will Reflect The Will Of Nigerians – PMB​

7 December 2018 - 2:59am


Ahead of the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has again given assurance that his government will do all that is necessary to ensure that the outcome of the vote reflects the will of the Nigerian people.

He made the statement yesterday when he welcomed the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr Jyrki Juhani Pulkkinen, who had come to present his Letter of Credence to Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.

This is even as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said Nigerians would not be deceived again in the 2019 general elections as was the case in 2015 when they voted for the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement made available to journalists by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said he understands the yearnings of Nigerians and strongly believes in the collective dream for a greater country.

He assured the people that all will be done to ensure that the results of the 2019 elections reflect the will of the electorate.

President Buhari said it was the right of Nigerians to elect leaders at various levels in 2019, and all efforts will be made to safeguard the integrity of the process.

“I respect the people’s feelings. I assure all that we will have free and fair elections next year”, he stated.

The president further congratulated Finland on its 101st independence anniversary, which was yesterday (December 6, 2018) and commended the growing relations with Nigeria, especially in areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), trade and education.

In his remarks, the ambassador of Finland said the areas of mutual benefit in relations with Nigeria can be extended to electricity, smart technology and crises management initiatives, pointing out that he would work hard to improve the trade figures and other exchanges between the two countries.

“We will like to contribute to Africa rising, and we know that Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent, so we are very interested in the growth of Nigeria,’’ he said.

At the level of the United Nations, Dr Pulkkinen said his country would continue to support the restructuring of the multilateral institution to give greater roles to African countries like Nigeria.

President Buhari, who also received a Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of France, Mr Jerome Pasquier, said French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and the stopover in Lagos, was really impressive in bolstering both countries’ relations.

The president said he was impressed with relations between France and its former colonies in Africa, noting that France continues to play positive roles in promoting security and economic growth in the countries.

“France is investing so much in Nigeria and we are grateful”, he added.

President Buhari, however, called for more support in the fight against terrorism as the networks keep expanding with fighters moving across borders to support insurgents.

In his response, the French ambassador said President Macron would continue to support Nigeria, especially in the ongoing war against terrorism, with specific interest in the gathering and sharing of intelligence.

He commended the president for Nigeria’s role in resolving the crisis in Togo and Guinea Bissau.

President Buhari equally received the Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of Czech Republic, Mr Marek Skolil, assuring him of improved economic relations in the area solid minerals exploration.

On his part, Mr Skolil said his country will continue to support Nigeria’s military in the fight against terrorism in the North East.

“Nigeria is a very important country for us. We look forward to stronger ties, particularly with the armed forces,’’ he added.

Nigerians Won’t Be Deceived Again – Atiku

Meanwhile, the PDP flag bearer in next year’s presidential election, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, yesterday urged Nigerians not to be deceived again in the 2019 general elections as was the case in 2015 when they voted for the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku made this call in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital and political headquarters of the South West, where party leaders and members had gathered for the zonal presidential campaign rally.

He said, “In 2015, some people came to deceive us and we gave them the opportunity. They promised to create jobs but we have lost 12 million jobs.

“Since they came to power, the country has lost prosperity and it has become the headquarters of poverty in the world.”

Atiku remarked that with the inception of democracy in 1999, the zone witnessed prosperity, peace and educational advancement during the PDP era, adding that if he is elected president next year, the zone will experience prosperity once again.

“I promise that we shall return your prosperity. Everybody knows that if given the opportunity, I will assemble the best hands so that we return the country to prosperity,” he said, adding that as South West is known for its educational stride, his administration would continue to invest in education.

Atiku disclosed that one of his policies was the sharing formula of the country’s resources, vowing that within six months of his assuming office, the country would be restructured.

“I am not a stranger in Yoruba land, neither am I a stranger in South West. Return PDP to power in the next election. If you give me your support, I will not disappoint the people of the zone”, he added.

While calling on the people to get their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), Atiku said, “Buhari must go”.

Also speaking, Atiku’s running mate and former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari did not go to school and urged the people of the zone to cast their votes for Atiku and PDP in the February presidential election.

On his part, the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, called on the people of the zone to reject President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC at the poll, but they should instead troop out enmasse to cast their votes for the PDP and its presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku.

“You should vote, protect your votes and you must not allow INEC and security agencies to manipulate your votes,” he said.

Secondus added that it was unfortunate that President Buhari was not aware that there is hunger and poverty in the land.

The PDP chairman further described the ruling APC as the most corrupt party in the history of the country, even as he  demanded the whereabouts of $25 billion and $8 billion which allegedly disappeared from government coffers.

He described Atiku as a man who meant well for Nigeria, “who, if elected in 2019, will rescue Nigeria from hunger, poverty and insecurity”.

