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I'm Excited, My Next Album Is Ready, Says Asa

6 December 2018 - 5:13am


After a brief hiatus in the music scene, Bukola Elemide, popularly known as Asa, has announced to SaharaTV that she will release her next album early next year.

Four years ago, in 2014 precisely, was the last time the singer released a complete body of work. The project which was titled 'Bed of Stone' was well received as singles like 'Dead Again', 'Eyo', 'Satan Be Gone' and 'The One That Never Comes' became instant favourites with Asa's fans.

Asa has been going on a world tour which took place from 2015 to 2018. However, within that period, fans have called for new songs from the artiste.

SaharaReporters had earlier written a feature article asking the whereabouts of the singer. See Also Arts There's 'Fire On The Mountain'; Where Is Asa? 0 Comments 2 Months Ago

In an interview with SaharaTV on Thursday, she revealed that her next project would be early next year. Upon release, Asa said she will be going on tour.

“My next album is ready and I am excited. I think you’d like it because I enjoyed it. I love the songs in them and I am very excited to introduce it to people. So, early next year. There is going to be a tour definitely, Nigeria,” She told SaharaTV.

Speaking further, Asa who is in Nigeria, said her stay in Nigeria has been good. “It's home. I'm home with my family and friends. It's been good,” the soulful singer said.

Asa was born in Paris to Nigerian parents and she grew up listening to artistes like Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, King Sunny Adé, Diana Ross, Nina Simone, whom she learnt from. Her first album was self-titled 'Asa', which was released in 2007 with production credit to Cobhams Asuquo.

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Tahir, Ex-Adamawa Deputy Governor, Dumps Atiku For Buhari

6 December 2018 - 4:47am

Muhammadu Chubado Tahir, former Adamawa State Deputy Governor, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to lend support to President Muhamadu Buhari's re-election bid.

On Tuesday, he accompanied Governor Jibrilla Bindow to commission Buhari's North-East campaign office in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Before his defection, Tahir, who was Deputy Governor during the eight-month administration of Governor Bala Ngilari, was a strong contributor to the support base of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.

Addressing a cheering crowd, he said: "After carefully weighing the options, I came to a conclusion that APC is the party for all reasonable Nigerians.

“I can tell you without mincing words that PDP, in particular, is an assemblage of falsehood and lies.

“Here in our state, for instance, it is evidently clear that by reason of real dividends of democracy, the APC stands out and we can only give kudos to Governor Bindow.”

However, his defection may have been triggered by the governorship primary of the PDP, which he and Dr. Umar Ardo withdrew from on the eve of its conduct, alleging irregularities.

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Deji Adeyanju Granted Bail As Fani Kayode, Charly Boy Storm Abuja Court

6 December 2018 - 4:00am


Deji Adeyanju, Convener of Concerned Nigerians, has been granted bail.

He was granted bail on Thursday by the Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja.

Femi Fani Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation and Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, among others, stormed the Magistrate Court in Abuja on Thursday morning express solidarity with Adeyanju, who is standing trial on allegations of "cyberstalking, inciting disturbance and criminal defamation".

The offence is punishable under Section 391 of the Penal Code and Section 24(1) of the CyberCrime Prohibition and Protection Act 2015.

Idiat Akanni, the presiding magistrate, said the offence is bailable, noting that Adeyanju should not have been kept in custody. She, therefore, admitted him to bail on the condition that he must produce two sureties with N500,000 in like sum, and the sureties must not be less than Grade 12 in the civil service.

Adeyanju was rearrested on Monday December 3, 2018 after he was initially released from prison by the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS) on offences bordering on "cyberstalking, inciting disturbance and criminal defamation". See Also Free Speech After Buratai's Petition, Police Rearrest Adeyanju For 'Cyberstalking' 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, had also written a petition against Adeyanju for "promoting terrorism on social media" regarding the attack on soldiers in Melete.

Speaking on the arrest, Fani-Kayode said: "The excesses of the Police have exposed the number of issues happening with the military and so on. That he should be locked up, charge to court, granted bail and rearrested. This is unacceptable and I will urge the government to reconsider the way they are handling this matter".

The case was adjourned till January 17, 2019 for hearing.

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The Scourge Of Teenage Pregnancy In Nigeria By Muniraht Olanipekun

6 December 2018 - 3:49am


face2faceafrica.com

Telling the truthful tales of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria might be both tasking and daunting, especially in the Northern part of the country, where people tend to trample upon the truthful once-upon-a-time-stories about how pregnant teenagers are vulnerable victims of tragedy of all sorts.

Pathetic enough, bathetic stories are told to deceive innocent girls on the scourge of teenage pregnancy and child marriage controversy. The reason for this is not farfetched — poverty and illiteracy have made many Nigerians have inaccurate impressions about 'teenage pregnancy'.

Meanwhile, teenage pregnancy, also called unwanted pregnancy has become a bane in the society. Underage girls are caught in the mess of being put into the family way. This has become rampant in the society, most especially in the Northern part of Nigeria. It has led many young ladies to early graves as a result of unsuccessful abortions; the youngsters also drop out of schools, consequently. In fact, teenage pregnancy is a costly mistake that leads to stigmatization.

According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children — the world’s highest number. Sixty per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria. About 60 per cent of out-of-school children are girls. Many of those who do enroll drop out early. Truth be told, both unwanted and unwarranted pregnancies of teenagers are reasons behind the aforestated data.

By the way, who, by convention are teenagers? They are set of youngsters from age 13-19; therefore, they are considered minors. Most of the children who fall under the aforementioned age bracket are still very much under the roof  of their parents. If by means of involving in intimate affairs, they are put into the family way; in the case of a female, they find it difficult in raising these babies, for they are themselves being brought up. As a result, there is a defect in taking care and in the upbringing of the so-called children.

Teenage pregnancy will most likely result in single parenting, whereby a single parent, usually the mother, raises the child alone and sadly, the young individual will be raised without a male figure which is extremely important for the child’s development as this defect can result in behavioral and antisocial problems later in life.

Undoubtedly, child marriage is a core causality of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria, particularly, it is more or less a tradition in the Northern part of the country. As at today, child marriage is still widespread in the northern part of Nigeria, having the highest rate of child marriages and early pregnancies with one significant reason owing to the lower level of literacy.

