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Open Letter: ‘He Spoke The Mind Of Nigerians’, Apostle Suleiman Backs Obasanjo

16 July 2019 - 11:26am


The General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, has called on Nigerians to differentiate between politics and reality to solve the nation's security challenges.

He hailed former President Olusegun Obasanjo for writing an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari while warning those who called for his arrest to stop their threats.

Suleiman spoke when he visited Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi, Benue State.

He said, “In Obasanjo’s letter, I did not see what he wrote there that has not been happening. People must draw a line between politics and reality. He spoke the mind of Nigerians and should not be castigated.

“I learned some people are calling for his arrest, but before anybody arrests Obasanjo, they should first arrest those who threatened the government by issuing a 30-days ultimatum to the government over the suspension of the RUGA settlement plan.

“Many leaders would prefer to defend their seats and positions at the expense of their people in such situations; the path Governor Ortom took was capable of costing him his second term election but he never bothered."

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UPDATE: IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, Explains Why She's Quitting

16 July 2019 - 10:58am


The International Monetary Fund's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has explained why she is quitting the global financial institution.  

Ms. Lagarde issued a statement today which was made available to SaharaReporters.

In the statement, she said, “I have met with the Executive Board and submitted my resignation from the Fund with effect from September 12, 2019.  

"The relinquishment of my responsibilities as managing director announced previously will remain in effect until then." See Also Breaking News BREAKING: IMF Boss, Christine Lagarde, Resigns 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

Explaining why she resigned her appointment the head honcho of the IMF, she noted, "With greater clarity now on the process for my nomination as ECB President and the time it will take.  

"I have made this decision in the best interest of the Fund, as it will expedite the selection process for my successor.  

"The Executive Board will now be taking the necessary steps to move forward with the process for selecting a new managing director. David Lipton remains our acting managing director.“

The financial institution said it would communicate on the executive board’s process of selecting a new managing director in due course as Lipton acts in that capacity.
 

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Police Arrest Woman Who Poured Hot Water On Husband's Genitals

16 July 2019 - 10:55am


The Police Command in Kano State has confirmed the arrest of a housewife, Aisha Ali, who allegedly poured hot water on the genitals of her husband, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the arrest of the suspect in a statement in Kano on Tuesday and said that the incident occurred at Feyen-Fayen village in Danbatta Local Government Area.

Haruna said that the command received a report on Sunday from the Village Head of the community that 35-year-old Aisha poured hot water on the lap and private part of her husband in their home on Friday.

“The husband suffered severe burns in his private parts and surroundings. He is presently admitted at Danbatta General Hospital receiving medical care and is responding to treatment," he said.

He said that after the incident the suspect fled the village into neighbouring Jigawa State.

Haruna said that on receipt of the report, the police responded promptly, by raising a team of Operation Puff Adder which tracked and arrested the suspect at her hideout at Babura in Jigawa.

He said that preliminary investigation revealed that she committed the act because her husband was planning to marry a second wife.

According to him, the commissioner of police in the state has ordered that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department for discreet investigation.

The spokesman said that the suspect would be arraigned as soon as the investigation was completed.

“The command is using this medium to call on law-abiding citizens of the state to always report any incident to the nearest police station without delay.

“This will assist in immediate arrest, investigation and diligent prosecution of the culprit,” he said.

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NAPTIP Arrests Two Men For Allegedly Raping Four Teens In Abuja

16 July 2019 - 10:40am


Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have arrested two men alleged to have rape four teenagers in Abuja.

The suspects, Festus Femi, an installation Engineer, allegedly raped three students while Luke Gabriel Ekundayo, the bursar of Government Secondary School Dangara, Abaji- Abuja, allegedly raped a student he was acting as a guardian for.

NAPTIP revealed that Femi, aged 41, allegedly raped the teenagers after luring them with money. He was reported to have contracted a teenager who helped to bring the girls to his house. He was arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and handed over to NAPTIP for further investigation.

Ms Stella Nezan, Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, in a statement said Femi, who is married with two kids, worked in Abuja while his family resides in Ondo State.

Nezan said the first victim was deflowered by Femi while he raped the girl in the presence of her friend.

Nezan said,"The first victim, a thirteen (13) year old Junior Secondary 2 pupil in one of the secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory, lives with her parents in Bwari.