Catholic Bishops Ban Priests From Active Politics

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has banned Catholic priests and other ordained faithful from taking party in partisan politics.

The secretary general, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, announced the Catholic Bishops’ order in Abuja yesterday during a press briefing.

He frowned at the altercation between Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka and Mr Peter Obi, the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at Mbaka’s adoration ground in Enugu, on the issue of patronage in respect of the forthcoming general elections.

According to Fr Madu, the bishops condemn in totality the shameful scenario on an adoration ground, as contained in video recording that has gone viral on social media, that the reported incident does not have the support of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

He said: “As has always been our stand, the Catholic Church in Nigeria, as clearly stated in its August 7, 2018 directives, remains apolitical and does not support or subscribe to any political party.

“Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just, and a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, among others.

“On behalf of the Conference, we wish to reiterate their obligation, as teachers of faith and morals, to educate the faithful on their role in the political life of the country, mindful of the present charged political atmosphere of Nigeria.

“With the ongoing campaigns of political parties gathering momentum, we deem it necessary to again remind all priests and religious to keep to the position of the church on the issue of nonpartisan politics.”

Ralph further stated that while the bishops are sure that Enugu Diocese where Fr. Mbaka is incardinated is taking the appropriate measures on this reported incident, the bishops wish to categorically reiterate that no Catholic priest or people of consecrated life should be actively involved in partisan politics in obedience on the Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

“Also, liturgical ceremonies must never be used as an occasion for political campaigns. The country is presently going through difficult times and we therefore call on all the faithful to continue to pray for spiritual intervention in the life of our country.

“We also enjoin the lay faithful to play their roles in the forthcoming elections premised on good conscience, play their roles at the election without prejudice or inducement and ensure that their votes count and the right people are voted into power for the common good,” he said.

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Igbo In North Banned From Travelling Over 2019 Polls

7 December 2018 - 2:57am


People of Igbo extraction in the 19 northern states have been banned from travelling to their states of origin to vote in next year’s general elections. Any person who flouts the directive would be fined an undisclosed amount of money. The decision was reached following an extraordinary meeting of the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) in Barnawa, Kaduna State. IDA, an administrative umbrella organisation of Igbo resident in the northern states and Abuja, is responsible for members’ welfare. In attendance were executives, all Eze Igbos and chapter presidents in the 19 states. 

“We want our people to stay in their respective states and cast their votes. The era of running home during elections cannot be tolerated again. There is no need for us to go home at every election because if you do that you will automatically disenfranchise yourself.

“We have done a lot of sensitisation. We have also educated our people on this and we all agreed. That is why we decided to place an embargo. And if you travel, IDA will fine such person(s),” the organisation said in a statement jointly signed by President General Chief Chikezie Nwogu and Secretary General Austin Ofokansi Ifedinezi. The Assembly also urged members to remain law-abiding in their states of residence.

A non-governmental organisation, the African Electoral Integrity Initiative (AE2i) meanwhile has unveiled ways to guarantee integrity in the elections. This was at the National Conference on Electoral Integrity it organised in Abuja yesterday with the theme: ‘Sustaining the Integrity of the 2019 General Elections.’

Prof. Yusuf Zoaka, Dean Faculty of Social Science, University of Abuja, in his presentation titled, ‘Principles of Electoral Integrity’, said a good election is hinged on fairness and a level playing ground for all.

Zoaka, who was represented by Dr Agaba Halidu, a lecturer at the university, also listed ethical conduct, professionalism and accuracy as criteria for successful polls. He maintained that for Nigeria to have an election with integrity, factors such as enforcement, transparency and respect for the rule of law must be upheld. He advised politicians to shun hate speeches that could breed violent campaigns, and INEC to remain impartial to avoid voter apathy and rejection of results.

Mr. Mohammed Baba, Commissioner in charge of Education at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), said vote buying has become a threat to democracy, hence all efforts must be made to curb it. He disclosed that ICPC would embark on a nationwide sensitisation programme this month to change people’s attitude towards the practice.

Dr Daniel Omofoman, Convener and Regional Director (West Africa) of AE2i, said: “The conference is aimed at sensitising stakeholders to the need to sustain the integrity of the 2019 elections and restoring voter confidence in the integrity of officials, voting procedure and materials used in the election. We believe more is coming on solutions that will resolve these issues,”

He added that other issues threatening the integrity of the elections include underage voting, fake news and partisan law enforcement. But President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja gave the assurance that the result of the 2019 general elections would reflect the will of the people.