The explanation given is that, the higher the level of education, the higher the level of knowledge of contraceptives use, awareness about risks and many complications associated with early pregnancy. Thus, often times, teenage pregnancy and early marriage go hand-in-hand and may be inseparable. It is well understood that teenage pregnancy is mainly amongst underage teens, who indulge in unsafe sexual practices that lead to unwanted pregnancy and chiefly, the girl child suffers the consequences in most cases. Sadly, the girl child suffers the stigma of the society when she carries around a protruding stomach amidst her peers. Worse still, stigma may come from friends, society and even her family members and relatives and eventually becoming a school dropout.

Aside the fact that this act is socially repulsive, it is also morally unacceptable. However, morals are sometimes relative just like religion. Nevertheless, these practices need to be curbed. Early marriage, most times, is done as a camouflage to minimize stigmatization for the female child.

For girls aged 15-19, risks are more associated with biological effects of age such as risks of low birth weight of the infant, pattern and prolonged labour, premature rupture of fetal membrane and more are observed in teen births, even after controlling for other factors such as accessing good pre-natal care. Also, post natal risks include complications, VVF (Vesicovaginal fistula), and in some cases, death during labour and more.

A depressed and naïve teenage girl who finds herself in this situation would do anything just to be relieved of the trauma of being pregnant with no opposite gender or relatives to take responsibility for the shameful pregnancy. She  might consider going for abortion, which may cause intense damage to her body system or even lead to her death.

Furthermore, teenage pregnancy and child marriage contribute rapidly to the robust population of this country. The reason behind this mindset is that statistics show disparities within the geo-political zones of Nigeria as follows: North-West (36%), North-East (32%), North-Central (19%), South-South (12%), South-East (8%) and South West (8%). This report shows prevalence of child pregnancy in the northern parts of Nigeria and it has a significant effect on the natality rate. Thus, considering the country’s economic status as at now, it is important to keep control of the birth-rate in the country.

For possible solutions, it is recommended that orientation agencies should initiate programmes aimed directly at sensitizing these minors on sex education and the dangers associated with it and more.

However, Nigeria is a closeted country; sexual issues are not discussed freely. Advocates of sex education in schools have met stiff resistance from teachers and religious leaders who say that such education would promote immorality. This should not be a factor of discouragement because this movement will help these youngsters learn that the future is more important than any other thing and can truly be enjoyed as an educated individual.

In conclusion, parents are advised to keep a close watch on their wards and render attention whenever it is needed of them from their children to prevent uneventful happenings. Parents should also monitor closely the level of exposure of their youngsters and the kind of company they keep. Promoting education of the girl child and economic empowerment of young girls will reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy and the high complication rate associated with it. Moral education should also not to be left out.

Olanipekun Muniraht is a student journalist from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto

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Oyedepo And The Perils Of Satire By Azu Ishiekwene

6 December 2018 - 3:31am


It’s difficult to say which one was worse: the original falsehood or the misinterpretation and rebroadcast of its parody as gospel truth. 

The fugitive and self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is credited with inventing the fabulous tale that the real President Muhammadu Buhari died in London sometime in January or April, after a prolonged illness, and that the resident cabal in Aso Rock immediately replaced him with a body double, one Jubril al Sudaniya from Sudan. 

When the falsehood wasn’t spreading fast enough, Kanu shared pictures of the “former” right-handed Buhari, whose body double was now left-handed, and also highlighted facial differences, including those around the earlobes, to prove that the Buhari in Aso Rock today is not the Buhari that Nigerians voted for.

That withering creative madness was the tipping point. Over 500,000 people have now viewed the body double video and perhaps the 500,001th viewer was Bishop David Oyedepo, leader of one of the largest Christian evangelical denominations in Nigeria.

Oyedepo went further than just viewing the video. If there were any residual doubts in his mind about what he had seen and heard, they were settled by an article written by Professor Olatunji Dare in The Nation of November 27, entitled, “Buhari’s Double”, under a miscellany of short articles.

Oyedepo read Dare’s article in full to a church congregation of tens of thousands of worshipers on Sunday with thousands more logged on. As he read it aloud, carefully emphasizing the incredulous demand by the family of the fictitious Jubril of Sudaniya for a share of federal power in perpetuity, in addition to 50 percent of the country’s oil revenue and the threat to spill the world’s best-kept sordid secret if the demands were not met, the faithful ughed! and aahed! in fits of amazement and subdued rage.

Like a master puppeteer, Oyedepo maintained his cool. He gave the impression that reading newspapers was actually a waste of his time, but that he condescended to perform this task because the author, “one Dare”, had said the information was obtained “authoritatively.” Perhaps the bishop also thought that since the article said the UK authorities were already mediating in the matter, it merited his attention.

But there were two problems with Oyedepo’s sermon on the Buhari Double, taken from the Book of Kanu the Fugitive. The first was that anyone with a measure of educated skepticism who had looked even casually at the Kanu video would have seen it for the creative fudge that it was. It was a monstrous piece of fiction, which even Kanu knew it was.

The second problem was that the author of the piece which Oyedepo used as the final authoritative evidence of the authenticity of Buhari-turned-Jubril-al-Sudaniya story was not just “one Dare,” as he said. Olatunji Dare is a renowned professor of mass communication and one of satire’s all-time best gifts to Nigeria. 

Was it possible that Oyedepo, pro-chancellor of two universities, did not genuinely know that Dare’s piece was a satire or was he too blinded by his dislike of Buhari that the satire not only played to his instincts but also became a convenient tool to incite his base against Buhari?

As I watched the Oyedepo video again and again, it reminded me of how Donald Trump, then simply Celebrity Trump, retrieved from the gutter a despicable tale about Barack Obama not being an American and went ahead to launder and popularise it among a lunatic fringe called the birthers. The tale was later mainstreamed. 

Whoever heard of a “Barack Hussein” as anything other than a woebegone Muslim from a shithole country? Twenty-five percent of adult Americans actually believed this tale and, like Trump, propagated it. Not even when Obama took the unprecedented step of publicly presenting his birth certificate did the doubters give him a break.

There are other recent examples of tale-bearers remaking the world. Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson demonised immigrants as good-for-nothing spongers, saying that the National Health Service would be saving at least £350m weekly if Britain left Europe. Life would be so glorious that every true Brit would once again feel the sun rising over the Empire.