“The victim stated that she met Festus through her classmate, who asked her in school to escort her to Festus’ house, and claimed he was her uncle. On getting to the house, her classmate and Festus went out briefly, and on their return, she told the victim that Festus wanted to have sex with her.

“The victim’s refusal and pleas of being a virgin fell on deaf ears. Festus turned the volume of the sound system very high and raped her in the presence of her friend. He further threatened to kill her if she tells anyone. This left the victim so distraught that she attempted suicide.

“The second victim is a twelve (12) year old Junior Secondary 2 pupil who lives with her Aunt in Bwari. The same classmate took her to Festus’ house and told her that Festus wanted to have sex with her. On her refusal, Festus gave them money and told them to visit some other time. On another day, she was on her way to her classmate’s house and met Festus on the way; he invited her to his house and raped her while she was waiting for her friend.”

The third victim, a fifteen (15) year old girl was the same person that introduced the other two victims to him.

She revealed that Festus was her former neighbour and each time he had sex with her, he gave her five hundred naira.

Festus also told her to bring girls for him and he would give her N3,000.

She added that so far, she had brought 5 girls to him, ranging from 12 to 15 years.

Meanwhile, Ekundayo, 51, the second suspect arrested by NAPTIP, was accused of drugging, raping and impregnating a 15-year-old girl.

Ms Nezan said the victim was also a secondary school student and was ill when Ekundayo first raped her.

“The suspect, Luke Gabriel Ekundayo, from Ilorin, Kwara State, was the victim’s guardian in school, and she spent short holidays in his house. The victim, a senior secondary three (SS3) student took ill in Ekundayo’s house, and upon taking some drugs administered to her by the suspect, she passed out. On waking up, she saw bloodstains and said she felt uneasy, but did not suspect that the school Bursar, whom her grandmother handed her over to, for protection, could do anything sinister to her,” She explained.

She added that the victim, an orphan who was on scholarship, was threatened by the suspect into having sex with him continuously, or he would tell her sponsors to stop paying her school fees. The rape continued until the victim got pregnant.

Reacting to the news of the arrest, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, condemned the actions of the two men, and said the action was in line with the name-and-shame policy of the Agency. 

She stated, “Rapists will be prosecuted for their crime against humanity and NAPTIP will not hesitate to bring the full wrath of the law on any rapist.”

Okah-Donli admonished parents to “be careful of who they entrust their children with as it is unfortunate that the people who are meant to protect the children are the ones who end up exploiting and abusing them.”

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Fact Check: Kalu’s Claim On Buhari Not Owning House In Abuja False

16 July 2019 - 10:38am


The claim by a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, that President Muhammadu Buhari does not own a house in Abuja is not true, The PUNCH  reports.

Kalu, who is the Chief Whip of the Senate, had, while addressing journalists on Saturday, said, “I have known him (Buhari) now for 32 years; he and former military President (Ibrahim) Babangida.

“He has not changed. Think of it… a man that ruled Nigeria as military head of state and has no house in Abuja or Lagos. He does not have a house in Port Harcourt or Ibadan.

“If you go to his house in Daura, it is the same house, the same small house he built long ago.

“The television I saw there when I went there last year for Sallah – that television must have been bought in 1973.”

However, checks by The PUNCH show that Kalu’s claims are not completely true, as the President has five properties located variously in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on September 3, 2015, the Presidency gave some details of what Buhari declared in his asset declaration form which was submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The statement reads in part, “The (CCB) documents also revealed that President Buhari had a total of five homes, and two mud houses in Daura.

“He had two homes in Kaduna, one each in Kano, Daura (Katsina State) and in Abuja “One of the mud houses in Daura was inherited from his late older sister, another from his late father.

“He borrowed money from the old Barclays Bank to build two of his homes.

“President Buhari also has two undeveloped plots of land, one in Kano and the other in Port Harcourt. He is still trying to trace the location of the Port Harcourt land.

“In addition to the homes in Daura, he has farms, an orchard and a ranch.

“The total number of his holdings in the farm include 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees.

“The documents also showed that the retired General uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and the others supplied to him by the Federal Government in his capacity as former Head of State.

“The rest were donated to him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014."