He made the promise while receiving a letter of credence from the ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr Jyrki Juhani Pulkkinen. He said Nigerians reserve the right to elect their leaders and that all efforts would be made to safeguard the integrity of the process. “I respect the people’s feelings,” he said, adding: “I assure all that we will have a free and fair election next year.”

Buhari congratulated Finland on its 101 Independence Day anniversary, marked yesterday. He commended the country’s growing relations with Nigeria, especially in the areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), trade and education.

In his remarks, Pulkkinen noted that areas of mutual benefit could be extended to electricity, smart technology and crises management initiatives, pointing out he would work hard to improve trade figures and exchanges. “We will like to contribute to Africa rising. We know that Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent, so we are very interested in its growth,” he said.

He promised that at the United Nations, Finland would continue to support the restructuring of multilateral institutions, giving greater roles to African countries like Nigeria.

The president, who also received a letter of credence from the ambassador of France, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, described the visit to Nigeria by French President Emmanuel Macron as impressive and a booster to bilateral relations. Admitting that “France is investing so much in Nigeria and we are grateful,” he nevertheless called for more support in the fight against terrorism as fighters increasingly cross the borders to support insurgents.

Pasquier responded saying Macron would continue to support Nigeria, especially in the ongoing war against terrorism, with specific interest in the gathering and sharing of intelligence. He also commended Nigeria’s role in resolving the crises in Togo and Guinea Bissau.

Buhari equally received a letter of credence from the ambassador of the Czech Republic, Mr. Marek Skolil, to whom he gave an assurance of improved economic relations in solid minerals exploration.

Skolil, on his part, said his country would continue to support Nigeria’s military in the fight against terrorism in the northeast. “Nigeria is a very important country for us. We look forward to stronger ties, particularly with the armed forces,” he said.

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Thugs Disrupt TraderMoni In Ilorin

7 December 2018 - 2:54am


Launch of TraderMoni in Osun State

Launch of TraderMoni in Osun State

Suspected Hoodlums yesterday invaded the Mandate Market in Ilorin, Kwara State, to disrupt the disbursement of money to beneficiaries of the TraderMoni.

They scared away petty traders and agents of the scheme.

As early as 9am, the suspected hoodlums stormed the Mandate Market, insisting that the TraderMoni scheme cannot be implemented in the market built on a land donated to the state government by the Senate President Bukola Saraki’s father, the late Olusola Saraki.

It was not clear whether they were sent by anyone or whether they were mere party zealots, working on their own.

According to witnesses, including Bank of Industry (BOI) officials who were at the market to supervise the enumeration and disbursement of the N10, 000 collateral free loans, the arrival of the mob at Mandate Market caused some uproar.

The suspected thugs also intimidated the petty traders who had lined up to participate in the programme. Many of the traders were palpably annoyed and refused to leave the market. Calm was restored with the intervention of the police.

At the Ipata Market, where enumeration and disbursement of the TraderMoni loans were also going on, market leaders reportedly rebuffed pressure from some officials of the state, urging them to shun the enumerators. The programme went on without incident.

Officials of the Bank of Industry (BoI) told reporters that enumeration had been going on in the two markets in Kwara State in the last few days, without incident until yesterday.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected in the markets today.

TraderMoni, which is part of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) under GEEP, is designed to assist petty traders across the country expand their trade through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans from N10, 000.

The loans are repayable over a period of six months at which point the traders on repayment will receive a fresh N15, 000 loan, which rises to N20, 000 when repaid.

The microcredit scheme, which has since been formally launched nationwide and the FCT, is expected to reach two million petty traders by the end of the year.

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Nigeria Ranked 3rd Most Terrorised Global Nation

7 December 2018 - 2:49am


Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, occupies the third position among countries worst hit by terrorism, globally, according to the 2018 ranking on terrorism. This has been blamed on the activities of Boko Haram and herdsmen.

Apart from 2014 when Nigeria was ranked fourth, it has remained in the unenviable third position in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranking since 2015.

Mixed reactions have trailed the report. While former vice president and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said the country’s ranking in terrorism shows the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed promises, the APC said report was far from reality.

In the latest report released on Wednesday, Iraq, a country in the Middle-East, is ranked first, a position it has held since 2014. Afghanistan has ranked second since 2013. Syria and Pakistan are ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

Others among the top 10 countries worst hit by terrorism in 2017 are Somalia (6th), India (7th), Yemen (8th), Egypt (9th), and Philippines (10th).

The good news, however, is that there has been a reduction in the number of deaths caused by terrorism in Nigeria in 2017, just like the other three preceding years, according to the report

“When compared to the peak of terrorist deaths in 2014, the largest falls in
the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with falls of 6,466, 5,950, and 912 deaths respectively,” said the 2018 GTI report.