A good number of British people believed this fiction and voted Leave before finding out the morning after, that their leading politicians had sold them down the river. They didn’t know what they voted for.

I admit that in this age of cynicism worsened by growing, unmet expectations and low-performing politicians, fiction is seductive. For example, it’s easier for politicians to play the ethnic card than it is for them to accept that poverty cuts across ethnic groups and to find common sense solutions; it’s easier for politicians to create a false universe of “we” and “them” and to stoke images of a siege mentality than it is for them to accept that head or tail, they hardly lose. 

But fiction serves politicians well, because in politics as in religion, the masses have an increasing appetite for manufactured solutions, which celebrity politicians and rock star religious leaders have in good supply. Why think when someone else can think for you? 

So, when Oyedepo says that it would be irresponsible for Buhari not to respond to the tale that he is not Jubril al Sudaniya, for example, he is telling church members not to bother processing the fiction anymore. He, Oyedepo, with his education, enlightenment and exposure, believes the fiction – and that is enough. 

There’s a sense in which it might be argued that the official secrecy about the nature of Buhari’s illness could only have encouraged speculations about his health including, in fact, exaggerations about his death. But nothing in the realm of rational thinking or even common sense, can encourage any serious-minded person, not just to think, but to believe that Nigeria is being ruled by a character from Nnamdi Kanu’s book of fiction.

Yet, belief is a powerful thing. Those who doubt it only need to ask the talebearers whether Buhari’s refuttal in Poland has done anything to clear the doubts. An egregious aspect of modern politics is manufacturing discontent. And belief is a vital ingredient.

Oyedepo does not have to like Buhari – and it’s obvious that he doesn’t. Which is fine. But a man of his stature and learning ought to know better than to inflict on church members and propagate publicly a piece of monstrous fiction which, frankly, discredits him.

Those who accuse him of being a closet Buhari hater, citing his public appearance at the first Obasanjo-Atiku public meeting and the open-cheque lobby with a major Abuja-based Pentecostal pastor to prevent Godswill Akpabio from defecting to the All Progressives Congress, have Dare’s satire as more stick to beat him over the head.

And by the way, has the bishop seen Dare’s postscript? Will he also read it in full to the congregation on Sunday?


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

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Social Media Users And Information Poison: Buhari's Aide As A Case Study By Adejumo Kabir

6 December 2018 - 3:24am


Lauretta Onochie, social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari

Lauretta Onochie, social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari

"I will never know, because I will never be able to be in the position to witness those things. And I don't care to know something I myself cannot confirm. No one should care about this" - Maria Karvouni

The spread of fake information on social media has recently posed lots of threat to peaceful co-existence in the society.

While it is believed that sharing of false news did not just start in 2018, the fact-check project by different newsrooms is joyfully helping to point out erroneous reports of many social media users who engage in the habit of promoting falsehood.

In 1931, the Japanese army staged mock attacks on itself to justify its invasion of China, and then created the fake country of Manchukuo to legitimise its conquests. In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, said there is no Palestinian people and never was despite years of armed fight between Isreal and 'those that doesn’t exist.'

This has always been the trend but more popular following the advent of internet.

In July 2018, Nigerian government launched campaign against fake news, a decision linked to the possible effects of rumours towards escalation of crisis across the country.

In his speech, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said the essence of the campaign is to sensitise all Nigerians to the dangers posed to the peace and security, and indeed the corporate existence of Nigeria by the phenomenon, and the fact that each and every Nigerian has a role to play in curtailing the spread of fake news.

"The timing is not unconnected to the role of fake news in aggravating the various crises in the country as well as the need to check this phenomenon ahead of the 2019 elections", he said.

Despite this sensitization, it is observed that many officials of the government are guilty of spreading fake news.

One of them is the media aide to President Muhammodu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, an "arrowhead" when it comes to dissemination of fake news all in the name of politics.

Just on Tuesday, she posted a picture on Twitter that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, distributed cash and food at his Sokoto rally held on Monday December 3 and was able to gathered over 2000 retweets for a picture later proved by a  fact check to have first appeared online in February 2017 when a Lagos-based Charity foundation, released photos from an outreach.

Buhari's aide who is not a first timer in posting images misrepresenting facts in September also posted a picture of a rehabilitated Nasarawa-Jos Road which was later found to be false.

A team led by Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in their journal of science that: “Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information”

“It took the truth about six times as long as falsehood to reach 1,500 people. And it wasn’t bots spreading most of the falsehoods, they found. It was real people doing most of it. Usually ordinary people, too, they found: so-called ‘verified’ users and those with many followers were not usually the source of some of the most popular untrue viral posts."

While citizens must see themselves beyond being mere readers of information on social media or as factual advocates not spreading loose information that may lead to mass violence, who will punish the president's aide for posting fake information to elevate his principal?

 

Adejumo Kabir, is a student journalist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife

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Our Decision To Boycott 2019 General Elections Irrevocable – IPOB

6 December 2018 - 2:06am


The leadership of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) has re- iterated its decision to boycott the forthcoming 2019 general elections is irrevocable, saying that no amount of cajoling and criticisms of the decision as counter-productive would make it change the decision. Uche Mefor Deputy Leader of IPOB

In a statement issued yesterday by the deputy Leader of the group, Mr Uche Mefor, apparently in reply to a Niger Delta freedom fighter, Mr Askari Dokubo, who criticized the IPOB decision to boycott the forthcoming Nigeria’s 2019 general polls, IPOB, stated that injustice can never be erased in Nigeria.

“You cry everyday that the constitution is a fraud, the election rigged,  INEC  used as electoral tool to manipulate results and yet you senselessly or naively continue and want people to vote and yet you are a freedom fighter?

“Look, IPOB cannot mutate and certainly don’t change course midflight , IPOB remains ideologically consistent.

“Do your own and we do our own and in the end we take stock. IPOB refuses to betray the trust of her followers or sell them by joining Nigerian politics”, the IPOB leader stated.

The IPOB leadership even warned that the group might be forced to changing its tactics if its current modus operandi is seen not to be yielding the desired result, saying “Our demands must be met or we apply another sophisticated strategy if the anomaly subsists”.

He added, “In the final analysis , it is my considered opinion that those who are suggesting that we change course are at best insincere.