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American Varsities Offer $7.5m Scholarships To Nigerian Students

16 July 2019 - 10:26am


The US embassy in Nigeria has said 303 Nigerian students from the 17 states of southern Nigeria have received no less than $7.5 million in full or partial scholarships from 225 American universities and colleges to study in the United States for the 2019-2020 academic sessions.

Osman Tat, Acting United States Consul General, disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday during the 2019 EducationUSA pre-departure orientation for students who have received offers of admission and scholarships to attend US colleges and universities this fall.

He said, “I congratulate each one of you on your tremendous success. This is a very important step in your life. I encourage you to make the most out of your time in the United States to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge needed to support Nigeria’s development."

The students have been accepted for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at top-notch US institutions ranging from Ivy League universities, liberal arts colleges, women’s colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to community colleges.

They include Stanford University, The George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, Tufts University, Boston University, Emory University, and Howard University, among many others.

The pre-departure orientation is intended to assist students to prepare for their move from Nigeria to attend a college or university in the United States.  The event included interactive sessions on topics such as travel planning, adjusting to life in America, safety on campus, and F-1 visa rules for international students.

Participants also had the opportunity to meet with students currently studying in the United States who offered tips on how to prepare for the US academic, social, and cultural environment.

Among the departing students were 13 EducationUSA Opportunity Fund grantees —10 undergraduate and 3 graduate students, with full scholarships — who received financial aid to cover the up-front cost of obtaining admission.

Annually, through the Opportunity Fund Program, the US Consulate’s EducationUSA Advising Centre assists talented low-income students who are good candidates for admission to U.S. colleges and universities, by funding their application process.    

According to the latest Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education, Nigeria is the 13th highest sending country of international students to the US, with about 12, 693 Nigerians currently studying in the United States.

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'Game Of Thrones’ Breaks Record With 32 Emmy Nominations

16 July 2019 - 10:21am


The final season of “Game of Thrones” smashed the record for most Primetime Emmy nominations by a drama series in a single year, earning a whopping 32 nods Tuesday.

The conclusion to HBO’s fantasy epic enraged fans but still trounced the competition, with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — Amazon’s story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand up comic — a distant second on 20 nominations for the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars.

“Thrones” was already the most decorated fictional show in the awards’ seven-decade history, and now has 161 nominations, according to the Television Academy website.

HBO’s acclaimed drama “Chernobyl” placed third with 19, ahead of perennial Emmys powerhouse “Saturday Night Live” on 18.

The Television Academy’s 24,000 members sifted through a record number of entries for this year’s Emmys.

Final-round voting will now begin to pick winners who will be revealed at a glitzy Los Angeles show on September 22, AFP reports.
 

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BREAKING: IMF Boss, Christine Lagarde, Resigns

16 July 2019 - 10:07am


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has resigned.

Lagarde's resignation takes effect from September 12.

In a statement sent to SaharaReporters today, the IMF Executive Board said: “Today the IMF Executive Board accepted Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s resignation from the Fund with effect from September 12, 2019.

“We would like to express our greatest appreciation for all that Managing Director Lagarde has done for the institution. Her legacy of achievements has made a lasting imprint on the Fund. Under her guidance, the Fund successfully helped its members navigate a complex and unprecedented set of challenges, including the impact of the global financial crisis and its aftershocks.

“The Fund has excelled in serving its entire membership over the course of her tenure with cutting-edge policy advice supported by ground-breaking analytical work on a range of macro-critical issues. Her stewardship has been exceptional, and we are grateful for her innovative and visionary leadership.

“With this decision by Managing Director Lagarde, the IMF Executive Board will initiate promptly the process of selecting the next Managing Director and will communicate in a timely fashion.  

"The Executive Board has the utmost confidence in Mr. David Lipton, who remains Acting Managing Director of the Fund in the interim period.”

Today I informed the #IMF Board that I will resign as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, effective September 12. It has been a privilege to serve our 189 member countries with the devoted staff of this institution. https://t.co/WLso6ydrTE

— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) July 16, 2019

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COZA: #ChurchToo Movement To Protest Against Christian Association of Nigeria For Supporting Fatoyinbo

16 July 2019 - 10:01am


The #ChurchToo Movement has announced its plan to protest against the Christian Association of Nigeria for supporting the  Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, over the allegation of rape levelled against him.