The report said deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 1,532 in 2017, a decrease of 16 per cent from the prior year.

There were 63 per cent and 34 per cent drop in deaths in the country in 2016 and 2015 respectively, according to the report.

“This highlights the effectiveness of the counterinsurgency operations undertaken in Nigeria and its neighbours, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad,” the report said, adding that the world has also experienced a drop in deaths from terrorism in 2017.

The GTI, while analysing global trends in terrorism in 2017, described the reduction in deaths in Nigeria and Iraq “the most dramatic.”

Boko Haram attacks, the report said, have substantially reduced in Chad and other neighbouring countries; and Al-Shabaab, in 2017, overtook Boko Haram as the deadliest terror group in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The GTI report raised concern over the killings by herdsmen, saying terrorism was shifting from Nigeria’s North-East region to the country’s Middle-Belt.

The report said: “In Nigeria in 2018, there has been a dramatic increase in violence involving Fulani extremists even as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling.

“In 2018 alone, deaths committed by nomadic Fulani herders are estimated to be six times greater than the number committed by Boko Haram.

“In 2017, 327 terrorism deaths across Nigeria and Mali were reportedly committed by Fulani extremists, along with 2,501 additional deaths in the three years prior with the vast majority of these deaths being civilians.

“While deaths (killings) committed by Fulani extremists decreased following the peak of 1,169 deaths in 2014, violence from the group in 2018 is expected to surpass that peak. Nearly 1,700 violent deaths have been attributed to the Fulani Ethnic Militia from January to September 2018. An estimated 89 per cent of those killed were civilians.”

According to the report, two, out of 20 most fatal terrorist attacks, occurred in Nigeria. One was on March 20, 2017, when assailants identified as “Fulani extremists” opened fire at a market in Zaki Ibiam, Benue State killing 73 people. The other was on July 25, 2017, when Boko Haram terrorists opened fire on a Frontier Exploration Services team convoy at Jibi, killing 60 people.

The GTI, which is in its sixth edition, is produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank with offices in Sydney, New York, and Mexico City.

Reacting to Nigeria’s rating, former Vice President Atiku has described this as a function of the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to keep its campaign promises to Nigerians.

Atiku, who is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2019 polls, said it was unfortunate that the present administration could not deliver on its campaign promise to secure the country.

Speaking through his media aide, Paul Ibe, the former Vice President noted that that is the more reason Nigerians cannot take the APC serious in the run-up to the 2019 polls.

According to him, “it is very clear that this coincides with the era of the APC led administration. Again, it is also a confirmation of their failed promises. They have failed on economy. They have failed on alleviating poverty. They have again, failed on security. Then
you ask yourself without security, what can we do? That explains why every nook and cranny – the North West, the North Central, the North East, the South South – everywhere is a theatre of one war or the other.

He said: “It is not about promises. It is about policies. That is why we are different from them. You look at the well articulated policy, which Atiku has reeled out; it is a framework, and Nigerian are interrogating it. And security is an integral part of it.” In its reaction, the APC has dismissed the report, describing it as rating faraway from the reality on ground.

According to National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the rating was wrong, stressing that Nigerians who are on ground have the accurate rating.

Said he: “We cannot join issues with people far away from the reality. Nigerians have their own rating because Nigerians who could not move freely in Abuja before the APC came in have their rating. The residents of Abuja formerly perpetually under fears of insurgents attack have their ratings. People of the North East have their own rating because they understand the difference between when they could not even live in Borno or Yobe and Adamawa states and now. They know that insurgency has been degraded to the extent that they don’t have any community under their control.”

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Ambode’s Commissioner Was PDP’s Mole In Our Party – APC

7 December 2018 - 2:45am


 

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress says it had always known that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s commissioner, Wasiu Oluwo, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday, was a mole for the opposition party.

The party’s position was contained in a statement on Thursday by the state Publicity Secretary, Mr Joe Igbokwe.

It said Oluwo, who had since resigned from his position as the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, was a traitor.

The party said the former commissioner who was an ally of former lawmaker, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, had gone with Afikuyomi when the latter dumped the party to pursue his failed governorship bid in 2007.

It said when Afikuyomi returned to the party, he and Oluwo were reabsorbed into the APC and were given appointments under the former Governor Babatunde Fashola.

It said rather than remain loyal to the party for its magnanimity, Oluwo decided to return to his old ways.

The statement read in part, “It is necessary to put this in true context so as to dismiss the false and capricious insinuation that his resignation was in principled objection to the party’s last primaries. Far from it!

“He was only playing true to type, seeking as he had done in 2007 to reap from the primaries.

“He has further shown that he has been a mole of the PDP and has been working to undermine the APC.  His exit is a signal to other like minds who may wish to follow his trail.”