“They know right from the beginning that the end result in joining Nigerian politics is total failure with respect to BIAFRA .

“Bewarned, be focused, be vigilant for wolves are on the rampade. Rally round our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and together, we shall eventually prevail”, he stated

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60% Of Looted Funds Still Hidden In Nigeria – EFCC

6 December 2018 - 1:29am


 

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu yesterday said 60 percent of looted funds is still hidden in Nigeria.

He spoke yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with journalists at the EFCC head office.

He appealed to Nigerians to take advantage of government’s whistle blower policy, which enabled the EFCC to recover over $40m at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

He said 60 percent of looted state funds are still being kept in both foreign and local currencies, adding that the EFCC was collaborating with Bureau de Change operators to ensure that such activities are curtailed.

He lamented that such funds are being kept in different kinds of unorthodox storage facilities.

He said all law enforcement agencies must collaborate on the fight against corruption and double efforts to recover such hidden funds.

He said the EFCC is working to secure the extradition of former minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The commission had been given 72 hours by a High Court in Abuja to produce her.

He said the challenge is that she is being investigated by United Kingdom law enforcement agencies.

He noted that the difficulty in prosecuting the former minister in the UK is strange because her money laundering activities is known to several law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions across the world.

Magu also noted that over $300m looted from Nigeria is hanging in Jersey Island, in the United Kingdom.

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Herdsmen Collect N2.2m Ransom From Kidnapped Customs, NDLEA Officers, Others’ Families

6 December 2018 - 1:24am


Suspected Fulani herdsmen last week abducted six Abuja-bound passengers in Akunnu, in the Akoko North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victims had boarded a Sienna SUV at Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos State, around 9am last Tuesday.

The vehicle was said to have been intercepted by the gun-wielding hoodlums around 1pm.

Our correspondent learnt that the herdsmen led the passengers and driver into a forest, where they held them captive for five days.

Among the victims were officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

A retiree and a female student were also said to have been taken captive by the gunmen, who reportedly threatened to kill anyone who refused to cooperate with them.

After rounds of beating with cutlasses and sticks, the hoodlums were said to have converted the phone lines of two of their victims to their operational lines through which they demanded N5m ransom from the families of the victims.

Our correspondent learnt that after they were paid N2.2m, the gunmen freed the captives on Saturday.

One of the victims, Segun Obisanya, who retired from the Federal Civil Service in June this year, said the hoodlums took advantage of the bad road to abduct them.

He said during the five days that they were in captivity, the herdsmen fed them with half-cooked yam stolen from other people’s farms.

Obisanya stated, “When we got to Akunnu, Ondo State, there were potholes on the road and the driver had to slow down. It was at that point that the herdsmen came out of the bush. They were 11 in number and were heavily armed. Two of them had cutlasses, while the others had guns. They blocked our vehicle from the front and the back and began shooting into the air.

“They led us into the bush. We were six in number, including a lady, who should be about 24 years old.

“We walked in the bush for over four hours, after which they asked us to wait. They said they were not armed robbers, but kidnappers and that each of our families must pay N5m. They said if our families did not pay, they would slaughter us.”

Obisanya said the group was always on the move, adding that they slept whenever the sun set.

He noted that the bandits asked them to decide on whose relative would bring the ransom.

He narrated, “They beat us with cutlasses and sticks and said we should call our relatives for money. The lady among us suffered the most in their hands. Later, they asked us to decide and appoint somebody who had a trustworthy relative. They said the relative’s bank account would be used to collect all the ransom and the relative would bring the money to them.

“One person raised his hand and said he had an uncle in Edo State. So, our family members transferred money into the man’s uncle account. The person brought the money on Saturday morning. When the man brought the money, they asked him to stop at a particular junction. About three of them then went to collect the money.”

The captives were later released.

Obisanya insisted that the men were Fulani herdsmen because of the language they were conversing in.

He noted that throughout the time the captives were in the kidnappers’ den, the men stole tubers of yam from nearby farms to feed them.

The female victim, identified only as Temilade, could not speak to our correspondent when contacted because she was said to still be traumatised by her ordeal.

However, her uncle, who did not want to be identified, said Temilade had sent him a message to request money for the kidnappers.

“Uncle, please I am in the hands of kidnappers. They asked each of us to pay N5m, but anything you can raise will go a long way with what I have asked from other people. Sir, I will be dead by this time tomorrow because today is the second day,” the text  message sent by Temilade to the relative obtained by our correspondent read.

Temilade’s uncle said some money had been sent by other relatives before she was released with the other victims on Saturday.

He stated, “They left the park at 9am and the incident happened around noon; it was in broad daylight. We initially thought the telephone number the kidnappers were using to negotiate with us belonged to them, not knowing that they converted two of the victims’ lines to their operational lines.

“They released them after getting a total of N2.2m. My niece was the only female in the group, which consisted of a customs officer and an NDLEA officer,” Temilade’s uncle added.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident.

“They (victims) have all been released. But we are still investigating the matter. That is all we can say for now. We don’t know those who did it, because none of them has been arrested,” Joseph told our correspondent.

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Prepare For Long Strike Action, ASUU Tells Members

6 December 2018 - 1:12am


The Academic Staff Union of Universities yesterday charged striking members of the union in public universities across the country to prepare for a long industrial action.

ASUU President Professor Biodun Ogunyemi enjoined members “to be on the watch and prepare for a long drawn-out struggle to salvage the university system”.

ASUU had on November 4 embarked on nationwide strike over unfulfilled past agreements by the Federal Government.

Ogunyemi, in Strike Bulletin No 5 sent to all members of the union a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Ibadan yesterday, charged members to remain steadfast “and resolute in the face of intimidation or antics employed by government through Vice chancellors and Governing councils to undermine the ongoing struggle”

According to him, “Government is yet to change its “keep them talking” style and stance as all the meetings held so far with the Minister of Education are yet to resolve any of the demands of ASUU”.

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2019: We Don’t Need Amosun, Okorocha To Win – Adams Oshiomhole

6 December 2018 - 1:04am


 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the party would win the 2019 elections without the support of Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun and his Imo state counterpart, Rochas Okorocha.

Both governors are at loggerheads with Mr Oshiomole over the outcome of the party’s governorship primary election in their respective state.

According to him, the governors are poor students of their own history who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of APC.