The group said it would march to the headquarters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Fatoyinbo allegedly raped Busola Dakolo, a popular photographer and wife of a musician, Timi Dakolo, when she was a teen.

He has denied the allegation.

In a tweet on Tuesday, a leader of the movement, Bukky Shonibare (@BukkyShonibare), said, "Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, we will march to the headquarters of the Christian Association of Nigeria in response to their pledge of support for an alleged rapist, the lead pastor of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo. Meeting point: Metro Plaza, close to Women Centre, at 12noon."

Moments later, she tweeted saying, "We just left the Police Command.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, we will march to the Headquarters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in response to their pledge of support for an alleged rapist, lead pastor of COZA, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

Meeting point: Metro Plaza, close to Women Centre, at 12noon.

— HERmbassador (@BukkyShonibare) July 16, 2019

The group had expressed concern about the protest becoming chaotic in case of a counter-protest and in view of the ongoing protests by the Shiites in Abuja.  

“We agreed that our protest will not be stopped as it will be a violation of our right to assemble and associate."  See Also CRIME COZA: CAN Makes U-turn, Says It Is Investigating Rape Allegations Against Fatoyinbo 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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Udubuisi-Chukwu’s Death: Abike Dabiri Visits South African Embassy, Demands Justice

16 July 2019 - 9:47am


Abike Dabiri Erewa during a meeting with South African Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja

Abike Dabiri Erewa during a meeting with South African Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Citizens in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Tuesday, visited the South African Embassy in Abuja to demand the authorities to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of a Nigerian, Elizabeth Udubuisi-Chukwu, in her hotel room in South Africa.

Abike, who was in the company of the brother of the deceased, Chiedu Ndubisi, said the family and Nigerian government would like to see the outcome of the investigation on the circumstances that led to the death of the deceased who died on June 13, 2019, at Kempton Park, Gauteng Province.

She said, "We are here to implore you to please ensure that the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of late Elizabeth  be unravelled."

Dabiri said that for the sake of the family of the deceased and the country, the government of South African should do everything possible to get to the root of the matter.

She said, "For the sake of the family, we need to know how, why, when and what happened to her. We know we have been dealing with xenophobia in South Africa, which is in fairness to the South African government. We have about eight policemen that have been charged for cases allegedly linked to the maltreatment of Nigerians in South Africa."

She called on Nigerians to be of good behaviour wherever they find themselves.

In his remarks, Chiedu Ndubuisi, brother to the deceased, thanked the South African Government for their efforts in investigating the death. He expressed confidence that the family would get justice at the end of the investigation.  

While responding, the South African Acting  High Commissioner, Bobby Moroe, said that investigation had been opened on the matter in Johannesburg.

Moroe added that the embassy would make the outcome of the investigation open to the family of the deceased and the Nigerian government.  

He added that the South African police were working closely with the management of Emperor Palace Hotel where the incident occurred.  

He added that video footage from the hotel had been obtained and being studied, adding that the embassy would provide an update as soon as they get information from the authorities regarding the matter.

Moroe said, "We will not like to put the cart before the horse because we think this is a very sensitive case. We need to treat it with great respect. We are talking about the loss of human lives and our government is dealing with it with greater priority."

Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu died on June 13 at Kempton Park, Gauteng Province. She is said to be the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).  

She was in South Africa to attend the conference of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO).
 

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Beyonce Features Wizkid, Tiwa Savage Others In New Album

16 July 2019 - 9:18am


American singer, Beyonce, has released the track list for her Lion King inspired album: “The Lion King: The Gift.”

The album, which was produced by Beyonce, features a host of several African artists. The final track list was revealed on Tuesday consisting of 14 tracks. 

Speaking to ABC Information, she said, ‘This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa and I wish to ensure we discover the most effective expertise from Africa. I wished it to be genuine to what’s stunning concerning the music in Africa.

“We've kind of created our own genre and I feel like the soundtrack is the first soundtrack where it becomes visual in your in your mind.The soundscape is more than just the music because each song tells the story of the film.”

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Lagos Airport Customs Impounds $50m From Importers In Six Months - Report

16 July 2019 - 9:14am


From January to June 2019, the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos seized money totalling $50m illegally brought into the country by importers.