The party described Oluwo as an opportunist who only used the APC to achieve his selfish motives.

According to the APC, the former commissioner attempted to install his wife as a local government chairman by all means but was stopped by the party leadership.

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Catholic Bishops Ban Priests, Members From ‘Active Politics’

7 December 2018 - 2:35am


 

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has banned Catholic priests and faithful of consecrated life from engaging in partisan politics including becoming a member of any political party.

The Secretary General, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, who gave the order yesterday in Abuja on behalf of the Catholic Bishops, frowned at the public altercation between Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and former Anambra State Governor and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi.

The altercation occurred recently at Fr. Mbaka’s adoration ground in Enugu.

According to the Rev. Fr. Madu, the Bishops condemn, the shameful scenario on an adoration ground, as contained in video recording that has gone virile on social media, and that without reservation the reported incident does not have the support of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

“As has always been our stand, the Catholic church in Nigeria as clearly stated in their August 7, 2018 directives, remains apolitical and does not support or subscribe to any political party. Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just, and a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, among others.

“On behalf of the conference, we wish to reiterate their obligation as teachers of faith and morals, to educate the faithful on their role in the political life of the country, mindful of the present charged political atmosphere of Nigeria. With the ongoing campaigns of political parties gathering momentum, we deemed it necessary to again remind all priests and religious to keep to the position of the church on the issue of nonpartisan politics,” Madu said.

While saying that they are sure that the Enugu diocese, where Rev. Mbaka is incardinated, is taking appropriate measures on the incident, they reiterated that no Catholic priest or people of consecrated life should be actively involved in partisan politics in obedience on the Canon Law of the Catholic.

“We also enjoined the lay faithful to play their roles in the forthcoming elections premised on good conscience, play their roles at the election within prejudice or inducement and ensure that their votes count and the right people votes into power for the common good,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia Donates 140,468 Bags Of Food Items To IDPs In Borno, Yobe

6 December 2018 - 1:30pm


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, has donated 140,468 bags of food items to displaced victims of Boko Haram in Borno and Yobe states.

In his remarks at flag-off of distribution in Teacher Village Displaced Camp, Maiduguri, Borno State, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed that 125,317 baskets of food items will be distributed by the centre to 33,343 households in designated camps and communities in Borno State over the next four months.

According to a statement by Sani Datti, Head of Media and Public Relations issued on Thursday, Maihaja commended the effort of the Minister of Defence, Retired Brigadier General Mansur Dan Ali, who facilitated food assistance to the North-East.

The statement read: "In Borno, a total of 125,372 bags of 25kg of rice and beans and 62,686 cartons of condiments with each containing 4kg semovita, two litres of vegetables oil, 29 sachets of tomatoes, 1kg of salt and two sachets of seasoning will be distributed directly through the combined efforts of NEMA, SEMA and critical stakeholders using the voucher system. Each household of six persons will get a food basket of 59.8kg for the period of one month.

"In Yobe, a total of 15,096 bags of 25kg of rice and beans with 7,548 condiments will be distributed to 3,774 households identified to benefit from the gesture, where the total food basket to be distributed was put at 225,685."

Leader of the team, Nasser Alsubaie, an Assistant Director of Emergency Aid From King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, said the generous donation would benefit more than 840,000 Internally Displaced People in the North-East, as the donation was a testimony of the humanitarian commitment of the centre.

"It will be recalled that early this year, Saudi Arabia pledged to donate the sum of $10m for capacity building to NEMA and relief assistance to the Federal Government to address the food crisis and resultant malnutrition caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East."

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BREAKING: After 'Collecting N2m Ransom', Kidnappers Release Pregnant Ondo Medical Doctor

6 December 2018 - 12:38pm


Breaking News

Breaking News Sahara Reporters Media

One of the abducted health workers of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo in Ondo State, has been freed, SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.

The heavily pregnant medical doctor was released on Thursday at about 2am on Owo road.

On Tuesday, workers of the FMC were abducted along the Owo road. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Gunmen Abduct Three Health Workers In Ondo, Demand N50m Ransom 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The kidnappers also seized a lecturer with the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo (RUGIPO) in Ondo State, who was on his way to work. They demanded the sum of N50million as ransom.

Our correspodent learnt that the female doctor, identified as Mrs. Ayeku, was freed from captivity due to her condition. A source at the FMC, who confirmed her release, said the doctor was receiving treatment at a hospital in Akure.

The source, who preferred not to be named, said the doctor was released after the family paid ransom.

"Truly, I can confirm to you that one of our workers who was kidnapped on Tuesday has now been released. I gathered that she was freed due to her condition, but not until her family parted with the sum of N2million as ransom," the source said.