He said, “We know there are people across the divide who are fighting back. There is a gang up by those who are used to sucking the system without adding any value but Nigerians will not allow that.”

On the election, the party chairman boasted that the 2019 election would be a smooth sail for President Muhammadu Buhari and APC because ethnic and religious sentiments that characterised the 2015 election lost by former president Goodluck Jonathan would have no play this time around.

“The two candidates are from the North and they are both Muslims. People are now going to look at character. Nobody has ever said Buhari is a thief. But who said the other person (Atiku) is a thief? it was his boss (Obasanjo).

“When you are working with me and I said you are a thief, God will punish me if I support you. And when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off, you now turned around to support the same person. That God that you called with your name to punish you if you support the person is about to go to work. And He will go to work in February and HE will punish him thoroughly and the person he is supporting, in favour of Nigeria.”

He alleged that the popularity of APC in Ogun and Imo had soared despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors.

Oshiomhole said, “Those who think our political future is tied to them; they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself.

“In Imo state today, APC will win more votes. My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote.

“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system. So in Imo I’m very confident.

“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened States in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.

“If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides). That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall APC is much stronger now.”

He, however, stated that sanction for those involved with anti-party lies with the electorate, just as he said the efforts of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee were already yielding fruits in some places while those with negotiable grievances were being sorted out.

He again promoted the APC presidential candidate, stating that he had the best credentials to lead the country to progress, economic recovery, peace and stability.

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DETAILS: EFCC’s 10-Count Corruption Charge Against NBA President Usoro

6 December 2018 - 12:54am

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 10-count charge against Paul Usoro, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), SaharaReporters can report.

Earlier on Tuesday, SaharaReporters had reported that the commission arrested Usoro days before he is scheduled to preside over his first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting as President of the association.

He was subsequently released, and SahararReporters has now laid hands upon the corruption charges    for which EFCC is seeking to prosecute him.

EFCC’s allegations against Usoro relate to converting to personal use, concealing the source of, disguising the origin of and retaining in his account sums of money to the tune of billions of naira belonging to the Akwa Ibom State government.

EFCC said Usoro committed the alleged offences in 2015 and in 2016, and named as Usoro’s accomplices Emmanuel Udom, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, whom it acknowledged is currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution; Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large); Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance of the state (still at large); Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant General of the state (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large).

The commission also said Usoro was paid with Awka Ibom State’s funds for legal services he rendered in his personal capacity to Udom, who was then a governorship candidate but is now a governor.

EFCC listed its witnesses who would give evidence of their investigation, tender exhibits and reveal their findings as Ibrahim Musa Miringa and Abdulrah Mohammed Arabo

It said they took statement of the suspect and witnesses, while documents recovered by them in the course of the investigation would be tendered and analysed before the court.

It added that Udom Idongesit Ekom would give evidence of the transaction source of the sum of N300,000,000.00 and how the account of Paul Usoro & Co was opened.

More witnesses — Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Theophilus Oyesanya (SAN), Onyechi Ikeazu (SAN), Festus Jumbo and D.D. Dodo — will give evidence of the legal services rendered with the defendant for Emmanuel Udom, for which they received payments from the defendant.

Representatives of Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sterling Bank will testify as well.

THE CHARGES IN FULL

Count 1: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1, 400, 000, 000 (one billion four hundred and ten million naira) property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 2: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 3: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigerian within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court concealed the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 4: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court disguised the origin of the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count Five: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 14th day of March, 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used the sum of N300,000,000.00 (three hundred million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Six: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 14th day of March, 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used the sum of N300,000,000.00 (three hundred million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in your Paul Usoro & Co’s account No. 1014604466 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Seven: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 24th day of August, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N530,000,000.00 (five hundred and thirty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Eight: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 18th day of September, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N40,000,000.00 (forty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Nine: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 3rd day of December, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N260,000,000.00 (two hundred and sixty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count 10: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 27th day of August, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court transferred the sum of N65,000,000.00 (sixty-five million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria from Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access Bank Plc to Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom State) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

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Police Reject Proposal To Make IGP Subject To Senate Confirmation

6 December 2018 - 12:42am


The Nigeria Police Force yesterday rejected an aspect of a bill that seeks to make the appointment and removal of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) ‎subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

The bill, which is on the reform of the Nigeria Police, came up for public hearing yesterday organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, chaired by Sen Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC, Zamfara).

Sponsored by Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi), the bill also provides that the seven Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), as currently obtained, should be reduced to one.

But the police, through the IGP Ibrahim Idris, also opposed that proposal, saying one DIG would not be enough for the police to perform its functions optimally.

But the police agreed with an aspect of the bill, which proposed 5-year tenure for an IGP.

In a presentation, the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, said the commission was in agreement with most of the proposals in the bill, which he said would transform the police.

He called for more provision in the area of accommodation so that more policemen could be accommodated inside barracks.‎

Also, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, who is a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), said members of the National Assembly would do good for the country if they reduce their monthly pay so that adequate funds could be made available to the Nigeria Police.

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ASUU Strike: Ngige Faults Falana’s Position On ‘No Work, No Pay’

6 December 2018 - 12:28am


The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has rejected the call by a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, on the federal government to rescind its decision to enforce the ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule in the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

He said the ministry has formally taking negotiations with ASUU and has scheduled meeting for Monday.

In a statement issued wednesday night in Abuja by the Director of Press in the Ministry, Samuel Olowokere, the minister said his attention has been drawn to media publications in which Falana, described as illegal, the enforcement of Sec. 43.1 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 on the ‘No- Work, No- Pay’ Act and asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately withdraw what he termed an “illegal order”.

“For a start, the minister is in disbelief as to whether the learned lawyer was correctly quoted. However, reading through the news item, especially his direct reference to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) wherein he urged the lecturers to disobey that aspect of the law, insisting also that ASUU complied with 31(6) of the Trade dispute Act 2005 as amended in declaring its strike, the Ministry is constrained to make the following corrections to avoid further misinformation of the general public,” it said.

The minister added that Nigeria is a member of the International Labour Organisation( ILO ) a United Nations specialised agency dealing with labour issues and whose aim is to promote the right at work for employees and employers, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

Ngige said it is important to state that Nigeria has also ratified and domesticated about eight core conventions of the ILO out of which two are most related in the instant dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“These are the rights to freedom of association and organisation as well as the right to Collective Bargaining.