The command, in its report, said the seized money had been handed over to the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the presence of the Department of State Services (DSS).

According to the report, the seized money was confiscated from an unnamed company and individuals at various times at the airport, stressing that they were not declared by their owners at the point of entry.

The command advised customs brokers, airline operators and importers to imbibe the habit of making truthful and clear declarations, which must agree with all other documents required for clearance of cargos.

The report partly read, “Customs can only facilitate compliant trade when correct declarations are made, while those with discrepancies are naturally delayed for one correction of DN or the other.”

The command also frowned on the way legitimate and licensed customs brokers sublet jobs to miscreants and louts who have nothing to lose, thereby perpetrating all acts of frauds in order to circumvent revenue.

The report further stated that the command earned a total sum of N29,124,703,283.00 in the first quarter and second quarter of 2019,  as against N22,724,956,128.00 collected from January to June 2018.

The command also seized and detained various items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N382,220,062.00 for the period under review.

The items allegedly smuggled included (1002) PCS of Air-Force Berets; 152 packages of camouflage inner vest, combat shorts, and camouflage polo shirt; 272 pieces of two way walkie-talkie radios; 59 cartons of tramadol; 79 pairs of camouflage footwear; 43 bags of donkey’s skin; (27) PKGS of complete set of camouflage uniforms, safety belts and rope; (289) PKGS of different makes of drones; among others.

Similarly, many foreign currencies were declared in line with the Federal Government currency policy mandating any person travelling out of the country with amount of money more than $10,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) to declare on Customs Currency Declaration Form (CDF).

The foreign currencies declared included $US98,542,167; 579,205 pounds; 1.7m Euros, among others.

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Can We All Just Get Along? By Fredrick Nwabufo

16 July 2019 - 8:49am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

 

The eyes see what they want to see.  And the mind believes what the eyes see. In the Washington Post’s essay entitled, ‘Psychology explains why people are so easily duped’, Eryn Newman, a postdoctoral scholar in cognitive psychology at the University of California, deduced that ‘’photos and names can have surprisingly powerful effects on our memories, beliefs and evaluations of others’’.

Eryn raised two poignant questions: ‘’How do we come to believe that things are true when they are not? How can we remember things that never actually happened?”

When a label becomes the routine audio-visual constituent of public conversations, a perception is easily manufactured, and the mind is programmed to that falsehood or ‘’truthiness’’. This is malignant.

Stereotyping, ethnic labelling and reiteration of generalised fallacy are like landmines that remain rooted in the ground long after warfare.  The fact is, the hate we trade today will survive us. And God forbid, that our children continue on this path of animus. We cannot have a peaceful and progressive country when hate-trading has become a quotidian chore

I recently had to carry out a ‘’defenestration’’ of some toxic WhatsApp groups which became a minatory deformer of my mental stability. I must say, WhatsApp is a fecundating platform for vicious, malicious falsehoods, fake news and conspiracy theories. It is more lethal in mischief than any other social media platform because of the shroud of commonality and the discipline of groupthink.

When you wake up at 5am to images of dismembered bodies with a footnote of the usual villains, you cannot possibly have a vivacious day. The effect of media materials such as these, which in most cases are spin-offs of propaganda, is subliminal and lacerating.

Here is what the psychologist says:

‘’Photos are a record of real events, so it’s not surprising that we often view them as the best evidence that something actually happened. What is more surprising is our recent work showing that photos can alter our beliefs even when they do not provide any evidence for the claim at hand. In a study we conducted in New Zealand at Victoria University of Wellington, we found that when people read a statement (such as “Macadamia nuts are in the same evolutionary family as peaches”) alongside a decorative photo that simply related to the claim (a bowl of macadamia nuts), they were more likely to believe that the claim was true. That is, these decorative photos produced truthiness — photos that were related to but did not depict the claim encouraged people to believe that the claims were credible. Moreover, this truthiness effect persisted over days, not minutes, and could have long-lasting effects on people’s beliefs.

But visual cues are not the only source of non-diagnostic evidence that people use to evaluate claims. People can be influenced by even more subtle features of information, like the linguistic attributes of a word.’’