"She is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in the state capital, and I am aware the female doctor is doing fine."

Femi Joseph, Police Spokesperson at the Ondo State Police Command, confirmed the doctor's release via a phone call with SaharaReporters in Akure.

Joseph said the pregnant doctor was released on Thursday midnight along the Owo road after the Police combed the forest for several hours in search of the victims.

"Yes, one of the abducted victims was released today and she is the pregnant doctor," he said.

"They released her at the midnight when they noticed that the Police was close to them. We have received her, and she is currently receiving treament in the hospital due to the trauma that she faced in the thick forest. But let me assure you that we shall not relent in arresting the pepetrators of this crime and we will bring them to book, so they can face justice.

"The Ondo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, has set up a rescue team to ensure that others still in captivity are rescued unhurt."

At the time of filing this report, it was gathered that the Ondo Police Commissioner had already summoned a meeting with heads of all security agencies in the state.

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Victory For Democracy, Sowore As Reps Approve June 12 As Democracy Day

6 December 2018 - 12:33pm



Omoyele Sowore, human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, who is also the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has hailed the move by the House of Representatives to approve June 12 as Nigeria's new Democracy Day.

Video of Sowore Announces Plan To Make June 12 Democracy Day, 3 Days Before President Buhari's Decision Sowore Announces Plan To Make June 12 Democracy Day, 3 Days Before President Buhari's Decision

The move comes six months after Sowore made the promise, at a town hall meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on June 23, 2018, to formalise the date if he becomes President next year. 

Three days later, in what was deemed a political move, the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration also announced plans to make June 12 Nigeria's new Democracy Day.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives announced that June 12 be commemorated as Nigeria's new Democracy Day with the last celebrated date, May 29 now, to be permanently replaced in the Public Holiday's act. 

In 1993, Sowore fought for the de-annulment of June 12 election while he was Student Union President of the University of Lagos. The election, referred to as Nigeria's freest and fairest elections, was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida.

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EFCC Arraigns Four Dangote Staff For 'Diverting' 800 Bags Of Cement Worth N15million

6 December 2018 - 10:58am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned four Dangote staff — Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam — before an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta for alleged conspiracy and stealing.

They were arraigned on a two-count charge before Justice O.J. Bamgbose on Thursday.

According to the anti-graft agency, the trio connived to divert nine trucks loaded with 800 bags of cements each.

Count on of the charges read: “That you Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam between May and August 2018 at Ibese within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony, to wit: stealing of the sum of N15,940,800.00 (fifteen million, nine hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred Naira) property of Dangote Cement Place.

"That you Adewale Dalmeida, Ibrahim Lawal, Afeez Olaniba and Lukman Adam between May and August 2018 at Ibese within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court stole nine trucks of cement valued at N15,940,800.00 (fifteen million, nine hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred Naira) property of Dangote Cement Place."

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

However, before the plea, a slight drama ensued as the defendants insisted they do not understand the English Language, necessitating the court to provide them three different persons who interpreted to them in Hausa, Yoruba and Pidgin English.

Following their not guilty pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Idris Mohammed, prayed the court to remand them in prison custody pending the commencement of their trial.

The defense counsel, however, made an oral application for their bail which the court rejected. 

The counsel urged the court to grant bail or remand them in the custody of the EFCC where they have been since September.

Justice Bamgbose remanded all defendants in Ibara prison custody, Abeokuta and adjourned till December 17, 2018 for hearing of bail application and commencement of trial.

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Atiku’s Cousin Umar Ardo Tipped To Leave PDP For Buhari's Party APC

6 December 2018 - 10:26am

Dr. Umar Ardo, an aspirant for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to contest the Adamawa State governorship election, is set to dump the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ardo, who is a cousin of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP, was interested in the PDP ticket but withdrew ahead of the primary, alleging irregularities.

However, following the defection of Muhammadu Tahir, another aspirant, from the PDP to the APC, Ardo is being tipped to follow suit.

Tahir, who was Deputy Governor during the eight-month administration of Governor Bala Ngilari, defected to the APC on Tuesday, and then accompanied Jibrilla Bindow, Governor of the state, to the commissioning of Buhari's North-East campaign office in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Sources close to Bindow have told SaharaReporters that Ardo may dump the PDP on Friday. 

“Ardo was to announce his defection on Tuesday but postponed it to Friday,” an aide of Bindow said.

Similarly, Bindow's second term bid got a boost during Tahir's defection, as Hassan Turaki, who is better known as Yedi and is a sworn enemy of the Governor, was also sighted on his entourage. 
 