“Based on these conventions, the ILO recognises the rights of the workers to strike. However, it also recognises the reciprocal rights of employers to withdraw wages during strike. This is the anchor for No Work, No Pay,” he said.

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OBJ, Atiku Alliance Will Fail – Oshiomhole

6 December 2018 - 12:00am


The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the new political romance between former president Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) and his then estranged vice, Atiku Abubakar, will not last beyond February next year.

Oshiomhole said that the past misdeeds of Obasanjo (OBJ) and his foe-turned friend, who is the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will work against them at the February 2019 presidential election.

Citing the curse Obasanjo earlier placed on himself if he supports Atiku for the presidency because of the latter’s alleged betrayal of the trust he placed on him, Oshiomhole said that now that the former president had eaten his words, the duo would certainly receive God’s punishment which would translate to President Muhammadu Buhari humiliating them at the presidential race next year.

Oshiomhole dismissed the grievances and anti-party activities of the governors of Ogun and Imo states, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha respectively as he asserted that the APC had emerged stronger without them.

He assured APC’s’ supporters in Imo and Ogun that the national and state organs of the party would work hard to ensure the victory of the governorship candidates without Amosun and Okorocha.

The APC chairman stated this yesterday when he received APC women leaders from Edo State in his office in Aso Drive, Abuja.

Oshiomhole recalled that Obasanjo swore that God should punish him if he ever supports Atiku to become Nigeria’s president.

Asked of his fears for 2019 elections, he said: “I will rather tell you my hopes and that is that Buhari will win by getting more votes than he got before. Nobody has said that Buhari is a thief, but who said that the other person is a thief was the person he worked with.

“If you are working with me and I said that you are thief, that God will punish me if I support you and when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off and you enter a new deal, come back to say I now support you, that God you invoked with your name to punish you if you support that person is about to go to work and He will go to work in February next year. He will punish you thoroughly and punish the person he is supporting in favour of Nigeria,” he said.

While describing the governors as poor students of history who had forgotten where they came from to join the APC, Oshiomhole declared that some APC governors no longer have electoral value.

He said: “Our popularity in Imo and Ogun states is much higher. What you don’t know and Nigerians always make me surprise by thinking that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. Yes, we have overwhelming majority of the APC governors with electoral value, but we also have others without electoral value.

“I can confidently tell you today that in Imo State, APC will win more votes. As I said, it is about numbers and my focus is about the ordinary Imo electorate because the governor, his commissioner for happiness and the son in-law have only one vote on that day.

“But those mechanics, market women, school teachers and workers, whose salaries are unpaid for years, have the same weight of votes. They are excited about the new possibilities of a new government coming with new ideas free from all the encumbrances of the present system. I am very confident in Imo.

“Also, in Ogun State, don’t forget that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from that state. We cannot focus on one person and not on the other. Ogun is one of the most enlightened states in the country and that is where the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, came from. They have a huge history in a political kingdom headed by one person.

“When a child runs out of his father’s house to bear a new name, according to history and the Bible, he returns when the weather thoroughly beats him as a prodigal son. That is why APC has prodigal sons. Those who think that their political future is not tied to the party are poor students of history.

“They forget that some of these people thinking that they are invisible have run elections before and lost deposit until they abandoned their parties and joined us. If they return back, history will repeat itself,” he said.

 

Odigie-Oyegun Expresses Sadness Over Instability In APC

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole’s predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has appealed to the political class and general public to exercise restraint as the general elections approach and be ready to make sacrifices in the interest of the country.

Odigie-Oyegun expressed sadness over the current crisis rocking the APC, even as he expressed the confidence that the ongoing peace moves would yield the expected results.

He spoke with newsmen for the first time since he left office at his Abuja residence yesterday.

According to him, he does not know anyone who is happy with the raging instability in the party and called for compromises for peace to reign in the APC.

Odigie-Oyegun said:  “We need to begin to confront the elections in February next year which given the state of the nation, are bound to be challenging” even as he appealed that efforts be made to enthrone peace such that the party would approach the race as a united force.

When asked whether he was disturbed about the situation, he replied: “Well I can say something for sure that I am not happy as to the state of peace or the instability in the party. I don’t think I know someone who is happy today about that but like I said earlier there are peace missions that I have found all over the country and so at this point it will be improper for me to start saying that things went bad because that happened or because that did not happen. As a statesman, let me not start passing my own personal judgement where there is a team out trying to broker peace, I won’t be helping the situation.”

 

PDP Mobilises North Central For Atiku At Ilorin Rally

For the opposition PDP, the need to replace the APC-led federal government took the centre stage of its North Central zonal presidential campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday.

The first shot was fired by the director-general of the Atiku/Obi Campaign Organisation and Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who said that the APC administration had failed in all facets of governance.

While asking Nigerians to vote Buhari and the APC out of power next year, Saraki lamented that the party had failed to deliver on all its 2015 campaign promises.

Saraki said: “APC promised Nigeria a lot of things. They promised us security.  Then we had security problem only in the Northeast but now it has extended to North Central and even the Northwest.  APC has failed because security has worsened.

“People are dying of hunger because the economy has gone terribly bad. They have also failed in fighting corruption. Nigeria is today the world’s poverty capital. We need a president who will fix the economy, create jobs and unite Nigerians.

“This APC government must go because events of the past three years had shown that they don’t have the solutions to these problems. We must vote this government out and elect Atiku as our next president. My people of Kwara and North Central, we must vote out Buhari. Atiku is the solution to Nigeria’s problem.”

In his speech, Atiku lamented that Nigeria has gone worse under the APC, hence the need to provide an alternative administration which can make things work again in the country.

He said: “They promised us security, jobs, and to improve the economy, but in each of these, they failed. It is time for our people to return PDP to power because Nigeria was good when the PDP was in power.

“Today, in terms of economy, Nigeria is the poorest in the world. These are facts from international organisations.  The security situation has become terribly bad.”

Atiku alleged plans by the APC to buy Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from people as a way of perpetrating electoral fraud and urged Nigerians to guard against the plan so as not to mortgage their future and that of their children.

The PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, lauded  the large turnout of the people for the rally noting that Nigerians had been suffering since the APC took over power in 2015.