So, why do you believe what you believe? Because someone shared it on WhatsApp or other platforms? Because it is convenient for you to believe it as you cannot engage in critical thinking? Because it dovetails with your bias and sentiments?  See Also Opinion The Killing Of Afenifere Leader’s Daughter And The Omnipresence Of Bandits On Nigerian Roads By Fredrick Nwabufo 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Probe all things – that include the possible reasons for malicious ethnic labelling. The fear of ethnic domination is one. And it has been the wraith in the Nigeria haunted castle. It changes in complexion with every change in government. When Jonathan was president; his ethnic group, the Ijaw, were the content for derisive memes and labels.  

We must condemn all crimes and hold offenders to account. But we must not make them about a people. I would be offended if I am profiled for the sins of a minute group in my clan. 

Also, the political value of the current crisis cannot be discounted; hence we must be mindful of the information we consume and share.

We need a disrupted social conditioning; that, which makes us appraise other citizens by the content of their character and not by where they come from or where they worship.

We all need to get along.

@FredrickNwabufo

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14 Die In Jos Building Collapse

16 July 2019 - 8:07am


The National Emergency Management Agency says the death toll in Monday's building collapse in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has risen to 14 while four others are critically injured and receiving treatment in the hospital.

The building collapsed in Delimi Community of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Nurudeen Musa, Head, Search and Rescue Operations at the North-Central office of NEMA, told journalists the three-storey building, belonging to one Rufai Kabiru, collapsed in the late hours of Monday, killing Kabiru and other people. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Four Feared Dead As Four-Storey Building Collapses In Jos 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

Musa said, “As of this afternoon, we recorded 14 deaths and four persons severely injured in the collapsed building."

He added that the injured were currently receiving treatment at the Plateau Specialist Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital.
 

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Obasanjo's Letter: The Messenger Is Not Handsome But The Message Is, Shehu Sani Tells Buhari

16 July 2019 - 8:03am


Senator Shehu Sani has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to pay attention to the message contained in a recent open letter addressed to him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo had, in the letter, criticized Buhari for his approach to security and warned him of impending national doom if he failed to act fast.

Responding to the letter in a tweet on Tuesday, @ShehuSani said, "The President should not use OBJ’s letter as a toilet roll, just clip it near the dressing mirror. The messenger is not surely handsome but the message is a bell and a compass. OBJ and Baba know each other more than anyone knows about them."

Reacting to the comment by Senator Sani, @childjoe wrote, "OBJ is not a good man. We reject totally everything about him. He plunged us into this mess. He had the opportunity to turn things around but he did otherwise."

@Omoseki tweeted in response, "I hope it won't take Buhari years to read that letter.”
 

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Zamfara Governor Meets Gbajabiamila, Reveals Plan To Establish Three RUGA Settlements

16 July 2019 - 7:39am


Governor Bello Matawalle has spoken of plans to begin the establishment of the Rural Grazing Area Initiative by the Zamfara State Government.

Matawalle made this known while speaking when he hosted the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the Zamfara State House.

He declared that the Zamfara government had unanimously agreed to key into the initiative and set aside lands for the initiative.

He said, “We have already concluded arrangements to set up three RUGA settlements, one for each of our three senatorial zones.

“The issue of RUGA, which is being debated across the vast spectrum of the federation, has been unanimously accepted in our state.

“Since time immemorial, the communities of farmers and herders in the state have been living together.

“Even though there were skirmishes from time to time,  they did not take the ugly dimension they have taken in our contemporary times.”

The governor mentioned that the initiative would transform the nomads and address the clash between the farmers and herdsmen in the state.

He added, “We are confident that the RUGA programme would confine the nomads to sedentary life and would significantly address the farmer-herder crisis in the state.

“The settlements would include, among other things, 100 hectares of land, formal and Islamiyya schools, hospitals, earth dams and veterinary hospitals and many other social amenities that would make the Fulani community and their herds of cattle relatively comfortable.”
 

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Always Find Time For Yourselves, Jay Z Advises Prince Harry And Meghan

16 July 2019 - 7:35am


American rapper, Jay-Z had a piece of advice for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan when they met at the European premiere of “Lion King” on Sunday.