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BREAKING: Imo Assembly Speaker, 17 Lawmakers Dump APC, PDP For AA

6 December 2018 - 9:50am


Breaking News

Breaking News Sahara Reporters Media

Eighteen members of the Imo State House of Assembly have announced their defected from their political parties.

According to Channels Television, the Speaker, Acho Ihim, and 17 other lawmakers dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The lawmakers defected to the Action Alliance (AA).

Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, who had been tipped by Okorocha to secure the APC governorship ticket, had also dumped the APC after issues that led to his losing the ticket.

On Tuesday, he had also announced his intention to run for Governor of Imo State on the platform of the Action Alliance, stating that “injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution” forced him out of APC. See Also Elections Okorocha's Son-In-Law Abandons Him In APC, Joins AA 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The lawmakers' defection was announced on Thursday by the Speaker, during an emergency sitting at the State House of Assembly.

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If Buhari Will Reshuffle His Cabinet, These Ministers Shouldn’t Go To The “Next Level” By Fredrick Nwabufo

6 December 2018 - 9:12am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

Sources at the presidential whispered to me that President Muhammadu Buhari is considering “reshuffling” his cabinet.

Since 2015, President Buhari has made no changes to his team. And despite demands for a rejigging of his players; he has kept them, even while some of them are conceding own goals like Manchester United.

However, it is refreshing to hear that the president is considering changing the line-up of his players. When this will happen is still a subject of speculation. But if he decides to take the action, some ministers ought not to follow him to the “Next Level”.

Top on my list of ministers, who should exit the federal executive council is Mohammad Bello, minister of the Federal capital Territory (FCT). I have lived in Abuja for years; I have never seen the city so dirty, ramshackle and unsafe before as it is now.

Abuja is now a safe haven for criminals. Car snatching, armed robbery, “one-chance operations”, and other criminality have become very common. The parlous state of insecurity is compounded by non-functional streetlights. At night, darkness envelops the city like a cumulus, giving cover to criminals to operate unchecked.

Also, the roads in the city have never been this deplorable. Pot-holes sprawl out on the roads and refuse litter the streets.

Really, I doubt if any road project has been completed by the FCT administration under Bello. For example, the Karshi-Apo road, which the minister promised would be completed this month, is barely done. As you read these words, nothing is cracking up on that road. The pain of residents, who endure traffic gridlock on the Nyanya-Keffi road every day, is unimaginable. As it is, there is only one entry into and exit out of the Abuja suburb.

Another minister, who should not go to the “Next Level”, with Buhari is Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications. Shittu has been in the news more for controversy than for performance.  

Recently, he admitted to have skipped participating in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme after he finished law school in 1979. He said he was elected a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly after law school, so he skipped the NYSC because being a "Honourable member" is already service to father land.

Imagine?

Meanwhile, he heads a ministry where an “ordinary Nigerian” cannot get a job if he does not have an NYSC discharge or exemption certificate.

 And on performance, Shittu cannot be argued for. Omobola Johnson, the immediate past minister of communications, left a record he appears too feeble to match.

If President Buhari will take these men to his Next Level; we already know what that would be like.

Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo, Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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'A President Who Doesn't Matter' — Buhari 'Clone' Mocked Again, This Time By South African Comedian

6 December 2018 - 7:10am

The notion of a cloned President Muhammadu Buhari has again become the topic of discussion on live TV.

Buhari had addressed the speculations on Sunday in Kraków, Poland, while answering questions, saying: "A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. It is real me."

He then became the subject of a joke on the matter during an episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, an abridged recording of which was made public on Tuesday. See Also Entertainment 'Clone' Buhari Mocked On American Late-Night Show 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

In an abridged version of another comedy show, which went viral on Thursday, the subject also came up for discussion.

The Daily Show airs on Comedy Central and is anchored by Trevor Noah, a South African comedian.

Video of Cloned President: Buhari Once Again Mocked On International TV Show Cloned President: Buhari Once Again Mocked On International TV Show

In the clip published on December 4, 2018 entitled: 'The Seven-Year-Old Millionaire, Tumblr's Porn Ban & Racist Christmas Trees', Michael Kosta who spoke during the show started with "the President of Nigeria is having an identity crisis".

After a clip showing the tweets where Buhari responded to the "ignorant rumours", Kosta continued: "Even Nigeria's real news sounds like Nigerians' scam emails".

He then went into an accent that attempted to mock Buhari.

Noah was also present but mute during the show, as he had earlier said Kosta would be his voice for the show, having lost his ability to speak in undisclosed circumstances.

"We're supposed to believe he's not a clone but I don't know, because if you know, the CIA did have the technology, they are gonna test it on an African first. You don't just try that out on rich, white people. The CIA Chief is gonna be like 'This might not work the first time, so find me someone who doesn't matter. The President of Nigeria? Yes, that's perfect'," Kosta added.