He said: “Look at the genocide in Benue and Plateau States and no arrest was made. APC is a government of propaganda. They can’t fool Nigerians again,” adding that Atiku has experience in both private and public sectors that he can use to return Nigeria to the path of glory and a buoyant economy.

The chairman of the organising committee for the rally who doubles as Kwara State PDP secretary, Alhaji Rasaq Lawal, thanked the people for turning out in large number to honour their illustrious son, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Describing the rally as a huge success, Lawal asked the people to repeat the feat at the 2019 elections by voting massively for all the PDP’s candidates.

The PDP flags were presented to the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Kwara, Barr Razak Atunwa, and his counterparts from the states in North Central zone at the rally.

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I’m Dangerously Wealthy, Receive Booty From No Govt – Oyedepo

5 December 2018 - 11:55pm


Bishop David Oyedepo

Bishop David Oyedepo

The Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, Dr. David Oyedepo has said that he has never received or shared any booty from any government in Nigeria.

He boasted of God’s blessings on his life and that he has a clear conscience. “I don’t share any booty from any government. I have a clear conscience; I am dangerously wealthy. I am rich, whatever I want, comes. That’s what they call wealth,” the Bishop said.

Oyedepo stated this at the opening session of Shiloh 2018, the annual gathering of the members of the Living Faith Church tagged “Dominion” at its International Headquarters, Canaan Land, Ota in Ogun State.

The Bishop warned those he called ‘political gladiators’ to understand that authority is now domiciled in the church, saying, “If the church says you are going nowhere, there is nothing you can do.”

Speaking on “Heralding the Dominion Era of the Church,” he declared that the authority that enthroned the church was from heaven and not man-made. “It is not something that we organise; it is by the hand of God. You can be upset, it won’t change anything,” he added.

He told the congregation, which included 4,512 delegates from 43 nations of the world that God would be confirming in these last days that heavens rules in the affairs of men. “If the church comes against any arrogant, puffing fellows, they shall be messed up,” he affirmed.

Oyedepo noted that for anyone to dominate his world, he has to first dominate the issues of his life. “Until one is rescued, he cannot rescue others. We must remove the beam in our eyes before we can remove the mote in other people’s eyes,” he urged.

The event, which will end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, December 9, 2018, is the 20th edition of the annual programme that features prayers, special ministrations, instant testimonies and encounter nights.

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'We Bought Diesel For Rescue Operations To Continue' — Residents Lament Pace Of Work On Collapsed Building In Rivers

5 December 2018 - 9:42am


Members of the Nzuko Obodoukwu clan in Imo State have held a rally to call for better resources to aid the rescue of people still trapped in the rubble of the seven-storey building that collapsed in Rivers State more than one week ago.

Members of the clan expressed dissatisfaction with the slow rate of work recorded by the evacuation team, adding that one of their family members is trapped in the building.

President of the clan, Benjamin Obidegwu, stated that the clan had assisted with the evacuation, and expressed sadness that hopes of rescuing others trapped under the rubble is fading.

Obidiegwu also disclosed that a brother of one of the victims had to buy diesel for the evacuation team to aid the rescue process.

“We have tried in our capacity to get the needed help at rescuing not only our brother, but all others trapped under the debris of the collapsed structure. The brother of one the victims had to buy 150 litres of diesel after the rescue team stopped work due to shortage of diesel," he said.

The Nzuko Obodoukwu clan maintained that those yet to be rescued, if alive, would not be in the right frame of mind.

They, however, questioned the lack of urgency and resources deployed to rescue those still trapped.

“We wish to state categorically that the resources deployed to save our brother, Morgan, and others leaves much to be desired. The lack of urgency on the part of the rescue team and the low sympathy this ugly incident got, necessitated by the worrisome disposition of the media, is a cause for concern," he said.

He urged all relevant agencies to hasten up the pace of rescue activities at the site.

Meanwhile, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Martins Ejike, had disclosed that 44 people have been brought out --- 31 alive and 13 dead.

Ejike lamented the lack of adequate manpower in carrying out their operations, adding that the rescue team had to work with the assistance of collaborators.

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Nigerian Army Killed Police Efficiency, Says Oba Akiolu

5 December 2018 - 8:01am


Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, has said the Nigerian Army "killed the efficiency" of the Nigerian Police Force.

He stated this in his address at the public hearing on a bill for an Act to repeal the Police ACT CAP 19, 2004 organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.

The hearing is currently holding at the Conference Hall 231, Senate New Building National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The Police Reform Bill is sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah and was debated up to Second Reading in the House before being referred to the Committee.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Ibn Na’Allah, who spoke on behalf of the Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that “A revamped policing structure will provide better guarantees for the rights and freedom of citizens".

“This proposed law will enhance communal relations, and in order to do this, will establish a Divisional State Police Board to foster better engagement with the people and the communities in which they live," he added.

Speaking at the event, Oba Akiolu said: "It is the Nigerian Army who actually killed the efficiency and the progress of the Police". Aside that, he restated the need for "adequate funding and not the normal envelope budget".

Also present at the hearing include Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Igwe Alfred Achebe, among others.

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CSOs Protest At US Embassy In Abuja, Say No To Granting Atiku 'Politically-Motivated Visa'

5 December 2018 - 8:00am



A group of civil society organisations under the aegis of Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations In Nigeria have besieged the US Embassy in Abuja to advise against granting American Visa to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bearing placards as they marched to the embassy on Wednesday, the protesters urged the officials at the Embassy to tread with caution on the matter.

Addressing the protesters, Comrade Wole Badmus, Convener and National Chairman of the group, said they had formally written to the United States Embassy against granting the visa request by the former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Noting that issuing the visa would portray the US as endorsing his candidature, he said: "This is apart from the tacit and covert electoral gain such can confer him as the general correct perception in our country now is that Atiku is being denied American visa because of proven cases of money laundering and financial crimes against him.

"Sir, you may recall the outcome of the US Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations chaired by Carl Levin. The committee submitted its report on 4 February, 2010. It is equally interesting to note that the probe was motivated by the US government's concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles and the rule of law."

Badmus explained that there is a nexus between corruption and failed state, stating that the World Bank estimated that $1trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year.

He continued: "A summary of the report indicates that between 2000 and 2008, Jennifer Douglas a US citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, helped her husband bring over $40million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporation to US bank account.