Jay-Z alongside his wife Beyoncé who played the role “Nala” in "Lion King" remake of  1994 arrived at the movie premiere a few hours after the arrival of the royal couple.

According to The Daily Mail, upon arrival, Beyoncé and Jay-Z extended their greetings to the royals on the birth of their baby, Archie.  

During the exchange of pleasantries, Jay-Z used the opportunity to give some parenting tips to the new royal parent. “Always find time for yourselves,” he told Prince Harry and Meghan. 
 

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Nigerians Celebrate Wizkid As He Clocks 29

16 July 2019 - 7:27am


Today has been declared “World Wizkid Day” by Nigerians to celebrate the birthday of Nigerian singer, Ayo Balogun, better known as “Wizkid”.

Wizkid turns 29 today. Born on the 16th of July, 1990 to a family of six, Wizkid started singing at the age of 11 with the stage name “Lil Prinz” after which he formed a group “Glorious five.”

In 2006, he changed his name from “Lil Prinz” to Wizkid leading to his first chance at the spotlight in 2009 when he featured on M. Abaga’s song “Fast Cars”.

That song brought his voice to the notice of Nigerian singer, Banky W, who signed him to his record label.  

As the singer turns 29 today, Nigerians have taken to their various social media accounts to celebrate the singer and his achievements over the years. 

Tweeting with the hashtag, "WorldWizkidDay," many Nigerians congratulated the singer.

“When I am sad, your music is my happiness, when I am lost, your music is my comforter. Thank you for blessing our generation,” a Twitter user, JeeziMillion, wrote.

Another Twitter user, Stevydomiles, wrote: “Nobody does it badder than you Ayo, the undisputed King of Afropop. Thanks for all the good music, you keep inspiring me.”

“Happy birthday baby!” Imadey, another Twitter user, wrote while wishing the singer a happy birthday. 
 

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Jonathan Visits Fasoranti, Says Insecurity Getting Worse Under Buhari

16 July 2019 - 6:30am



Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said the issue of insecurity in Nigeria was getting worse under President Muhammadu Buhari's government.  

Jonathan noted that the security challenges such as terror attacks, kidnapping, banditry and killings are now major problems in the country. 

He spoke to journalists on Tuesday when he visited Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, Ondo State, to condole with the Afenifere leader over the death of his daughter, Funke Olakunrin.

Mrs. Olakunrin was murdered along Benin-Ore highway by suspected herdmens while returning to Lagos after visiting her father in Akure last Friday. 

The ex-President explained that every government has its own challenges of security but there must be a solution to solve them. See Also Insurgency Buhari Directs Security Operatives To Nab Killers Of Funke, Afenifere Leader’s Daughter 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Jonathan, who was in company of Sunday Abegunde, Secretary to the Ondo State Government, said the Federal Government must design a new approach to tackle the issue of insecurity in Nigeria. 

According to him, the armed forces can deploy the use of technology to combat the security challenges in the country. 

He said "It (insecurity) is now a major problem in the country and my belief is that the Federal Government with the state governments must design a different approach. 

"I was there as a president for some time, security challenges were there with me. I also inherited some. But it is getting worse everyday. And we cannot continue to use the same old method. 

"As security operatives, the police, DSS, and other armed forces must deploy technology. I believe the Federal Government will need to set up a special unit, just like we set up EFCC and ICPC to handle specific issues of corruption.

"They would know that their total responsibility is to manage this issue of kidnapping and attacks on people going on the road or going to the farm. 

"We can't continue that way, it is not just possible, because we can't talk about managing the economy of this country if people are not safe.

"Economy is for the people, they must be alive to enjoy infrastructure. Even if you construct all the roads in the country and people cannot move around, then the road become meaningless.  See Also Insurgency Tinubu Visits Fasoranti, Reacts To Report Linking Fasoranti’s Daughter's Killers To Herdsmen 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

"The issue of security must be approached from a different dimension, we cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it."

He also advised the Buhari-led government to take a second look into the reports of the 2014 national confab to proffer solution to the insecurity challenges in the nation.

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El-Zakzaky: Nigerian Government Provoking Fresh Insurgency, Says Falana

16 July 2019 - 6:07am


Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria against its violent approach to handling members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria who are protesting the continued detention of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, despite numerous court orders issued for his release.