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#ThrowbackThursday: 'Show Me Your Backside' — When Reverend Chris Okotie Was A Secular Musician

6 December 2018 - 5:43am


Born 60 years ago, not many people would have seen Kris Okotie exchange the secular music stage for the pulpit.

Once upon a time known as Kris, the now Reverend Chris Okotie has crafted a niche for himself in the Christian setting in Nigeria. His style of preaching is also such that listeners may be forced to consult their dictionaries anytime he mounts the pulpit.

“It was not an arbitrary whimsical or capricious act it was based on the claims justice being meant before the dispensation of grace could be released unto you. Are you still here?” are the words of Reverend Chris Okotie in his sermon on a Sunday in 2016.

Aside being a pastor, Okotie made the headlines on Sunday, June 24, 2012 when he decided it was time for him and his ex-wife, Stephanie, to say goodbye. His decision was met with heavy criticism as some questioned why a pastor would part ways with his wife.

He is also known as one of the Nigerians who have attempted to rule the country, having contested three times for the office of the President of Nigeria. In 2003, Okotie contested as the presidential candidate of Justice Party (JP), but lost to Olusegun Obasanjo. Again, in the May 2007 general election, he contested on the platform of Fresh Democratic Party, a party he founded. However, he lost to the late Umaru Yar’Adua. Not wanting to give up on his dreams, he tried his luck in 2011 when he contested against Goodluck Jonathan. He lost. On Sunday, July 16, he declared his intention to run for presidency in 2019 general election.

However, Okotie has not always been known as a 'master' of the English language on the pulpit. “When he was in the world” — as they say — his voice found its way into the heart of music enthusiasts for his pop style of music that brought freshness to the music scene of the 80’s.

Although he had been singing since he was younger, the big break came for him in 1980 when he met Odion Iruoje, a producer in Lagos. And so, the road to his stardom became a reality.

Here are a lists of some songs in his catalogue:

Show Me Your Backside: The song which eulogies a woman’s behind sees Kris Okotie trying to woo a woman by telling her to dance to the rhythm of his song. The song was recorded at EMI studios, Lagos and was produced by Odion Iruoje. It was released in 1981.

I Need Someone: This Funk/Soul/Pop rock song was released in 1980. The track was arranged by Odion Iruoje with the help of other co-producers like Berley Jones.

Carolina: Kris Okotie uses poetry in telling a story of a city in America, North Carolina where his mind resides. “I can feel the sun shine hit me from behind and I got North Carolina in my mind,” so goes the lyrics of the song.

Fine Mama: If all other songs have failed to get your attention, this pop song by Kris Okotie will definitely get you off your seat. In this song, Okotie skilfully praises the beauty of his mother. Some part of the lyrics are also rendered in his local dialect. “Fine mama loves me 1,2,3,4,5. My mama too fine,” the lyrics read.

Today, Chris Okotie, as he now refers to himself, spends his time spreading the gospel of Christ, as well as nurturing his dream of becoming Nigeria’s president.

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Buhari Mulls Cabinet Reshuffle Ahead Of 2019 Elections

6 December 2018 - 5:36am

President Muhammadu Buhari is contemplating rejigging his cabinet in a bid to bolster his chances of succeeding at the 2019 presidential polls, SaharaReporters has been told.

It is not exactly clear how soon the President would ring the changes, but a source in the presidency told SaharaReporters that it could happen at Friday’s emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), or it could be delayed for a few weeks. 

The emergency FEC meeting was primarily convened for approval for the 2019 Appropriation Bill, with the government hoping to present the budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly next week.

But the source told SaharaReporters that a cabinet reshuffle at a time like this, with elections approaching, should be no surprise.

“The President is considering dropping ministers with political baggage, and those contesting, and is also hoping to strengthen his campaign spread,” he said.

Since becoming President in May 2015, Buhari hasn’t altered his cabinet, the members of which he waited six months before announcing.

Aisha Alhassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba, is the most recent Minister to reluctantly bow out of office. She quit in acrimonious circumstances as Minister of Women Affairs in late September, after she was disqualified from contesting the Taraba State governorship election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

That was two weeks after Kemi Adeosun, then the Minister of Finance, belatedly resigned following months of sustained public pressure after it was exposed that she did not undergo the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Kayode Fayemi, then Minister of Solid Minerals Development, left in May to contest the Ekiti State governorship election, which he won — he was sworn in in October — while Amina Mohammed resigned as Minister of Environment in February 2017 after she was appointed United Nations Deputy Secretary General.

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