"In a 2008 civil complaint, the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002 from Siemens AG, a major German Corporation."

He added that Ms. Douglas owned up when the banks began to question the offshore wire transfers that all the funds came from, stating that "granting American Visa to Atiku would amount to negation of the Patriot Act which makes the acceptance of foreign corruption proceeds a US money laundering offence".

He added that it would make a mockery of the United Nations Convention against Corruption enacted in 2003, in which USA played an active role in its enactment and presently ratified by more than 140 countries.

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Dear Bishop Oyedepo, God Is Not Happy With Your False Witness On Jubril By Churchill Okonkwo

5 December 2018 - 7:43am


On the weekend that Fr. Mbaka was shamelessly trying to extort money by harassing and blackmailing Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar, you, Bishop David Oyedepo was busy maliciously gossiping (from the altar) about President Buhari as one Jubril from Sudan. While Fr. Mbaka was driven by the quest for money, you, Bishop Oyedepo, blinded by hatred was driven by desperation for power. As a Christian, it was a depressing weekend as I was left wondering what’s happening to Christianity in Nigeria?

Clearly, you, Bishop Oyedepo was blinded by his hatred of President Buhari when you read the satire “Matters miscellaneous” by Prof. Olatunji Dare in the Nation Newspaper of November 27 th , 2018. If not, there is no explanation why you and your team should degenerate to the devilish innuendos that Nigerian President is one Jubril from Sudan. Prof. Dare employed satire by exaggeration in his piece as a technique to expose the foolishness of people insinuating that Buhari is one Jubril. Yet, blinded by hatred, you, Bishop Oyedepo fell for it. What a ridicule you made of yourself and your congregation that was shouting Amen in unionism to malicious prayers.

Dear Bishop Oyedepo, beyond your unhidden desire to regain influence that you used to exert when Goodluck Jonathan was in power, there is something gratingly noxious about your hatred of President Buhari. From making a mockery of President Buhari at every opportunity to shamelessly embracing a corrupt Atiku and the PDP in a desperate move to regain influence, your “blind” hatred of Buhari is so intense that it has led you to utterances that are unbecoming of a man of God.

Proverbs 26:24-26 says that “whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Dear, Bishop, you goofed by exposing your hatred of Buhari. What should the people of God do when hatred is spewed from God’s altar? Shout Amen to prayers that are driven by disdain and hate or cover their eyes and run out of the church? What is happening to Christianity in Nigeria?

In Exodus 23: 1, we were told “do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness. But here we you, Bishop Oyedepo acting as a malicious witness, Nnamdi Kanu’s mouthpiece and Atiku’s campaign manager all at once. I wouldn’t have worried so much, but the fact that you did all these from the altar of God should trouble every Christian.

To show how mischievous and malicious you are, you made no mention of Prof Dare’s reference in the same satire, to dependable sources telling him that “Abuja is close to unraveling the identity of the fake Jew parading himself on faked foreign soil as Nnamdi Kanu.”

Selective amnesia? You, Bishop Oyedepo and your team clearly selected a section of Prof. Dare’s piece that will advance your malicious agenda of slandering President Buhari, period.

Dear Bishop, your blind hatred of Buhari is unreasoning hatred, a hatred and fury over which you have lost control of yourself, yet again. This is grievously sinful as we are to remain in control of ourselves always, loving our brothers, and not wishing death on fellow beings. Hatred may not be sinful if it is directed towards some evil quality that a person has but does not touch that person.

For example, it would have been understandable if you dislike Buhari because of the failure of his administration to deliver on the promise of stamping out Boko Haram or revamping Nigerian economy. It is, however, sinful when you, Bishop Oyedepo extends your hatred to the person of Buhari by engaging in malicious gossip. Of course, you cannot possibly claim to hate Buhari for not stamping out corruption while kissing and caressing Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.

So, why engage in this needless slandering?

Scripture uses the word slander which means making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation. Slander can destroy someone's marriage, job, wealth, and family.

Let me refer you, Bishop and your congregations and all Christians to the Words from the Holy Book. Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what

is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

What was the benefit of the gossip on Buhari from you to your congregation and Christians? Nothing spiritual or related to salvation. The gossip was purely political to advance your personal agenda.

Among the things that the Lord hates is a false witness who pour out lies (Proverbs 6:16-19). What were you expecting Bishop when he poured out his heart about an imaginary slavery from a Sudanese Jubril? In his testimony and witnessing, Paul spoke the truth faithfully (2 Corinthians 11:31; 1 Timothy 2:7). Did you speak to your congregation faithfully and truthfully?

Was Fr. Mbaka speaking truthfully when he cajoled Peter Obi to spit money or his December 31 st prophesy will go against him and Atiku? What happened to true Christianity?

Bishop, you stated in the video that went viral that “if the President will not address the nation on a subject as sensitive as this, it must have been proved beyond any iota of doubt that maybe he is not our President.”

In case you and your team are claiming ignorance, I want to inform you that President Buhari saw the evil in their hearts and have addressed that unnecessary and idiotic
insinuation over the weekend in Poland. He stated and I quote "I can assure you all that this is the real me. Later this month I will celebrate my 76th birthday. And I'm still going strong!"

Leviticus 19: 16 warned Christians not to “go about spreading slander among your people.” So, I challenge you, Bishop Oyedepo to retract your malicious innuendo and apologize to President Buhari and Nigerians in the same altar of God. I will love to see the same congregation shout a loud Amen to your prayer of good health for Buhari next Sunday. Failure to do this, to use your exact words, “will prove beyond any iota of doubt” that you are not a true man of God. It is that simple.

Finally, to my Christian brothers and sisters, I will leave you with these Words from the Holy Book. As followers of Christ Jesus, our testimony should be based and anchored on TRUTH. If you tell lies, you draw loyalty to yourself, and not to Christ; He is TRUTH! (John 14:6) and He testified to the truth (John 18:37). We should earnestly pray for deliverance from deception (Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:15). We should not seek to hear only what is appealing to the ears or the flesh (Jeremiah 5:31; 2 Timothy 4:3). The time to STOP the foolishness on Jubril or Jubrin or whatever is NOW. These are the Words of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

From Brother Churchill, with Love.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter
@churchillnnobi

 

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