Falana expressed concerns over the method the Federal Government had adopted in a statement on Tuesday.

The legal luminary said the continuous detention of Elzakzaky and killing of peaceful Shiite protesters by security forces could lead the country into another bloody war that it could not afford.

“This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the federal government in the handling of the case of the Elzakzakys,” Falana said.

Chronicling the arrest and detention of Elzakzaky and his wife Malama Zeinab on December 12, Falana said over 1,000 Shiites were reportedly massacred by soldiers on the orders of the Nigerian Army high command and given mass burial in an unmarked grave in Mango village, Kaduna State over allegations of attempt to assassinate Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

He said, "Even though the leader of the Shiites, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was not at the scene of the attack, his residence was invaded by the rampaging troops two days later. The troops set the house ablaze, shot at El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeinab El-Zakzaky and killed three of their sons in cold blood in their presence. As if such barbaric assault was not enough, the army arrested and held El-Zakzaky and his wife in custody before handing them over to the Department of State Services. At that stage, the houses of El-Zakzaky and other leaders in Zaria were demolished by the Kaduna state on the orders of Governor Nasir El Rufai.  

"After the massacre of the Shiites and the demolition of the houses of their leaders, the Kaduna state government instituted a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the violent attack.

"The detained El-Zakzaky was prevented from responding to the allegations made against him and his group at the inquiry. But the judicial commission found that there was no plan by the Shiites to assassinate General Buratai. It was also revealed at the panel that the 347 Shiites were massacred by the army in violations of the Army Rules of Engagement and the Geneva Conventions.  

"Apart from condemning the brutal massacre of the Shiites, the judicial commission recommended that the culprits be prosecuted.  

"Instead of implementing the recommendation by prosecuting the well-known murderers the Kaduna state government turned round to charge over 300 Shiites with the culpable homicide of a soldier who was killed by his colleagues during the attack. But the defence team convinced the Kaduna state high court to free the Shiites as they were not involved in the commission of the offence.  

"Accordingly, the charge was dismissed for want of evidence while the trial court proceeded to discharge and acquit all the defendants. Meanwhile, the suit challenging the illegal detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife was decided in their favour by the federal high court on December 2, 2016.  

"The presiding judge, Kolawole J. (as he then was) directed the Federal Government to release the couple from unlawful custody, pay them N50 million reparation and provide them with a temporary house since the army had burnt down their residence. But the Buhari regime has characteristically treated the court orders with arrogant contempt.  

"Curiously, the Court of Appeal has refused to hear the application to commit the Director-General of the State Security Service for contempt of court!

"Upon our legal advice, the Shiites approached three separate high courts to challenge the violation of their right to assemble and protect peacefully."

He added that despite the orderly nature in which the Shiites had conducted themselves, the Federal Government, through the army, was operating with impunity to disrupt the group's peaceful process.

He added, "The Shiites won the cases against the Federal Government as the courts upheld their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. But out of sheer impunity, the army has killed about 50 Shiites at Abuja for protesting against the continued detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife.  

"As the federal government could no longer justify the illegal detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife it directed the Kaduna state government to file a charge against them. Hence, they have been charged with culpable homicide at the Kaduna state high court for the death of the same soldier.  

"Pending the trial, the team of local and international physicians who examined El-Zakzaky and his wife on the orders of the trial court confirmed that their health has deteriorated and recommended that they are allowed to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment. In particular, El-Zakzaky has lost an eye while he is the process of losing the other one.  

"The wife can no longer walk as a result of the gun wounds inflicted on her during the military attack of December 2015. Without adducing any reason whatsoever the federal government has ignored the recommendation of the physicians.  

"The Shiites are currently protesting the refusal of the Buhari regime to release El-Zakzaky and his wife from custody to enable them to travel abroad to receive urgent medical treatment at their own expense.  

"El-Zakzaky must not be allowed to die due to medical neglect as it may provoke a crisis of monumental proportions. Therefore, the federal government should implement the unanimous resolution of the House of Representatives for the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife without any further delay. 

"Finally, it would be recalled that the Boko Haram sect declared war on the people of Nigeria in 2009 following the cold murder of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf by the Police. Since then the nation has known no peace. This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the federal government in the handling of the case of the El-Zakzaky.”

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